Thursday, April 30, 2009

In Search of Dry Dirt

I was considering a quick road trip but now I am leaning towards taking my chances at home this weekend and trying the South Fork Bench Trail which is mostly south-facing. Worst case scenario, I get out on the cross bike for a muddy tour of Teton Valley backroads "Paris Roubaix" style.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My first Tues Night Worlds of 09'

Early in the day, the weather was not inspiring me to rally over to Jackson for the "Tues Night World's" group road ride but Mother Nature threw us a bone and the skies cleared just in time to grab my gear and head over the hill.

Most of the afternoon, it looked like this

A surprisingly large group showed up despite temps in the low 40s and a threat of rain or snow. It was decided that Tour De Buttes would be the best route in case the weather caved and we had to make a beeline for off we went to climb the buttes.

I was not feeling my inner "Andy Schleck" and thought my chest might explode on the initial climb up Spring Creek but I felt much better on our second climb up Bar Y. Maybe I just needed to blow the cobwebs out? Regardless, it felt great to get outside and ride after being behind the desk all day.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Agony of Defeat

My FTP kicked my ass today and now I am angry. I was mentally ready to throw down a huge ass-whoopin' on my FTP, and it was looking good early, but I faded badly and allowed my FTP to score the late round knockout. F@$#! Time to really get to work.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tomorrow, we duel!

A few times per season I plan a battle with this same adversary and so far I have beaten him each time. To tie or fall short, even by the tiniest of margins, would be an unacceptable blow to my psyche that could require months of therapy to repair. The time and place has been set:

9:00 AM Thursday, Coal Creek Parking Lot, Teton Pass

The battle will last precisely 20 minutes but will feel as if it will never end. The ironic thing about my duel with my FTP tomorrow is that regardless of the outcome, I will suffer as a result. Should I lose, and not achieve a new personal-best PNorm for 20 minutes, I will suffer both mentally AND physically as I train for a rematch. And should I win by achieving a new all-time high PNorm, my training zones will be adjusted upwards accordingly and thus I will subject myself to a higher level of glorious suffering.

Squiggley lines to follow.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Final Day in St George

Although none of the previous six days of consecutive rides were "big" ride days, I am sufficiently tired now. The last techy bits of Hurricane Rim today caused the quads to quiver. What a perfect way to end a great trip to the desert.

Gould's + Jem + Hurricane was a favorite.

This trip ended up being less of a "training camp" for me and more of a vacation for Michelle and I. Although we live in a wonderful place and are constantly doing fun activities at home, we haven't really taken a vacation in a long time so this one was long overdue.

Visiting with Dave & Lynda at Twenty Five Main last night was fabulous and stopping into OTE Hurricane one more time on the way out was nice too. We will be back to visit St George again soon.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sun, dry dirt, and excellent company

When Lynda says "3 Hours at JRA pace", you better bring your A-game. That is all I am sayin'. I don't think gravity affects Lynda like it does the rest of us. I was doing great, until the Earth tilted upwards and then the next thing I knew Lynda was a wee speck in the distance. :)

The Dynamic Duo in a rare slow moment

The newly built trail near Barrel Roll is a great climb with an excellent view as the reward

The flowers are emerging everywhere in the desert

Dave was kind enough to continue the guided tour when Lynda had to turn back for her PTA duties. I got to see some excellent "locals only" connector trails and then had the pleasure of chasing Dave down the Stucki Trail. Woohoo!

Dave unleashed the power a little too much on a steep climb

Despite my lack of zip today I really enjoyed the trails and the company. Tomorrow is our last day in St George. Boooo.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Who unplugged the heater?

Day 3 in St George was, um, brrrr. 43F with wind is no big deal ...if you pack properly. Oh well, we layered up with what we had and rode anyway. In fact, I rode twice today. Ride 1 was a short MTB ride with Michelle on Paradise Rim and snowflakes fell on us. Ride 2 was a road ride on Hwy 18 heading north and snowflakes fell on me again. Hwy 18 is a cool road and if I weren't absolutely freezing I would have gone farther. Let's just say that I needed a long hot shower when I got back.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jem is for mojo

Day 2 in St George went extremely well. We toyed with the idea of riding Gooseberry but switched to Gould's to Jem to Hurricane Rim at the last minute and it was pure greatness. Beating the thunderstorm back to the truck by literally 30 seconds just added to the good mojo.

I might have to go back and do a double lap of this trail combo before I leave or maybe do one lap clockwise followed by a counter-clockwise lap for a little variety. We ran into an older, very fit couple walking their bikes on Hurricane Rim Trail. They forgot their pump so we stopped and helped them fix the flat quick. Slime tubes rock! Michelle would have flatted today but the green goodness filled the gaps quick and was evident on the outside of her tire in a couple of places. JayP, now a Slime Pro Staffer, hooked us up with some Slime tubes right before we left. Thanks JayP!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ride and Recharge

Day one in St. George started off well and got better from there.

Morning light on the red cliffs of Snow Canyon

The camera didn't make it out on the trail today but we rode Zen, Barrel Cacti, and a little extra pavement due to my navigating goof. Doh! With weather this nice, I could ride circles in a friggin' parking lot. It was 75F and sunny with little wind. Nice.

Lynda steered us to a great cafe for dinner. Twenty Five Main is now a favorite. We owe her a cupcake for that referral.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"L Fives" and The dungeon of Pain

34F degrees with rain & snow here in beautiful Teton Valley today meant a session on the trainer in the basement, aka "The Dungeon of Pain", was in order. Today's workout seemed very doable at a glance but it punished me and left me wobbling up the stairs after I was done.

The L5 intervals crushed me today. I haven't seen a HR of 190 in a long, long time. 185 is normally a very high HR for me. The cool thing about the power meter is that it will quickly point out a weakness; mine is maintaining above-threshold power at a high cadence. I am a masher by nature. Maybe I should take up singlespeeding?

Monday, April 6, 2009

A "turning the corner" weekend?

After Thursday morning's incredible ski + a little more snow and cold temps I expected Saturday to be an incredible day of skiing. We had all day to tour and find the untracked goodness but an uncommon, strong north wind turned our beloved north facing bowls into wind-slabbed funkiness that required some survival skiing. Oh well, the sun was out and the company was excellent. But the speed at which the conditions changed had me thinking that spring might finally be here and I am ready. If it doesn't snow again until November I would be ok with it.

Michelle and Kenai love the pow

Kenai got a little tired at the end and stayed in my tracks

J9 on our last run of the day

I had been planning a long snow bike for Sunday but the forecast was calling for slush-creating sun so we changed it up at the last minute and got out on the dry roads. Sunday was an example of "wishful thinking" in that it looked like it should have been warmer than it truly was. It was only 22F when we started our ride in Wilson at 11 AM and I don't think it got much above 32F in the 3 1/2 hours we were out. Brrr. It took a long, hot shower and some tea to get warmed up once I got home.

I do hope we have "turned the corner" on spring this year and that we have some decent cycling weather now. It was a great winter season of snow biking and skiing but I am ready to turn the page.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Name this ski tour

Let's see who can name the popular ski tour pictured below. The images were created using Topofusion.

First a 3D version, because its so cool

A 2D Aerial photo with an obvious clue

I think this morning's turns were the best I have had all season for the combination of fresh, deep snow, no people (I mean none, we broke trail the whole way), and excellent company.