Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 - A year in photos

I am totally copying Lynda and posting my own "Year in Photos" from 2010. It was a great year of racing bikes and spending time with friends.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snow Bike video from Christmas Day

Christmas Day Snow Bike from Dave Byers on Vimeo.

Melissa, Jordan, and their two new Salsa Mukluks, joined Michelle and I on Christmas Day for a great snow bike ride on the snowmobile trail from Horseshoe to Packsaddle. Cold temps overnight left the trails firm and fun!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Togwotee Winter Classic Race #1 is less than two weeks away!

Check the Togwotee Winter Classic website for all of the details.

Be sure to email me to reserve your spot because this is shaping up to be the biggest TWC ever! And its FREE!

Monday, December 20, 2010

T-Minus 60 Days

The 2011 24 Hours of Old Pueblo is only 60 days away and therefore Sunday, Dec 19th was one of those key training days that are “non-negotiable”. In other words, no matter what the weather does, I will ride. The last couple of years of focused training for endurance races have taught me that quality six hour rides at key times in the schedule are probably the most important thing I do training-wise. Sunday was one of those planned “quality” days.

As I watched the forecast leading up the weekend I knew that Sunday was going to be a test of my cycling resolve. Snow was in the forecast for Sat night through Sun and the little voice in the back of my head that says “let’s go skiing” was now yelling at me…so I ignored it and intentionally did not check the snow totals Sun morning while drinking my coffee. Mother Nature followed through and dumped fresh snow on the Tetons all day on Sunday but threw a nasty little curveball at me along the way. At hour 4.5 of 6, she decided to really test me and raised the temp to 35F. The big beautiful dry flakes that had been falling all day quickly turned to a slushy rain/snow mix and began to thoroughly soak me. Perfect. (Insert sarcasm here) I am becoming wise to Mother Nature’s tricks these days and had grabbed my Montbell rain shell on my way out the door and tucked it away in my frame bag just in case. Ha! Needless to say, it saved my ass.

Random Notes from the Ride
- 62 miles on snow-covered back roads in 6:03:00
- 1 bottle of Carbo Rocket 333
- Osprey Bladder filled with Kiwi Lime Carbo Rocket
- 800 calories of EFS Gel
- 1 of the Best Cookies in the Galaxy
- Handful of dark chocolate covered almonds
- A random mix of Metal, Hip-Hop, Techno, Grunge, and a dash of James Brown
- Zero moose sightings

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow Biking Teton Valley Backroads

Saturday was a planned long-ish ride so Michelle and I headed out on the snow bikes, rode together for a while, and then finished up our respective rides separately. I am still learning the Drift HD170 camera but it is fun to play with and see what comes out. I have a LOT to learn in Final Cut Express as well so bear with me on the editing.

Dec 11, 2010 Snow Bike from Dave Byers on Vimeo.

Monday, December 13, 2010


There are lots of backroads that stay frozen in Teton Valley but even at 20F, sunshine will melt out the pavement sections and create slush-soup. I was about to "MacGyver" an existing fender butI think I have found the solution to slushy pavement sections.

The Fatback might need a set of Woody's Custom Fenders.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sure, snow biking is fun...

...but a little variety never hurt anyone. Ha!

Teton Pass Dec 3rd from Dave Byers on Vimeo.

My first attempt at a ski video using the Drift Innovations HD170 camera mounted to my backpack's shoulder strap. The video was shot in 720p in wide angle (170*) format.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cross Training

The 24 Hours of Old Pueblo is squarely in my focus these days and I will ramp up my training time as we get closer to February. This past Saturday’s training day called for a 5 hour “adventure” at a moderate to hard effort. Given the snow that fell on Friday, a BIG ski day was in order and Mike Piker was willing to join me.

Quick Stats:
Climbing: 6,600'
Moving Time: 4:47:00
Total Time: 5:57:00
Calories consumed: Not nearly enough

Our plan was somewhat loose in that we would let the weather and snow conditions dictate where we went. The top of Teton Pass was unusually calm Saturday morning so a hike up the Glory bootpack was a great way to kick off the day. Mike summarized the Mt. Glory bootpack climb perfectly. “It is like a hard 45 minute interval, but with an awesome payoff.” I don’t have many Glory hikes under my belt yet so it was a nice change to stand on top in light winds. It seems as if every time I hike Glory the wind is absolutely nuking at the top. With such moderate weather and good snow we decided that a second Glory hike was in order so we grabbed some water at the truck and headed up for round two. The snow in the trees on Second Turn was delicious!

NOTE: I am always amazed at how much I sweat hiking up Glory. Within ten minutes of beginning the hike I am literally dripping sweat from my uncovered head all the way to the top.

Our two Glory/Second Turn runs ate up about 2.5 hours of moving time (I stopped my Garmin 310XT timer whenever we stopped) so I had some more work to do. I threw on the skins, grabbed some more calories, and headed south to Edelweiss with a loose plan of doing laps there for the remainder of the afternoon.

NOTE: It is more difficult to accumulate moving time when yo-yo’ing shorter ski runs. Peeling skins at the top and putting them back on at the bottom takes time.

Despite being late afternoon, there was plenty of untracked snow left in Edelweiss Bowl so I was content to make a couple of runs there and use the existing skin track for my trips back up. With each run down my legs were screaming a little louder and letting me know that they weren’t used to long ski days yet. I finished off the day with great run down The Nose and then skinned back up to the parking lot where just a few cars remained.

NOTE: Bringing dry clothes and hot tea for the drive home was a good call.

Overall, this was one of the harder efforts I have done in a while and I tried to keep the foot on the gas any time I was going uphill. I could have done a better job of eating and drinking and that is something I will have to get better at if I want to do any truly epic ski days.

TECH NOTE: The Garmin 310XT does a poor job capturing ski files. It works fine for running but struggles with the start/stop nature of backcountry skiing.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bam! - It's Snow Bike Season

Michelle and I had visions of riding red dirt in St. George, UT over Thanksgiving but Mother Nature had other ideas and gave us icy roads & blowing snow. We decided to stay home and busted out the snow bikes instead (skis tomorrow). It only took one ride to get back in the groove and remember all the little tricks to stay comfy on the bike when its cold outside.

More snow began to fall this afternoon

Kenai loves snow biking!

It is very mid-winter-like for Thanksgiving weekend

The Osprey Hydraform Reservoir is working well so far this winter

Thursday's ride in single-digit temps shed light on a new piece of snow bike gear. I started using the Osprey Hydraulic Reservoirs this summer and really like them in my mountain bike packs so I thought I would try it out in the winter. No freezing yet...I am very excited and optimistic about this. Even when using all the known tricks, I still manage to freeze my Camelbak bladder at times.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Snowy Singletrack Adventure

Astute readers will quickly realize that I chose the word “adventure” rather than "ride". There was a lot of excellent riding involved yesterday but there were also some hike-a-bike sections through 8” of snow on the higher reaches of our route. A little hike-a-bike was a small price to pay for the excellent frozen singletrack riding we enjoyed.

Three of the four amigos

I met up with Mike, Gabe, and Mark in Jackson and a few flakes were beginning to fall as we began our ride with temps in the low 30s. The temps dropped and snow fell steadily throughout the afternoon but the steady effort kept us warm. Tree covered sections of the Hagan and Ferrin’s trails had about an inch of snow on them and climbing traction with the studded tires was excellent. Once we got above 7,500’, anything exposed had too much snow to ride so we would “connect the dots” of rideable sections with short hike-a-bikes. Winter MTB shoes were an excellent accessory to have on this ride. I even broke out the Moose Mitts to ensure that my hands stayed toasty. The sections of trail with deeper snow begged for a true snow bike but the regular mountain bike was a blast on the singletrack in the trees. Note to self: Ripping snow covered singletrack is waaaay more fun than grinding out miles on frozen Teton Valley back roads.

My desire to ride is still much higher than my desire to ski. I am sure the ski stoke will kick in eventually but for now I want to be on the bike when I can and yesterday just fueled the bike stoke even more. With tonight’s forecast of more snow, the next ride may require much fatter tires.

Mike broke trail most of the day

Gabe and his questionable footwear choice

Moose Mitts, Lake Winter Shoes, and a rear fender...this was not my first rodeo

Near the end of the ride Gabe shared that pushing his bike through the snow is not his favorite passtime

We actually rode more than I thought we would. Good times!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Cube Cyclocross, Race #2 this Saturday

I am looking forward to another weekend of cross racing close to home this weekend. Race #2 of The Cube Cyclocross in Rexburg is this Saturday. Who is with me?

Fiddee Cent had a strong race last weekend

Some serious questions will be answered this Saturday:

- Can Dave Saurman still ride a bike after surfing in Mexico for the past week?
- Will Fitzy's early-season form continue?
- Will "Medium" embrocation be enough, or will it be a day for the "Madness"?
- Will Michelle make her cyclocross season debut?

Victor Velo is loaning the City of Rexburg some of our course supplies so look for the course to be "PRO" this weekend.

Monday, November 8, 2010

CX Racing in Rexburg

“Holy shit, racing bicycles is fun” I say to myself as I look ahead at third place.
With two laps to go, I sit in fourth, on the wheel of third place, planning my attack.
And then I lose concentration in the singletrack, bobble a turn, and almost wreck.
The gap is now 25 yards.
The off-camber grass suits me and I ride smooth, gaining on my nemesis.
I dig deeper to grab his wheel before we hit the pavement.
Stay focused through the singletrack this time.
We exit the singletrack wheel to wheel.
At the left-hander onto the grass, I make my move.
Attack the last barrier, don’t stutter-step the remount, pedal!
Don’t look back.
A glorious third place effort.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Let's Talk Tallboy

My new Tallboy has seen action for about six weeks but since the weather has caved, and our singletrack season is over, I thought it would be a good time to post a short-term review.

The Specs
- Large Tallboy Frame with Fox RP23 shock
- Cane Creek 110 Mixed Taper headset
- Stans 355s laced to DT Swiss 240s by Mike C.
- Fox F29 100 FIT RLC w/15mm axle
- SRAM XX Drivetrain with 39/26 Front and 11/36 Rear
- Magura Marta SL brakes
- Thomson Masterpiece Seatpost
- Thomson X2 Stem
- Edge Mtn Riser Bar, 700mm wide, uncut
- Ergon GP1 Leichtbau Grips
- WTB Silverado Saddle (still not sure if this is my saddle Nirvana)
- Time Atac XS Ti Carbon pedals

The tires obviously affect the overall weight, but with semi-lightweight 600g tires my Tallboy weighs 24.3 lbs. This is a huge improvement over my 2008 Turner Sultan which was close to 27 lbs. Bikes like the Tallboy, the Trek Superfly 100, and the Specialized Epic 29er have made full-suspension 29ers a viable race option.

The Ride
I dig it. If I had to choose one word to describe the ride, it would be “snappy”. It rides with the kind of snappiness that will make it tough to choose the hardtail next season. Four inches of travel is perfect for endurance racing and definitely smoothes out the bumps nicely. This bike will take the edge off of trail sections like Tuffy’s Rim during the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde and the Bustle Creek descent at Pierre’s Hole. The wheelbase is a bit longer than my Air9 hardtail and tight switchbacks are a little trickier but the low BB helps. Speaking of low bottom brackets...

Shock Pressure & Pedal Strikes
A lower BB for better cornering was part of my criteria for a new bike. The claimed BB height on the Tallboy is 12.8” but a rider’s weight effectively lowers the BB by about half an inch once you factor in the sag. Too little PSI in the shock means too much sag, which results in a BB that is too low, which results in lot of pedal strikes. At first, I was running too little PSI and whacking my pedals on a lot of rocks. Five PSI either way changes the ride quite a bit on this bike. At 168 lbs (no gear), I am running 160 PSI in the shock with the ProPedal on 2 and that seems to be the best balance between a comfortable ride and a firm pedaling platform. The ProPedal helps the bike ride higher up in its travel and keeps the BB where it should be.

The Drivetrain
I was really enjoying the SRAM XX until I went for a ride in the Big Holes where I was missing my 22 x 34 option on the steepest climbs. I did several big rides in the Big Holes in October and at some point during each of those rides I was wishing I had another cog in the back. However, the Big Holes are a unique place in that the trails tend to go straight up and then straight down. If I decide to race the 100-mile version of Pierre’s Hole next summer I will definitely have a triple chainring on the front of the Tallboy because of the relentless Dry Creek climb. However, the 26 x 36 is plenty for the Cream Puff, Mesa Verde, and Old Pueblo.

I have to admit that I was expecting more out of SRAM XX. It is a nice drivetrain but my “old” 9-speed setup of XTR cranks, XTR front derailleur, XO gripshift, and XO rear derailleur shifted every bit as well. SRAM would score points with me if they would hurry up and release a 10-speed gripshift.

I am a BIG fan of the Shimano 15mm E-thru axle on 29” forks. I admit that I didn’t think it was necessary at first but now I am a believer. The steering is crisp and precise and the big fat quick release is genius because the axle tension is the same every time and makes wheel removal and installation a no-brainer.

15mm E-Thru System

If you plan on carrying a water bottle on your Tallboy, flip your shock around and buy a side-loader bottle cage. I was getting really frustrated by hitting the blue ProPedal lever with my water bottle every time I took a drink until I flipped the shock around. The Arundel “Other Side Loader” cage works very well and is easy to load without looking down.

Flip your shock to make room for a 24oz bottle

Santa Cruz nailed the geometry and the tire clearance with the Tallboy. A 2.25 Schwalbe Racing Ralph tire has plenty of room to spare. A pet peeve of mine is to see a sweet mountain bike with crappy rear tire clearance. The built-in chainstay protector and zerk fittings for greasing the BB pivots are nice touches as well.

Zerk fittings are below the BB

Santa Cruz uses a combination of an in-set top race with an external bottom race called a "mixed set" headset

11-36 in the back

Interesting Note: Santa Cruz specs the Q166 SRAM XX cranks but the Q156 clears the chainstays just fine

Monday, October 25, 2010

P.U.B. Expo at Snake River Brewing

Snake River Brewing has a very cool event planned for this Wed, Oct 27th & Thurs, Oct 28th upstairs at the Brew Pub. The "Pretty Unique Bike Exposition" will display the valley's most unique bikes and each bike has its own story to tell. I can't wait to see which bike is "paired" with Zonker Stout. Yum!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Racing Mother Nature

This has been the best Fall for mountain biking since I have lived in the Tetons but this weekend's forecast looks ominous. JayP, Hamilton, and I rallied to squeeze one more big ride in before we get shut out.

Looks like pretty good odds for snow on Sunday

Friday's Big Hole Crest Trail Adventure was a great season-ender...if in fact it does end up being the end of our mountain bike season. There are two key turns on the Crest Trail and missing either one will cost you some hike-a-bike. We went 1 for 2 today. Doh! Now I have those two sneaky turns on my GPS though. Ha!

Quick Stats:
43.7 Miles
4,650' Elevation Gain
4:29:57 Moving Time

Our ride began and ended at JayP's in Victor, ID

JayP and Hami at the top of South Fork of Horseshoe

Scary Tree

JayP flatted near the end of the ride. Most Big Hole group rides typically involve at least one flat

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More BIG Adventure in the Big Holes

The incredible weather we have had during the month of October has inspired me to leave the cross bike in the garage and bang out as many mountain bike rides as possible (8 rides in the last 8 days) before the snow flies.

Troy Olson shares my passion for fall riding and isn't scared of a little hike-a-bike so we planned to explore Calamity Creek and complete a missing piece of my Big Holes riding puzzle. I had heard good things about the Calamity Creek trail but due to its remoteness I had never ridden it.

Troy Olson on the sweet Calamity Creek singletrack

The South Canyon Creek descent is long, technical in places, and gorgeous

The route in TopoFusion

Quick Stats:
30.3 miles
5,890' of climbing
5:10:00 moving time
Multiple steep Hike-a-Bikes

The Route:
Park - South Fork of Horseshoe Trailhead
Climb South Fork of Horseshoe Trail (219) to Elk Flats
Take South Canyon Creek (226) downhill, continue past North Canyon Creek junction
Take Carrlton Cuttoff Trail north (you WILL hike your bike a bit)
Turn right at Calamity Creek (224), prepare to smile a lot
Turn right at North Canyon Creek (227)
Merge onto Relay Ridge Trail (225)
Turn left on (219) and ride South Fork of Horseshoe downhill back to trailhead

Trail Notes:
-The South Fork of Horseshoe goes up quickly, a warmup spin is advised.
-South Canyon Creek should ALWAYS be ridden as a descent, not a climb. I think it is the best descent in the Big Holes and keeps you honest with root drops, tight turns, and rideable creek crossings.
-Take a rag and chain lube. South Canyon Creek has many deep creek crossing, springs, and muddy sections.
-Carrlton Cuttoff is a solid hike-a-bike.
-Most of Calamity Creek (heading east) is sweet singletrack climbing at a reasonable grade. You will enjoy it unless you burned too many matches to get here.
-Packing iodine tablets and a first-aid kit is not a bad idea.
-Finishing the ride with a return trip down the South Fork of Horseshoe is greatness. For some variety, you could descend Long Ridge instead.

This ride proves yet again that rides in the Big Holes should not be measured by mileage. As I sit here sipping coffee, I am feeling the effects of yesterday's ride.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blowing the needle off the Fall Fun Meter

If Mother Nature keeps giving us sunshine and dry trails, I will do my best to ride the snot out of them until she decides to shut us down.

ROUTE: Home to Spooky to Big Hole Crest to Drake, down Drake (techy greatness) to home

Why have I never done this loop before today? Dumb. Ok, so there is some hike-a-bike involved but there is also some very sweet trail and the Drake Creek downhill is long and technical. Nice.

Quick Stats:
15.66 Miles
2,100' of climbing (with a little hiking thrown in to build character)
1:45:00 moving time (20' of this was on Pine Creek Pass pavement)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Big Hole Crest Trail Adventure

When planning a ride in the Big Holes, you need to be prepared for two things:

1) You WILL hike your bike up and least a little
2) You will ask yourself why you don't ride up there more often

The Big Hole Crest Trail west of Victor, ID

Today's impromptu adventure in the Big Holes (not simply a ride because hiking and route finding were involved) was pure greatness. The fact that we rode to the trailhead from Victor and then exited the mountains not far from home just added to the cool factor of the ride. Earlier in the summer, when I am more concerned about training and the quality of my pedaling, the rides in the Big Holes don't appeal to me as much but today left me wondering why I don't ride there more. I am fixin' to change that.

Saying that the riding in the Big Holes is diverse would be an understatement. One minute you are zipping along on buffed Sun Valley-esque singletrack, and the next minute you are sliding downhill through softball sized rocks praying that you can slow down before things go very badly.

Brandon riding through some small sticks near Elk Flats

It is funny how this pic does NOT capture how steep the trail is right here

Our ride in Topofusion 3D

Ride Stats:
34 Miles (14 on pavement)
3,800' of climbing
About 4 hours of moving time

For the locals, I rode from my house to Cedron Rd. where I met up with JayP, T-Race, and Brandon. We then headed north on pavement to the Mahogany Creek trailhead and began the the dirt portion of our ride. The Mahogany Creek trail ramps up in steepness the closer it gets to the ridge and the last mile is just plain rude. From the top of Mahogany we headed south along the Crest Trail to the juction of Grove Creek where we banged a left and sent it downhill in a hurry. We could have continued and taken a couple of other routes down like Drake Creek (next time) or even Corral Creek to Spooky.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Moose Cross Images

Scott Wood,Victor Velo Board Member and all-around creative genius, was kind enough to share his Moose Cross images with us and I have posted a slideshow of my favorites.

Individual images of racers are posted up on Tony Jewell Photography as well.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

2010 Moose Cross

Now that the dust has settled from Moose Cross, and there was a lot of dust, I thought I would jot down some random thoughts and observations from the Organizer’s side of the race.

In only its third year, Moose Cross has morphed from a one-day race into a weekend cyclocross festival. In addition to putting on two quality days of racing, we try to provide our guests with a festive atmosphere and a little entertainment after Saturday’s racing concludes. (The keg toss Saturday night was pure greatness!)

Being Type-A, I take my Course Director responsibilities very seriously and expend a lot of energy trying to perfect our lumpy, bumpy, but incredibly diverse, cyclocross course. I obsess about fresh paint on the barriers, protective caps on every piece of rebar that was pounded into our rocky ground, custom printed course tape, hundreds of soccer cones to mark the way for blurry-eyed racers, weed whacking, and raking as many loose rocks out of the way as possible.

The “Grassy Knoll” is my favorite feature on our course. The rounded hill covered in lush grass and sparsely planted trees at the north end of the park serves as the perfect canvas for a cyclocross course designer. Over a hundred white step-in stakes and lots of course tape are my brushes for this canvas and this year I am especially proud of my work. The “Grassy Knoll” was challenging, yet fun, and rewarded the rider who had solid bike handling skills.

The week leading up to Moose Cross was pretty hectic and I just couldn’t shut my brain off at night. Will all of the prizes show up, what projector will we use for the movie, how many porta-potties do we need, will we have any volunteers, etc...these are the random thoughts going through my brain at 1 AM.

It’s not just a race, it is a festival. We decided last year that in order to bring folks back to Victor, ID each year, we needed to be more than just another cross race. And each year we tweak things a bit and learn a lot. This year I learned that if a venue is too spread out, your racers & spectators will be spread out too. When I think of the perfect cross venue, I picture a Roman Coliseum with a rolling dirt & grass infield to build a twisty cross course on. In my humble opinion, the race, the festival, the awards, the food, the beer, the camping, and post-race party should be as condensed as possible without being too crowded. I wish I could hire a giant helicopter to move Grand Teton Brewing to the north end of the park for Moose Cross weekend each year.

Registration & Timing are two areas where we have to become more efficient. I worried about them before the race and I am still wrestling with a few results issues the Tuesday after. Grrrr.

Moose Cross is Victor Velo’s largest fundraiser and all proceeds will fund future cycling-related projects such as Phase II of the Victor Bike Park. To everyone who paid to race and/or bought Moose Cross merchandise, thanks for your support.

Most importantly, it is about the people. We have made a lot of great friends through Moose Cross and it feels good when they come to Victor and have a great race weekend in our hometown. The compliments from racers were much appreciated and I tried to thank as many for coming as I could. Thanks again.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kross Kickoff Report

We held our first cross race of the season this past Saturday and it was great to see the racers enjoying the festive atmosphere with Oktoberfest building momentum as the day went on.

KrossKickoff Masters from Dave Byers on Vimeo.

The Master's 35+/45+ race from my helmet cam (sorry for the poor camera angle)

Random Post-Race Thoughts:
- Cross racing hurts...A lot...especially with zero warmup
- Oktoberfest and cyclocross go together quite well
- How can a race so short hurt so badly?
- As a result of my consistent Monday Run-Days, at least my running muscles aren't sore

I literally jumped into the Master's race with no warmup due to my organizer duties and pinned it from gun. Ouch. I knew it would hurt and I also expected to suck badly, and I did. At least I have a lot of room for improvement. It was fun battling with Dave Connor (in the video) for a while until he rode away and left me to die a slow death in no-man's land.

For more Kross Kickoff pics, check out

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Top Ten Reasons Utah Cyclocross Racers Should Come to Moose Cross

As one of the organizers of Moose Cross, I would love to see our participation grow and the Victor Bike Park benefit from that growth. Cyclocross promoters from Boise and Montana were kind enough to not schedule races on top of Moose Cross.

The Utah Cyclocross Series opens the same day as Moose Cross and I realize that it is always easier to race in your backyard. However, I thought I would give you my personal:

Top Ten Reasons Utah Cyclocross Racers should come to Moose Cross on Oct 2-3, 2010

1) Even if you skip the UTCX opener, you still have 10 races to accumulate points towards the series.

2) You can stop mid-race and quench your thirst. That’s right; our 2010 course runs through the Grand Teton Brewing property. We think beer and cross go together quite well.

3) We pay you to race. Each racer who travels 100 miles or more will be handed $5 on Saturday at registration. Thanks for coming to Victor!

4) All proceeds of Moose Cross benefit the Victor Bike Park…it’s for the kids.

5) Pro barriers: Regulation height, regulation spaced, and freshly painted.

6) The best cyclocross racers in the region will here. Come test yourself against the best.

7) I may be biased, but our course rocks! Triple barrier section, double barrier-to-run up, chicanes, the infamous “Narrows”, and some power-sucking, off-camber grass. Yeah baby!

8) Kids & Juniors race FREE!

9) Video footage of Saturday’s race will be shown Saturday night at the awards party. Here is the 2009 Video we showed at the awards.

10) We WILL NOT ask you to buy a number plate

Thanks in advance for considering a road trip.

Monday, September 20, 2010

First Ride On The Tallboy

There is a new bike in the stable and I took it out for the first time this past Saturday. The Santa Cruz Tallboy has been taunting me for a year now and when a local shop had a large frame sitting there I couldn't resist. The Phillips Ridge Trail made for the perfect full-suspension test-track with lots of embedded rock and flowing downhill sections.

Ridge Trail 9-18-10 from Dave Byers on Vimeo.

I have a lot to learn with the video camera and I apologize for the annoying shaking at times.

Quick stats & initial thoughts
- Large Tallboy frame & shock weighed 5.11 lbs
- Complete bike as I would race it weighs 24.3 lbs
- It doesn't ride like a fragile flower
- This frame is 1.5 lbs lighter than my 2008 Turner Sultan
- Do we really need tapered head tubes on 4" travel XC bikes?
- Thanks for not making it BB30. Seriously.
- I think this bike will see a lot of racing action in 2011

I wanted to build this bike now and dial in the fit before the weather here goes to crap. It will be 100% ready to rock at the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo in February...Solo baby.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My first video effort

I thought I would take a whole bunch of new-to-me things, mix 'em up, throw it at the wall, and see what sticks. Riding a DH bike on the Teton Pass downhill trails, using a helmet cam, and editing video were all new to me a couple of days ago.

Teton Pass 9-13-2010 from Dave Byers on Vimeo.

My old Mac Mini isn't exactly a video editing powerhouse but it has iMovie installed so I went with it for my first try. Can you say slooooow?

If you have some experience with video I would love a few tips. What software do you like for editing? Mac or PC? How do you get your data from your SD card (or similar) to your computer? I gotta believe that the USB cable from the camera to the computer is the slowest option.

The helmet cam is fun stuff and I am looking forward to playing with it more in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Park City Point to Point from the sidelines

The crud that took over my body Friday before the race, and is still hanging on, prevented me from racing but I did manage to shuffle around Park City to the various aid stations and offer a little support to Michelle. It was not the level of cowbell-ringing enthusiasm that I would have normally dished out but at least I was able to hand up a pre-filled Camelbak, a few GUs, and send her on her way.

Picture taken by from Lyna Saffell

Michelle's Race
The PCPP was Michelle's biggest race goal of the season after a flat tire caused her to miss the cuttoff time in last year's PCPP by minutes. She was on a mission to finish this beast and to see her execute her race plan was awesome. She was focused, wasted no time at the aid stations, and always kept moving forward. For this year's race, Michelle rode her Niner Air9 hardtail (Kermit) with 2.25 Racing Ralph tires w/SnakeSkin sidewalls for a little extra protection. The weight penalty of the heavier tires was worth the added insurance on this rocky course. One other key ingredient was Michelle's plan to race with Camelbaks containing Carbo Rocket so that she could keep both hands on the bars and still take in calories. The Park City trails are relentless and using bottles to fuel there is tricky business. I noticed that the 1st and 2nd place Open Men also used Camelbaks.

Michelle diligently followed LW Coaching's "100-Mile Finisher" training plan to prepare for the PCPP. Even though the PCPP is 75 miles and not 100, the overall difficulty is on par with most 100-milers so this plan made the most sense. LW Coaching's $99 12-week plans are perfect for someone who has a specific race goal and wants to be sure that they are doing everything possible to achieve that goal.

Michelle crushed it this year and finished in 11:03:00, placing third in the Women's 35+ Category.

A Great Event
Being sidelined gave me a unique view of the PCPP this year and I was equally impressed with the race. These guys know how to promote and execute a great mountain bike race. It was also obvious that they learned from last year and made a few tweaks to improve an already great race this year.

Random things I noticed and liked
- PCPP branded Smartwool beanies instead of the normal race t-shirt
- A well marked course. The importance of this cannot be overstated
- GPS files of the course provided way in advance
- Starting the huge field in waves to avoid congestion
- Chip Timing
- Carbo Rocket & Gu products at the Aid Stations instead of Hammer stuff
- Great aid station volunteers
- Cool finish line scene in the pavilion at The Canyons
- Live Music post-race
- Food for racers post-race
- Racer raffle + Public raffle to raise money for Mountain Trails (great idea)
- Equal cash payout to Men & Women

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The PCPP Non-Race Report

We are still in Park City where Team Byers had planned to unleash our individual furies on the 78 miles & 14,000' of climbing that is the Park City Point to Point.

We arrived late Thursday, had an early dinner, and organized some pre-race gear so that Friday could be as mellow as possible before the big day.

I woke up Friday to an angry tummy and repeated "red alert" trips to the bathroom. Ruh Roh. Food didn't sound good at all but I did a short pre-ride at Round Valley anyway and immediately afterwards I knew something was not right. By 2pm, I had body aches and chills and was lying on the couch. Dammit. By 4pm I was a worthless pile of mush and knew that I could not race the next day.

To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I had this race circled on my calendar for a year and I wanted to take a serious shot at breaking 9 hours.

More on race day and Michelle's awesome race later...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pierre's Hole 50 Mile Race Report

I saw things transpiring very differently in my mind when I thought about this race beforehand. A furious start to the race, hot temps, loose conditions, and some seriously steep climbs took their toll everyone but I should have been more mentally prepared. Being “only” 50 miles and on my local trails, I took it for granted a little and suffered badly at the end as a result. No matter how many races you have done, there are always lessons to learn out there.

Maybe a little too comfortable before the start?

The "Start Loop" took about 11 minutes and I was already pinned

I went from 0 to 178 in a flash. That is how high my HR shot up on the opening climb on the “Start Loop” designed to spread out the field before the first section of singletrack. This might be ok for the WYDAHO XC race that used the same climb but not for a 50 miler with almost 8K of climbing. I will admit that I got caught up in the moment. As my friendly adversaries from Jackson & Teton Valley surged ahead, I tried to keep them in sight when I should have calmly let them go and stuck to my plan. I did do a good job of sticking to my hydration and fueling plan. However, my plan was flawed because 88F at 8,000+’, with a warm wind, dries you out in a hurry and my planned hydration was not nearly enough.

An hour into the race I knew that I had gone out too hard but I felt as if I could back it off a notch, recover a bit, and then finish strong. Near the end of my first 25 mile lap I washed out my front tire in an off-camber turn and went down hard on my left knee and head. The knee took the brunt of the fall and the crash forced me to walk for several hundred yards as I evaluated the injury. Luckily the knee pain faded and I was riding again in minutes but I had lost some of my mojo and definitely backed it off a notch on the following Mill Creek and Dry Creek descents.

The events of the day, in squiggles

Any visions I had of finishing strong came to a screeching halt on the last pavement climb when inner thigh cramping forced me off the bike and into a long-stride stretch. It had been a long time since my arch nemesis, the inner thigh cramp, had shown itself and I truly thought that my current fueling system had eliminated them. Cramps are such a mysterious thing; is it electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, duration + intensity of effort, or a special blend of all three? I was determined to finish and decided that I would walk my bike through Rick’s Basin if I had to but I was able to slowly ride Rick’s with the occasional shooting cramp. It was a humbling last hour as I had to “granny gear” sections that I normally climb in my middle ring while I nursed my cramps. I crossed the line in 5:31:00 with a little more respect for the Pierre’s course.

My man Hamilton is on fire on his new Siren rigid singlespeed. Hami followed up a strongman effort in Butte with a fast Pierre's 50

Gabe, aka Fiddee, went down hard only 7 minutes into the race but rallied back to ride another lap and a half before having to pull the plug. Hopefully my gangsta buddy is just bruised and not broken

Dave Saurman is a force to be reckoned with. Saurdude and I have a friendly rivalry and right now he is kicking my ass...but its not over.

A Great Event

Thanks to Andy Williams and Troy Barry for a putting on a great event. This race is going to grow! Grand Targhee in August is gorgeous, the course has great variety, and this year they nailed the start/finish line scene. Even though I know the course well I paid attention to the course markings and they were PRO. Racers walked away with tons of great raffle prizes and hot pasta, salad, and Grand Teton Beer was served in the awards tent. I think it is very likely that 160+ racers will line up next year for Pierre’s Hole.