Sunday, January 30, 2011

Camp Lynda - Day 3

I realize that I jumped from Day 1 to Day 3 but right now my brain is mush and therefore an accurate recount of Day 2 is just not going to happen. However, since I just completed Day 3, I think I can remember the highlights.

Day 3 Quick Stats:
6:25:00 Moving Time
TSS: 381
73 Miles
5,138' Climbing

I have a men's t-shirt idea for a future Camp Lynda: "I got 'chicked' at Camp Lynda" I sincerely mean that as a compliment. It was a pleasure to ride with so many fast ladeez this weekend.

After a short prelude, Day 3 kicks it up a notch with Starvation Point

This part of the route is very remote, and very redneck

Day 3 Profile

Today was all about quality work on the bike but there was just enough fun singletrack and great views mixed in to keep it fun. That's it for now, I need to eat again.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Camp Lynda Day 1 - Vitamin D is good!

By the end of today's ride, I was wearing shorts and a short sleeved jersey. That makes me happy. Camp Lynda was due for a good weather year and it looks like we finally got it. Yeah! Sure, snow biking is fun but a big fat dose of Vitamin D sure felt good.

M was wearing the perma-grin in the desert sunshine

The crew gathered in the Starbuck's parking lot pre-ride

In addition to great weather, the people always make Camp Lynda a good time and I met some new friends today who I have only known via Facebook or their Blog.
The legs felt pretty good and I kept the effort in check knowing it is only Day 1 of 3.

The Day 1 route was an out-and-back (except for those of us who followed Jeff Kerkove too closely and got extra credit)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Idaho bans snow bikes from groomed snowmobile trails – Part 1

Imagine how you would feel if your favorite piece of singletrack was suddenly closed to mountain bikes but remained open exclusively to motorized use. Would you be pissed?

Our Caribou-Targhee National Forest District Ranger, Jay Pence, knows that I am a snow biker and forwarded an email to me on Thursday that made my stomach hurt and my ears turn red with anger. The email was from Troy Elmore who works for the State of Idaho as the Off Hwy Vehicle Program Manager. In the email, Troy explained to Jay that although the Forest Service Winter Travel Plan would allow snow bikes on the groomed snowmobile trails in the winter, the state statute listed below makes it illegal:

The following Idaho State Statute was passed in July, 2009 as part of Senate Bill 1061.

Idaho Statute 67-7112 - Groomed snowmobile trails. Any all-terrain vehicle operating on groomed snowmobile trails during the winter snowmobiling season when the trails are groomed shall be registered as a snowmobile under the provisions of section 67-7103, Idaho Code. Counties shall have the option to allow all-terrain vehicles, if registered, to use snowmobile trails in the county. No other vehicles shall operate on groomed snowmobile trails unless specifically allowed by the county. Violation of the provisions of this section shall be an infraction.

Why am I just finding out about this now? Good question. For the past four years that I have owned a snow bike, I have made it a point to read the Winter Travel Plans in the National Forests that I recreate in. After all, the trails I snow bike on are located in the National Forest. It makes sense to check the FS regulations right? In their Winter Travel Plan, the US Forest Service correctly differentiates between “motorized wheeled vehicles” and simply “vehicles”. According to the Forest Service rangers I have spoken to, snow bikes were an acceptable use.

Caribou-Targhee National Forest Winter Travel Plan Matrix

I will admit that I don’t go out of my way to read through the Idaho Statutes so I wouldn’t have found this on my own. There are no signs posted at any of the winter trailheads indicating that snow bikes are illegal. In addition, every interaction I have had with snowmobile riders while snow biking on groomed snowmobile trails has been positive.

So what is the big deal? The driving force behind my first snow bike purchase four years ago was being able to ride the network of groomed trails in the Big Hole Mountains during the winter. The state of Idaho has more miles of groomed snowmobile trails than any other western state and the majority of these trails are located in the National Forest. The trail grooming program is run by the state and funded by the purchase of an annual snowmobile sticker that cost $33 in 2010. Many of us, the local snow bikers, have been buying the Idaho snowmobile sticker for the past few years as gesture of good faith.

So where does that leave us? The line in Statute 67-7112 that reads “No other vehicles shall operate on groomed snowmobile trails unless specifically allowed by the county” gives us a glimmer of hope. County Commissioners can still do the right thing and create ordinances that specifically allow snow bikes on groomed snowmobile trails. But will they?

More to follow in Part II...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

T-Minus 30 Days

The 24 Hours of Old Pueblo is only 30 days away!

Between now and then I will be focusing on staying healthy, dialing in my gear, and of course some training. Speaking of training, the last big block will take place at Camp Lynda 4.0 and I can't wait to ride dry dirt and see my desert dwelling friends.

Doing a "Michael Jordan" through the timing tent at OP in 2010

The battery runtime testing has begun, small piles of gear are being accumulated, and food shopping lists are being made. I had a really good race at OP in 2010...but I can do better. I am keeping a lid on the plan for now.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011 Togwotee Winter Classic, Race #1 Report

Quick Stats:
5:28:00 Elapsed Time
34.5 miles
3,536’ of climbing
174 Max HR
153 Avg HR
21.8 MPH max speed
6.3 MPH average speed

Topofusion track file with speed shading. Blue is slow, yellow is 15+ mph

Given the talent who lined up for the 2011 TWC Race #1, I should have been more prepared for the pace at the start. A warm up of any sort would have been nice since the course climbs 1,000’ in the first hour of the race but I was also wearing the “organizer” hat on this day. At the sound of “Go”, the usual suspects were off like we were racing the 4th of July XC race at Targhee and I tried to match the pace, but I know better, and within 20 minutes I settled into my groove and watched the leaders go up the big climb and into the distance. I will continue to look for some fast-twitch muscles and a better VO2 Max on Ebay.

Fast forward two hours to the K Trail. The K Trail was uncharted waters for this race and added 10-miles to the traditional distance. As we all learned, the K Trail is an evil bitch. From a distance, she is beautiful. But she will lure you deep into her bedroom before revealing her true identity and then it is too late to turn back. Nobody wants to push their bike back up the initial descent of the K Trail and therefore, once you drop in, you are committed. Speaking of the initial K Trail descent, I Fred-Flinstoned my way down that thing with one leg sticking out as a rudder. As I pushed my bike through a sugary-soft section of the K Trail and realized it was snowing sideways I had a low moment. Did I bring enough stuff for an epic slog of this magnitude? How long will it take me to push my bike all the way back to Togwotee if it keeps snowing like this? Are my friends ever going to speak to me again after this? My “moment” was short-lived and I have been there before so I simply ate some chocolate, drank some Carbo Rocket, and slogged onward. Fortunately the squall only lasted a short time and the trail got markedly better as we descended into the river valley.

This was true snow bike racing. We had sections of firm & fast middle-ring riding, sections of soft, barely-rideable trails, and short sections of pushing our bikes. We also had temps in the 20s, clouds, snow, some wind, and a little sunshine during the course of the race.

I knew that my low “moment” had cost me some time but I had hoped that by staying on the gas up the final climb on the CD trail that I might catch my nemesis, “The” Dave Saurman. It was not to be. Dave finished 10 minutes in front of me after laying down a very solid race. And so the 2011 season begins…

I was trying to smile through my suffer-face near the finish

A few notes on gear:
My layers were perfect and by simply changing headwear throughout the race I remained comfortable

- Sugoi bib shorts
- Toko softshell pants
- Craft Pro Zero Extreme base layer
- RBH Designs NTS Vapor Barrier vest
- Cloudveil lightweight softshell
- Smartwool ski liner socks
- RBH Designs Vapor Barrier socks
- Bridgedale Summit Knee sock
- New Balance hiking shoe - 2 sizes bigger than my normal size
- Neos Navigator 5 Overboot XXL
- Various headwear throughout the race depending on the temps

Friday, January 7, 2011

Somebody got FAT over the Christmas Holiday

And FAT is sexy baby!

Michelle's new 16" Aluminum FatBack

Build Highlights:
- 70mm Uma II Rims by Speedway Cycles
- 170mm Rear FatBack Hub by Hadley
- 135mm Front Fatback Hub by Hadley
- 100mm FatBack Crankset by E.Thirteen
- Steel Fatback Fork
- Sexy pink Ti pedals by Twenty6

The rear brake is tucked away nicely


The bent top tube allows for plenty of standover

Clean cable routing

170mm rear spacing