Thursday, February 24, 2011

24 Hours of Old Pueblo Race Report

When I visualized my race at Old Pueblo while riding the trainer in my basement or riding the snow bike during the months prior, I saw things transpiring very differently. I visualized myself executing a solid race, one lap at a time, and completing 16 laps sometime before 1:30pm Sunday afternoon. I expected some adversity. I did not foresee having to pull out of the race early as a result of lower back pain. By my 6th lap, the pain in my lower back was shooting down into my legs and I could barely turn the pedals over. It was actually making me nauseous. My race was over only 9 hours into it.

Nearing the end of the run, slowed by the thundering herd, Photo by LW

So what happened? I have been thinking about the “why” since Sunday morning and I can’t put my finger on it. My bike fit has not changed and I rode the exact same bike that I rode last year at OP. My training since Nov 1st has been solid and very, very similar to what I did last year leading up to OP. Could I have stretched more during my training? Sure, but who couldn’t say that? My lower back has been a limiter at times for me in the past but it has never forced me to stop riding. Now I will dig into the issue like a rabid badger and try to address it on a more permanent level. This will not happen to me again.

My Six Laps
The Le Mans start for OP is awesome! It is somewhere between ¼ and a ½ mile long and the chaos at the bike rack is crazy. Most cyclists can’t run ½ mile. Then, people can’t find their bikes. Then, some people find their bikes but can’t ride them because they are in the middle of the thundering herd. I had Michelle hold my bike at the very end of the line of bikes so that I would run farther but when I got to my bike I knew that I would actually be able to ride it.

The carnage on the first two laps was amazing. I saw at least four people get loaded onto stretchers/backboards and too many flat tires to count. I guess when you have 1850 people in a race, the law of averages say that crashes are inevitable. Despite the carnage around me, I was calm and rode at my pre-planned pace.

Did I mention that I LOVE the Old Pueblo course? It is such a contrast to anything else that I get to ride all year that I just enjoy every aspect of it.

From an execution standpoint, my first six laps went very well. Despite 40 mph wind, dropping temps, and sideways rain, I was on pace with my lap times from last year. I stopped after my 5th lap to add my rain layers and prepared myself to battle the elements into the night and once I got “suited up” I was very comfortable. This made the lower back issue especially frustrating because I felt as if I was prepared as well as anyone for the epic weather.

Speaking of wind, can we take a moment of silence for the many, and I mean many, EX-Up tents that died at Old Pueblo this year?

I will have more later on stuff that worked, stuff that didn’t work, and other random post-Old Pueblo thoughts.

Friday, February 18, 2011

All Day. All Night

Sing it with me...ALLLL DAYYYY & ALLLL NIGHHHHHHT! Let's do this.

You can follow the action HERE.

And just for fun, let's make it REALLY interesting

Monday, February 14, 2011

Race week is here!

The 24 Hours of Old Pueblo is less than a week away. The bikes are prepped, my nutrition is organized, various gear piles are laid out, and I already have intermittent butterflies in my stomach.

My ride scenery is about to change from this... this. And that makes me happy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to get Fat!

Coach Lynda and I co-authored an article on snow biking for and the issue is now available online. I love to spread the snow biking stoke and I think the article turned out great.

The FREE eMag is located HERE. I have been a fan of Jason's magazine for a while now and I like the concept. You can view it for free online, download your own PDF copy, or order a sweet color magazine for your collection.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Teton Valley's best snow bike ride

The Horseshoe Canyon to Packsaddle snow bike ride is my absolute favorite in Teton Valley. The ride has rolling terrain, lots of forested riding, and gorgeous views of the Tetons. It can be a two+ hour out-and-back or it can be turned into an epic when conditions are right. During the summer this route is simply a dusty Forest Service road that we use to access the northern end of the Big Holes but it drastically changes character in the winter.

A combination of recent grooming and single-digit temps made for excellent riding today and we had the whole trail to ourselves. The snowshoe hare, moose, and deer tracks in the snow tell us that this trail sees more visitors at night than on most days.

M was all smiles beneath her many layers

Kenai loves snow biking...but he doesn't really love the jacket that his momma makes him wear

If you snow bike on a groomed snowmobile trail network, please show your support by buying an annual sticker

The Fat Fork's maiden voyage was most-excellent. In addition to being fat & sexy, it rides great.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Feeling a little Fat

This item falls squarely into the "bike lust" category. I didn't "need" a new fork for my Fatback but when I saw pics of Speedway Cycle's latest creation I couldn't help myself. And now that it is here, I have absolutely zero buyer's remorse. It is FAT and it is sexy baby!

818 grams of Fatback carbon sexiness

Due to sleeping in late, (which felt really good by the way) I didn't get the fork installed before my ride today but tomorrow it will see its first real action.

Darby Canyon got 3-4" of snow last night and was slow but 100% rideable. This may be the last pic you see of the skinny steel fork for a while.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Great article by Fitzy in the JH News & Guide

In this Guest Opinion article, Fitzy makes an excellent argument for allowing snow bikes in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. Back in September of 2007 I wrote a Blog post expressing my disappointment that snow bikes did not get included in the Yellowstone Winter Use Plan. The National Park Service is about to revise the Winter Use Plan again and my fingers are crossed that snow bikes will be included.

Jackson Hole News & Guide Guest Opinion Article from Feb 2, 2011