Friday, December 21, 2012

Training With Power

Power, HR, and cadence data from my first ride with a power meter.
Red: Power (watts)
Blue: Heart Rate (bpm)
Cyan: Cadence (rpm)

I took the plunge this month and invested in a power meter (Quarq S975) for my CX bike thanks to some help from my shop sponsor for 2013 (Thank's Slim & Knobbies!).  The graph above shows my first ride on a stationary trainier where I averaged around 215w over the course of 2 hours 15 min riding in HR zone 2-3.  I am in bike geek heaven with all of this fancy data and hopefully I will learn to actually put it to some good use over the next 12 weeks.  Needless to say, I am very excited to move past a fundamental problem I've had.

The Problem:

I have been using a HR monitor for the past 3 years and that has helped guess at how much effort I was expending during my training sessions.  I say guess because that's really all it is. The problem with a HR monitor, or more specifically, heart rate is the inconsistency as it relates to actual power to the pedals.  Some days my HR will much higher or lower for what seems to me like the same effort so it really is hard to know if I am pushing to hard for a given workout or not hard enough.  I have found that when compared to other riders, my HR has been 10-20bpm lower than theirs which was confusing to me at first.  For a while I thought this was because I wasn't pushing myself as hard as they were.  I eventually realized that my HR is just low, if I reach 160bpm I am getting close to bleeding out the eyeballs.  Anyway, you get the point, HR is a horrible way to gauge effort on a consistent basis but it is better than nothing.  With enough experience training with a HR monitor and paying attention to your body it is possible to get by.  Eventually I believe one reaches a plateau training with HR alone and I think I may be sitting on one right now.

The Solution:

Training with power takes everything inconsistent, vague, and problematic that comes with training by HR and replaces it with consistency, exactness, and cold hard reality.  200w of power today will be 200w of power tomorrow plain and simple.  With HR there is ramp up time between a change in effort and a change in HR. Power happens within a second or two at most.

So there you have it, everything I know about training with power.  I have a lot of reading to do and fortunately for me, there is a lot of available reading. I plan to start with the links below.


11 Reasons to give Santa why your bike needs a Power Meter (LW Coaching)

Train Smarter By Training With Power (

Training With Power On A Mountain Bike (

Why Training With Power? - An Executive Summary.

PowerTap - Training With Power (Joe Friel)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I stopped for a second to snap a photo of the recent fire damage at Lambert Park in Alpine, Utah started by some construction work earlier this year.  

Lambert Park is a labyrinth of winding trails leading nowhere but perfect for a mindless hour of SS or CX riding.  Last Friday, I mixed the trail system in to a longer ride on one of my favorite routes connecting Corner Canyon with Alpine.  I wanted to avoid the always popular and usually congested Corner Canyon trails for once.  The route was desolate as was the park.  I was left alone with music and my thoughts for the better part of the afternoon.

Time to get ready for 2013.

Monday, October 8, 2012

An Assessment of Fatherhood

Standing next to McDonalds on the top of Timp.

I took my boys (ages 7 and 10) to the top of Mount Timpanogos this past weekend. This was the hardest thing they have done to date and quite honestly, I wasn't sure if I was getting them in over their head.  Needless to say, we made it to the top of the peak and back all in one piece.  The total round trip was just over 14 miles with close to 5,000ft of vertical elevation gain.

The day was a long one, and there were many times both of my boys wanted to turn back.  I continually reassured them, sometimes with sugar, other times with blatant lies about things such as a magical ski lift that would take them the last 1000ft to the top if they would only make it up to the saddle.  I assured them they could do it, over and over.  I even attached a tow rope to my pack and let the 7-year-old hold onto it to help him keep up.  I kept their minds off the constant climbing for over an hour asking them about Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, something both of them are experts in.  We hiked for hours, talking along the way about anything I could think of to keep their minds off the task at hand. We looked at the rocky peaks and took turns suggesting what they look like.  The back side of Timp looks like an aligator head, by the way.

Eventually we arrived at the saddle where the view of Utah Valley opens up.  "Wow", the boys said.  We took in the view for a while and eventually my youngest said, "Well that wasn't so bad" thinking we were done.  I reluctantly turned him to the south and pointed to the peak towering another 1000ft above us.  Both of their hearts sank "Dad, there is no way we can climb that" my youngest said.  My oldest was equally disappointed and they both said they were done.  I dug deep for something motivating.  "See that freeway down there?" I said.  "How many times do you think we've driven up and down that road?". "A bunch" they mumbled, knowing what I was trying to do.  I told them that if they turn back now, every time they look up at this mountain, they will be reminded of how they *almost* made it to the peak but decided to turn back instead.  If they would just push a little bit more and make it to the top, every time they look up at the peak, they will be reminded of how awesome it was to accomplish such a feat at such a young age.  I told them it would change their life forever.  They thought about it for a minute, there was a long silence, then I said "see that little building on the top? That's a McDonalds and I'll buy you some ice cream if you make it there".  Being young, they half-way believed me but it seemed to be enough to turn the tables.  "What about the ski lift that will take us to the top?"  they said. "Um...", my credibility was starting to decline.  I eventually came clean and the negotiations continued.  We finally struck a deal, if they made it to the top I would take them directly to Pizza Pie Cafe when we made it back to town.  Nothing is more motivating to young boys than the chance to stuff their face with pizza and that place is their favorite in the world to stuff face.  We started in on the climb again, up the narrow trail and sketchy switchbacks.  The little "McDonalds" was getting closer, their spirits lifted,  and we finally made it to the top.

We achieved the goal for the day, now all that was left was to get back down, a feat that will be almost as hard as the climb.  We started the trip down, caring on in conversation much like we did on the way up.  Their legs started to turn to "jelly".  To put a positive spin on it I asked them "What kind of jelly?".  "Strawberry" they both said.  Seizing the opportunity to draw their minds away from aching muscles, I quickly changed the subject to Star Wars where it remained for the next 45 minutes.  After the lengthy discussion, things grew silent leaving only the sound of feet beating on the trail.  I started to reflect.  My oldest boy is now 10-years-old, which means my time with him as my boy, living in my house, is more than half way over.  Soon he will be all grown up, out of the house,  and off to live his life.  Soon enough, I will long for days like this one where it's just us, doing things together.  Sure, we will do a lot of things together the rest of our lives as grown-ups but it will never be like this again.  I reflected on how I am doing as a father, as a dad, as a role model, as a hero to these two boys.  I'd like to think I've been doing a good job but my perspective isn't their perspective, and their perspective is what matters.  I finally broke the silence and asked "How am I doing guys?".  They looked at me a little puzzled.  "I mean, how am I doing as your dad?  Do we do enough together?".  They thought, then both said something like "Yea, we do a lot of hard stuff, but it usually turns out to be fun".  Their answer was delivered nonchalant but carried a massive amount of weight with me.  I know my boys and they aren't afraid to tell me what they think, even if that means I suck at being a dad.  It's a trait they  no doubt got from their father.  So when they say I'm doing a good job they mean it.  Hearing that made me pretty happy.  I was given a passing grade.

I have written a lot of things on this blog, the majority has been about racing mountain bikes and that was the the reason I started writing.  Admittedly, I am not very good at writing but I do love the sport and want to document my involvement as much as possible.  Mountain biking has been life-changing for me and for my family, but not always in positive ways.  I will continue to compete and write about my adventures doing so, but the greatest fulfillment I find in life happens on the weekends I am not racing for myself, but when I am competing for a passing grade with my two boys and the rest of my family.  I hope to have more opportunities like this hike to keep me grounded and focused on the things that matter most.

Photos of the whole adventure.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Race Report: 2012 Draper Fall Classic 50

Single-Speed Podium. Corey Larrabee 1st, Me 2nd,  Elden Nelson (The Fat Cyclist) 3rd.

Just when I thought I'd had enough singletrack  racing in Park City two weeks ago I had a chance to put the cap on 2012 racing in my back yard at Corner Canyon.  This was the last in a 4-race series organized by Bob Saffell of MTBRace Productions.   I have done most of my riding on these trails all year and pretty much knew every inch of the race course by heart.  Corner Canyon has a reputation for fast winding singletrack and tamed trails.  It also has the tendency to be under-estimated in terms of difficulty.  There is some serious climbing to be had on these quiet trails and I knew better going in so I was ready for a complete beating.  To add to the punishment, I decided to race single-speed for this one given I had already done one other race in the series on single-speed earlier this year.  Besides, Corner Canyon is prime single-speed riding.

Here is a little look at the elevation profile. The rest of the ride can be found on Strava HERE.

The race course was 2 25-mile laps. See the map for details.

We lined up at 8am at the Corner Canyon trailhead equestrian center.  When I saw Corey Larrabee line up also racing single-speed I knew it was going to be a race for 2nd place.  Corey left me in the dust at the top of the Canyon Hollow climb on lap 1 and I rode in 2nd place for the next 3 hours to the finish. The trails lived up to their reputation and the scenery was a pleasant distraction from the constant mashing of the 32x19 I was running.  I felt pretty good all day with a few cramps showing up late on lap 2.  I haven't raced a single-speed for this long since March when I race the True Grit 100 and my legs were begging me to shift the last hour especially climbing Clark's Trail the 2nd time.  It was an awesome day riding and a perfect way to end my MTB racing season.  Thanks again for all of the support this year.

Epic Endurance Cycling Team
Infinite Cycles
Stan's Notubes

Chasing 1st down Ann's Trail on lap 1.

Upper Corner Canyon Road still chasing 1st on lap 2.

Riding blind through the dark tunnel by the equestrian park.

Obligatory post-race steed photo.  Man I love this bike!  I also love Grizzly Adam's bike rack that I more or less assembled for him earlier this year.  But that's another story.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Race Report: 2012 Park City Point 2 Point - cheaters never win!

Can I do it?  Yes I (mostly) Can!

A little Q/A to start:

Q: Did I cheat at this year's Park City Point 2 Point?
A: Technically yes, but I was not alone (read below).

Q: Was this cheating intentional?
A: No... NO!!!

Q: Will I do it again?
A: I hope not.

Q: Did I have a great day of racing regardless?
A: Yes!

Now that we have that out of the way, on with the race report...

I had been waiting for September 1st all year (literally).  The P2P has been the pinnacle of singletrack racing for me since my first experience in 2010 and I plan to make it a staple in my racing / riding for years to come.  What makes this race unique is that it is almost 100% singletrack, so much so that racers  start to OD on it towards the end.  It just keeps coming and coming.  For a good analogy check out Fatty's Race Report.

Like a lot of guys and gals with many full-time "grown up" responsibilities, I don't take the opportunity to race (or ride for that matter) lightly.  I pick my races carefully and plan to show up ready to compete 100%.  So I'm going to race as long as I am physically and and my equipment is mechanically able, and as long as the race director says the event is a go.  The morning of race day it was pouring rain.  Jay Burke and Shannon Boffelli were on the hook to make an critical decision on whether to wait out the rain and run the race Saturday or postpone in hopes for better weather Sunday.  The decision was made to start the race an hour late Saturday and cut out the Round Valley section ( ~ 12 miles ).  I was pumped, we were all there so let's race this thing!

Pre-race meeting: Jay and Shannon talking things over with anxious racers.

The uncertainty of the morning left us with a short window to get bikes and bodies ready and up to the line.  Things were a little crazy, not exactly how you want to start off the biggest race of the year.  Like always, I had over-engineered my planning and everything was pretty much ready to go.  I put on my stuff, grabbed my bottle of wet lube, and proceeded to empty 1/2 of it on my chain, spun around for about 10 min and then lined up mid-pack in the first group.  Moments later we were off.

On a side note:

The only thing the P2P is lacking at the start line is a shotgun blast.  Perhaps Park City won't allow it but Jay, let's get some stuff blowing up next time to send us off.  What do you say??

Continuing on...

Everyone took off like we were racing a 1-hour XC race so I sat in on the back of the pack just close enough to stay in the draft until we hit the singletrack. We did a quick loop, down a path, and to the hole shot where 99% of the group immediately plugged up trying to cram into the singletrack.  I won't proceed to give a play-by-play of every rock, turn, climb, and downhill descent but there were a bunch.  The first hour was muddy with puddles, the rest of the day (for me at lest) was perfect tacky trail.

Here are some photos of me racing around.  For more photos of the event check out Photo John's MTBR post and the Zazoosh site.  As for me cheating you'll have to scroll on down past the photos.  I'll also do some "what if" math to show how I would have totally won my division if x, y, and z didn't happen (sarcasm) .  This is mostly to make me feel better about my cheating (sarcasm) and see how I did or did not improve over the last time I raced the P2P (not sarcasm).

Typical singletrack for the day. Imagine riding this for 6-9 hours straight!

Riding above Deer Valley about 2 hours in.  I was feeling good racing here, I wasn't yet a cheater but that would change shortly.

Deer Valley

Here is a promotional video put on by Park City Television.  I'm in there a few times (2:21 & 2:48) as long as you don't blink.
Now on to the cheating...

For the first 2 hours and 30 min of the race I had managed to stay on course.  Already there were several (had to be at least 10-15) trails we had entered or exited following the orange chalk directing the way.  I knew the rain would have most likely made some of the markings change so I was extra careful to take a good look at each one.  Even then, I took a few brief wrong turns and was quickly corrected by another set of eyes riding right behind me.  Using the buddy system like this is great racing, as long as you have a buddy.  There is almost always a time in a big endurance race like this one that I will find myself riding alone, too slow to hang with the big dogs, and too fast to ride in the general mass of participants.  This year was pretty good.  I felt good at race pace and was putting a small gap in on the other 30-39ers.

As I was saying... around 2:30 in I was riding alone.  I had just made it around that big hill (not sure the name) riding in the fog and hit a nice bit of singletrack in the trees.  Then I came up to this funny little marking that was a circular arrow, there was a fork in the trail and the arrow was to the right (I think). To the left I saw markers going up the trail so I thought we were going to head to the left and circle back down to the right.  If I were to have actually stopped long enough to rub two brain cells together I would have figured out my error... but I just kept going.  I was reassured about 50 yards up the trail when I started seeing markings again.  I quickly forgot about the arrow and went on my way. Little did I know I was officially a cheater, a trail cutter, a scum bag.

Using a few visual aids, I will demonstrate my mistake.

Here is my awesome race up to the point I got off track (blue line):

Here is what the course is supposed to look like (zooming in on the section where the blue line ends above):

Here is what I did:

If you look closely, you'll see I cut out all of that zig-zagging in the middle of the map and cut across right where both trails almost meet. At this point I was in 1st place in my age group with a 3:18 gap over 2nd place (based on Strava data).  I had just cut out 18min of riding missing the turn.  At the time of course I knew nothing of this.  I was just racing.

I started to have some concerns a few minutes later when I crossed highway 224 and Sly (Gilly) yelled "Did you go around the hill"? I said yes (he was speaking of a hill earlier in the course not the section I had just missed).  He then yelled "Dude you are in 8th! There are only seven guys in front of you! A bunch of guys took the wrong turn!!!".  Prior to making my own blunder,  I had just ridden almost a complete circle around a hill at the top of Deer Valley, where it would have been very easy to cut straight across on a dirt road and miss a the whole section of trail.  This is a very well known spot and one that a few racers missed in 2010 causing them to backtrack.  When I heard Sly's comments, I though a bunch of guys had to ride back up the trail and re-do that section of course.  Cool I thought. I'm in 8th! That's RAD, I wonder how long that will last.

Then it all started to get really crazy...

About 10 min up the trail a rider came upon me fast and yelled "You need to let me by, you cut the course!".  I let him by but said "Hey you're welcome to pass but I don't think I cut the course." He promptly informed me I DID cut the course and said "I am [he was] in 3rd!".  He was clearly frustrated which I can understand.  At this point I started to retrace my steps mentally and let off the gas a bit.  The next thing I knew, Josh Tostado came flying up to me and asked me if he could pass.  Josh is a nice guy but fast as blazes and there was no chance on God's green earth I would legitimately be in front of him.  I'm pretty sure he knew I was off in the weeds, and soon enough he was out of sight.  By now I knew I screwed up and figured it was something to do with that funny arrow back up the trail.  I let off the gas a bit more, sure I had just DQ'd myself.  I would have turned around but not knowing exactly what I needed to correct It would have been a hopeless endeavor.

My mojo took a dive.  I pulled out a Honey Stinger waffle, clicked into an easier gear, and ate it.

At this point I had to decide if I wanted to finish the race, or just ride to PCMR and call it good.  The thought of riding over mid mountain to The Canyons "just for fun" wasn't sitting well.  After all, my wife and kids were most likely at the Grand Summit Hotel pool just waiting for me to get there with a whole afternoon of activities planned around town.  Why hold them up if I was just riding to finish?  I continued to pedal on riding fast and comfortable but not with any sort of race intensity.  Fall was starting to make it's mark  on the trees and the trails were laden with hero dirt.  The air was cool and the riding was great.  My bike continued to fly uphill it seemed as it had the whole day. Before I knew it, I was at the top of the climb by Shadow Lake.

Cool, the hardest climb of the race was behind me! I turned for the DH and shortly after I sliced the sidewall in my rear tire.  It went flat quickly.  "That's karma for you", I thought.  "You cut the course and you are served up a flat tire right before the DH".  I took my time, I pulled out my stuff, and put a tube in and inflated it with air.  It immediately when flat again.  The tube had a hole in it and now I was out of Co2!  I looked up and saw a rider flying down the hill.  It was Yuki Ikeda of Topeak/Ergon who looked as surprised to see me as I was him.  As with Tost, I had no business being in front of Yuki, at least not without a lot of EPO. This almost certainly sealed my believe that I was DQ'd and riding the race just to ride.  Yuki asked if I was ok and I insisted he keep going.  He was in 6th place and I wasn't about to ask him for anything.  A few minutes later another SS racer came by.  I asked him what the milage was on his GPS.  It was about 2 miles more than what mine said.  I was now 100% sure I was DQ'd and determined I would pull out at PCMR.  I had a problem though, I didn't have air in my rear tire and my CO2 was empty.

I was screwed.

I started running, ok well jogging, down the trail and soon saw Nick Rico and a few other riders in hot pursuit coming down the trail and I think I waved them on as well.  They were leading my age group and I had to watch them race on by.  Nick went on to take 1st with a strong finish.  Moments later I saw another familiar jersey, It was Thomas Spannring my teammate!  He asked what I needed.  I gave in and figured I may as well fix my tire and ride instead of walk to the next aide station.  "A tube and some air?" I said.  He quickly dropped me a pump and a tube and took off.  I was saved!  I got to work again, still moving like someone not in a big hurry, pulling out my stuff, swapping the bad tube for a good one, and started pumping it up. Fatty (Elden Nelson, a.k.a The Fat Cyclist) came flying by. "Fatty!" I yelled, he was cooking but asked if I was ok and continued on.   When It was all said and done I had spend close to 30 min fiddling with my tire, based on my GPS data.  I pointed my rig downhill and rode to PCMR.

When I arrived at the PCMR aide station I learned that I was one of many that took the wrong turn and I was not DQ'd but they would be adding a little time to everyone that cut the trail.  With this news in hand, there was no way I was walking off the course, if I wasn't DQ'd I was going to finish (Jonathan Davis would be proud)!  I loaded up with fresh bottles and emptied the tank riding even more epic singletrack to the finish line at The Canyons. Looking at the time splits for the last leg I put some time into the 30-39 race leader (see the "what if" section below). In fact, I was 1st on the intermediate split from PCMR to the finish by around 3 min 30 seconds.  This made me feel better about my day for sure.  It is very likely the 30-min break I had fixing flats and stuffing my face might have had something to do with feeling so good the last 2 hours but I'd like to think I was well prepared having followed the LW Coaching 100-miler plan for the past 6 weeks (they rock).

Now to crunch some data to see how it might have turned out under perfect conditions:

What if?
I had not taken a bad turn: Add 18 min to my finish time.
I had not flatted: Remove 29 min from my finish time.
I had not stopped *racing* for a few hours sorting out the DQ situation: ??
My finish time would have been: 06:56:43

What if?
We had ridden the whole course?
I had ridden Round Valley: Add 51 min (taken from 2010)
My finish time would have been: 7:55:43, a good 30 min faster than 2010!

My Strava data from 2012
My Garmin data from 2012
My Garmin data from 2010

Not that any of this really matters but taking a good look at the numbers is a healthy exercise IMO to see how I did or didn't improve and what to correct. Racing is racing and things happen and there were some lessons learned on this one. The winners of the race won because they rode the whole course and got to the finish line faster than anyone else, and a big congrats to them for doing so!

The bottom line is the race was an adventure and I got in an amazing day of riding trail.  Jay and crew pull out all of the stops to put on the best race possible.  There is a good reason this event sells out in 5 min every February and I just experienced it yet again!  Thanks to all that worked to make the race happen and thank you to all of my sponsors and supporters for helping me participate in events like this one.  Ergon Gloves & Grips, Cannondale Bikes, CarboRocket, Stan's NoTubes, Infinite Cycles and my team Epic Endurance Cycling.  Thank you!

And thanks to my family for putting up with my mid-life delusions of grandeur.  Having them at the finish line is the best podium one could hope for.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Race Report: 2012 Mount Ogden 100k at Snowbasin

I rode a Cannondale Flash Carbon outfitted with a Lefty XLR Carbon 90mm and Stan's Race Gold 29er wheels.  Absolutely no excuses riding this baby, in fact it almost climbs the hills for you.

I had another great weekend of racing this week taking on the Mount Ogden 100k at Snowbasin.  This was the first time I've ridden these trails and they were just outstanding.  The singletrack rivals anything I've ridden in the past including Park City and Breckenridge.  The elevation is on the mild end topping out at around 8,500ft which made for a really fun day of riding.  I spent most of the day chasing Jon "Lord" Russell around.  It was a fun / hard day and we ended up going 1st and 2nd when it was all said and done.  Below are some maps of the course and photos of me looking really cool racing my bike.  A big thanks to all of my sponsors and supporters that make it possible for this regular guy to enjoy such an awesome sport.

See you at Park City in 2 weeks!

The course view from Google Earth taken from my Garmin file. We do everything twice except the loop at the top of the map which we do only on lap 1.

Elevation profile from my Garmin file.
Temperature reading taken from my Garmin file.  Yea it was hot at the end.


Lap 2 after climbing Mt Ogden for the second time.

Same hill as above just a little further down.

The finish!

I couldn't hang around for the podium.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Race Report: 2012 Crusher In The Tushar

I recently took on the Tushar mountains just outside of Beaver, Utah at the 2nd Crusher in the Tushar organized by Burke Swindlehurst.  Without going into too much detail, the race is a unique mix of pavement and dirt roads, covers 70 miles, and 10k of climbing.  There isn't an inch of trail on the whole course, a drastic difference from the Breckenridge 100 I did on the same weekend last year.  The race favors a rider that can climb like a mountain goat AND has a good handle on road racing tactics.  Picking the right bike setup is also an important part as the options are wide open from CX bike to fat bike.  I chose to ride the lightest bike I had with the narrowest tires it would take.  This turned out to be my Cannondale Flash29 Carbon with some 1.9 fast rollers.

I had a really good race for the first 3-4 hours. I was climbing good, pacing well, and riding close to the front of my starting wave.  For reasons  that aren't clear to me I started to crumble on dirt road headed back into the mountains after Circleville.  I fell into some major bonkage with leg cramps and couldn't get power to the pedals.  The high altitudes may have been a factor but looking back I was going pretty hard the first 3 hours (as one should in a race)  and I don't think I was fueling well.  I had lost a few bottles off my bike due to some rough sections in the road and wasn't carrying any solid food.  I have been in plenty of long races in the past and know what it feels like to be tired but this was beyond the usual mid-race fatigue.  I had to granny gear back up the last big climb.  It really sucked, I wanted to hammer but it just wasn't there.  I stopped for 4 min at the last aide station, drank a whole Coke, and ate two of everything they had and got pedaling again.  After 20 minutes and a few good burps I was feeling more like myself and tried to salvage some sort of result.  I don't say any of this to complain, not in the least.  In fact I was loving every minute of it.  After all, this is what racing is all about, the highs and the lows, and when it is all said and done, any day of racing is a good day.

In the end I was Crushed.

The up side to my experience was how well this event was put on.  Burke and crew did an amazing job down to every last detail.  The ONLY complaint I would have (if I were required to have one) is an option for drop bags.  I'm sure the stuff they had in the bottles at the aide stations (which were also outstanding) is a capable product but I know how my body responds to CarboRocket and having the ability to pre-mix and distribute my bottles would have been huge in my book.  It would also have been nice to shed some rain gear and arm warmers into a drop bag at some point along the way.

The second up side to the experience were the mountains themselves.  The views were amazing and if you are going to bonk in a race, I couldn't think of many other places through which I would like to soft pedal.

I WILL be back next year to C*R*U*S*H or be crushed!

8am start with Grizzly Adam looking ready to "Crush".

The course.

My elevation, heart rate, and speed profiles.

Going fast on the DH.  Glad I had a Lefty!

Headed back up from Circleville. That right leg has a cramp in it and that body is bonking!

My rig post race after delivering a flawless performance, unlike it's rider.

Can't come to Beaver, Utah without stopping to look at some Beavers.

Roads around Eagle Point resort.

Trees around Eagle Point.

Looking at Mt Holley near the lower lodge.

The accommodations with Java (the dog) standing guard.

Shoes are "Crushed"

The race will live on!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

2012 Utah State Championship Series - Round Valley

Lap 2 riding in 2nd place.

I took part in more XC racing on my single-speed this weekend at the USCS #2 race at Round Valley near Park City, Utah. The last time I rode these trails was during the 2010 Park City Point 2 Point so It was good to get back up that way. The course was really fun with plenty of singletrack and double-track suitable for passing or getting passed. It's clear I am still sorting out how to race a single-speed or rather how to choose the best gear setup for the race. I went into this one with a vague recollection of the trail so I took some time to look at the elevation profile. I saw a few steep climbs so I chose a 32x19 setup. This turned out to be a little under geared as I found myself spinning out much of the race but handling the climbs really well. I couldn't seem to get into the high RPMs needed to keep up the speed on the flats of which there were more than I was expecting.

Corey in 1st and me in 3rd starting lap1.

The race started out fast with 4 of us grouping together off the front. By the end of the first lap I was in second sitting about 30 seconds back from Corey Larrabee (KUHL) who was the eventual winner. He was riding strong and unlike me appeared to have the timing right on the flats and made it into a few pace lines with the geared riders. I wasn't so lucky and sat out in the wind spinning my guts out trying to tuck the wind.  I kept 1st place in sight most of the race never able to close the gap.  I'd like to think running an 18T in the back might have saved me a little time on the flats but you never know.  I ended up finishing where I rode most of the race in 2nd place.  I'm really happy with that result and hats off to everyone that rode their guts out.  XC racing is awesome!

Cool old car photo.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fast Friday

We've had some good early morning (6am) group rides going over the past month.  The dominance of Strava on everyone's mind has turned these rides into crack-of-dawn throw-down sessions, and I wouldn't expect anything less from the Utah valley crowd.  I generally ride alone so I've really started looking forward to these weekly social events.  As a creature of habit I've also grown to like this little loop starting at the Pine Hollow trailhead in American Fork Canyon.  I think we've done this 3 weeks in a row now.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

An Update: Photos

American Fork Canyon looking at the back side of Timp. 

Broken frame and new frame - Infinite Cycles to the rescue!

Fastest wheelset on the plannet - Thanks' Stan's NoTubes!

New Epic Endurance team clothing.

I put my name on my new bike frame.  Still a Coloradan at heart.

I always believe in promoting good sponsors.  Cannondale and Infinite Cycles are both excellent sponsors. 

AF Canyon Group Ride.  Getting to know the Utah hammers the past few Friday mornings.

Decision time with Rick Sunderledge and Brandon Smith.

The other half of decision time.

The other, other half of decision time with Dave Bagley.

Regroup after the Mill Peak Canyon climb.  DanZ put us in the hurt locker setting a "Gentlemen's Pace" up front.

Running through the mud and standing in line on a perfectly good Saturday (when I should be riding my bike).

This lunch snack rocks.