Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mega Friggin Sneffels Loop

This was 3 weeks ago toward the top of Imogene Pass. It will be rough road action.

The Mega Friggin Sneffels Loop is this weekend. One of the many endurance rides on the Colorado Endurance Series calendar. Looks to be 14 people signed up as of today (Thursday). Come on out and play. I uploaded some sample pics from the Internet. I hope to take some good photos during the ride.

Lots of climbing to 13k.

On top of Imogene. To the right is Ouray and to the left is Telluride.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More Driving than Riding Weekend

We spent more time driving than riding this past weekend which wasn't my ideal weekend but Laura was determined  to go ride Hartman Rocks in Gunnison before she races duo in the 24 Hours in the Sage next month with Dani Gregory. Okie dokie. The weather was a bit warm for the dawgs so we only stayed one night and beat feet back to Rico. We had fun grilling and hanging out with Dave the owner of the KOA on Saturday night.
Monday, Laura and I went for a hike with the bikes up Circle Trail and made a loop of it connecting with the Colorado Trail. It was not Laura's ideal ride with the 4 miles off and on the bike on the Circle Trail. It is high country and hiking is called for sometimes. LOL!!! She should know better by now to not trust me when picking routes. We were gone for about 5 hours and we beat the rain back home. A great day spent with the wife.

The next beating is this weekend: Mega Friggin Sneffels Loop. One of the coveted rides in the Colorado Endurance Series. Come out and play.

KOA campground in Gunnison.

Hot air balloons overhead.

The ti rigs.

Laura's Ti 29erbike. 23.2 lbs 2x9 gear setup.

Going for a hike-a-bike up Circle Trail on Monday. All of my gear is on the bike. No pack needed on my back.

Laura in the wildflowers on Circle trail.

The lunar moon bowl atop Circle Trail.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Crusher in the Tushar-Race Report

The inaugural Crusher in the Tushar was epic. Burke Swindlehurst, the race promoter and pro roadie, has had this vision of the Crusher for many years and he pulled it off most beautifully. I cannot state loud enough how efficiently the race itself was organized. There were volunteers everywhere on the course giving heads up on oncoming traffic and potential dangers. At least a hundred volunteers were on hand along the course and at the 4 aid stations with local law enforcement personnel to ensure a smooth race. Mission accomplished.
The hand ups of cold water and First Endurance electrolyte drinks along with First Endurance gel flasks was nice to have as the time off the bike was minimal. Just ride on through and grab and keep rolling. I took full advantage of these hand ups to minimize time off of the bike with my only time off of the saddle was to piddle with my broken Egg Beater pedal. More on this below.

Here are the stats:
5th place single speed open division
69.5 miles
9,864 feet of climbing
6 hours 17 minutes total time on course with my moving time 5 hours 59 minutes. (the broken pedal cost me some time and possibly a 3rd of 4th placing)
Average HR-152

Bike of choice was the single speed cross bike with a 42x22 gearing, 34cc tires and On One Mungo bars with Ouray grips for extra cushion. Overall a good choice of what bike to ride. Larger tires would have been nice for the loose downhill.

The race started in the town of Beaver, Utah and rolled out with a gradual climb of 10 miles up Beaver Creek canyon Road with four of us at the front of the single speed class pushing a good pace which might have caused some damage to all of us later on in the race except the first place winner, Brad Cole from Fort Collins, who thoroughly crushed us all by a large margin. As soon as we turned off of Beaver Creek Canyon Road and onto FS 137 he was gone and I was not about to chase this early on in the race. So for the next 20 plus miles I was sitting in second place with Steve Wasmund right on my wheel in third. At mile 30ish we hit the gnarly downhill switchbacks toward highway 89 and to Circleville where the route goes from 5kish elevation back up to over10k. Tom Ament caught me on the start of the downhill and with his mountain bike setup was easily able to descend faster than I on 34cc cross tires. Now I sat in third place with lots of mileage to go so I just suffered alone through the headwinds along highway 89. This is where Steve W. caught back on while tucked into a group of geared bikes and went flying by me. I had no desire to spin faster with the upcoming climbs looming ahead. Now I'm in 4th. This was a slight mistake as I could have made up a few minutes to stay with him in the mini peloton but shortly after I left Circleville and began the ascent on the loamy sandy double track my left pedal made a funny noise. I looked down to see that my pedal was coming off of the spindle. Fuck me! I stopped, assessed the damage to realize it wasn't totally coming off. And there goes another single speeder; Brent Cannon, who was charging full throttle and chased back onto to place 2nd...........damn, 5th place now. The inner bearing had disintegrated but to my dismay the end nut was still intact after taking the end cap off to assess. All right, there goes 5 minutes dicking around with this pedal. I didn't need this mechanical at this juncture as the big nasty climbing was to begin. I was able to apply some pressure toward the crank arm with my leg while pedaling to minimize the pedal possibly coming off of the spindle. I stopped again a few miles later where the dirt turned back to asphalt on road 153 to assess the pedal once again. I took the end cap back off and used a borrowed socket to check the end nut. Still tight on the end but the pedal had about 1/4" plus of lateral play on the spindle. Concerned I was. Onto the big nasty climb. I just tried to minimize the play on the pedal as I climbed/walked the nasty switchbacks we had descended earlier. It was hot and I started cramping. Just great I thought to myself. On the bike, off the bike as I battled the cramps. Just making it to the top and onto the next aid station was the immediate goal and I would be fairly happy. I finally made it to mile 59 where the 4th and last aid station was located with some renewed motivation and I was not going to let a broken pedal stop my race. I was going to finish either way. I drank a coke and downed some First Endurance gel flasks, grabbed some full bottles of hydration assets and within 10-15 minutes of stopping or so I was back on the course with 10 miles to finish and with most of that 10 miles up hill with a slight downhill reprieve before the last tortuous mile to the finish line which was about 400 feet climbing to just kick the crap out of you for no good reason. Thanks Burke, you sick bastard! I finished and was lucky to hold onto my 5th place. As soon as I crossed the finish line there was a person handing out cold Gatorade and bottles of water. Thank you!! I was tanked. Just an awesome event which really put the hurt to me. You know it's a quality course if you feel like you left it all out there when you finish. I'm already planning for next years strategy.............

The bike of choice for this beating; ss cross with 42x22, Mungo On One handlebars were comfy.

Friday morning spin up Beaver Creek Canyon.

Puffer Lake at 10k.

Beaver Creek. Took a bath in here after the race.

Have to leave sometime. Cya next year!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

SmackChat Endurance Interview

Check out the new interview format featuring endurance athletes: SmackChat Endurance. A great forum for endurance athletes to get their story out there and provide insight on how the endurance athlete operates. Created by super athlete Thomas Ray out of Aspen, CO. Thanks for having me on your podcast to ramble about what I do.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cross Riding

Alternate Course Profile

Alternate Course Map

With the Crusher in the Tushar coming up this Saturday July 16th I have been putting the miles on the single speed cross bike rather the mountain bikes to be more accustomed to it as most of my time is spent on a mountain bike. The Crusher course is  rerouted due to the road damage by the heavy snowfall this year but it will still hurt just as much. 69 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing. Yeah, that will hurt!
I rode Thursday from Rico North up the Dunton Road and to the end of Eagle Creek Road putting in 42 miles. When I got back home from this ride I decided to go back with the Mungo On One bars as they will be a bit more comfortable on the long dirt roads and the braking will be better. I also upgraded the brakes on the cross bike to Avid Single Digit V brakes with Problem Solver Travel agents to work with the roadie style brake levers. A great system with lots of braking power. Initially I was going to go with my Salsa cheater brakes on the roadie style drop bars but the Mungo bars are much much better suited for the off road type of riding I will be doing in The Crusher. I also received a set of Hutchinson Bulldog 35cc tires from Paul Adams that I am really liking on the rough stuff. I got out Saturday for a ride heading South to Hillside and was turned around 7.5 miles up by the constant pesty bees and flies so I decided to drop back down the highway and go up Roaring Fork and the same scenario unfolded with the same type of insects descending on me like I was fresh bait. Very annoying as much as I was perplexed why they were bothering me so much. Maybe I smelled too good or the orange kit was attracting them. Dunno! I was able to get in 50 miles and 4400 feet of climbing on this day and a good dousing of a rain storm to boot which allowed me to test out the new Loki rain jacket. Very awesome indeed. I even put on the built in mittens over my cycling gloves to stay dry and the hood.  Sunday I rode North from Rico and went up Barlow Creek road a few miles and took the first right turn and ascended a few miles up until the road dead ended at 10,800 feet and I than back tracked to Rico riding just under 30 miles. The legs felt so-so so I ended the ride short. Time to cut back a bit on the bike but with some limited riding this week and going to Beaver Utah on Wednesday to preride the first hill climbs of The Crusher. 42x20 or 42x22 for this race......maybe the 22.

The view from Barlow Creek area.

Dunton Road by the meadows up high.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July Weekend 2011

Dusk on the 4th in Rico on the hill to light fireworks.

It was a very busy weekend with only one ride done on Saturday and full involvement with the Rico Fire Department attending to 4th of July festivities. As well my buddy Dale Savage and his son Hunter are in town for a week to enjoy the high country and escape the heat of Las Vegas, NV.
I decided to skip the Durango Dirty Century with tired legs from the previous two weekends huge efforts and it was the right call to make. The legs felt tired on Saturday's ride.
TR came over from Montrose on Saturday morning for a mini epic training ride. We rode North out of Rico to Groundhog Stock Trail near Lizard Head Pass south to Winter Trail, West Fall Creek Trail and onto the Calico and down Horse Creek and back into Rico. It was only a 34 mile ride and 5200 feet of climbing but it felt like a lot more as it took us nearly 5 hours to cover this route. Lots of hiking and crawling over the snow fields at 11k elevation. The motor bike dudes cleared Winter Trail the previous day so it made it nice not to stop and tree hop. The snow on West Fall Creek should be melted in another two weeks. I was amazed how much is still up there.

The Rico 4th of July celebration went well with a picnic and softball games on Sunday and the parade and fireworks on Monday. And wading in the cold Dolores River chasing plastic ducks for the duck race. It made for a very busy weekend. I definitely got my fill of my volunteering duty with the fire station.

Slipping and sliding in the snow on West Fall Creek Trail.