Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Man Down!

As the year 2015 wraps up I guess it was time to pay the 'fun tax'.  While out riding the Black Canyon Trail with a couple of buddies; Ray and Eugene I went down pretty hard in a corner crashing doen on the sharp basalt rock. It's similar to lava rock. It's like riding on marbles but sharp as razors.

I wasn't feeling all that great the entire ride due to a sinus issue I have been fighting with for nearly two weeks. After about 60 miles I did start feeling better and as we turned into a fast fun single track section of the BCT I jumped out front to let it rip. I'm pretty fast downhill but as I went hot into the second corner I was down on the deck. Dick in the dirt! As soon as I hit the ground I knew I was injured to some extent. I landed on my right arm and hip with my hands on the handle bars and feet clipped in.

I performed a quick assessment taking my cycling jacket off to find my right arm with a nice gash in it. Fuck me. I got my first aid kit out as well did Ray. As soon as I got somewhat of a bandage on my bleeding arm I reached down to feel my hip..... Oh crap.... I felt a hole in my flesh. I took my Jersey off and pulled down my bib knickers to find a huge gash in my hip. Now shit was getting serious. Stay calm I told myself. Easy to say. Ha. I pulled more first aid crap out as well did Ray and I pulled the flesh together to attempt to close the wound and stop the bleeding.

With the wounds covered I called my wife Laura to tell her I had been hurt. Ray, Eugene and I conversed on the quickest way out of there...... We were closer to highway 69 than where our cars were parked down at Rock City TH. We backtracked up to a dirt road and rode down to the junction of Cordes Ranch. We saw some dudes in an ATV. We told them what was up and they offered me a ride up to the highway. They were able to strap my bike on the back and I squeezed in with the two jolly fellas. I had them drop me off at an out of business gas station where I was to wait for Laura. It seemed like an eternity waiting for her to get there. I hobbled up to the highway as I was antsy and laid along the side of the highway putting pressure on my hip wound. I wasn't ready to pass out from a loss of blood. I managed to stay calm. Going into shock was not an option.

Laura finally showed up and we made tracks to the nearest emergency room located in Prescott Valley 25 miles away. The staff at the hospital were wonderful and had me stitched up after a morphine drip. Xrays. Etc..... 20 stitches total in the arm and hip.

It could have been worse..... I've been fortunate enough to never been seriously hurt,.... Stitches and never a broken bone. Knock on wood. Be safe out there. I carry a SPOT and
various first aid items.

Here are the gory pictures Laura took. Viewer beware.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Pass Mt Ultra 50k Trail Race

After training hard for the R2R2R I decided to keep the running momentum going by registering for the Pass Mt 50k trail run for November 14th at Usery Regional Park outside of Phoenix.

With a proper taper from the Grand Canyon double I still went into the race a bit nervous. I'm not an ultra runner by nature and 50k (31 miles) is a bunch of miles on the feet. But I have grit and the mental capacity to suffer through the hard moments when most people would mentally crack and scamper off for a DNF. Not me. 

The race started off with a hot pace and I backed it off knowing there were two loops with nearly 4000 feet of climbing. I came into the start/finish at 2 hours and 44 minutes knowing that was a great time for me but knew I would be slower on the second loop. The course was a mix of flattish trail and some rocky climbing. A great mix to keep it interesting for the most part.  It was getting warm and I knew I had to stay on my fluids and keep trying to eat some solid food as well. Running seems so much harder than bike racing. My legs were tight but I still never had any cramping issues. I managed to catch a couple people on the second loop and held onto a 10th place overall finish and 2nd in my age group (40-49) with a time of 5 hours and 56 minutes. That was tough but yet fun. I'm definitely hooked on the ultra running. Its nice to mix it up with the biking. I'm debating my next 50k on December 5th or a 60 mile bike race in the same area at McDowell Park near Fountain Hills, AZ. Decisions, decisions.........1st world problems. Ha!

Results here: http://www.aravaiparunning.com/results/2015PMTRResults50k.htm

My Strava link with lap times: https://www.strava.com/activities/432767708

Gear used:
Altra Olympus 1.5 trail running shoes
Nathan Vapor Air running pack

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Saving Lives

Thanks grandpa. Miss you much and you a true hero. My short stint in the Air Force doesn't come close to what you did for our country and fellow servicemen.

Saving Lives in World War II (army medic interview with Judson Hemperley) - Doug Larson (director and editor) http://www.freedrama.net

Saturday, October 31, 2015

It's All About Me.........

Random thoughts tonight on October 31st 2015:

This may seem egotistical............ OK yes it is. I grew up pretty good with a caring mom. I wrestled in school...I was pissed, angry. All I cared about was to letter in varsity wrestling. Fuck the jacket bullshit just get the letter. I did. Fuck yeah!  I was a motivated athlete and it drives me to this day. I thrive on those days. My mom was supportive...caring and awesome. I think my dad cared but was into his own stuff. I'm in that mod....it's a learned behavior. My dad was selfish and into his horses etc.  And still is......And that is me to this day.....have an ego....arrogant....but I like to have fun and share my fun and passion for what I do........and what I do is awesome.....yes awesome............live life with an active lifestyle.

I'm writing this right now because it is what it is my head right now. I fight this fight everyday....I have a great life. I have a fabulous wife. We support each other but I am a burden at times. She loves me and puts up with my shit. I have my own racing kits: El Freako Racing. I should be really content. NOT. I put myself into this situation because I am obsessed with pushing myself beyond normal mortal capabilities. OCD. I'll figure it out in time. Maybe not. I get so wrapped up into my stuff I want to accomplish I lose sight of what is important in life and that is my life partner.... My wife. She gets lost in the washing machine that's in my my head. And as I get older the obsessions seem to get worse. I am always inpatient. Angst and anxiety. I need constant motion. Move. Move. Move. WTF!

Even though I am not like others who go beyond what I do, I respect what others do. It is so awesome.

My biggest accomplishments are what follows:

Colorado Trail Race 2013
Arizona Trail Race 300 2014
Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim 2015 (running)

There is so much more out there to do...it keeps my mind turning and I think this is why I am so fucked up and always thinking of what to do next as in terms of physical accomplishments. I measure life in physical accomplishments. I don't know why,. I don't know................................

Keep moving. That's my rant.

El Freako

Why I Cuss.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

R2R2R....... Finished!!

Wow what a fucking run the R2R2R was! Everything I expected and a little bit more with a great group of runners. And I mean real ultra runners. Badass all around. All but two finishing the total route from South Kaibab to North Kaibab and back up Bright Angel. My goal was 14 hours but I ended up finishing in 12 hours and 56 minutes. 44.8 miles. Check out the route below on my Strava link. Truly epic run. I'm hooked on the ultra running now.


My good friend of many years Keevin Blue organized this trip. When he mentioned this run through the canyon I didn't hesitate to say yes. I had planned on a bike packing race event the weekend before the R2R2R but scratched that off of the schedule as this seemed like a lifetime chance to do this run with my buddy Keevin.

So with this run on the schedule I started training with serious miles early on in the summer. The biking took a back seat to a degree as this run is a serious run if you want to make it out of the canyon in one day. It was as hard as I expected and some.

The morning came for the run and laura dropped all of us off at the South Kaibab TH.  It was myself, Keevin, Dan, Jeff, Brian and Brian, Wayne, Ryan and Amber, Barry and two others I can't recall their names. They opted for a shorter run. Smart move. Lol.

We started our run at 5:08 am. I was nervous to say the least running along with some true ultra trail runners. We made quick work of the descent down the South Kaibab trail crossing the first bridge well under two hours and with 7 miles covered. The trail was muddy and slick from the rain on Friday.

The views were amazing and I was realizing the enormity of the canyon. Once we all arrived at Phantom Ranch the group started to splinter. I ran with Keevin along the next section until we arrived at Cottonwood campground where there was water. I filled up and quickly got back on the trail. I was only 13 ish miles into the run. From hereon I was pretty much by myself to the top of the North Kaibab trail. I arrived at the North rim a little after 11am. Pretty good time in my eyes. I was fortunate enough to get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from a sag support crew for some other runners. Very awesome. I hustled oo down the trail seeing some others from our group. I saw Keevin coming up and told him I would wait at the pumphouse 2 miles down the trail for him. The trail conditions up on the north side were a bit muddy but not as bad as I thought they would be with all of the rain from Friday. Lots of donkey crap mixed in the mud.

Keevin and I teamed up for the run down and Bsrry caught up as well. With some of the crew in front of us and some behind us I was feeling good. The descent down the North rim was steep. The legs were taking a beating. After another 7 miles of a good tempo we arrived back at Cottonwood campground at 1.20 pm. I was able to run with a guy out of Boulder for a few miles as well going back down. I watered up and headed back out quickly while Barry, Keevin, Amber and Ryan were still refueling etc. I was alone until I caught two more runners from our group and I came into Phantom Ranch somewhere around 3pm. The rain had been coming down fairly hard and I was soaked. I didn't bother putting my rain jacket on either. It was warm enough. I found the other front runners in our group taking shelter and drinking some beverages. I stopped for a minute and ran out wanting to get to the south rim before dark. Some of the others caught up and we crossed the bridge over the mighty Colorado river. It was raging.

Only 9ish miles to the top of Bright Angel TH. I was thinking 3 hours would be good to cover this section. I was with Brian Blair for the first few miles going up but his pace was crushing me even though we were mostly fast hiking but his stride is longer than mine. Dan Lehnberg caught back up and him and Brian pushed on. I was by myself again for a few more miles coming into Indian Gardens with roughly 4 miles to go. I caught sight of Dan and Brian and this kept me motivated to keep on the gas. I caught up to Brian as he and some others helped a hiker that was in bad shape. He actually helped carry the guy the last two miles to the top. I pushed on topping out at 6.04 pm at the Bright Angel TH. Outstanding! What a fucking day that was!

Gear used: Altra Olympus running shoes. Osprey Rev pack.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


This weekend......October 17th......it's happening. Running from the Grand Canyon South Rim to the North Rim and back to the South Rim. It will be an experience I will never forget. I usually bike big events but your feet can bring you far as well,...... not just two wheels. Lets get it! Watch my SPOT tracker for the outcome. The weather is looking crappy but it is what it is.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rico 50/100 2015

I had to go back up to Rico to take care of the house as we have a lease in place with a purchase option as well for the new tenants. Laura and I are excited to have the house occupied before winter sets in. And by chance the Rico 50/100 was scheduled. I wanted to ride the 100 course but I had priorities to ready the house for the tenants. I opted for the 50 miler. Good choice. The weather was cool in the morning at 34 degrees. The ride up the highway and up Barlow creek road warmed things up nicely. I settled into a pace that would get me through to the end. I walked some portions of Barlow. The single speed gearing of 32x22 was good. Maybe a 30 tooth in the front next time. I was the only single speeder this year as well. About half way up Barlow I was alone. It was peaceful out up there near Hermosa peak. I made my way up to Black Hawk pass seeing Dan Holmes and Chris just about to crest the pass. I yelled a few choice words at them and they dropped off the other side never to be seen again.  After passing Orphan Butte I made my way to the Cape of no hope. Down grindstone at 11:50am and made it to the end at Bear Creek Trail head 1:30. That is a hard section. It trends downhill but you earn every mile......overgrown with baby aspens that whip the shit out of you. What a great ride. A great crew this year.

Moose in the Barlow Lake area. 9 years in Rico and I have never seen a moose. So cool!

Rico 50/100 Results are in from our man on the ground - Chase Wesley! I'll work with Chase, David Ochs and Eric Cheever next year to try to get the Rico, CB, and Dolores events on back to back to back weekends instead of head to head as Rico and CBC did this year. Perhaps we can make the inaugural COES Endurance Quadruple Crown with Vapor Trail, Rico, Crested Butte, and then finish off in Dolores...all on consecutive weekends. September is the best month of the year and well today is September 21 - and according to Earth, Wind and Fire, the best DAY of the year.
From out man Chase: 2015 is done and was fun!!! Freezing morning temps with frozen water ponds up in the morning to a perfect blue bird day on the CT and the Rico Mountains. This race is not for the faint of heart and is by far one of the toughest races in the series! Results are as follows 100 milers (crazy ass folks... don't believe us, ask Jeff)
All 100 milers finished after dark.
Michael Grejda - 13:40
Paul Berry - 14:00
Dana Ernst - 14:20
Dan Holmes - 14:23
50 milers
Terry Gorsuch - 6:36
Chris Howe - 6:54
Jeff Hemperley - 7:29 (1st SS)
Mark Carl - 8:30
Peter Temper - 8:42
Paul Adams - 8:57
Ashley Carelock - 8:57 (1st women)
Terry Sims - 9:46
Sandra Heines - 9:48 (2nd women)
Tina Godsiak - 9:48 (2nd women)
Dylan Schwindt - 10:45
DNF but one hell of an effort
Rex Roubichaux - Rico to Durango via hotel draw and possibly hermosa creek?? (my edit - Say What.......?)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Barfly Bags

I received my new Barflay Bags frame bag for my 29er. El Freako colors no less! I added my own touch as well. Sweet. Thanks Barfly!

Labor Day

Finally got back up to Rico to visit the house and ride. The weather wasn't that great (go figure) but I did get out for a ten mile run and a ride over Blackhawk with Paul and Dan.  We also ran into Jimbo, Ashley and Ben. We all hung out for a bit and had some laughs.

I'll be back up for the Rico 50 on the 19th.

Monday, August 31, 2015


I have been putting on the running miles lately. I plan on running the R2R2R in October. For thoss of you that do not know what this is is running the Grand Canyon from the South rim to the North Rim and back to the South rim in one attempt. My goal is around 14 hours. Laura isnt into the 20 plus mile runs so my friend Holly from Phoenix will run with me when they visit. She is a true bad ass ultra runner. Laura like to keep hers at 8 miles.

Holly enjoying the run on the last Saturday in August.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Barfly Bags

Very cool.....Josh who owns Barfly Bags is making this for me:

Direct from his Facebook page...........El Freako from Rico racing team bag. Even the inside is color matched! More pics to come. Can't wait to see this thing on a Kokopelli Ti 29. I have a Koko because I met Jeff at about 10 PM on Day one of the 2014 AZT. A great dude, a great bike, and a soon to be matching bag.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I have been slow on my blog updates since the move to Preskitt. It's been busy but busy by choice. We lost Nacho to Cancer. He had a great life and changed ours. Life is full of changes. And our change to AZ has been the right choice.

Fatty Wheelset for Sale

Fatty wheelset for sale. Like new. Used about 5 times by Laura Kyriakakis. The tires still have the rubber hairs on them. Setup tubeless. 4.8 Bud 120 tpi on the front and 4.0 Nate 120 tpi on the rear. Salsa skewers included. Like new. No chips dents etc. $500 takes it all plus any shipping.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Freako Kits

With enough interest to meet my 6 each minimum piece order El Freako Racing kits will be ordered. Made in The USA by Canari. I do this for fun and it's a PIA to collect the orders, money, ship etc. I don't make any money as I charge my cost. It's about $60 bones for a Jersey and the same for shorts/bibs. Feel free to throw me extra cash if you want for my time and hard work. I typically order the VPro cut and can do other cuts as well if I meet my minimums. Jackets can be ordered too if enough interest. Look at the Canari website for specific info on custom orders. Thanks from El Freako! 
PS..... on my last order I got stiffed for $300. I shipped the kits and no money. Asshole went dark... Brian Cottrell! If I don't know you that well I will ask for cash up front.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

RIP My Little Buddy

Our beloved Nacho dawg has passed. Cancer took his life.He was 12 years old and had been with Laura and I since a puppy. We adopted Nacho from a shelter in Las Vegas in 2003. Nacho lived most of his life in Rico but also lived in Vegas, Albuquerque and a short time here in Arizona. We knew right away he was a special dude and he knew he had a home and loved us equally. He changed our lives dramatically. He was an alpha dawg and we knew he didn't like kids. The day we adopted him he snarled at a passing kid in the Petco store. So, that was crystal clear for us to steer clear of little people with Nacho. And he didn't like very tall people. Odd. He had a few incidents with people he didn't like much. He also got a little angst when there was a lot of noise around him. He always wanted to know who was in "his house". He was my traveling buddy and we spent a lot of time in Moab on biking trips among other places. He loved road trips. He loved Arizona and we finally moved here and I am happy he was able to see the new house before he moved on. My heart is broken with him gone. There will be a void that will never be filled. My little buddy is gone.

We bought a weeping cedar tree to plant in his memory.

RIP Nacho...............I love you.