Sunday, March 29, 2009


Darrell took the title I was planning to use for this post, but I survived the RMR oval. Not where I wanted to race my first crit of the year, but it will do. The oval in the B group is a bit of a gamble. The majority of the races I've done there have had at least one crash. Yesterday was no different. I heard the ugly sound behind me of someone breaking their collarbone.

The fun part of the oval is going fast. We averaged a little over 27 mph and I was able to mix it up on the front. I got off for a few laps a couple of times, but had no real chance to stay away. As usual, I'm wasn't fast enough in the bunch finish to score any points. I have top 15 B sprinter speed but not top ten. I did get in a good workout with 29 minutes above threshold HR. I was feeling more than worked on the ride home. I also avoided getting dizzy after doing 55 laps according to my Garmin.

It was good to see MK out for his first crit venture. He did well and made it to the front a number of times. It's always good to have fellow cross brethren around.

Looks like more good snow today. I have command performance meetings Monday and Tuesday so it looks like I'll miss it. To make matters worse, my neighbor gave me passes to Snowbasin. They will have to sit on my counter for a while.

ET and I are planning to make the trek south for the Cholla race if we can make it work with our families. I've always had good results in that race other than the time I nearly died from dehydration. The course is now supposed to be shorter with more up and down. Good news for Bob but not for me. Give me long and flat. If I don't go south, it will probably be Hell of the North. I still have some tubular cross tires mounted in case it's full-on mud.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A very good day

My schedule finally allowed a morning off when the snow was good. A co-worker and I enjoyed 2 feet of new powder at Alta yesterday. Best powder day of the year for me. First tracks on High Rustler and Eagle's Nest. Always a good thing.

Now, if I can only figure out how to do it again Thursday or Friday. Too bad I haven't figured out how to get paid enough to just ski and ride. One can always dream.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Not what we planned

I went to Ogden Saturday for a funeral rather than race RMR. Doug's Mother-in-Law died this week after an incredible life of 95 years. Doug and Betty both spoke at the service and were excellent. I've known Betty's mom pretty much all of my life since she lived so close to our house.

After the funeral and graveside service, we decided to do a family ride. Brady was home from Oregon for the funeral, so Brady, Adam, Doug, Tanner and I set out in the raging wind. We rode the parkway for a while with one flat at Fort B. Unfortunately, Doug pick up a goat-head as well that we didn't notice. Once we got onto the open road, Doug's softening front tire gave way halfway around a corner and down he went. I couldn't stop in time and plowed into him. Like any good brother, rather than land on the hard ground I landed on him. The result was a broken rib for Doug and some road rash. With Doug skillfully breaking my fall, I had no damage.

Betty came out and picked up Doug and we decided to ride on. We fought the wind for the last hour and it wasn't much fun. It felt harder than racing the crit. The company was good, but not the best ride I've had. Sometimes the best intentions don't workout.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend in Snow

I chose to make it a weekend in the snow.

Started by organizing the winter equipment in the garage with new shelving. It's now already to sit for 9 months.

Friday, we had a management meeting on the mountain. It's good to work for a company that makes snowshoes. We have to test them out from time to time. Thursday after work and Friday after the hike, I made it to White Pine for the last skate skiing of the year for me. I could finally ski 45 minutes at something other than threshold or above. There's hope for next season.

On Saturday, Tanner was rocking the Lumberjack flannel shirt. It was a fun day in the warm sun.

I broke out the skinny 8 year old Nordica's for the groomers. I had to throw some wax on and sand off the rust. They still make GS turns like a pro.

Bluehouse had a demo day in conjunction with the Powder Keg race (we just missed the awards and didn't get to talk with Bart). We hooked up with Kendall and I skied a few runs on the Districts (on the right). The waist is wider than the tips of the Nordicas. They are a super stable, big mountain ski that demand an aggressive skier. They make turning an optional activity on just about anything. Honestly, I'm not good enough to use their full potential. I ended the day on the 1080 Guns (on the left). Still probably my favorite ski.

Tanner talked me into jumping off the roof. It wasn't stylish, but I didn't hurt the house or me.

I'm am reminded again, that I have nothing but good choices. I'm extremely fortunate to live here, have the health and means to enjoy the mountains, have great family and friends to share them with and the most tolerant wife on earth.
Life presents difficult realities to deal with each day. Time in the mountains helps me keep it all in perspective and not just pull the covers over my head each morning.
Tanner and I have put off the 45 minutes of stress that is RMR long enough. We'll be out there Saturday helping Todd try to win. We actually have some B's on the team this year, so it should be more fun. The big question is, will Dave go undefeated this year?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What to do....

Life in Utah makes for some difficult decisions this time of year. I'm completely undecided on what to do this Saturday. As usual, I over-think the options and make what should be a really fun day into a source of stress. Memo to me - lighten up and just do what sounds like the most fun.

So here's the choices: 1. White Pine has their locals appreciation day with free trail passes, lessons and lunch. The last big chance for a couple hours of getting humbled on skate skis. 2. Alpine skiing in the warm sun. We missed the powder days, but it could be a fun day of cruisers. 3. Ride out to RMR, race the crit and ride home. Good training while trying to avoid bodily harm. 4. A 50 mile or so road ride with my brother, brother-in-law and nephews. A little family bonding on the bike. 5. Take the MTB's out West for some thrashing. It's always good to get dirty. 6. Make a quick trip to Moab for fun on red rock. 7. Take the moto to Dell for high-speed fun. 8. Some combination of two or more of the above.

What do you think?

Almost 4 days now with no females in the house. Lots of Father / Son togetherness. We've managed to feed ourselves and make it to school and work. 3 and 1/2 days to go. Did I mention I really like my wife?

Monday, March 09, 2009


For some reason, I wasn't too excited about making the trip down South and the drive through a white-out snow storm didn't help. I thought we were going to be in a 2 semi, 10 car pile up at one point. It's amazing there are not more crashes on the freeway. There are lots of really bad drivers when conditions get dicey.

We finally did make it to my neighbor's condo and I fell into bed. When I looked out the window in the morning to see blue sky and red rock, my mood improved dramatically. By the time we made to the venue and started talking with old friends, I was down right happy.

The race went much better than expected. I was a little faster than last year with much less time on the trainer, no structured workouts and taking up Nordic skiing. Darrell promised the Nega-Coach would work and he was right.

The front group was quickly out of sight and I had a good time duking it out with Tim, Carl, Red Rock Dave, Bob and Darrell. Bob was kind enough to pull is annual March last lap blow up, Carl was kind enough to flat on the last descent, and Tim was kind enough to cramp on the last climb so I got by all three. Darrell put the hurt on me on the last climbs and I didn't get back to him until the last corner. He was not kind enough to let me out sprint him. As we went into the chute, I decided 7th place was not worth putting the Doc into the barrier, but I thought about it. RMR was going on at the same time after all.

Tanner had some good and bad. He lead the first climb but crashed on the second descent pretty hard. He re-grouped enough to finish 5th in his first shot at the 19 - 19 Expert. He was a little disappointed, but happy to be able to put the hurt on guys on the climbs. He'll just get better. The old man was proud.

Some friends had good showings. Reed Topham was 4th in the 40 + Sport again, but took 5 minutes off last year's time. Nice job. I had to talk Mike Luper into racing Expert because he hadn't ridden an MTB in a couple years and only started riding with any regularity last year. He finished 4th in the a stacked 30 - 39 field and put something like 4 minutes on me. Remember you heard his name here first. The guy can motor.

I "borrowed" some photo's to show off the new kit design. It got lots of good reviews. I'm happy with how it turned out. Dave put it to good use by easily winning RMR in the oval. There's certainly more of that to come. He set a record for crit wins last year and he's looking for more.

Tanner without blood.
Tanner with blood.

I didn't get the arm warmers pulled up all the way for the picture.

Congrats to BK on his close 2nd (1st Utahn). He and Kenny showed once again that single speeders maybe crazy, but they sure go fast.
T and I have survived a day and a half without JoAnn. We're just taking it day by day. The first thing JoAnn said when she heard it's snowing was "You two better not skip work and school to go ski!". How could she think we'd do such a thing? The girls enjoyed 70 degree weather while hitting the National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery, Erin's desk in Kennedy's office and much more.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Heading South

We're doing the quick trip to St. George for the first ICUP race. Leaving Friday after work and coming home Saturday night. More time in the car than on the bike. JoAnn and Ashley are leaving early Sunday for Washington to visit Erin so we have to get back.

I was hoping for 70 and sunny but looks like 50's and cloudy. Should be an interesting test. St. George is probably my favorite ICUP course because it's just fun to ride. However, my longer than normal break after cross season and general lack of motivation to train has me feeling less than confident. Dr. Cross tells me the Nega Coach method works, so we'll see. Sounds like the 40+ Expert group should be full of fast guys. The Vegas boys put the wood to us last year. Funny how no snow and warm temps all winter will do that.

The best part of the trip is seeing old race friends. That's what brings me back to MTB and cross races. If it weren't for the people, I'd have given up riding laps on the same courses each year long ago. You just don't get that feeling at crits or road races. I've been told the vibe is as good or better at XC ski races and triathlons. Someday I'll give both a try.

I am looking forward to watch Tanner from a distance. He's racing the big boys in the 19 - 29 Expert group as a 16 year old. I think he's going to surprise some people. He's had a good winter on the bike and is excited to race somebody. Unfortunately, I just received parts for his new bike today and won't have time to build it before we leave so he'll be on the old, sort of heavy hard tail. However, he's young and won't notice. You don't get to complain about your equipment until your a Master or you pay for it.

Next week should be lonely. Tanner and I ill be on our own with the girls in Washington. With any luck, we'll survive. The girls should have a great time. Through her work in Kennedy's office, Erin's been able to get them tickets to some good stuff. In Washington, it's who you know.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Twisted Throttle

I resisted the temptation to get humbled at the last local skate ski race of the year or get thrashed on the team group ride by heading out to the West desert. After months of just riding on the road, I finally got my new WRR dirty. The Pietrzaks and I went out to Delle for some good old-fashioned redneck fun. There was no broken bones, broken equipment, spectacular crashes or stray gunshot wounds, so you'd have to call it a successful day.

I hadn't ridden a motorcycle in the dirt for a long time. It took a little time to get comfortable, but I was quickly reminded how much fun twisting the throttle can be. It's just the opposite of MTB riding for me. On the MTB, going down is the most fun, while on the moto, rallying up hills is the most fun. I had fun pulling little wheelies and hitting little jumps. However, I'm definitely a low to the ground kind of guy. I watched the motocross guys hitting the big jumps and it's way beyond my comfort zone. I can't even get up the nerve to jump a 15 foot gap.

The little Yamaha worked really good. It's just what I was hoping for: a bike I can ride to work and get 60 - 70 mpg but still be fun off road. For more serious trial ridding, it needs a little lower gearing and better tires, but it was surprisingly dirt worthy. I've always been a Honda guy, but Yamaha did this one right. Also, the drummer in me has to like a company that produces high quality motos and drums.

With the good weather, there was a pretty big crowd at Delle. It provides entertaining people watching. Moto and ATV guys are very different than the bike racing crowd. Let's just say most haven't spent much time working out. We was happy not to get hit by some drunk guy trying to see how high he could jump.

The forecast is for rain in St. George Saturday. Figures. I finally get a chance to go South and it's supposed to rain. I guess the good news is I can pretend it's a cross race. Maybe I'll pack the Tricross.