Saturday, March 31, 2007

Favorite post-ride meal?

For me it's a burger, fries and coke. Rides over 2 hours automatically qualify for a guilt-free dining experience. Today I drove to Springville for what I thought would be a fun, casual ride around West Mountain with the Utah Velo Club. Well, it was fun, but anything but casual! My average heart rate for the 2:28 was 158 and included a few maximum efforts required to close gaps between groups. Kris was in attendance and seemed to take pleasure in making me suffer by continually going to the front and increasing the speed at times when I would have welcomed a more relaxed pace!

After returning home and getting cleaned up I took the kids to grab a burger while Cami headed out for a ride. I was feeling Crown Burger but the kids wanted Wendy's so at 2:1 I was outvoted. A grilled chicken sandwich, small chili, diet Coke, fries, a few bites of Kate's hamburger and some spoonfuls of chocolate & vanilla Frosty later I was feeling pretty good.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Huh? Tour of Utah Postponed/Cancelled

I just read that the 2007 Tour of Utah has been postponed. You can check out the details over at the Road Magazine blog. According to Velonews the race has been cancelled. Either way it sucks big time. It seems lame to make this announcement almost 3 months before it was scheduled to start. I mean, the Tour of George starts April 16th and up until a week ago it was doubtful whether it would happen or not. Even so they didn't postpone the race or anything, just busted their asses to line up the necessary sponsors. Why didn't the folks at Tour of Utah do the same? Heck, as far as bike races go they have a ton of time to get it done. In my opinion it sounds like they just gave up. The fact that the Executive Director "stepped down to pursue other opportunities" tells me that somebody was asleep at the wheel. Regardless, how can 3 months not be enough time to save the race?! What a joke.

On the riding front I hit out with Adam this evening for a ride up to the top of Rose Canyon. He was chilling and I was working hard. Not sure what to do about that but man, Adam is rolling well this year. My time up Rose Canyon was 10% slower than my last run. I'm not sure if that is due to my being sick last week, the wind, cold or what but my average heart rate was 178 for the effort so at least I gave it a go. Hopefully it warms up soon as I'm not digging the cold weather.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Started the day off with 20 minutes of easy spinning on the trainer and then eased back into normal training this evening with 1:13 of tempo. Average heart rate was 151. With the wind I was able to maintain a fairly consistent effort which is the only positive comment I have regarding the weather. My toes were cold even with wool socks and toe booties. I guess my new Specialized shoes breathe better than my old Shimanos. Speaking of which, if anybody wants a free pair of 2003 Shimano R215 road shoes in US size 10.5 (EU 45 according to the tag) let me know. The fabric liner is quite worn but they felt fine on the bike at the time they were retired from active duty. As you might expect the carbon soles have their share of scratches but again, this doesn't impact performance at all. The original insoles were replaced last year with a pair of gray Superfeet insoles. The shoes are silver with black straps & buckle and yellow accents. At the time of purchase they were the best shoes in the Shimano line.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Growing up

Today I turned 34 years old. Yes, it's true, I'm getting older. Which reminds me, this probably isn't the best year to start racing my mountain bike since I'm at the upper end of the 30-34 category. Funny to think that I have a bunch of friends in their 40's! When I was a kid just starting to ride, I used to think the 30+ guys had it made. Most were way faster than me and all had sweet bikes. I'm not sure if the current me would have impressed the younger me with my skills and bikes but hey, at least I'm still riding! Of course, today more than ever before age is all relative. Look at the local fast guys. A good majority are over age 30 and absolutely flying. To be honest, from my perspective I'm anything but old. In fact, I feel like I'm just getting warmed up.

So all day at work I wrestled with the decision to ride or not as I'm still not feeling 100%. When I arrived home I decided to head out on the road bike, nice and easy, for an hour or so. It was a good thought but after 5 minutes I decided to flip a U-turn and hang with the kids instead. I swapped the road bike for the mountain bike and headed over to the local church parking lot to cruise with my 4 year old. She's been riding without training wheels for a couple of weeks now and - parent bias aside - she has some serious skills. I followed her around for about 15 minutes before my 6 year old joined us. We each took turns being the leader and burned a few hot laps around the building. Fastest time was 55 seconds. My son likes to ride over curbs and today was taking them both directions. Dropping them is no problem, but riding up resulted in a few abrubt stops when his momentum wasn't sufficient to carry him up and over. He hasn't quite figured out how to lift his front wheel so speed at impact is the key to success! All told I ended up with at least 30 minutes of easy cruising which probably did me more good than my originally planned ride. Plus, I got to spend some quality time with the kids which is really the best birthday present a parent could ask for anyway.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Riding, resting and racing?

Spent a few quality hours at Lambert Park Saturday riding the trails. I started riding with Cami, then went solo for a while, and finished up with Kris and Jolene. Unfortunately I pushed it a bit hard for the first ride after being sick and suffered a slight relapse Saturday night and into Sunday. Today I'm faced with the same decision I had last Friday: Ride or rest? I hate trying to make that decision as it always seems that everybody else is pounding out the miles while I sit on the couch. This leads me to worry that I'll lose whatever fitness I've managed to gain thus far and, to make matters worse, I'll find myself a few pounds heavier when I do get back on the bike. At times like this I find myself questioning my desire to race as I already have enough stress in my life between family and work responsibilities. Worrying about a hobby seems so silly, yet I'm constantly questioning my training, diet, recovery, equipment, etc. What's the point? I guess I just need to give racing a shot and see what I think. The problem is, what if I like it? That's the question I'm afraid to answer... When did riding a bike become so complicated?!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Shredding the Couch

I believe I mentioned in a post last fall that when my kids get sick, I inevitably get sick. Unfortunately I was reminded of that reality this week...

This past Sunday night/early Monday morning, my 4 year old daughter started vomiting and spent Monday lying around the house. Tuesday morning she was back to normal. Classic 24 hour stomach bug. At the time I didn't think much of it other than the normal worry and symphathy you feel for a sick child. That is until Wednesday evening when the nausea and stomach pain started for me! Chills and body aches followed that night and instead of hitting Corner Canyon after work on Thursday I spent the day sleeping and riding the couch. Not fun but hey, at least it only lasted 24 hours. Today I felt much better and went to work with the intention of riding some trails this evening. Well, reason got the better of me (Sly's post about recovery was brilliantly timed) and I decided to take another day off to ensure I was ready to ride this weekend. It just kills me to lose two days of good weather knowing that cold and rain are forecast for next week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

BST Lite

Did a quick ride at lunch up Dry Creek over to Terrace Hills. The trail was in good shape with very minimal mud in some of the shady sections. After reading about A-Train and Fox passing people who were climbing Dry Creek in the small ring, I had to do it all in the middle ring today. Sorry, I'm not quite ready to hit it in the big one. My legs felt good though I was forced to get out of the saddle on the short, steep hill about a half mile before the intersection with Bobsled. I was riding between 11:45 am and 12:30 pm and only saw one other rider so the rain must have scared people away.

Tomorrow it looks like I'll be riding the Corner Canyon & Traverse Ridge trails in Draper after work assuming they're in good shape after the rain.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I had intended to ride at lunch but as is often the case my departure was delayed and I didn't actually hit the road until after 1 pm. I rode the mountain bike up to the zoo (even in the 32x32 the 800 S hill is a killer on cold legs and I won't allow myself to use the small ring on pavement) and hopped on the shoreline trail. I tried some side trails (I'm not sure if they have names) I don't normally ride on the way to Dry Creek which was fun. Dry Creek itself was dry, as in bone dry, no runoff whatsover. I'm not sure what's up as last spring I remember riding up sections of the stream bed in 4" of running water but hey, I won't complain. I rode over to the water tower where I ended up dropping into Terrace Hills as the singletrack with the "Hiking Trail" sign always makes me think bikes aren't allowed. Does anybody know if it's ok to ride that? My friend at work says he always goes that way to drop into City Creek but it just seems odd that a multi-use trail would have such a prominent sign declaring it as a hiking trail. Seems totally counter intuitive to me if bikes are really ok. So I started on pavement and finished on pavement but the dirt in between was fantastic.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

12:15 @ avg hr 183

Ouch! I started the watch at the first turnoff to Emigration Oaks on the way up and stopped it at the big rock on the right side of the road a few houses after Bart's, at the top of the last hill. The effort was full gas as demonstrated by a maximum heart rate of 194! Realistically I'll probably never hit 9 minutes but given it's only March I should be able to improve my time quite a bit over the course of the year. Cami opted to stick with the main road and I met her at the top of Little Mountain. We hadn't been out together since our trip to Phoenix in January so it was fun to just ride and enjoy the amazing weather.

Earlier in the day, before dropping the kids off at Great Grandma's house, we swung by RMR to catch the start of the A race. I had been tipped off last night that Fox was going to attack from the start and after the neutral lap he gunned it. A few others went with him and they established a good gap. Problem was that Jeff Louder wasn't in the move and he single handidly chased them down over the course of 2 laps. Man, that dude has some power! Speaking of which, he passed us coming down Emigration so RMR was obviously just a small piece of his day on the bike. The kids had tons of fun climbing on the rock walls and gave us the green light to come back another time.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Tour de Lambert Park

Had a great time this evening riding the trails at Lambert Park in Alpine thanks to Kris and his wife Jolene. The trails were all tight, narrow singletrack. Some rocky, some hard packed dirt and others still covered in fall leaves. I think our basic route was something like this:

Rodeo to River to Middle then up Poppy then down Ziggy, then up Poppy again and down upper Ruin then Lambert's Luge connecting to Middle then up Spring

Good times for sure.

Too bad we still have a couple of months to wait for the high country to open up... This summer I need to check out the Park City and American Fork Canyon trails. However, in the meantime I should follow Fox's lead and head south to Moab. It will be interesting to read his thoughts on the Rim Ride route.

I think tomorrow I'm going to spectate the A race at RMR with the family and then drop the kids off in Sugarhouse at Great Grandma's house so Cami and I can ride together. Our plan is to head up Emigration so I'll be sure and give the Emigration Oaks climb at least one go and post my time tomorrow night. I'm guessing if the fast guys do it in 9 minutes I'm probably looking at something between 15 and 20. Should be a good benchmark of my fitness as the season progresses and give anybody who reads my blog something to laugh about!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Rose & Butterfield Canyons

Today was all about the west side for a change. My son had a school program this afternoon so I decided to work from home. One benefit of working at home is that it's much easier to get out the door for a lunch ride. I wanted to check out conditions at Yellow Fork again so I rode to Herriman and then up to Rose Canyon. As I turned right at the 3-way stop to start the actual climb I started a new lap on my heart rate monitor. One thing I didn't do much last year was to time the climbs I ride on a regular basis. Today my time to the top was 14:25 at an avg hr of 176. The doubletrack is dry but the singletrack next to the creek still looks soft. Of course, it could turn to mud 100 yards up the trail for all I know but compared to last week it's in much better condition.

I had a bit more time so headed over to Butterfield Canyon to see how far I could climb before hitting snow. Turns out the road is clear for almost 3 miles. After that you're looking at this:

Read the comments on Team Rico's latest post and you'll learn that the secret of the SLC elite is burning 6x9's up Emigration Oaks. Yeah right, maybe I'm good for a set of 2x20's! Next week I'll post my time from the turnoff to the top of the hill where Bart lives. 9 minutes?! Maybe to the mailboxes!

Tomorrow evening I'm heading to Lambert Park in Alpine to hit the dirt with Kris, who kindly agreed to show me the trails. The last (and only) time I rode at Lambert was on the Frozen Hog course a week before the race. Let's hope I can ride faster than I did on the snow, ice and frozen ruts!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Millcreek + Emigration

Did a good 3 hours on the road this afternoon in short sleeve jersey & shorts. Started out on 900 E where I passed Fox riding in the opposite direction. Not sure if there's any meaning to that chance encounter but my ride was good so maybe I picked up some Fox mojo or something. Unfortunately I didn't find any spare cash on my ride... Headed up to Millcreek where my time from the pay station to the gate was 23:05 at an average heart rate of 170. Slightly quicker than last week but still nothing too exciting. On the way down I thought I'd head back via the Parley's bike path but after crossing over I-80 I figured it was too early to head back given the fantastic weather. So I followed the bike route through the neighborhood to Emigration. At that point my bottles were about empty but I decided to ride up a bit, keeping the pace mellow. As it turned out I ended up riding up to Little Mountain where I met JRAD and TMAC hanging with some Canyon Bikes riders. Those guys are quick and I didn't see much more of them once we headed down!

It's pretty cool seeing so many riders on the road. When I lived in Payson I'd see another rider maybe one or two times during the week and run into three or four on Saturday. Here in the big city there are riders all over.

Reading Sly's trail report it sounds like it's time to bring the mountain bike to work and ride the dirt at lunch. I left my road bike in the office today so maybe Thursday or Friday I'll swap bikes.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hook me up with some of that energy!

Don't laugh, but after logging 8.5 hours on the road last week I'm still tired. So, after trying to talk myself into riding all day at work I gave in to reason and called my wife on the drive home to give her a heads up. She quickly got ready for her first 2007 ride outdoors in Utah (she's not a big fan of winter riding). After seeing her out the door the kids and I headed over to the local church parking lot. Yesterday my 4 year old daughter, Kate, had attempted to ride without training wheels for the first time on the Jordan River Parkway without much success. Today, however, she was shredding the asphalt after 10 minutes of coaching and push starts. I tell you what, there's something incredibly satisfying about watching your kids ride bikes. While Kate was cruising the parking lot with a big grin on her face Alder was burning timed laps around the building. He started off at 54 seconds and over the course of the next 20 minutes was able to shave 5 seconds off his time. At 6 years old he's pretty fast and incredibly persistant. He wanted to do it in 39 seconds and couldn't understand why his times weren't dropping past 49 seconds. He kept asking me, "Where am I going slow?" I told him it's normal for your legs to get tired the longer you ride but he didn't seem to believe that could be possible. I'm thinking the two of them might win more races than me this year!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Suncrest = Pain

Did a good ride with the Team Inertia gang Saturday afternoon out to Alpine and then up & over Suncrest. You'd think at 165 pounds I could climb but no, unfortunately (for me) that isn't the case. Hopefully over the course of the year I can find a bit more speed on the uphills.

Reading Fox and stupidbike talk about the Norba race in Phoenix later this month led me to check out the course description. Turns out the cross country course is none other than a combination of the McDowell Sport, Technical and Long loops in Fountain Hills, AZ. From what I can tell from the course map the few technical sections of the Technical Loop (the two steep drops, narrow climb and rocky descent) aren't included since they all occur towards the beginning of the loop. I've ridden all three of those loops and must admit to being tempted by the thought of racing the Sport category. However, after two weeks in AZ so far this year I don't know if I can pull off another trip south. My sister-in-law has probably seen enough of me! You can check out this post for some pictures of the course.

I need to ride some dirt this week...

Friday, March 9, 2007

Yellow Fork = MUDDY

This afternoon I rolled out of work a little early and rode up to Yellow Fork at the top of Rose Canyon to check out the current trail conditions. Well, one word sums them up: MUDDY. I guess that's to be expected in early March but man, I am ready to hit those trails on the mountain bike. It's not the most scenic or challenging ride in the valley but given it's proximity to home it's my go to ride when I'm in the mood for a quickie on the dirt.

Tell you what, I sure wish 12600 and 13400 South had a bike lane between Bangerter and Rosecrest Rd. There's a 1-2 mile stretch on both roads that is downright scary. If anybody has any secret east/west routes to/from Herriman let me know.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

What happened to

Talk about getting screwed. At the IPCT's request the GC Organizers and UCI get together to work out a last minute compromise and somehow forget the fundamental issue they are supposed to be discussing: and Astana's exclusion from receiving an automatic invite to the GC Organizers' races on the Pro Tour calendar! Seeing as is NOT on the start list for Paris Nice (and Astana is in thanks to a wild card invite) it appears that nothing has really changed. Yet, the teams are now willing to show up and race. Are we to assume that nobody really cares about UCI rules or and that somehow the GC Organizers blackmailed the teams into supporting the so-called "compromise"? From my perspective that seems to be the case. Here is the definition of compromise that I recognize courtesy of

a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.

What a joke...

So on a different subject, I rode up Emigration Canyon today to Little Mountain via Emigration Oaks . To be honest the climb up E Pioneer Fork Rd was a bit much for my current fitness level as I was hurting pretty bad. If I didn't have a 34x26 I may have been forced to make an emergency U-turn! And to think that climb is part of Bart's daily commute home. No wonder the dude is so fast!

Since I forgot to pack my knee warmers this morning, today's ride was also my first Utah ride in shorts this year. I guess we've finally paid our dues and are now reaping the rewards of our prior suffering. Next week's forecast looks even nicer.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Mill Creek +2

Today's route was much better compared to yesterday's as I spent far less time stopped at lights and more time actually riding. Which is, of course, one of the benefits of riding up a canyon. I had planned to either head up Emigration or Mill Creek and ended up choosing the latter as the 800 S climb looked a bit too intimidating after only 5 minutes of riding! So I turned right onto 900 E and then turned left onto 2700 S. I climbed up 2700 S to 2000 E and took that to 3900 S which led me to Wasatch. The climb up the canyon was good, with mostly dry roads and little traffic. My time from the pay station to the gate was 23:55 at an average heart rate of 166. I didn't ride much last week as I needed to recover from my time in Phoenix and then had the business trip later in the week. Nothing is worse than finishing off a solid week of training only to get sick. A bunch of guys in my office have cold/flu symptoms right now so I'm trying to ease back into riding and avoid putting too much stress on my body. Last spring I found myself in a cycle of ride a lot, get a cold, ride a little, feel better, ride a lot, get a cold, etc. so I'm trying to avoid that pattern this year!

Monday, March 5, 2007

City Ride +1

Pretty weak I know but at least it was outside instead of on the trainer. My route wasn't the best today: South on 400 E to 1700 S then west to Pioneer and north to Indiana/800 S. I rode east on 800 S to 1500 E then turned west on 1300 S and back on 900 E. I get bummed riding in the city with all the lights. Sure I enjoy living in Riverton but man, I miss the rural roads of Payson. Of course, once the snow melts and the ski resorts close there's no better place to ride than up one of the SLC canyons. On the way back to the office I stopped at Contender to ask what I needed to do to replace my recalled SRAM Force brakes. Ryan wheeled my bike back to the shop and 10 minutes later I was on my way with a new set of brakes. Those guys blow me away with their service. If you're in the market for a new ride you can't go wrong with Contender.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Plan for the week

The weather forecast looks promising. Right now I'm planning to ride 1.5 - 2 hours each afternoon. I think I'll just bring my bike to work and leave it in an empty office all week. Assuming nothing too crazy is going on I'll head out sometime between 1 and 3 pm each day. I work near Trolley Square so if you're in the area and want to ride let me know. Leave a comment, email or give me a call.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

I'm done with winter

Today I had planned to ride with Curt, Doug, Adam, et al at noon. Unfortunately I wasn't able to talk myself into riding outside and did an hour on the trainer instead. I realize that sounds a little crazy but seriously, I've had it with winter. I'm sick of the snow and tired of below average temperatures. Perhaps my attitude is a natural consequence of spending last week in Phoenix and traveling to San Francisco this Thursday and Friday for business. If riding requires my neoprene booties I'm not going out. Thermal tights? No way am I leaving the house. Knee and arm warmers are ok. A wind vest is fine. But heavy, full fingered gloves? Forget it, I'll stay indoors.

Speaking of San Francisco, I was sitting in my hotel room Thursday night surfing the internet when the building started shaking. As I was trying to decide if I should get dressed or stand under a door jam it stopped. A quick Google search led me to this site where I learned it was a 4.2 magnitude quake originating 1 mile NE of Lafayette, CA. I was a bit nervous until I saw that there had been 50+ recorded earthquakes in the area the past week. I guess an earthquake now and then is no big deal when you live in the bay area.