Thursday, July 31, 2008

Motion Sensors: Not intended for use in the bathroom!

This post is dedicated to dug, the man made famous by his tales of poop and pee.

You see, I just returned from a trip to the bathroom. My company is small, and as such we do not enjoy the convenience of having a bathroom inside our office. So this afternoon, when I felt the need to conduct some private business, I walked out of our space, down the hall and into common bathroom #2. Note that we do enjoy the convenience of having two such facilities on our floor. Bathroom #1 is just outside our office, around the corner, next to the elevator. Generally it's only utilized for peeing as the space is quite small and contains only one, very narrow, extremely claustrophobic, stall. A stall that also has, I might add, a very high door that creates a very real feeling of exposure.

Bathroom #2, on the other hand, is spacious, containing three urinals and two stalls, one of which is designed for people with special needs and as such, due to its size, is by far the preferred destination for seated business. It should also be noted that both bathrooms were recently remodeled and, in an attempt to conserve energy (or so I'm assuming), equipped with motion detecting lights. I'm sure the astute reader can begin to see where my story is going...

So I make my way down the hall to bathroom #2, enter the luxury accommodations of the special needs stall, and proceed to conduct my business. However, due to my recent stomach issues, said business took longer than usual. As I was nearing the end of my proceedings - as I'm sure you have already guessed - the lights went off. The switch, being around the corner next to the door, was out of reach. And because of the door being around the same corner what little light manages to enter the room has no way of making its way to the stall in which I sat. In other words, it was very dark. Pitch black dark. I had yet to utilize the toilet paper (which, I might add, was installed incorrectly so that the free paper hung from the rear and back of the roll, and not the front and top, a topic dug has addressed before) and was in somewhat of a panic as I didn't want to judge the doneness of the next phase by feel. Deciding that waiting for somebody to enter the bathroom on their own accord was leaving too much to chance, I turned to my phone for help. Logging in to Google Chat, I asked a co-worker if he wouldn't mind walking down the hall and putting his arm in the bathroom to trigger the lights. He agreed and within a minute I was on my way again. Yet another reason why I can't live without my Blackberry!

UPDATE: I just timed the lights in the bathroom. 10 minutes is the threshold. If you can't complete your business within 10 minutes it's lights out, literally. Seems extremely aggressive to me. After talking with my co-workers it's clear I'm not the only one who has been plunged into darkness.

Ok, but not great...

...sums up my ride this morning. I ventured out for an hour and felt pretty decent for the first 30 minutes afterwhich I started to feel like I was on the verge of bonking. Running out of energy after only 30 minutes you ask?! Yes, I'm being serious and I believe the reason why is the fact that I have been eating very little for the past 3 days and my reserves are a bit low. So I guess the lesson learned is that I need to eat more. If only my stomach would stop complaining about the little I have been eating...

Oh, and I learned something else on my ride this morning: CarboRocket is the best energy drink ever. You see, I ran out of the magic mix last week so last night I fixed 2 bottles of my old preferred energy drink (I still have almost a full canister of the stuff since I stopped using it cold turkey once I tried CarboRocket). Well, let's just say I only managed to force down 1 bottle this morning (and it was a small bottle) as it was way, way, way too sweet and syrupy. Yeah, it was pretty much disgusting. So if you haven't tried CarboRocket yet and happen to be using another brand of energy drink do yourself a favor and give it a try. If you don't like it send me an email and I'll buy whatever's left from you. Yeah, it's really that good.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I've been watching the action from the sidelines the past two days as I woke up Monday with a sick stomach. Not fun but at least I should be back at it for the weekend.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Super Crest

Was pretty much super awesome. Big Water to Great Western to Ridge Connector to Mid Mountain to Shadow Lake via Powerline then up to Scott's Pass to Puke Hill to Wasatch Crest to Great Western to Little Water. Ride time was a little over 4:30 for 33 miles and 4100 feet of elevation gain.

Many thanks to Andy for organizing the ride and Kris and Matt for their participation.

I'm pleased to say that, while I experienced some slight discomfort due to my saddle sore, after 36 hours of using Hibiclens it had been reduced in size by 50% which enabled me to complete the ride. That stuff is magic. So too is Assos Chamois Cream, of which I applied a very liberal amount to both my shorts and person. At one point towards the end of the ride Matt asked why my saddle was shiny. Leakage [of chamois cream] was my reply and I didn't think much of it until I was driving home and realized the two other guys, not part of our group, probably rode away from that exchange with a completely different perception of what type of leakage I was referring to!

The above photo courtesy of Kris.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Saddle Sore

Ever since the MS87 ride on June 28th I've been fighting with a saddle sore on the right side of my nether regions. Which has pretty much sucked. However, when I remember to use chamois cream before, and shower soon after a ride, it improves. When I don't do those things, well, let's just say it can get ugly. Unfortunately I didn't do either on Tuesday before & after the Solitude race and I'm now paying the price. Yeah, just sitting here on a padded chair typing I can feel it.

What's the secret to making this PIA (literally!) go away?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Early Draper Session

Well, early for me. I met my cousin Brian at 7 am for a quick pre-work ride on the Draper trails. Starting from the Equestrian Center, we headed up Clark's and down the new Ghost Falls trail, crossing the stream and bridge near the falls and returning on the BST. Surprisingly I woke up to rain and it continued to fall off and on over the course of the hour ride. This is a very good thing given how dray & dusty the trails have become.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Millcreek #1

I'm a little incredulous that my first ride of 2008 on the upper Millcreek Canyon trails didn't happen until July 18th. I'm even more surprised at how dry and dusty the Big Water, Little Water and Great Western trails are. After a long, cold and rainy spring it seems like we are in for a long, hot and dry summer. Oh well, the trails are still sweet and tonight's ride with Sly and Kris was a good one.

It may be hot in the valley, but at elevation in the shade it's nice and cool:

Don't ask me what these guys are doing:

We rode the Ridge Connector down to the upper ski runs so Sly could show us the Deer Trail Connector to Lamb's Canyon. This is on the way back to Millcreek:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bike Commute Day 4

Ok, so I should probably clarify that about half of my commutes are not round-trip, but rather a ride to work and a carpool home. It works out well, however, since the temperatures are nice and cool in the morning and we get carpool lane access for the drive home.

Today I rode east on 4800 S for the first time and found it a decent road with a nice shoulder. I accessed it via 1300 W and finished the commute on 500 E and 400 E (my office is on the corner of 400 E and South Temple).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

2009 Fat Cyclist Jersey

Click the photo or go here to reserve your jersey. For more information refer to the Fat Cyclist.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Last week I was really dragging so this week has been dedicated to rest & recovery. Fun and mellow rides are on the schedule - no racing until next Tuesday. The only thing I have planned thus far is a Friday night date with Cami on the upper Millcreek Canyon trails. Speaking of which, it would be fun to make it a double, triple, etc. date so if you and your significant other want to come along feel free to join us. Just remember that the pace with be E-A-S-Y. If I ride the 1-gear will it still be considered a recovery ride? It would for sure be fun, but maybe not easy.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Big Cottonwood Hill Climb

Dang that race hurts. I had bad legs all week, to the point where I wondered if I'd even be able to drag myself to Brighton on Saturday. Luckily I was able to make it to the top, though not in record time. Regardless of my final placing (34th out of 47 Cat 5 starters) it certainly was a good workout as my average heart rate for the 1 hour and 28 minutes was 175 bpm.

I rode to the start and cut it way too close thanks in no part to a flat rear tire before I even pulled out of the garage. Not wanting to take the time to put in a new tube, I grabbed the rear wheel from my wife's bike. It probably looked a bit funny to pair a Ksyrium ES (front) with an SL (rear) but it enabled me to stick to the plan of warming up on my way to the race. Speaking of which, my warm-up turned into a mini race of sorts the last 10 minutes thanks to a few wrong turns on the way which saw me roll into the parking lot of the Porcupine Grill not more than 2 minutes before the start.

I'd been advised to stay out of the red on the steeper sections and hammer the flats. It seemed that I was passed by the entire group as we approached Storm Mountain but I resisted the urge to go full gas and kept the pace sustainable. As we finished the steep climb I upshifted two cogs and quickly passed 10-12 racers who gone too hard and blown. I repeated this process for the remainder of the race, passing more people each time the grade eased up. Traffic was pretty crazy as I approached Solitude and for a while it felt like I was riding through the caravan of support vehicles at the Tour. Thankfully the motorists were patient and didn't give me any trouble. In fact, a few of the cars were carrying mountain bikes and the drivers shouted "Go Revolution!" as I was wearing my team kit. That was cool and much appreciated. At the time I probably would have gladly traded them places as riding the Wasatch Crest seemed a better and more enjoyable way to spend a Saturday morning than racing to Brighton!

On a totally different subject, I added a DVR to my Comcast package on Friday and LOVE it. I can now watch 3 hours of Tour de France coverage in a little over 1 hour thanks to the ability to fast forward through commercials and dull commentary/racing.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Standing Around All Day is Hard Work

I spent the day up Millcreek Canyon at the Jurassic Adventure Cub Scout Camp with Alder and 7 other boys from the neighborhood. My job as "leader" (a responsibility I shared with the Wolf Den Leader who was also in attendance) consisted mainly of standing/sitting around while the boys moved from station to station. Occasionally I was called upon to maintain order, direct traffic (of the human variety) or supervise the rope ladder on the obstacle course. Luckily there was plenty of shade, though it did feel like I was racing at times due to all of the dust. Kids just don't pick up their feet when they walk! However, it was a fun experience and I was glad to be in a position where I could volunteer my time.

Upon returning home I quickly changed clothes and headed out for a road ride. Surprisingly (or not) my legs felt like crap. I guess standing around all day really takes a lot out of you when you're accustomed to spending your days in an air conditioned office sitting on a padded chair. Needless to say my ride quickly turned into active recovery. Hopefully I can get some punch back before Saturday's hill climb!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Clark's Time Trial

Ouch! After my disappointing performance last night I went to bed early and woke up at 5:30 this morning. Since I hadn't really raced, I figured the training plan had room for a hard effort. I thought about riding to work via Big Cottonwood as preparation for Saturday's hill climb, but decided instead to ride from the house to Clark's for another crack at the tt. While I didn't have great legs, I also wasn't feeling bad, and managed to shave 38 seconds off my time to finish with 13:30 at an average heart rate of 183. It felt good to push hard, though I was disappointed not to crack 13 minutes. I think it's time to stop avoiding the inevitable and give it a go on the single speed next time!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Highs and Lows

Last Tuesday I felt great, completing one of my best races so far on the dirt. Today, I didn't feel so good but resolved to have a good start since my family was spectating. I punched it in the big ring and soon found myself at the front. Unfortunately my time at the front was short lived as about half of the group had passed me by the time we reached the top of the pavement. I dropped into the zig zags behind Andy and resolved to hold his wheel as long as possible once the climbing began. I did ok, hanging on up the first section. It was super dusty and slick which made me a bit nervous, but I stayed with him. Across the ski run we hit a rocky section just before entering the trees again. It was here that my race fell apart. I took a horrible line through the rocks, stalled, tried to unclip with no success and then fell over, landing right in the middle of the trail. I got up as quickly as I could and moved off the trail but the 6-8 guys and 1 gal (sorry Lyna!) behind me had to stop and wait for me to get out of their way. Feeling stupid, I started riding again once they had passed but my head just wasn't in it. I was riding really tentative, freaking out about the dust and rocks. I pulled over again and let a bunch more guys go by. After going from Andy's wheel to the back of the group in the space of 1 minute I lost all motivation and flipped around, riding back to the start/finish.

At that point things went from bad to worse as I had to face my family. The kids just couldn't understand why I had quit and to be honest I really didn't know what had happened either, so answering their questions wasn't easy. I went back up and yelled at Bob, Andy and Warren as they came through and then packed up and headed home. I'm still not sure why I felt so off tonight. Hopefully the feeling goes away quickly as I'll be racing the Big Cottonwood Hill Climb on Saturday!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Izze Pop

I bought 2 boxes (24 bottles) of this stuff for our family bbq on Saturday and it received rave reviews. At $12.50/box it's a little expensive, but compared to normal soda Izze is a clear winner. Give it a try.

Friday, July 4, 2008

My First Endo

Today was historic, and not just because we as citizens of the United States celebrated our country's independence. For me, personally, today goes down in the record books as the day I experienced my first endo (short for "end-over-end") riding a mountain bike.

The event took place in Park City, as my brother and I descended Holley's trail to The Canyons Resort. We were nearing the end of our ride, having started at Park City Mountain Resort where we climbed Spiro to Mid-Mountain. I was in the lead and everything was flowing nicely until the trail crossed a ski run. The fact that we were cutting across a run was nothing new; we'd done the same thing before on Spiro. What made this particular section of trail different was the small stream of water that ran down the middle of the grassy run, turning the trail, and the surrounding area, to mud. Until that moment the trail had been dry, quite dusty even, so the thought never entered my mind that the mud might be soft. Or deep. I slowed, not wanting my tires to kick mud onto my bike, and started to roll through.

Unfortunately I only made it a foot or two before my front tire literally dropped out from underneath me, sinking up to the hub into the mud. While my bike's forward momentum was abrubtly halted, my body continued onward and my personal endo experience began. My back tire came up while I moved forward and I landed on my right side. When my brother arrived on the scene a few seconds later, he said that my rear wheel was still spinning as I lay on the ground.

Under normal cicumstances an endo might prove painful, but since I had fallen into a bog of mud my landing was quite gentle. In fact, the only damage was to my pride and personal cleanliness. My right arm was completely submerged, as was my right leg. Upon standing, my right shoe disappeared into the mud, instantly transforming the finish of my previously new pair of 2008 Specialized S-Works Mountain Shoes from silver & white to a glistening, rich brown. My right grip and brake/shift lever were also completely buried in the mud.

Looking back I wish we'd remembered to bring a camera as my brother was in a perfect position to take a picture. Those we took later, as I cleaned up with a hose a the house, just don't do the event justice. This was, in all seriousness, probably the dirtiest I've ever been in my life!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Solitude Full Throttle Series: Race #2

Yeah! I felt good last night and started strong, entering the 1-track climb with the front group of guys. Held it together until the first meadow where the trail narrows and zig-zags up a loose, rocky trench at which point I blew. Andy and Warren took the opportunity to pass and a couple of Canyon guys did the same after we re-entered the trees. I pulled it together by the time I reached the upper pavement and maintained my position on the downhill. On lap 2 I felt much better and passed a guy on the upper road only to have him catch me on the downhill and make the pass just before the finish. However, given that I was caught and passed by a bunch of guys on the dh last week I feel pretty good about only being caught by the one dude tonight. There's still a lot of room for improvement but with practice I should continue to get faster. Speaking of which, my time last night was 56 minutes. That's more than 5 minutes faster than last week! I ended up in 14th place again, though that was out of 24 starters last night vs. 20 the week before.

You can view results here.