Saturday, August 29, 2009

Park City Loop


Shadow Lake:

Wasatch Crest:



Kris and I started at Park City Mountain Resort and rode the loop clockwise: Crescent Mine Grade -> Apex -> Keystone -> Shadow Lake -> Wasatch Crest Connector -> Wasatch Crest -> Mill Creek Connector -> Mid-Mountain -> Spiro -> Silver Spur.

It took us 4.5 hours to complete the 32 miles. Notable events included:

· Broken spoke (rear wheel driveside) on my bike as we began the Wasatch Crest. Kris flatted at almost exactly the same time. We removed the spoke and Stans sealed the puncture after the tire was reinflated with a hand pump.

· Rode up on a lady who had just crashed lying in the trail. Her husband was there and after verifying that she was uninjured we moved on.

· Kris rode the spine for the first time (on his 29er hardtail). Awesome!

·Another broken spoke (again, rear wheel driveside) on my bike as we approached Red Pine Lodge on Mid-Mountain. We again removed the spoke and continued.

· My fuel for the ride consisted only of CarboRocket (10 scoops in my 100oz bladder) and a Mung Bean Cake. More on the latter in a future post.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Help a brother out and enter to win some cool stuff

Robbie Squire is one of the top U23 Mountain Bike racers in the United States who happens to call Utah home. He's a former Junior National Champion and finished 2nd in this years U23 national championship. Not only is he extremely fast on two wheels (he blitzed Millcreek in 39 minutes yesterday) but he's also a nice guy. So where am I going with this? Keep reading...

Thanks to his excellent results, USA Cycling has named Robbie to the U.S. National Team that will be competing at the upcoming Mountain Bike World Championships in Canberra, Australia the first week of September. USA Cycling doesn't cover travel expenses which - as you can imagine - makes it difficult for Robbie to attend.

Thankfully, the organizors of The Tour De Park City have generously donated some awesome swag for a raffle, the procedes of which will go towards helping Robbie get to Australia without racking up a ton of debt.

Reynolds Solitude Wheelset
Garmin 605
Rudy Project Helmet/glasses combo
3 energy packages including hammer heed, pro bars, sportslegs, and gels

Each ticket costs $5 and the raffle will be held in 2 weeks.

Click HERE to purchase raffle tickets.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Clarks TT: New PR

Daren invited me to join him for some threshold intervals he planned to do up Clarks this evening. I, on the other hand, was going to hit the climb at full gas. Also, while he continued to climb up the doubletrack towards Jacobs Ladder after finishing Clarks (to get in a full 15 minute effort), I rode circles at the top of Clarks trying not to lose what remained of my lunch.

I've been wanting to do another time trial for a while now, especially since it's been more than 3 months since my first (and only) attempt of the season way back on May 6th. That initial attempt also marked my first real ride in 2009 on the single speed and proved to be quite painful. However, I've done a fair amount of riding since then and was confident that I could beat my previous time of 14:04. The question I had to answer was how much quicker could I go now?

Well, this evening's two efforts hurt just as bad (if not worse) then those first attempts, but I'm happy to report that my suffering resulted in a much improved time. I completed the first attempt in 11:56 and the second in 12:19. For the first, I waited about 20 seconds after Daren started and never saw him the entire climb. I did, however, pass 6 riders and 2 hikers on my way up. At the time I thought dealing with all of the traffic would negatively impact my time, but looking back I think it actually worked to my advantage. Being forced to slow and wait for an opportunity to pass prevented me from going out too hard, allowing me to really punch it up the steeper sections over the latter part of the climb without blowing up.

For the second attempt I waited just a few seconds after Daren started to try and use him as a rabbit to chase. I managed to keep him in sight on the lower slopes and actually reduced the gap up the steep section leading up to the big left hand turn at the top of the gully. Unfortunately, at that point my legs were cooked and I started to fade fast until I completely exploded at the upper gate. Looking back I definitely went out too hard (that's what I get for trying to keep up with Daren) which hurt me when I got to the steeper part of the climb.

I'm excited to see how fast Daren can go at full intensity. My money's on a sub-11, especially if he throws down on his cross bike! Speaking of which, he's pretty excited to race cross this fall. In fact, listening to him talk about the different courses tonight actually made me think about giving it a go. I'd need to get a smaller rear cog (currently I'm running a 20 but for cx I'd probably want a 16, 17 or 18), but think I could probably get by on my single speed 29er. If the weather's good (and by good I mean no rain, snow and mud!) I may try a race or two.

I should also note that I couldn't have set a new PR without CarboRocket in my bottle (I don't think anything else would have stayed in my stomach after finishing the tt!) and Fly socks on my feet. Seriously, those two simple products give you wings. I'm pretty sure if I'd worn either my Masher or 29 & Single jersey I'd have gone even faster! As crazy as it sounds I think looking fast actually makes you ride fast(er).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Millcreek - Wasatch Crest - Dog Lake

Mark and I rode the same loop that Kris and I completed last Thursday: Drive to the top of Millcreek Canyon, ride up Big Water, Great Western and the Wasatch Crest trails to the base of the spine. Descend to Desolation Lake and continue down Mill D to the steep connector that climbs to Dog Lake. This climb is about half riding and half hiking (for me - I've heard that some guys can ride the entire thing). Once you reach Dog Lake and climb up to the Little and Big Water trail intersection it's all downhill back to the car. We chose to drop Little Water all the way down to the upper parking lot.

The trails are getting quite dusty and if we don't get rain soon I may start riding the road until we do. There were lots of people out riding, especially on the Mill D downhill (we even passed 3-4 riders climbing up - I need to try this loop in reverse next time). We encountered a group of 3 riders walking the steep, root & rock technical section and just rolled on by, picking a different line than I'm used to riding but making it down no problem all the same. Moments like that make me feel good - not because I think I'm an amazing rider (I'm far from that!) but rather because they indicate I'm making progress. I ride with so many guys whose technical riding skills far exceed my own, it's nice to know that I'm not as bad as I might think.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009