it is time

April 3, 2013

I kind of feel like Rafiki.

It Is Time!

yup. all good.

yup. all good.

And while we’re here, I want to pose a question.

You know what a farmer blow is, right? Or a “snot rocket”? I’ve been known to blow a few of those in my time, especially while riding my bike. Cuz you know, when you’re climbing faster than you should, you need all your orifices for air.

So I don’t really care what we call that thing. What I’m asking is, what do you call it when you blow the blow? That is. you plug one nostril (for lack of a better word–maybe “blowhole?”), and you blow to enable breathing, and somehow the seal you created at the back of your throat (or the front, if you’re pressing your tongue to roof of mouth–this is not the preferred method) to direct all air out the blowhole, blows. You blow the blow.

And you make a sound kind of like Gollum makes. And if you’re lucky, you also feel like you’ve scraped some skin off the back of your throat.

Okay, all that. So, the question is, what do you call that?

moab reboot

November 12, 2012

Reboots are all the rage these days. And almost always for the better. We’ve got darker, moodier, bloodier Batman, Spiderman, Superman (due out soon), and even a James Bond with Oedipal issues who cries (CRIES!).

Let me go on record–I’m in favor of all of it. Stories are all about execution. There is no story that won’t be interesting or funny or intense or at least watchable in the right story telling hands. Execution is the thing, not the play.Which brings me to something I said about Diet Coke many years ago.

I don’t know what happened between 2002 and 2004 at the Coca Cola think tank, but apparently the right person died, because there’s no way the same dipweed who came up with the crap that is Diet Coke with Lemon and the mess that is Diet Vanilla Coke also invented the sublime flavor bouquet that is Diet Coke with Lime. Somebody in Georgia deserves a promotion. And a big hug. And a night with an expensive hooker. I could go on. I’m just really, really grateful.

Diet Coke with Lime–execution at its finest.

This last weekend we held Fall Moab 2013, and I’m here to tell you, Moab has been re-booted. Maybe I’m late to the party. But somehow I missed the reformation. Somehow Moab changed from Jeep road heaven to singletrack paradise.

Here’s what I think happened–I think somehow the demographics shifted, and the old miner segment with a locals only mentality is finally the minority, and someone had the bright idea that alienating tourists by sneering at them in the grocery store, running them off the road with pickup trucks, and marking remote yet popular trails just enough to get someone into the middle of nowhere but not back again isn’t the best route to economic sustainability.

Someone is embracing the new world.

Because instead of going to Moab and choosing between Slickrock, Porcupine Rim, Amasa Back, Poison Spider Mesa, and Gold Bar Rim (ALL trails that are either old motorcycle playgrounds or abandoned Jeep roads, except for the lower section of Porcupine), we got into town Friday morning, and spent 6 hours exploring all the new trails in the Klondike Bluffs area, which is no longer just a quick and dirty family ride to an overlook and some dinosaur tracks and an overlook of Arches, but instead sports miles and miles of beautifully constructed singletrack like EKG, UFO, Giant Steps, and more.

Saturday, instead of just doing our usual all day outing on Gold Bar Rim (which is awesome), we started at the top of the old Gemini Bridges road, took aim at the Magnificent Seven, and did an endless amount of wicked awesome singletrack descending to the bridges, past the bridges, and up and around Gold Bar, finishing with the old Portal Trail.

And Sunday, we sampled just a portion of the Bar M area, doing Deadman’s Ridge and Lazy EZ and more.

Wow. All I can say is Wow. THIS! I WANT THIS!

Thanks Moab person who decided to re-invent himself/herself. You have raised the bar. The ball is in St. George’s court.

Oh yeah. Fall Moab. Me, Elden, Bob, Paul, Cori, Kenny, Steve, and Kris. (No Brad. No Gary. No Ricky. No Sunderlage. No Sleepy. Booooooooooooooo.) We rode. We had fun. We had seasons in the sun (mostly–the storms kept brushing us without actually hitting us).

Some pics. Jus fer fun.

Yup, the human Wilhelm Scream was along for the ride.

That storm brushed us like 5 times. Never really got us.

The brats were fresh, and the bread warm. And I had heartburn for 3 days.

There was some disagreement over how close is too close

This sort of thing was just lying around, just waiting for us to ride on it. I love Moab.

The “messer” becomes the “messee!”

Back in the day (before the advent of his children), Bob jumped the gap between these two twins.

The sign says “Walk your bike.” Elden laughs in the face of danger.

Kris stares into the beast on the Portal

The Piece de Resistance

Just esplorin

And finally, here’s me riding a bit. I followed all the standard rules (hands on the bars, feet locked in the pedals), but did poke my heels out a bit to let the rock know I was there.

strava loves me not

September 24, 2012

I’ve said it before, I love and hate Strava, as I love and hate myself.

Today, we hates it. Good cloud cover, intermittent drizzle, so I went long (for me), and routed myself to get a couple good warm up climbs before I went for the Strava PR on Clarks for my big finish. I realize my Clarks PR will be minutes slower than some of your Clarks PRs. It’s not a contest.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Okay, it’s always a contest, but it’s not a contest I’m in any danger of winning. That’s why I pursue PRs instead of KOMs. I’m a realist.

So anyway. I hit the base of Clarks from the west, which gives me a nice launching pad, and I stay safely in the Serena zone for the first quarter mile. But the higher I got the more painful it got, and I passed right through the Serena zone, barely noticed the Monica Seles Zone, spent a few minutes in the Maria Sharapova zone, and did the last half mile squarely in the Azarenka zone. I think a badger tried to mate with my leg because of the sounds I was making, but I couldn’t see or feel anything, so it’s hard to say for sure.

I finally get to the garage, I save and upload my ride to Strava, and scroll frantically, looking desperately for the cute little PR symbol.

And Strava acts like I never rode Clarks. I mean, the route map clearly shows I rode Clarks, but Strava shows no Clarks segment.

The other day, I crashed for the second time trying to PR Upper Anne’s, losing my glasses, all the skin on my right knee, and wasting 20 minutes in the Sharapova zone. This is so much worse.

Kaaaaaaahhhhhhnnnnnnnnn!

oh no i didn’t

September 2, 2012

Let’s just get this out of the way right up front–I woke up at 5:30 in my brother’s Park City house to pouring rain, thunder, lightning. I went upstairs to look at the radar on the computer, and in addition to the giant thunderstorm over Park City, there was another Isaac-sized storm coming from the west.

So I went back to bed.

Did I mention I hate riding in the mud and rain? I hate riding in the mud and rain. I’m a fair weather racer. Well, I’m not really a racer at all, but I’m definitely a fair weather event rider.

But my day was not without misery. Because when I woke up later at about 9am, the sky was blue and the weather calm. And I hated myself. Despite a morning of pancakes, eggs, and watching the dogs frolic in the backyard, I was in the words of Kim and Holden, “pretty mopey.”

When we decided to head down to Davanzas for some lunch, I declared that before showing myself in public, I would have to remove the category number the P2P folks had sharpied onto my calf the night before. And Liz happily volunteered her Mr Clean Magic Eraser.

The first pass she took at my calf with the wet eraser felt pretty good, and got a good bit of Sharpie off my leg. She rinsed it out, and went in for another pass, which also felt fine and took off most of the number.

But a bit of sharpie remained. So Liz went in for round three, because she’s a perfectionist, and this time, well, I’m not gonna lie, I kinda felt like she had pushed a nail or five through the eraser, and was vigorously scrubbing it up and down my calf. There may have been some shouting and kicking.

Here’s what my calf looked like last night:

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

You know how in The Mission, Robert De Niro’s character feels bad for being a slave trader, and carries his sack of armor up the waterfall as penance?

I guess it’s like that. But really, I hate riding in the rain.

But just fer fun, here’s the leg today:

 

model toe

August 28, 2012

I need some redemption from some of the catastrophically bad nutritional decisions I made during the Ultimate Challenge ride (that’s right–I’m blaming my poor performance, not on any lack of fitness or toughness, but on bad nutritional decisions). The best way to get that redemption is to suffer through the Park City Point 2 Point race. Makes perfect sense.

So I picked up one of the many entries floating around available from people who entered way back in whatever early season month registration opened (and closed 7 minutes later), but who are too smart to actually DO the event.

Okay, I may not be thinking especially clearly here. I acknowledge this.

Anyway. Sunday, I was helping to set up a bunch of chairs, and I rolled a giant chair cart weighing about six thousand pounds up onto my right foot, most likely breaking my middle toe.

Can you tell which toe I’m worried about?

From the bottom:

That’s not magic marker.

You know the worst part? Not that this will feel especially uncomfortable this Saturday around mile 70 of 80 miles and 14,000 vertical feet of technical singletrack. (I did a Corner Canyon broken toe test ride yesterday, and while the toe did keep reminding me of its status, it never said “ride P2P and I’ll go gangrenous on you.” So I think I’m good.)

Nope. The worst part is that Eber’s wife, Cicely, looked at the pictures and said “He doesn’t have the prettiest toes to begin with.” Which is more than just mean, it’s so totally not true. I could be a toe model. Well, could have been.

more ohhhhhhh

June 30, 2012

I have three kids, and they couldn’t be more different and more similar at the same time.

Maybe I’m overstating just a bit.

But still. Maddy was always very cautious. Not a big fan of danger or exposure.

Holden falls kind of in between. He’ll try almost anything, but only when he’s sure it’s the right thing to do. He’ll drop cliffs Ian drops, after he sees Ian drop them.

But Ian has no real danger filter.

Today me n Holden n Ian headed out to corner canyon for some dirt, and after we dropped Ghost and mid Canyon, we were about to hit lower Rush, which Holden had ridden, but not Ian, and I said to Ian, “okay, there are lot of jumps on lower Rush that can catch you off guard. You’ll hit several in a row that are super smooth, and then suddenly you find yourself launched. So, ease into it. Be careful.” You know. Cuz we aren’t exactly BMX champions or anything.

So Ian just takes off, and while I hang back to make sure Holden is good, I lose Ian.

Until I come around a corner and run over his bike. But not him. Because he’s off the trail and down in a ditch.

(Of course, my first thought was, hey, wait down there while I get a better angle.)

It all worked out.

It just got me thinking. Thinking about Maddy. Then watching Holden and Ian as we were riding home. And thinking.

Ohhhhhh.

 

the weekend in movies

June 18, 2012

Okay, the title is a bit misleading. I mean, I did see Prometheus, which I loved despite its flaws, but by “weekend in movies” what I really mean is, I did some stuff over the weekend, and I filmed some of it, set it to music, and went ahead and Vimeo-ized it.

I’ll start with the second thing first. Got Ian, his old friend Kolby, and his new friends Megan and Rachel out on the boat Saturday afternoon. A good time was had by all, near as I can tell.

But before we hit the lake, I headed up AF with Eric Bright and Brandon Banks to hit some dirt, with the primary goal of finding our way over to the new-ish Mill Canyon stuff. I heard tell of a 32 switchback climb. Turns out, yes, yes there are 32 switchbacks.

I got a little self-indulgent while I was watching a rough cut (first cut), and I wanted a song on it, so I popped Pink Floyd’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond, and, well, I just couldn’t cut any more after that. Sometimes the best iTunes feature is “sort by song length.”

Anyway, here it is, featuring the mud/mill downhill, and the mill switchbacks. There are 32 switchbacks. I think I got em all, but I don’t feel like counting again. I had a hard enough time counting them the first time.

 

Over the last few years it’s been hard to get the core team together for anything, much less a lunch ride. Back in the day, I rarely rode with anybody but the core team. But life happens, and some have moved to Chicago (not Bob, who has not moved to Chicago (Brad did), but still owns the rights to “Chicaaaaaagoooooooo!”) and Seattle (where Bob actually moved to), and we work at different places (except me n Ricky now work together), and whatever, yada yada yada.

In a strange confluence of factors, we got a quorum of the core team together Wednesday for a Corner Canyon (a quorum = at least 2/3 of the core team) lunch ride. (From Draper pool, up full Ann’s, up and down Jacob’s, Ghost, across BST/Mike Weir, and back to pool).

Of course, in this new Strava-based world, riding “together” really means regrouping at junctions to apply CPR, oxygen, all that. Which is okay. We all ride alone between junctions and trailheads, really. Don’t we?

Also, I am sorely vexed. Notice in this video that I am about 2 seconds behind Cori on the Jacob’s downhill. Then go to the Strava feed and notice how Strava game him a podium time of 4:06 (second overall), and Ricky got a 4:30, good enough for 12th overall.

Strava gave me a 7:30. Watch it Strava–I’m going to burn the place down if this keeps up. A podium on the Jacob’s downhill is like my Swingline stapler.

Strava has drawn me here. I will never be rid of my need for it. I hate and love Strava, just as I hate and love myself.

Something like that.

[also, the song was made by my son ian. just him and fl studio. it's called strobe remix.]

Okay, I know it’s a little passé to talk about the Stravas. But if you’re like me, and you just got into Strava this season, then for good or ill, it is transforming the way you ride.

Actually, make that for good and ill. Maybe mostly ill.

Like today. Me n Ricky are sitting in staff meeting, trying to decide what time to meet at the Draper pool for some Corner Canyon. Meantime Kim pings me about something I need to do at home. So Ricky goes to the pool, I go home, and ride from Suncrest. He’s coming up Ann’s, I’m heading down Ann’s, and when we meet, we’ll turn around and head back up Ann’s and up to Jacobs.

Soon after I pass through the brand spanking newly opened tunnel at Potato Hill, I hear/see Ricky coming the other way. As he flies by me he says “turn around, ride fast, I’m on Strava-fire!”

In other words, “can’t talk now, if I slow down, my PR will be in jeopardy, and my Strava followers will think I’m slow.”

So I flipped around and chased him up Ann’s through the tunnel, and up to the Peak View trailhead, where we both promptly got off our bikes and laid down to die. But screw it, cuz we both got PRs on Ann’s, and Ricky got a podium on the Full Ann’s. And I don’t think we’d spoken to each other since he passed me going the other way.

And then we climbed Jacob’s and did a no-stop downhill of Jacob’s and Ghost, where I was hoping to beat my PRs on both, and maybe break into the top 20, which I haven’t been able to even sniff since one of my first few Strava attempts established my high mark for those runs that I keep missing by a minute, even though I simply could not go any faster with a motor and 10 inches of travel, a situation, by the way, which has caused a Matrix level of distrust for Strava that makes me think there’s an Oracle or Source somewhere at Strava headquarters that I need to hunt down and kill.

After we split up, I had one more Strava moment in me, so I passed the switchback from Canyon to Brock’s so I could get a running start at the Brock’s segment and go for another PR. As I lay dying (ha!) in the Peak View parking lot, at least two people came over to ask if I was okay.

Damn straight I was okay–I knocked 24 seconds off my old PR. I was so happy I could have died right there.

Until I got to my computer to see all my segments, and noticed that once again, Strava had foiled me on my Jacob’s and Ghost downhills.

KAAAHHHNNNNNN!

bonus footage

May 11, 2012

It’s Friday afternoon, and I have nothing to say.

So, here is a video I made of a ride me n a few of the local teenagers did this week.

Yup. I strava’d even this.

Also, we now celebrate May 11th as the official end of the Year of the Great Suck.

Yay.

casual friday

May 7, 2012

Every Friday morning a group of really casual friends gathers at the mouth of American Fork Canyon to head to the summit at a leisurely, chatty pace, followed by a snack at the top, and a safe, easy downhill where we stay together and help each out with tips and warnings.

Good times.

I did not win. (There are two races, one to the top, and one to the bottom.)  But I did capture the view of the race to the top from the (way) back. And I captured the view of the race to the bottom (ha) from (near) the front. I need to adjust the camera angle a bit, as I am often depressed on the climb, and stare at the pavement, which those two announcer guys from Europe keep telling us means a rider is totally cooked.

 

The big boss man lives in Park City, and loves him some Park City trails. He grew tired of me n Ricky always bragging about our awesome Corner Canyon trail network, and demanded we put up or shut up.

So we put up. And while there was some mud that day, and not everything was open, I think we sufficiently made our point.

I guess it’s more of a tour of El Jefe’s butt. But, you get the point.

We had a looooong day Saturday, and I didn’t get to enjoy the incredible weather, so Sunday, Ian and I decided to celebrate Easter by enjoying the the weather, the dirt, and life itself by enjoying a little Anne’s, Jacob’s, Ghost, Canyon, and some more Anne’s.

The good news? Ian rocks the bike. The bad news? If he’s going to keep rocking the bike, I’m going to have to get him his very own bike that fits.

 

Rick S. started the Wednesday morning Corner Canyon rides for the year, and just me n Ricky showed up (well, Rick S. too).

We met at the top of Coffee Grinder (behind the condos at the top of Suncrest), went down to the saddle, headed up to Jacobs, then hit Jacobs and strung it together down Ghost (the no-pause Jacobs/Ghost transition is totally the way to go), headed up Canyon to the Peak View TH, and then went down Rush, turned and went straight up Canyon, up Coffee Grinder, and then home. Yes, that was all one sentence. And it came to pass. Whew.

Anyway. The dirt was good today my friends. So, so good. It’s all open. It’s all good.

Also, this video is long, in order to accomodate the uncut shot of the Jacobs/Ghost downhill. Cuz I love the Jacobs/Ghost downhill about as much as any downhill in the world. Really.

But the point is, it’s long. I understand if it’s too long for you. Sometimes it’s all about me.

 

december st. george

January 8, 2012

Rick S. is my brother in law, and I don’t give him enough credit for being smart. He’s very smart. For example, during the Christmas break, he proposed that we take a trip to St. George to ride mountain bikes.

See how smart he is? We went, and it was good.

Here is the video to prove it.

But first, a word about energy drinks.

If an energy drink says “Drink one hour before exercising,” that, in my limited experience, doesn’t mean “one half hour before exercising.”

The video below shows limited footage from our first ride, which was Goulds, JEM, RIM. That’s because my 30 minute mistake resulted in having a stomach full of sharp knives for about 3 hours. The same 3 hours we were riding Goulds, JEM, RIM. So I rode alone a lot. Sleepy hung back with me a bit. Thanks Sleepy.

Anyway. Here is the feeelm:

helloween 2011

November 1, 2011

I have missed Rick‘s Helloween rides the last couple years, so maybe it’s ironic that with Rick traveling all week, and Kris stepping in and organizing the Halloween night ride in Corner Canyon, I was riding no matter what.

Times are such, that I really needed a ride.

Turnout was good:

I’m in the middle. And no, I am not a business man. I’m not Superman.

Does this help:

Anyway.

I think I’ll give up on the night videos. I mean, it’s a cool video, you should totally watch it. But night videos are hard.

Also, Tyler’s lights died a third of the way down Rush, so the rest of the descent, well, it’s Tyler ripping it up. Luckily, Tyler rips.

We went up Potato Hill, up Anne’s, over to and down Ghost (during which my camera stayed mysteriously off, don’t know why), up Canyon/Brock’s, and then the hard core guys went up to Jacob’s while the rest of us went down Rush, and out. And then to In n Out. Which was nice.

Afterward, Ryan tried to get some of us to go ride the north Suncrest road on his big boy big wheels. [See video in sidebar--prepare to be amazed]

Very tempting, but I told him my first time on the big boy big wheel wasn’t going to be at midnight, on the north side of Suncrest, in 30 plus degree weather.

Kris went though. Now I have regret. Kris out adventured me. I hate myself.

Dark have been my dreams of late.

But a night ride with Holden made it all better, at least for a while.

We were just hanging out, throwing the football, arguing about Shakespeare and Harry Potter with the Dames (not dames, and not royally recognized British women, but rather, just “the Dames). The usual.

And Holden said “Hey, I wanna go night riding.”

Well, I had some lights, on the charger, just waiting to be used. So why not? (Thanks Elden.)

This would be my first night ride video. Well, it’s my second attempt, the first one I chased Steve and Sally down Rush, but I had a helmet cam, with a bar light, and so I videoed a whole lot of darkness. This time I put the camera on the bar, and the light on the bar, and it worked better. Next time, I’ll add a helmet light.

Having 10 riders would be a nice addition too, but I’m starting with Holden. He’s my favorite night ride partner.

Columbus Day Special

October 12, 2011

Columbus Day is my new favorite holiday.

Brandon, who serendipitously works in the mortgage industry (it’s his fault), gets Columbus Day off. And a few years ago he began the tradition of heading to Moab to ride the Whole Enchilada on Columbus Day.

One long day, one long trail, home before bedtime. What’s not to love?

Last year I rode it on my Sabrosa. Wherein I discovered that the main difference for me in going downhill on a rigid single or a Trek Scratch with 1,000 inches of combined travel isn’t so much the speed, as the comfort.

Okay, maybe there’s a little speed difference too.

Orange is getting some shop love right now, so I began a new tradition. Once a year, on, say, Columbus Day, I shall rent a big, fat, squishy behemoth of a bike, and take it down the Whole Enchilada.

This year, due to snow levels, we didn’t get the Burro Pass or Hazard County sections. Turns out, you can have a whole lot of fun on the UPS and main Porcupine sections.

And with a free afternoon because of the truncated morning ride, we got to do some ‘splorin.

Welcome, Pipe Dream. With weary legs, riding it south from town was hard enough that Steve and I renamed it “Suck.” But once we turned around and rode Pipe Dream north, we changed our minds. They can now change the trail signs to “Doesn’t Suck.”

Jesse brought the family car:

You’re going to have to excuse me for letting the video run a little long. It’s hard to capture the full day, 3:45 am start, 3.5 hour drive, shuttle, Whole Enchilada, lunch, Pipe Dream, and ride home, all in one video.

Okay, it’s not that hard.

Little slice of heaven:

Might be the best burger I’ve ever had. Brandon enjoyed his, I think:

A good day. Thanks Brandon.

more offsites like this

October 4, 2011

Generally, a work offsite (or, a work ONSITE for that matter) is not top of my list of fun things to do.

But if they were all like this, I might be persuaded to change my mind.

I need to look up more. I mean, maybe we ALL need to look up more, but I literally need to look up more.

Because then I would have captured Burke’s unfortunate encounter with a root in even more fantastic glory.

But this’ll do.

proper incentive

October 3, 2011

I think I’ve figured out how to get Holden into mountain biking.

I think it’ll work.

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