Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Resistance Training

I got up yesterday planning on an early ride since it would be the only time I could get out all day. As I was rolling out of the garage, the door opened and Aubrie came running out. Alas, I could either bag the ride or load her up, so in she went:

I call this resistance training not because of the extra 60 lbs that I'm pulling, but because Aubrie has a resistance to riding back there for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. And because she knows exactly where the 3 playgrounds are between our house and Vivian park:

And by the way, can anyone explain to me what why these instructions seem to be so difficult for so many people to understand?

Anyone who has been up to the Provo River Trail knows what I mean. I promised myself that this wouldn't turn into a rant. So I'll stop now.

I realize that so far this has been one of those family posts that nobody really wants to read. Except for maybe my Mom (Like Watcher, I also recently found out that my mom reads my blog. Hi mom!). I'm pretty sure that my brother would even skip this post. So for the few of you who are still reading, I have a little story for you. It goes a little something like this:

Speaking of bike trailers, one morning, back when I lived in my previous neighborhood, I loaded up Aubrie in the trailer and pulled her over to her pre-school. In my previous neighborhood, pulling a kid to school could get you labeled as "hip" and "environmentally friendly." In my current neighborhood, such an act might get you labeled as a "hippie", and an "environmental nut-job." But I digress...

After dropping her off, I started riding home with reckless abandon since the trailer was now empty. I rounded a right-hand turn, and it just so happens that without the added weight of a kid in the trailer, it becomes pretty unstable. The trailer flipped over onto its side, scraped on the ground for a while, and then flipped back over onto its two wheels when I straightened out.

When I looked back at the trailer to make sure I could keep riding, I noticed two ladies across the street who were out on their morning walk, and were spectators to the event. They both had horrified looks on their faces, and I realized that they clearly thought that there was a kid in the trailer (who rides around pulling a trailer without any kids in it, after all?).

I decided I'd better say something to them to put their minds at ease. So I hollered back:
Looks like she slept right through it!

I guess I'm lucky that bikes don't have license plates, because if they did, I think child services may have knocked on my door later that day.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Best Things About Late Summer

Perfect riding weather, ski season approaching, and...

Them there cantaloupes gave me quite the FO. And I may be a bit biased, but I don't that you can make salsa much better than when the tomatoes and jalapenos come straight out of the garden. Mmmm...

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Few of you who read this know that back in the day, I was quite the rock star. Shoot, I even married one of my groupies, so I must have been a rock star (although she may tell you a slightly different story - don't believe it though). Before I got more into mountain biking, I spent almost all of my free time playing the guitar. And it really started before that. I played the drums in bands through high school, and before that, I cut my teeth on the trumpet, piano, and even the accordion. Yeah, that's right; I used to play the accordion. So if you ever need to turn an otherwise boring party into a barn-burner, let me know. All it will take is 5 minutes on the accordion, and that place will be hopping.

After playing drums and guitar in a few punk rock bands through high school, I went to Utah State University and started playing guitar in a more mellow band called the "Blue Kilts." Don't ask. Anyway, we had a few member changes and finally settled in on a lineup that came together pretty well. We wrote a few original songs, and among them was one little ditty I wrote on the guitar that was pretty catchy. At least we thought so, anyway.

We messed around with it in our little practice space for a while, trying to figure out the best way to organize the song. Finally we gave this a try:

I started out by finger-picking the melody in a rather melodic sort of way, and then Steve came in on another acoustic guitar to add some harmonies. We built it up and improvised for 30 seconds or so, then we both stopped for a split second, and then we all came in together: Steve and I strumming the chords, Mike on the bass, along with Eric on the drums (we hadn't added our violin/fiddle player yet).

When it all came together, it sounded so harmonic, so loud, so in-tune, and so... perfect, that we all just stopped after 5 seconds, looked at each other with a dumbfounded look, and then started laughing. Things may have even escalated to the point that we were passing around a few high fives. It truly was an amazing and memorable moment. When we all finally calmed down, Mike uttered a line that will live on in infamy:

"Dude, I think I just had a Music Orgasm."

This was soon shortened to a "MO", the song was named MO, and lyrics were written around having a MO, culminating with a question for our loyal listeners (all 4 of them (1 more than my number of blog readers)): "where were you when you had your first MO?"

I can tell you the first MO I remember. I was probably around 12, sitting in my brother's bedroom in the basement listening to his new Master of Puppets tape for the first time with the stereo cranked to 11 (much louder than stereos that only go to 10). I think I must have started on side two, because I seem to remember listening to Orion and Damage Incorporated first. I flipped the tape over and "Battery" came on. I listened to the acoustic part at the beginning thinking "this is kind of cool." Then the song really took off with the distortion, base, drums, etc., and I'm pretty sure I fell out of my chair. That's right; my first MO was to a Metallica song. What can I say, I'm a product of my environment. Hey, it beats saying that my first MO was to Simon and Garfunkel.

Anyway, the usage of "MO" was quickly expanded. For example, FO (food) was soon added to our vernacular, along with many other variations. (By the way, if you want to have a total FO, go to Tiburon in Sandy and order either the Elk or the Filet. FO in every bite).

So how does all of this relate to "Shammy Time", you might be wondering? I'll tell you how. I was out on a ride the other day and had an experience that made me expand the usage of "MO" yet again:

STO (single track).

All it took was a short stretch of single track near the end of the Jacob's Ladder descent. Fast, smooth, with just enough slight twists and rollers to make you feel weightless, if only for a split second. I had butterflies in my stomach, a huge grin on my face, and the hair on my neck and arms started to stand up. All signs that I was having a STO.

I had yet another STO on Saturday. I had just ridden/raced 70+ miles of incredible Park City singletrack. I was a bit delusional, which only heightened the STO experience. I peeled off of the mid-mountain trail and onto Rob's to descend into the Canyons Resort. Rob's was simply perfect. A 1 mile stretch of 1 foot wide, tacky, fast, rolling, delectable singletrack. As I coasted down, I reflected on what I had just accomplished that day, and knew I was finally about to step off of my bike and collapse into the soft grass at the Canyons Resort in a state of total exhaustion. And I had a total STO, right there on Ray's...

...and then 5 minutes later I realized I still had one more climb to go. That last piece of gratuitous torture provided by the PCP2P race organizers.

So what are some of your most memorable STOs?

And do you have any MOs that are worth mentioning? (and don't be embarrassed to admit that it came to a Simon & G song).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PCP2P vid

Thanks to Kris for forwarding:

If you're wondering why my helmet is always crooked, it's because I have a crooked head. If you don't believe me, you can feel for yourself.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Park City Point 2 Point

I've read a bunch of race reports on the PCP2P and they all have a pretty similar storyline:

Fun time racing in a paceline around Round Valley
The rain and beautiful rainbow on Prospector
Feeling good through the first aid stations
Monumental bonk, usually somewhere near Shadow Lake
Recovery on Mid Mountain
One of the best and most difficult races around

That pretty much sums up my race as well. I went into the race hoping to finish in less than 9 hours, but honestly wouldn't have been surprised if it had been anywhere between 8 and 11. Being the first year, finishing times were an unknown, but there were a lot of people predicting Leadville-like finishing times.

The entire course was fantastic, and included just about every variety of singletrack you could imagine, from rolling desert, to smooth and fast, to power climbs, to technical climbs, to highly technical, twisty, rooty, rocky descents. It really had everything. Except for roads. Over the course of 76.88 miles (according to the Garmin), I would be surprised if there were more than 3 total miles of road (both dirt and pavement). Everything was amazing, buff singletrack.

Hardly anything came easy at the PCP2P. There were no extended flat sections where you could put your head down and hammer. Whether you were climbing or descending, it was balls-to-the-wall the entire time. The descent down TG2 and Johns trail were literally as hard as any of the climbing. But I'm glad that everyone one of those trails were included, as they all added to the remarkable race.In general, I think that my race went as good, if not better, than I could have expected. I forced myself to alternate between gels and blocks every 45 minutes, even though my stomach never felt hungry. I think this paid off in the end, because the last 15 miles went incredibly well. I drank 8 bottles of 3 different CarboRocket flavors, and they all tasted delicious and were easy on the stomach. I did have a meltdown from miles 45-60, where I just crawled around Shadow Lake and up Spiro, but I think that was due more to my lack of long rides rather than anything I did during the race.

The descents in this race were just amazing, and I felt like I just flew down them, including the ripping fast Keystone descent (riding it 13 times in last year's Perfect 10 helped), a 2500 foot riot from Shadow lake to PCMR, and the two descents into the Canyons. The Superfly beat me up a little, but it ran flawlessly (thanks Racer), and I think was a perfect bike for this race.

In the end, I rolled across the line in 8:43, which put me at 31st overall (including some duo teams) and 6th in my class. Full results here.

Lyna saw my dirty face at the finish line and couldn't help but snap a pic:

If any of you Leadvillites are wondering how the PCP2P compares, I found the comprisons to be pretty interesting. Most people that did both races finished the PCP2P a bit faster than Leadville. For instance, Alex Grant (the winner of the PCP2P) finished the P2P about 5 minutes faster his Leadville finish, yet thought that the P2P was more difficult due to the technical terrain, but others thought the opposite due to Leadville's higher elevation. Either way, they are both obviously very challenging races.

Finally, a huge thanks to the race organizers and volunteers. Being the first year, there was a lot of apprehension about the organization, but everything went perfectly. Adam, Jesse and I had coolers at each of the aid stations, but we could have easily gotten by with the neutral support. Volunteers seemed to be at nearly every major turn in the race, and the organizers must have emptied 20 cans of spray paint marking the course.

Hope to see you at next year's PCP2P!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Confidence Boost

Before big races like the Park City Point to Point, the nerves set in and self doubt starts to infiltrate my thoughts. Especially when I consider that I can count the number of 4+ hour days I've spent on the bike this year on one hand, and the number of 6+ hour days on 1 finger (RAWROD).

Then I stopped in at Racer's yesterday afternoon with my bike in tow. Most other shops would have told me to come back in a few days. Instead, Racer dropped what he was doing and spent a half hour or more fine-tuning my bike. I'm not sure what it is, but there is something about Racer working his magic on a bike that builds confidence. I had an easy 40 minute spin on the way into work today and my bike was running flawlessly again. I know it's just a well-running bike, but it spills over to my outlook on the rest of the race as well. Now I'm ready to go. And I think I have it in me to go fast.

Thanks again, Racer.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Humanity!!!!

I was in the middle of writing this post, when I saw this, and I thought Dug beat me to it. But since he was referring to something slightly different (and even more ridiculous), I figured I'd go ahead and post this anyway...

As some of you know, the Farmington community is up in arms over this "leftist, liberal political video" being shown to school kids without their parents permission:

I can see why people wouldn't want their kids to hear this "leftist, liberal" video. Because I'd hate for my kids to participate in liberal things like:

1) Ending hunger
2) Loving more
3) Volunteering
4) Being a great parent (I'm pretty sure this was a subliminal leftist message to convince elementary school boys to get their girlfriends pregnant. Damn liberals!)
5) Participating in service projects
6) Recycling (this one is big - I'm slightly worried that I'll get car-bombed each time I take my recycling can out to the curb in my slightly conservative neighborhood)

The humanity!

So tell me. I'm pretty sure that there is at least someone out there who reads this blog who can't possibly believe that anyone would show this to innocent children. What exactly are you afraid of? Are you afraid that your kid will come home and tell you that he wants to support the president? If so, would you have the same fear if a republican were in office? After reading about the public outcry over this, I thought back to when I was in elementary school, and I can vividly remember learning about President Reagan, and how great he was, how we should be patriotic by supporting the president, and watching some of his speahes. I mean, he was the president of our country, so why not? I don't remember any complaints back then. Seems like a double standard to me. If you are really that adamant that your kid hate Obama, I'm sure you have done a fine job instilling this hate by simply talking to your kids about it.

Are you afraid your kids will come home and ask "what is stem cell research?" Were you hoping that they'd never find out about it? I think you should try the same sheltering technique with sex. Let me know how that works out for you.

My 4 year old already calls it "a duece" (actually she calls it "number 3" now, which is another story), so I'm not too worried about that one either.

The only problem I have with this video is that nobody pledged to ride bikes more. It funny how everyone gets all excited about things that are easy to do, but really don't make much of a difference, like not using plastic bottles and bags (especially if you're recycling them after using them), but nobody is willing to do something that takes some effort and could make a big difference, like riding a bike instead of driving.

I'll admit that the whole "being a servant to my president" at the end is a bit weird, and I can even see how some may take it that wrong way, but I what I can't understand is why it's so important to limit my kid's exposure to democrats who support the president. If I did that, my kids wouldn't see their mom or their grandparents very much.

I guess I feel a bit like Dug today. But I have to remind myself that there are a lot of good people in this state (and even in Utah County) too. Really, there are a lot of them. Even some of the paranoid right-wing (and left-wing) nutjobs that I know.