Monday, November 12, 2007

Is it winter where you live...?

Winter is here in Arcata, and the training has begun. The miles are starting to add up and and so are the layers of clothing. The first few rides this week weren't too bad, actually really nice for Arcata. Today was the first test!
The morning was fairly calm, a few sprinkles and a breeze. But we all know I’m not a morning person anymore, or was I ever for that matter. So right after the noon siren sounded in downtown Arcata the rain started to fall, and I was on my bike within ten minutes soaked through before I hit the end of my street.

The stats for the day:
3.5 hours
5500’ of climbing
1.5” to 2” of rain
30 - 50mph winds
a warm 55 degrees
And a big ass puddles of water on the floor where I left my bike, changed my clothes and left my shoes.

Not a good day for pictures, but I’ll get some soon. The winter is great around here!!!

Monday, November 05, 2007

The 2007 season is over.

The end of the season has finally come, now I have time to do some big rides again!!! I am really looking forward to the winter epic rides in Humboldt county.

2007 had it highs and lows for sure, everything from winning some big races to the crash that left me with a broken collar bone. The start of the year was amazing with one fairly easy win at SSAZ, this was one of the best mountain bike courses that I have ever ridden. Everything from long hard climbs to the steepest and most technical riding I have ever done. After SSAZ was the 24 in the Old Pueblo, doing some hot laps with a few friends. And then there was the Vision Quest for win # 2, If you haven’t done this one yet be ready to sign up for 2009 as 2008 is already full!

Then the problems started some lower back pain, and a few weeks off before Sea Otter. I had an OK Sea Otter race in the fact that I could hardly walk the day before.

After the Otter is when the real adventure began, Mr singlespeed(he just hasn’t figured out how to shift yet), Dejay Birtch and I headed to TN do couple races that were more my style….LONG. Cohutta 100 and the Dirt, Sweat and Gears 12 hour. Before we left I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to ride with my back, and I ended up winning both races. Go figure.

Now to make a long story a little shorter, Broken collar bone….2 months off the bike...Had a baby(Kristina actually) more month off...12 hours of Humboldt and bigfoot classic XC both 1st place singlespeed…one month of burned out riding…. CA state finals 2nd place Pro Singlespeed… now Trail Work…. Riding starts Tomorrow!!!

So thanks to all that helped me out this year, I couldn’t have done it with out you! Team ShoAir (Scott Tedro), Revolution Bicycle and Repair (Justin Brown and the gang), DT Swiss (Paul), Ergon, Cytomax, Oakley. You all Rock!!!

!#$%^^%$#%^&^ Official Release %&^%$#$%^&^%$#@

There will be two races that I will be putting on next year, Both semi pirate, I may ask for a small donation and will provide beer.

The first one will be toward the end of March, the second will be September or October.

I have the course designed but it will be a secret for a while!!! Stay tuned for more info.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Back on the saddle sore again.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three months since I have ridden on the dirt or for that matter the singlespeed. Normally I am one to ease into things, but not this time. I had been riding not too regularly since the crash, letting all parts of my body heal and spending time with Kristina, Ian and all the family that has been visiting. I had five days of “slowing” with no family and friends; and a chance to get a couple of 3.5 hour rides. So I think my biggest week has been about 8-10 hours. So to completely shock my legs I thought I would do the 12 hours of Humboldt, 8 miles per lap with about 1400’ of climbing…on the singlespeed.

As it turned out my legs felt pretty good they had the strength to climb the steep hills with a 32x22 gear ratio, which was about perfect, I was only spun out on about 400 yards of the whole course. I knew I had an advantage over some the other singlespeeders on the first climb when I heard what gear they were riding, so I changed my plan and backed off and rode at a comfortable pace for a few laps. I knew their legs would be under a lot of stress and they would most likely “pop” or be walking a lot. However my upper body was not feeling as good as my legs and started cramping on lap four. The plan worked though, after lap six I was increasing my lead by about 8 minutes a lap and by the time I finished lap 10 I had lapped second place. After it was all said and done I completed 11 laps in less than 10 hours, and put almost 2 laps on second place. I have to say I was pretty shocked how well my legs felt.

I can’t wait to get back in shape!!! And get rid of these saddle sores…

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monday, July 30, 2007

More pictures

More pictures to come....

Sunday, July 29, 2007

My newest 29er

Here are a few pictures of the little guy born on the 29th of July, 2007. No name yet but soon...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Doping sucks, or is it a good thing…

Vino, Rasmussen, Floyd and who else? What a disgrace to road cycling… Why does it happen there and not in Mountain biking? will it change the sport? I think so. I finally think the money will start to disappear from the road racing. Less prize money, less sponsorship money and all around less attention. So, less pressure to perform for the money. Less doping.

Bad for road racing, good for mountain biking? Will the pendulum swing to the other side and give mountain biking the spotlight? I think it will but hopefully not to fast. The reason I enjoy mountain bike racing so much is the simple fact that is about riding and having fun. Most professional mountain bikers spend more on racing than they get back from it. We do it because we love it! Not for the money or the attention.

As much I as I would love to make the salary of a major league baseball player, I wouldn’t want what came with it. But I don’t think salary’s like baseball will ever happen in mountain biking, mostly because baseball is so much more fun to watch ; )
Lets keep mountain biking fun, but lets make it worth it so those who devote their life to it.

So, here are my 2 cents: Let them dope or suspend them for taking an aspirin, I don't really care…I’m going for a ride!!! See you on the trail (with my dignity).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Time for an update.

Hey y’all

The riding has begun again and I am starting to add on the miles.

But bigger than that (if you haven’t heard), Kristina and I are having a baby this week. Things are going great; Kristina is starting to get tired pretty easily but still won’t slow down. The family is starting to fill the house, my mom and Kristina mom and step dad are all here and the rest are waiting until the little poop machine shows up.

I never knew how much stuff it takes to have a baby. I think a bigger van might be in order ; ) But we are ready I already got “it” it’s first single speed. Pictures to come as soon as it can hold it’s head up (maybe sooner).
I thought a 29er would be too big, but it’s red like my Niner.

More updates to come…

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Time for a break…

Well I have missed a couple race reports in the last month, mostly because I have been dealing with a sore hip that I haven’t given the chance to heal. Well, I did a road criterium this last weekend and my hip felt pretty good. The first good glimpse I have had in a while, I was making the turn back into good form.

So my first criterium, I have stayed away from these as I thought they were dangerous. I started out well; I knew everyone in the field and had ridden with them on many occasions. It was a very tight turning course but the field was only about 17 people. The pace was good and pretty fast, but not too fast, I felt like I had a good chance to win. The sprint was really for the last corner as the last stretch was very short. I made my move out of the second to last corner I pulled to the front and began to set my line for the last turn when someone came up on my outside and hit my left side and sent me flying.

Before I knew it I was sliding upside down on my helmet watching Mike Simpson slide down the road on top of my bike (this was good for Mike, bad for my bike), I’m glad Mike was OK! Before that I had hit the ground going about 32 mph landing on my left shoulder blade. Then from the head to my hands, hip and feet. After I stopped there was a crowd, lots of good friends and d a few people that just don’t get it… I got to ride in an ambulance for the first time, backboard and all, with my forehead taped down. So all in all it went from a $20 race with the possibility to win $250 to this laundry list….

Body damage:
Broken collarbone
Road rash on my shoulder, elbow, and from my hip to my knee.
Bike damage:
Broke Sram force crank in half, bent BB shell (only had 5 rides on them).
Cracked my frame.
Badly bent Mavic ES front wheel.
Destroyed front tire.
Bent front brake caliper.
Broke both shift levers.
Ground away both quick releases, seat, handlebar, bar tape and left pedal.
Destroyed my helmet and shoes.
I guess I was right, crits are dangerous…
So from now on NO more racing on the road!!! But I’ll still train there.

Thanks to: Justin of Revolution bicycle, Tom and Anthony for coming to the hospital with me. All of you that have called to share a kind word. All the support has been wonderful.

Pictures are comming soon...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Dirt Sweat and Gears
If you only do one race, do this one next year.

I have to say this was the best race I have ever attended. The only bad thing I can say about it…I have to wait 354 more days to do it again. My hat is off to Clay Higgins and all his wonderful crew, friends and family, you are amazing.

Not only was this event great or the participants with all the great swag, perfect timing, as many top endurance racers as you will see at any race, a great award ceremony and party after the race. It was also a great event for the spectators; it was very to see the racers at many points on each lap with little effort. There were also Trials stunt shows, live music, kids races, great food and the party after the race ; )

A huge complaint most racers have these days, or at least the ones I talk to, is courses are becoming way to easy. Courses are created in places that are spectator (and roadie) friendly. Little or no single track and nothing technical, courses that you can run slicks. This was a true mountain bike course, tough climbs (911 hill… to name one) lots of single track and cool features like some small “North Shore” style bridges. What makes this race absolutely perfect, is the combination of an incredibly fun and challenging course, and as I mentioned a great race for spectators/media to watch. This was a true national/world quality event!

See you all there next year!!!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

If you have been looking for me I’m back….
It’s been almost two months since my last post; boy did it go by quickly. Here is a quick update on what has happened.

Injuries: Three weeks off the bike due to Siatic nerve issues. I wish doctors were as god like as they thought they were! “ Take these Vicodin and rest, if you’re not better in 4-6 weeks we will try something else” that’s what the doc said. No luck it just got worse. After doing a little research I found that exercise helps. (See Sea Otter Classic below) Oh yeah, a little help for the rest of you…If you ever take as much viacidin as I did, take a laxative as well ; )

New toys: For those of you that know me I have been traveling around in a VW Golf (powered by Biodiesel) for that last many years. Unloading it is like the cargo van the clowns use when they are traveling 20 to a car. So, I finally decided to get something a little bigger, A Sprinter, it needs some customization but it is a great rig, so roomy and great biodiesel mileage (about 25mpg doing 80) as well.

Racing: Wow!!! I have shocked myself and a few others…
Sea Otter Classic, As I mentioned before I was off the bike so long that I wasn’t sure if I could even finish one lap at Sea Otter. I planned to get there early to preride to see how my back would do…. I picked Dejay up in San Jose on Thursday, and planned to pre ride on Friday. If you know Dejay (and I’m sure you do…) he know everyone, before our preride we took a quick lap through the expo, 6 hours later it was dark and we had not seen the dirt. Plan # 2 early Saturday morning, get up ride then relax. Is 10:30 early, it is for us… We got up, got ready got on our bikes and made it about a mile before the clouds opened up and let loose an inch or two of rain in about 2 hours. I guess I’ll see what my back can do during the race…Plan # 3, 7:32 a.m. Sunday morning, start the race, and try to finish. I took the first lap easy, my back was pretty stiff, but by the time I got to the track my body was ready, I decided to go for it on the second lap. I passed about 7 singles and about 200 others, ending with a faster second lap and a time of about 3:02, about 10 min behind Travis Brown. My confidence was back, and I was ready to go to Tennessee for the Cohutta 100 and the Dirt sweat and Gears 12 hour.

Cohutta 100, this was a cool race…on the starting line with the big boys. Chris Eatough, Tinker Juarez, Mark Hendershot, Harlan Price, Ernesto Marenchin and many more top riders. It was a long race and Sea Otter was the longest ride I had done in a month. Plan # 247, Start easy and finish…strong. It started with some fun single track that made it hard to pass for the first hour, but it was perfect, I got a great warm up. I hit the first double track and started to move… Not knowing it, but I had passed the singlespeeder in the lead. I keep a strong pace and rode like I was in second place until the last aid station and they informed me I was in the lead, I had to finish hard. No problem, I finished first in the single speed category 18 min ahead of second place. And 23 overall with a time of 7:47.24.

Cohutta 100

Dirt Sweat and Gears 12 hour, what a great event (more to come on the event itself).

8:00a.m. To 8:00 p.m. Plan # 1, Let everyone go out too hard and POP!!! I had three Singles in front of me for the first three laps, Jake Kirkpatrick, Dejay Birtch and Lee Unwin. I don’t think they ever got more than 5 minutes ahead of me but when I passed them they seemed to be going backwards. Five laps into the race I hadn’t eaten enough and was starting to slow, and Dejay had a very good lap, my lead went from 15 min to about 5, I got a little scared. Not far into the 6th lap Pua caught me and I decided to try and stay with here for a while. After a lap I had my legs back and was on the move again. 11:47.03 later I was finished with 11 laps, 1 more than Dejay Birtch (2nd place Pro single speed), and 7th place solo overall.

Coming soon…
New sponsors
Up coming races
What I liked a bout the Dirt Sweat and Gears 12 hour race!!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Warriors Society’s Vision Quest
56.5 miles and 11,000’ of climbing, why is it that I keep coming back to this event every year? It’s a simple answer…I’m crazy!!! At least I used a suspension fork this year.

5:30 a.m. darkness still flooding Black star Canyon, some had lights some rode by brail. Cameron (the overall winner) had a light and used it to establish an early lead and spread the group of 300 or so out like a line of ants. I was dreading the early start, mostly because I don’t like to get out of bead before 8:00, but it ended up being pretty awesome sight. After fifteen minutes you could look down the switchbacks and watch the line of lights snaking up the canyon. It’s not too often to see a group that big on a night ride.
So, this is what the race works out to be…
An hour and a half of climbing, a ten-minute technical descent.
An hour and forty min climb, a 30-minute descent.
An hour and a half climb (including a 30minute hike), a 30-minute descent to the finish.

This was my first big test of the year and it went pretty well. I lead the single speed category for almost the whole race. Mike Kent (this guy can go fast!!!) passed me on the Holy Jim trail and had the lead for about 15 minutes. This is when I was truly tested; I had started cramping about five minutes earlier and didn’t have the agility to flow smoothly and almost gave up and let him go. I wanted the win and couldn’t give up; there was a long way to go. I found a groove and made it to the bottom where I found Mike fixing a flat tire. Just the break I needed!!! I went as hard as I could without cramping, only for Mike to catch me at the base of the hike-a-bike section. I knew if I beat him to the top of the last descent I could beat him to the finish. Everything I had went into that hike.

No sign of him at the top of the hike. I had a margarita (Clif shotbloks) and made my way across the Main Divide to the top of the Trabuco trail. 11,000 feet of climbing done, it was all down hill to the finish. And I was in the lead. Within a couple minutes Mike was on my wheel, but this time he as going to have to work if he wanted to pass me. He was on my wheel for a couple minutes, the he was gone another flat. I caught Brad and Todd (both race for Team Shoair as well) and they let me draft for a couple minutes, but I couldn’t keep the pace on a singlespeed.
I crossed the finish line in 5:56:35 more than 21 minutes faster than last year. First place single speed and sixth place overall.

The BIG wheel single speeds take first and second, it must be the hair!!!

Great job to everyone that competed this year!!!
As someone famous said:
”It hurts the same for everyone, some people just go faster”

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo

Finally a good time at the 24 hours in the Old Pueblo.
The two previous years for me were rough. Both solo attempts, neither lasting more than 11 hours. There was mud, crashes, broken bikes, rain, getting lost, and freezing temperatures…it was no fun.
This year was nothing like that; Dejay Birtch, Jake Kirkpatrick, Chris Latham and I decided not to solo, and to try a 4-man singlespeed team instead. It was the perfect year, good weather, a little windy but I like the wind (while I am racing). We had a goal to set a new course record, unfortunately, half way through the night we knew that wasn’t going to happen. We were having too many mechanical problems; flats, broken chains and a couple crashes. Also, the “Jack Mormon Militia” was there with the same goal and they weren’t having the problems that we were.
The mechanical problems were over by the middle of the night, and we had some catch up to do. We had found ourselves in 4th place about 35 minutes behind 1st. By 3:00a.m. We were back in second place getting closer to the “Militia” but they kept a gap of about 25 minutes all the way to the end.

In the end we finished pretty well, Dejay had the fasted night lap of all the singlespeeders, I was the third fastest person on the first lap (with a flat tire) and we were the third fastest team overall!
Four guys, four bikes, one gear, 25 hours, 345 miles! Priceless

For all you thinking about doing a 24-hour race, think about the 24 hours in the Old Pueblo!!! It is a fun course and is the best-run race that I have ever competed in. Thanks Todd and the Epic rides staff and volunteers.

I would love to write more but there is a new update on Fox news about Brittany leaving rehab… talk to ya later.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Race report: Single Speed Arizona 2007

The first race of the year… Is it a sign of what’s to come?
The first race of the season was this weekend in Tucson Arizona. It proved to be the most technically challenging trail that I have ever ridden. It started out with a nine mile fire road climb then on to a loop section about the same distance that included some of the hardest conditions that I have ridden in, rolling over large rocks into sand and back again. After finishing the loop you arrived back at the top of the long climb and the rest of the course included some fast flowing single track rolling through the hills and along the ridges and ended descending down the steepest rockiest trail that I have ever ridden/walked. I have never thrown myself off so many 2 foot drops in my life.

I was able to pre ride the first loop of the course on Thursday, and I new that the second half of the course would be extremely challenging and it would be where I would loose the most time. My plan was to hit the climb hard right of the line and create a gap big enough that I could keep the lead through the difficult section at the end of the course. In the first 200 yards I was in the lead and started to pull away from the group, then all the sudden a guy with tree trunks for leg blows past me. I was almost red lined so I let him go, but I knew I had to keep him close. Luckily for me, he popped and in just a couple minutes and I was back in the lead. The first twenty minute of climbing I had only established a 30 second lead, fortunately for me the climb leveled out to about 5% and I put the hammer down and put two more minutes on them by the top of the climb!

When I hit the top the promoter wanted me to stop so he could give me the KOM (King Of the Mountain) prize, he didn’t have it ready and I didn’t wait. I hit the first single track and really got in a fast groove and tried to keep my lead. I thought I would have an easier time with this section after pre riding, no such luck, I was pretty tired and had rough start when on the technical sections it seemed like every time I dropped of a rock into the sand I fell of the bike. I must have hit the ground a dozen times in a couple miles. I returned back to the trail after loosing taking the wrong line through a wash. I lost a few seconds and I new I could not afford to do that again, I needed to be on the ball and ride smooth and pick the good lines. With the rocks and sand behind me, I had a couple short tough climbs and I would be back at the top of the first climb. As I crested the “grinder” I had a good view behind me and there was nobody in sight. My plan was working!!!

I came around the last corner to the top of the climb and saw Dejay, the promoter, standing in the middle of the road pointing me in the right direction. When I got closer I realized he had something for me. The KOM prize, with a disclaimer… I must carry it all the way to the finish or I would be disqualified. “Sweet 50 bucks. Is it all quarters?” I said. Nope, it’s all nickels and dimes” Dejay says with a laugh as he stuffs the five and a half pound of change into my jersey pocket. I’m glad I didn’t wait for it the first time around.
On to new territory, the Arizona trail, brought some challenging single track climbs with stair steps and loose rock. I was feeling great I powered through everything and kept a good rhythm and I was starting to get confidant. What a false sense of security I had, after three or four miles I started to doubt whether I was going the right direction. I started riding slower, so if I were going the wrong direction I wouldn’t be too far off track. A few more miles and I had found a familiar spot that I had driven to before the race and I was reenergized, it was time to pick up the pace. Again feeling good I got in a grove and kept the pace fast, I new the turn to the last descent was in about four miles.

This part of the course had only been marked with cairns and at times was a little confusing; I got to a split in the road and had no idea where I needed to go. Thankfully there were two hikers approaching, I asked them if they knew the Milagrosa trail. “ Oh sure, it’s about 6 miles back the way you came from…” Oh crap I thought to myself, I am lost. I talked with them for a couple minutes and decided to turn back to see if I missed a turn, I got a few hundred yards and decided that I had been going the correct direction and turned around again. A few minutes later another hiker informed me that I was in fact going the correct way and I only had one kilometer to the next trial split.

Yes, the last trail junction and it was marked! I turned right and made it 100 yards and had to turn around, I was told to keep left. I went the other direction and made it 50 yards, "this doesn’t look right either". Back the other way again, this time I climbed about a mile, and I knew I was in the wrong place. I turned around one last time, retracing my tracks and took the trail to the left. A couple hundred yards later I crossed a creek and saw a fresh wet tire track coming out of the creek. Someone had passed me on the last descent.

I rode as fast as possible, the trail started getting difficult and I started going over the bars again. I regained my composure and found a groove after a couple minutes I saw the rider a half mile ahead of me. “I can catch him, no problem,” I thought to myself and it happened fast. With in a couple minutes I came around another corner and he was 50 yards away. And I instantly noticed he had gears. Sweet! He’s not even in the race. I passed him and he said that I was in the lead.

All I had to do now was survive the descent, which was no easy task! Drop after drop after drop it never ended, I have walked down stairs that weren’t so steep. I rode some, I walked some. 2000 feet in two miles, that’s a steep trail. I made it to the bottom with no problems and just 2 miles of pavement to the finish, with not a sole in sight except my geared friend, I set a good pace and cruised in for the win!!

Here is a closer look at the winners award and the KOM prize.

It was a fast race, The promoter expected the winners to finish in about four hours; With getting lost my finish time was 3 hours and 27 minutes. 12 minutes ahead of 2nd place, Jake Kirkpatrick. One race one win.
2007 starts off in good fashion!