Entries in MTB (65)
Holy crappola. 1st one of the season in the books. Going into this with base and only a bit of high threshold training was absolutely painful...but a good and old friend kind of pain. It was a mid pack finish kind of night but I will take that any day given the beasts out there last night in the midst in the Open/A's.
The course was inexplicably fast, and super fun. Some whoops and doubles thrown in for good measure on various sides of the course that I tried to style each time....when my eyes weren't crossed. The 'kids' from the CU Cycling team did a SPECTACULAR job organizing, running, announcing and dialing in the course. The sponsors were outstanding as well. I think they need to do some primes next time! I'd be gunning for it and explode into violent fury....
Anyways, recovery spin today and more training to come when I can inject it into my life. T's helping me with that every day. I woke up this AM 4.5 pounds lighter than I was yesterday. HA! Looks like I DO need to be doing more high intensity stuff....
Photo credit to Kate Thayn
Well, looks like I am going to pin on my first....no make that my 5th number in 2008. I forgot that I was in Belgie in January.
Open/A's are at 7-ish. Za Plan has just started and I've got a collective of like 2hours of intervals in me. All base. June is my December. It's going to be awesome, sports fans. I know EXACTLY how I am going to feel:
- Gun will go off
- I will pin it and try to take hole shot
- Heart rate will jump to 183...maybe 184 if I am lucky
- I'll have no trouble with the heart/lungs. I'll keep that puppy pinned at 175 but....
- ...by 15 minutes in my legs will be so loaded It will be unlikely I can push out 250w
- I'm going to be smiling the whole time and show boating
- The race will end. The onslaught of 'cross gut' will happen as soon as I stop a few meters after the finish line and dredge up the beautiful memories of cross season. You KNOW what I'm talking about. That bowel turmoil after a 'cross race that you get even when you are in peak form that feels like you will smash your chamois with the brown stuff if you even slightly move your body a millimeter in the wrong way
Oh Lordy, Spring has exploded and is showing us the first signs of summer. You know when there are like your 'top 5' days of the year, weather wise? Well, this was probably No. 2....only it is a staged No. 2 as it could be a No. 1 if all other days of the year fail to live up to the expectation. Sick. No wind. Fluffy clouds and cobalt blue sky.
The day had to be celebrated. Picking up Amy last night from her trip she demanded it of me to get out today. She just wanted full uninterrupted time with the boys and just be silent in and around the house with thoughts of her week. All is moving on, slowly.
The WB, Batey, Wals, FRZ, J-Fry and I got it on. Super Walker ++. We pushed out 4.5 hours and 5K of climbing...the WB and Batey: 6 hours and 7,100 feet. Monsters. Or Bastages. I wish I could have continued on with them! We were boys and railed it all. FRZ, stitches and all, put on a down hill clinic on his sponsored Giant Trance...along with no handed wheelies. Sick.
Unbelievably deep breaths today in these living lungs. It was so easy spinning today as it was inspired. Flag was less problematic for me and rolling the singletrack was so fun. It was...inspired.
Look at the pics below. Look at the smiles, my friends. Life. These boys inspire me every day.
Ride. Breathe. Laugh. Progress. Talk. Laugh. Oh, and laugh.
It's upon us. Spring. Flora popping everywhere and temps that require no warmers of the leg and arm variety. I'll just state this for the record: We're past the snows at least at 5-7K feet. Yum. Should it snow, I'll buy you a beer. '
The proud papa clan, otherwise known as Team We Ride Alone dot Com, got our game on . Pete and Dave or the Webber 'varietals' and yours truly. All with kids and wives who need their time so we jumped through the window and got our fat tired grins on.
The three of us jammed up to Heil and proceeded to do the fun stuff. Tires too close to each other as we swooped and zoomed the single track. Pete showing us the sites, including his 'optional lines' as he built the trails with the IMBA and BMA crews. It's getting better and better every time. I am CRAVING the Picture Rock connector trail that will link Heil and Hall Ranch! This will be a 100% certifiable epic that will give me a 6 hour or so epic from my door. No cars. buff single track. The BMA trail crew has been out in force and en masse. You see, instead of hiding all the great singletrack, here you have a situation where great trail builders are advertising and getting great support through tons of volunteers. They're literally breaking rock and cutting sweet single track into the area in between Lyons and the Wild Turkey Trail off of the Heil network.
Anyways, Spring is here and my plan to spend more time in the dirt this year is paying off. The road bike has dust on it.
It hath begun. The whittle-down-rides are beginning and these are the rides designed to make a man feel like a chump until you start turning the corner and see your progress. Rides that break you into little pieces like the decomposing granite of the large mountains seen strewn around on these rides. But it's a total dichotomy:
On one hand you are suffering miserably. On the other hand you say to yourself (if you get a chance to remember to pull your head up from starting at your handlebars): Holy crap this is beautiful.
One such ride here in the Republic is Super Walker. OK, first a little background:
Most of the hill climbs here in Boulder have basically two finish points for people: One is mid way up the mountain....where 'mid way' is often what people THINK is the top. The other is the REAL summit of said ride. Anything that puts the rider on or over the real summit is designated as 'super'. Super James (Jamestown...continuing on past Jamestown and up the face well past the pavement ending), Super Flag (Flagstaff past the amphitheater to the mailboxes) and of course Super Walker (a Super Flag + the Walker Ranch loop(s) on your MTB.
So I railed Super Walker yesterday. I did it last weekend too but I wanted to dig deeper into Za Plan and start reversing the demons. I forgot what setting a tempo up Flag is like. Ridiculous. 7 minute or so delta from what I was railing last year (OK...I was on an MTB yesterday as well). If you do this ride, you'll hit 'the wall' near what you think is the top of Flag. When you have that little stream of vomit coming out of the side of your mouth, smile and think of me as I'll be laughing at you inside our head. It's awesome.
Anyways, back to the dichotomy: You're climbing this beast and the beauty is spectacular. Near the top, have a look see at Cathedral Park (and stop to have a look if you have the time). An entire set of 14'ers is your view and literally takes your breath away (OK, maybe the 7000+ feet does a little as well).
So, this is a typical training ride for us locals. No cars needed. I ride from my house which ended up being about 30 miles and 5K of climbing (different than what you will see in the map my ride link above). More of the same today to start loading it up. Yum. Or ouch. It's a dichotomy.
Rumormill Tuesday! Sponsored by FUD beer.
OK folks, some juicy ones today. It's amazing what you can glean when you go for a lunchtime ride up at Heil Ranch. It's also beautiful having Heil in your backyard to go for a ride a lunch. Lastly, it's even better when your bud calls you up and inspires you to peel away from the PC to go and exercize a bit. In this case, Pete and I got our groove on. Oh, and it's even BETTER when Pete built the trails with his own hands (and a super crew) up their at Heil and showed me all the little nuances of their work...and some secret stuff to boot.
OK, to the rumors. I am such a little beeatch....
Rumor 1: Valmont Bike Park is on the fast(er) track...
A little birdie today told me today that this project is SCREAMING along. The funding which is in the approved stage measures in the multiple millions. Monies have been approved for construction and sustaining the park for years. And there is nary a person in contention with the idea of leveraging the North side of Valmont Park for this dedicated multi-use purpose. Stay tuned for more details. People are PUMPED though to see this move forward. More approvals to move the project through....
Rumor 2: A well funded big fish with one gear is going to by a littler fish with lots of gears...and lots of suspension...
If you spot what I am saying here, then you will be a maverick of riddle solving.
It's beer:30. I'm late!
I don't know about you but THIS to me is major. Breakthrough major. I am stoked out of my MIND for Adam!
1 Julien Absalon (Fra) Orbea 1.58.42Frankly Geoff and Seamus comin in top 20 is solid as well. and FRISCHY! Yeah boy! Here's to the old men. The Olympics are certainly are a-callin'. Awesome to see these results.
2 Christoph Sauser (Swi) Specialized Factory Racing 0.51
3 Florian Vogel (Swi) Swisspower MTB Team 0.54
4 Nino Schurter (Swi) Swisspower MTB Team 1.06
5 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Orbea 1.53
6 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Full-Dynamix-IT 2.00
7 Burry Stander (RSA) GT Mongoose / Pacific Cycle 2.10
8 Adam Craig (USA) Giant Mountain Bike Team 2.22
9 Seamus McGrath (Can) 2.32
10 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) 2.40
11 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Cannondale-Vredestein 2.50
12 Cédric Ravanel (Fra) Team Lapierre International 2.55
13 Ivan Alvarez Gutierrez (Spa) Giant Italia Team 2.59
14 Kashi Leuchs (NZl) Cannondale-Vredestein 3.00
15 Inaki Lejarreta Errasti (Spa) Orbea 3.05
16 Martin Gujan (Swi) Athleticum-MTB-Team 3.22
17 Thomas Frischknecht (Swi) Swisspower MTB Team 3.26
18 Jürg Graf (Swi) Swisspower MTB Team 3.30
19 Geoff Kabush (Can) Team Maxxis 3.35
20 Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Dolphin-Trek Mountainbike Racing Team 3.36
21 Ruben Ruzafa Cueto (Spa) Orbea 3.38
22 Christoph Soukup (Aut) 4.24
23 Todd Wells (USA) GT Mongoose / Pacific Cycle 4.42
24 José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team 4.48
25 Carlos Coloma Nicolas (Spa) ECP-TAU Ceramica 5.00
Wednesday, April 30th, 7:30PM at the Boulder Theater
The film follows seven of the world’s top mountain bikers through the course of the seasons of one year. The film explores what it means to be a full time rider as told through the lives of downhill racers, slopestyle competitors, and big mountain freeriders.
Come kick off your season with your riding friends and the rest of the cycling community at the Boulder Theater.
Tickets available thru the Boulder Theater Box Office
Or contact Botsy Phillips with any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org or 720.629.5100
Proceeds to benefit the BMA Better Trails Fund and the Boulder DEVO / Tokyo Joe’s Junior Development Team
I didn't even know how to pronounce the town when I moved to CO some years ago. Fruita, Cahlaradee. Say it: Froo-tah. And it was, as legend already has it: epic. Our family and about 5 others packed up Griswald style and pointed our Family Trucksters towards this great town Thursday through Sunday. We set up camp and commenced some serious play.
First, some background: Fruita as you'll see on Google Maps is essentially as far west as you can get in Colorado before running into Utah. It's right near Grand Junction and on a couple of our MTB excursions were right at the border. The town of Fruita has...well not a helluva lot. It's got dinosaurs, shale oil deposits and mountain biking. And, oh, the mountain biking. I've been on epics before and this ranks at the top. The riding is very 'high desert' but is pure single track. What you trade for in deep-woods East Coast rooted single track, you make up for in other was like slick rock features, riding up through snake-like riverbeds (e.g. imagine a star wars like 'tunnel' of twisty/rhythm singletrack with walls on either side of you and you're railing this thing at mach speed). So, the terrain is very Colorado/high desert, but not all open and exposed slick rock riding in barren desert. It is single track amongst tons of greenery, over rock features with vistas like you see above.
Before I left, a team mate of mine, AC"2", sent me a the most beautiful and thoughtful note on Fruita about its riding, the beers...you name it. Written as a local due to the fact he was one. While I am an advocate of trail preservation as an IMBA and BMA member, AC had a very particular and personal way of putting it. And I quote...
So Fruita virgin,
First of all you are gonna love the one track man!!! Can't wait to hear what you think after all the hype and shit over the last decade.
I am envious of your "first time". Remember one thing though, it is bad ass cuz its narrow!!! Keep it narrow!!! All the trails in the valley were 18 inches wide for a long time until the onslaught of front rangers and the like in the last half dozen years. One simple rule... Your tires should NEVER leave the trail. Not to pass oncoming traffic, not to "go look over there", not to pull up beside your homey and chat about how this is better than workin', nor to avoid that cow pie.
The Desert doesn't heal, one tire track in the harmless looking grass or "bare dirt" will be there for years, and if it doesn't attract more tires it will surely act as a water channel and really eff up things after a while. If you do "miss your line", and we all have, take the time to stop, lift your bike back to the trail and kick dirt over the tire track, thank the desert for its mercy and giv'er.
I tell you all this, now, at you most vulnerable time, as a virgin, and out of respect that I believe you have the wholesomeness as a bike rider to appreciate it. Preserve this for your kids!
Perfectly said AC. And it was as pristine as he describes. The singletrack is PERFECTLY carved into the terrain. Each side bordered with this micro-biotic plant life. Think lichen but softer and greener and leafier. The trails were clearly designed by someone who has a vision of literally making someone smile for hours. The trails rhythm perfectly and leverage the terrain to keep you sailing and railing. If I were to explain them very generally (e.g. across many of the rides we did), I'd say that they were like a flat land dual-slalom course with high banked berms that come in succession one after the other after the other after the other so in some sections your momentum and skill at rhythming without pedaling will keep you flying. There are PLENTY of climbing sections if you link up the appropriate trails which we did along with natural stair cases going up and of course down...all formed from layers of rock. Some were so beautiful I actually said "Is this legal stuff we're on????".
I asked about some of the history when I met locals and all roads seemed to come back to Troy Rarick. This is the apparent Godfather of MTB-ing in Fruita and founder of Over The Edge Sports. While I am not here to spark a debate, on many occasions of the conversations I had, Troy was described as the guy who essentially 'saved' the town of Fruita. In other words, pivoting the town's economy from nothing to a true destination spot for mountain bikers...and with them, an injection of cash for the economy. It was he and others who worked hard to create the trail networks and work with BLM et al to make the trails what they are. I went into the shop to see if I could talk with him but he was at Sea Otter this weekend. Bummer. There is however an interesting interview Troy gave on Fruita and its 13th Annual Fat Tire festival in the latest 5280 Magazine (cover above) if you can source it.
To the riding specifics....
There was a GREAT crew for the weekend! It ranged from Rocky Mounter team mates Rich Z and John G and their posse of friends like Li'l Dave, 'Precise' Andy, Rally Sport Paul to our mutual family friend, supreme fast man and former GT rider Antonio G. In addition, ALL our wives and kids were there and had this huge, fun communal atmosphere. We did 3 epics....with the last day being the mother-load.
Day 1 we did at dusk which was beautiful. We railed for ~ 2 hours parts of the Kokopeli system...e.g. Horse Thief, Prime Cut among others before it got too dark and we needed to get back to the families.
Day 2 was a semi-epic wherein we did the "18 Road" network including Joe's Ridge which we did parts of in reverse...e.g. I climbed and cleared the 31% climb you see to the right. Ha! The Ahrens 29'er was SICK on the steep climbs! Don't worry, we railed it all in reverse to get in the spine-like descents at speed. Unbelievable. My day ended prematurely (although at the very end which was cool) with my Mavic Cross Max 29'er front wheel essentially coming 'undone'. I couldn't believe it! I have the 26'er version on my 1 x 1 and have NEVER taken a trui9ng wrench to them in 100's of miles. On less than 300 miles the front whee; undid itself. The front effectively came un-tensioned and spokes popped out of their hub housings. I was able to get it dialed in though at Over The Edge in Fruita.
Day 3. Boing! Epic. we went back and railed a fairly monster section of the Kokopeli system at fairly insane speeds. We did Mary's amongst a variety of other trails. This should be on EVERYONES must-do-before-I-die list of trails.
Each day, all the wives would do their own daily epics as well, covering much of the same ground the guys did. A whole crew of the ladies would gear up and take off while the guys watched the kids, then we'd switch off when they came back.
As you can see above, the trails literally circumnavigate the whole rim of the mountainside and give you insane views of the Colorado River. The terrain is mostly single track, extremely technical rock sections and short link-up sections of fire road. We did one section, Troy Built, which was ridiculously fun. It was a complicated set of 'problems' that had you thinking and thinking...if you are drilling it at speed like we were. It traversed through this whole bizarre volcanic rock section then sent you up, climbing single track to you gain altitude to come back down a bomber decent.
Best of all was the 'scene'. 5 or so families all camped out in tents and pop-ups around a communal cul de sac with no less than 15 kids ripping around on their bikes, unicycles, Razors in addition to fishing at this huge lake and eating 'smores until they were all collectively psychotic from the sugar rush. Nothing better on earth than seeing the kids in that much bliss.
So kids, the Fruita trip will become an annual. I do not feel like I 'completed' enough and am craving to get back. So go and have an epic time but heed AC's advice above and keep those fat tires center lined with the singletrack!
Some digital celluloid....
Dr. Dave: Muscle Whisperer. Things are radically progressing with each visit. As Dr. Dave works on opening up muscles via the nervous connections which provide messages to them....and return messages from them providing key feedback to the brian on how they are performing. I see and feel more and more results. I actually WALK different now! Crazy CRAZY.
I am not "training" but staying fit and riding most lunchtimes until I start burying myself in a month's time. So I did a Lunchtime ride up Betasso. The beginning of Betasso, called the 'Link Trail' launches straight up from Canyon up this 20% dodgy, technical, rock strewn path for I would say roughly 700 meters or so straight up. It's a slog for sure. With a couple of visits from Dr. Dave in me, I launched up this thing and felt so precise and balanced....with no leg pain to speak of and with a lot more continuous power. Absolutely crazy. Smiles abound. The section was cleaned and I kept tempo throughout the ride feeling great throughout. More work to do for sure. The soreness after the visits is there...good sore, not pain, but enough to show me that there is real stuff going on.
So why do I write this and the prior posts? Listen to yourself! In my case, I listened to my wife...but I digress. If something's going on, don't wait. Go work on the problem.
Disregard this post if you are racing me this season.