Showing posts from February, 2012

2012 schedule confirmed

This time it is official. I've gotten the 2012 schedule updated on the schedule page. As I indicated prior, I'm moving on from the Xterra series. While I still plan on doing a few local Xterras, I will not be traveling across the country with the tribe. It's been a fun few years with lots of learning and growth as an athlete. I've also gotten to meet some really cool people and enjoyed the hospitality of the local communities. It's been a great was to get to know some new trails and some new areas of the country. I still love the swim bike run and the lifestyle of the Xterra Tribe, but it's time for something different. So it's only three Xterras this year, all points races and no championship events. Looking for the fun factor with those races, not the stress of travel and focus on performance.
   Xterra Curt Gowdy - June 24
   Xterra Lory - August 28
   Xterra Pueblo - September 9

More 24 hour races - working on improving my last six hours of racing. I…

Tucson Mountain Park on two wheels

Well, only a third of Tucson Mountain Park (TMP) - but the fun third. Camping at the Gilbert Ray campground inside the park is really convinent for riding since there are quite a few trails that start nearby or even inside the campground. Last year, we'd managed to get completly lost on some of the trails to the south east of the campground. This year, armed with a better map and some intel from the Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists website (, we knew where we were going and what trails we wanted to ride. We were hoping for about 4 hours total and knew there were plenty of trails avalible. It would just depend on how our legs felt.

First up on the agenda was Brown Mountain - a fairly short loop just to the west of the campground. But short does not always mean quick - this trail had a reputation for being fun and really challenging. We took the recommened counter clockwise route around the trail and I am happy we did. The first half of the trail meandered alo…

A not so sour Lemmon Drop

After a much needed rest day and a really easy ride around Fantasy Island with my mother, it was time to find some more fun singletrack. Nick and I met up with fellow Coloradoans Jamie and Sam B (Jamie had also raced at 24 HOP in the Woman's duo class and Sam had run support for her and her partner) and staked a claim in the Molino Basin campground. With wheels turning by 1:00, we pointed the bikes up the hill. The goal? About half the "Lemmon Drop" from the top of Green Mountain, down to Bug Springs, then back down into camp to hang out and tell tales. The sun was shining and no evidence of the snow from last week lingered on the lower slopes.

After a brief but tricky climb from Molino up the AZT to Prison Camp, it was onto the road. And up for the long haul. Nick and Sam took off, climbing at their pace. JAmie and I just shook our heads and said "they can wait." Gears dialed for an easy spin, we proceeded up mountain. There wasn't much traffic out at that…

Kamp KOA at 24 Hr Town

I have to admit - I did not do a great job of taking photos this weekend at all. I just was not motivated to get the camera out and wander around 24 Hr Town this year. I don't even have any new sunset or sunrise photos! (Didn't help that the only pretty sunset and sunrise happened during the race - I was lucky enough to get both those laps) But we did have a great site and a great crew to hang with while in 24 Hr Town. KOA Dave, host of the 24 Hours in the Sage in Gunnison made the trip down to Tucson to help out a few teams and partake in the atmosphere of the 24 hour race. He scored an awesome site in town, just minutes away from the transition tent and with plenty of room for everybody. And by everybody - it was a small village of racers associated with The Griz and Camp KOA. There were four RVs, one pickup camper, one VW bus. four tents, five cars, a "party tent" with food all night long (the chicken soup that KOA Dave served up was just fabulous at 5:00 am) and …

2012 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo - short story

The fabulous weather brought some fast teams to the desert for the Kona 24 hours in the Old Pueblo. Nick and I showed up with an ambitious goal of 19 laps, one more the our prior best performance on the fast single track. We were also hoping to take the top step on the podium after getting closer every year. But racing against the King and Queen of Pain - Nat Ross and Rebecca Rusch - was a challenge we had not anticipated! We hung tough, but were in second right from the gun. And the gap kept getting pried wider, with Nat finally lapping me on our 14th lap. In the end, it was the King and Queen of Pain reigning supreme, finishing 19 laps at 12:00:10. Nick and I - the 2:00 AM Demons took second again, with 19 laps at 12:23:39. Third place went to Noxid Knar R. R. with Jeffery Rank and Marlee Dixon turning 17 laps by 12:10:20.

Full race report coming later! Many thanks to KOA Dave for securing the awesome campsite and providing the Turtle with power through the night. It was a great gro…

Sleeping with the "enemy"

Last year when we were camped in Tucson, we were the youngest people at the RV park, with the oldest RV in the group. It was a neat, quiet park, with plenty of snowbirds wintering over for golf and relaxation. We got some pretty odd looks when rolling out of camp on our bikes to ride Fantasy Island. Well, this year, we are staying with Nick's Mom, in a much smaller park, with completely different types of people. Not only are we the doggonest, with the oldest RV, but we are really the only ones with bikes. Everyone else heads out for a ride in the morning sure, but with four footed steeds - either horses or mules. Yep! Staying with the horse people...

It's been interesting. All of the other campers are either retired or semi retired and this is a way of life - get up, plan a ride, load up the horses, ride for a few hours, come back and relax until bed time. Not all that different from Nick and I when we are on vacation. What's been interesting has been listening to the dif…

Fresh tracks on Bug Spring Trail

Our adventure today took us back up the Catalina Highway. I needed to do a few intervals and the trek up the road was perfect for that. Nick also had his eyes on another chunk of single track called Bug Springs trail. I was game, but had no clue how far up the road we would be going. We met fellow COS resident Russell F in the climb and Nick chatted with him while I was doing my intervals. He was on his road bike with a few team mates, but sounded like he was dying to take a run down Milagrosa.

After 12 or so miles of climbing, we finally turned off the road onto single track. And about three inches of snow! There were a few more sections of hike a bike with a steep trail and big water bars. I was pretty tired from the long climb, but gamely pushed my bike though the snow. In Arizona, fresh track on a new trail! Awesome. After the first climb, the trail descended through a creek. There was plenty of snow and no evidence of other users. It was such a fun rolling ride throught trees and …

La Milagrosa - The Miracle

Waking up to sunny skies and warm weather, Nick had one goal - ride his bike for a few hours. We looked a few maps, then headed north towards Mt Lemmon. There were a few trails that sounded interesting and we were hoping for some good pedaling. After 20 minutes on the road, we turned onto the Catalina Highway and the road turned uphill. We stopped to look at every vista point, searching for a trail that headed down the mountain. A few roadies caught us, giving us that "what are you guys doing riding your bikes up this?" looks. Then two guys on mountain bikes caught us. Nick decided to ask them about the trails in the area and they gave him a suggestion as to something that might be fun. With Old Pueblo coming up, Nick didn't really want a really technical trail that would freak me out. He pretty much said so when talking to the other riders. Oh, no, no big drops, they assured us, mona lisa smiles on their faces. You're gonna have a great time, especially on that bike…

Have Turtle, will Travel!

As usual, when February rolls around, it's time to load up the Turtle and head south. We're as bad as the RVers who travel from state to state in search of good weather, sunshine and friendly faces! We've pushed up the moving date every year, keeping a close eye on the weather as we make our plans. This year was no different - Nick gradually loaded up all the gear for the 24 hour race into the turtle through the week, with plans to leave when the weather was the best. I got the text Friday at work with the weather update and it's time to hit the road when I get home. It was perfect weather when we left, but that changed quickly oer the night. I'm not sure the Turtle would have gotten out of COS with the weather that moved in Saturday morning early.

This was the easiest drive south we've ever had. Thanks to leaving early, we just drove. No traffic through ABQ and we were able to cruse at 55 the whole way. Night driving in the Turtle is super easy - there's …

Apple Blueberry Multigrain pancakes

I have to admit to bing a big breakfast person. I love breakfast and pancakes arw usually quick and easy. And then you have leftovers for the next early training morning. I have been expermimenting with some diferent flour and grain combos and been having a lot of fun. These multigrain pancakes are filled with fruit, but still light and fluffy. The ground flax seed provides a nutty taste and healthy omega 3s. Combined with the buckwheat and oatmeal, they are also filling and a great breakfast with either maple syrup or fruit preserve. Make sure you get oats labeled gluten free if there are concerns.

Combine in large bowl:
1 cup gluten free flour
1 cup steel cut oats
1/4 cup course ground cornmeal
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
2 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsp baking soda (seems like a lot but that provides the fluffy texture)
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom

Add to dry mixture and stir well:
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup m…


Its the purpose of training - overload the system right to the limit, then take a recovery to develop speed and endurance. Well, I think Coach Adam and I did a really good job of pushing right to the limit over January. And it's been a blast. I love the hard work, testing the limits of what I can tolerate. Over five weeks, only one recovery week and few completely off days lead to my pulling the plug on the final scheduled workouts of the week. I'd been pushing on the bike, dealing with a slight issues in my calf while running and getting in the water about three times a week. Sleep was good - trying to go to bed early and then sleeping in as much as the kittens would let me. (Sasha likes snuggling in the morning and her purr is loud) But I was still starting to feel that deep seated fatigue from the cumulative stresses. So when I got started on my workout Saturday morning, I was mental motivated to turn out another strong interval set. My body on the other hand was not as mot…

Cute Kitten Photos

Okay, enough with the blah blah about racing and training. Time for some cute kitten photos of Miss Sasha and George! They are five months old now and are getting huge. And their personalities are really coming out. It's funny, at first we thought Sasha would be the bossy, head of the household cat. She was very commanding when we first brought them home. But now, she's quiet and a little shy around strangers. Snuggly on her terms, which seem to always be while I'm trying to sleep and she wants to curl up right on my shoulder or neck. As for George.... She's a little monster! She's into everything, needs to explore every box and shopping bag we bring home. She's bold and bossy and not afraid to stand up to DumDum. She'll curl up next to you and pass out, purring like a freight train. And one of these days, the red bug will sit still long enough for her to catch it! DumDum is starting to play with them more, and playing on his own a little more as well. Sin…