Showing posts from June, 2012

Another day of studying

Maps that is. I think the ride took two hours longer then it should have because we got turned around and made a bunch of wrong turns. That and the directions were kinda hard to follow for people who aren't familiar with the trails and roads around here. I think we did get the whole second lap, plus some extra stuff. There were some fun trails, for sure and the descent off the Colorado Trail is awesome. The climb to get there however? I was hurting on that. I didn't eat enough during this ride, and it showed in the climbs. But there wasn't the kick in the pants climb at the end of the lap. Just some steady riding.

We met a lot of people who were out pre-riding the FireCracker 50 course. That was marked and really easy to follow. At times we were on the same trails and same direction. Other times, we were going against traffic. Having some other people around was good on a few times we got lost. Although four lost people with the same vague directions aren't very effic…

Studying day 1

Wow. Starts with a sucker punch and ends with a kick in the pants. Lots of fun, but it's gonna be a hard first third of a long day. Can't really say how long it took us to finish the lap - we spent a lot of time studying the map and took a few wrong turns. It's a long, rocky road climb from Carter Park, as the ski area service road goes from nice and smooth to loose, rocky and steep. Add in the altitude and I was using all my gears! Finally, after way too long on the road, we reached Wheeler Trail. Single track in alpine tundra! The view was amazing, but I had to focus on the trail. A little more climbing, then time for the descent down to Copper. Wow. Overheated my brakes for sure on that one. All that climbing, those hours on the road and it took us minutes to reach the interstate. A break from single track on the Bike Path was welcome. My hands were sore! We overshot the turn to the next trail by a few miles and had to backtrack, but then onto the Peaks Trail. Rooty, Ro…

Finding Rocks and Loving it - Xterra Curt Gowdy

Like I said - I'm going to focus on positive things. There's enough bad news and depressing images going around and while the fire is still burning and there has been true devastation in parts of the city, I really want to keep looking forward. And maybe provide my own little distraction from reality for some people! In that vein, I'm posting my race report from Xterra Curt Gowdy instead of a Waldo Canyon Fire report.
Xterra Curt Gowdy - held at Wyoming's  Curt Gowdy State Park between Cheyenne and Laramie, just north of I-80. This was one of the most fun Xterras I have done. The swim was in the crisp water of Granite Reservoir, the bike meandered along the IMBA Epic rated trail system and the run traversed many of the same trails. I knew going in that I was in good mountain bike shape, but I wasn't necessarily in good Xterra shape. My adventure last weekend surely wasn't going to help much either! But it was a great race, a fun time and awesome riding. Congr…

Waldo Canyon Day 2

It's really day five since the fire first plumed in the center of the Waldo Canyon Trail, but day two of what is being called a siege on the city. First, Nick and I are on the south west side of the city and doing fine at this point. We do know plenty of people who live in the evacuated area and one of my friends is worried that he may have lost everything (but he did get his bike...)

I was in Pueblo yesterday, following the news briefing on Twitter. Then it changed - went from a standard briefing to mandatory evacuations for a large portion of the city. Tweets became direct and frantic at times. Driving back up 25 to town, the smoke plume towered into the sky, the closer I got, the darker it became as the smoke filled the air. When I got home and turned the news on, it became clear. The fire, whipped into a frenzy by raging winds, had jumped over two fire lines. Into Queens Canyon, directly behind the Mountain Shadows area. With winds howling up to 65 mph, the fire had the upper …

Waldo Canyon Fire

It's the inescapable news. A large fire is now burning in the Rampart Range, just between Colorado Springs and Ute Pass. I learned of the fire while at Curt Gowdy St park in Wyoming for the Xterra - yay Twitter(?) and followed the progress between pre-riding and racing. (And probably burning my data plan to shreds). Too close to home, and we aren't near the evacuation zones. It's one thing to read in the paper about all the fires near Ft Collins and another to have one right against the city limits.

And this is really close to home. As a little girl, hiking Waldo Canyon was a Thanksgiving tradition. After putting the turkey in the oven, time to hit the trails. We'd come home after a fun hike to a house that smelled yummy. Even after that tradition faded, I still went to Waldo Canyon to run and do hill repeats. This morning, it sounded like the fire had reached Rampart Resevoir, another place where I spent time training. I prepared for my first marathon on the trails ar…

Casting a Spell - 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest

As Nick often says, a 24 hour race does not really start until midnight. The first hours are important, but once darkness has lingered for a few laps, the mental aspect of the race begins. And if things were a little hot earlier, the cracks can begin to show. For our first time in the Enchanted Forest of the Zuni Mountains, Nick and I rode smart, rode strong and stuck to the plan. We didn't allow the other teams to dictate terms or pace, dealt with the little issues that always come up over 24 hours and kept rolling. At noon Sunday, "Slowly-Faster" took the top step, with 18 laps at 11:42. Defending Co-Ed Duo champions, Allan and Karen Rishel of Stan's NoTubes Endurance Racing placed second, completing 17 laps at 11:47. Third place went to another Colorado based duo, Leslie Handy and Jill Hueckman from Trek Store Boulder/BandWagon Racing, finishing 16 laps at 11:33. It was a great weekend - a camping trip with a very well organized bike race in the middle of it. Zia …

24 Hours of Enchantment

For our first trip down to the 24 hours in the Enchanted Forest, Nick and I had a great time. We hung out with The Back Of the Pack, enjoying the lights and the living room they provided. It was nice to meet the Foxy Mamas and the rest of the Back of the Pack family. The environment at 24EF was awesome - so much more like a camping trip with a mountain bike race in the middle then a mountain bike race in the middle of no where! And even with the last minute Forest Service ordered venue relocation, the site was good. It was spread out, but we were right on the track and got to people watch the entire weekend (when we weren't riding our bikes!) Nick and I did really well, turning 18 laps before noon on Sunday to win the Co-ed duo. We also beat the Men's duo winners and the Single Speed Duo winners! I'll get the full race report written this week.

Some notes from the weekend:
* Tedd from Back of the Pack has his dogs very well trained! Nick went to get a drink from their cool…

Palmer Park Fun

Before Nick and I headed south to the Land of Enchantment, I raced in the second Ascent Cycling Series race at Palmer Park. It was a short but fun lap with plenty of rocks, sand and roots. There was a good turn out for the race and the competition was pretty steep. My race report is over at Pikes Peak Sports:
Ascent Cycling Series - Palmer Park

Searching for Echantment

This is gonna be a fun weekend. Not only do we get to hang out with the fun Back of the Pack Racing single speed freaks, we get to check out a new 24 hour race! This will be our first time in the Zuni Mountains east of Gallup, NM for the 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest. I've seen pictures from the race, with riders on flowing trails under huge pines. It really looks like a fun course. I've also read reviews and it sounds like a very well organized 24 hour race. It's cool - We're heading to a race with no prior experience on the course. Neither of us have ridden any of the trails in the area. It's all brand new, we don't know how hard or technical the course is, how the climbs and descents compare to anything else, or what the passing will be like. I have no clue how fast our laps will be, outside of estimating based on what other teams have done. That's part of the cool factor. A chance to see how dialed Nick and I really are when it comes to 24 hour races…

Ascent Cycling Series #2

This week we're heading to Palmer Park. There's been quite a bit of damage to some of the trails from the rain storm last week, but Andy from Sand Creek Sports has been working hard with the city and parks department to get things repaired. It was amazing during our preride, how much damage there had been. Andy's put together a fun course - there's some butt-pucker moments for sure! Here is a link to my pre race comments on Pikes Peal Sports
Pre-Riding Palmer Park

Crazy Weekend Part 2 - Return to Battle the Bear

After a good night's sleep in the Walmart parking lot, it was time to get going for Take 2 of Battle the Bear. A perfect morning, with only a few low hanging clouds greeted us as we made the short drive to Bear Creek Lake Park. The staging area was already hopping and the pit zone was getting full. We set up the tent and dragged over the cooler and a chair. Our tent was gonna be a busy place this race, with four racers in the Marathon pitting under the shade and Nick in the half marathon. The air was still heavy and damp from the thunderstorms the night before, but the moisture did nothing to chase away the mosquitoes! I have never been so happy to have bug repellent in the camper - otherwise I would have been eaten alive while racing! A few shots of DEET to my clothes, my neck and my helmet took care of those little annoyances... Then time to get a short warm up - I wasn't going to make the same mistake with my air pressures in my tires again. It wasn't long before the an…

The Strava Effect - or how to really make other trail users hate us...

Not every ride is a race and unless there is a number on your bike, it's a trail not a course! Nick and I were enjoying a perfectly quiet climb up the Chutes - taking that trail since it was 12:30 and usually no traffic up or down. We were just pedaling along, enjoying life on two wheels. Then we nearly got run over. Some dude came flying around one of the blind corners, completely out of control and riding way too fast. He almost ran into to Nick and would have run me over had I been riding alone. He sputtered for a little, got out that two more riders were behind him and pushed his bike around us just as his friend also came skidding down the trail. As he passed me, I politely but pointedly said "Next time, how about you learn to ride in control?" I have no clue what the dude said next, but it wasn't polite! Rude enough that Nick whipped his bike around and went flying down the trail after them. I followed a few seconds later. Nick had caught them just before the C…

Ascent Cycling Series - Race 1

Another fun afternoon of racing at Bear Creek Terrace. The weather almost won this round, but everyone got a chance to throw down some laps on the fun single track. Cameron and I got our jerseys for the Pikes Peak Sports Ascent Cycling Series Team - they're really cool. The full race report is on Pikes Peak Sports - go check it out!
A "hail" of a good time!

Some photos from the race:

Crazy weekend part 1 - 24 Hours of E-Rock

Back at the start of the year, my Mom got the idea that she wanted to try something new - a 24 hour mountain bike race. She'd had a good time helping at the 24 Hours of Colorado Springs last year and was really impressed by all the riders. She's also heard all our stories about the various races Nick and I have done together. So she decided to have a go at the 24 hour challenge at the 24 Hours of E-Rock. It was the perfect course for her to test the waters - flowing wide and mostly double track with nary a rock in sight. A few sand pits, but other than that a perfect beginners course. Mom partnered with Noemi, one of the CTS employees to do a two woman team. Nick volunteered to help out - thinking nothing would be going on that weekend. He was gonna do all the 24 hour support Mom  needed - food, bike maintenance and helping with lights.  Then the Battle the Bear reschedule date fell on the Sunday after E-rock. Since E-rock is an unusual 6:30-6:30 Friday through Saturday, he w…

Bear Creek Terrace

This blog post is actually over at Pikes Peak Sports - it's my thoughts and review of the upcoming venue for the start of the 2012 Ascent Cycling Series at Bear Creek Terrace. Always fun riding there...
Bear Creek Terrace

Battle the Bear

Finally - we got to race our bikes at Bear Creek Lake. It was the best of all possible weekends - conflicts did pull away some riders to other events such as the Teva Games. But for a rescheduled event, there was still plenty of racers eager to rise to the challenges that Bear Creek Lake presented. I finally put all the pieces together, turning in the 3rd fastest woman's time on the course to claim the top step on the podium. I finished in 4:19:16 - meeting my goal of breaking 4:20. Natalie Ryan hung tough in a long weekend that included the 24 Hours of E-Rock from Friday thru Saturday to finish second in 4:36:35. Third place went to SS racer Cristine Begy with at 4:43:27.

Nick also had a crazy weekend - he crewed for my Mom's team at E-rock and joined an eight person team for four laps. Then he helped me with my race Sunday morning before finally toeing the line for his race. He had a solid race - pushing himself to the limit and finished second. Now it's time to catch u…

Simple Oat Scones

I had a recipe for simple scones that I was going to make for snacking on this weekend. Well, I decided that I wanted something with a little more staying power and a little more energy. I like oats and have found that anything made with oats tends to be more filling. So just as I was cutting in the butter, I decided I wanted to add oats to my simple scones. Did I bother measuring? Nope - just threw in a few handfuls! But with the addition of the oats, that meant I also need to adjust the liquid content - so I added some milk to the yogurt/egg mixture. And it turned out really good - lighter then expected with the oats, fluffy and yummy. Of course, adding the chocolate chips helped with that - and so did eating them right out of the oven, with the chocolate all melty....

Pre-heat oven to 425 and grease two baking sheets

In a large bowl, combine:
2 c Gluten free flour (any combo of flour works - I used 1 1/2 Bobs Red Mill and 1/2 quinoa)
1 c Gluten free oats
1/4 tsp Xanthan gum
2 tsp b…