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Showing posts from August, 2013

Weathering the Crash - 2013 24 Hours in the Sage

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Our fifth year racing at 24 Hours in the Sage and once again it did not disappoint. The Gunnison KOA and KOA Dave are in their second year managing the event after taking the reins from reigning 24 Hour Townie World Champ Mitch Fedak and his wife Traci. Dave and Michael have made the best mountain bike race at a party even better. From the delicious pizza (and they offered Gluten free for Nick!) at packet pickup, the racer friendly food that was served up all night and the family friendly atmosphere surrounding the KOA, it's clear they love the race and want us to have as much fun as we can during the race weekend. I also heard rumors of golf carts jumping fire booters and other shenanigans, but.... For those of you who haven't raced at Sage, but want to try a 24 hour race, what are you waiting for? All you need is your bike, a place to sleep, some race fuel and some lights to have a good time pedaling. If 24 hours is too long, the 12 hour option allows for more party time dur…

A whole new Sage

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Same great venue at the Gunnison KOA, but the course has some major changes compared to the last few years. More single track, a new trail and a completely rebuilt trail. The times from last year won't compare to this year because of the differences. The start is the same - head out on the pavement for Hartman Rocks. Up Jacks as usual - a nice steady climb with a few rocks. After the climb, the course pops out onto the road for a short bit. Then there's a choice - the shorter, faster but harder "punchbowl" line. Or the steady but longer road climb up to Behind the Rocks. It's all the same from there as its been - up and down Alonzo's, up to Luge.


Instead of the road through the Cottonwoods, the course routes through Luge Connector. I'm not sure about that change - it's further away from medic tent at Cottonwood and make cutting the course easier. I hate to think like that, but if you miss the arrow directing you to Broken Shovel, you'll be right o…

Chocolate cake - aka Race Fuel

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With Nick's dietary issues, we've had to make some major changes in our food for 24 hour races. Gone are the cheap, but ohh so yummy Little Debbie cakes and other wheat filed treats that we used to get. Even I have cut back on the wheat cookies and cakes for the races - more out of convince then anything else. I don't have any dietary constraints, but we also don't want to risk contamination with Nick's food. So when I figured out how to make this chocolate cake gluten free, it was perfect. Replacing the junk food that Nick couldn't have with some high calorie, high fat rocket fuel. Chocolate cake, mmm...

Or if 24 hour racing isn't your thing, this cake works great for entertaining. It's simple to start with, but can be dressed up in so many different ways. I have some ideas following the basic recipe that work for both racing and entertaining. 
Chocolate cake: Separate 5 eggs, placing whites in large mixing bowl and 4 yolks in dish. Preheat oven to 325 …

Six years....

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Normally, we're at 24 Hours in the Sage this weekend, hanging out with KOA Dave and the rest of the crowd that makes this event so much fun. Not this year - Sage is next weekend and for the first time in a few years, we're home with "nothing" to do. Why would that be unusual? What's the deal with staying home this weekend? Well, since 2008 (except 2009 - skipped that year for some reason) Nick and I have been celebrating our anniversary in a rather strange way. Instead of dinner, flowers and pricey gifts, we have treated each other to hours of pedaling, spectacular single track and awesome sunrises and sunsets. We've enjoyed KOA Dave's gourmet cooking, night time riding and camping in the Turtle. It just happens that our anniversary is August 17th - the same weekend as 24 Hours in the Sage. So we've had some silly team names, like Honeymoon and Marriage Counseling - to reflect the timing of the race and how cool it was that we were able to do somethi…

Crossing the Divide

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My great ideas sometimes look brilliant on the map, but not so brilliant in reality. With a planned six-seven hour day looming, I spent plenty of time studying the Salida map, plotting out the ride. Nick wanted to do Canyon Creek - which he said would take about 3.5 hours total. That left three more hours of pedaling to find. Thinking a few years in the future, I decided that we would add a few more mountain passes and check out a chunk of the Vapor Trail course. On the map, it looked good. Start out like we were riding just Canyon Creek, - up Tomichi pass road. But instead of turning just below the summit for the Canyon Creek singletrack, we would continue climbing up to the pass. Then down the other side to Hancock Pass road and take a right to ascend Hancock Pass. A short downhill, then we would join the Vapor Trail course at the Alpine Tunnel Trailhead. From there, up and over the divide above the alpine tunnel, down the road back to Tomichi Pass. Another climb up Tomichi, then fi…

Waiting

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Another weekend, another adventure. With an epic long day planned for Saturday, Nick and I decided to head over Monarch Pass and do some exploring. But first, some Friday fun for Nick. I dropped him off at the top of the pass so he could ride. He was planning on riding out the Crest to Agate Creek, then descending Agate Creek and meeting me at the bottom. Another chance for me to drive the van! I'm getting better at that...

Even though it wasn't on the schedule, I decided to do a short run so I could explore a little as well. I put my bike inside the van and headed down the trail. It was a no agenda, get out and have some fun run that made for some cool photo ops. Yes, it was such a chill run that I brought the camera with me! I was playing with being artistic, trying to get some neat angles and views. I also wanted to get a picture of the fish in Agate Creek - Amazing, fish and motor bikes, coexisting in a drainage with out bridges or any erosion control! And the fish were pr…

Bike changing

I've had my Era for over two years now and have been having a grand time. It's a race bike at heart, with only 100mm travel front and rear, as well as a brain on the rear suspension. But that hasn't prevented me from trying to ride it like a trail bike and getting faster and smoother with my descending skills. Since I've gotten my Fate, the Era has really become my fun bike. Big ride? Take the Era. Long day on new trails? The Era is ready to go. I've had so much fun riding that bike. But it still thrives as a race bike. Long and techical race? I'm going to take the Era. I might take a bit of weigh penalty with that choice, but its gonna be a lot more fun. I'm actually on my second Era - so it's easy to tell how much I love that bike. Handles like a dream - quick, snappy and responsive. I have had such a great time on the Era, it's been hard thinking about abandoning her for a trail bike. I want to keep having fun on the Era - hopefully long enough f…

Doggone rude

This is a bit of a rant, so consider yourself warned. I've never been much of a dog person - being bitten a few times will cause that. But after a recent ride, I'm starting to realize it isn't usually the dogs that are the problem. Dogs simply become a reflection of their owner's curtesy - or lack there of. Which is completely inappropriate because it puts the dogs at risk because the owner wants to make a statement. The white dogs barreling out of the woods when their owner calls is one thing. They had so much energy and exuberance "we got to go in the pond!" excitement that I couldn't help but laugh. Besides it made for a good excercise in balance. I did hit one of them with my front wheel - apologized right away - but it was more of a tap. 
No, this rant is about the hiker on St Mary's and him using his dogs as road blocks for everyone else on the trail. I saw him hiking down the trail and said hello. He looked back, met my eye and kept walking down…

Finished for another year - Ascent Cycling Finale

Hard to believe that it's August already. The finale of the Ascent Cycling Series is in the books, with great racing all around. Before the race, I reflected on the amount of work going into the series. There's a lot of planning and organizing that we as racers never see. So that means there's a lot to say thanks about - to the volunteers, the race officials and the sponsors that help make the events happen.
Saying Thanks

After the race, I really had nothing new to say. I rode smart and hard, meeting one of my goals during the event. Was still lapped by JJ Clark, but that's a goal for another year! So I looked at the series as a whole in some of the other classes, at the things that have to come together for the series wins.
This is only the Beginning

Even cooler was the coverage both Nick and I got - from Pikes Peak Sports and the Gazette!

I don't have any really good photos from this race - If I get any, I'll post them up

Learning from the run

After years of being a multisport athlete and training in swimming, cycling and running, I've become a single sport fan. Not even signed up for a multi sport event this year! And it shows, looking back at my Training Peaks account and training log. There are plenty of 10+ hour weeks of riding, but the swimming and running has greatly decreased. I'm lucky to hit 4000 yds total for the week in the pool - which uses to be a nice daily total a few years ago. As for running, I've had a few weeks where I didn't even lace up my shoes. Coming from someone who used to run 70 plus miles a week, it's been a bit of transition! I also didn't realize how much the cross training through the multisport focus help keep me healthy and uninjured. Even when I was mostly just running, I was still in the pool a few times a week. I also made an effort to get in the bike a few times. But lately, I haven't been good about running as much as I should - or swimming. I was happy the l…