Thursday, July 22, 2010


I always wish I could capture moments in their entirety. I sit here tapping away at the keys of my computer trying to convey all my experiences through language and images, but as hard as I try I will never be able to capture what was really there.

Tonight I sat down next to a fire with friends. The popping fire, faint music, and friendly banter conjured up a feeling of contentment. These moments are too few for too many of us. We get the "what's next" disease and miss out on the moment. As I drove home with my windows down, letting the summer air flood my car, the feeling continued. I wish I could capture moments like this. The feelings, sights, sounds, smells all weave themselves into this wonderfully inexplicable tangle that can only be remembered, not explained.

Contentment is the feeling I am always after. It means I didn't leave anything on the table. It comes when I figure out there is no where else I would rather be, and there was nothing else I would rather be doing. Tonight, I found it around a fire with some friends. I hope I get better at finding it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The High Life

Parker: "Hey dude, I'm thinking about hiking Timp tomorrow afternoon and setting up a time lapse for sunset, all night, then sunrise Monday morning."

When he shared this idea my thoughts were turned to my couch. Two hard days of racing had rendered my legs a little tired and I wanted to just relax. I told them to go on ahead and that I would meet them. Normally when I do this I just fall asleep on my couch. I pulled together the needed equipment and decided to go. I started on the walk a few hours after they did. I didn't get to walking till just after 8 p.m.

Darkness gradually made its way toward me and I found myself walking by moonlight. My headlamp was sputtering through its last bit of battery life. I turned it off and crested the saddle. I was content to stay where I was. The valley lights beaming up at me and the moon shimmering down on the lake made for a nice view. I ate a sandwich and pushed up the last little bit to the summit.

Parker, Russ, Anna, and Ryan were all huddled down and I could hear their chuckling from a long way off. Russ was producing enough methane to power my heater for the winter. Poor Anna. A small metal shack with three guys all messed up on trail food. We all were letting them fly.

Soon a lightning storm made us worry about being on the summit in a giant piece of metal. We packed up and headed back down to the saddle. By the time we got there the storm had passed and we went back to bed. I was tired.

Left: The walk up. Right: The view from the saddle.

Ryan.... He is terrified of heights, so it is a good thing we walked off the summit in the dark.

Parker's head stand...

Where we slept.

The view from my sleeping bag.

Not a bad way to wake up.

Sunrise... Thanks to the annoying, loud, obnoxious hikers I was able to witness it.

Parker doing his thing.

Capitol Reef Classic

My first complete stage race. All in all I had a good time. The Capitol Reef Classic is a two day, three event stage race consisting of a time trial, circuit race, and a road race. I caught a ride down with my teammate Joel Broadbent after I got off work. We arrived at about 1 a.m. and I slept like a rock. 7 a.m. came way too fast and we made our way to the time trial.

Time trialing without a time trial specific bike isn't all that fun. All these guys show up with their fancy bikes, fancy aero helmets, and fancy skin suits. The course for this event was nine miles and I didn't love any second of it.

I tried to make up for it on the circuit race which consisted of two laps of 17 miles. It came down to the last kilometer and two riders had broken away. I mashed into my big gear and went for it, catching and passing one just before the line. Second place... maybe I will get it next time.

The road race was a fairly brutal 80 mile course that went up past Fish Lake. It was beautiful and the morning was surprisingly cool. Five guys gapped us at the top of the climb and then put the hammer down. We put in a good effort trying to catch back up, but in the end they stayed away.

I loved the race and will be back next year.

We didn't get any actual photos of racing because our support was dumping water on us as we rode by instead of snapping pictures.

Dr. Creer came down to help us out with his knowledge. Honestly having him there helped a lot. My legs felt great, and he made sure I didn't just cross the finish line and sit down letting my legs cramp up. Thanks AC.

The desert landscape is great.

Horseshoes with Mason.

Monday, July 12, 2010

UVU Criterium Racing

Nolan and Rick Finlayson jumped off the front of the group just into the second lap. Time to go. I pushed down on my pedals and reached to grab one of their wheels. Whenever they get to the front of the group you know pain is coming. My breathing became more labored and as I took a swig from my water bottle I let it drip as much as possible on my already overheating legs.

Two laps later we hit turn number two. I was leading and took it pretty hot. The 5th guy back clipped his pedal and dropped taking down another rider and sending Rick into the bushes. We were away. The four of us remaining at the front kept our pace high and we held our lead.

Eventually it was down to three of us. With two to go, Nolan surged forward again. He gapped us. I stood to catch him but my legs didn't have it. Nolan took the win. I went second after being a little bit of a wheel-sucker on the last 3/4 of a lap. I guess I didn't have the best etiquette, but asi es la vida.

This was the chase group.

This is me taking a turn at the front.

And here I am again giving it a pull.

Grillin' and Chillin'

I sleep with my eyes open. I don't know why, but it is a rather annoying thing to wake up to. It is all that much more awkward when I sleep in public. I have woken up to people taking my picture. Day after day, morning after morning that is how it goes. This morning was no different. I woke up at 6 a.m. to get to a bike race and I scrambled for some eye drops. Just in case you are wondering, my sleeping with my eyes open has nothing to do with the rest of this post. It is just a bit of useless information about my life that I felt like sharing.

The race was fun, I am a little heavier than last year so climbing hills has been a little bit more difficult for me. I have now decided that I will stop eating everything I can get my hands on, which has been the story for the past few months. Eating breakfast 3 times is probably a bit much. I came in 10th place.

Later that day we headed up Big Cottonwood Canyon for some grillin'. We grilled up some dogs and checked out this awesome little climbing spot. We will be heading back there soon.

The climbs are right next to this sweet little waterfall

An abandoned mine

Kickin' back, listening to some music and downing some dogs.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spinning Tahoe

Waking up to a brisk morning in July was one of the nicest parts of this trip. The high temperature for the day was a scorching 75 degrees. As evening drew on it was cool enough to pull on arm warmers as we headed out the door for our ride.

The ride went around Donner Lake and up Donner Pass. This area definitely made my top three list of favorite rides. Pedaling along side a deep blue lake garnished with tall pines and amazing lakeside cabins made for some good riding. This ride will be one I will always remember.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A glimpse of Tahoe

My memories of Tahoe come from a trip my family took in 1996. I was eleven years old. The Utah Jazz had just lost game seven to the Seattle Supersonics. I remember the water being cold and the hikes being fun. This was my first time back out that way since. My mental pictures are now so faded everything looks just as it was. Lots of pine and perfect temperatures. Here are a few photos of the Landscape.

Emerald Bay

This pile of rocks seems a little awkward.

Donner Lake. We watched the fireworks perched up in the pass.