Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Southfork Deer Creek + Four Moose

A couple of years ago I took a bunch of friends up on this trail and destroyed my bike... since then I haven't been out mountain biking more than a couple times. This was a great opportunity to get out on one of my favorite trails. We ran into four different Moose while we were out riding and ended up waiting for about 20 minutes for the big fella pictured above to move.

It was a great early morning ride. I can't wait for the next few weeks, the colors are going to be amazing.

 Moose #4

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lotoja 2011

September for me always signifies the slow goodbye to summers warmth. Leaves begin to change, the air picks up a little morning bite, the anticipation of winter grows with every day, but most of all September means Lotoja. At the end of every racing season I send off summer with this 206 mile road race from Logan, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming.

Leading up to this years race there were a lot of things that kept me off the bike. The record amount of snow, climbing trips, family vacations, and the fact that I got engaged all have taken their little pieces out of my normally free training time. I spent less than half the amount of time on my bike that logged last year.

The morning began as usual, our pace was slow and I was leery of taking turns at the front. The hours ticked by and I felt better than expected. I had a good mix of food and there were a few guys I knew in my group that helped pass the time. It wasn't until we hit the King of the Mountain that I began my slow decline into suffering. The day was hot and the asphalt seemed to hurl the suns heat back into my face as I went up the last steep pitch. The group I was with got away on the climb.... I had to grit my way back to them on the flats after the descent. That is how the rest of the day went, what I lacked in fitness I made up for with endurance. I guess the 26 hour day I pulled on Rainier did transfer over a little... or it was the three 5-hour energy shots that I had... can't be sure.

Eventually we neared the finish. I didn't feel like I deserved to win so I kind of just set myself up to fail on the final sprint. I knew my position was garbage but I was so beyond caring by that point that I just wanted to get off my bike. My neck was aching, the bottoms of my feet were on fire, I was exhausted... of the 13 of us in our group I came in 13th. I sat up at the end and coasted in. This was probably the most I have ever wanted to quit this race. My time was a mental test... sheer will was the only thing that kept me with that group and I have never had a harder time in any bike race. It wasn't so much that I was tired, I was just miserable. Looking back on it now almost a week later I can say I had a great time... that is the amazing thing about misery, when you look back at it you can totally mistake it for fun.

Final Time: 09:37:52.713

 I thought I was going to spontaneously combust right about here...
 Support... I am so lucky to have people in my life that will support me in making myself miserable.
Feed Zone Fury
 The climb from Alpine, WY always goes fast
 Finish.... Can you see the misery?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Neena's First Single Track

Early Saturday morning Neena and I were invited mountain biking. It was a great group to be with for her first time out. They are all such laid back, fun, and caring people that even when she got a little uncomfortable with some spots she didn't feel pressured at all. I hope to have more days like this with these guys.

We met up at the Big Springs trail head in South Fork Canyon at 7:00 a.m. It was a short loop with some fun sections. Cooper and Dane were both riding rigid single speed so on the uphills they muscled their way ahead. Pricilla hung with Neena and I bounced between the two groups.

Mountain biking for me is all about the experience of being in the mountains. This time of year there is a small bite to the early morning air that makes it feel refreshing to be out. Fall is on its way.