Costa Rica

A personal growth journey

La Ruta de los Conquistatores faengt an der Westkueste an, in Jaco Beach, Startschuss ist um 5 Uhr morgens. Die allgemeine Stimmung war grossartig, und das Wetter war auch ganz schoen.

The Ruta de los Conquistadores starts on the west coast, in Jaco Beach, at exactly 5 o'clock in the morning. The atmosphere was great, and the weather was nice as well.

Team Mona Vie/Cannondale lockert die Beine aus am Tag vor dem grossen Mountain Bike Etappenrennen.

Team Mona Vie/Cannondale loosens their legs the day before the start of the big mountain bike stage race.

Die Hotelunterkuenfte waren allgemein ganz gut. Hier hab ich nicht wirklich den Mut gehabt, das Warmwasser einzuschalten.
The hotels were generally pretty nice. In this shower, I didn't have the guts to turn on the hot water.

Nach vielen Stunden am Rad, im Regen und im Schlamm, immer wieder vom Weg abgekommen, und ganz egal, wo man ist, immer 2 km vom Ziel entfernt (wenn man den Einheimischen glauben schenkt), sind wir dann schlussendlich 4 Tage spaeter in Limon an der Ostkueste angekommen.
After numerous hours on the bike, in the rain and mud, getting lost at least once a day, and no matter where you are, always 2 km from the finish line (according to locals), we finally made it to Limon on the east coast 4 days later.

Das Ziel war direkt am Strand, das Bier hat dann gut geschmeckt!
The finish was right on the beach, the beer after the race tasted great!

Dann gings ab zur Erholung nach Puerto Viejo.
Off we went to relax in Puerto Viejo.

Dieses Schild haben wir leider erst gesehen, nachdem 2 Mitglieder von unserem Team aus dem Wasser gerettet werden mussten. Diese dummen Touristen.....
Unfortunately, we didn't see this sign until after two of our teammates had to be saved in the water by local life guards. Silly tourists....

Ja Krokodile gibts auch in Costa Rica, zum Glueck hab ich keine im Rennen gesehen.
There are crocodiles in Costa Rica, luckily I didn't see any during the race.

Um noch mehr Bilder und Geschichten rund um die La Ruta zu lesen, bitte an team mona vie oder jason sager's site klicken.
To see more pics and stories about La Ruta, go to team mona vie or jason sager's blog.

Olympic Park

Yesterday was another beautiful day in Park City, no snow in sight. I love climbing up to the Olympic Park at Kimball Junction, great views from the top, plus good workout on the climb.

Moab Memories

Found these pictures from our Moab trip, Team Mona/Vie-Cannondale taking Nr. 1 in Coed Pro/Am as well as in Men's Veteran

Park City Duathlon

I took the doggies out for a run yesterday morning, Snowtop and Gap trail up at Deer Valley were nice and dry. The run with my dogs was awesome, it feels great to see them happy and tired after the run.

I decided to head out on my mountain bike later in the afternoon, figuring the trails around town would be dry. I made the mistake to start out on Lost Prospector, which is anything but dry. Good Park City clay, makes me miss Cyclo Cross even more. It'll be fun to get my bike cleaned, but sliding around in the mud makes it worth it. The Round Valley trails were dry and in great shape, and really busy, too. I ended up riding for 3 hours, plus the 1 hour run in the morning beat me up pretty good. But I need all the exercise I can get right now, especially since a friend of mine (who I haven't seen in a while) told me I looked good with the couple of extra pounds I put on. Maybe asking Jan Ullrich on how to stay in shape in the off season wasn't such a grand idea.

24 hours 28 min and 55 sec of Moab

I've been wanting to do this race for a while, and finally I got a chance this year. I think doing the 24 hours of Moab as a 4 person team is a great way to do this race. You get a chance to race, but you also get a chance to enjoy the "festival atmosphere" of this event.

Bart was putting out record lap times, but the whole team was showing a great performance. And that includes Bart's mom (team cook, team manager of 3 teams, keeping everybody informed about lap times, start times, etc) and the Cannondale mechanics Troy and Ryan. It felt great to win this race and post the most laps of the event, but the really cool thing was that each one of us on the team did 5 laps and we never had to change our rotation in order to achieve our victory. Mountain biking is not usually a team sport, but Moab was definitely different in that respect.

Here's a look at the Mona-Vie/Cannondale pit area

The start of the race reminded me of the running of the bulls in Pamplona

Notice the cacti right there

Bart finishing up his first lap and handing the duty over to Jason

Nina was a great addition to the team, a great rider, always with a smile on her face

The weather was perfect for racing, the course was nice and dry

Bart posting the fastest lap of the entire race in 1 hour and 2 min

Jason looking as fresh on his last lap as he did on his first

Jason finishing up his last lap of the 24 hours of Moab

If you want to see some more pictures and race reports, go to our team's website, Bart, or Jason's website

Was that it?

I did a mtb ride a few days ago. I went up to the top of Bald Mountain at Deer Valley to do my favorite downhill. It could have been the last time for this year, looks like there's a good amount of snow on the hills today. I love going down Aspen Slalom to Freestyle to the bottom of Thieves Forest, then a short 1 min climb to finish it off with Devo. These trails are just awesome.

I don't know why they never incorporate them into our yearly NORBA or Intermountain Cup races. I don't dislike the usual course, but there's more to Deer Valley than 100 switchbacks.

Next weekend I'll be heading down to Moab for some 24 hour racing. It'll be fun to race as a team and not just an individual.

Pedaling Squares

I went on nice road ride today, I think the last time I was on a road bike was at the beginning of August. My pedal strokes weren' t the smoothest, but after a while it felt good to be back on the road. I even used my power meter, had to dust that thing off before I used it. I love looking at the numbers after the ride. I was on my way back to Park City, when I got a flat tire at the bottom part of Browns Canyon. I had a spare tube and a CO2 cartridge, sure enough, the CO2 wasn't working. I think the last couple of times I had a flat I always ended up with the CO2 cartridge not working. Is there some sort of expiration date on it? Maybe I've just been carrying around the same empty CO2 cartridge for the last 2 years. Who knows...The vibration of the road numbed my ass for the remainder of the ride, but other than that, I was able to keep a good pace with my flat tire.

Some people get burnt out in the fall. I've been kind of struggling with motivation to get out and train myself, so I kind of focused on different things while I was riding. I've been carrying a camera on my last mountain bike rides, I was looking for good shots and it got me pedaling my bike rather than sitting on my fat ass.

Sometimes when I'm not that motivated I make a deal with myself. I go out for at least 15min.
After the 15min., if I still feel like doing nothing I turn around and go home. But most of the time, after the first few minutes, you get into a rhythm and you stay out and enjoy your ride anyway!

I've also been running more lately. I love it, because there's no mechanicals or such, and it works different muscle groups than the ones used on a bike. Plus, I can share that activity with the dogs.

Saturday Group Ride

I tried to meet KDay, Shannon and Blaney for a nice long mtb ride in PC, but I ended up getting to the parking lot a few minutes late. I decided I'd head up Spiro to catch up to them, figuring that might be the route they would take. Turns out these guys were even later than me, so we never quite hooked up. Funny, though, because at the end, we ended up doing almost the exact same loop.

You gotta love the views from the crest trail, it's always worth climbing up "puke hill"

Doesn't get much better than that - great views plus colors and sweet single track!


The fall temps are great for riding. The colors are getting pretty, too. I had a great ride this morning, until a wasp decided to sting me on my inner thigh as I was flying down Daly Ave. I guess it could be worse, an inch further to the left and it would have been really painful....

Yesterday I ran into this young moose on Spiro. If you go out during the right time of the day, chances are big you run into one this time of the year.

Peaking at the right time

The Tour de Suds rolled into town, and the competition was intense......

I wasn't the only European tackling this years race......

But in the end, I was able to shake them all off and was the first one to enjoy this great view from the top of Guardsman's pass


Started my ride a little late, but was able to enjoy a sunset from the top of Bald Mtn and got to try out my headlights riding down "Freestyle"

New Job

It's only part time, but I've always wanted to be a real mountain bike cowboy.....

Early morning riding

ran into these guys riding in park city up shadow lake loop

4 days too late

Self Portrait

In 2001 I did my first mountain bike race. It was the Mt. Snow NORBA finals, I was riding a 400$ bike and wore a cotton t-shirt for the race. I signed up in the beginner's category, we had to do 1 lap, but it felt epic. I was leading the race and with about 2 miles to go I flatted my front wheel. But all I could think of was that I needed to finish, so I kept riding. I must have crashed 50 times, but I was able to save a 10 sec lead and won.

In 2005 I entered my first NORBA race in the Pro category. The race was at Tapatio Springs Resort in Texas. The course was fun, but 3 days of rain made the course epic. I was pumped, though, and I enjoyed the muddy conditions for most part. Then, in the latter part of the race I lost my concentration for just a second and crashed into a tree. I blacked out for a second or so, heard some cracking sound in my neck and my right arm got all tingly for a moment. I kept riding, even though I knew something was screwed up in me. I just didn't want to dnf in my first Pro race. A few hours later I was diagnosed with a fractured C6 vertebra and some other smaller broken bones. But I finished the race.

I was riding stage 4 and 5 of the E 100 today, I just wanted to see what I missed out on this past Saturday. I turned myself inside out to ride at the front of the race. The lead gave me such an adrenaline rush that I might have made a rookie mistake by forgetting to eat enough. When I dropped out after about 6 hours, I was done. I stopped because I was starting to get dizzy, and even 5 min after I stopped, my hr was still hovering around 170. I don't think I was ever closer to a heat attack then on Saturday. Anyway, I'm not looking for excuses, but I'm still pissed I didn't have it until the end.

E 100

This is what happened to me at the Breck 100 a few weeks ago. I jammed my derailleur into the spokes and ended up running (or walking) the last 3 miles of the 100 miler. I should mention that even with the derailleur stuck in the spokes the Reynolds wheels still run perfectly true! It was the first time that I did a 100 mile race so I was very conservative with my efforts.

The E 100 was different. I wanted to go out hard and do well, since this race took place at my home turf and I was feeling good.

Didn't even consider it would be dark at 6am at race start, but luckily was able to organize a head light. I didn't turn it on right away, because I had no clue how long the battery would last. So I stumbled into the dark with my cooler to find the feed zone. I found it 5 min. later, but it took me another 10 min. to find my parked car since my night vision isn't all that grand.

I did make it to the start line on time and off we went at 6 am sharp. I don't think my heart rate has ever been in the 180s that time of the day, but I felt really good. It was a blast riding up John's trail in the dark and then later experience the sun rise on a bike going across the mid mountain trail. It made the hard effort a little easier. The pace was high with Josh Tostado in the front, Tinker, myself and Chris Etough right behind him. Tostado and Tinker decided not to stop at the feed zone after stage 1, so they were able to build a 20 sec. or so lead going into stage 2. I could see them right in front of me climbing up Holly's trail at the Canyons but didn't want to turn myself inside out just to catch up to them. There's still about 70 miles to go I told myself.

We spotted a moose on the way to the Canyons. The cool thing about these races is you actually notice things like that and you're able to talk and share those experiences with the people you're riding at that moment. A little different than the tunnel vision you get during a XC race.

On the way back from the Canyons Tostado and Tinker took a wrong turn and so I ended up with a 4 min lead after stage 2. I was glad the mid mountain stages were over since I much rather prefer the steady climbs like Spiro. I was able to hold on to my lead after stage 3, coming through the feed zone my legs still felt good, my back and neck a little sore. And then, about 5 1/2 hours into the race, bam, I hit the wall and was done. I don't know if it was not enough food or what, but I just couldn't continue up Spiro even in my granny gear. Oh well, that happens sometimes, sure felt good to have the lead, even if it wasn't for the rest of the race. Maybe some day!

Doesn't seem that you'd need a light when riding at 9am in the morning

Arm warmers and leg warmers needed when starting at 6am

Chasing the legend on mid mountain trail

Road State Champs etc.

After reading "road racing for dummies" this past week, I made a trip to Woodland to participate in the Utah Road Championships. I still have to race Cat 3, since our regional USCF official thinks that that's where a Pro mountainbiker and Pro cyclocrosser should race. I would have much rather been worked over in the Cat 1-2 race, but I had a good time anyway.

The race was fun, I was able to build up a lead after the climb up Wolf Creek Pass, only to ride for the next 20 miles or so into a very strong headwind. So a dozen or so people caught up to me and I was riding in the group for a while. Then I put in a harder effort on the climb back, but wasn't quite able to get rid of everybody, so 3 people stayed with me and naturally I was sleeping during the sprint and finished 3rd.

The mountain bike season seems to be pretty much done, I will do the E 100 race next weekend and then get ready for the x season. It's that time of the year, I am so hoping for some bad weather for the x races, every single race this year I've done was in beautiful sunshiny weather. I love playing in the mud.

nobody on the road, nobody on the beach....

Got back to mountain bike racing this past weekend in the Uintas for the final Intermountain Cup Race of the season. I was feeling fried all week from the past races, so I didn't do much riding the days before the race.

As I was driving up Mirror Lake Highway, a squirrel ran out in front of me and right under my car. I was just waiting for a crunching noise, but when I looked in the rear view mirrow, I saw one adrenalin pumped squirrel looking at me! What a rush that must have been. Must be like trying to cross the runway, with a departing plane coming at you. I don't think I'll try it, though.

The Evanston IMC race went well, I felt quite good and fresh, maybe a little tired from a late work night the day before. Bart set the pace from the start, Alex and myself were right on his wheel. Bart and Alex got about a 20 sec. lead on the long fire road climb on me, I was hauling ass to try to catch up to them on the downhill. I caught up to Bart, he flatted, and I wasn't too far off Alex. In the 2nd lap I started to feel better and was able to make up a few seconds on Alex, but couldn't quite catch him in the end. The whole time I was racing I had Don Hanley's "Boys of Summer" in my head, didn't bother me, though. I remember Blake saying once he had this annoying commercial stuck in his head during an entire race, I'd rather take Don Hanley.

Another 2nd place, a really fun race, too bad the I Cup Series is over for this year. Great organiztion of the race in Evanston, neutral feed with water bottles and cut up fruit and more drinks at the finish line. That makes every racer happy. Bart took first in the overall, I came in 2nd, 1-2 for Mona-Vie/Cannondale, can't complain about that. I wish I could have gone to the awards party later on in Evanston, free beer and pizza.....I always miss out on the good stuff. But I had to go to work and be nice to people in the restaurant.

BZ, Brandon and some other guys I talked to are going to Snowmass for the NORBA finals, a reliable source told me that the top 40 in the standings tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, we might see some local boys on the podium! I will do the road racing state champs in Francis instead. I bought "road racing for dummies" this past week and I even cleaned my bike. We'll see how it goes.

Road Racing

I wanted to go to Idaho to do a marathon xc race there, but since I had to work Friday and Saturday night I had to settle for a road race in Coalville. It was a 95 mile race, kind of an out-back-out-back course, it ended up good exercise. The roady scene sure is different than the mtn bike scene, seems like people are a little more uptight, just a little. I took a lot of crap for not having cleaned my bike in a while, I guess I rather ride my bike than clean it.

The race was funny, in a way, because as much as I enjoy road races, I always end up frying myself. Now I don't think of myself as stupid, but I have a hard time sittin in the pack and conserving energy and waiting for the right moment. I sit in the pack and my hr is 110, I might as well go for a walk. So I'm out there in the wind, chasing down breakaways etc. not really conserving much. Then I thought I'd do something halfway smart, when I saw 2 guys make a brakeaway and then one faded and came back. The 2nd guy looked pretty strong so I put in an effort to get up to him and thought maybe the 2 of us can do some damage. When I got to him the guy asked me for some water and I was happy to share since I thought he'd be the guy to work with. After I gave him some water he told me he was blown and he couldn't do anything. So I ended up working by myself for a while, but got caught. In the end I blew up pretty bad since for whatever reason they removed the neutral feed zone on the 2nd lap and all I had was about 2 bottles for a 4 hour race. All in all, I got what I wanted which was a good workout. Funny, how the dynamics work sometimes in a road race. Maybe next time I will "conserve" more energy.

Breck 100

So I let myself talk into doing the Breck 100 this past weekend. I've never really ridden a bike for more than 5 hours, either mountain or road, so I really didn't know what to expect.

The race started at 6 am, WAY too early to even ride a bike, let alone start a 3000ft climb up to almost 13000 feet. I felt like breathing through a straw and the 50 hiki a bike sections really didn't improve my mood. Then after just 1 hour into the race I hit my derailleur on a rock and it ended up in my spokes. I somehow got it out and bent it back enough to continue riding. I lost my 4 easiest gears in the back and ended up riding like that for almost 7 hours. I was ready to give up, because the hard gears really took its toll on my on the steep climbs.

When I got back to the checkpoint, though, I saw I was only seconds behind 3rd. So
Grayson and Matt were working on my bike, changed my derailleur and cables etc and off I went for lap nr. 3. BIG thanks for their help, without them, I couldn't have finished the race. I lost a lot of time and ended up in 6th position after leaving the checkpoint. I really felt good, though, especially after the 8th hour and was able to pick up one guy ahead of me. Then, with just 3 miles to go I jammed my derailleur into the spokes again, this time so hard that I couldn't even get the wheel to move. So I started walking - pissed. After 10 min or so I figured I really had it with walking and was able to rip the derailleur right off and was able to get the wheel moving again. That way I could at least coast on the down hills. I ended up walking across the finish line, happy to finish.

I took me just over 10 1/2 hours, some serious chamois time. It was a great adventure and I think I 'll do the 100 miler in Park City, too. It was a whole new way of suffering and if it drained me physically it only made me stronger mentally. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

The monthly update

I guess I haven't been posting a lot lately, I've been kind of busy, plus running to the library to get onto a public computer to get online really sucks. That's also the reason why you haven't seen a single picture on my blog yet.

Did a few races since the Deer Valley NORBA, Solitude State Champs went ok, finished 3rd behind Alex G and Bart. Did the marathon race in Breckenridge, which was a ton of fun. I found out that I can do a 4 hour race and actually feel good doing it. I think I'll start doing more of those long races, they seem to fit my riding style. We also got our new Mona-Vie outfits, one green, one purple, I like them except I found out purple makes me look fat(or maybe I am). Check out Fox's website to see a picture of some of the Mona-Vie riders.

This past Saturday I went to Snowbird for the annual Mountain Bout. After a small technical mishap I was able to come from behind to finish 2nd behind Alex Grant, he really is on fire right now. Everybody seemed to be bitchy about the Snowbird course, but I have to say I kind of like it. I like the shorter loops and the DH was actually fun, I thought. Fast corners with some drifting action, what's wrong with that?

I was asking some guys after the race for some nutritional advice for the Breckenridge 100 which I'll be doing this weekend. I've never ridden a bike for more than 5 hours and am curious what I can eat during a 9-10 hour race. Maybe not so much what I can eat, but more what I can digest. I got some interesting info from Bart and Alex, see how it's going to work.

Bart, Jason and a bunch of other guys will be going to the Nationals this coming weekend, I am jelous that I can't go. I love the Mt. Snow course, certainly one of my favorites, too bad they won't let foreigners race at Nationals. Mt. Snow was the 1st mtb race I ever did, I remember lighting up a cigarette in the parking lot, I was still smoking back then.

The mountain bike season is almost done, I don't feel burned out at all. I guess my training has been kind of whacky this year, I still feel superfresh at least mentally. I am playing around with the thought of doing the X Terra in Ogden in August. I think the riding and running part wouldn't be a problem, the swim section might be a different story. I have no clue about the freestyle technique, maybe I'll just do the chest stroke, might be a little embarrassing, though. We'll see.


The NORBA circus left town again and it's time to figure out what to focus on next. The XC race took place on a very hot Saturday afternoon, didn't quite go as well as I was hoping for. I did have to start from the very end of the pack, but that was certainly not the reason why I finished that far back(I think somewhere in the late 40s) My legs just couldn't generate any power, I've been feeling ok riding my bike, racing though it seems my body likes to shut down after 15min. Maybe it has to do that I haven't done a single hill repeat this year. If there's anything I have learned this year in terms of cycling is that you can get into some sort of shape without any organized training, but you can't really hold it for very long.

So it's time to dig out the heart rate monitor and power meter in order to get back in shape. I haven't used either in a while but realized they are actually great tools. (duh!) I guess sometimes it takes me a while to figure things out. I heard about a tuesday night race series at Solitude, I'm in, that is if I don't have to work those nights. There's also a super D series in this state I might try just to freshen up my outlook on cycling. We'll see

hairless legs

There you go. I gave in to the peer pressure and finally shaved my legs for this past weekends race at Deer Valley. I thought that would be it, I'm going to smoke my competition. Well, it turned out that I got smoked. Immidiately I went to the back of the 30 deep Pro field and pulled out of the race after just 1 lap. My hairless legs felt like led. I guess sometimes you just don't have it. I don't know if I'll be able to regrow my hair before this weekends NORBA race at DV, but I'll do my best and hopefully I'll have a better race. Good turnout at the race, though, the trails were in fantastic shape, too.

Big Calves

The Intermountain Cup "Circus" headed to Sundance this past weekend for a challenging but fun race. The course is equally challenging and fun, a sufferfest on the uphill but a blast coming back down. I opted to ride a full suspension bike this past weekend and I have to say I really enjoyed it. Thanks to Matt O to let me ride this bike and Ryan K at the Cannondale tent for helping with a super fast set up. The bike was also equipped with 172.5cm (I am used to 175s) crank arms which turned out to be an interesting experiment. The Pro field was stacked again with almost 20 people showing up including a come back from Eric Jones. You could feel the fear on the startline, everybody thought Eric would put the hammer down again just like he used to. I actually rode a while behind him at the start and noticed his calves are almost as big as mine. (but not quite)

Alex Grant and Ali G got away at the beginning and a small group of 4 formed about 2 min. behind. Bart and myself were in that group at the front and I noticed I could barely stay with him on the steeper climbs, but felt like I could do much more on the backside of the race course. I attacked on the gravel downhill section (or maybe my 160lbs just helped me pass Barts 135lbs on that section) and was able to build a little gap which I held to the finish. I caught Ali at the beginning of the third lap but never could quite get within the reach of Alex G. He seems to be getting in form at the right time and put in a great race. It'll be fun racing at Deer Valley for the next 2 weekends.

9 am race start

Haven't raced at 9 am in a while, at the speed I'm getting things done these days, I'd have to get up at 4am to be ready by 9. I managed to get 2 cups of coffee and a little cereal into me before the race started. I would have been able to do a 20 min. warm up if it weren't for the line in front of the 2 porter potties, unfortunately only 1 had toilet paper.

Anyway, still a little sleepy at the start line, the race got under way and I was able to stay on Jasons wheel for about 15 min. Somehow I lost my focus and the long gravel climb seemed to take forever. On top of the climb I was passed by Bryson Perry, by the bottom I was in fourth behind Fox. I didn't preride the course and just couldn't find any rhythm on the single track downhill. I started to feel better after the 1st lap and bridged back up to Fox who seemed to be hurting at that point. I passed him and had a much better time on the downhill, started to feel good on lap 3 and was able to get within 15 sec. of Bryson. I could see him putting in a big effort, because he noticed I wasn't far off. In the end he held on to 2nd and I came in 3rd. It was a fun course, I'm happy with lap 2 and 3, maybe with a little more warm up my first lap will be better in the future.

Vote for Team Shannifer

Go to the raceface website to give Shannon Boffeli and Jen Hanks a chance to go to the Transalp this year. All you have to do is watch 5 short videos and vote for them. You might be tempted to vote for the 2 girls in the lederhosen, but go vote for Shannon and Jen!

"lustlos" on wednesday

Went to Sundance and did the weekly wednesday night race series. From the start, my legs just felt like led and I had to back off after just 5 minutes or so. I guess sometimes you just don't have it, my heart rate never really climbed past 160 and so I was tuckering along for about 1 hour. I must have been tired from the past weekend, I had trouble focusing and was all over the place on the single track. I was ready to pull out after lap one, but I kept reminding myself of the fun downhill that was to come after the painful climb. I rode with Brandon Firth on lap 2 and saw him go down hard as he clipped his left pedal on a rock and catapulted himself over the handle bar to land hard on his right side. It was a big crash, first I thought he was hurt, but he got back up and finished the race. There were quite a lot of crashes along the course, I don't think anybody got seriously hurt, though.

Seems like every time I check out there's a new big name confessing of having used dope. Bjarne Riis, Erik Zabel etc etc. It's really depressing. I know a lot of people that have said that all these big shots are dopers and I always thought they just said that because they never got very far in cycling themselves. After all these scandals and all these cyclists admitting to having doped I'm not so sure anymore. It's really a downer, just the thought of competing against people that are juiced up makes me sick. But then again, it's the love of racing and competing that gets me going, not the results, otherwise I would have quit long time ago.

Saturday Race at Soldier Hollow

On Thursday and Friday after the Wednesday night race I tried to take it easy so I would be good and fresh for Intermountain Cup #4 at Soldier Hollow in Midway. My legs were still a little stiff warming up, but I ended up feeling quite good once the race was under way. The turn out was good with 13 pros at the line and I had a good start. Seemed like Alan Obeye and myself got a little gap on the rest right away and the two of us were riding together for the first 2 laps. On the 3rd lap my rear wheel spun out on a steep short climb and I ended up running that section with Alan opening up a little gap on me. He attacked right there and I just couldn't quite catch up to him on the last lap. I ended up in 2nd, but I am quite happy with my form, seems like my body is getting used to racing again. Bart tried out new cleat positioning on his shoe, check out his blog to get some more info, it's quite interesting.

I'll try to do another wednesday night race this week, it'll be in Sundance, great single track, it'll be fun. The trails in Park city are drying out nicely. Went on a nice long ride today, it was quite chilly, but Spiro, Mid mountain, Sweeney Switchbacks and Johns are all in great shape already.

Mid-week racing at Soldier Hollow

I pre rode saturdays race course by doing the wednesday night race at Soldier Hollow. It was amazing how many people showed up, this series is growing and it's great to see so many people come out and race their mountain bikes on a week day. I encourage everybody to come out and try one of these races at either Soldier Hollow or Sundance.

The races are shorter than your Intermountain cup races and there's always a great raffle at the end of each race. The course was hard, but fun and my legs felt quite good as well. Maybe the few days of resting after getting food poisoning weren't all that bad for the legs. I'm looking forward to Saturday, I always love racing at Soldier Hollow because I know every inch of the course from skate skiing in the winter.

I can't believe the Jazz made it to the Western Coference Finals, it's been great following their season and I can't wait for the next games. Anything is possible.

Lehi and food poisoning

Intermountain Cup #3 at 5 mile pass and I had a pretty good time. Rolling terrain, windy conditions and 44 miles made for a long and hard race. I felt pretty good at the start and settled into the front group, Bart decided to go and nobody really went with him. So he was in front of us, around 1 to 2 min. for the first few laps and I pullen Prime Time and Ali G around the racecourse. I didn't mind doing the work in the front, this race was primarily for me to get some race mileage back in the legs. Ali fell back and it was just Sly and myself for the last 2 laps. I kept pulling until the beginning of the 4th lap and my body decided to call it a day. My legs just exploded and it felt like the last lap took forever. I was able to hold on to 3rd at the end and it felt good to finish such a long race, some might call it a marathon and not a XC race. Anyway, it was fun and I'm looking forward to Soldier Hollow this weekend. I know the terrain really well from skate skiing, but I know it'll be harder to conquer on a bike.

This past weekend I didn't race and instead got a food poisoning from some fish stew I ate Saturday night. I have never been that viciously sick, it was brutal. I even got a ride in the Park City ambulance to the clinic. I decided not to ride Sunday and Monday, my body just felt like sleeping the last few days. Today I went out on my mountain bike and it's nice to see so many of the Park City trails already dry and fast. I guess the bad thing about that is that it'll be dusty pretty soon. Tomorrow I might try racing the wednesday night series at Soldier Hollow, these races are always fun and good training. Hopefully they'll have a good showing.


So Brandon Firth and I decided last minute to go down to Hurricane and do the Cholla Challenge. It gave me a good excuse to get out of work Saturday night and so we left early Saturday towards Hurricane. We made it just in time to sign up before they closed down same day registration. We even had time for a 10 minute warm up. I was excited because it was the first time that I was able to race my new Cannondale Taurine. It's Cannondale's carbon hardtail version and it's super light. I rode it the day before for the first time and it climbed like a mountain goat, no excuses if I didn't do well in the race.
The gun went off and I actually got the whole shot, unfortunately I only lasted up on the front for about 30 seconds. I didn't even feel too bad on the first climb, but after about 20 min. my body just shot down. I really haven't bonked that early in a race, but that's what happened. I started going backwards. I couldn't get myself out of the hole and even mentally I was totally fried. I just couldn't get any positive thoughts into my head so I just pedaled half heartedly around the race course. I came sooo close to dropping out but at least I hung in there for a good training ride. I got passed by a good amount of expert riders that started a few minutes behind me and I think I finished about 20 min. down on the winner's time. I haven't sucked that bad ever since I started racing. Well, it'll give me some good motivation to train harder. I don't want to disappoint my new team, Mona-Vie/Cannondale, especially since we're getting great support this year. Hopefully next race report will be more positive!

1st mtb race at St. George

So I guess I haven't updated my blog in a while. Lots of stuff going on, nothing really to write about. I am fortunate this year to ride for a great new team. I can't wait to get my new Cannondale Taurine, it'll be a blast to race on. This past weekend I decided to go down to St. George and ride a mountain bike for the 2nd time this year. I was lucky enough that Matt O had a Rush that I could borrow, since I haven't gotten my new Taurine yet and I just sold my old mountain bike on ebay. Brandon Firth and I decided to take the drive on Saturday morning, we wanted to leave around 6am, but by the time we got started it was a little closer to 7. We made it there on time, though, enough to mount a bottle cage on my bike and get a 15min warm up.
The course is a lot of fun, the climbs are rather mellow and the downhills are just pure pleasure. I haven' t ridden a full suspension in 4 years and the Rush sure felt different than what I am used to. It was actually really nice on the climbs, but it was absolutely brilliant on the down hills. I can't believe how well the lefty absorbs the bumps, yet stays so true to the line. I felt like driving a Cadillac around on the race course. I hope I'll get a chance to race that bike in a Super D race.
Had a really bad start and thought of throwing up due to a cold I've been fighting all week, but kept riding and actually started to feel better as the race went on. I couldn't catch up to my new team mates Jason and Bart, but was able to take third to make it a 1, 2, 3 finish for our team. Big thanks to Matt O for letting me use this cool new bike, personaly I think everyone should have a Carbon Rush in their garage.
Now I hope I can get back into a decent training routine and have a fun season. I feel like the ski season is coming to an end, I sure will miss the skate skiing at Soldier Hollow. Well, it'll only be a year 'til next time. Actually can't wait for the bike season to really kick off.

getting started for 07

I'm in week 2 of my 07 training program and I'm getting excited about the upcoming season. Looks like I'll be riding a Cannondale this year, can't wait to get it and give it a good test ride.

Besides skate skiing and some work inside on the trainer, I was able to get outside on Saturday for a good mountain bike ride in the snow. Sager has been grooming the trails on his bike in Round Valley so they would be nice and smooth for the rest of us. We had a great group of riders and it was a blast riding in the snow. Now it looks like the temperatures are nice enough to ride the road bike outside. Maybe not in Park City, where the Sundance traffic would turn you into road kill in a second. I guess I'll just stay in the valley.

Testing with Testa

After not riding my bike since Dec. 9th, I decided to visit Dr. Max Testa in order to do a lactate threshold test and develop my training zones for the next few weeks. He moved from California to SLC not too long ago, and he is working for the TOSH now. When I entered the "human performance lab", I saw him talking to Dave Zabriskie about his training plan etc. It was kind of cool to see

a) Dave Zabriskie with a full Santa Claus style beard and
b) being tested by the guy who has been working with such great cyclists over the last 20 years

The test starts out at 100 watts and kicks up by 40 watts each 3 min. It doesn't feel like much at first, but it doesn't take long before you start breathing hard. I stopped after completing the 380 watt stage, with 9.6 mMol/L of lactate. The last stage was certainly hard and over my threshold, but it actually felt good to get in a hard effort on the bike after not doing much the last 3 weeks.

It was great to talk about the test results and training zones etc. with Dr Testa. You can tell right away that this man knows a LOT about cycling and training. So now I have my next few weeks of training in front of me, can't wait to get back in shape and ready for a new season.