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.