We love bicycling as a lifestyle, culture, and sport. We love to ride, build, restore, oggle and sometimes race bicycles. We also love to talk on at great length about our ideas, opinions and exploits involving all of the above. Welcome to our BLOG!

Abandon Your Car is not a slogan or ideology so much as a reminder to all of us to get away from our petro-mobiles as often as we possibly can and embark on life as an adventure by bicycle.

We'll keep you current on the important road and trail beta from our home base in Palisade, Colorado and shower you with our .02 cents about the ongoings of bicycle tribes the world over.

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Showing posts with label livetrainrace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label livetrainrace. Show all posts

Sunday, April 3, 2011

race report: 2011 Cholla Challenge, Hurricane, UT

WooHoo- finally made it out to Hurricane and had a great launch to the 2011 racing season! LTR founders Mike and Kristy Driver have told us repeatedly that the InterMountain Cup is a brilliantly put together race series well worth the drive. The series not only showcases the spectacular trail system and off road cycling culture that has evolved in Utah, but teams earn series points for trail maintenance hours- which we find hugely impressive. I have never been to a race with better course marking (in place well before race morning) and more volunteers fully visible and vocal on the course (except, perhaps, the Steamboat Town Challenge which really is the gold standard). Participation is high in this series, as is the competition- all in the context of a super lowkey, downhome vibe. I'd do them all if I didn't hate to drive so much!

The Cholla Challenge was sponsored by Red Rock Bicycles in St George. The course was a ton of fun for an early season race- no brutal grades, no really sustained climbing, a bit of slick rock here and there, some gravel washes, a few sand traps, plenty of cactus and red rock to please the eye and ease the mind.

The temps were ideal (70s and breezy), given that it was 80 plus during my preride the evening before and immediately after the race the winds picked up to an excoriating 25MPH.

Since I had an unfortunate endo during my preride, I looked and felt a little battered during the line-up. But, just as Mike the Hammer Driver said it would, all the pain ceased about 1 mile into my first lap. I was surprised- as I often am- at how hard the women were pinning the first couple of miles, but I hung with the lead pack until it all blew apart toward the top of the initial climb. Then, as per usual, I lost sight of the leaders ahead of me and the rest of the pack behind me and I fell into my own ride.

I got my second bottle handed up by Kristy as I finished lap one and felt ready to go pick someone off...but, alas, all the pain that had evaporated in the first mile of lap one caught me right between the shoulder blades and lap 2 consisted of a lot more soft pedalling than it should have. I dug deep, rode smart, safe and consistent and actually managed to pick off two of the now defunct lead group- at least one of whom had clearly gotten tangled up in one of the many loose sketchy stretches and crashed (this was not a hard course, but it was not forgiving of lapses in concentration).

I nearly blew up on the crappy climb to the finish line and was spinning the Granny Gear as I passed Kristy again- she gave me the what for I needed to crank it up and turn the pedals for a strong, powerful and dignified finish. Third place- on the podium- for my first race of the year!

Got to cheer Mike on to a great mid pack finish in his second ever Pro Race and headed back to the ranch for a Super 8 poolside recovery picnic. In bed by 8:00, I slept in listening to the wind blow the white plastic pool furniture into the water. Coffee in bed while I scanned the radar loops, stalling until it seemed the moisture bands had moved east toward Colorado.

The wind was still whipping 20-25 icey MPH when I loaded the car and as I pulled into the staging area for my planned recovery ride. Last night's snow clung to the redrock peaks. I pulled on the leg warmers, the long sleeve jersey, the windbreaker and considered bagging it all together in light of the 5 hour drive ahead. But, this I know to be true, it is always better to ride than to not ride even if it is for half an hour. Turns out, my recovery loop on the JEM trail could not have been more perfect - a crushing tail wind for the 7 mile rambling climb, during which I saw not a soul, followed by a 7 mile swoopy, mellow desert descent back to the cliffs along the creek with a crushing headwind to keep me spinning the pedals. It is hard to motivate and leave Fruita to ride - unless, of course, we are headed up to Routt County to ride- but my wheels are turning and we will be hatching a plan to get back down here and get after more of this Utah singletrack goodness be it to race or to just recover...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

south Routt road report for thursday march 9, 2011

most local roads are clear, temps in the high 40's- it's time to ride. look out for ice & gravel on north-facing aspects. that's about all there is to tell in this report. see you out there.

cresting the summit today on le Col de Veste Jaune, C.R. 14, south Routt, Colorado

today was probably one of my last rides (for this season, at least) wearing the colors of South Routt Velosport. Jen and i have both signed on to ride for the western slope powerhouse of LTR Sports for the 2011 season (she's on the mountain bike team, and i will be doing double duty on road and mtb). word went out from HQ today that the new team kits are in house... and temperatures in the Grand Valley have soared into the 60's. talk about perfect timing.
the great tradition of new team apparel arriving in the spring has always heralded the start of another racing season, the excitement of rolling out on the training rides with a sharp, professional looking squad, and always being able to identify who you are riding with/for at the races. it was well time for me to invest in some fresh chamois, too.

look for the (road) team to make their 2011 debut at the 2nd annual LTR Grand Junction spring criterium series on the 30th of this month (wednesday evenings, for 4 consecutive weeks, USA Cycling sanctioned). yours truly will be there, on the line.
most of the mtb racers have already "stretched their legs" a bit this season, bravely heading out to the first InterMountain Cup race in St. George, Utah last weekend for some early-season suffering in the sun. they all did amazingly well, considering how much square footage of pasty white skin that was on display.

Jen has been training hard in preparation for her title defense at the Palisade Classic on May 22nd. she is planning her season debut for the second stop of the InterMountain Cup in Hurricane, Utah on the 2nd of April. i can see some painful and humiliating smack-downs in the works this year for a whole new crop of ambitious youngsters in her category (and, perhaps, a certain young apprentice... when applicable). looking forward to that, indeed.

we hope to see all of you racer-types out at the races this year! i'm headed down to Fruita tomorrow for some quality time with Jen and a couple of long group rides (in warm weather) with the team. we'll have another Fruita trail report for you in a couple of days, but for the most part, it's all GOOD TO GO right now.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

24 hours of moab, etc 2010

For the first time ever, we made it down to Moab for the big hoopla- yee-ha!
We got a bit of riding in before the madness began and then dug our heels in to help the boys from Mesa State and LiveTrainRace.com giterdun.

always in pursuit of rides less ridden, we made sure to do a hotlap on the beautiful "babysteps" before making our way out to the 24hour festivities.

This trail represents a new trend in Moab - bike trails designed as bike trails. The single track is super flowy, the scenery epic and the slickrock is SO MUCH fun...

...all without motos.

This is where we come to escape the noise and the dust and the chaos and still get all that Moab goodstuff. MMM! MMM! Goodstuff!

Enough with the site seeing and lollygagging...
we arrived at camp LIVETRAINRACE.COM and got down to the real business of the weekend- keeping our 3 teams on the go for 24 hours of brutacious desert riding.

Keith and Tony and Dave worked around the clock tuning and cleaning and lubing and retuning, recleaning and relubing (Repeat) the steeds of our 12 riders.
in the midst of their 24 hour mechanic marathon, Dave and Keith were unchained from the workstand and commissioned to fill in for riders unable to complete their laps. They rode like the wind and came back ready for more. Now that is full service!
You guys rocked
Just after 12 noon on Saturday Justin stepped it up for the team. After the spectacle of the Le Mann's style start he is back in the comfort of the bike and finding his groove in lap numero uno. So many miles and so many hours yet to come...the pandemonium of running 1/2 mile through desert scrub to reach the bikes and the startline will be all but forgotten before it is done.
Hours later, 3/4 of the MESA STATE boys (the other 1/4 is, of course, out there ripping through his lap) take advantage of the late afternoon light to figure out the whole helmet light operation. None of these guys had ever raced at night before this weekend. They kept the heat on for the entire 24 hours and earned 3rd place in the Men's Expert division! An amazing first ever trip to Moab!
(i am still a little annoyed they did not stay for the awards ceremony and take the podium in honor of all of those they competed against and all of those who supported their effort, but that beef is for another day gentlemen (-: we'll talk later)

And nearly 24 hours after it all began, as Dave tries to come off the rush of his hotlap (just about 1h 10m on the single speed...smokin'!), we watch the final racers make their final laps.
Within an hour or so this entire tent city will be packed up and carted off. The desert of Moab's "outbackofbeyond" will be quiet again and we will be back home in Fruita looking for a shower and a nap.

Without success, I have tried over and over to share with people the brilliant analogy Rich Geng coined after we were a good 16 hours deep in it and I will try once again:

24h mountain bike racing is like eating a donut- except the opposite. When you are eating a donut it seems like such a good idea, but afterwards, you feel so bad and you really wish you hadn't. When you are racing in a 24hour mountain bike race it feels so bad. Then when its all done, you feel so good and you are really glad you did. Exactly!

**I'm sure there is something lost here without Rich's German accent and a good dose of sleep deprivation...but it works for me. We know we will be back for more (24hours of moab that is- and maybe more donuts too)!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ride report for September, 2010

Here is a bit of a rundown on some of the tremendous late summer/early fall riding we have been fortunate enough to get after-

The week before labor day with spring still trying to unfold at about 10,500 feet we made our way to the top of Storm Peak in Steamboat via the sunshine loop and Cathy's cut-off.
We were in a training conundrum as Dave attempted to wind it down for the Steamboat Stage Race just days away and I attempted to keep the focus on getting my altitude on for the Breckenridge Fall Classic still 2 weeks out. It seemed to work since a brutal fullscale effort on my part pretty much allows Dave to noodle along, enjoy the views and "stretch his legs".

DAVE: (La, la, la, aren't these flowers pretty? Oxygen, schmoxygen. La, la, )

(Oh, look, some crazy tree mushrooms...La, la, la, la)

JEN: ( I think this is a great spot to lay down and die, okay?)

We kept it together, had a lot of fun over our back to back weekends of stage racing (visit our blog posts about the Steamboat Stage Race and the Breckenridge Fall Classic), both rode well and without injury. YEAH!

And now that we are mostly finished racing for 2010 (of course, we will head down to the 24hours of Moab next week as support crew for our LiveTrainRace heroes- GO!GO!GO!) we are making more time for ambling adventure rides.

This is last weekend up on the Grand Mesa- overlooking the Grand Valley in the distance. We had a magical day exploring the alpine singletrack with cool fall temps (nearly 20 degrees cooler than 30 minutes away at the house in Fruita). We rode a 20 mile out and back to the very end of the Mesa in the background- (this, of course, means going into the Area 51/ X-Files zone with all those radio towers and antennae you see twinkling in the night) AWESOME.

The West Bench Trail that travels along the top of the Powderhorn Ski Area and onto the Mesa is super varied, passing through pine forests, glowing Aspen groves, lava fields and alpine meadows ...

and, at times, nearly disappears into the sorrounding landscape the way leave covered Autumn Trails often do...spectacular.

Hooray for adventure rides!

We got so pumped up on "non-structured ride" goofballs, the next morning we got up early and rode the Zion curtain/Western Rim mini-epic out at Rabbit Valley (this is a cool Garmin link far beyond our luddite ways...). We haven't ridden that whole loop since early spring.

The rainy summer has certainly left its mark- but the trail was in great shape overall. I love this ride- even with the stupid old-school dirt bike portages- because of the juniper forest and the old burned out juniper forest, the vertiginous views of Rabbit Valley, the rock ledge descent and the long ride back to home base along the Western Rim.

Note**Don't try to ride this alone if you haven't been out there- even though the BLM has recently put up some signs at the Zion trailhead, the connection to the Western Rim (using part of the Kokopelli trail) and/or the boresville-snoresville jeep road return to the I-70 are often missed and it just isn't that fun to be out there alone in the bentonite jungle trying to sort it out.

All in all, we have had a great close to a challenging summer. There is a ton of "non-structured" autumn riding yet to be done, the light is fantastic, the evenings are cool and we are off the training train for awhile. Yee-ha!

(and don't believe the hype- troy rarick did not singlehandedly envision, build and put these great rides on the map. As you no doubt know by now, I find the guy to be a boring megalomaniac and a CRAPPY builder of unsustainable trails with little regard for the environment or anything outside of his EGO and self centered profit mongering. Yeah, that's a brilliant idea- we'll all just build trails wherever and however we like (huh, nothing like the lowest common denominator out there tearing up the desert). Don't get me started on his pathetic "bike shop" where they stock shot glasses and pink thong underwear, but no actual bikes...what a jag)