Saturday, October 29, 2011

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Finally! I've had to hike across Suncrest too many times over the last month waiting for them to open up the tunnel section to get to the sweet ride on the other side. And now it's done! I think Anne's is now my favorite ride in Draper. Riding it up to the top of Corner Canyon has a great grade that you can stand up and pound a  good pace. It is long and a great sustained work out. But now I can cross to the other side and climb her the other way but at the same grade. So far that section hasn't been discovered by too many, so the I can open it up on the return. Draper does it yet again. 

Draper has opened up parts of a pump track and downhill course! This little pump track was a bit much for the long wheel base of the Arantix, though. I wonder if they'll make one to fit a 29'r?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What's wrong with these pics?

Just think how fast my lap would have been if I wouldn't have posed! Just kidding- this was a pre-ride lap

I'm walking! And I'm smiling! Wrong!

This was Nose Dive Hill. I've never seen anyone ride it, although heard of it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

24 Hours of Moab - Take 8

Keith, the man, the leader, the guy who made up the winning team
It took me 8 years of racing the 24 Hours of Moab to get on a team that was able to take a first place finish! Due to a multitude of factors going our way, we were able to take a solid first and 4th overall. It is a good thing that it all came together because there was a lot of grumbling that this may be the last 24 hours of Moab. It's truly said since this has been a tradition for the team as well as myself. I looked back at the results for my 8 races starting in 2002 at the young age of 36. Looking at my first lap times I started out rough in the 1:20's (before I joined Mad Dog). Then in 2005 my times were not much better but the guys let me stay on the team. By 2006 I was feeling good but it was the rain year and I couldn't tell much about how I did. Then in 2007 I hit 1:14's and plateaued there until last year when I hit 1:13 and this year I reached 1:12.32.
The LaSal's were nicely covered with snow

Really, for the first time, this year I felt comfortable with the course. I didn't have the "pucker" factor on the technical stuff that I have had in the past. That can be good or bad. I pre-road the course Friday, with Jen our wonderful Chef, and I realized it was a very pleasant course- when you are not busting your butt.
Jen way up ahead of me- "putting it down"- a deceivingly pleasant ride

For the second year I didn't have to "run". I slyly suggested the race rotation should go by age and the guys bought it! Reed took the run and kicked butt getting back and then Tim took off and did not disappoint. Carson was to be next but he was still hacking up a storm from a recent cold (the same one that prevented us from doing Frog Hollow last weekend) so we left him for last. As it turned out he put down a 1:09 on his lap so we should have left him in third. Keith, however, went third and ended up setting down a respectable 1:13:04! That laid down a big challenge for me. I did not want to let the team down and I was really worried I'd be "the weak link". So with some nervous energy I headed off. Luckily I was able to find a few challenges from racers on the course that helped push me and I put down a 1:12:32. That's the best time I've ever had in all those years of racing. I have to admit that the course conditions were probably the best I've ever seen as well.
"Small" but cozy camp

After that I was able to relax and enjoy the team and the venue. The Mad Dog turnout was smaller but more intimate, plus being on a 5 man team that extra hour seemed like we had all day to get ready for the next lap.
We had time to "kick back" and enjoy the time with family
and friends
Our man, Chris, Coming in FIRST on the first lap!
Then came the night laps. Until then we were 6th overall but within seconds of 5th and 4th. This is where our experience shined. Our night lap times only increased by a few minutes from the day ones but the other teams' gaps were greater and we quickly pulled to 4th over all and 1st in our class. After that is was just a matter of avoiding mechanicals.
Finally- 1st
And when the dust settled by noon on Sunday, the best thing was, that every team Mad Dog sponsored took first! Brad, Dwight, Craig and Bill took the Grand Master (and 37th overall) and Chris, Josh, Matt and KC took Pro Am/Coed (and 2nd overall!). How cool is that?

I have a lot more pics that will be posted on the team site- as soon as Carson gets me the password.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Night Ride

If you haven't tried night mountain bike riding, your missing out
The 6 hours of Frogs Hollow was derailed for this weekend- Buddy issues. So I joined some good old boys for an early morning (5:30a) night ride up at Park City today. It was a VERY pleasant 2 hour ride up Glen Wild, 24-7, Flying Dog etc. I haven't been on this trail system before so it was exceptionally "interesting" doing it in the dark.

I've got one last ride tomorrow before recovery starts for 24 hours of Moab. I'm looking forward to it even more- having missed this weekend.