Wednesday, May 31, 2006

We spent Memorial Day weekend in SLC visiting Ade's family. Her sister Lisa and brother-in-law Scott just had a baby the Saturday before (May 20). We hung out with the young Calvin throughout the weekend. Shay was nervous and would never hold his cousin because he was scared. He did like him though, especially all his hair.

Here is Shay, Lisa and Calvin.

And a picture of me and the little man.

I did get in a lot of riding over the weekend too. Saturday (when we got into town) was rainy and snow in the hills so I didn't ride. On Sunday the weather finally cleared in the afternoon so I spent time on the road. From Linda's new house all you can do is climb so I did three efforts of about 15-20 minutes in the afternoon. Monday was a big ride. I went out with Eric for almost three hours and got worked over. We climb a ton, to the top of Big Mountain east of SLC. It was damn cold at the top and we couldn't make a loop of the ride because of snow. We ended up back tracking to avoid snow but it still was a solid ride. Here I am freezing my ass off at about 8500 feet. Park City is to my right (left in picture) with the valley to my right.

The riding was solid on Monday and I felt it. On Tuesday I went out for 1.5 early in the morning on the mountain bike. Started climbing from Lynda's again but hit the dirt this time and cruised towards the capital. It was a good ride, but after the two previous days I was tired as hell from climbing. We spent the rest of the day at the mall hanging out and letting Shay play in the fountain.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Actually Riding the Dirt

So Angel Fire got me going. I raced well but know I need more time on the mountain bike if I want to take the top step on the podium. I'm going to make sure I'm getting in more trail rides, even if my total ride time each week takes a little hit.

I got up and out of the house by 5:00 am today and rode at Apex. It was pretty nice and I saw a ton of deer. Rode for about 1.5 hours before heading in to work. It was a good way to start the day.

Here is Shay with some funky hair right after a bath.

Here is Cimarron Canyon on the way to Angel Fire (note the cracked windshield, got to get that fixed).

And some pictures from Apex this morning.

We are off to SLC this weekend to visit Ade's family. Her sister had a baby "Vinny" on Saturday so it will be fun to see the little guy. I'm going to try to bring my mountain bike to hit the trails a lot, but first I need to track down a box. Not sure when I'll have time to do that.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Angel Fire Race

So the racing season in Colorado got started this weekend with the first race in the Mountain States Cup ( in Angel Fire, New Mexico. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to race the XC race until Tuesday of race week so last minute arrangements were mad with teammates for a place to stay, taking a day off work, and most importantly clearing with my wife. With a four year old taking two days away can be difficult because of parenting, but lucky for me my wife understands how important racing is to me and I was off.

Drove down from Denver on Friday morning and got in to Angel Fire around 2:30. Found some of the team getting ready to set-up our pit area so I helped with that before pre-riding. Angel Fire is one of the toughest courses I’ve ever ridden and remembering back to 2004 when I last raced there I was not overly looking forward to the race. There is a lot of climbing, which I don’t mind; however, the downhill is tight technical singletrack which is not my strong suit. I also didn’t have high expectations as I’ve been fighting a cold for about three weeks and had reduced training significantly, along with finishing a course of antibiotics Friday before I left. I figured I’d race to get a little race fitness and pick up an “extra” race for the MSC series. Even after the pre-ride Friday I didn’t have high expectations but did feel ok, especially with my climbing.

Saturday started with my normal lateness and a limited warm-up of about 25 minutes. Given the long climb at the start I would have liked more. The start was on an open ski hill that was in terrible shape. It seems as if Angel Fire has been doing work on the hill and the start area was rough because of the earth movers. About 500 meters after the start the race turned into a singletrack climb. With the sport men 30-34 starting with my group (35-39) this start caused a mess of about 50 or so riders trying to funnel into the singletrack. I was sitting about 30th at this point, but knew to keep my cool as the trail soon opened and I’d have a chance to pass. I just kept riding steady and was passing people when the trail allowed and by the top of the short first lap (4.5 miles) I was in 4th from both age groups. On the downhill I was promptly dropped and passed by a good number of people; however, I didn’t notice too many with the “16” on their leg, signifying my group. My lack of off-road riding was showing though as I didn’t feel comfortable at speed on the downhill. In the past two months I’ve hit the dirt about 5 times total and the lack of technical skills was showing.

The good news for me was the second lap was the long lap and I knew I’d pass a lot of people on the climb. I was riding well and starting the climb thought I was in 5th or 6th in 35+. By the top of the climb I had ridden well and thought I was sitting in 3rd. I knew if I rode well a top 5 may be in the cards so I tried to follow a teammate from a different category that was in front of me to help on the downhill. I won’t say I was riding fast on the DH but clearly better than the first lap. I was passed by a couple of younger Sports but towards the bottom nobody in my category had passed me. I bobbled a corner about 1km from the line and a guy in my group passed me, so I was thinking I was in 4th (at the best as a few people didn’t have their legs marked), giving my general lack of DH skills, the course, and recovering from illness I was wanting a top 10. I made it to the line without getting passed again and was feeling pretty good about the race, but not to worried about my result.

I went back to the condo to clean up and pack since I had to leave back to Denver by Noon. After getting cleaned up I went back to the course and teammates started to congratulate me. It was then I found out I had finished 3rd on the day. Somehow I had miss counted the people in front of me. I was only a hand full of seconds out of 2nd and 2 + minutes down on 1st. Not to bad considering my expectations at the start. Now I just need to start training on the dirt and maybe I can win one of these races.

Also the drive down was awsome. Cimmaron Canyon in NM is great and very senic. A nice way to chill out when driving that far.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

It was bound to happen

It was bound to happen, I'm getting the cold that Ade and Shay had. At least it held off until after I was in NYC. It sucks to fly when you have a cold, although I think the recycled air didn't help any with fighting off the illness.

I did get to cruise around NYC and get some cool pictures. The place is a mad-house. Way more people and bigger than you can do just to in photos. Part of that is Reuters is right in Times Square, as is the Hilton. That area is just a cross road of people and culture. I wish I could spend more time and really get to see the city, instead of the hyper-tourist I feel like when on business travel.