Saturday, June 30, 2007

Resting Up

It’s just four days till the FireCracker 50, so I’m trying to sit around and rest. It is tough before a race because you tend to want to do little things at the end to make you faster, but really at this point recovery is the key thing for going faster. I did ride for about 2 hours this morning and felt pretty good. Now I just need to get the mountain bike all adjusted and ready to race.

Two other pieces of news on the FireCracker 50, word from Sly Fox is he is coming over from Utah from the race. Grandma L will have some Utah racers to cheer for too I guess. Second is be ready for flats. The downhill from Lincoln Park is rocky and causing flats. This is the one section of the course I didn't ride the other day because I kept getting lost and ran low on time, but I've heard it is causing havoc with people pre-riding.

And I have a new kit to race in, all I can say is GREEN.

An anonymous donor of mine sent an email to me on calculating your carbon footprint (how much greenhouse gas you emit). There are a lot of carbon calculators out there but one of the best I’ve found is the EPAs. It has more detail then a lot of others, though it neglects flying which is a big hit for emitting greenhouse gases. The sad truth is I’m probably over the “national average” because of flying for work. It’s interesting but I recently read that if everyone on a plane drove individually to/from their destinations the carbon emissions would still be less than flying.

Anyway, take a few minutes to check out the calculator and get some ideas on ways to reduce your emissions. All the sites I’ve checked out have good ideas for reducing the amount of greenhouse gases you emit.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Six Days

and counting to the FireCracker 50. I cruised up to Breckenridge today to ride the course, aside from getting lost a bunch on the backside (Little French Gulch) of the course and riding up a stream of snow melt for about 2 miles it was a good ride. The opening climb seems to go on forever, part of it on pavement part on dirt. At least when you're done with the climb most of the climbing is done.

While getting lost multiple times I met a few locals out riding the course, all were super cool and helpful in getting me un-lost. It's nice to just run in to people out riding and have them help you out.

Yesterday was bike to work day. I think my office had 22 people sign up and all but one rode in. They give out free breakfast at places in Denver on bike to work day, but I was running late so didn't get to stop. Oh well, maybe next year.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

One Week, Two Weeks

Tomorrow marks one week until Bike to Work Day here in Denver and two weeks until the FireCracker 50. I'd like to see a large showing of people participating in BTWD. I'm coordinating the effort for my company and about 20 people have signed up, which is about 10% of the staff.

The FireCracker 50 is a different story, as I know not every can participate by riding, but I hope many of you will consider participating in-kind by donating to Environmental Defense Fund. Some of you may have gotten the newsletter I put out, others may just have happened onto the blog. In either case I'll be posting some of my articles from my most recent newsletter over the next two weeks, along with other information leading up to the FireCracker 50. If anyone would like my newsletter, just send me an email.

Article on EDF

Of all the environmental groups and organizations out there, why did I decide to raise fund for the Environmental Defense Fund (
Unfortunately, at this point in time global warming and environmental issues have become overly politicized. People wonder: does it exist? should we legislate to help protect the earth? do humans cause it? if so, should corporations self-regulate or be restricted by the government?
I wanted to find a group that was objective and apolitical in its assessment of our environmental state. The Environmental Defense Fund fits the bill. This is a group of scientist and economists who are working to show that environmental sustainability and economic well being can co-exist.
A great example of this is the work Environmental Defense is doing with FedEx, designing new vehicles and looking for ways to lessen the impact of FedEx’s fleet on the environment.

Environmental Defense has also been at the lead of a business coalition (U.S. Climate Action Partnership) that is trying to force governmental action on the climate issue. This coalition includes companies such as GM, Shell, General Electric as well as environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and National Wildlife Federation. Environmental Defense Fund staff have proven that they are able to work across politics and industries to further improvement to the environment.
I’d ask each of you to make a small donation to them, through my blog or on your own, to allow them to continue their work.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Utah Racing

Well the weekend of racing went well in Utah. Big thanks go out to mom-in-law Lynda for driving, letting me stay at the house, and feeding me in the race. It sure makes the racing easier when you have someone there to take care of you. Back to the racing in a minute though.

I was reading an article Saturday in the Salt Lake Tribune that discussed how the western US Governors are pushing for environmental legislation on both the stat and federal level. Even governors from some of the more “conservative” western states, like Utah are supporting this work. This is a huge change over the course of just a few years in perception about the need to move environmental concerns to the forefront. However support from the governors is only a small step, as:

“The opposition in Utah, moreover, doesn't just come from the GOP. "Huntsman, before he gets too far into it, should look at the economics," said Sen. Mike Dmitrich, D-Price. Dmitrich, who represents Utah's coal country, was the author of a 1998 resolution - passed overwhelmingly in the Legislature - calling on the governor to prohibit state agencies from taking any action to reduce greenhouse gases.”

Take some time to contact your local legislator about global warming and the environment. Let them know that the issues are real and that you support the stance of the western governors. Here are links for the local officials in Utah or Colorado.
Now onto racing. While the field at the race was small I’m still pleased with how the weekend went. I first upgraded to Expert last year at Deer Valley, finished last and knew I had a long way to go. This year I knocked 7+ minutes off my time from last year and finished in 4th spot. Given the small size of the field the placing is good, not great, but the time improvement is pretty sweet. It’s about a 5% improvement over last year and given that it was very windy this year maybe even slightly better. I’ve still got work to do to be at the top of the Expert group (like the 30-40 people in Colorado races) but I’m moving the right direction. With just 17 days before the FireCracker 50 I have some time for a little more improvement before starting to taper/rest for the race. I’ll be working on long intervals again this week and hopefully sneak in one more long ride this weekend to get ready. Then I’ll recover for a few days early next week before reducing my training volume but keeping some intensity for the week before the race. Since it takes 7-10 days for training to really improve performance after this week of training my efforts will be focused on keeping fitness, not improving it any more.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I'm heading to Utah for the National Mountain Bike Series Race at Deer Valley. Staying with Lyn (my mother in law) for the weekend of racing. We're heading up to watch the semi-pro race when I get in. Hopefully Sly ( will put on a show for the home town crowd.

This will be my last race before the FireCracker 50. It should be good training, about 25 miles, 2.25 hours and a lot of climbing. I'm going in a little tired from training, but the goal is the FireCracker 50 not this race. It should be interesting to see the results and time of the race though, as this race last year was my first as an Expert. Finished DFL (Dead F****** Last) so shouldn't be hard to improve. This is the biggest and toughest series in the country which is why I'm going, race against the best to get better. Hopefully this race will help my abilities for the FireCracker 50.

The only bad news, I'll be gone for Father's Day, but Seamus made me a sweet card so I'm set.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Damn I feel like I should post something, but don't really have much to say. I did some editing on the site tonight, added a few links. There is now a link with information about the FireCracker 50, though all that really needs to be said is 50 miles, 10,000+ vertical feet, marathon national championship and 6 hours.

I also moved the link for donating to the Environmental Defense Fund to the top of the page (thanks for the idea Kip). As some (hopefully many) of you remember one of my primary goals is to raise $1,000 for the Environmental Defense Fund. The EDF is a group of scientist created to raise awareness and provide facts about global warming, trying to limit the political rhetoric and provide sound information/facts. I'm hoping that people will consider donating $0.50 - $1.00 per mile of the FireCracker 50 to the Environmental Defense Fund ($25-$50 total). With the race just a few weeks away it seems like a good time to start reminding people of this portion of the goal.

Of course this is only one facet of my goal with the others being:
Begin to provide people information and resources on the effects of global
Educate people on the ease and benefits of using the bike as a means of transportation

I think I'm accomplishing these two in some ways so hopefully I can raise some funds too. One of my aunts was in town this weekend and she's been reading the blog and changed her bag habits at the grocery store as a result. If we each start with small steps like this improvement will come. Thanks for making some personal changes Patty, it's news like this that makes my efforts seem worth the time and energy.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Why Should You Vote?

Because our current leadership won't admit there is a problem with global warming.

From Reuters (blatently stolen from my company)
World leaders meeting in Germany have agreed to pursue "substantial" cuts in greenhouse gases, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

"In terms of targets, we agreed on clear language ... that recognizes that (rises in) CO2 emissions must first be stopped and then followed by substantial reductions," Merkel told reporters at the G8 summit in the Baltic coast resort of Heiligendamm.

But alas Presidnet George...Group of Eight (G8) powers failed to overcome U.S. resistance to committing to specific numerical targets to curb global warming but did refer to the goal of some countries of cutting emissions by 50 percent by 2050.

For the full article head over to:

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day in Denver is three weeks from today, Wednesday June 27. This is a well run, metro area event that makes commuting to work using alternative transportation fun and easy. I'm working to coordinate efforts at my company and thus far we have 15 people signed up to commute, a few for the first time ever.

It is the small steps and efforts, like commuting to work on the bike (or walking) once in a while that can provide a starting point for bigger changes. The more people who are involved/participate in events like Bike to Work Day and let officials know they are becoming involved because of global warming, the more officials will take notice. Get out there on the 27th and give a bike commute a try. Let your friends know, and more importantly let elected officials know the reason behind your participation.

I'll be riding, and in fact have volunteered to ride in with a few novice co-workers, if you need any help preparing let me know. I commuted through our snow-packed streets all winter so riding in the Denver summer should be easy.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Smaller Footprints

Each week we are making small steps at my house to reduce our Carbon Footprint (how much greenhouse gas we put in the air) with last week being a big one we bought Ade a bike. She hasn’t ridden one in about 20 years (I know hard to believe being married to me and not riding a bike) but the Schwinn cruiser is perfect. We all rode to the swimming pool on Saturday afternoon. Not a big ride but in the past we would have driven a wasteful 2-3 miles to go to the pool. Instead now we all have bikes to ride and an easy fun free (don’t forget gas prices) way to the pool.

The whole cruiser bike is pretty cool for getting around the neighborhood, so much so I might have to buy one soon. The racing bikes are nice but to be casual and look good a cruiser might be a better fit. I also found a grocery store, Albertsons on 2nd and Quebec that has plastic bag recycling. This is huge as Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year with a minimal number being recycled. The Albertsons will let you recycle newspaper bags, grocery bags, and even the plastic used to cover dry cleaning. As much as I’ve never been a fan of shopping at Albertsons this may be enough to get me to switch, at least some of what I buy, to support their efforts.

Another beauty of the summer is farmers markets which are great for food. Inexpensive, local, organic fruits and vegetables. The food tastes better and there is less environmental impact. It is still early in the veggie season here in Colorado but some things were great. As the summer goes on more fresh foods will appear and many places have recipes that let you try out the fresh crops.

Sunday was a big riding day, another 6 hours on the bike. I rode to Golden up Chimney Gulch (the dirt trail up Lookout Mountain) down Apex (the backside of Lookout) and home. I got in about 2 hours of mountain biking and 6 hours total. A 2 hour mountain bike ride is pretty damn good and usually involves at least a ½ hour of drive time each way, but the commute by bike makes the dirt even more fun and doesn’t waste gas. I tell you I’m trying to reduce my waste, maybe not great yet but all the little efforts help. What have you done recently?