Thursday, August 26, 2010

10 day review part 2

Picking up where we left off. A few weeks back while riding in Park CIty, my bike began making a weird creak noise. It would happen under pressure or riding in certain parts of the trail that a creak wouldn't normally happen. If that makes any sense. Probaby not but it was making noise. I couldn't pin point it to an exact spot except the rear hub area or somewhere in the rear. I got out my headlamp and started to investigate. Didn't really know what I was looking for but, I saw something that I was concerned about so I took it in to Revolution for a professional look. Worry confirmed, it was broke. I didnt know how to react. 2 weeks away from PCPP, what bike would I be riding. Not a good feeling. I tried not to freak out but my stomach was in knots. Matt (the cannondale rep) just happened to be on his way to the shop, so I hung out.

Broke, cant tell from the pic though
Matt came in and checked it out and immediately was on the phone to Cannondale. Awesome! Oh wait! Backordered until October! Shit! He said he would find me a bike to ride and thought maybe he would be able to track down a frame. Told me to call him later that night. He pulled a rabbit out of his hat and got me a new frame. Less than 5 days later, I have a new frame all built up and ready to roll.
Sweet brand new frame!
I took it out this morning  on its maiden voyage and broke it in real good. I took a digger coming down Jacobs. Trail is pretty washed out in a few sections and rutted. Got caught with my pants down in a rut and wasn't able to pull it out. (no pun intended) Crashed into a huge sagebrush bush and some small oak trees. Broke my sunglasses and scratched me up pretty good. Pretty lucky actually, I was expecting it to be much worse at the speed I was going. Too bad nobody was with me. I am sure it was a spectacular crash to watch, only Lord of the Blue Dome witnessed.

On to the Queen Stage of the Tour Of Utah. I have been looking forward to this stage for a long time. I wasn't able to watch last year since I was crawling up LCC just before the pros came haulin ass through. I got to watch the finish but I really wanted to be lower in the Canyon where I could get close to the riders. It didn't disappoint! We arrived at Tanners Flat around 1:30 ish. We were able to get a great spot up towards the top before it bends right. We could see the whole straightaway. We got the chairs out and hung out for an hour or so and waited for the support cars to roll up. Once we say them we knew they were getting close. Plus I was following where they were on my phone via Twitter. 

We went to the other side of the road since it was less crowded and everyone seemed to follow us. Dammit! We had a great view and we were near this guy. 
This dude was pumped to be there!
He also came with a chick dressed like the Wendy's chick. Couldn't get a good pic of her though. Anyway, Tanners Flat came unglued when the riders started rolling through. I jumped right in and ran alongside the riders, screaming and yelling, ringing my bell. It was a blast! We saw Levi roll through and Burke,  got some decent pictures. A few of the riders off the back asked for a push, I ran alongside them while pushing. They were all suffering. America's Toughest Stage race had taken its toll on everyone.
GO Levi GO!

Hannah started school back up on Tuesday. She was pretty pumped to go back to school. We will take advantage of that since it won't be too long before we are throwing cold water on her to wake her up!

Woke up this morning pretty sore. I went out for a easy mtn bike ride to see how my body felt. Felt decent on a bike. Rollin up to PC tomorrow to ride the last 2 sections of the PCPP course. Should be a good time.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

10 day review part 1

In an attempt to catch things up a bit I thought I would try to do it in a few posts.

The Tour of Utah rolled through last week and I know alot of us did whatever we could to catch a stage or two, or three. I was able to catch 3 of them. I really wish I could have made the Park City Crit but was unable to pull that one off.

I cruised down to Nephi and watched them climb the backside of Nebo. It was a ton of fun to see all the support cars, media etc roll through there before the riders. Unreal how these guys climb. Here are a few photos from that stage.

Next up for us was the Time Trial. We decided to make the drive to BFE because I had the day off and it had some kids stuff goin on that I thought would help keep Hannah entertained. We got to meet the Bees mascot, we got to stand within 4 feet of Levi while he warmed up and we finally got a front row seat to watch the last 15-20 riders cruise in through the finish. Average speed 30+mph!

I really wanted to hug him but he wouldn't let me. 

We all had a really great time watching the Time Trial. Although, the Time Trial is probably not the greatest fun since you only see them for a split second. 

I had decided that day while riding up AF canyon that I would do the Snowbird Hillclimb the next morning. I could do that and still make it to work. Since my Scalpel broke (more on that later) I was unable to do some PCPP recon friday and wanted to get some good riding in. So, I surprised Lindy who was planning on going to the Farmers Market the next morning. She was a good sport and was able to come see me about half way up the canyon and still make it to the Farmers Market. I was pretty pleased with my time. 1 hour 6 minutes. Fastest by about 4 minutes unless you count the climb 2 years ago when it started over towards Big Cottonwood. A bit shorter I think. I felt pretty good and was able to finish strong. 

The previous week, the good DR. and I made our way to Park CIty to ride some pristine one track. The trails in Park CIty are very nice. Good flow, smooth, technical, demanding climbs etc. You name it they have it. We fumbled our way around the course and ended up with 30 miles. Not what we had planned out but good riding nonetheless. 

Come back for the news on my broken bike, the Queen Stage of the Tour Of Utah and possibly some other stupid stuff. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Heathen Clarks TT PR

Beat my old time by a whopping 4 seconds! I don't think I could have gone any harder without passing out. Happy with it though.

Clarks TT by nkingdon at Garmin Connect - Details

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Let the PCPP be your rememdy

So what! I stole the title of my blog post straight from the end of this video. But, it is so true. Let the PCPP be your remedy. A little more than 2 weeks and several of us from BUTT will be looking to PCPP for some redemption. It will be sweet. Oh yes, it will be.

Did a ride last Friday to the AF summit. Legs were a little tired but overall I felt pretty good. Shaved a few minutes off my time to the summit from my previous time. I felt pretty good about that. Still nowhere near the fast kids, I would fall into lucky #13 there. Got out for a little dirty heathen ride on Sunday and my legs felt great! The Zeph and I got out early this a.m for some dirt. Early dirt is a great way to start the day.

The good Doc and I are hittin up PC Friday for some smooth like butta one track. Can't wait!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pain in the Butte!

Where to begin. Have you ever thought about something so much, pondered, planned, anxiously awaited only to have it all blow up in your face? Thats how I felt Saturday late afternoon. Last spring I reluctantly signed up for the Butte 100 endurance mountain bike race. The reluctant part came because there was not much information on the website about it. Brad (aka Carborocket) did this race last year and had nothing but good things to say. Even though it took him just over 12 hours to complete it and he has superhuman powers, I still thought it was something I could do. All the website had was a shitty map, an old profile and a vague description. I thought for sure more details would come and it would help me prepare for my first endurance event. Those things never came.

July 31 came pretty fast. I trained alot this year, stayed in decent shape through the winter and rode a fair amount in the early spring and started the season at a good weight. As July 31 came closer I became more and more nervous about what I was getting myself into. Everyone I talked to said, "didn't Carborocket do it in over 12 hours" "Its going to take you 16 hours!" Great. That was BEFORE we found out that this years race would be harder and longer. It took the winner almost an hour longer than the winner from last year. I'm not going to blame the course or anyone else for my failure. I was simply not prepared well enough either mentally or physically. More on this later. First a few pics of the best looking crew in all of mountain bike racing. They were awesome!

We rolled into Butte on Thursday and stopped at the shop, one of the owners is Levi's brother. You know Levi the pro racer NOT Levi Johnston. Picked up a map and I quickly looked for a total elevation gain. I added it up and it as over 22000! I think I crapped my pants right there. That cant be right. I dismissed it and tredged on. We got a map and headed out to scope out the start. Then we headed out to see the aid station 1. After that we found some food at Mckenzie River Pizza. It looked to be the safest of what was limited options in Butte. Unless you wanted fast food.
Friday we woke up and I went out for an easy spin for 45 minutes to shake out the legs after the drive. I felt good but my rear shock was not feeling right so I took it down to the shop and left it there for the day. They offered to do quick tunes on anyones bike that was doing the race so I took em up on it. Turns out the Utah Cannondale Rep Matt Ohran was up there for Tinker and actually did the race himself. I actually bought my bike from him so he did some work on it replaced some bushings and did some work on the BB. I felt much better after that. Bike was dialed. Everyone else started rolling in Friday afternoon. We gathered together that night for dinner at the above mentioned establishment. That place was packed. After dinner we headed over to the bike shop for the 8:00 pm racer meeting. I wanted to be in bed by then. Great. We listened to the description of the trails, the descriptions were not any better than what we had read previous to getting there and there was still no mileage to aid stations, no profile, nothin. We were going to attempt a dirty hundie with no real knowledge of the course except that the climbs are long and brutal and the descents can get real sketchy. Nice. May god be with us.

We rolled back to the Hotel that was only a few blocks away to find that our floor had been taken over by teenage girls that were in town for a softball tourney. My worst nightmare had come true. Giggling, door knocking, door slamming. You name it, it kept me up. I went to the store at 9:15 looking for ear plugs only to find the waxy kind. I really didn't like them. They muffled the noise a little but could not drown out the doors closing etc. I slept like shit. I think I only slept maybe 3-4 hours. Not a good way to start out with a 4:00 a.m wake-up call.

Alarm went off shortly after the wake-up call. I had to have an insurance plan. I brewed some coffee, gathered my stuff together and ate some cereal. Cereal that I would see later in the day.

Brad J drove us to the start so Lindy and Brads Girlfriend could roll into aid station 1 and not be in such a rush to get out the door. That worked out great because Lindy and Alisha got along great and became friends. All the support crew had a great time throughout the day.

So, off to the race report- Get comfortable.
6 a.m. Sun rising, a little cool. I felt good, felt confident for what was to come. I had trained hard and thought I had prepared mentally and physically for what I was about to do. And we're off! The race started with 1/4 mile of road that filtered into a dirt road and fed us into an ATV trail heading down. 80+ riders all grouped together made this first descent a bit sketchy. I saw multiple people go down in the loose sandy sections. All really good riders going down on a section of trail that would normally  not be difficult but because of a large group and people going slower than they normally would go made things a bit interesting. This trail dumped us out onto a residential (montana style) dirt road. I saw 3 horses running in a field towards us, I thought they were going to jump the fence but they stopped abruptly. Then, within 3-4 minutes I heard this "clip clop" behind me and I thought it sounded like a mtn biker running with their biking shoes behind me. I thought damn they are fast. Just then, the 3 horses race by as if they wanted in on the action. It was crazy. I thought I was taking it easy on this flat section but my HR told me otherwise. Probably nerves. My HR always jumps at the beginning of a race. I tried to settle in and ride a good pace to get into a rhythm. To the first aid station was not a difficult part of the race but there were some short steep climbs that got my HR going and some long flat sections. I latched onto a paceline group with Banks and Seamons and this helped go much faster on the road section heading up to the Nez Perce trailhead. Nez Perce was the spot for aid station 1. I was feeling really good here and was excited to start the climb up Nez Perce. This climb is wooded, mystical, semi technical but all rideable singletrack. Nothing steep all middle-ring. This climb did seem to go on a ways. Once it topped out the descent was sweet. Twisty, turny, tight singletrack that was a blast to ride. If I had known more about the aid stations I would have gone past 2 and stopped at 3. Instead I stopped at 2 and skipped 3. Mistake. Between 2 and 3 was mostly downhill. 3-5 was mostly uphill and hot. The descent from 2-3 was sketchy. Steep, loose, rutted etc. I went down shortly after station 2. As did most of our group from Draper. I got a nice raspberry on my right butt cheek. Nothing too painful, I was just glad it didn't rip my new shorts. At station 3 is where the real hell started.

As we entered the station 3 I didn't stop. I should have. Its all uphill to station 4. Or it felt that way to me. And it was hot! This was by far the hottest part of the day. Totally exposed, hot, no wind, this is called Whisky Gulch. I wish I had some Whisky to put me out of my misery. My stomach was already acting up a bit and this made me nervous since we were only 35-40 miles in. I had hoped it would settle and allow me to eat some food. At station 4, I refilled my pack and thought we had about 10-12 miles to go for station 5. This is where our crew would be with a ice cold coke and some pretty smiling faces. This part took what seemed like FOREVER! Climbing, climbing, more climbing, just when you thought you might be close? Nope! More climbing! It kept going and going. Mile 50 ticked on by and the aid station was nowhere to be seen. We just kept climbing. We could hear the highway and even caught a few glimpses of it as if it were teasing us, messing with our heads. At this point, Banks, Seamons, Bright and I were all together for the most part. Mile 50 is where we thought the aid station would be but it turned out to be closer to mile 56 or 57. It was a complete mind f*&^! You could hear the highway, and you could see it at times. We were on this long dirt road that just kept winding up, up, up. Every corner you thought you would come across and the station would be there. I came to really hate those corners. We finally made it and I had the best Coke in my life. We stayed here for awhile, trying to regroup. My stomach was not feeling well. Nothing sounded good to eat at all. I ate a fair amount of watermelon, half a snickers bar and a coke. I felt much better after spending some time there. Alishas ice cold rags were a close 2nd to the Coke and Lindy's smiling and caring face. Not to mention she had her workout clothes on so they were tight and she looked hot.

This is where things got interesting. We just came up from the depths of hell, oh my lord was that hot. The skies were getting dark and looked promising that it was going to rain. The thought of a little rain was great since it would cool things down. Had no idea that rain in Montana meant torrential downpour with hail and hi winds. Just as we started the descent it started to rain. This meant we had to take it a little slower since we couldn't see so good and the hail was pelting us. The descent was shortlived. Quickly we started climbing again. Surprise! This was a really cool section of trail. Deep woods, singletrack and uphill. It kept going and going, uphill, just when you thought you were done, the trail would level out, you would click a few gears up and it would turn uphill again. This is where  my stomach started really getting serious. As we climbed and climbed I couldn't take any food in. I would try and chew and chew and chew and as I would try to swallow I just couldnt do it. I ended up losing my breakfast on that long climb with switchback after switchback. Seriously it was a trail connected by switchbacks after switchback up, up, up through the woods. Admittedly this was a great section of singletrack. I only wish I felt better because it was perfect. Temp was great, trail was in great condition, I however was not. I felt great immediately after losin my lunch so I tried eating some food. Within 5 minutes of starting back up again the food made another appearance. I suffered to the top and started the descent, the descent was actually alot of fun. We rolled through the archery practice area and I thought I was hallucinating because I started seeing all these huge stuffed animals in the trees with targets on them. Then I remembered we were in the Archery. DUh! I was really disappointed because my legs felt good. I really couldnt push it and i felt weak but my legs didnt ache at that point like I thought they would. Maybe I had a nice break walking so  much because some of the trail was straight up STEEP! Those boys in Montana don't eff around.

Finally reached aid station 6 and I did the math in my head and figured there was no way to make it to the time cut-off. I kept waiting to start feeling better and it just never came. In that condition, going as slow as I was, it would have been 16+hours to finish. I forgot my bearspray so this option was not on the table. I wrestled with the thoughts of continuing on or pulling the chute there. I decided I had suffered enough and pulled the rip cord. 71.62 miles. Mostly uphill (atleast thats what it seemed).

Results were posted and 34 out of 71 finished the 100. Less than half. Somehow it doesn't make me feel much better. Maybe a bit. But not much.

71.62 miles
10,317 elevation gain
Average HR-151

I have to take this as a learning experience. It was my first endurance race. Its really the only way to take it without wanting to sell my bike. Like the race organization, a few tweaks here and there and I will be set. I felt that I had the legs and am in good enough shape to complete an endurance event.  I am looking forward to PCPP. I will finish that race even if I have to crawl across the finish line.

Lessons learned-
1-too much time spent at aid stations. This was partially my fault and partially the nature of this race. I had to find my bag, drop some carborocket in my camelback, pour some water in etc. Just took too much time. I may roll with bottles at PCPP.
2-Need to figure out fuel. Maybe eating something more often. I am able to take food in on training rides. Not sure if race pace just puts that much more pressure on my system that it starts to tweak on me. Any advice would be appreciated.
3-a cold wet rag is heaven on earth during a race. Oh my lord!
4-Coke tastes wonderful
5-Montana beat me down, but I am going to leave the door open to return someday.
6-Never underestimate the power of bug spray. Good hell those bugs were as relentless as the climbing.

Thats it for now. Thoughts are now on to PCPP.