Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Nail

Some days you're the hammer, some days you're the nail. Today was the latter. Not that I am the Hammer very often. Its actually a very, very rare day. But its been awhile since I was hammered like I was today. I knew within the first 5 minutes that todays ride was going to hurt. Then we rolled up on Rick and his superhuman strength and freshly shaved legs. Yep, I said it. Either the pace ticked up or someone let the air out of my tires. I struggled, my heart rate was higher than it should have been and to make matters worse, my garmin died so I had to rely on the blood coming out of my ears and my heart about to beat out of my chest to tell me that I was about to die.

This is what it felt like. Pedaling a fat ass around CC.

I hope its a long time until I feel like that again. I had no pop, felt tired and my HR was hi. Boo! The ride was still fun though even though I suffered.

Thanks guys, I needed a good ass whoopin. Time to get my shit together.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mud and Rain

Many of you know already that I traveled to St. George to participate in the inaugural Grit 50 Epic Race. We were all watching the weather wondering to ourselves and outloud, hope it holds! Even the morning of the race, I checked the report, mid 60's 20% chance of rain, partly cloudy. I can live with that kind of weather. As I drove in from Hurkin to St. George, I could see dark clouds out west and south. Sometimes its hard to tell just how ominous things look from a distance and sometimes those clouds never drop rain. This was not one of those times.
this is after riding 2 miles on a wet road. It helped clean off some of the mud

 There was a pretty big crew from SLC and lots from the Hoood. Jdub, Banks, Seamons, DT, Gordo on his virgin race voyage, Grizzly, D. Bagley and many others. We were all excited because this race links together some of the best desert singletrack around. Technical, fun course. Banks and I had pre-rode the first half of the race earlier in the month and I knew it was going to be tough but had no idea what was on the horizon.
But not all of it
Race started at 9:00 a.m. I enjoy that start time much better than the 6:00 or 7:00 a.m start time. I can get up have a good breakfast and not feel rushed. It was cold but not unbearable at the start. mid 40's. I had arm and knee warmers and had my windbreaker vest on with a cap under my helmet. I think I dressed about perfect for the day, a rain jacket would have been nice but not sure it would have helped much. After about a half hour of racing it started to rain. It was a steady drizzle that pretty much wouldn't stop until about an hour after the race. Sometimes it let up only to follow it with some extra heavy downpour. The first half of the race was great. I felt good, was never cold, trails were in pretty decent shape. Most of the first half is over slickrock and pretty technical terrain, there were puddles around and the rain made some of the sections extra tricky but it was all good. I kept thinking the rain would end, the sun would come out and it would be a marvelous day. Well, that thought would come crashing down as we started the Stucki Springs climb. We got into a decent pace going up the first half of Stucki, then it seemed that it got really cold. All of our hands were going numb and we could barely feel our hands. I kept saying it felt like my suspension wasn't working and my wrists were getting pretty sore. We were all together on the climb, me, jdub, banks and Gordo. Gordo blew off the front out on a mission, we didnt see him again until the finish area. Once we got to the top of Stucki, we stopped to shake out our legs and hands knowing that the decent was only going to make matters worse. We looked at each other and I think I said out loud. "What the fuck are we doing out here" At that point we all laughed and laughed. What else could you do. We were cold, wet, muddy. I have never been that wet on a bike before. Seriously, we couldn't have been more wet if we stepped into a shower fully clothed.
The first part of the downhill was good. A little slippery but not treacherous. Then we encountered the mud bog. There were people and bikes everywhere, trying to figure out how to lug there 25 lb mtn bike that quickly became a 50 lb bike covered in thick goo, wheels wouldnt roll, there wasnt any shifting going on. It was an unreal scene. We just laughed and said the F word alot. It made me feel better. We crawled our way out litterally, some parts we were able to ride, some parts we had to walk, we eventually rolled up on a volunteer who happened to be on the phone with the race promoter. He said they were pullin the plug. They were going to start pulling everyone off the course due to treacherous conditions, some even were treated with hypothermia.
We opted to continue down the road that eventually led us back to the start of the dirt and on to the main road back to the finish. Not sure how we ended up there but we did. We were cold, dirty and shivering. People were huddled around a propane heater, some with blankets, I even spotted a dude with a space blanket on. Shivering uncontrollably. Low 40's and pissing rain are not great conditions for a long mtn bike race. It truly was Epic, and Grit to say the least. I have never participated in a Cross race but have watched them. Those were perfet cross conditions. 50 minute race full speed and done. Instead we spent 4+ hours in it we were done just in a different way.
After all is said and done, I felt pretty good during the race. Only one spot of bother was on the climb to Stucki and I think that had more to do with the cold than anything else. It was a great day and a ton of fun. If it weren't for my riding buddies, I would feel entirely different. We all made an effort to try to stay together the best we could. I couldn't imagine spending that much time in those conditions by myself, that would have been torture. Instead, we had good friends, and one hell of an adventure that we will never forget. Some rides are epic because of a distance that you rode, some rides are epic for the things you overcame. This ride was epic on many counts, weather, trail conditions, bike conditions etc. One hell of a ride.
Thanks for the photo Mrs. White!
DT looks cold! Brrrrrr
Huddling around the heater. I don't think the heater was working. I saw flame but it was still cold.
The fellas, all were able to muster a smile. Thanks again Annie. 
You can check out Jdubs write up here.

Can't wait to go down next year. It can't possibly rain like that 2 years in a row can it?

Thanks fellas!

Oh, I almost forgot! The worst thing that was a result of riding in the rain for 5 hours in the cold? My right nipple got worked. In an effort to get some comments, I am going to prostitute my right nipple. For those of you that are afraid, stop here. My right nipple got rubbed completely raw. Everytime I shower it hurts. I have to shower with my hand over my nipple. Stupid little thing. Enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Beginning

Behold my hand me down Green Schwinn. This baby was 20 years old by the time I got my hands on it. My first real taste of Joy and Freedom came with my feet placed firmly on those black pedals. Riding a bike brings me joy that only a few other things have been able to replicate. Looking forward to Spring.

Got out for a little Heathen Road Ride yesterday with evilbanks. Fitting partner for a heathen ride. It was a little breezy up top here but was nice and calm down in Alpine. We got in about 20 miles. Can't wait for the next ride.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


No, not the Sir-Mix-Alot song although it is a good song. Spring has sprung in the Wasatch, err atleast for now. Birds were chirping, sun was shining, singletrack drying. Yesterday was a great day! I was debating a road ride or a mtn bike ride. I saw that someone said that the lower CC trails were all dry and rideable so I opted for the mtn bike ride. Sure enough, trails were dry with the exception of a few muddy spots here and there. Temps were warm, warm enough to ride in shorts and short sleeves. It was nice to be on the bike again. My ass took a real pounding last Sunday down south. 5 hours + on technical one track for the first mtn bike outing of the year sure did leave its mark. But, well worth it.
Dry one track
Shadows with a little snow
One of my favs
obligatory photo of me, its my blog afterall
So, while it looks like Spring for a few days, it looks like there might be some wet weather heading our way, I guess I'll bust out the ski's.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day Trip

Late last week I decided that the weekend was going to be my best shot of getting to St. George for a day trip. Ya see, the Desert Rampage was on Sat. and there was a Grit 50 pre-ride set-up for Sunday. I made the decision that I was going to drive down early Sunday morning, ride some dirt with some pals, and return home Sunday night. Long day, but it was worth it!

Left just after 5:00 a.m and arrived in St. George at 9:00 a.m. No stops, just drove straight through. The pre-ride was starting at 10 so I parked at the Green Valley loop and changed got my camelback filled etc. @evilbanks met me there along with DTanner. I was pretty happy to be riding in short sleeves and shorts for the first time since last year. The weather was perfect, 65 mostly sunny. I got to ride some trails that I have never ridden before and a few of my old favs from when I lived down there.

Here is a sweet video I found of the Zen Trail, one of the new trails we rode. It was technical but fun.

Zen Trail from shelby meinkey on Vimeo.

We rode several trails for a total of about 35 miles. Definately worth the trip down. We rode, Red Bluff, Zen, Poppy and to the top of Stucki Springs. Rode down Stucki (great downhill) and back up Poppy to the car. The long climb out Stucki was a bitch. It was long and it was hot. We made it though, all in all a great day trip and I was definately happy I made the drive down. I must say, I'm lookin forward to Spring. But for now, its nuking snow outside and theres a few feet of snow Im gonna ski this week. Yep, I said a few feet, like 3-4.

Vintage "Evilbanks" as per grizzlyadam
one of our stops early in the day
Banks cruisin in style
Top of the long Stucki Springs climb