Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Cheer

This is for my brothers and brothers in law. Enjoy.

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Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This year in pictures

This is my first attempt at putting a movie together, a collage of good times and great stuff I have seen from the saddle of my bike. All in 4 minutes.

Enjoy.


video

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We are "The Cyclists"

Good stuff from the interweb.



The intermediate state between humans and pure energy............... hilarious.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sometimes you can go home again.

Last weekend Sarah had some meetings in SLC for Open High School of Utah, an online High School that opened up this year. Sarah hates car trips, she would rather fly 8 hrs than drive for 4 so she brings me along to A) Do the driving and B) Relieve the monotony - I am an excellent traveling companion.
So while she was occupied for 6hrs in a conference room turning the world of on line teaching upside down, I took a little time for myself.
First I met Matt and Dusty for lunch at Vino's roach truck in Bountiful. That man turns out some delicious grub, I recommend the cheese steak sandwich. We talked about old times and good times and the current state of affairs, caught up on family and generally enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.
Then D and I headed off to go ride the Mueller Park trail, I used to ride this trail all the time when we lived there 9 yrs ago. I did not ride as much then as I do now and my memory of suffering up the trail to Elephant Rock made me a little nervous about bringing the SS. I shouldn't have worried, what I had forgotten was how smooth that track is and my gearing was perfect. The leaves are changing and there was a layer of yellow covering the ground. Riding on leaves makes for a very quiet ride.


This could have been the ride of the year, at least top 3. It was one of those days where I felt like I could ride forever.




Special thanks to Dustin for being my photog.



D forgot his helmet but weighed the odds and decided to ride anyway. I think he was glad he did.



The view from Elephant Rock, the canyon out to the lake.



Dusty also shot a great video but Blogger is refusing to play nice. So watch for the next post, I have something special for you. (By special I mean shortbus special.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Open letter to Rednecks

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Put a throttle in a mans hands and you lower his IQ by 80 points.

Dear 4 wheeler, Rhino riding, inbred, no helmet wearing, rules don't apply to me Redneck,

I saw a lot of your handiwork this morning first hand, but I have been experiencing it for a long time and I finally have to say something. Even if it is only on this blahg that only 2 people read, one of them being my Mom.
You seem to be of the opinion that as long as you are on your radical mosheen and you are in what feels like the middle of nowhere you can ride where ever want. Well sir, if you see this sign it means you can't go in there.





Even if you have wire cutters in your pocket it does not mean that it will be OK.






I don't care how long you and your "Pappy" have been coming to this very special spot in the desert, ramming the gate with your Poolaris 600 until you can get through is not acceptable behavior. I don't care what your blood alcohol level says.




For future reference if you see a trail that is only wide enough for 1 of your wheels, that does not mean that you put one side on the trail and the other side out crushing bushes. The Stucki Springs trail used to be a beautiful 20" wide singletrack and now I could drive my truck down it. Thanks for nothing.
If I am lucky enough to catch you on the wrong side of the fence, we are going to fight, and as you lay bleeding in the dirt I am going to puncture all 4 of your tires with my Crank Bros multitool. I want you to have to walk all the way back to your double wide so that you won't ever forget to stay on your side of the fence.

I know that I have made some disparaging remarks towards a certian class of people and maybe that is unfair because probably half of the offenders have a degree from BYU. Which proves my initial statement.

Does anyone know what the two most common elements in the galaxy are?? You guessed it, carbon and stupidity.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Everything old is new again

I broke my bike. I broke it real good.



About a month ago as I was training for the Moab 24, it was 5:30am and dark as pitch. I had my lights on but it is not the same as riding during the day. I entered a small wash going about 15mph and saw that the water course had been completely scoured by a recent rain storm. What used to be a smooth transition at the bottom was now a 12 inch high embankment.
There was a loud crack and the sudden stop threw me over the bars, the human mind is an incredible thing because while I was airborne I was fully cognizant that something on my bike was very broken and I actually contemplated how far the walk home was.



I am not telling you something new but my frame builder (Steve Garro/Coconino Cycles) is awesome. I sent him the pics and told him about my dilemma, I assured him that the breakage was due to user interface and had nothing to do with the construction of the frame. So today Fedex showed up with my frame complete with a new front triangle and fresh paint. It looks brand new.
Here is sits on what I assume is Steve's back patio. Nice flagstone.



I put it all back together this afternoon and will take a short shake down cruise Wednesday morning. Its good to have her back, some of you may have noticed in the last post that I was riding a different bike at Moab. If you didn't notice please pay more attention.

PS...... did I mention that Steve is awesome??

Monday, October 12, 2009

Moab 24 hours



This past February I got a new bike, you can read about it here if you need a refresher. After riding the Single Speed for a few weeks I knew that I was hooked, I also decided that I would like another crack at the 24 hrs of Moab. I rode it about 5 yrs ago totally under prepared, on a 35lb full suspension bike and generally did not enjoy myself.
So this year I put together an all SS team of local all stars, John, Jon, Steve and yours truly. I found a description of the course on youtube, hopefully you can make it thru the entire 6 minutes.




I would agree with most of what that guy says, it was less sandy this year but he down plays the technical parts of the trail. Here is a picture of the infamous "nose dive" section.



Here is the official map. If you have another 6 minutes you can watch another great video here. It gives you a much better idea of what the race looks and feels like.



The rest of the guys decided that they were going to use a decommissioned Oasis Resort shuttle bus as the RV/ support vehicle. As soon as I heard the description of the converted van I knew that I had better find another mode of transport. I chose wisely, it took them over 9 hrs to make the 5hr drive, apparently the bus is not fast.

Here is a shot of camp and the bus in all her glory.




First lap; Jon was our leadout man. He broke out the secret weapon, his sweet Hot Rod suit. It takes a big man to wear something like that.




It takes an even bigger man to dress like this guy. He really puts the "glad" in Gladiator.



Dressing like a goofball is a time honored tradition at the 24hr races. There was one team that had Nacho Libre type masks that they wore for most of the event.

The race has a le mans type start where the competitors have to run about 300 yards then jump on their bikes to start the first lap. It really is something to behold.



Notice the Gladiator out in front.


A shot of the tent city looking south.



The start of lap #2, the worst lap for me personally, my best lap time wise was at 3am. I was awoken after an hour of sleep by my teammates who decided they wanted to switch up the order in order to give themselves a little more rest time. I have very little memory of that lap. I know I was cold and hurrying to be done, I do remember the girl who wrecked in front of me and snapped her carbon handle bar right in half. I stopped to help and she asked me if I had any tape. Tape??



Night lap.




Here is a short clip of me rolling in on the last lap.


video

I really had a great time, so good in fact that I signed up this morning for the 24 hrs of Old Pueblo in Tucson, February 13th of next year. I would like to take Sarah with me so if any of you are available on Presidents Day weekend to come and watch my kids let me know.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tres Mesas

So yesterday I finally finished a goal that I had set earlier in the year to link together 3 trails on 3 different mesas and do it single speed. The three trails in order are Zen, Race Course/ Barrel and the Barrel Roll. Zen is the hardest so you do that one first, it has a 25 minute grinding, technical climb that I have to stand up virtually the whole way. The other two trails are easier but after Zen beats you to a pulp the difficulty level goes up. Total mileage is a little over 23.

This turned out to be one of those times when I really wished I had a camera but my children have now demolished 2 digital cameras leaving me with none. So here are the highlights of the top 5 things that I saw yesterday. In no particular order;

1. Steve was to meet me at the trail head at 5:30am. He showed up with his Volkswagon leaking oil. He had removed the drain plug from his oil pan on a rock coming up the hill. This was funny to everyone not named Steve. He chose to skip the ride in favor of getting his car off the hill.

2. Snake, big snake with rattles. I was using lights and I almost ran right over the bugger, scared me nearly to death.

3. Sunrise over Zion National Park. We have a couple small fires burning in the county that turned the sunrise a beautiful red color.

4. The demise of both my bike pump that I have had for over 8 years. (you all know how attached I get to my tools) and my fork. There is a chance that it is fixable but this is the first ride after having the shop give it the once over and it was worse than ever.

5. I did save the best for last, it was still very dark and I came across a burning truck. That's right, someone had set a circa 1995 Nissan truck afire. The Car-B-Q had been burning for some time because the metal was glowing a dull orange. I looked inside to see if there was a body but it was empty, as I rolled on I pondered whether or not to call the authorities, as I deliberated I heard a siren getting closer so I am guessing that they found it. Why would someone burn a truck?

Sorry about I don't have any pictures. Blogs are boring without pictures.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Huh??

I am weak sauce...............



just thought you should know.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The ride

I like to ride my bike. I like to ride it a lot. I think that I function fairly well in society given the fact that when I am not riding I am thinking about riding. As you may or may not know the Tour de France just wrapped up and I had to upgrade my Dish package to be able to see it. It was worth all 20 of my hard earned dollars.



The Tour is of course the pinnacle of cycling, why you ask? I like to think that it is because it is incredibly hard. Can you think of any other professional sport that the athletes put out that kind of effort for 23 days with only 2 days of rest?
I love to see the fans that have ridden up the course on their own bikes to watch the Peleton go by. That would be like playing Augusta on the same day as Tiger.





I love this next picture, Sean Kelly was an Irishman that rolled thru pro ranks during the late 70's and early 80's. Look at this guys legs, you can see the miles and miles of suffering.


This guy has also made an incredible impact on the sport. They reported that almost a million people lined the climb of Mont Vontoux to watch the Peleton go by in about 26 seconds.
Love him or hate him you have to respect his accomplishments.


Every ride, no matter how long or fast is ultimately good. I never get off my bike and wish that I had done something else with my time.






There is a constant humbling that happens in cycling, whether your falling off the back, getting dropped or last to the top of the climb. There is always somebody faster, to quote Bob Roll "cycling is about suffering and revenge." Earlier this summer I was dying a slow death due to oxygen debt on my way up Snow Canyon. I looked back and saw two local guys that I ride with coming up at a brisk pace. As they caught me they asked the ubiquitous "how's it going?" I put on my bravest face and answered, "just waiting for you."
Everybody suffers on the climbs it's just a matter of who can out suffer who.




Who was the first guy to say, "hey, let's go see if we can climb that on our bikes."
The switchbacks of Alp de Huez.


Most of the time I can keep my competitive edge in check but I have to admit that occasionally on the days that I am feeling particularly spry I want to make everybody hurt. I want to beat them to the top and rub it in there faces. Especially the guys that are quite a bit younger than I. They know who they are and they know exactly how old I am, I remind them a lot.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Poking fun at others

I would like to take a moment and throw a friend under the bus for our mutual enjoyment. A couple of weeks ago I was on a road ride with my buddy Duane when the zipper on his jersey completely broke. So I told him to wrap his heart rate monitor on the outside of his jersey to hold it together. I laughed the whole way home.




Friday, June 12, 2009

Rainbow Rim Trail

Located along the rim of the Grand Canyon and connecting five large "Points" of land which overhang the Canyon and the Arizona Strip is the Rainbow Rim Trail. I have been planning this ride for a long time, usually bikes are not allowed in the National Forest but somebody snuck this in one in and it is awesome.
This map shows the trails relation to Jacob's Lake and the National Park.




The Single Speed at the trail head.



Close up of the trail head sign/map.


The five "Points" are: Parissawampitts, Fence, Locust, North Timp and Timp. Each offers a different view and perspective of Grand Canyon features such as Powell Plateau, Steamboat Mountain, Tapeats Amphitheater and Great Thumb Mesas, as well as the Mt. Trumbull region of The Arizona Strip. In addition to the areas along the rim, the trail passes through a forest of old growth Ponderosa pine and drops into a number of steep-sided canyons filled with groves of aspens and small meadows
. Total length one way is 18 miles, we rode it as an out and back making it 36 miles of single track deliciousness.

I wish I had a camera that could have done justice to the views that are to be had.



As you can see from the map there are mutiple trail heads, you can jump on and off the trail at any of the points on the map making it longer or shorter as needed.













Typical section of trail, smooooth. I don't get a lot of chances to ride in the trees here in So. Utah and this trail gives you all you want.



18 miles in and we had to change a tire before turning around.


Duane and I in a typical biker pose. There is some kind of weird perspective thing going on in this foto and I look like a Hobbit. I think it's because I am standing downhill and leaning on the bike or maybe I am from the Shire.



I would suggest this trail to anyone. I think I should ride this trail no less than twice a year. I am putting this trail in my top 5 rides of all time for length, views, trail quality and all around goodness.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Squared

For the last week and a half I have been working on a remodel/addition to the local Wells Fargo branch. When I say working I mean that I have my bags on and am doing all the demo and framing myself. Things are tough all over.
This morning I was on the roof finishing off the overbuild when I dropped my Swanson speed square, it tumbled down the roof and came to berth out in the parking lot with a large chunk broken off the top corner. I want to tell you why this hurts me in my soul but first the picture of the product.


There is nothing as valuable to a framer as this square, it makes angles and roof pitches a breeze. I bought this square in 1991 for my first day on the job as a framer. I have had this square longer than I have known my wife. It is the only tool that I have been able to keep for so long. Hammers have come and gone, nail bags have worn out and if I had a dollar for every tape measure that I have broken there would be no recession at my house.
The edges on my square are worn down to a soft, comfortable corners from being used as an ice scraper in the winter and a saw dust pusher in the summer. I have figured out mind numbing roof problems with that square. It is scarred and abused and still has the waffle imprint where I was using it as a wedge and pounded it with my hammer.
What a great tool, I am sad to see it go. I looked at the new models at the store, I couldn't bring myself to buy one. Too shiny and sharp, I think that I will first cruise the pawn shops and see if I can find one that has a few miles on it.

Maybe Ebay has a category for vintage speed squares.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

For Mom

Over the years I have done many things.......badly. I have been the bad student, the bad friend, the bad brother, the bad tipper, the bad driver and occasionally the bad son. Well this will repair the last one for ever.
Happy Mothers Day Mom from me and Mister T.








Props to T-Jack for the linky to this jem/nightmare.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Left lane loser.

I have been driving now for 22 years. I was taught by my Dad that the left lane on the highway is considered the "passing lane." In most states it is actually the law. Did no one else learn this growing up? I have been noticing more and more people in the left lane that simply do not have a clue as to what is going on around them. For the love of Pete, unless you are the fastest car that you can see, get in the right lane.
Here is my list of the worst offenders as I see them;

1. Immigrants, I guess I can't expect these people to know whats going on. Maybe they should have to pass a drivers test for a green card.

2. Women of all ages. Most of these gals think that as long as they are going the speed limit they can be anywhere on the road and everybody else can just deal with it. Sorry sister that attitude is completely stupid.

3. The elderly, no explanation needed.

So if you are reading this and you are an offender or if you are offended you need to change your driving habits and get with the program. For now I am thinking of buying this for my truck.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Best thing ever

First off you need to play this video so you can listen to the song as you read the post. I wouldn't recommend watching because it's 80's boring. You all remember The Style Council don't you?



That song always makes me think of my incredible wife. She really is the best thing that ever happened to me. She has officially been putting up with my special brand of shenanigans for 15 years. We just celebrated our 15 year anniversary on the 28th. I know, I can't believe it either. 15 years really sounds like a long time.

I found this picture of us riding up at Brian Head. Isn't she cute?



This is what she eventually did to that bike she was riding.........Smashed it with the car.




I still love her.