Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I am not a man who wastes much time on being a "fan" of anyone or anything. I make the exception with U2, they have provided a soundtrack for my life since I was a wee lad.

Bono has become quite polarizing over the years but love them or hate them you cannot dispute that they have been bringing the awesome, more often than not for more than 30 years.

Each album can open memories and transport me to a different time and place.
Christmas is no different.... from 1987

Merry Christmas to all.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

440 Results

It's been a long time coming and I know it's been hard for you to be patient but we were finally able to ride the 440 in it's entirety. After getting rained out in October we rescheduled for Dec 4 and it went off without a hitch.....OK, maybe one hitch and that would be the gross number of people who did not show up.

There were a myriad of excuses and I want you to know that I accept none of them. So Dustin, Duane, Ryan, Mike, Scott, Courtney, Branden, Chris, Steve and the rest of you should all be ashamed.
You miss it next year and I may have to consider a lifetime ban from the event.

The weather was great as we started and right away the Brothers Rock went straight off the front flogging it hard. I settled into my 40 mile pace, content to sit in last place and wait for someone to have a mechanical so I could move up a spot. Sure enough, descending the Race Course Jon flatted out and I was able to pass. He caught me about 2 miles later on the Zen climb and I was off the back again.

I was able to keep John and Jon almost in sight thru the first 13 miles when due to lack of marking and explanation on the trail (totally my fault) they both took a wrong turn and I caught John at the water stop at the bottom of Zen and also had maybe a 2 minute lead on Jon again.

I hopped the trail entrance to the Poppy trail 45 seconds behind Jon and 1:30 behind John. I played catch up all the way up Stucki I had it pinned to the top and all the way down towards the Fence Line trail but they still had a 1/2 mile lead on me as we went into the Rim Runner section.

I saw Gary and Doug at the start of Rim Rock and realized I was not as far behind as I thought which was a little shot in the arm to keep pushing. To my surprise Jon was waiting for me at the exit of the Rim Runner trail. He was complaining of some gastrointestinal issues and what my Dad would politely call a case of "the trots." We rode about 200yds together before he had to stop and trot off into the pucker brush. I of course put the pedal down, nothing like kicking a brother when he is down. I would classify my pace as "aggressive touring" at this point.

I saw Jon catching me again about half way thru Barrel Roll. I want to believe that I was able to hold him off to the finish but I kind of think that he took pity on me and throttled back so that I did not have to come in last in my own race. What a considerate guy.

So here are your winners and course record holders, Doug (left) the only gear assisted rider. Gary (right) who led the whole race from mile 2 on.

Official times:

Gary Rock 3:35:49
Doug Rock 3:35:49
John Taylor 3:44:04
Mark Weston 3:52:10
Jon Hansen 3:53:34

Yep only 5 guys showed up, maybe we can triple that next year.

Congratulations to the winners, I believe fun was had by all. I know Jon will be looking for redemption next year after a flat and an unscheduled, emergency jump into the bushes. Thanks to Shalina and Aaron (sorry if I butchered the spelling) for their help with timing and water support, you guys were awesome.

I hope to see you all again next year.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

O' Danny Boy 2.0

I give you the latest movie from Danny MacAskill. I wish I had a quarter of this guys talent.

Monday, November 22, 2010

For the last time, leave me alone.

I tried for 10 days to get this post done before the big day. My hang up was the fact that I could not get it done without being truly offensive to both the Red and the Blue fans. I may get flamed for this and probably will insult a few family members and neighbors with my toned down version but here goes.
Your antics are tired, juvenile and sophomoric. Words cannot describe how much I do not care about that game or your alma mater.

So BYU tool bag, and Utah rebellious mormon guy, keep it to yourself and leave me alone.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Frog Hollow 25 hr

Two weeks since the event and I finally found the cable connecting my camera to the computer.
This was the second annual Frog Hollow 25 hr race. Why 25 hours?? Well, every event needs a hook so they schedule it over the time change making it the longest one day race in the world.

They use the same course as the 6hr event I did in October. It uses parts of the JEM and Hurricane Rim trail with double track connections to complete the loop. All in all not a bad track though I could do without the chunky uphill out on the Rim. That section at night is less than enjoyable.

View from camp

It was nice being so close to home, we commented on it being the best nights sleep before a race ever. Some of the families came and hung out for a few hours giving the atmosphere a different feel.

The participants in this years festivities from left to right;

Yours truly, THE J Russ in his homage to Evil Kneivel, John T, and newby to the race scene C- Pettigrew

Lap one's Lemans start.

Frog Hollow 25 from El Scorcho on Vimeo.

JT on the FrankenPit bike

This late season there is a legitimate 12 hrs of dark which at times seemed interminable. At 5am I was sitting by the fire with JRuss as he was contemplating his impending 7th lap. He made the observation, " I have already done more laps than I have ever done in a 24hr race and it's still dark!"

Due to some blistering laps by JRuss and JT with some solid, yet unremarkable laps by myself and Pettigrew, Team Shift for Brains (it's a single speed team, get it?) was able to lock up 2nd place in our category. That team on the top step is F. A. S. T. Beat us by two laps--the little lady on the right is a former 24hr Solo SS World Champ so I feel down right lucky to be that close.

Accepting accolades and a box of new eye wear for the effort. First time and possibly the last that I will ever be on a podium so I soaked it up like Paris Hilton on the red carpet.

With only 20 -30 minutes of bad sleep in him, JRuss fell asleep as I was talking to him. It took me 2 minutes to realize that he was out cold so we snapped a shot. BTW that outfit = speed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Somewhere over the Rainbow

I was finally able to get the video inverted from the Rainbow Rim trip that we did in the spring. Putting this together makes me want to go right back and ride it again before the snow flies.

Rainbow Rim from El Scorcho on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I know what I am

I like bike racing, but there is one major flaw in my plan for total domination......I am not fast.
I wish I was fast but if you have seen me you know that I am not built for speed. Maybe short bursts of speed but long term endurance, that ain't me.
I sign myself up for long endurance events in order to scare myself into training more and keep away the doldrums that I run into during the year. This past weekend I competed in the 6 Hrs of Frog Hollow. I raced Solo and Single Speed and came in 4th, wait for it.......out of 6.

Middle of the pack is where I live and I am OK with that. I think that I enjoy the planning and the training for the race more than the race itself, mostly because that is the only day that I have to endure the company of "Racer Guy." Racer Guy still thinks that someday he will be discovered for the true talent that he is, instead of an aging, angry, tool bag.

As you can see I started out slow and then tapered off. I was having gastrointestinal trouble and felt pretty terrible before lap #4. I ate half a PB&H to try and settle my stomach before heading out, I saw that sandwich again 25 minutes later. Why do you always feel better after exporting cargo?

What is Team Taciturn? I am glad you asked, Taciturn defined is; aloof, antisocial, brooding, clammed up, close,closemouthed, cold, curt, distant, dour, laconic, mum, mute, quiet, reserved,reticent, sententious, silent, sparing, speechless,tight-lipped, unexpressive, unforthcoming,withdrawn
In other words, I don't want to be on your team racer boy.

My 13yr old daughter came along as pit crew, moral support and photographer. In my haste I put the helmet cam on upside down again, thanks to the little misses for sorting that out.
Shot the vid on lap three which I rode completely alone, I think I saw one other rider, just the way I like it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Going Old School

The fall has finally begun here in the StG. Temps are lessening, the days are shorter, and we are looking at 7 days of intermittent rain.
I usually really like the fall but this year it is also the fall of my 39th year on this planet. Shouldn't I have amounted to more by now? 40 sure used to sound a lot older.

I ran across this gem from 2006 when this young man's fancy had turned to riding bigger travel and riding off and down the nastiest stuff I could find. Oh how times change. Knee surgeries will take the fight right out of you.
Big ups to Bob the Wheelbuilder for putting this together, I will forever have documented proof that I rode "Upper Body Bag"(5:55) and "Lower Body Bag"(2:42)
Most of he guys involved have moved on to other endeavors, sorry for all the inside jokes, I appear as CGR.....long story.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

O' dark-thirty

The only time that I can call "mine" is early in the morning before the Family wakes up and work starts piling on. During the summer it's great, sunrise is about 5:50am so as the days get shorter it puts my normal early morning rides in jeopardy. I remedy this with the use of lights, really good lights. One on my helmet and one festooned on the bars. Last fall I purchased a set and it has really lengthened the season for me.

This was what I wanted to buy, the Lupine Tesla 4, price tag $384

This is what I bought; the Magic Shine, price tag $85

So they may be cheap Chinese knock offs but I have to say, they have been great. And for 1/4 the price they are almost disposable.

One of the benefits to starting in the dark is that you get to see the sunrise, my photo skills and equipment are veeerrry sub par but I hope you get the picture.

Stucki Springs looking back to St. George, light setup on the bars.

Looking into the Virgin River Gorge and the town of LaVerkin.

Sunrise over Zion NP. There is a wildfire up on Cedar Mt and the smoke made the colors really spectacular.

I also did some exploring the other night and above St. George City, trying to connect a couple of points on the map for a project I will disclose when I am further along. I nearly got lost and that's not a feeling I can ever remember having. As well as being a life coach I have an internal GPS.

Maybe I should bring my heart rate down before trying to take a picture.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Movie Night

I have put together a little video of cool stuff (cool to me) I did and things I saw this Spring and Summer. I am not sure why it shows up so small, I will work on it.
Get the popcorn.


Spring / Summer from El Scorcho on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week in pictures

Good stuff this past week, take a look at the calender

So out of order we have the Great Salt Lake as seen from Elephant Rock up Mueller Park Canyon.

D and Stella arriving at Elephant Rock. Fun fact: D and I have been friends for 30 years.

A view of Elephant Rock from the trail.

Sunrise over St. George from Stucki Point. That's Zion NP in the faaar distance.

The only picture I took on Thursday morning, I was with Rusty the new guy - he just got a bike so I was showing him some of the trails in the area.
Out of respect and the fact that I don't know him all that well I did not photo him with his pants down picking cactus out of his keester. It would have been a great shot and I have a little remorse that I was so kind in the moment.

Monday, August 30, 2010

440 Update

Some of the local race organizers (see above) here in the St. George area have caught wind of the 440 and decided that no such event should occur. They have enlisted the help of the St. George BLM office to have them crack down on the unsanctioned event.

Somehow they are threatened by it, I think it might have something to do with......

Who's getting it or not getting it and we can not allow such shenanigans to effect their bottom line. So they are throwing up various and sundry reasons as to why I have to shut it down.

They cannot however kill my dream, so all four of you that have paid me, (you know who you are) will be getting your money back. The fun police have spoken and I accept their ruling but now I HAVE to ride it.

So some guys will be getting together for a plain old ride on October 23, all are invited, come one come all to ride the public trail system just like we do every weekend. Only this time we can stick it to the man.......... just a little bit.

Sing it Dewey.

233 is the magic number.

I am now onto my 6th Garmin 305, every little while they just decide to stop working. Garmin's customer service has been top notch and I usually have a new one within a couple weeks.
This years swap over coincided with me having to scrub the hard drive on my computer. Due entirely to user interface I lost all the data for Virtual Mark, we may never know if I could ever beat him.

I may take some heat for this from some of my "peers" but this year I have begun training with a heart rate monitor. I do this mostly because I am old and can't go hard every day like I used to, I need a recovery day or two mixed in to keep me going.
So this morning I riding along, slowly, trying to keep the HR under 142bpm and I noticed that whenever I went down hill my HR would jump thru the roof, usually it goes down.

I took a screen shot off the Garmin Connect, click it open and check out the max heart rate;

Just so you know, I have tested my max heart rate while on the bike and I know that at 184 bpm I start to black out. Tough to stay upright while seeing stars.

Q: So what time is it when you see a max HR of 233?
A: Time to get another heart rate monitor.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Taco Town

That's what I call a taco.

Mmmmmmm.....guacamolito sauce.

Do I know you?

About once a week I get a random solicitation for friendship on my Facebook page. Yes I have one, doesn't everybody? It is almost always girls and I find it sort of pathetic and sad. I myself have one FB rule, NEVER SOLICIT FRIENDSHIP! If they ask me, (and I know them) then I probably won't turn them down. But complete strangers??

This is what I got today:
Readers, meet Pearline Worthington.

No, I don't know her, or anyone else in the skank of the month club. Why is it cool to take your own picture and squintch your face into some rediculous smirk? Nice lid and ensemble by the way Pearly, I can't tell if you are on your way to the beach, the bar or snowboarding.

Goodluck finding friends Pearline and call me if you want to work on your image, I'm a life coach.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tar and Loathing

I hate chip sealed roads. What is a chip seal road? Well let me enlighten you, if your county or municipality is low on funds or just really cheap then this is what they use to "repair" the roadways. Santa Clara is working on their roads this week and I am not happy.
They lay down a lay down a layer of tar over the existing asphalt and then spread gravel over the top and roll it tight with a wheeled roller/compactor.
They then wait a couple of days, letting traffic imbed the gravel further into the tar and finish it off by sweeping of the excess gravel.

They say it is 4-5 times less expensive than putting down new asphalt but it will only last for a year before it starts degrading to the point that it was worse than before. It's like putting a bandaid on a sucking chest wound.

Here is what the final product looks like up close. It's a glorified gravel road.

They are terrible to ride your bike on, maybe the average motorist would never know the difference but I assure you, they really are bad.

And if you are unfortunate enough to try and ride it when it is fresh or really hot, you get this.

Yesterday in the Tour of Utah my boy George Hincapie went down hard, notice the road surface he is on.

A quote from Velo News;
Stage winner and former teammate Levi Leipheimer (Mellow Johnny’s) was behind Hincapie when the crash occurred. “I think what happened is the side of the road looked like pavement but it was actually gravel,” said Leipheimer. “He didn’t notice and his front wheel slid out. I don’t know how he’s doing, but I hope he’s OK.”

When there is no curb, the excess gravel gets left on the side of the road and it is nearly indistinguishable from the regular road way because it looks like a gravel road. George got 8 stitches and abandoned the race. Look close at his right leg, yuck.

I know that I can do nothing to stop the use of chip seal but ranting does make me feel a little better. I will probably get hit by a car anyway.

Monday, July 19, 2010

And the belt buckle goes to.........

I just picked up the 1st prize belt buckles for the 440 INVITATIONAL. This is the Single Speed version. The "gear assisted" version looks the same without the SS annotation.

I am pretty happy with the way they turned out. If I won I would definitely wear it, especially if I knew I would be seeing some of the people I crushed on my way to victory.

I would need a new belt though, I realized today that the one I am currently wearing I have had for 15yrs. I have a longer relationship with my belt than most of my friends, what does that say about me?

What's the life expectancy of a belt?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My face is just too wide.

The other day I was conversing with some of the peeps, they are somewhat younger than I and some are still single. I quoted a particular skit from SNL to poke fun at their prowess with the ladies and the joke fell completely flat. The whippersnappers don't know what real funny is.
I didn't think I was that old.

So I found it on the YouTube and am posting here so they can see how pathetic they truly are.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Book Club

There is nothing better than being in the middle of reading a great book and knowing that you have another one waiting on deck. Over the years I have read everything that Lee Child puts to paper and I have never been disappointed. His Character, Jack Reacher is my absolute favorite pulp hero, the perfect mix of wit, intrigue, intelligence and brute strength. Is it possible to have a "man crush" on a fictional character??

I recently scored 11 of his books on the Ebay for $12+ shipping. Happy Birthday to me. I have started reading them all again and they are as good as I remember. I currently am half way thru the collection, reading a book about every 4-5 days.

Here's the whole list;

I believe my favorite would be The Enemy. A prequel to the other books, set when Reacher is still in the military.

Number 2 in my heart is One Shot.

Pick up any of these titles but be prepared to have to read them all. But a word to all my female readers (2?) these books are never going to make it to Oprah's book list. Reacher is never bogged down with a lot of "feelings" or "internal conflict." I wouldn't call him emotionally stunted but I am adopted so what do I know.
My kinda guy, my kinda books.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Time Management

I have long held the belief that we as human beings make time for the things that are important to us. So when I hear friends/neighbors/acquaintances complaining that they just don't have time for _______________________ (fill in the blank) my brain translates that as "I would like to do it but it is not important enough to me to make the effort."

I can understand financial hangups or work and family commitments getting in the way because we all have them but if you really want something then make it happen.
It may be painful the first couple of times you have to wake up early or maybe you have to miss an episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" but it will be worth it.

So dear reader, if what you are doing is working for you, great. But if you long for something different, figure out what you want to do and go get it. Remember; If you always do what you have always done. You will always get what you have always got.

I should be a "Life Coach"

BTW, the person in my life that epitomizes great time management and excellence was just awarded Utah Charter Educator of the Year. I couldn't be more proud, I sure like that girl, she has no "off" button.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Failures in the Kaibab

We took the annual run out to the Rainbow Rim Trail this past weekend, we had a group of 8 this year after a few of the amigos bailed on me. (You know who you are and your dead to me.)
We parked at the Locust Point trail head and then did a down and back to Paraswampits, had lunch back at the vehicles before heading out to Timp. I think this may be the preferred route from now on.

I had great plans this year of taking my new HD helmet cam and making a spectacular offering for your enjoyment. However, due completely to user interface, I have an hour of excellent footage shot upside down. Arrrrgg, I will continue to effort towards inverting the clips but I wouldn't hold my breath.
So with a dearth of video footage I do have a few screen shots that I was able to flip. Landscapes show up OK but pictures of people/action just blurs.

Example A: trail shot--reasonable quality

Example B: Marshall in action--blury

I did take one still shot at the North Timp lookout. This is the whole group sans the kid who doesn't like to stop. All good guys except the two on the right who are of questionable moral character. Notice the upside down camera on my helmet.

A couple of more shots I salvaged to try and show the epic nature of this trail. No pictures do justice to the scope and scale of the Grand Canyon.

In order to redeem myself I may need another trip out, this time taking extra precaution to put the camera the right way.