Friday, September 21, 2007

Some Fall Chillin'

Jon and I had grand plans for a ride at Snowbird. So, we started at the Tram, rode up the frontside, and through the tunnel:

FYI, the tunnel is closed during the week, but we were lucky enough to run into Tunnel Guy who let us through. The tunnel puts you in Mineral Basin; coming out of the tunnel,

you are rewarded with some sweet views:

We rode a bit down into Mineral Basin:

And back up to Alta:

The views on top were sweet. Timp loomed in the background. Who needs to go to the Tetons?

At the top, we met some ATV'ers.

ATV Dude took our photo in Black and White:

Then we dropped back down into Alta:

and we rode up to Germania to ponder the lines on Mt. Superior. It doesn't look so steep when you're skiing down.

Jon guessed we had ridden 26 miles.

Even though we had grand plans for today's ride, our total miles after 3 hours of "riding" was 13. That's because it was simply a fall chillin' day. Do I look fat?


Friday, September 14, 2007

Sure, Why Not?

We're doing the 24 Hrs of Moab in style -- two motor homes, from what I've been told. Looking forward to the "off" season . . . cyclocross, trail running, mtn. biking, nordic skiing, bc skiing . . . and, depending whether Cousin Chris is successful or not, there might be a possible goose hunt or fly fishing trip worked in somewhere. I'm going to have to retire from the "off" season in order to recover for the "on" season.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Two Days After LOTOJA

And I'm drawing a total blank when it comes to thinking of reasons why to do LOTOJA again next year. That's because I fought the hard fight, got dropped, and DNF'd. I have some serious respect for Mark Z., Al Thresher, Ian Tuttle, Taylor Hansen, and Robert Bennion. Nice job guys.

For the record, by the time the Cat 3s started up Strawberry, we were mixed in with 1, 2, 4, 5, Masters 35, Masters 45, Tandem, and some guy riding with a big Garfield stuffed animal taped to the back of his bike. We went up Strawberry pretty fast. Right before Montpelier, Mark Z and Schaffer attacked the mob and never looked back. That took some serious gumption and strength.

After Montpelier, a Cat 3 (Al) got away in a split that formed after the feedzone. We cruised up Geneva at a brisk pace and going down, Nate Page and Sam Krieg put out some serious watts to bring the split back. But as soon as we hit the back of the split, another group broke free containing 4 Cat 3s (Al, Robert, Ian, and Taylor). And those guys ended up rallying all the way to the end.

Robert and Taylor: I doubt you read this, but I think everyone thought that you'd blow up since you were riding so hard. You proved everyone wrong and proved that you have the stuff.

To Ben and Clint: what the hell were we thinking? Seriously. . . .

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Day Before LOTOJA

The last two posts on this blog have been negative. That's because I think I spent most of my summer in an overtrained slump and was generally in a bad mood. Things are better now though.

Tomorrow is LOTOJA. I've told friends that I look forward to the second Saturday in September more than any other day of the year. It represents the end of a season and, hopefully, a pinnacle of achievement. It represents a culmination of a full year's worth of training and practice. It presents an opportunity to learn about myself (and others) and perhaps to prove something to myself (and others); it also presents a risk of disappointment, e.g. hypothermia at LOTOJA 2005. I suppose it represents a tangible point in time where I get to experience all the reasons I am a cyclist.

1. The People: Starting in a few minutes, I will see and socialize with my training partners and reunite with people I haven't seen for a long time. It's enjoyable to be friends with people who share common interests and have common goals.

2. The Preparation: Training for LOTOJA begins the day after LOTOJA. From the day after LOTOJA, my mind refocuses on next year. New commitments and goals are made. New strategies are formed. It's like being born anew and given a new life. Though it sounds somewhat pathetic, the day after LOTOJA, I have a new purpose in life.

3. The Pain: Pain is supposed to be good for you. I suppose it is. I can guarantee that tomorrow, when I am in pain -- when my legs are filled with lactic acid, when my feet hurt, when I'm dehydrated and on the verge of cramping -- I may ask myself what the point of it all is. And I will tell myself that the point of it all is that I am able to endure it. One of the reasons I like cycling is that -- like life -- it presents a challenge to push through and to endure. You have to figure out creative ways to "get through it." Like life, sometimes you have to rely on others to get you through it. And like all achievements, once you get through it, you not only feel a sense of satisfaction, but you learn something about yourself. That something often can be drawn upon to get you through the next challenge -- whether it is on or off the bike.

I need to go and pack now, but I wanted to put something positive up -- just in case I return from LOTOJA in a bad mood. Perhaps when I return I may have additional reasons for why I like LOTOJA and why I keep coming back.