Monday, July 31, 2006

Hottest Century Ever?

That was the hottest century ride ever!
Like I could even know that....
On Saturday morning Chris, Ben, and I set from my house on our mountain bikes -w/ slicks, we aren't totally crazy- with our destination Rochester. The only problem with point to point longer rides is that if the wind is going the wrong way, you never get a break. We never got a break.
The weather forecast was not favorable with South winds at 10-15 and heat indices at 110 F. We left at 7am hoping to avoid a little heat and wind; it was a cool 80 degrees with the heat index about 90 when we started, but the wind was somewhat calm. We stopped after 40 miles in pretty good shape, but then the wind started to pick up. The next 40 miles were pretty brutal with head/cross wind out of the know when you open the oven to pull out a pizza and that puff of air hits you? That is what the wind felt like. Anyway, we got to Pine Island and took a paved trail down to Rochester. It took us almost exactly 5 hours, and Chris lost 7lbs...not a bad diet at over a pound an hour=)

How do the tour riders deal with long rides in the heat day after day? Testosterone? I sure hope not.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Holy Cow, what an amazing Tour it has been this year. Ask my wife, every night I have been on the edge of my seat yelling at the TV, staring in disbelief, and pacing around the room=) One day, the hopes of Floyd winning are completely dashed. The next day, he pulls off the most amazing stage win I have ever seen (even Phil Liggett said it is most amazing stage win he has seen in his 34 years of covering the race). The TT on Saturday will the tail! Don't even try to call me between the hours of 6:30 and 10:30.

As far as my racing goes, this week is a total R&R/recharge the batteries week for me. After 21 races this season, I am ready for a little non-racing time. I don't have any races planned for the next 3 weekends, and next week I will get the training going again. Despite it being a rest week, I couldn't miss the last Buck Hill race of the year. There isn't much to say besides that Chris and Jeff popped me on the second lap. Luke strolled around me post pop and I finished 4th. I wasn't expecting much given that I have been just taking it easy - both physically and mentally- since Red Wing, and I was there just to have a good fun ride=)
At this point in the season, I am pleased with how things have gone, and my main goal, which is doing well in the MNSCS, is on target. You can find the current series standings here:

I won't be posting too much in the next three weeks, but if we do anything exciting or are planning anything cool, I will be sure to post.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hot and Muggy

I spent most of the day Saturday laying around in the AC because the forecasted temperatures and humidity for Sundays Red Wing Muddy River Rock and Roll were stupid hot and sticky. The 6th MNSCS race of the year is my favorite course of the 10 races because it is mostly just fun midwest style single track. There aren't any huge climbs - it is one of the few non-ski hill races.
As it turns out the weather was better than predicted and clouds/light rain hung around until race time keeping the temps in the low 90's (rather than the 100 prediction). The race directors did the right thing by shortening the course just a little; they still had us do 5 laps, but the finishing times were really close to the 2 hour target.
The field was strong but after a quick start, Hollywood lead Fisher, myself, and the rest of the pack into the singletrack. Check out Hollywood racking himself when his pedal slipped out=)

After about 1/2 a lap, it was Fisher, Jay Richards, Jeff Hall and myself. The pace was fast enough to create a separation. At the start of the second lap, Jeff put the hammer down. - Because of the heat, I went into this race with a simple strategy: race my own speed (or slower if I was in the right place) - I didn't try to follow Jeff, but I did pass Jay and Fisher that lap. I just let things flow in the single track and kept the climbing efforts at medium (this picture sure makes me look fast though=).

Going into the fourth lap, I already had 30 seconds or so with Jeff about 2 minutes up on me. By the fifth lap, I had 2 minutes on the chasers and was down 2 minutes as a chaser. That is how it finished. Jay and the energizer bunny (Sam O - because he never slows down) had a sprint finish for 3rd. Jay nipped him by a bike length. Fisher rolled in next. I think he was the sweatiest guy out there=)
All in all, I was happy with my performance. I could have gone harder if it were cooler, but I feel like I raced a smart race. See for results, and the pics above are courtesy of
There is one more Buck Hill race on Thursday then NOTHING until August 13th. I will be recharging the batteries for the end of the season run during the next 3 weekends of no racing.

Before I go, I have to give a shout out to Jenna Zander. She is the new U23 XC National Champion! I look forward to seeing her racing in the Stars and Stripes over the next year.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Bangkok in the Twin Cities

The weather here for the past day and the next 4 or so is exactly how it is year round in Bangkok. Every time I am there I wonder how people exercise in that heat and especially the humidity...last night I got to try it.
I followed Luke off the start and felt good. I had a pretty fast first lap and only Chris hung on. The second lap, I went over a bump and almost lost a chain, so Chris took over. He pushed it really hard. At the beginning of the third lap, I lost a front tire on a dusty corner and slammed the side of my knee and calf into my bike. Both started cramping (or was it just hurting) immediately. Chris was waiting for me but I told him to go. From there I took it relatively easy. Luke caught and passed me on the last lap, as I was just crawling home. I couldn't pull up with my right leg, as whatever muscle is on the inside of my knee refused to work. Chris has won 5 of the Buck Hills in a row and will be tough to dethrone on the punchy short week is our last shot at him=)
When I got home I couldn't go up stairs without just using my left leg. Jen cooked me dinner, I iced the muscle on the inside of my knee and then I snailed up to bed. This morning I feel a little better but I can't raise my leg up very far. It is just a bruise, so I should be good for Sunday with some rest and ice....well good is a relative term considering the forecast...99 degrees with a dew point of 70! Each breath will be like taking a sip of hot water.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Back in MN and a Win!

It feels good to be back in Minnesota where the air is just a little bit thicker than Frisco CO (~9000 feet). We certainly didn’t sit on our butts out in Frisco, but the things we did were at low intensity because 1 week wasn’t enough time for our bodies to adjust to the altitude. The highlights for the rest of the trip included a 30 mile hill climb up the 14250 foot Mt. Evans (highest paved road in N America)- our time was an hour slower than the record set by Tom Danielson, and a hike up another 14’er called Mt Quandary.
On to today’s race:
After 2 days of sitting in a car to get back here, I wasn’t sure how my legs would react. It was a typical Mt Kato race with hot temps and plenty of climbing…the rider attrition by the end of the race was high.
I followed Chris through the prologue (of course I can’t fail to mention that Hollywood gave a smokin’ lead out=). After the prologue, Chris lost his chain so I took the lead. I was going as hard as I could which didn’t feel very fast, but apparently it was fast enough because Jay Richards and I were alone half way through the lap. At that point, I was tire and hot and mentally trying to find my groove. Jay took the lead by the end of the lap, and I settled in behind him for a couple of laps. Jay is riding well right now and he set a pace that added to our lead each lap. While following Jay, I was taking gu and staying as hydrated as possible. I started to feel better.
At the top of the Mt. Kato on the fourth lap, I attacked and quickly was on my own. By the end of the lap I had about a minute gap. I wasn’t sure who was chasing besides Jay so I kept on the gas until I could see that, well, …I couldn’t see anyone on the last climb. I was excited to roll it home for the win. I really wanted a MNSCS win and have been close a couple of times this year.
Results on as usual.
I don’t have any racing pics but I have much better ones from Col.
Ben embarrassing himself:
Ben and I on at 14000+ feet (Mt Evans)
The spine we climbed to find the top of Mt Quandary

The crew who climbed it. My dad had to work hard but he conquered it! I am proud of him.

Next Up will be Buck Hill Thurs and my favorite MNSCS race, Red Wing, on Sunday.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

At Home in Frisco...

After many hours in the car, we are finally here! We rolled in last night and got to ride today.
The condo is has OLN=)
We did somewhere around 5000 feet of climbing on the local trails (including hitting the Continental Divide. and about 50 miles...after about 4 hours, it started to rain and the temp dropped below 50. By the time we go home our lips were blue, I couldn't stop shivering. It took a hot shower and a whirlpool bath in our condo to right things. Dang, EPIC! Most of the ride was beyond sweet, but we had quite a sour are the pics.