Thursday, May 31, 2007


went to a meeting with Breck Comm down at their place in Denver today. afterwards I snuck in about an hour of ez pedaling around Red Rocks on the road machine. the new saddle is great. It was nice to recover and enjoy the smooth as silk ride of the road. the front range is so green now it's incredible.

frisco roundup

the first installment of Wednesday worlds went well. i managed to win my first race in the old fart category, aka 35+, aka vet. it was cool lining up to some local legends like Scott "the human lung" Yule and Scott Tanner. i do wish we could start with the Pro/Elite and expert 19-34, as they would prob tow me around the course that much faster. oh well, it was great to ride off the front and TT. a great training ride, as I usu am riding wheels and staying with a group. start was fast as usual. i held on to some good wheels, and got up front for the singletrack. in the singletrack, I was able to get a good-sized gap immediately. my bike is just amazing in the rocky stuff, seemingly hovering over that stuff when I weight the bike properly. the moisture from the previous night's rain and snow made the trails as tacky as I can remember. my DH friends call it hero dirt, as you can corner like a super hero b/c of the mad traction. my mind was on the limit riding with no one behind or in front of me at times. I was able to pick off some pro/elite riders on the last lap. the human lung made a surge on the last climb up Crown Rd, but I pinned it for the last climb and held on. we'll see how I respond on Sunday in Vail for the road tt/hc. bummed I can't race Saturday, but this is my last Saturday to work in the office for a while.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Alina enjoying the neighbors

more of her

run for your life


drove down to Bailey last Friday with Pat to ride the Buffalo Creek Mountain Bike Area. this place isn't super rocky or techy, just smooth high-speed sailing for miles and miles, all on beautiful singletrack. what a beautiful place, could very well be one of my favorite places to ride bikes. Helen would love it too.

most excellent weekend

had too much fun to take some time out to write lately. worked on Saturday, but we enjoyed staying put this weekend. weather was pretty good, no snow and scattered sunshine (yes). hung out with the neighbors and had a little bbq yesterday. Alina is now enjoying riding (pushing mostly) not just her little bike, but all of the neighbors' kids' bikes as well. Izaac and Ethan each have battery-powered trucks to cruise around with, and Alina enjoys riding in them, but doesn't yet know how to press the pedal to make it go. it is incredible how many little kids are in the neighborhood now. it is going to be a much different feel in the neighborhood in about 15 years, when all the little tykes are teenagers, raising hell up and down French Gulch.

did a nice ride Sunday with Jared and Tim. rode from the house (we always do) on the flumes over to the dredge, up the gulch and Colorado Trail to Blair Witch, then down to the pond and back up Hayes Trail, then back up Gold Run Rd all the way up and over to the upper and middle flumes with Darron. a little over 3hrs of riding and some good efforts. Faia is tough to follow on that little bike, esp. short punchy climbs. His machine will be a great race bike for many courses. But for having only one mountain bike (for now), I just am too old to ride a fun hater. The 5.5" is very nice for the longer rides too, and the super rocky high alpine trails, once they open.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

5 years, and a Montana update

Today is a big, good day. Helen and I's 5th wedding anniversary. They have been my happiest 5 years without coincidence. And having Alina around the last 20mos. has been that much better. I feel sorry for people who can't or choose not to experience being parents.

We also have some decent news in that Montana is responding pretty well to the ampicillin the vet prescribed. She is beginning to eat the special, easy-on-the-liver canned food the vet wants us to use. Apparently the ultrasound didn't reveal any cancerous tumors or anything, so the vet thinks her liver was attacked by some kind of bacterial thing. She told Helen yesterday morning that we were lucky to have brought Montana in when we did, as her liver was completely shutting down and she probably would have died within 24hrs. This morning she is still pretty sluggish, but she's eating her ampicillin capsules and her canned food, so I am hoping her body is just trashed from the experience, and she needs to rest/sleep. But we are not yet out of the woods...

The breakfast club mtb ride left the hood at 6a and we made it up Minnie, Side Door, over down to Slalom and then the Upper Flume back down. The bike feels incredible under my legs, I can't wait for Wednesday.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

please hang in there Montana...

the last few days Montana hasn't eaten, has been drinking a lot, and has been throwing up yellow bile. Helen took her to the vet this am, and they think her liver might not be working properly. They did an x-ray that didn't reveal much, and now she's on antibiotics and an IV drip for some much-needed nutrients. Since the x-ray didn't reveal anything, tomorrow a specialist will be up to do an ultrasound. We are all hoping for the best. The $1K+ (so far, could very well get much more pricey) is one thing, but Montana's welfare is paramount.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


alina and another fun wknd

spring, winter, etc.

woke up at 5a for a super early pre-work ride, only to find it snowing and 35 degrees. At noon today it was only 36 degrees, with scattered snow showers. Now it has stopped, weird weather today.
My parents came for a short visit to see Alina, and my dad and I put up a nice little workbench in the garage. Nice to have an organized work space. Pics coming soon.

Faia just told me the Wolcott race for tomorrow has already been cancelled. Bummer.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

chasing the dream

the paper this morning did a story on Kevin and Wallker's stint on the US U23 national development road team. Pretty impressive where these boys are now in their lives. Just a few years ago I was racing mountain bikes against these kids, hoping I could beat these two teenagers, being almost twice their age! They may not race mountain bikes anymore, but surely they would crush me now. Super cool to see some local kids trying to break into the brutal world of professional cycling. Good luck Kevin and Walker.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Floyd and Lemond

seem to be going at it in Floyd Landis' doping case in court in Malibu. It was the cover story on today. Lemond is no stranger to controversy. A few years back he was attacking Lance for alleged doping; I used to think Lemond was just jealous that Lance broke his consecutive Tour win streak. Who knows, but he is certainly speaking up now with Landis.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

opening day for Breck singletrack

just got back from a short ride on the lower and upper flumes, and also Mike's trail. They are ready to go, singletrack in town is finally here! Thank goodness, as I've already sessioned Frisco peninsula about 6 times, and surely I will ride it at least a couple more times in prep for the first local race.

30lb mahi

My co-worker Ryan caught this beautiful fish on a trip down to the Florida keys last week.

ute pass

yesterday's group ride had about 6 guys, much better than last week's trio. spun north to Silverthorne and then up Ute Pass. some were firing some missiles, I was able to hold my own on most of the short attacks. good to see Roger out there again. and Bruce too, who's in great shape for being in his 50s. climbing up Ute Pass was great. very gradual ramp up on the exertion saw me riding with Greg and Covey til almost the top, where they turned the screw one turn too far for me. forgot I had about a 30mi climb to get back home, had a flat by the high school and rolled in to the office parking lot at 8:30p.

a little faster than I'd thought

that sums up my result at Chalk Creek last Saturday. 4th place isn't stellar, but my time was pretty good. a minute off of third, and three off the winnter. much better lap times (under 29min) consistently. don't really feel like going down to Angel Fire. it was fun last year, but I'd be better served saving the $600 and hanging out here in Breck. I do look forward to stop 4 in Snowmass (state champs too), and maybe, just maybe, the Snowmass NORBA on 8/12. so it looks like the next 2 Wednesdays are race day. if I'm having this much fun now, I can only imagine when cross starts.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

colors at dusk

i must have 100 pics of sunset from our house, but they are all different.

Mother's Day at the Hill's house

Nathrop pics

this is at the start. I am in the back (2nd from left) in the red/black PowerBar jersey, since our team kit isn't quite ready. the next pic below is of Alina playing in the desert dirt, prob. before she fell into a cactus patch.

Monday, May 14, 2007


well my first race of the year is in the bag and I actually feel okay about it. managed to ride a very smart race, followed some good wheels at the right times, and finished 4th in my new I'm-an-old-fart category (exp 35-39), 3min off the leader. 29mi in 2hr flat. a little over 14mph avg for a mtb race is prety quick. i'll have a better understanding when full results are posted so I can check my time against the pro/semi- and top SS'ers. course was the same 7mi loop, actually lots of fun and a true high-desert feel, only 1hr5min from Breck. the 5.5 felt great out there, and I was gapping many people on the few rocky descents. more importantly, it felt great climbing too. I kept the RP23 in ProPedal 2 the whole race, and it was the perfect amount of cush. But don't get me wrong, my 5.5 has almost 6" of travel front and back, so I can't expect to hop out of the saddle and have my bike react instantly. But ever since my knee surgery in '99, that's not my style anyway. spin to win baby. my front fork finally broke in and I finally am getting at least 5" of travel up there. I am sold on the KryTech lube. If you start by applying it to a new or very clean chain, it will reward you with a super quiet drivetrain, without attracting too much dirt. That is the problem with T9. It works well, but is too thin and just sucks up all the dust and dirt around Colorado. The dry waxy film that Krytech encrusts on your chain works super well, and is a 1000x improvement over the White Lightning I tried and didn't like a few years back.

afterward we drove down to Boulder via 285. beautiful drive, and the Front Range is about as lush green as I can ever remember it. Sunday morning I did 4 laps at the speed trap (Betasso Preserve). Super super super buff trails, almost more so than Bailey/Buffalo Creek area. did 4 laps and about 13mi in 59min, and I was in recovery mode the day after the race! Helen, Diana and Mary were down at the Title IX 9K for Mother's Day while I rode. Helen easily defended her Baby Jogger World Championship title. She was 1st out of 111 women with baby joggers, and 8th out of 1296 total joggers. Pretty cool stuff, I am going to go check it out next year.

Friday, May 11, 2007


last night and today feel like summer. after work and after the LRSH fund-raiser at Fatty's last night, I went outside with Alina to ride her bike. It was warm without a speck of wind. And today I went down to Frisco to mtb the peninsula again. It was super warm, absolutely perfect weather for a short ride to open things up for tomorrow's race. Hopefully I feel good, I think the preparation is kinda there.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

not a bad view

spun down and around N. Gold Flake Terrace off of Wellington Rd. the other day. this view was just staring me down, so I stopped to appreciate it. too bad it was almost high noon with bright sun. great for riding, but the light was a bit too harsh for my crappy camera. maybe a Cloudy white balance and/or a polarizer would help the washed out white of the snow on the mountains. not a sharp pic, but the view is still awesome.

another excerpt from Matt's site

great stuff, some of it below-

A friend of mine is a psychiatrist. He developed an interest in photography and got himself a nice Pentax and some lenses and, while out mountain climbing in Montana, spent lots of time taking pictures of flowers and stuff. He gets back and one of his patients, a professional photographer, tells him "You know, I used to do that stuff. Scenery, large format shots, rocks and morning-lit meadows. I was pretty good. But you know what? The only pictures anybody gives a damn about are pictures of people they know. All the rest of it doesn't add up to a hill of beans."


below was one of the first breakthroughs in my photography career. thanks to Matt for this from his site.

Now, let's tie it together. For any given amount of light and film speed, there is one correct amount of light for a correct exposure but this amount of light can be achieved with a whole series of correct exposures. This is because both the shutter speeds and f/stops double and halve. If the camera gives you an exposure of 1/125th at f/8, you can get the same amount of light to the film by setting the camera to 1/250th at f/5.6 (twice the light for half the time) or 1/60th at f/11 (half the light for twice the time) or 1/30th at f/16 (one quarter the light for four times as long), and so on. In each case, the amount of light on the film is identical; what changes is your depth of field and your ability to stop motion. This gives you creative control over how your pictures will turn out.

random town scenes

I was pouring through my archive to look for some pictures to maybe use on one of Coldwell Banker's Breckenridge websites. I came across some that might work okay. Here are just a few:

vail pass

yesterday felt like summer is either here or not too far away. 25 in the morning, 65 in the afternoon. sunny all day, little to no breeze. got down to Frisco for the group ride. thought there'd be a nice turnout given the weather, but only Covey and Ket showed up. we rode up Vail Pass. not surprisingly, Covey dropped me a couple times on the upper sections. able to bridge once, but not twice. all in all a great ride. 44mi in 2hr25min. it was barely over an hour from the top of Vail Pass back to Breck. having ridden my mtb 5 times last week, I forgot how much I enjoyed the high speeds on the road. legs starting to remember what it's like to redline again. easy ride around town at lunch, rest tomorrow, short bursts Friday, and the Nathrop MSC Saturday afternoon. down to Boulder afterwards. Helen and I are going for a mountain bike ride up at Betasso, which is only a few miles below Bill & Mary's house. Check out the link to see a picture of how buff the trails are there. I think Helen is really going to enjoy her new bike there. In Moab, she was only able to ride with Alina and I on jeep roads, so checking out some good singletrack should be a good experience for her.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Jazz Fest

Cool article in the paper this morning about the 2007 Fest. One of these years we will go down to see it again. I haven't attended since probably sometime in the mid 90s. It was always more fun to be in the desert riding my bike than to be in New Orleans sweating bullets. But as Alina gets older, it'll be easier and more fun to do stuff like that.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

1st Saturday in May

aka Derby Day. i'm watching the coverage now as I look out the watching it dump snow. the paper said we had 38" in April . not bad; I certainly remember some postponed rides in April due to weather. May averages 11", and we might get 4 or 5 of those 11 this weekend. The Derby seems very traditional. all the gals dress up and wear big fancy hats, mint juleps around. If we went to the Derby, we'd prob be in the infield with the drunks and frat boys. I'm not really a horse racing fan, but it's fun enough to watch. Not sure if I agree that it is "the most exciting 2 minutes in sports," but I am watching...after all, it is the Derby. Guess I'm kinda like the average American non-cycling fan who still tries to keep up with the Tour de France.

Helen's on her way back from Buena Vista. she got 2nd place overall woman after over 8hrs and 50mi of running. and she's driving back now by herself. ouch. too bad I had to work this morning, we would have liked to have watched. Diana and Josh were nice enough to come watch Alina.

4 consecutive days on the mountain bike have made me really happy, and really tired. even better was the fact that I rode in Frisco, and didn't have to drive an hour to find dry trails. tomorrow I will get out, maybe on the fender bike if it's still winter.


playing with Depth of Field the other day. I don't have a great lens that gives a super narrow DoF, but in the right instances you can still get a good narrow field. Esp. if you shoot from above your subject, pointing the camera down, as in the picture below.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Moab sunset

these were shot last Saturday night up at Sand Flats.

Alina surfing the web

another peninsula session

i just can't get enough of the riding over at the Frisco nordic center. after my early morning ride before work, I rode it again after work with Pat. we only did about 8 mi, but it was awesome to be out on the trails. rode some different loops. I am riding a lot now too b/c the forecast looks crummy this wknd, more rain and snow showers. so I'm gettin' it now while the gettin's good.

in the 2nd pic below, you can see what the wind did today....chunks of ice washed ashore in these cool 3-4' piles. when they shifted it made a cool sound.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

mac 'n cheese

good house, good light

playing with exterior property photos too. Sunset was supposedly 7:58, and twilight was at 8:24. So I ran outside around 8:10 to see if I could find that magic moment. These aren't super, but a good first step. Lower f stop, raising the ISO, slowing the shutter some would be good. But for a spontaneous handheld, not bad. Tripod next time would be helpful. click on the images for full-size jpg's.

Opening Day, part II

yeah the camera on my phone is almost worthless, but the shot below is still cool. looks like a cold eerie "day at the beach" for my ride sitting there on the sand. The clouds were really thick and low, and it began to rain a little bit as I drove back to Breck. Some snow banks still hanging around in the north-facing and shaded areas. But the terra firma is in good shape overall. You can see the ice on Lake Dillon about 100 yards offshore. While I get bored of riding at Frisco once the race is done (and the Flume trails are dry here), the flatter, high-speed nature of the area has its appeal. I was really able to get my pedal on for the cool ribbon of singeltrack that is right by the lakeshore. Can't wait to do it again, maybe even tomorrow morning before work! I do need to enter the pain cave several more times before Nathrop on May 12.

Opening Day!

May 2 and I am riding my mtb off-road in Summit County. cool. the pic below from my cell phone is, as usual, almost worthless, save the spontaneity of being able to post from the trail. I thought long and hard about a new phone with a better camera, but I am just going to wait til Feb when our contract renewal is up.

Was at the Frisco peninsula this morning getting in almost 2hrs of singletrack, checking out the course for the Frisco race on May 30. It was in good shape, maybe just a handful of sections I had to walk. Came back to reality when I saw several search & rescue parties out there looking for Scoop still. hope he is still alive.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

pics from Italy

my parents went to Italy recently. Alina & I looked at over 350 pics of beautiful churches, countryside, villas, vineyards, gondolas and other stuff. here are a few pics that caught my attention...

looks great to me.

below are 2 shots of basic mundane things in today's society, yet in Venice they look a little different.

where are you, Scoop?

when I was in Moab last week, Scoop disappeared on Friday. no one has any leads, but it certainly doesn't look good. Royal "Scoop" Daniel III was our company's legal counsel, a fellow BRC ambassador, and overall a great person. We past Mardi Gras kings made him king for this past Mardi Gras, and we all enjoyed a great dinner together this past February. He was a fixture at all of our office's social events, and Dick and Chad were close to him. Now I read in a Denver Post article that he supposably made a 9 second call to 911 with nothing spoken into the phone. And his broken eyeglasses were left in his office, as was his dog and a pot of brewing coffee. It certainly doesn't look promising at this point, but we are all hoping and praying for the best. Here's another article in the SDN.