Thursday, June 28, 2007

ahhh, sleeping in

woke up just before 6, not 4. the extra hour or so was nice. will ride for an hour on the road at lunch. i think it'll be my 3rd road ride since Teva Games. pretty weak. after work i need to wash a couple of bikes. my mtb needs some love before the F50. tomorrow I am going to lay 2300 sq ft of sod at the house. hopefully it goes pretty quickly, but we'll see. this time of year, when all the trails (incl Little French, Wheeler Trail, and prob even Lenawee and 100 Acres) are beginning to open, the thought of riding my road bike is not that appealing. Maybe I should sell the road bike and get another mtb. mmmmm, mountain bike.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

testing mobile blogging again

i wonder why i do this since the camera quality on my cell is so terrible. but the immediate spontaneity is hard to ignore.

pre-work ride, F50 re-con, Colorado bike to work day

this morning I went up Little French and rode the flume and Prospect Rd down to Gold Run Rd. met Tim at the rec center, enjoyed some free Starbucks coffee and Clint's lemon bars as part of Colorado Bike to Work Day. super cool. 2.5hrs on the mtb before I even begin my work day. How cool is that?! brought the trailer to work on the road machine, will pedal up to pick up Alina after work, and then ride up to Boreas Pass TH to see Helen work at the local trail race. This morning's ride on the Little French Flume was incredible. It is in great shape and ready for the F50.

Monday, June 25, 2007

road trip reflections

well we had a great time out in Tahoe and Auburn this weekend. Thanks Mary for helping out with Alina! here are some thoughts on each day of the trip:

- Thursday: short flight out. Squaw Valley is beautiful. sick terrain. gotta snowboard there one day soon. huge trees in Tahoe. Helen appears to be ready.

- Friday: Helen a bit nervous, but meticulously prepared all of her stuff, went for a short run, suffered through the drop bag checks, race packet pick-up, weigh-in (sounds like she's a prize fighter) and medical check. still had the time and energy to be mom. i snuck in an awesome ride on parts of the Tahoe Rim trail. huge climb, bigger descent. the 6" Specialized Epic was pretty nice.

- Saturday: up at 3am with Helen to get ready for the big one. She was off at 5a, and our big saga began. Drove about 2hrs downhill to meet her at mile 31, the Robinson Flats aid station. Drove up this never-ending ridge through natl forest to get up there. home of the gigantic trees and incredible views. then we drove down to Auburn to meet up with David, then back through Foresthill to wait for Helen to come in at mile 66, where David would be pacing her for mi 67-100. Sunny and hot, but Helen came through fine and was off for the night time part of the run.

- Sunday: Alina and I were in bed around 10, but she wasn't into sleeping much. We read some stories and played a lot. Soon she was out, I woke up at 1a and checked Helen's progress online. Up again at 2a, checked online, and saw she was cruising well. Mary came in the room and hung with Alina while I drove out to the stadium to wait for Helen and David. Just before 3a she finished! We came back to the hotel and got a couple hours sleep, then gorged ourselves at breakfast. slept off and on some more, tried to pop Helen's blisters, soaked her feet, slept, went back to the stadium for the awards ceremony and belt buckle thing. came back, had a great lunch, back to the room, went out the pool, slept again, take out pizza.

Helen has more determination than most anyone I know. Great job honey! You have nothing to prove, I know you're a bad ass! Alina traveled well as usual. I wonder if she's going to be a runner or a cyclist?

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Western States 100 photos

she did it! 22hr 47min 19secs. 100.2 mi, about 15,000' of climbing and over 22,000' of descending. from about 33 degrees at 5am in Squaw Valley to the upper 90s in the lower canyons outside of Auburn. Helen rocked, her race went just about according to plan, with the exception of just some blisters on her feet. 13th woman, and 58th out of 271 overall finishers.

just a few pics below. you can view over 70 photos via my Picasa web album. .

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Western States 100

we're here in Auburn, California, finishing town of the Western States 100. We just saw Helen roll through the Foresthill aid station at around 6p, and she picked up her pacer, David Wilcox, to help her through miles 63-100, in the middle of the night. Pics coming soon...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

gold run rush

tonight was my backyard race (so is the F50). had some heavy legs from Tuesday morning's long pre-ride. I suffered during the start but was in a good position in 2nd behind Steve Meyer. Passed him before the singletrack, then up Heinous I was riding with David O, and he was looking good. but i found one more gear and passed about 2/3s up. on the Zobbe trail descent, I felt really really good. able to stay on top of a big gear. soon I was once again riding by myself. I passed a couple experts and Bernie, but otherwise I wasn't catching the pro/elites, since they started a minute up on us in the old balls category. rode up the Fall Classic singletrack and was movin down Gold Run to the finish. 3 wins, fun while they lasted. bye bye podium...looking forward to racing with the fast group in the future. it'll be good prep for getting shelled by Faia and Jared in the 35+ cross races.

out for some sleep before the drive down to the airport for the biggest race of Helen's career. for those of you who want more, their website has plenty of info. I think the race starts from Squaw Valley at 5a this Sat. It will take her at least 24hrs if she completes the epic.

Now this is sick. Use this link to track Helen's progress at each aid station throughout the day and night. Mary & I will hopefully be at some aid stations, but with Alina who knows!

Gold Run Rush, Cali and flowers

Gold Run Rush is tonight. One of the coolest races, starting right in my neighborhood.

Off to Cali tomorrow for the biggest race of Helen's career. Luckily it looks like temps will be 15-20 deg cooler than usual, which bodes well for some reduced heat in the hot desert canyons of the Sierra foothills.

A few snaps from yesterday hanging out with Alina on the porch.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

early am course re-con

as you can see, another great early am ride. to top it off, it was a balmy 43 deg at 5am.

Monday, June 18, 2007

more with Alina

enjoying some after-work sun on the deck...

over at Izaac's house...

having fun

she loves her bike, even in the rain...

what are you lookin' at?


perfect weather

that's what we've had since last Friday. the weekend was ideal, low 40s in the morning, then mid 70s and warm by mid-day. did some trail work on the X10U8 connector down to Fr Gulch Rd on Saturday. went to a friend's house for a BBQ that eve. Yesterday I did a 38mi mtb ride to prep for the F50. I felt pretty good, even 3.5hrs into the ride. Was a great father's day ride with a bunch of friends. A nice summer weekend. Now it's time to get serious and wrap up some things at work so I can prepare for Helen's huge race!

Friday, June 15, 2007

TenMile backdrop

a chamber of commerce day...


a scenic

since it is so nice outside, I spent a couple hours shooting some summer property exteriors for our site. This one I snapped just out of my truck window. Pretty cool shot of the 4th of July bowl in the distance, with Powderhorn condos in the foreground.

another beautiful start to my day...

In case anyone doesn't know, I absolutely LOVE riding my mountain bike, especially early morning when I am the only person out in the wilderness. I was a bit late waking, so out the door at around 5:30. Again I rode the Gold Run Rush course to get to the base of Heinous Hill. There it was a nice 20min climb, trying to keep it in the middle ring for a ways, but today it wasn't happening. Got to the top and descended Zobbe's trail to Lincoln Meadow. I love that singletrack. Feels like I am connected to the bike, flowing, keeping the bike light by pumping the whoops. It is a blast. Then I skirted around the mud and began climbing up Humbug Road, which early on looks like a mountain stream with snow drifts on the shaded side. We need to put in some water bars there or this road will be in horrible shape. After about 10min I came to the top of the road and saw big snow drifts ahead. The Moto Descent is not happening this race, there are big piles of snow up there. I walked around some snowdrifts and continued on Humbug Rd til I got to the intersection at the base of Little French, just past Lincoln Way. Checked out part of Little French, and this lower south-facing area was good and dry. Bombed down Humbug Hill. That is sketchy and fun. Hopping over the water bars, only to grab tons of brake before the sketch factor is out of hand. Towards the bottom I had to switch to 2 fingers. Nice jaunt down French Creek Rd. home.

I need to put up some more pics. They are finally landscaping our yard now. Irrigation is in, they added some nice aspens, more topsoil, and I think today they are adding some bushes. Within a couple weeks I hope to lay some sod.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

back at it

up at 4:45 and on the bike at 5:15. funny, b/c that sounds so awful to most people. but to me, it is as easy and enjoyable as waking up for Chrismtas morning as a kid, perhaps expecting that cool new bike or toy. or as exciting as waking up early on a powder day in winter. 37 deg, but my route had me climbing for the first 45min, so that was a non issue. went up Gold Run and took the Gold Run rush course to send me up Heinous. with the exception of the first 100m or so, the 20min climb is entirely dry, albeit super tacky. At the summit I turned down the F50 singeltrack that popped me out at Lincoln meadow. Some snow piles up high but otherwise it was wicked fun popping out at bottom. Lincoln Meadow/park is always beautiful, but more so at 6:20 in the morning, checking out an elk at the edge of the forest. Bombed down Rich Gulch to French Gulch Rd and was back home in 10min. Spun out at about 42mph. Super fun. Really looking forward to a huge morning on the bike this Sunday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


3 days off the bike. yuch. last time I did this was mid-April. This time, however, I am forced off. My body is just about ready for it again. And I hope this time it is about 10 days in a row before the next day off. Then in late June I can try some active recovery/tapering before what I hope is an excellent F50.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

rainy morning

here in a mountain summer, you can almost always count on stunning bluebird mornings. Not so today, due to a low pressure system around Colorado. Woke up to a balmy 47 degrees with light rain and low clouds. Made for a nice, different morning walk with Montana. On the way back to the house we got dive bombed by 2 hummingbirds. Montana seems a bit lethargic still. We are crossing our fingers that we hear better news from the vet tomorrow. This will be two days in a row off of the bike. I am itching to ride, but my body could use a break, and I am swamped here at work, so the timing is good. After today, my next rest day wil hopefully not be til Sat the 23rd.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

racing at the dump

Wednesday Worlds had a different feel today as it was Sunday. stop #2 of the Summit Mountain Challenge was the Tour de Trash out at the scenic landfill. 3p start, pretty much the worst if you ask me...i'd prefer to race early and drink beer in the afternoon. my legs felt heavy all day, but I had a short but effective warm-up and after the first 1/2mi climb I felt really good. had to pass Steve Meyer before the rock garden. David came with me and I guess from there it opened up quickly. I had a good gap on David and soon enough it was just like Frisco, riding solo for the next hour. The wide open course allowed me to look back at the other riders to see the gaps. I was descending as well as ever on the new bike, and holding my own on the climbs. Ended up winning by about 90sec over 2nd. don't think I've ever won 2 mtb races in a row before. My 51 yr old fellow teammate Scott "the human lung" Yule came in 3rd. When I'm 51, if I'm even remotely as fast as he is, I'd be pretty happy. So Gold Run is next. My backyard course. Tons of climbing, thanks to Heinous Hill, but tons of rocky high-speed descending too, which is my kind of course. Hopefully it goes well again, and I can step it up and ride with the pro/elites and look fwd to cracking the top 5 (of a tiny pro/elite field). So far my 27lb bike is doing the job. Though I wonder how it'd feel to race on a 22lb full sus like Brett Morgan's Cannondale.

Back to work. I'm a true weekend warrior now with the M-F thing. Some trail work next weekend, coupled with a Father's Day BBQ at some friends, and hopefully a 5-6hr mtb ride Sunday. It will be my last big ride before the F50. Out in Tahoe I probably won't do more than 3hr rides.

Friday, June 08, 2007

nice out

after a couple of cold, snowy days, we are treated to a beautiful sunny day so far. not a cloud in the sky at lunchtime...

Microsoft Photosynth

Wow this is cool. Check out the live beta tour of Microsoft Photosynth

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Barney in the snow

wasn't letting the freakin' weather force me off the bike twice, esp. since it's June! took the cross machine up Fr Gulch and up Sallie Barber, down Barney Ford to Carter Park. certainly diff than my cush mtb. 60lb in the 30mm tires, rigid front and back, canti brakes...all that equals stay on your game or you are going down, esp. with slick roots and some mud. I managed to stay upright. My legs and lungs feel great, but my arms are a little sore from squeezing those pathetic brakes so hard. I gotta figure out my front brake before cross season. The stutter is unacceptable for sure, esp. since the front brake provides about 70% of total braking power.

Monday night, 6/4/07, Scott and Ellen welcomed their baby boy, Zander Evans Reid, into the world. Congrats!

still winter

another week or two of cool, wet weather?

are you kidding me? this is the crummiest May-June thus far that I've seen in the 12 yrs I've lived here.

No wonder why Helen is always looking at houses in Boulder.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

crap weather continues

it is 48 degrees, raining sideways, with occasional snow flurries. the lovely weather we had in May is continuing into June.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

and then down to Carter Park

after descending Fr Gulch (and riding the brakes to minimize the jarring ride for the kid), we went down to Carter Park to ride the swings and slides. Alina met a little girl named Nicholina, she was about 3yrs old with Italian parents. Her mom called her Lina also. It was pretty weird to have both girls turn their heads when I said Lina.

through the gate...

before Little French, the trailer just barely squeezes through the non-motorized access gate. I met the Livingstons, the couple who have owned the house by French Creek for about 25 yrs. Super nice people, they snapped the photo below of us.

French Gulch with Alina

rode up to the base of Little French to check out the snowpack. still plenty of snow. we also went up Sallie Barber Rd. a bit, but were soon turned around by some drifts across the road...


about how it's looked outside almost daily for the past week or so. we've had some sun, but it only seems to last a few minutes. I am really hoping for a dominating high pressure ridge, so we can get at least a couple weeks of hot sunny weather to dry out the higher trails, and to simply enjoy before the monsoonal flow ensues in July. it already almost seems like the monsoon is here. that can't be.


Alina had a good time with me yesterday, but there were a few moments she was not super excited.

stock run, and Googleplex

this morning at 5:30 I was on my bike for a quickie before work. it was 39 degrees, which is warm for 5:30a in early June. I cruised up Gold Run right away, imagining the pain and suffering to come on June 20th at the Gold Run Rush. Soon it leveled off and I got my pedal on just past Drew's place. After about 15min it was high-speed, big-ringin' singeltrack for the next 3mi back to CR450. My first ride of the original 'stock run' after work or pre-work special. 6.2mi in 37min. Short, but oh so sweet. The last 2min of descending on the Upper Flume is heavenly. Nothing is as fun on a road bike. Riding the road machine, even the nicest stretches of curvy descending down narrow forest roads in the Gila Natl Forest can't compare to descending on a mtb.


A guy I work with visited Google's HQ in CA last month. AKA the Googleplex. Below is an excerpt from an email he sent-

Willy Wonka and the Search Factory

Google invited us along with only 5 other agencies nationwide to visit their headquarters in Mountain View in May. Most people have heard of the Googleplex, but I must say that you really have to see it in person to understand. They have truly built a Utopian workplace if there ever was one. Google started with a 4-plex of old Silicon Graphics offices and have slowly cannibalized every building surrounding them. Today they number about 25 buildings and require constant shuttles to get around between them. (As well as other mobile inventions that whizzed by at random times)

Upon arrival we passed the on-site barber (use at your own risk), the volleyball courts, a huge fully equipped gym, then across the courtyard a full-sized T-Rex skeleton chasing down some plastic pink flamingos caught our eye outside the lobby. Just inside the lobby they’ve hung a replica of SpaceShipOne (The rocket that won Richard Branson’s contest) over the stairs.

There’s a college-campus feel to the place, but it goes so much deeper than that. On the walls of the lobby there are pictures of famous political and business thinkers that have visited recently; the Hillary’s, Al Gore’s, Jack Welch’s and even the Dalai Lamas of the world. Apparently they have a couple of keynote speaker level people show up every week or so and broadcast the speeches company-wide.

There’s an organic garden in the center of the Googleplex, which I assume supplements the 14 on-campus, and completely free, organic-only ‘cafés’. Google doesn’t give its employees much reason to leave. The café’s are exactly like mini-Whole Food outlets with every type of cuisine that you can imagine. Employees could live off of sushi, 3 meals a day 7 days a week if they wanted to. We saw one group of Googlers ride along on an odd-looking 6-seater bike where everyone was facing each other; I don’t know how they turned it, but there was a wheel of some kind in the center that they were all holding on to. Maybe it was a team of engineers going from one building to another far away.

There are fully-stocked Odwalla juice dispensers and organic fruit in baskets in every building. The tea station doesn’t just have tea bags; they have hand wrapped organic tea. If someone had taken me from 1995 and zapped me to this place, I would have thought the year was 2100 and that the world was at peace. Other than one gray haired guy in a tie dye shirt, I don’t think I met anyone over the age of 35. The children are definitely ‘running the asylum’ at Google. It’s almost like some kind of a futuristic Marxist village that somehow actually worked. It was inspiring and yet a little scary at the same time.

Monday, June 04, 2007

moments before...

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before her race

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Teva Mtn Games

We enjoyed Vail Satrday, as we always do in June, when it looks like July in Breck due to the lower elevations, and nicer gardens, thanks to all the money over there. Helen had a great run in the Spring Runoff 10K trail run. 5th overall (2nd in her age group), beating a couple members of the US Natl Mtn Running team. She had on Saturday morning done a 5hr training run, and she has a cold from Alina too and felt like crap, so she wasn't exactly well rested for this shock-to-her-system 10K run. But nonetheless she killed it and made some super-lithe-and-serious-looking trail runners look like turtles out there. I think the DHs were the hardest for Helen. She always crushes the climbs, like any good Colorado runner. Alina and I got to hang out and tour Vail Village, pretending like we were rich and famous. She really enjoyed the free orange mochas from Starbucks, though all she really did was eat the whip cream and suck on the mocha-and-cream flavored ice. Alina was rocking her Poison Spider sweatshirt, though it is still too big for her. Luckily Helen kicked it at the end, as the 6th place woman was flying down the cobbles and almost nipped Helen at the line. Even though this was just speedwork for Helen and she was not rested for this one, she was still bummed not to have placed 4th for some cash. That's Helen, always wanting to be in the money. Things in Vail are greening up nicely; one day we're going to come back and check out the Betty Ford gardens. Afterwards, I spun around town and east Vail to warm up for the hill climb. After a cool start off the ramp. I was flying east out of Vail Village on the frontage road, but soon an approaching t-storm kicked up the wind and I felt like a mosquito in a hurricane. We dove under I-70 a couple times and then I didn't recover well as we headed through East Vail. As we got on the old highway, I did feel great and was happy to be in the big ring (53x21) for a lot of the next mile. Not having ridden this before, I thought we were going to the top of Vail Pass. Soon I saw a 1km to go mark, and I realized we weren't going to the top, and that I'd better start pinning it now to minimize the losses. I ran a 35:56. Not very good. Maybe I could have shaved off 30secs had I known how short it was, and where the finish was. But that's not much of an excuse. I don't ride my road bike often, and it showed. My Open Pro Record wheels felt super nice and light. After the finish line I wasted no time and descended back to catch the bike path up to Vail Pass. After 30 more min of climbing I was at the top of Vail Pass. Another hour or so later, soaking wet (but not cold surprisingly), I was back home in Breck. Pretty fun day for the whole family, and Helen and I both got to get in some little tests.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

my good friend Barney

today I rode up Moonstone from Carter Park to get to the bottom of the Barney Ford trail. I climbed for about 25min and was near the top when i turned around due to some snow and mud patches. I think by early next week it will be totally dry. It was great to ride down that trail. It is one of my top 3 stock runs in town that you can bust out in under and hour. Curious to see how the HC goes in Vail tomorrow. I can't remember the last time I really dug deep on my road bike. The beauty of it is a sweet 10mi descent after through Copper Mt to Frisco, where I will scarf on a huge deli sandwich from Alpine Market.

This is a gulch the trail crosses about halfway down. Our house is about 400' downhill.

Friday, June 01, 2007

it is June!

super psyched today begins June. That means a lot of things to me:
- mtb racing is underway
- it will hopefully only snow 1-2 more times
- it won't be below freezing in the morning too often
- many aspens have leaves by now
- work gets busier (that's good & bad, mostly good)
- corn gets sweeter; Olathe sweet corn isn't far away
- soon I can chill in the hammock and not have to wear a down jacket
- soon Alina can hang out in her pool
- the Tour isn't far away; with dopers or not I'm looking forward to it.