Monday, June 30, 2008

neighborhood Summer Solstice party

Sunday was the Wellington Neighborhood's annual Summer Solstice party. We have never been before since we've often been at one of Helen's races on the solstice weekend. This year we were lucky enough that they moved the party back one weekend, so we were in town. Each street/green brought a dish, they had BBQ, beer, tents and other fun stuff. The Breck Fire Dept. came out with their big ladder truck, and the Big Red Bus came out and had a bouncy castle, obstacle course and inflatable slide. Alina sessioned all of them multiple times. Food was great. Nice to see all of the neighbors on a beautiful day. I went out around 2p for a solo recon loop on the F50 course. Felt great, and rode a 2hr9min lap, even while riding slow up Boreas Pass. Cleared the entire Little French climb. We'll see if that's possible on lap 2! One of the toughest spots was descending the rockier-every-year Moonstone trail on my hartail. Ouch. I decided to end any chance of my not doing the 50 mile solo, so I registered last night to ensure my commitment. It is going to be painful! I will rest and ride very lightly a couple times this week.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fun in the sun

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Warm day

Warm sunshine and the sound of lawn mowers in the 'hood.

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Climbing home...

Gold Run rd....up and over to the 'hood.

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On The Great Flume

A few snow patches, but otherwise surprisingly dry! One of the most remote, backcountry trails I know.

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The Great Flume crossing another gulch

Creek/trail...same thing here as the Great Flume crosses this gulch. In about a month, there will be tons of wildflowers here.

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Mt Guyot

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Backside of Baldy Mt

From the Little French flume. The climb up was way better today, no shoveling needed. For those who've climbed it know...the last little steep ramp near the top...has a few short sections of ice and snow. Watch your gear for best traction there. For me, all but one were rideable.

On I go...

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Friday, June 27, 2008

race #9

#9 this past Wednesday was one of my better races so far this season. Gold Run Rush, so it is my stomping ground after all, so I should have an edge. The Golden Horseshoe trails are so great up there, what a gem we have. The start of the race is disgustingly hard, sending us right up the steep, rocky lower section of Gold Run Rd. My HR spike up to about 182 after the first 2min of the race. I think I was entirely anaerobic for the first 15-20min, basically until we summited Gold Run Rd, then spit us down Slalom singletrack to connect over to Preston and the Draw. I let a couple guys go off the front, but I was up with them by the bottom of Heinous. I felt very good on Heinous, keeping my ride in the middle ring the whole way. The 2nd lap up Heinous I was in the small ring, but 3rd cog down, so I could have been in the middle I suppose. Dumped the bike once on a loose sharp turn that I had forgotten about. But after straightening out my handlebars, I was soon back at it. The last section down Minnie Mine and X10U8, crossing over to the B&B sweet. A great change to a classic backcountry mtb race. 3rd place in the expert 35-44 category. 162 avg HR for 1hr21min. Not as high as in past years, maybe age is showing its ugly face.

Sweet night ride last night with the crew. Blair Witch and the Soda Creek to CT loop. Awesome. Then a 1hr recon ride up Little French this am.

Little French

Iffy at best now, only because someone drove a truck through the deeper drifts to help it melt. Firecracker 50 is a week from today. We'll see what happens, usu it melts quite a bit each day, so I bet we'll be fine. Long ride on the Great Flume and CT tomorrow. Westridge recon also.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Waterfall video

Took this last Sunday morning when I rode up towards Engineer Pass on the Alpine Loop road out of Lake City. Nice area.

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Fresh Korn - living the Tour dream

This article is about the only thing that is exciting for me with this year's Tour. A young American rider in his first Tour, with the most exciting American team with 2 cool sponsors, Garmin and Chipotle.

Colorado Bike to Work day

Most states conduct their bike-to-work day in May, but Colorado pushes theirs back to June due to the unknown weather in May. Breckenridge had their own version today. Very nice. They had a great spread at the Riverwalk, including vegetarian and meat breakfast burritos, donuts, coffee and OJ. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Alina and her swing passion

I swear she spent 3+hrs on the swings last wknd. Loves it!

International visitors

Who knows how they arrive. I see that some come from a random Blog of the Day kind of feature. Others do some weird Google searches. Neat. Singapore, Finland, Mexico, Canada, Venezuela, Argentina today.

Lake City / San Juan Solstice 50 pics

Helen ran 3rd place for women overall, coming within 5min of her best time ever. That is a huge feat considering the many snowfields and deep, single-file-on-ropes stream crossings. Too bad Alina was so hooked on the swings that she wouldn't let me run over 50yds to take a better pic of Helen crossing the finish line. Oh well. The pic at very bottom is Helen after the race looking tired. She only succumbed to the 11hr run yesterday afternoon when she came down with a low fever. Luckily she is a bit better today, just a little weak still.

Many people around here refer to me as "one of the only guys whose wife is definitely more diesel than he is." True, fine by me. She is a stud, and is so much more dedicated and disciplined in her training. For perspective sake, many will say that 1hr of running = 2.5-3hrs of cycling. So given the same time, one can say running is 2-3x more of a workout. With that said, I ride my bike anywhere from 7-10hrs a week. She runs about 10hrs a week! I give up! Sometimes when I get up at 4:45a to go ride, I of course would rather sleep, but Helen motivates me.


a couple quick snaps from early Friday morning's ride out on the delicious singletrack over at Hartman's Rocks. My ride there was MUCH more fun than my memories of misery, racing Rage in the Sage waaaayyy back in the day. just some of the super high-speed trails I remmeber that day: Luge, Lower Luge, Fenceline, Gateway, Josie's, Rocky Ridge, Ridgeline, Tailpipe. I smiled so hard when I was big-ringin' sections that I almost laughed myself off the trail.

Prospect Rd overlook

On the Gold Run Rush race course. A standard bluebird morning.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

San Juan Solstice re-cap, and swings

Helen ran another amazing race, in the heart of the beautiful and rugged San Juan mountains. 3rd place overall woman. 50mi and over 10,000' of vert, in 10hrs58min. Pretty sweet. And with this year's deeep stream crossings and numerous snowfields up high, the course was a bit slow. So if you factor those out, she would have ran a PR. Great job honey! And over the course of the weekend, I've grown a deeper appreciation for all things swings, playgrounds and parks. Helen ran for over 10hrs. Alina probably was in a swing for over 3hrs total. She can't get enough! Even in tiny podunk Lake City, we were lucky to have a couple of different playgrounds and swings at our disposal. Thanks!

F50, solo or not?

I've done the Firecracker 50 many times. It is a staple for the 4th of July holiday. But no matter the fitness I may or may not have, it is so freakin' hard. 4.5hrs, give or take. Where is the reward, one might ask? Not really sure anymore. I am probably going to grind out the 50mi solo, but I may do a team race and catch, for the first time in many years, the town parade. Alina would love it, that alone is reward. hmmm...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lake City

60s Colorado cottageville, mixed lots of Texans. Kinda weird, but pretty.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

trail run

race 2, similar result to race 1. ran hard until my side stitch wouldn't let me push it any harder. kinda frustrating, but I paced well and ran okay. it is almost fun, I hate to say. I'd prefer to see Helen tear it up, but if the opportunity is there for me to run another short course, I'll prob jump in, assuming a mtb race isn't a few days after. 1st out of 10 in my age group. not bad for someone who never trains.

French gulch rd

next time I'll use my left hand to film, so I can use my rear brake at 20+mph and not just my front!

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Warm morning

6a, i'm at about 10,750', and already I am wearing shorts with no jacket! Victory.

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Base of Heinous Hill

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

how to open Outlook links via Firefox

finally got off my lazy arse and Googled how to tell Outlook to open any clicked links through Firefox, and not IE. This page showed a quick fix. Now things are much less painful, since I don't use IE much. I use the "Always View This Page in IE" quite a bit for certain work extranets that stupidly weren't designed to work with Firefox. But otherwise, I'm done with IE.

comments enabled

I enabled comments on my blog finally.

To all of my colorful, derelict friends: please behave yourselves! My most frequent readers are my parents, in-laws and grandparents.

night ride, and another trail run

Last night, Scott, Dennis & I rode Barney Ford for our first night ride of the season. It was quite nice, with about a 90% full moon creeping up above the ridge on Baldy Mt. around 10ish when we were cruising back up through town to the hood. Nice warmish night, probably in the low 50s.

Tonight is race #2 of the Nike Summit Trail Running Series. The 5K (aka kids course) is a combination of many of my favorite backyard, stock run trails, so I have to give it a whirl. Start around Country Boy mine, up the B&B Trail, cross the Reiling dredge bridge and French Gulch Road, then up Minnie to X10U8, and back down to the mine again. Should be pretty fun. Nice and short too! I rode in to work with the trailer, so I can go pick up Alina afterwards and head straight out to the venue.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


my buddy Dennis looking serious...

Alina's bed last night

Was the $4.99 inflatable pool we bought at the grocery store. Weird for sure, but beats being in our bed.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

#8, and Splash

Saturday morning we drove down to Golden to bring Alina to the kids water park Splash. It was about 92 and a beautiful day down there. Alina of course loved the park, esp. the 2 blue kids water slides, and the 500 gallon fill-then-dump water bucket.

race #8 was over at the Summit County landfill, supposedly referred to by those in the biz as the 2nd most scenic landfill in the country (the most scenic is apparently somewhere in Alaska). Drove back up from Golden and arrived with enough time for a decent warm-up. Race started and I settled into about 4th position and rode smartly from there. Followed some good wheels, incl David and others. I fell off just a hair on the 3rd lap, but soon recovered and rode back into a decent pace for the last lap. Settled for 6th on the day, but I'll take it. My fitness seems to be coming around. Looking forward to the Gold Run Rush in my back yard next week.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Toy store

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Pony ride

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trail running

I was a poser Wednesday night. I ran a trail running race and pretended to look like I knew what was up. Funny stuff. Not really more than about a 5min warm-up (otherwise I might get tired). Started up CR450 from the base of the Lower Flume, left at Forest Hills Rd, then we hopped on the Upper Flume. Cool to be running on singletrack, I have to say, even as inefficient of a runner as I am. Soon the fun turned to frustration as I cramped up pretty good from not really knowing breathing patterns while running. I lost about 6 spots in 60 seconds. Had to slow it down for a bit, then I recovered and I was off again. Running down Mike's and the Lower Flume was not nearly as painful as I thought it would. I had good footing and was able to get some good long downhill strides in. Because all good runners did the longer 10K course, I won my measly 30-39 age group on the 5K course. Free pair of socks, nice. I may even consider running next week's course up on Minnie and X10U8 trails.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Monday, June 09, 2008

teeter-totter bloggers

Below are just a few friends' blogs. They all seem to be like me in their eternal quest for the ultimate, triangular teeter-totter/balancing act of family, work & cycling.

On Your Left
The Wah Report
Mud and Cowbells
My Single Life


#7 for me was over at Vail for the Teva Mountain Games. ouch. 5mi lap with 1,200' of climbing per lap. That equates to a steep grade. I rode a decent race for 2.5 out of 3 laps. The last lap I faded as Darron put in a little surge to pass and I was done. But to feel okay for most of the day was a minor victory compared to last Wednesday at Frisco. Small wins are key for me now. Course was pretty weak. Steep fire road climbs, singletrack that was too rooty and full of switchbacks, so you couldn't keep your speed for any length of time.

Good vibe overall at Teva in Vail. Lots of things to do for Alina. Helen ran the 10K Spring Runoff against some top athletes, including women on the US Mountain Running Team. She again amazed me with a great 5th place showing, besting some members of above said team, beating some very fit people. She was 1 place out of the money, but no worry there. Next year we may try to get some friends together and rent a condo down in Vail for the weekend. Would be a great time.

Friday, June 06, 2008

1000, and TGIF

I just logged into Blogger and noticed that I have 1000 posts as of yesterday on my blog! Pretty cool milestone.

TGIF today. Monthly statements and other busy work today here. Teva Mountain Games xc tomorrow! Luckily the forecasted 3-5" never materialized down in town. We had some rain and a light ice this morning, but no snow. My co-worker lives on Baldy at 11,000 and he had about 1.5" on his deck this morning. Forecast looks good tomorrow in Vail.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


i'll get this over with quickly as I have a busy day here in the office. 2nd to last in pro/elite. my 1hr30min time would have put me only 13th out of 20 in the vet expert, where it looks like I belong. I never really cracked, but I definitely couldn't recover quickly (usually one of my strengths) after intense efforts. My HR was never as high as it normally is in a race. Maybe I was a bit tired, maybe not. The good news is that my new race bike felt awesome, I didn't flat or crash, and I'm still pretty motivated for much better results. Hopefully I have a MUCH improved ride at the Teva Mountain Games xc race on Saturday. After all, it will be hard to do any worse. It was super cool that Filip Meirhaeghe came out to race. Surely he didn't push himself as hard as he normally does (he did 2hrs of intervals the morning of the race), but he held off Brett Morgan to win by about 1min. A full 15min ahead of me. Cool to see the young kids Taylor, Walker and Kevin had good races.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

sometimes I miss the south

Besides family, I really don't miss much about the south. I was however reading one of my LSU football sites. Only 87 days til the action starts. But I know I won't miss the 3 months of oppressive summer heat and humidity. Reading about the various LSU alumni chapters across the country (mostly down south) and their fish fry- and crawfish boil-watching parties always sounds awesome.

weather summary for May

from the SDN-

The late-season snows and cool temperatures helped maintain a surplus snowpack in the local mountains. According to the statewide snowpack was at 111 percent of average as of June. The Colorado River Basin was at 146 percent of normal on the same date.

The highest local reading is from the Snowtel site at Copper, with snowpack sitting at 223 percent above average, according to Blue River Basin water commissioner Scott Hummer. The deep snow at the site holds 6.7 inches of water, compared to average three inches for early June.

The Hoosier Pass snowpack is at 195 percent of normal, with 7.8 inches of water (average, 4.0 inches).

The four Snowtel sites above Dillon Reservoir average a snowpack of 140 percent above average.

“It hasn't warmed enough to move anything up high,” Hummer said, anticipating that peak spring runoff is still ahead.

Stream flows
All local streams are flowing above historic levels, Hummer said.
The Blue River below its confluence with the Swan was running at 545 cubic feet per second early in the week, compared to historic mean flow of 306 cfs.
Tenmile Creek reached a daily peak flow of about 1,000 cfs on June 4, just after midnight, according to Hummer.
The timing of daily peak flows on local streams depends on daily weather cycles. Tenmile peaks in the middle of the night because it takes several hours for the snow to melt, collect and run down of the mountains. Essentially, the snow that melts during the warm afternoon surges through town about six hours later.
By contrast, peak daily flows in the Colorado River at Dotsero occur each day aroun 12 p.m., Hummer said.

Breckenridge stats
In Breckenridge, weather observer Rick Bly measured 21.7 inches of May snow, double the historic average based on records going back more than a century.

For the year to date, Bly tallied 167.7 inches, still the seventh-snowiest on record. Snowfall for the winter of 2008-2009 reached average way back at the end of March, Bly said.

June is the second-driest month after October. Bly said average precipitation for the month is 1.37 inches, but there have been at least 30 times when June has been without even a trace of measurable precipitation, Bly said.

And snow is not out of the question. As much as 16 inches of the white stuff has fallen during that month in Breckenridge.

my secret weapon hath arrived...

I haven't the time yet to snap a cool, my-tires-are-new-and-shiny picture, so you can take a look at the link at bottom for a good idea. My bike is identical, except I am running Crossmax SLs instead of the Mavic 819s seen here. Size large, complete with pedals and bottle cage is just under 22lbs. It is a rocket ship, no doubt. Tonight's SMC race, the Frisco Roundup, will be a great test.

2006 Scott Scale 10

Fiona Theresa Florio

Congrats to Mickey & Tricia, they had a baby girl, Fiona, last Wednesday, May 28th. cool!

Monday, June 02, 2008


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#5, and PERFECT weather

Saturday was race #5 for me. The Burn mtb TT down in Bailey in the Buffalo Creek mtb rec area. Great smooth trails made for a very fast course, even with over 3,000' of climbing. 22mi in 1hr38min. 7th place out of about 25 vet 35+ experts. Of course I had a secret weapon, the Scott Scale 10 from Mark Thompson. I was trying it out for a few days, and it is impressive. 21.5lbs and a freakin' rocket ship out on the trails. I rode it again this morning on the rockier trails of the Frisco peninsula, and it still felt fantastic. Stiff under pedal, but the carbon gives just enough dampening to not make it feel like there's a spear in your back. And the 6lb weight reduction from the 5.5, combined with the rigid frame makes for a great feeling race bike. It is going to be difficult to pass this opportunity.

Since late last week we've had really nice weather. Friday evening was great. Saturday and Sunday were both bluebird, warm days. Highs in the upper 60s/low 70s, a light breeze (that wasn't cold for the first time in like 7 months), and just incredibly warm feeling sunshine. Wow, it very quickly justified the brutally long winter. It was so nice I spent most of Sunday out in the yard digging up some dead sod and patching it up with some new rolls I bought at Wal-Mart. Besides my labor involved, it was pretty reasonable, $2.58 for a 7 sq ft roll. So I only spent about $35 for the new grass. Hopefully it takes soon and Montana doesn't have a field day tearing it all up.

SMC#1 in Frisco Wednesday. I am looking forward to is, as I finally have a decent base.