Monday, September 29, 2008

Getting ready for Halloween

Alina, "girl Auden," and "Colin." don't ask me how she got those names for her baby dolls.

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my nieces

Some pics from the wknd trip to Dallas to see Isabelle and Madeline. Alina got a kick out of the babies too. Don't ask me which one is which!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tony on Wheeler Tr

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Pit stop

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Kids on the street

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aspens are peaking now!

I took a spin on the super scenic and aptly named Aspen Tunnel trail, which starts out just off of Boreas Pass Rd. A truly incredible day, chamber of commerce type weather for sure. Shutter bugs were probably out there geeking out every where.

Wheeler Trail tonight!!!!!

this week, with winter soon here and the high alpine trails soon buried, we're going up high above treeline to ride the Wheeler Trail. Not sure if we're going to head towards Copper Mtn or Francie's cabin to Spruce Creek Tr to Burro Tr.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Moab pics

Where's my neck? Leaving the rain and cold of Breck behind...

Canyon country...overlooking the CO River from Amasa Back overlook...

My bike is very happy riding this terrain!

Yours truly...

oh yeah, back to my roots

I'm eating a muffuletta from Zuppa's now. Certainly isn't the same as the namesake from the Central Grocery, birthplace to the sandwich.

Wikipedia listing for Muffuletta

back to my roots, and the MAS50 re-cap

the wknd was nice. Snowmass was a blur for the Instant Software conference. I learned a lot, but as usual our particular business model has very unique needs that are not adequately addressed by the new versions.

Thursday afternoon we drove from Snowmass to Moab. It was awesome to have sunny warm weather, esp. since we were leaving 2 consecutive evenings of heavy rains and high mountain snow dustings here in Breck. It was about 82 degrees in the Roaring Fork valley and into Glenwood Springs. Grand Junction was in the upper 80s, and an hour and half later we were enjoying the 90s in Moab! A lot has changed since my time in New Orleans, wishing for a cool front that would maybe stay around for 24-36hrs before Gulf moisture pushed it back, and brought more humidity and overcast skies.

The town was booked due to the race, a music fest, a century bike ride and many other events. Plus, the desert heat this time of year has subsided from the 110s of mid-summer down to the 90s. So we had to settle for a mom-and-pop camp site, the Slickrock Campground. Montana (our Siberian husky) and I slept in my tent, and Helen and Alina slept in the back of her car. Luckily that was the setup, as Alina wasn't too cooperative in going to bed, and she ended up screaming and crying for a few minutes. The extra sound insulation of the Explorer helped a bit. At 3:15a we were up and rearranging the car and child seat for our short drive up to Sand Flats Rec Area and the Slickrock Trail parking lot, where Helen would hop on a shuttle bringing the runners to the start line. The start line was in the LaSal Mtn foothills, at about 6,400' elevation. The race started at 6a, and hopped around and over the LaSals a couple times over 50mi before descending back down to the Slickrock Trailhead. Helen defended her win from last year, placing first overall woman, and 3rd overall. That means only 2 guys out of the 30 finsihers didn't get "chic'd" by Helen. Funny. Since it was much hotter than last year's race, Helen's time was about 20min slower this year, but she still had a great race.

Alina and I were lucky enough to check in the Super 8 motel a bit early. What I didn't realize was that the hotel was NOT pet friendly. I thought all Super 8s were. Oh well. I didn't tell the front desk girl we had a dog, since the whole town was sold out. I didn't want to not have a hotel room/bed/shower for Helen after her 10hrs of running in the mtns and hot desert sun. I also wanted a TV with ESPN for the LSU-Auburn game! I read in the hotel policies that having a dog could result in a $50 fine. i was fine with that, if it happened. Luckily at check-out I had no extra charges. We took Montana's dog collar off at night, so if she shook, the metal tags on her collar wouldn't sound the "we have a dog in our room" alarm.

Sunday morning I let the room early to ride Amasa Back. A great classic ride.


MAS 50 2008 - Overall Finishers
Place Name hr:min Class
1 Golden Harper 9:12 1st male open
2 Shane Martin 10:02
3 Helen Cospolich 10:05 1st female open
4 Mick Jurynec 10:13
5 Nathan Haws 10:17
6 Jason Halladay 10:42
7 Suzanne Lewis 10:50
8 Megan Morrissey 11:00
9 David Pease 11:02 1st Male Masters
10 Brooks Williams 11:04
11 Sam Meziani 11:08
12 Chris Gerber 11:40
13 Derrick Gunther 11:46
14 Doug Newton 12:07
15 Joy Robertson 12:12 1st Female Masters
16 Andrew Wittner 12:16
17 Sean Cunniff 12:20
18 Craig Burger 12:22
19 Deanna McLaughlin 12:27
20 Sean Kute 12:39
21 Mark Ellison 13:15
22 Sara Nelson 13:20
23 Michael Rearick 13:20
24 Nancy Hendrickson 13:23
25 Marc Christensen 13:23
26 Paul Hart 13:33
27 Krissy Smid 13:43
28 Kirk Dyches 13:43
29 Daniel Bertch 13:52

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fall foliage

Side door is absolutely incredible now

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In Moab now...

At the top of the famous Amasa Back climb. Looking west and down about 1000ft is the Colorado River.

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Another shot

Looking east over towards the slickrock fins of the desert, with the 12,000' LaSal mtns in the bkgrd. As much as I prefer the shorter driver and high-speed riding in Fruita, I easly forget the appeal of the scenery here.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Alina & the dolls at brkfst

Helen started her 50mi race about an hour and a half ago. So we're in town eating brkfst.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

i feel old

the woman I just hired for our front desk department graduated high school in 1986. wow, I was in 8th grade then.

RGO pic dump

What a great time, on a truly epic eve of weather AND racing...

Breck is somewhere down in that valley

The snow was getting drier as we climbed higher, and the air was colder

The champagne of beer was on hand for those of us who wanted to drink beer in the cold, right before jacking up our HRs

Mark and Pete look super cold riding in the back. poor dudes!

Dan in awe at his surroundings, and the weather of course!

More craziness....let the games begin!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

2nd annual Ryan Gaul Open race report

started off a bit ominous. the last hour of work, Cole and I were just looking out the office up towards Baldy Mt. It was either cloaked in black clouds or getting struck by lightning. Not good. By the time the whole crew showed up, we had about 16 guys who were ready to race the RGO. Driving up through town and onto Baldy Road, the rain was heavy. Just before Iowa Mill, there was accumulating snow on the ground. after leaving treeline and headed up the switchbacks, the temp gauge in Ryan's Tundra was showing 35 degrees. Another 500' or so to the ridge and the weather stations, and the snow was about 2" deep. We waited for the others and soon began our epic journey. It was not at all a great place to wait around, as there was a mixture of snow and thunder, with the stray lightning bolt several miles off to our northeast (towards Park Co. and Clear Creek Co.). Soon our driver tossed the trucker hat into the air and we were on our way. I slipped a pedal asap, but soon was watching the guys ride 2-3" of new snow at about 20+mph...without flinching. The snow actually provided nice traction in and of itself. However, when you throw in 12" deep v-shaped ruts, the off camber sections were next to impossible to ride straight. It seemed to me like we were sliding from one side to the other, trying not to go off the road or lay it down. After all, the new snow was hiding some gnarly rocks, which was in a way good, b/c I didn't think too much about the potential. Down on the lower dirt section of Baldy Rd, Dan, Mark and I were just holding on to our bars as best possible. On the paved section of Baldy, I passed Ray just before hopping on Juniata. Once on the Juniata trail, I pinned it for about 1/4mi, passed Greg and caught Kevin who was in the lead. We descended down to the bridge together for the next planned stop, the mandatory 12oz beer chug, as judged by Jeremy on site. After hitting the bridge with a high heart rate, chugging that beer was pretty disgusting. Nonetheless it went down and soon I was chasing Soller down through B Line, Moonstone and Carter Park. We crossed Main and exchanged the lead a couple times by the Blue River, but ultimately his heavier bike took its toll. I passed him one last time behind Kenosha, cruised by the Riverwalk, past Jalapenos, RML, US Bank, the covered bridge stairs, and down the bike path and on to the back of GA. Victory! I had my money on Kevin or Greg. Not a real xc or 'cross race, but a win still felt good. Best of all, the sweet medal I have (pic coming) and prize money were quite good for a grassroots event. 6.3mi in just over 20min. it was a blast. bummer the old-school DH guys like Dennis, Troy & CNBall couldn't make it out.

Pics later. Gotta get Helen's car ready for our drive over to Snowmass tomorrow night. One day of work there, then on to Moab for Helen's Alpine to Slickrock 50 mile race. ouch. Alina and I will have it much easier, except for our 3am wake-up on Saturday morning to get Helen out to the shuttles leaving for the start line, which is way up in the LaSals.

zeem zeem zollabeem

I can feel the magic of the Ryan Gaul Open (RGO) now. Last year was freakin' epic. I can't wait...just another few hours and we'll be just above 11,000', above the treeline near the top of Baldy Mountain. I expect about two dozen of us this year. Some had work and family conflicts, but the diehards and top seeds will be out there in force. Chugging the beer on top of the Juniata trail bridge is not my strongest point, but I can deal. Cruising through B line will also be fun, as well as the stair gap by Empire Burger once we get down into town. Probably about 2,000' of descending over about 6 miles. Salivation.

Monday, September 15, 2008

hurricane Ike

lucky for New Orleans and SE LA, Ike decided to head west to Texas, where it did serious damage. These 2 photos below, courtesy of some photo feed from the Boston Globe, are rather impressive.

'cross begins / race #16 re-cap

yesterday was the Brecktobercross. Typical bumpy, singletrack-like course. I had a decent start, but didn't want to even attempt to ride with the studs up front like Tim, Chris, Jon, Ward et al. So I settled in around 7-10th for most of the race. Problem was that i was by myself, riding in the dreaded "no man's land". Weak. I was strong enough to keep anyone behind me from catching up, but not strong enough to latch on to Greg's group. The one minor victory was passing the Excel Sports guy just before the descent under the bridge, and I held him off for 8th place. in the elite men 35+ field, 8th out of 21 finishers isn't so bad. Especially considering Tim and prob 1-2 others could easily be racing in the pro field.

One of the first years in a long time that i totally skipped the Oktoberfest. I have plenty of beer at home, and I wasn't into the crowds.

Friday, September 12, 2008

sep 12 snow

Luckily the snow didn't stick around too long down in the valley around town, but above about 11,000', it's not going anywhere too too soon. Should provide for some beautiful pictures tomorrow. When I came in, the skies were clearing, the moon was out, and it was already 32.

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Alina loving the first snow of the season

Since Helen was in San Diego most of the week for work, she was able to take off today and stay home with Alina. As soon as Alina came downstairs, Helen said she saw the snow outside and wanted to go throw snowballs. The thought of breakfast didn't even occur to her.

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Fall Classic

some pics Helen snapped at the Breck nordic center last wknd for the Fall Classic circuit race. Five 2.2mi laps. I think it took me about 46 minutes. Alina got to ride her bike too!

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fall/winter chill

around 5:30 this morning, Montana was barking to get out and do her thing. Although it wasn't light out yet, I could see my neighbor's roof was white. doh! about an inch of new snow on the grassy areas. Cool to see the willows, aspens and all other deciduous trees bowing over from the weight of the snow. it was about 35 degrees. now it's partially clearing and warming some. good deal. I hope the trails dry out some today/overnight, so i can get out for a good ride on the Breckobercross course tomorrow. It's great to have Helen back in town!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


wow, I've rec'd prob over 45 friend invites from my classmates from elementary (aka grammar) school and high school. what a trip! check out the class photo below. I am in the top row, 3rd from the right, distracted looking at something.

sunshine in my life

we had a fun (but late) night, and this morning was pretty good too! she was her typical difficult-to-wake-and-dress. but we managed, and she was in a very good mood and was happy at school. That sure makes me happy, and gives me a great outlook on the rest of my day. I am so grateful for everything I have, esp. Alina and Helen. Tonight we're going over to Target to buy some pink sheets for her new bunk bed. The lower level is done, but we're going to finish the upper level tonight.

Monday, September 08, 2008

my lil' cousins

thanks for the awesome pic Steve. we can't wait to see them (and Rose and you as well) in a few weeks! I can't tell who is more tired, Steve or the babies?

miraculous survivors had an interesting article about survival, human psyche on the brink. an excerpt from the article is below-


'The Rambo types are the first to go'

Gonzales says many of the disaster survivors he studied weren't the most skilled, the strongest or the most experienced in their group.

Those who seemed best suited for survival -- the strongest or most skilled -- were often the first to die off in life-or-death struggles, he says. Experience and physical strength can lead to carelessness. The Rambo types, a Navy SEAL tells Gonzales, are often the first to go.

Small children and inexperienced climbers, for example, often survive emergencies in the wilderness far better than their stronger or adult counterparts, he says.

They survive because they're humble, Gonzales says. They know when to rest, when they shouldn't try something beyond their capabilities, when it's wise to be afraid.

"Humility can keep you out of trouble," Gonzales says. "If you go busting into the wilderness with the attitude that you know what's going on, you're liable to miss important cues."

Survivors tend to be independent thinkers as well. When hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, hundreds of workers were trapped in the towers. Gonzales says security told many of them to stay put and wait for rescue.

Most of those who heeded the directions from security died, he says. Most of the survivors decided to ignore security protocol. They headed downstairs through a smoke-filled stairwell and didn't wait to be rescued.

"They were not rule followers, they thought for themselves and had an independent frame of mind," Gonzales says.

Survivors also shared another trait -- strong family bonds. Many reported they were motivated to endure hardships by a desire to see a loved one, Gonzales says.

Gonzales cites the story of Viktor Frankl, author of "Man's Search for Meaning." Frankl survived three years in Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps because he was driven by the thought of seeing his wife again.

"He spent a great deal of time thinking of his wife and motivating himself through his wife," Gonzales says.

Survivors also pay attention to their intuition, Gonzales says. If something tells them that the mountain isn't safe to climb that day, they'll back out even if they've planned the trip for months, he says.

Gonzales followed his intuition once and it saved his life. In 1979, a writing colleague asked him to fly with him on a flight from Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles, California. Gonzales declined when he learned that he would fly on a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, which had a spotty safety record. His decision was unusual -- a boss personally asked him to fly with him that day -- but he stuck with it.

Gonzales says he was sitting in his kitchen later that day when someone called him and told him to turn on his television. The plane he was supposed to be on had just crashed on takeoff, killing all 271 people onboard, including several of Gonzales colleagues. It was one of the worst aviation disasters in the nation's history.

Knowing what to do was not enough for him, Gonzales says.

"It's a story about having the information and using it," he says. "So when this trip came up, I was prepared to do something out of the ordinary."

Gustav debris

my dad sent me this pic of his backyard from last week. Luckily just debris, and the one big tree they lost fell away from the house. Now we just need to hope Ike doesn't hit too close to the SE LA coast.

overdue update, and race #15 re-cap

Saturday was my first win of the season. I had an HOA meeting to attend for work in the morning. I thought it would last for several hours, but it was done in under an hour. So I called up Helen and told her I'd enter the Fall Classic circuit race up at Breck Nordic Center. Not a stacked field, but the overall contenders in the expert men 30-39 were there. I started off in 2nd or 3rd, and after the first sweeping high-speed turn, I was in first and rode about 20 secs in front of second for the rest of the race. Pretty fun intensity. About 11mi in 46min.

Helen left town yesterday for a parks & recreation marketing conference in San Diego. So I'm Mr. Mom til Thursday night. I again realize how much work Helen does! Probably at least 75% of the work is hers! Alina and I did have a great day. We woke up, had some breakfast, rode up on Gold Run Rd., and checked out the initial part of the Fall Classic xc race. Cool to cheer on so many friends; spectating was a unique thing, and Alina really enjoyed seeing so many cyclists. We then headed down to the house and rode up to Sallie Barber Rd. to see the action one more time. Then the Dragon Park in Frisco was the center of our attention for a couple of hours. Some pics coming soon!

Thursday, September 04, 2008