Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I'm a Winner!!

Holy crap, I won my first-ever mountain bike race!

Amazing, I know. :) I spent the weekend in Keystone, hanging out with my downhilling friend Zach White, alternatively working on my handcycling story (more on that later) and just chilling. I wasn't even taking the racing that seriously.

Sunday morning I lined up for the cross-country race with only three other girls. (In case you can't tell, I'm the one on the far right.)

Jesus. What is UP with the old chick category?? It used to be the fastest, toughest group, and now it's dwindled to nothing. Granted, it's the last race of the year, so...I guess I'll quit bitching. But come on. Four people?? Anyway, I actually felt good -- the legs were strong and I had gas in the tank, so I thought I could race like a normal person. I was climbing hard and keeping the leaders in sight, which made me really happy. But then about 45 minutes into the hour-plus climb, my back seized and cramped so bad that I thought I would vomit. Then the whole rest of the race was just limping along, trying to survive.
I'm so tired of this situation; paying good money to just hurt like crazy and not even be able to race at full effort. I think I need to get several really good massages in a row and maybe some acupuncture.

So after that lame start to the day, I had no expectations of the Super D. It was so late in the day that the afternoon clouds had gathered, and it was freezing at the top of the mountain. We all lined up, jumping up and down to stay warm. The race style is primarily downhill, with a few short pedaling sections. The Keystone version was exceptionally long, about 25 minutes for my group, so a lot could happen. And the start was the usual wackiness: run with your bike uphill, then jump on just before the singletrack.
I watched the men go, and saw that Zach jumped on his bike halfway up the hill in a slightly flat spot. He surged hard and got the hole shot. Shazaaam!
So I tried the same thing. I didn't get clipped in right away, which cost me a little, and I was second into the singletrack. The girl in front of me wasn't very fast, either; I tailgated her for 2/3 of the race, trying to find a place to get by, but there were no options on the narrow, techy trail.
Finally we made it to the dirt road, and I sprinted past her. The girl behind me passed her as well, and I barely held that girl off going into the next section of singletrack. Then suddenly it hit me: I'm in the lead of a mountain bike race!! Holy shit! That's never, ever happened to me. I couldn't get the grin off my face. I kept pushing hard, not wanting that girl behind me to find a way to pass.
Near the bottom, I encountered several junior boys, who were dropping off the back of their class. They were very professional and got out of my way immediately, which was impressive. How do these 16-year-olds understand that and 30-year-olds don't? Then on the last stretch, where I wanted to sprint hard and keep #2 girl at bay, some older dude was blocking the way. I couldn't tell if a non-racer had gotten on the course, or if it was actually a guy from the 30+ men's class, which had started 10 minutes prior. Spectators started yelling at him. "Move it! Leader up!" and it took him way too long to understand what they were saying. I finally had to call out, more aggressively than I'm used to, "On your left! ON YOUR LEFT!" When he finally moved out of my way, I called out, "Thank you!" and began hauling the mail as fast as I could. When I charged under the finish banner, I just about fell over from amazement. I won a bike race!!
The girl behind me was super cool, praising my riding; so did the girl who was originally in the lead. I was impressed to see this, since I had found that when I raced Sport class last year, the women were too uptight to even talk to each other a lot of the time. I returned the props, and went to find Zach. He had won his race with no problem, which put him 2nd in the overall series results. Sweet!
We are winners, dude. :)

Here's me on the podium...I'm a total dork. :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Steamboat Springs

It rules! I can't believe I waited so long to go ride there. And since I wrote my current column about it, I'll paste it here with some photos.

____________________________________________________________________ Have you noticed that special sort of optimism that only mountain bikers possess?
It can never be underestimated, no matter how enhanced it may be by visions of sun-dappled trails lined with aspen and air-inducing water bars.
I witnessed the power of this Fat-Tire Thinking over three days in Steamboat Springs last weekend.
Day one was supposed to be an easy ride to warm up the legs, with a two-hour cruise to Long Lake and back.

But you know how it is. At the intersection to Long Lake, we decided instead to create a loop by riding the Lake PercyTrail and connecting it to a singletrack called Pleasant Rabbit. We were clearly deluded by the Alice-in-Wonderland name, as well as a by our map, which wasn’t entirely accurate in its depiction.
We ended up bushwhacking and backtracking, struggling to follow the faintest of trails. It lured us along hillsides, only to coyly disappear right when we got our groove on.
Quite some time passed as we rolled back and forth, eyed the map, pointed at landmarks, and rode some more.
Rob, my friend and guide, had never tried this loop. He began debating the merits of just riding/hiking cross-country until we hit a road we saw on the map.
“Should we be trusting this map?” I asked. It not only showed Pleasant Rabbit as an established singletrack, it idealistically called it a “sylvan lane.” Someone’s been hitting the hookah, I thought.
“Good point,” Rob replied. We stared around in silence. In the distance, we could see cars cruising along U.S. 40, but a huge chunk of land lay between.
Then Rob’s keen eyes spotted a light-colored smear on the hillside below. While I marked our current location, he rolled down the hill and found traces of the abandoned logging road that Pleasant Rabbit had sprung from.
Excitedly we cruised down it, hopping the endless fallen logs, and collapsed at the car six hours after leaving it. The legs were warmed up, all right.
Day two started on the South Fork trail, north of Steamboat. Again, optimism ruled as we ignored the storm clouds building overhead.
The rain hit us at about five miles in, as we huddled under trees at a trailhead. Mutely, we watched soaking wet hikers dash out of the woods and jump into their cars. The rain pulsed on and off, soaking us through.
Shivering, I began to have visions of the famed Strawberry Park Hot Springs. “ springs,” I said, hopefully.
Rob wasn’t buying it. “It’ll let up pretty soon,” he said.
Not only was he right, I was never so glad to be talked out of something. After making our way to Diamond Park, the return route along Scotts Run trail unfolded like a Steamboat Springs promotional video.
The sun came blazing out of the clouds, illuminated the drops of water hanging on the aspens, and made me wonder if that’s how Diamond Park got its name. The narrow trail twisted through the trees, and for another day, we didn’t see a single other person. Gotta love it.

Day three was slated for The Epic. We planned a huge, 30-mile jaunt over Buffalo Pass, along the Wyoming Trail, up the Mountain View trail, then down into the ski resort and back to town.
Even through this required an 11-mile slog up a dirt road to Buffalo Pass, Rob and I blithely figured it couldn’t be that bad.
It won’t surprise you to hear that it was only slightly more pleasant than being poked with a sharp stick. It was hot, steep and -- because of me -- slow. We were on target to spend two hours on the dirt road alone. And guess what? More storm clouds were building.
But we really wanted to do the whole ride. So we put our optimism to work again, willing the arrival of a pickup truck headed to the pass. And I kid you not, one showed up. Rob stuck out his thumb, but it passed us by.
Groaning, we bent over the handlebars again. Suddenly, the truck stopped just ahead, and a woman leaned out the passenger window. “Are you serious?” she called.
“Heck yeah!” Rob replied, and we practically sprinted up to the truck. She and her husband, also a mountain biker, welcomed us into the bed, where we gleefully watched the remaining eight miles roll by.
“I’ll be talking about this truck ride all week,” Rob said.
Although we got rained on yet again, the sun was shining by the time we stood atop the ski resort, huge grins on our faces.
I am now a firm believer in mountain-bike optimism: when you want something, you’ll make it happen.
Hmmm.... maybe we should write a self-help book. We could call it “Ride and You Shall Receive.”

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

How's Your Aspen?

I just spent a whirlwind weekend in the hills, trying to combine a clinic and a race. It was fun, but I'm not sure I'll try doing that again.

Here's my buddy Zach White, after winning the expert level Super D race. We teased him mercilessly beforehand about his superhero skinsuit, but once someone wins wearing that, you shut up. :)

The weekend was fun in that weird way that running from one thing to another and not really sleeping can be kind of fun. I drove to Breck on Friday, and my car broke down two miles shy of the Eisenhower Tunnel. Lovely! So I called AAA and got towed to Silverthorne, where the tow truck driver actually helped me out, and then I limped on to Breck. (Got there four hours after leaving Boulder.) Rob joined me (in his own car) and we hit the town, but it took us forever to get any dinner. We went to bed late and then I got up at the ass-crack of dawn to teach my clinic. It went very well and the women were all cool, but one of them was light-years ahead of the others. When we get a skill-split like that, we usually call in another instructor, and previously my coworker Dave had said he was available. But come Saturday afternoon, when I realized I had a problem, he was suddenly too busy to help me out. So I spent a stressful afternoon trying to keep that one woman challenged while not scaring the pants off the other girls. Luckily it mostly worked, because their feedback forms gave me “stunning reviews,” my boss said. But that one woman did complain a bit that she felt she warranted some more advanced coaching -- and she really did. I felt bad.
So anyway. When the clinic finally wrapped up, I dragged my dehydrated, exhausted self into Dave’s loaner car and drove 2 1/2 hours to Snowmass. Found Rob (who had driven out that morning) and our friend Zach at the hotel, scarfed some pasta, and fell asleep while watching Saturday Night Fever. Had weird dreams with a soundtrack of “I’m gonna put on... My my my my my boogie shoes.”
Got up at the ass crack again, feeling like I’d been hit by a truck, and I hadn’t even done the freakin’ race yet. Dragging ass, I went to the venue and tried to warm up. I was astounded to find myself on the start line at a NORBA National Championship race with only FIVE other women. Lame!! What the hell?? I paid $50 to race five other girls? Well, regardless of the number of competitors, I certainly got my money’s worth anyway. That has to be the hardest race I’ve ever done. We experts rode the same distance as the pros: 19 miles with 7000 feet of climbing. OUCH!! My legs came actually around, but the aerobic system was just too blown out. It took everything I had just to finish. But I kept plugging away, partly because I had no idea where the hell I WAS out there, and partly because the trails were so gorgeous and fun and technical that I felt compelled to ride them. But sadly, I got passed by lots of really old chicks, and came in last. SIGH. It’s a good thing my ego isn’t hung up on this stuff. It’s hilarious that this situation still put me in 5th place (one women quit), and at a NORBA, that puts you on the podium. I took home this huge tacky medal for being marginally faster than the melting of the polar ice cap.
Then, I STILL had the Super D race to do. I changed into some clean clothes and we three got on the lift. The course was quite challenging, and I found in my second practice run that I was already checking out mentally and making stupid mistakes. My second sense was buzzing, telling me this was a dumb idea. I wisely went back to the car, got out of my chamois and settled at the finish line with a Gatorade. (Ding! There went another 40 bucks – ugh! Why do these race promoters put these races on the SAME DAY?? What about MY needs? But hey, it’s better than a broken collarbone.) Zach ripped in a win, and Rob took 6th. After taking Zach’s picture on the podium, I loaded up the car and dragged ass all the way back to Breck. Slept on Dave’s couch, then drove to Boulder with an hour to spare before work Monday morning.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Just when you think everything's been done, someone comes up with something cool. My friends Rob and Tim of Blue Sky Cycles took their love of supermoto motorcycle racing, and applied it to cruiser bikes...and Velomoto is born.

Each course is part pavement, part dirt, with jumps, sharp turns, and other obstacles. You can run your own bike, or use one of these sweet, stock cruisers. You get four laps to hammer your on!

I tried to shoot video for the very first time at this event. Since the races didn't really end up happening the way they were planned, I had little opportunity to shoot. We'll see how much the video sucks. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

For the Love of Crested Butte

I've been so busy that I haven't had a free second to talk about the Crested Butte trip this year. It was spectacular. Even better than the previous four years, which is incredible to me. How does something keep getting better when it's already freaking amazing??

I won't do a big play-by-play, but the trip started on a fantastic high note: My dear friend Scott Gurst proposed to his girlfriend Miki while we were riding the Snodgrass trail, and he whispered to me to shoot a photo of them right before he did it:

They are so stinkin' cute! And I've never been part of anyone's proposal plan before, which was really cool.

We also had t-shirts made this year, the 10th anniversary, and surprised Scott and Scott with them.

They were floored. They loved it! It was awesome. The back reads: "What could possibly go wrong?" -- which is Scott's famous phrase.

The riding was amazing as always, and so was the company. And then there was our annual party, with the theme of Saturday Night Live. My friend Sunny and I went as the "Wild and Crazy Guys":

We drew on chest hair with an eyeliner pencil and stuffed socks in our pants and generally had a good time. Chad, who shot video of our "swinging," threatened to put us on You Tube. Dear god, I hope not! :)

The Tour: A Rolling Spectacle

With all the doping scandals, the Tour de France has become a joke, in a lot of ways. I'm so tired of all the busting, dropping out, and denials. And now that scrawny, needle-loving weirdo Michael Rasmussen is going to win, when Cadel Evans, our hardworking, "no-worries-mate," former mountain biker deserves to be the first Aussie on the podium.
Mountain bike racing rules, my friends. People might be doping, but at least it's not ruining the whole sport.
However, you are unlikely to see this at a mtb race:

I guess you gotta enjoy what you can of this crazy scene.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Trying to Keep the Ego Afloat

It's been taking a beating lately. I guess I may have to write off my mountain bike season this year. The racing is...shall we say...shitty. :) First of all, I've only managed to do two races so far, due to conflicts with clinics, vacations, and lack of fitness. And then both times I suffered substantial back pain. Not from my injuries, but just from my back muscles. During the first race, a long, technical Winter Park jaunt with lots of climbing, my back pretty much shut down, taking my legs with it. It hurt so bad I could barely pedal after a while, and it took everything I had not to just quit. But I limped along to the finish and was amazed to not finish last. But there's no denying that it was really demoralizing, especially since I upgraded to Expert and everyone around me is so fit and fast.

Then this past weekend I raced Winter Park again. I started out feeling pretty good; I was on the Maverick instead of the Yeti this time, and to my total astonishment, I managed to stay with the group on the first nasty climb up the resort access road. I am usually dropped immediately (if not sooner) right there. And I stayed in a bigger gear than usual, too, which made me really happy. I kept on trucking, riding well and pushing hard, and then about a third of the way through, the back started screaming again. I managed to keep my legs moving, but it was another ten or so miles of agony. I don't mind being out of shape and I don't mind coming in last, and I don't even mind the pain that comes with riding really hard. But this kind of pain just ruins the whole endeavor. The whole time I was desperately wanting the race to end, which is not the kind of experience I was looking for. I placed second from last once more.

This is curious, because I did a six-hour ride in Crested Butte two weeks ago with no pain whatsoever. So there's something about the intense effort of racing that my back can't handle. I was wondering if the fact that I'm breathing so hard means I can't keep my abs held in tight the way I do when I'm just riding for fun. Or if it's the fact that I'm pushing so much harder in every regard, putting bigger demand on my core to stabilize me as I negotiate obstacles at higher speeds. It's strange, because my core is much stronger this year than last, from all the Pilates and physical therapy and all that stuff. But I recall that my PT said something about my muscles being "pain sensitive" now, from six months of constant aggravation and spasm.

So....I guess I'll do some research and try to figure out some options. Maybe acupuncture or frequent massage would help. Or maybe I need to wear a back brace of some kind while racing.

The silver lining, I guess, is that in spite of my back aggravation, I am still putting up faster times than some of the folks I used to race in Sport last year. Although I am not really competitive in the Expert class and posting some pretty sorry results, I think I'm actually finding some fitness. As I keep saying, I'm hoping to have an enjoyable cyclocross season. The races are short and don't involve climbing, really, so I think my back could survive. Time to work on that remount!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hanging in the Aspen

Last night's assignment was cool, but it took forever for people to come along the trail. I guess it makes me happy, really, that these trails are still so empty.

This photo will probably be the lead picture in tomorrow's paper:

Here was an alternative, but it's more about the rider than the trees, which isn't what we're going for with this story. This lucky dude lives in neighboring Rollinsville.

And for whatever reason, Josh (who's playing editor this week) didn't like this photo, and chose a different one. But since this is MY blog, I can love this photo all I want. :)

I didn't really get to ride much afterward, but that was okay. It's a rest week, anyway. I should be back at the long, slow rides this weekend.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Buzz Off, Man

Interesting day at the office today...had to visit a beekeeper. I've photographed him before, but it was in the winter when the bees were mostly dormant. This time, they were buzzing around like the proverbial busy bees, and the beekeeper got dressed up his full veil.

I didn't wear any head covering, because he warned me that it's extremely hard to shoot through the veil. Luckily I'm not really afraid of bees, because then he did this:

I considered myself lucky that only one bee bothered me. Apparently they are attracted to contrast, and the dark blue strap on my camera against the white of the bee suit I was wearing was more than one could resist. It landed on my shoulder, buzzing loudly in my ear. I tried not to panic, but walked quickly away from the hives and tried to shoo it away. I couldn't figure out where it was, though, and Tom the beekeeper had to come over to help me. He was poking around in my hair, saying, "Hmmm...I can hear it; where is it?" Meanwhile I was trying to stay calm and not imagine getting stung on the neck. Ouch!!!! He discovered it, pinned under my camera strap, and flung it away. Wheeeeeew.

Here's me, in my contrasty outfit, having survived 20 minutes of standing around beehives with no headcovering:

Then on my drive home, I found a Native American artist working on a carving out of an enormous tree stump:

Still can't decide if I like it better in black and white:

Tomorrow I get to ride in Nederland and get paid for it -- sweet! We're going a story about organisms that are threatening aspen trees, and what better way to find people near aspen trees? I'll just camp out in Aspen Alley up there, and hopefully find tons of people cruising through, hiking, riding, and even on horseback, probably. And tomorrow morning I get to photograph real estate agents that provide their clients with cruiser bikes to use to go look at properties. I'll get to put my sweet Bianchi Milano bike to work, with my panniers full of camera gear. It should be a decent day of work...I wish I got paid more, so I don't have to eventually leave this job. Or maybe I should get busy looking for that Sugar Daddy.... :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Life on the High Plains

Sheesh, life's getting busy! I'm falling behind a little. It doesn't help that work has gotten a lot busier. We're required to work on the website now, making all of our own photo galleries. And since our prepress person left and won't be replaced, we're required to do all the preparation work to our images to get them ready for the press. It's not an enormous amount of extra steps, but just enough to be seriously time consuming when you have eight pictures to work up. Well, at least I have a job. ;)

Last week I followed a crew of friends (in my car, unfortunately) out to the High Plains trail to shoot it for my column. Mother nature came through for me with some astoundingly beautiful light and storm clouds:

Here's them riding:

Then a colossal windstorm kicked up, making me really glad I wasn't riding. It was hell-acious! It went on all night, taking out people's power into the next day. Damn. Here's the wind getting started:

This trail is actually pretty cool, in that it's right between Boulder and Superior, but it sits down in this little valley, and when you're on it, you can't see anything man-made except the occasional power line. No roads, no buildings, no parking's quite an accomplishment. I think it's going to be a struggle to figure out a way to write anything truly interesting about this trail, but it's new, and every time I mention it to people, they say, "the what Plains trail?" So it's clear that people don't really know it's been added to the Marshall Mesa area. I need to round up a pal or two and ride it myself sometime this week.

With no pictures needed. There's no way I'll get that kind of light again!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Yay! Nederland rules.

I really, really wanted to head up there on Saturday, but I wasn't sure of the state of the trails. A phone call to my buddy Randy at Happy Trails confirmed that things were tacky and perfect (at least at the lower elevations), so I nearly fell over myself getting ready to ride.

I headed up there on the bus, since my car was in the shop. I stashed the Maverick underneath rather than risk the sketchy rack. Luckily there was no Vinny this time; in fact, the driver was very friendly and asked me about where I was going to ride.

I was joined by only two other people, which surprised me, but I think most folks don't know the trails are rideable yet.

I tooled along by myself for a while, enjoying the silence and views. Here's a lovely singletrack with a backdrop of newly-leafed aspen trees and Eldora Mountain Resort.

What's not to love? This is one of my favorite places.

Here's the view the other way:

I made my way deeper into the woods, and as I emerged from singletrack into an open area, I found my friends Matt Alford and Rich Marchbanks hanging out eating snacks, "working" as mountain bike patrol ambassadors. We were psyched to see each other, and I spent the rest of the ride trying to hang with them as they cruised around, looking for people to assist with maps or mechanical help, but the trails were beautifully devoid of crowds.

Here they are catching their breath after a short, steep climb. Matt, right, is on a singlespeed, which means he has to charge up hills at full steam before the one gear gets the better of him.

We headed out onto the Hobbit Trails, and on Hobbit 3 we found a big downed tree that had already been turned into a rideable obstacle with the addition of some more material. Rich pulled out his digital SLR, upping the quality of our ride photos significantly. :)

Here's me, photographed by Rich:

Here's Matt, shot by me (and he survived; it must be the bulletproof bike patrol jersey):

Here's Rich, also shot by me:

And then a last photo of me:

It's hard to see here, but I'm riding toward the edge of a hill, and so the aspen trees behind me are weirdly twisted from the constant wind. I always want to take some kind of arty farty black and white photo of them, but I'm always too busy riding.

After exploring most of the lower trails, I finally made my way to Magnolia road and headed back to Boulder. I arrived at my door six hours after leaving, and it was the best Saturday I've had since Fruita. Viva la Nederland!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

High Country Dreaming

Last night I dreamed I was here:

It was probably because Scott Gurst sent out the email, getting us all pumped for the yearly trip to Crested Butte. It's the trip's ten-year anniversary, which is amazing. I think it's my fifth time, and I cannot wait!! It's going to be outstanding, I'm sure. We get an extra day there this time, since the 4th of July falls on a Wednesday. Sweet! In the meantime, I'm working hard to get back in shape. I'd like to ride in the "B Group" rides again. But no matter if the rides are slower or shorter -- it's an experience like no other.

Monday, May 07, 2007

More New Horizons

I spent another great day exploring new trails... this time in the snow! Von and I headed up to Coulson Gulch, between Lyons and Estes Park, on the advice of his friend Dave.

Little flakes starting falling as we got out of the car, and we had to just laugh. That's Colorado for you. And I was still in the hot desert mindset, so I had barely enough clothes to stay warm. I ended up wearing the casual pants I'd brought over my bike shorts; Von had to put on his dressy wool sweater. But hey, we had fun and that's what matters.

Snow gathering in the trees:

Von digging around for more clothes:

A break in the weather:

Then back in Boulder, after years of seeing the tulips blooming on the Pearl Street Mall, I actually stopped and did the tourist thing:

I couldn't help it; I'd never seen tulips like these before. Sometimes, ya gotta stop and smell (or shoot) the flowers, har de har har.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Ahhh...Life is Good Again

Fruita was paradise. The weather was perfect, the trails were in great shape, and the company was fantastic. Best of all, my back didn't hurt even slightly. I couldn't have been happier!!

Here's Chad making coffee at our lovely campsite at the Bookcliffs:

We rode the Bookcliffs trails on Friday, then Kokopelli Trails on Saturday. They were both fabulous as always, with the warm sun baking the chalky whiteness off my legs and arms. Then on Sunday we went into Grand Junction and rode the Lunch Loop trails for the first time. A checker at the City Market in Fruita told us about a trail there called Pet-e-Kes (of all weird-ass names), so we went to check it out. It was great: super narrow and twisty, with funky rocks jutting into the trail both at ground level and head level, which really challenges your balance and slow-radius turning abilities. Then we got to Holy Cross, which turned out to be fantastic -- really technical and interesting.

Here's Chad in a little "slot canyon:"

Here's me on a little rock ledge:

Here's Tanya and then Ivy on some of the brief swoopy sections:

I gotta go back to GJ and ride there some more...we were too tapped out to check out all the other trails there. But unfortunately, it's going to be way too hot there very soon. It was already mid 80s while we were there, and of course all the trails are totally exposed to the sun. No trees taller than me in the high desert, which means there's very little shade to be had. Oh well, there's time for many more desert trips in the fall. Soon it will be time for the high-alpine trips! Look out Crested Butte, Vail and Steamboat we come!

Thursday, April 26, 2007


It's a banner day: I'm finally getting out of Boulder after almost five months of being cooped up. Hooray!

It's the Fat Tire Festival out there this weekend, which I usually avoid because it's such a cluster, but I think it will be fun to see it this time. I know I'm going to see tons of Boulder people....I've already run into three other folks who are going to be there. I can't wait to ride real desert singletrack! Yes, I'm going to be very careful of my back, but it's time to branch out a little.

In other news, the Maverick website is up, with my goofy picture. And if you go under "What Makes a Maverick?" you can watch my cheesy video. If you like motorcycles, be sure to watch Don Atchison's piece. His bikes are stunning.

I have started writing my columns again. If you care to read them, you can go here and type "caivanom" into the search field. It will take you to all of my columns, including some from last year. Also, you can view my first-ever attempt at an audio slideshow of the Koppenberg Circuit race, if you have the time. ;) It was really fun to make, and I'm hoping to do a bunch more this summer...not just of bike stuff, either.

Work has been good. We redesigned the paper in a big way, and people have finally stopped freaking out. I had the front page that day, with an interesting story about grasshopper research that reveals things about climate change. I had no idea grasshoppers could be this beautiful:

Here's the researcher, left, with one of his graduate students, trying to catch grasshoppers, which is pretty funny to watch.

Well, I'm out...hopefully I'll come back with a tan and some nice Fruita photos!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

No Moab For You!

Bummer... I was unable to go to my team's training camp in Moab this past weekend. I couldn't work out a carpool with anyone, and I really didn't want to take my car on a long road trip, what with the whole exhaust ready to fall off and whatnot.

So... I stayed home and tried to have my own training camp. I put in a good two hours on Friday, which was great. I tried to ride the singletracks north of the Rez, but they were so freakin' bumpy from everyone riding them when they were wet -- I thought I was going to lose some fillings. So I abandoned ship and went back to the dirt roads, but first I snagged this photo at the picnic shelter:

It poured rain all day on Saturday, so I used that day for recovery. Instead, I held an umbrella over the heads of some of my friends at the start line of the CatEye Road Race. Boy, this separated the boys from the men. Yuck!

Sunday I tried to ride again, and was feeling full of energy, but was cursed with sciatic pain. Apparently, I need my own personal traction machine. So I hiked instead, but was pretty disgusted with the lack of "training" at my training camp. Oh well. If this whole business isn't a lesson in patience (that I'm getting tired of learning, ha ha) I don't know what is.

It's supposed to be a nice week, so I should be able to get some more rides in. I see the PT tomorrow, so I can get on the rack and feel a lot better. ;)