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 competitors....game 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!