Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Grand Traverse

Met up with Andrew and Stephen Carney this morning for a ride. We took the gravel road up Vail Mountain to ride the Grand Traverse (see video below). We climbed about 4000 feet to get to the top, but it certainly was worth it. The Grand Traverse was the best single track of my life. While Meadow Mountain had the aspen trees the Grand Traverse had several miles of very fast single track. The trail was the perfect angle as we barely had to touch our breaks and flew down 6 inch wide, buff single track. We made a stop and I felt like I had a smile on my face that just wouldn't stop. I was chuckling like a school girl I was so happy. I have had so much fun riding.... ever.

Once Andrew, Stephen and I finished up the Grand Traverse we then had nearly a 3000 foot decend into the Vail Valley. We took the road for parts of it, but also rode some great single track on the way down. We ended up getting rained on with about 4 miles or so to go to get back to the condo. It was a cold and muddy ride, but we were still feeling great about the ride!

Pics to come next week.

Happy training.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Vail, CO!

Rode Meadow Mountain this morning. After a 4.9 mile 2000 foot climb ( I granny geared it nearly the whole way! Coming from 1000 feet of elevation sucks!). I made it to the cabin in an hour or so. Took some pics and then took off. Suddenly, riding my fully rigid Monocog Flight wasn't the brightest idea. I got the crap kicked out of me on the way down, but was grinning ear to ear. This is one amazing trail!

Over all, this was one sweet ride!

And yes.... the aspens were awesome! Everything I dream about while back in Iowa!

Pics to come once I get home.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Colorado.... here I come!

Will be in Vail for the next week. The great guys at Skunk River Cycles have let me take a $2500 Cannondale Rush. Thanks guys!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Graid route is complete.

Yesterday was the day to finish up with the GRAID. The GRAID was this idea I conceived up this past spring. It was a 270 route across Iowa in a day. Dennis Grelk, Steve Fuller, Matt Maxwell, and I started in Lamoni, Iowa on the southern border and made it to Ames around 10 at night, roughly 14 hours and 157 miles total. Dennis and I left Ames around 12:30 after eating and chilling (mistake!) and when we rolled within a block of my house in Gilbert it was just too easy to quit so we called it a night.

Yesterday was the day to finish up the last 113 miles. I took off from Gilbert at 6:00 AM sharp and made it to Belmond at mile 62 at 10:30. There was NO wind at all so it was easy going. I made it to Garner at mile 83 around 12:00 where I took a 45 minute break to rest up and eat a big ol' burger at Hardees. I continued on and made it to Emmons, Mn. at 3:25. Nine hours and 25 minutes for 115 miles (took a wrong turn and went an extra 2 miles. That certainly is the fastest I have ever gone that distance. Why can't Trans Iowa have conditions like that? I think my average speed while on the bike was 14.3 which is very good for me on the gravel. I will admit, for the last couple of hours I did have a 10 mile per hour tail wind.

Once in Emmons, I turned around and head back southwest to Forest City for a 28 mile ride to my parents house. I will admit, I took this very easy and did not push at all. It was more of a tour of unridden roads. I stopped in Lake Mills for a chocolate malt (there is nothing better when it is 90 degrees and humid!) and some down time. I stopped at my mom's place in Leland and then continued on to my dad's house about 4 miles down the road. I was home by 6:30 pm. So, 143.6 miles in 12.5 hours. Not too bad for me.

I hope to get some more riding in before heading to Vail. Hopefully I can get some riding in there. I can't wait.

Happy training.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Been riding

I have been riding, but not tons. Several 30-50 milers with a metric century thrown in. Will be going to Vail in another week. Finishing up the last 113 miles of the GRAID route tomorrow along with riding back to my parents for roughly 150 mile trip.

I hope to be doing some of this very, very soon!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Time for an update

I have been back from vacation now for about a week and a half so I will try for a bit of a recap.

On Thursday the 19th I took my brother in law up to Maplelag in northwestern Minnesota. It was about an hour from our cabin on Ottertail Lake so it wasn't too far. If you ever get a chance to go to Maplelag it is AMAZING. Their single track is good, but the resort is what is a amazing. If I liked to cross country ski it would be worth the 8 hour drive to stay there for a long weekend. It was voted the best cross country ski resort in the country and I can believe it. It is beautiful! There cabins are awesome and their meeting center and dining hall has room to feed well over a 1000 and they have a professional kitchen that would make any restaurant owner drool. Next year when we are "Up North" I will take off for Maplelag again for sure.

Check out Doug Swanson ripping it up at Maplelag:

When the weekend came I was still game for going to Levis Trow. But, then on Monday I got word that a couple of the guys I was trying to recruit were not going to be able to go. Plus, my daughter was leaving for Challenge 08 in Salt Lake City on Saturday, the day of the race. I just couldn't see myself not saying good bye and being selfish being way at a race. Also, being over 5 hours away I decided not to make the trip by myself. I only biked maybe 30 miles during the week. I was bummed, but relieved at the same time.

After this weekend I talked with my friend Jim McGuire and with all the training he is doing for Leadville and possibly the B-63 at Breckenridge I decided to get my butt going again. So, I have been a commuting like a mad man lately. So far this week I have been putting in 30+ mile days. In the next couple of weeks I hope to make the trip up to the border of Minnesota to finish off the GRAID route. I hope to do a race or two in August, but man the calendar is full!

One July 24th I will be leaving for Vail, Co. and I the bike, and MAYBE a rented Cannondale Rush will be making the trip! I can't wait to hit up some serious single track!

We will see what happens in the coming weeks. I am off work for 3 weeks starting July 12. I can't wait!

Happy training.