Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rincons Recon

Jeff and I went on the south side of the Rincon Mountains to find a way to ride around them. I have already went around the Catalinas (as a prep ride for the AZT 300 last year). When Jeff mentioned the idea, I decided to help him out with the 100+ mile ride that we hope to complete soon, very soon. We pretty much got most of the route figured out, except for a little 6-mile section between Mescal and Marsh Springs. The major problem that we are having is riding across areas that look perfect from the aerial map but are in fact private property. At one private property sign, we encountered a rancher in a truck.

Rancher: What are you boys doin' back here?
Jeff: Hello, we are a little lost.
Rancher: No shit you are lost.


The conversation just went downhill from there. We headed back to the car and drove down to Mescal to see if we could back track. Again, private property stopped us from our proposed route.

Jeff and I continued down the road toward Turkey Creek and Miller Canyon (FR 35). Our goal of reaching Cascabel Road finally seemed to materialize. Now that I am back pouring over aerial photos, it seems we may just have to opt for some track that is next to the rails for 5-10 miles.

Some shots from the recon:

A few hike-a-bikes


Trees are very colorful


Post-ride beer courtesy of coconino bikes

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Round the Rincon Ride (r3)



Jeff and I are doing some scouting tomorrow to find a way to connect the Redington Route to the Cienga Corridor. Hoping to do about 80 miles, round-trip tomorrow.

Chops

January 07


October 07


The chops are coming in nice. Pulled up a picture from January to see if they were bigger then.

Sutherland Trail and Baby Jesus



Went out to the 50-year trail today for a quick ride. I got out to a late start forcing me to quit a littler earlier than I had expected. I saw two hikers up on Sutherland, one guy from Ohio and I talked a little bit.

The new tires on the bike are really nice; I have noticed a big difference when climbing or going through sand. Stats for the day:

22 miles
3,062 feet of climbing

My shoes finally gave out today. The entire sole blew out. That should be a good sign, right? I have had them for about year.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rock y Road 50/50 Race Results



The race went well. I finished in 2nd place, behind the legendary Max Morris. Click here to see all of the results. I was a little to wrapped-up in the race to take more pictures, so I only took a few nature shots. I rode with Jeff for most of the mtn bike section, until he stopped near Bellota Ranch. I continued on down La Milagrosa (the most technical section of the course). Due to hotter than expected temperatures and no aid stations, most racers had problems on Mt Lemon. I had to lay down in a few sections and ran out of water below Windy Point. Great trail and race concept, should be a new tradition here in Tucson. Hope to have around 15-30 cyclists next year willing to take the plunge.

The next race is being planned for the series, Kentucky Camp Epic on December 8th.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

PBR Tri/TDF

Ah what a race. The water was great, Red Rock Company a great tri company, and a great turn-out. Here is a quick summary of the race:

I was in the top 10 out of the water today, just had a few problems on the bike. My stans back tire blew out on the first lap of the mt bike portion (as you can see from my mtn bike time below, it took a few minutes to get out all the stan's goo). Anyway, I decided my back rim is definitely broken for good and is causing flats on rocky sections. I am end the market for some new wheelsets, possibly buying some ZTR's. Doing some research this week.

Here are the results from the race. I also ran into an old cross country buddy, Josh Reddoch.

After the race, headed over to TDF for some bikin' and beer in Tempe. New Belgium Brewery Co. put an amazing, green party on (everything from biodiesel to solar energy was used to power the event). All proceeds to the TDF go toward promoting biking in AZ. Met some cool cats during the event before I left early to come back to Tucson.

Friday, October 12, 2007

PBR Off-Road Triathlon

I just got done filling my tubes with stans tubeless after last week's disaster at Tour of the White Mountains (3 flats). Tonight after work, I am going to head to Tempe for a small sprint distance, off-road triathlon called the PBR Off-Road Triathlon. They just put the athlete list out for the race; looks like a large turn-out. Hoping to definitely get top 3 in my age group.

Staying at Jeremy's tonight, doing the race, going to Tour de Fat, and then driving back down to get the skinny on next week's race.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

El Bike Swap November 11th


El Bike Swap de Tucson - Bargain Hunters Paradise!
Saturday November 11th, 2006; 8AM to 2PM.

LOCATION: On 4th Avenue, between 6th and 9th Streets, near downtown! Location

So much to see and do at this year's El Bike Swap de Tucson! It's the biggest and best bicycle swap in the state! This is a community event for everyone - families, RV travelers, trainers, health & fitness buffs, weekend warriors, road and mountain competitors, and daily commuters.

Bargains and great deals on road bikes, tandems, mountain bikes, accessories, clothing and more! Some of the great deals you'll find range from tools, tubes and tires to chains, frames and forks, clothing and collectibles. Take advantage of the spectacular shopping opportunities and sample the many varied restaurants along historic 4th Avenue!

Walk among the streetscapes displaying over 100 booths and vendors from all over the state and also including California, Nevada, and New Mexico. Stop by the GABA-Tucson booth to visit awhile!

A fun, free human-powered festival held in conjunction with the 4th Avenue Merchants Association and the City of Tucson's, Clean Air Fiesta. The very best swap meet to attend each year!


Help out with other members at the GABA booth. Call Event organizer: Greg Yares, 323-9020

Running Efficiency: It’s Good, but How Do You Get It?

There is a great article in the NY Times today that talks about running, cycling, and swimming efficiency.

Dr. Coyle finds that the most economical cyclists have an abundance of a particular type of muscle fiber, so-called slow twitch. It is not known whether other types of muscle can convert to slow twitch with training. But, he said, it may be that after years of training, nerves are directed to allow more leg muscles to participate in pedaling. The result might be greater riding economy.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mult-stage mountain bike race in AZ?

I had some good conversation with Jeff this weekend. He made a suggestion about doing a round the Rincons mountain bike loop soon. I hope to do it with him sometime in November. Also, I am still pondering the idea of having a multi-stage mountain bike race in Arizona sometime next year. Rather than having solo, self-supported rides like the CTR or the GDR, cyclists would ride to a known location, like campground or hotel for the night.

There is a similar one in Canada called the BC Bike Race. This race costs a little under $2,000! Hoping to do a race in less than $50/day, including lodging, food, and beer. Of course it would be self-supportive, but would be more social than some of the popular, endurance races like the GDR, CTR and AZT 300.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Tucson to San Manuel



Here is the ride for tomorrow, riding from my house to my grandparent's house down in San Manuel for breakfast/brunch, 41.2 miles one-way. Leaving at 4:30am to test out my lighting system.

Tour of the White Mountains

Jeff and I drove up to race the 66-miler. Here is a nice 3-D profile of our race:



Here are the results

Despite having 3 flat tires and getting lost several times, I managed to come in behind Jeff in 24th place. Almost everyone got lost at least once during the course of the race, especially cyclists doing the 66 mile course. There were sections of the course were I thought I was lost since there were such few markers, but as I continued, I would realize that I was on course.

The course had some sweet singletrack, especially dropping down off of Los Burros. Jeff and I camped at Thunderhorse Ranch during the two days, socializing, sitting around the campfire at night... basically enjoying the great atmosphere created by the race. It was a great race, just needed a few more markers on the course to specify hard to find turns.

Nice topo map of the course:



I am working on my bikes this week for the big Tour de Fat and Off Road Triathlon this Saturday, along with the Rock y Road 50/50 next weekend.

Post-race picture



Post

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tucson Mountain Park Map


Good times out at the TMP today. Went up to Golden Gate, clearing all the obstacles until the last set of stairs came up. I think I was too exhausted to pull the front of the bike over and eventually had to bail and hike the bike.

Stats:

35 miles
4,524 feet of climbing

Friday, October 05, 2007

More doping in the news


NY Times Article

Mary Jones admitted yesterday that she used performance-enhancement drugs to win 5 medals in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The best quote from the above article that explains this case:

"Because unlike baseball, which played deaf, dumb and blind to the culture of sports pharmacology until 2002, the Olympics was long into chasing down cheats."

Cycling is the same way. If you get caught using said drugs, you are banned for 2 years from any race.

Tour de Fat



One more week before the big day in Tempe. If you like to ride a bike and drink beer, Tour de Fat is the place to be.

I will be doing an Off-Road Triathlon in the morning also before heading to the party and pre-ride at 11am.

Is cycling popularity decreasing?

According to a recent survey conducted by Shimano, some 17 million people have quit riding in the past 10 years. Various reasons have been given including the increased focus on equipment and the competitive nature of the sport.

One online cycling newsletter I read (RoadBike Rider.com) received a number of comments from their readers that suggested that poor customer service at their local bike shop is a primary factor. They asked their readers to respond to the following question:

"How often do you encounter lousy customer service in bike shops?"
37% of 1110 respondents said frequently followed by 22% who said occasionally. Another 9% reported that they only put up with it once and never go back.

I think we have a few nice shops in Tucson, but I have gone into a shop and got brushed off a few times by the elitist workers. These are very interesting statistics about road cycling, not sure if we can lump mountain bikers in this though.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

My Birthday Challenge: Double Boundary Race

Every year I try to do the undoable for my birthday, aptly named the Birthday Challenge Each year it gets harder and harder. This year was the Double Boundary. Last year it was a Dust Devil Series at White Tanks. I uped the ante quite a bit on this one.

The stats for this race are enough to inspire any endurance rider: 67.62-miles, with 14,318-ft of climbing. The race began at 6:30 in Taos, New Mexico.

Profile of the Race

Dave C, Meredith, and I drove out the night before and arrived outside of Taos at about 1pm. Here is a nice picture of the line up before we started the race.



I managed to stay in the top 8 for a good part of the race. Eventually, I ended up riding with Travis, a teacher from New Mexico. After we crashed the marsh, we got lost at below Bull Springs Meadow since my GPS track seemed to be incomplete (I was in a bit of a hurry when I loaded it and left Tucson the day before the race). Anyway, a good amount of time before finding US 64 and the rest of the gang at the drop station. I filled up on water, chatted with Dave (who had caught up with Travis and I), and headed off with my new partner, Dave.

Nice shot of Dave and I saddling up at the water drop


We quickly dropped down into Elliot Barker Trail, but Dave was going a little slower, so I biked ahead a bit. My next cycling companion, Chuck Ray, passed me only to get a flat tire. I buzzed by him as he was changing a flat. The next section was one big hike-a-bike.



At the top of a pass, I decided to wait for Dave for a few minutes and rest. I figure came into view a few hundred yards away. At first, I thought it was Dave and his 29er Lenz, but it turned out to be Chuck. We concluded (correctly) that Dave missed a turn. Chuck and I pressed on without a reliable GPS. At one intersection, we waited for about 15 minutes for the pack behind is since we were a little lost. After regaining our route, we buzzed off ahead of the group. Somewhere in the course of the race, we managed to miss the Jaracita Trail. It was about 330pm when we realized that we were off course. We searched for thte next 2 hours before bailing out on the backside to Angel Fire, a total of about 20 miles. It was a great race, but the DNF and the fact that I was not able to see some of the best sections of the trail, like South Boundary shown here courtesy of the New Mexico Endurance website:





Headed to Tour of the White Mountains tomorrow to redeem my family name and finish in the top 15 (that is my goal).

Monday, October 01, 2007

Bike to Work Pledge



Take the Team Wonderbike plege by biking to work 2 times a week. I bike to work almost everyday.

Critical Mass October 26th



The CM ride is still afoot for October 26th, beginning at 6pm at El Presidio Park in front of City hall. The route will be high visibility-low impact. We'll all be at Barrio Brewing after the ride.

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