Saturday, December 29, 2007

La Milagrosa Shuttle II


The Phoenix MTBR crew came down for another day out on La Milagrosa. Here are some pictures courtesy of Kathleen:






Tuesday, December 18, 2007

La Milagrosa Shuttle Ride

My first shuttle ride up to Prison Camp-La Milagrosa with Louis and Bear in a little over 2 hours (Bear and I had to both get to work by 1pm). It was completely different from riding from the bottom up La Milagrosa via Milagrosa or Highway. Here are some pictures courtesy of Bear:

Louis making a path

2nd mechanical, broken hanger
Climb up from Molino

La Milagrosa, great day to be riding

Sunday, December 16, 2007

More Sedona Pictures II

Classic shot from Airport Mesa
Top of saddle of Damfino


River crossing near Grasshopper
Picturres from Sean

More Sedona Pictures




These are from Bear

Black Canyon Trail


Max and I headed down to do the BCT after doing the riding up in Sedona. The agua fria wash was flowing, prob about 20-30 c.f.s. It made for a great river crossing, my 4th crossing in over 2 weeks. It took about 2 hours to complete the BCT and quickly set up base camp for some hot lentil soup at the trailhead courtesy of the jetboil, along cheese, salami, and crackers.

Bear is staying the night and heading to La Milagrosa tomorrow. Although I did say that I would be taking 2 weeks off so that my Achilles gets 100% healed, I might have to do one more last Milagrosa trip before 2007 comes to an end.

Thanks for Dave C for putting us up last night in Prescott. We opted for the pancakes and fresh coffee instead of a cold night in a tent behind a bike shop in Sedona and Raven Heart.

Sedona Big Friggin Loop pre-ride

The profile says it all:


We road less than 1/3 of the course and climbed 4, 860 feet. The pre-ride was both a success and a complete failure: we found most of the questioned routes while having some of the worst mechanical problems on any ride this year.

Pictures from the epic ride






Thursday, December 13, 2007

AZ Trail 300 Race


Canelo Hills, AZT
A few miles away from Patagonia (pictures courtesy of the Scott/the Touring gang)

An MTBR Discussion has already started on the long anticipated Arizona Trail 300 Race that I attempted last year. Truth is that I have come along way since my this race, it being my first real "endurance" mountain bike ride. I still have not camped over night on my bike since then nor have I rode for 16 hours in one day like I did on that trip.

Not sure if I am going to be doing it this year, but it is a great race for those thinking about riding it. There are two different methods: racing and touring. I tried the former having not ridden any of the approximately 140 miles before Mt Lemon. Big mistake. I also had never slept next to my bike on a big ride. Another big mistake. And to top things off, I had never really used a GPS before on a bike, nor did I really know about "active" and "saved route." The biggest mistake of all.

Low point of the race: calling my mother to ask for advice after getting completely lost at night (although thanks mom for being supportive!)
High point of the race: Pulling the plug knowing that I had given it my best. I bet few if any have attempted such a feat with so little riding experience.

My suggestion to those that ride this race is be mentally and physically ready. Riding alone, in the dark, for long periods of time is not easy. And of course, make sure to bring enough warm clothing.

Brown Mountain


The fog has been really amazing every morning. Today, I drove out to meet Max (who rode from central Tucson, about 10 miles to the TH). We then proceeded to head out to Brown Mountain (see picture above). I have not been on Brown Mountain for quite some time; it is amazing, especially with the recent rain. It is up there with one of the best loops in Tucson. I left the GPS at home today, but I estimate t was about 40 miles, 3-4k of climbing.

We are planning on leaving tomorrow around 2-3 ish to Sedona. Possible night ride around Sedona or a stop at South Mountain (Phx). The weather in Tucson is amazing right now, in the 50s and 60s for most of the day. Perfect weather for riding.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tempe Town Lake to be filled with treated sewer water

Lovely, eh. Looks like I will be swimming most of my triathlons in treated sewer water in about 2-3 years.

Although it may not sound appealing, city officials say that reclaimed water would actually be cleaner than the water that currently flows into Town Lake.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Trainer


Since it is raining in Tucson, looks like we will be hitting the trainer today for our morning ride. Thereafter, headed to the gym to swim before going to work (driving today).

Monday, December 10, 2007

MBAA

So I was Googling MBAA today, and check what I found from the search. That sounds a lot more interesting than the MBAA races slated for the next few months in and around Arizona. After chatting with Benji about MBAA, I will probably jump in and do a few of them to get ready for my solo Old Pueblo 24 Hour Race and the World Championship Suburban Assault Race (TBA).

Oh yeah, here is the right MBAA link.

Tucson Mountain Bike Forum


Check out the newest forum for the Tucson community: Tucson Mountain Bike Forum
They are sponsoring the Arizona Endurance Series by giving out free swag at the Antelope Peak Challenge, which I hope to pre-ride this week.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

West Suburbia Loop




I decided to ride the west suburbia loop today after riding the east with Dave C. yesterday (on Fridy, Tom, Dave and I rode the newest section of the AZT out at Sweet Water. If you have not ridden it, you need to). After a rather stormy morning, the sun started to shine after finishing my shopping at Trader Joe's. I estimate both the east and west suburbia loop have about 60 miles (it can be done in a figure 8 loop).

Some pictures of Mt Lemon in the background, typical double track

Single track near Thornydale Road

Top of Pima Northwest Campus

More double track

Riding in Tucson in the winter: shorts and leg warmers

Enjoying the pipes near the I-10 construction, my newest playground

More singletrack in Suburbia
Arm tan line in Tucson


This ride paled in comparison to the KCE pre-ride this weekend in the rain. Max, Dave and I rode for about 2 hours in the wind/rain. It made me realize that I need to buy some warm bike clothes, possibly something I can add to the Christmas wish list this year. Dave and I had a jolly old time drinking beer, riding, and talking. He left a bit early today allowing me to ride a bit, clean up, and do some shopping.

Next on the ride list: pre-ride the Sedona Big Friggin Loop.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

REI store is coming to Tucson

Check this story out in the AZ Daily Star.

Post-ride Brunch

I went for an early morning ride today, down near the Santa Cruz River again. Here is a picture of the new shoes.


After the ride, I came home and made steak and eggs, one sweet potato (see the health benefits of eating these), sauteed onions, tomatoes, and avocado. To compliment this dish, I had a nice Earl Grey tea and some Organic Carrot Juice from Trader Joe's. The ride was too short for a beer and it still way to early for that. Besides, we have all weekend to ride and drink.



Figured I should post one of my grub moments for the Daves in Prescott and Flagstaff.

KCE Postponed

I had to postpone the Kentucky Epic Race this weekend due to weather that would have an adverse impact on some portions of the trail. We will still be riding the route, just not as a race. There should be about 7-10 of us out there this weekend.

Cycling’s Drug Problem Leads T-Mobile to End Sponsorship


T-Mobile, the professional cycling team that began this year with the sport’s largest budget and an ambitious plan to reform the sport’s drug problem, lost its sponsor yesterday because of continuing doping controversies. Read more here.

Take on America

Great New York Times Article in today's paper called Intercepting Iran’s Take on America

There are two intelligence analyses that are relevant to the balance of power between the U.S. and Iran — one is the latest U.S. assessment of Iran, which certainly gave a much more complex view of what is happening there. The other is the Iranian National Intelligence Estimate of America, which — my guess — would read something like this:

Skip to next paragraph
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Thomas L. Friedman

To: President Ahmadinejad

From: The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence

Subject: America

As you’ll recall, in the wake of 9/11, we were extremely concerned that the U.S. would develop a covert program to end its addiction to oil, which would be the greatest threat to Iranian national security. In fact, after Bush’s 2006 State of the Union, in which he decried America’s oil addiction, we had “high confidence” that a comprehensive U.S. clean energy policy would emerge. We were wrong.

Our fears that the U.S. was engaged in a covert “Manhattan Project” to achieve energy independence have been “assuaged.” America’s Manhattan Project turns out to be largely confined to the production of corn ethanol in Iowa, which, our analysts have confirmed from cellphone intercepts between lobbyists and Congressmen, is nothing more than a multibillion-dollar payoff to big Iowa farmers and agro-businesses.

True, thanks to Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. Congress decided to increase the miles per gallon required of U.S. car fleets by the year 2020 — which took us by surprise — but we nevertheless “strongly believe” this will not lead to any definitive breaking of America’s oil addiction, since none of the leading presidential candidates has offered an energy policy that would include a tax on oil or carbon that could trigger a truly transformational shift in America away from fossil fuels.

Therefore, it is “very likely” that Iran’s current level of high oil revenues will last for decades and insulate our regime from any decisive pressures from abroad or from our own people.

We have to note that obtaining open-source intelligence in America has become more difficult, because traditional news shows have become more comedic and more comedic news shows more authoritative.

For instance, CNN’s nightly business report is hosted by a man named “Dobbs.” Real journalists come on his show and present transparently propagandistic stories about immigration and trade and then he fulminates about them, much the way our ayatollahs used to do about “Satanic Americans” on late-night Iranian TV. So viewers have no real idea what’s happening in the U.S. economy.

Meanwhile, at 11 p.m., something called “The Daily Show,” which appears on Comedy Central, has fake journalists presenting what turns out to be the real news.

Yes, our last I.N.I.E. in 1990 concluded that after the collapse of communism, America was on track to become the world’s sole superpower and most compelling role model for Muslim youth — including our own. We were wrong. We now have “high confidence” that America is on a path of self-destruction, for three reasons:

First, 9/11 has made America afraid and therefore stupid. The “war on terrorism” is now so deeply imbedded in America’s psyche that we think it is “highly likely” that America will continue to export more fear than hope and will continue to defend things like torture and Guantánamo Bay prison and to favor politicians like Mr. Giuliani, who alienates the rest of the world.

Second, at a time when America’s bridges, roads, airports and Internet bandwidth have fallen behind other industrial powers, including China, we believe that the U.S. opposition to higher taxes — and the fact that the primary campaigns have focused largely on gay marriage, flag-burning and whether the Christian Bible is the literal truth — means it is “highly unlikely” that America will arrest its decline.

Third, all the U.S. presidential candidates are distancing themselves from the core values that made America such a great power and so different from us — in particular America’s long commitment to free trade, open immigration and a reverence for scientific enquiry wherever it leads. Our intel analysts are baffled that the leading Democrat, Mrs. Clinton, no longer believes in globalization and the leading Republican, Mr. Huckabee, never believed in evolution.

U.S. politicians seem determined to appeal either to the most nativist extremes in their respective parties — or to tell voters that something Americans call “the tooth fairy” will make their energy, budget, educational and Social Security deficits painlessly disappear.

Therefore, we conclude with “high confidence” that there is little likelihood that post-9/11 America will, as they say, “get its groove back” anytime soon.

Who needs nukes when you have this kind of America?

God is Great. Long Live the Iranian Revolution.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

50% chance of rain

Rain is in the forecast for the Kentucky Camp Epic. The race has about 50 races coming from all over Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. Currently, we are hashing out whether or not we should postpone the race due to the rain. I am suggesting we move ahead since we will not really damage any of the trail (a lot of it is on fire roads). We need to decide tonight since Tom Purvis from CO wants to leave tomorrow.

Mmmmm... smoothies

I have been downing the smoothies with protein now that it is winter and I have been lifting more. I was lifting about 1-2 times a week, now I have increased that to 3-4 times, mostly high reps. The secret of a smoothie is the banana, frozen fruit, juices (OJ, Cran, Pomegranate), yogurt, soy and/or whey protein. I usually drink one after visiting the gym. Typical workout week:

Monday: Swim, lift
Tuesday: Bike, yoga
Wednesday: Swim, lift, Run (elliptical)
Thursday: Bike, yoga
Friday:
Long swim, Run (elliptical)
Sat: Long Bike
Sun:
Rest

Still having a slight pain in my Achilles Tendon so I am still not running.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Suburbia Loop



I decided to connect my Suburbia Loop with my Tucson Mountain Park Route. What followed was about 50 miles of back road fun to TMP, in honor of my dear friend Yuri. A little history of the Suburbia Loop: I did the Suburbia Loop last year to train for the 24hours of Old Pueblo. Some of the old school route has been demolished due to housing construction, but the basic route has stayed the same. When I showed my friend part of the Suburbia Loop, the next week he did it alone and broke his collarbone. Basically, it is a route that has some of the best hidden singletrack in Tucson. Guaranteed.

I added that route to the Santa Cruz River route in order to enter the entrance of TMP. But in reality I just passed Starr Pass Resort and headed back home. I hope to add this new Suburbia-Santa Cruz Loop to the new Hidden Canyon over at TMP for one ultimate, new ride that I can do on a regular basis from the door of my house.

I was surprised by the stats:

48.8 miles
5740 feet of climbing
4:38 moving time
30% singletrack, 65% doubletrack, 5% paved roads/bike paths



Along the open pits near Santa Cruz


A relatively flat route, or so I thought.


Yuri, this one is for you. The entire time I was riding next to the Santa Cruz I was thinking about the canals in Phoenix.


The ultimate mtn bikers playground: a yard full of huge pipes about a foot apart, 10 deep. About the only good thing from the I-10 project is this fun park.




Tucson Mountain Park


River
crossing

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