Thursday, May 29, 2008

Deuces Wild Triathlon Festival


Renee (TriCats) and I are headed up to Show Low this weekend for the Xterra Race. Since Trisports.com hosts the event, I get a huge discount for racing this year. There are three races, road on Saturday and mountain bike/run on Sunday. I plan on doing both races, road and mountain (like last year). The combined festival is one of the best races in Arizona and has $10,000 in prizes to give away in a raffle. Basically, if you stick around for the raffle on Sunday, you are going to walk away with something.

Lenz Leviathan or Moots Mooto-X YBB (SS)?

Which would you choose and why?


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Signal your turn

I had a few questions about bikes this week, seems like people are starting to switch over to alternative modes of transportation, which brings me to the Bike Art of the Week from Margarita Faustino....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ouch!

Today's workout had a focus on the stomach/midline:

Five rounds for time of:
2 pood Kettlebell swings, 25 reps
25 GHD Sit-ups
25 Back Extensions
25 Knees to Elbows

Swim: Long Course: 4 x 50m 15”, 2 x 100m 30” , 2 x 200m 30''
Bike: Long Course: 8 x 2k 90”
Run: Long Course: 2 x 200m 60” + 2 x 400m “90 + 1k.

Update on this weekend, I had to postpone the Coconino Dirty Century due to adverse weather conditions. I decided to work more this weekend and possibly do a century road ride tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Is it ever too hot for coffee?

110 degrees in Phoenix yesterday and 104 degrees here in Tucson. As I write this post, we are having wind gusts up to 25 mph today. Enter the new early morning ride schedule. Today, I got up at 4:45am thanks to my mental alarm clock. There is nothing like getting a nice bike ride in while the sun is rising over Tucson and having a post-ride coffee while it is still cold. Rode for a little over 20 miles in the 2 hours I was out.

The plan is to do more early morning rides/runs, then nap for a bit, before returning to the pool (3-4 days a week) for some swimming.

Side note: On the way into work yesterday, the clerk at Circle K was bewildered at my refill coffee mug (bottle from my bike) and the following exchange began.

"I have never seen that before, a sports bottle."
"Oh yeah, well, I am on my bike right now."
"Really? In this kind of heat? It is way too hot to have coffee!"
"It is never too hot to have coffee, and bikes and coffee are synonymous."

Rain is in the forecast for the Coconino Dirty Century this Saturday. The plan is to hang around for some riding with Dave C. on Elden on Sunday, perhaps even hang around until Monday early morning before returning back to Tucson.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mechanicals and Flats

I woke up today for the Aspen to Millie ride, in a daze I started to search around for my bike gear that had been tossed on the ground from yesterday's ride. During my commute to work, I managed to misplace my prescription sunglasses (essential piece of gear when flying down Lemmon at 40+ mph). After looking for about 20 minutes, I decided that I probably left them at work during my bike commute. Bummer. I tossed in some contact lenses and glasses, loaded my bike, and grabbed some oatmeal and raisins. No coffee, no sunglasses, this was starting off to be a bad day already.

We shuttled to the top of Mt Lemmon for an all day mountain bike ride "down" Mt Lemmon. Things slowly got better as we started on Aspen Draw, dodging pine trees and streams. This is the Arizona that I will come to love this summer, escaping to Mt Lemmon is going to be a common weekend occurrence this summer I have decided.

We started at Aspen Draw on some semi-technical trail and ended up tossing in the towel after Bugs Springs, partly due to mechanicals and flats and partly do to a lackluster motivation to continue. A gatorade and fudge stop also was a major culprit in the decision to bail rather than continuing down the relentless technical Prison and Milagrosa trails. Frankly, I could have done Prison but I (nor my front shock/bike) was not ready to do Millie.

Those that are unfamiliar with this network of trails, take my word when I say this is one of the best, technical rides in Arizona. The route is also part of the Climb or Die (Scott's idea) challenge that Scott and I have been trying ton conquer. During today's ride, we managed to only cover 29 miles over the course of the 6 hour trip. Honestly, it may be easier for me to ascend this mountain than to descend it.

Ride Time: 5:56
Total milage: 29.80
Ascent: 6521
Descent: 12829


A shot looking down at Bug Springs, south toward Tucson.

I think we all took our spills pretty well, especially Steve, who not only ate it twice, he managed to break his new ultimate Avid Juicy hydraulic (which retail for $500) while taking a spill on Bugs. Surprisingly, I had no flats or mechanicals today, although everyone else at one time either had a flat, mechanical, or both.

Looking forward to some the Coconino Dirty Century in Flagstaff on Saturday and some reconning around the Tortolitas...

...on Tuesday, super early morning.


Max and Vern, thanks for the beverages. Thanks again to Cat for the shuttle ride and congrats again on graduating!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A post dedicated to the driver of the blue, raised Ford 350

This blog post is dedicated to all those idiots in their cars that pass me everyday and either honk or yell out their window while I am commuting around town or to work. More importantly though, this is dedicated to the jackass that yelled what sounded like garble while proceeding to ride through the stop light on Ina and Thornydale today. Oh, and flipping me off was a nice touch to the garble. Upon further review of your garble a few hundred yards down the road, I realized what you said, "Stay in the F@#ing bike lane you !&@#4 biker."

Firstly, I am sorry if it looked like I was out of my bike lane while riding to the post office, it was after all a turning lane that is technically a bike lane, hence the sign "Yield to Cyclists" that was clearly visible from your view in that ugly truck that you are still making payments on. I was merely trying to let other cars into my lane so that they could turn while I was going straight through the light. Imagine that, a cyclist being nice to motorists. According to the Bicycle Traffic Law, I acted in the best interest of the driver and myself.

Secondly, next time you yell something out the window, make sure you are farther away from me, so I do not have time to see your license plate on a your ugly-ass truck. Also, if you have a vehicle that is more popular, your do not run the risk of having something happen to your truck in the event that I happen to ride by it while sitting out at Wal-mart. Basically, what I am trying to say is that it is going to be easy to find your truck around the northwest side of Tucson and when I do, I guarantee that revenge will be had on your P.O.S. truck.

Finally, I am sure you have never had the opportunity to ride a road bike around the streets of Tucson. As I am sure you are aware, Tucson often takes 25 years to repair some of the street surfaces. If you are not aware of this widely known fact, I encourage you to read the local newspaper from time to time in order to get updates on Tucson. Consequently, this makes it hard for road bikes to maneuver around the potholes, rocks, and glass, so you can imagine how easy it might be for me to move over to the white line in order to avoid getting a flat.

To those that continue to drive to work on a daily basis, citing lame excuses, you should be ashamed. Take the public bus once a week, carpool, and bike. Some of us do it everyday, but I understand that you might have some pressing issues, so once a week is the bare minimum. I would rather ride my bike 20 minutes to commute to work than have to wait in rush hour driving 5mph.

Wild Burro Trail

Tim, Vern, Max and I rode on some new all-purpose trails out near Dove Mountain today. We rode for about 3 hours on almost of the trails, slow going mostly in part to the amount of hike-a-bike as you can see from the profile view



I am going back on Tuesday or Wednesday to explore some more, possibly trying to connect said trails with Honeybee and the Catalinas based on Max's beta.

Here are some shots of Upper Javelina.


The Wild Burro Trail, a main pedestrian artery into the area, connects with several other routes — including the Lower Javelina Trail, Upper Javelina Trail and Alamo Spring Trail.



There are currently 15+ miles of trails that have been constructed and opened to the public. These completed trails include Wild Burro Canyon (3m), Alamo Spring Trail (2m), Upper Javelina Trail (2.6m), Wild Mustang Trail (4m), and the Cochise Spring Trail (3.6m).

When completed, there should be a total of 30 miles of trails. Right now, many of them are big hike-a-bike trails, although I think some have some great potential. I guarantee we will be seeing a lot more riding in the Tortolitas in the future.

To reach the trailhead, take North Oracle Road or North La Cholla Boulevard to West Tangerine Road. Go west on Tangerine to Dove Mountain Boulevard. Then follow Dove Mountain Boulevard north a little more than four miles to a signed trailhead and parking area on the right.

Kokopelli Trail

Good luck cyclists!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sold!

My TT bike has been shipped off today

Its departure brings in a new era of mountain biking for me. I originally purchased this bike to compete in an Ironman last year. A bout with an Achilles injury has prevented me from doing an Ironman, along with the shifting of my interests to endurance mountain biking. The AZT 300 Race this year was one of the biggest disappointments I have had in my short biking history... to be held back by equipment rather than will or ability was devastating. I tried to continue on in Reddington (due mostly in part to the encouragement of Max) but was forced to stop due to my saddle causing the worst case of chaffing/soreness I have ever had.

So what now? Well, with the money in my Paypal account, I can now begin the process of purchasing my new bike. I am thinking big wheels and light, most likely either a Lenz or Moots. I rode both at Interbike '07 and fell in love with their geometry.

Additionally, this year's touring adventure needs to be finalized soon, July looks like the best timing for work and the southwest is definitely in the plans, most likely Arizona, Utah and Colorado. I originally was looking at completing the Pacific Coast Highway that I started last August, but now I am thinking about starting close to home and heading north with a pad, sleeping bag, my mt bike and camera. More details soon.

Man vs Wild


Found this article on Man vs Wild in my morning reading. An interesting article..

“Man vs. Wild” doesn’t speak to concerns of an apocalypse; it speaks to fantasies of luxury deprivation, the same ones that drive people to high-priced fasting spas to live on the tap water they could drink at home free. Most of us won’t ever need to be vigilant about anything in Zambia, but we’d like to imagine that we could hack it for an hour or two and then order up a nice cabernet.

I find the show not only entertaining, but many times I ponder what I would do in such an emergency situation while on the bike, canyoneering or backpacking in the wild. Another show that has recently caught my attention is The Alaska Experiment on Discovery Channel. I have only seen one episode but it is intriguing.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Coconino Dirty Century

Cue sheets and GPX file are finalized. I am waiting for my tt road bike's auction to end in a few hours, it is still below the reserve price unfortunately. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that it may go up in the next few hours as the auction ends.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bike-to-Work Week!

May is National Bike Month, and this week, May 12-16 is Bike-to-Work Week. If you needed a motivator to get on your bike this week, now is the time. I typically always ride the mountain bike through some nice double track but have been enjoying the road bike lately since it is quicker. Fuel prices are getting higher ($4 for diesel), another good reason to bike this week.

Salome "The Jug" Canyoneering

After the Coconino pre-ride, Kacy, Steve and I went canyoneering in the Jug, just north of Roosevelt Lake. It started raining in the morning at our campsite, mostly sprinkling here and there. We decided to ditch the trip and head home, although on our trip out of A Cross Road, the clouds began to disapper.

The canyon is more like a theme park than a technical canyon since there are a few slides and only one rap. The water was the highest I have ever seen it before. We had some fun going down a few of the slides.

A nice shot of the trail.


A shot of the canyon.

Sedona to Flagstaff to Sedona

I managed to score a ride to Schnebly Hill with my friends Kacy and Steve on Sunday night, arriving around midnight. The plan was to get picked up the next day somewhere in the vicinity, perhaps Munds. Here is the profile of the ride.



I woke up at 5 am the next morning and got moving down to Sedona around 6am. The sun started to peer over the ridge pretty early, although I immediately shot down some super fast singletrack, later hitting up Munds.
As mapped out in the Coconino Dirty Century, I turned around after reaching 179, headed back up Schnebly to the vista point while playing leap frog with the slow moving jeep from the Pink Jeep Tours. One of the best views in Arizona...

After crossing I-17, I rode over to Mormon Lake on forest roads. A shot of Mormon Lake.


Next was on the for Arizona Trail and north toward Flagstaff. The wind started to pick up, around 10-20 mph and 30 mph gust. It was very, very slow going.


Some new PVC pipe makes it easy to jump over some of the barbed wire during this section of the trail.


Enjoying the view despite the wind. I was moving around 4-5 mph during this section of the ride due to the wind.


More AZT near Fisher Point.
I cruised into Flagstaff at 4pm to eat some Subway and arrange my pick-up. The chosen location was Sedona since they were hiking Parson Springs.

I finished my $5 foot long sub and rode out the urban loop. I have less than an hour so I decided to take 89A back to Sedona. Since it was a Monday, there was very few cars. A quick question: how many of you have dreamed about riding the 89A Oak Creek section up and down on a road bike? I know I have for years. What a great road, especially when taken on a bike; my speed topped out at 41.7 mph while taking this section of the road.

Final stats from the ride:
101 miles
13 hours total time, 10 hours moving time
11,725
Thanks again to Kacy and Steve for the ride!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

South Mountain Epic


The graduation party went on until about 2 am so getting up at 730 am took me a little longer than expected. I ended up getting to the Safeway near Pima Canyon at about 930am.I ended up riding solo until about 230, hitting up:

DC-East Loop-Javelina-Mormon-National-Telegraph-DC-Secret-Corona-Geronimo-Euclid Rd-24th St-National-Beverly-DC

Friday, May 09, 2008

Is it even possible to peak in more than one sport at once?


Photo from the NY Times
There is a good article in today's NY Times about triathlons.

When you are training, said Gary S. Krahenbuhl, an exercise physiologist and emeritus professor at Arizona State University, improvement depends on physical and biochemical changes in muscle cells and in nerve-firing patterns. And those changes are very sport-specific, he added. The result, Dr. Krahenbuhl said, is that “changes that facilitate performance for one event may actually undermine performance in another event.”

and the article continues by stating that

Even body musculature can trip up triathletes. Swimmers need large muscles in their backs and shoulders. Runners and cyclists want small, light upper bodies. Cyclists need large quadriceps muscles. Runners don’t, and in fact they don’t want any extra muscle weight on their legs.

Some interesting conclusions about the ability of triathletes to perform in all three sports. I find that swimming and biking are beginning to become my favorite of the three disciplines, oddly enough. My running has been plagued for the past 2 years by an Achilles injury. The weather this early morning was great for a quick 3-mile run today. Now I am off to go swim, fix my bike, and then head up to Phoenix for my brother-in-law's ASU graduation party at 5pm. Hoping to hit up South Mountain on my way back home tomorrow early morning.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Brick

Great day for a brick workout.I woke up this morning to do a road ride, 72 miles from my house to Oracle and back. After the ride, I put on my running shoes for my 2-mile hill run at 90% of race pace. Things felt great most for most of the workout except for a little sore spots in my legs from the workout yesterday (100 pull ups, 100 push ups, 100 sit ups, and 100 squats).


View Interactive Map on MapMyTri.com

Next on the agenda..... finding some time to go up an pre-ride the Coconino Dirty Century. I have been trying to rally up support for a carpool, but people's schedules and injuries seem to be indicating that I am going to have to fly this one solo, maybe sometime during the 14th-16th of May.

Friday, May 02, 2008

I'm kind of a fanatic

April mileage is in.... 874 miles. Plan is to roll in May with a big bang this Saturday on the road bike, touring style.

Also, I have added crossfit exercises to the weekly swimming, running, and biking workout and all I can say is ouch. This week, I did a more difficult version of this leg workout and I have been sore for two days. I am still checking out the benefits of the exercises, but so far, I really like I have read and seen from them.

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