Friday, October 31, 2008

AES T-shirt design

I should have then in a week according to my shirt contact (parents of one of my students). Sorry about the delay for anyone that has been waiting (I thought they were going to be ready for the last B&B). Any extras will be sold at the Bike Swap, so if you want one, just make a comment about size.

$12 + free shipping for anyone out of state.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Commuting

On the way to work today, I started thinking about the different places I can stop on my way to work. From Starbucks to Coco's (which is probably the worst thing to ride by since it always smells of sausage, bacon, and eggs). In 7 miles I see the following:

4 coffee shops, 3 Starbucks and 1 It's a Grind
2 bagel shops, Bruegar's and Einstein's
Only 5 gas stations during the 7 mile commute
17 places to ditch the ride and jump on the Sun Tran bus to get to work
1 bike shop
Also, my commute ends and begins near a Circle K

On a related subject, looks like the amount of people in cars will only increase as gas continues to go down in price. Onto racing, I read this article in the NY Times about marathon organizers and their desire to attract even more racers. Seems a bit silly. I will never do another road marathon, let alone run with that many people. That said, now I have to start thinking if I will ever return to the running scene. This would be a great race to do.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Maximize Your Potential

A great article in the NY Times about Ryan Shay.

Instead (of stopping where he died) they will each run hard, as hard as they possibly can to the finish line in a tribute to him. That is what Shay demanded of himself before he had a heart attack during the United States Olympic marathon trials in New York last November, the day before the annual five-borough race.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bars on Bikes


It was one great night on the bike. We had around 25 people show up during the course of the night.

The next date is November 15 at 3pm, the house version. More details soon via Facebook or TucsonMTB.com

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why drive when you can ride to the TH?

The profile from the route today to 50-year trail and back (my GPS turned off about 10 miles from my house).
I met up with Dave and Eric, along with Vern, Chris and Rogelio to ride the Upper 50. Good times. It is great to get the legs moving again after last weeks punishing race.

I am going to post a few pictures of some of the "urban loop" that I do in order to be able to ride the to trail head. It is a mixture between double and single track. Anyone wishing to ride the urban loop, I hope to do the entire loop in a few weeks. Until then, you can use these aerial shots to ride on the northwest side of Tucson.

El Conquistador Single Track
From El Conquistador, this is a single track that you can take to get to the Circle K on Hardy. The first section is has a nice climb before flattening out to a sandy section. It links up to the wilderness boundary, were you will jump on some single track that skirts PRCA (instead of entering the wilderness on Linda Vista Trail), before dropping onto single track to the Circle K.



Roller Coaster Park
Next is the cross roads of Hardy and La Canada (shown on the far right). There are tons of small roller coaster like sections if you know where to look. If you try to just ride the obvious double track, you might not have very much fun. The singletrack links down toward Omni Golf Course (that is where my GPS died)
CDO Bike Path
Here is the newest Oro Valley Bike Path the connects La Canada and First Ave via CDO wash. This is great for roadies. If you continue on the dirt path, you will end up in front of Honeywell on Oracle.

Wash Connector to El Conquistador
On the aforementioned bike path, you can veer off toward Pusch Ridge in order to connect to the El Conquistador's single track (see first aerial picture).
The Urban Loop (looks like a figure 8)
This final view is an overall view of the entire urban loop, some 40ish miles if you just do the loop (not counting all the side routes you could pop down).


My goal in posting these is to encourage riding on the northwest side of Tucson. We are 10 miles from Catalina State Park, 15 miles from Starr Pass and 24 miles from the bottom of Milagrosa. You can get to all of these trail heads using a combination of double track, single track, and bike paths (along with the occasional road bike path). Why drive when you can ride?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Road rides


More road riding this week along with a possible Lemmon double ascent on Saturday before Bars on Bikes.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

9 hours 30 minutes


The profile view of the Rock y Road 50/50 speaks volumes. After descending one of the most technical trails in all of Arizona, you then have to get on your road bike and ride a little under 6,000 feet up Mt Lemmon. Click on the profile above to see how relentless this climb is. Honestly, this race does not seem like it could be the hardest race I have ever done, but mentally and physically this tops any race. The heat yesterday is partly to blame. 97 degrees was the high.

I started the climb a little before noon after talking to Gatis, who decided he had already had enough on the road portion. In his words, "I am whooped." As I was riding toward Lemmon, I came across Dave, who aslo was unable to start up Lemmon. I had 90 ounces of water when I left McDonald park and started to climb up Lemmon. I slowly began to hydrate and slowly make my way up the mountain . The signs were a nice reminder of how I was and how far I had to go. 18 miles to Palisades and 4000 feet, then 5000 feet. I had to stop at Molino Basin to sit in the shade and use the restroom.

When I started on the road, a roadied asked how far I was going. I did not even see/hear him until he asked me. He was headed to 7 Cataracts, so I drafted him for about 1 mile before stopping at the Bugs Springs TH for another break. I have never not been able to pedal. Today, I was in my granny gear and I was unable to move. My next goal was to get to Bear Canyon, where there might be some water flowing in the creek.

I passed the creek trickling only to find nothing at the crossing. A huge mental let down. I had to lay down for a few seconds. I had really only gone about 10 of the 18 miles up the mountain at that point. The major climb to windy point was next. It was brutal. 4 mph was my speed most of the time from Bear to Palisades.

Additionally, the wind picked up a bit. As I was nearing break down, a mountain biker sped by me and yelled, Go Chad, Go Chad Brown. Priceless. Simply priceless. That is exactly what I needed. It turned out that Patrick Hair (who did Antelope Peak and Kentucky Camp Epic) ventured down from Phoenix to ride up Lemmon. The cheering was just what I needed to get to Windy Point.. I could see the top of Bigelow from Windy Point, the lost few miles after Green seemed to flash by since I got a little break going down from the top of 7 Cataracts.

On the way back down the mountain, I drafted behind a Toyota Tacoma with 3 college students. 41 mph felt great after riding so slow up the mountain. Between windy point and the last turn into Bear Canyon, I drafted the Tacoma. The classic part was the guys in the bike started taking pictures of each other with me in the background flashing peace. Good times.

I got back to the parking lot and had a few beers with Patrick (for recovery of course) and drove home.

9 hours and 30 minutes was my final time


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hot


The cold front looks to be disappearing by this weekend.
While not all the DNFs were induced by last year's hot weather, I think a few of them were caused by weather in the 90s last year for the Rock y Road.

Time for PEE

Details here. The date has been chosen, November 15.

This year will be different.
This will be a ride ideally suited to a cyclo-cross bike.
80-100 miles.

Siren's call



Brendan's philosophy about bikes, very powerful and will convince anyone that reads it to buy a Siren.

Mountain biking in National Parks...

The Bush administration is taking steps to make it easier for mountain bikers to gain access to national parks and other public lands before the president — an avid cyclist himself — leaves office. Read more here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I miss the rain

I miss the rain. But don't tell anyone I ever said that. That is why when I saw the forecast for rain, I immediately began toying with the idea of a moonlight climb up Mt Lemmon from my house.

The profile of the route says it all....



After 26 miles of pedaling, I got to the bottom of La Milagrosa and began climbing in the moonlight. The plan was Milagrosa-Aspen, almost all on singletrack (I would be skipping the dreaded Green Mountain on the way up, then to descend it all. I had the supplies/clothes I needed to muster it up and back down, now I just had to see if the conditions would permit me.

As I was finishing the last section of Milagrosa, I nailed my eggbeater and busted it. Nice. I managed to make one of the sides work, but it was pretty hard to find which side it was when I was descending Molino and trying to clip in. While I was on Prison Camp, it started to rain a little bit, but nothing too horrible.

After about 30 minutes of riding against 30 mph wind gusts near windy point, I decided that it was time to turn around. I blazed down to Prison Camp, before exiting the mountain.

79.92 miles
10,509 feet of climbing
9:22 moving time
Most awkward moment: passing a truck with a flat tire. The driver decided not to change the tire, rather he would drive down Mt Lemmon going 5 mph and let his rim make this horrible noise.
Music: No Ipod or camera, just some pretty nasty wind

I love mountain biking at night. I love mountain biking in the fall. Next race, the Rock y Road 50/50.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Urban Night Rides

Check out the potential for more urban riding in the map below. Last week, I found another new section of singletrack to add to the route. The route begins about 50 yards from my house.

Night rides are in full swing now that it is getting darker earlier. A nice shot of a "downhill" section.

Bling bling

Tour of the White Mountains


I squeezed in right before the rain started falling. After more than 2 months without a race, it was little hard to get going for the first few hours during the 67-mile race. I came in around 6.5 hours, probably around 20th place. Results may be up soon. Check back for some pictures later. The map courtesy of Topofusion.com

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