Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Final CX RACE of the 2010 season

Although this was not my category, here is some footage of the highlights of the Masters 35+C, the juniors men 14-16 and the Clydesdale category held out at Butterfield park out in Herriman.
Cold that cuts through your clothes, 40 miles an hour wind and mud,..mmmmmmm, good times.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What to Take to Disneyland....

...someone in a wheelchair.
Can you believe Megan's Brother is still single? After his 3rd knee surgery, he is legitimately, temporarily handicapped. That worked out well for us. On Storm mountain, he got 9 of us straight to the front of the 60 minute line. It turns out that Walt has a soft spot for wheelechairs. Most rides have a separate handicap entrance. You roll up to the front of the line with your group, you get out of the wheel chair and onto the ride and the when you are done, you get right back into the wheelchair. After this fact, i started noticing A LOT of people in wheelchairs.
Kevin just got his own place so he no longer lives in his parents basement. Let me know if you want me to line you up with him.
As it turns out, the Jazzy® was also very convenient for carrying all of the overpriced Disney paraphernalia we purchased.
It rained the day we got there and the day we left.
Weather was sunny and in the 70's-80's the rest of the week. Water was cool enough that all of the local surfers had full wetsuits, but the kids didn't seem to mind since it was snowing back home.

We spent some time in OLD TOWN San Diego and had dinner at a Mexican Restaraunt. When there is an item on the menu that dares you to eat it and then makes you sign a waiver before you actually eat it, it might be a good idea to order something else.
Here Ryan is sweating and eating and the Hot burrito of Death, or something like that. He only made it about 1/4 of the way through it. He paid for it all night long.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

RAGNAR Vegas & CX RACE in SoCal

I realize that almost all of our vacations are based around either a bike race or a running race of some kind. Well it just turns out that this year, we planned a trip to Oceanside with Meg's family, and then it worked out that Meg could go a couple days earlier and run RAGNAR in Las Vegas with a bunch of friends. We could pick her up in Vegas and keep driving to California. We could spend the week in Oceanside with the in-laws and then i could do a Cyclocross race in San Diego before driving back to Utah.
We came down and saw Megan at her second exchange and then went and stayed with my favorite Aunt Barb for the night. We woke up the next morning to homemade waffles and lotsalaughter.
We went and saw the ladies finish their 195 mile run and drove to CA. It was much prettier than megan had anticipated since you did a giant circle around vegas starting in Valley of fire, heading to Lake Mead and then down and around, ending up at red rocks casino.

We spent a wonderful week having a great time in Oceanside. We had to be out of the Beach House by 10AM saturday morning, so that was just enough time to drive down to Balboa Park, clean up some kids throw up in the back seat, warm up, and do a couple of races.
I really take for granted the CX scene we have here in Utah. You can sign up for whatever category you want and don't have to have a racing license. The fields are huge and growing. Going to California, i was confined to race with the cat 3-4 field since i am technically a Cat 4 cyclocross racer. I figured i would do 2 races, not knowing what the fields would be like, how big, how competitive etc.
I started with the Masters 35+ 3/4 race which only had 12 guys line up. I missed the hole shot and settled back into 4th place to see how the competition was. After a lap, i had worked my way into second. I attacked on a long, hard, muddy section and got around front. I kept the pace high and stayed there. Around the corners i could see a gap starting to open so i drilled it some more. By three fourths the way through the race, i couldn't see the 2nd place guy anymore. I eased up a bit knowing i was going to be racing again after this race was done. Now i know how Bart Gillespie feels.
The 3/4 race started right after the masters race was done, so i had time to pin on a different number and get back in line. This field was a bit bigger with around 20-25 guys. I started and dropped into 4 th place again. we rode like this for a lap, but i could tell this was a lot faster pace. On the second lap, the guy that was sitting in 5th came around me on a corner that there wasn't room for 2 bikes and ran me off the road. I am fine with racing aggressively, but don't run me off the road only to ride the same speed as i was that early in the race. I passed and dropped him a lap later while another guy and i were swapping 4th and 5th place as the first 3 riders were 10 seconds up the course. Most of the race went like this until about a lap and a half to go. I realized at this point that it was now about 2 o'clock. I had breakfast at 8 o'clock, which consisted of a bowl of frosted flakes and a couple of donuts. This is the point where i dropped from 4th place to 10th place and was just glad to get in the car and make the 7 hour drive to St George.
The good news was that for winning the Masters race i did get some socks, a water bottle, a gift certificate to a bike shop in San Diego that i would never go to, and some beer which i also gave to the 2nd place finisher.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Main Course is the Most Important Course

When we have dinner, we will sometimes splurge and get an appetizer, or a dessert. Our drink is usually water. The main course is always important. That is why Megan and i were not sad that we didn't win prizes for our other dishes at the 3rd annual fall harvest smackdown . We did, however win the prize for the best main course with our waffle smothered in cinnamon syrup steeped in Habaneros.
At 5 o'clock on friday evening the secret ingredient was revealed for this year, which turned out to be the Habanero Chile Pepper. We were all expecting this ingredient last year but instead got the crappy Jellymelon.
Not having cooked with raw Habaneros before, most of the competitors were a little concerned about the heat. My sister got some pepper on her finger and touched her eyes. She ended up having to get milk in a syringe and squirting it in her eye to get the burning to stop. It was a fun and challenging ingredient and produced A LOT of really good food. i think this year there were 25 entries ranging anywhere from a tropical drink to peanut butter and Habanero Jelly sandwiches, to home made oreos to salmon, to sweet potato fries to ice cream to peach and habanero trifle.
Within 5 minutes of when we started eating, most people were red and sweating. I was actually a little surprised that most of the dishes were not hotter. It was a pleasant surprise to eat something that tasted good and then had a little, subtle heat at the very end. Team Mo' Shizzle really redeemed themselves this year and walked away with 2 prizes after being shut out last year.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Run for Bun

I have always been on the other side of the table during packet pick-up for any athletic events. You pay your money, you show up and pick up your packet, pin your number on and expect that the event planners have thought of everything and expect that you can just concentrate on doing the race.
After the last few months, i have a new appreciation for how much time, energy, effort and manpower it takes to put on an event. I guess the good news is that because i helped with organizing things i didn't have to actually run.
My contributions were very minimal compared to what Megan and some of the others put into it, and this race was only a 5k. It's hard to even imagine what it takes to put on an Ironman, or a 200 mile bike race through 3 states? The Run for Bun was a little different, in the fact that it was a very short timeframe from conception to event, EVERYONE was a volunteer, and everyone in every capacity had never organized anything like this before. We did have some helpful direction from events planners at Draper City and many of the organizers had participated in events, but none had actually organized one before.
All said and done, we raised somewhere between $40-50,000 to be put towards the creation of a trail in Draper in Bunny's name. It will probably be a few years before they are able to secure enough funds to do the whole trail, but what a wonderful tribute to a wonderful person.
A few things that really struck me were the volunteers and people that came together to help. Businesses that gave of their services or goods to support this event. People that gave of their time and money.
A guy that went to school with Luke and had not seen him in 15 years and wasn't sure Luke even remembered him showed up to help at packet pick-up because he wasn't going to be around to run the 5k but wanted to do something to help.

Megan talked to the woman that was in charge of all of the registration and put countless hours helping and getting everything set up and running smoothly before, during and after the event. Megan asked her how she new Bunny. Her response was that she had never actually met Bunny. There were lots of people that had never actually met Bunny but she touched their lives anyway.
She made me as a cyclist realize how vulnerable i am. She made me as an athlete realize how powerful i am. She made me as a parent realize how precious my children are and how powerless i really am at protecting them. She made me realize as a sibling how grateful i am to have a family i can count on whenever i need them. She made me realize as a husband how much Megan means to me and how completely lost i would be without her. She made me realize as a child of God that this short mortal existence isn't all there is and at some time in the eternities, Someone has a helluva lot of explaining to do.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cyclocross 2010 #1

It is a little hard to get excited about cyclocross racing when it is 91 degrees outside. That was the temperature of last Saturday's race. I really love the muddy, dirty, wet races. I just wish i had a mechanic to clean my bike afterwards.
I achieved my goal of not taking last place. It was hard and fast and i didn't have the kick to stay with the lead group....or the 2nd or 3rd chase groups. It has been a long biking season and i am caught between my mind wanting to go and race
hard, but mentally my body just wants to lay around eating megan's baking.
The loss of daylight is making it tougher to get out and ride during the week which makes getting into the Pain cave and staying there for 60 minutes hard. Maybe i will just change my diet and start eating spanish beef.
Lil Bills dad was supposed to start his cyclocross career on Saturday, but after taking him out and doing a few practice laps on the course, he decided to lay down in a goat head patch. We both thought it wise for him to practice a little more before strapping on that number.
This weekend i will miss the race but for a good reason.
If you are not doing anything Saturday morning, come and run, jog, walk, crawl, scoot or hop with us. You may be thinking to yourself, 3.2 miles is so far, i couldn't possible run that far. My 1 legged, pirate brother is doing it, so unless you had both of your legs cut off, your excuse is lame.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's Not Like You Love Your 4th Child Any Less...'s just that you don't have the energy to care as much what they look like.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I ended up getting a different Hotel in both Logan and Jackson than the other guys on my team this year because of what Kevin did last year. I figured i would rather have it be a little harder logistically but get a good nights sleep than be awakened in the middle of the night by the fire engines again.
When we rolled out in the dark just after 6:30 it was around 35 degrees. I shivered for the first hour. About an hour and a half in, the pace picked up climbing the first climb and i got dropped by the lead group. I caught Cousin Kevin who lasted 2 minutes longer than i did and we rode together. My intention was to ride with the lead group as long as i could and if i couldn't stay with them, i would drop back and ride with Jose and Lil bills dad, who was doing it for his first time.
Still Smiling at 20 miles into the ride

As i pulled into Montpellier, somehow, i dropped Kevin. I sat up and soft pedaled for a minute waiting for him and my legs started cramping. It is a funny thing that as long as i would keep a nice consistent cadence going i would be fine, but any time i tried to speed up or slow down, i would cramp. I got the time split back to the Jose group and it was around 25-30 minutes. I knew my legs couldn't wait that long so i had to keep going. I set out doing a mellow pace and figured Kevin would catch me from behind. I stopped and waited at the top of the geneva climb and saw a group of cyclist that looked like Kevin was in it so i started descending with them. It wasn't Kevin but another guy from our team riding in a different category. I rode with them for a couple of miles and then sat up and soft pedaled some more. I had a pedal giving me problems and luckily my wife and Jenn drove by so i had them pull over. I had a spare set of pedals in the car. I have learned over the last 5 years that over 206 miles, just about anything can happen. While i was switching my pedal, Kevin pulled up. We rode together for the rest of the day. He flatted going through a construction zone so I stopped with him for that. We got that fixed and he pulled from the last right hand turn all the way to the finish to keep our time sub-10 hours, if only by a few minutes.
Like the jerk that Lil Bills dad is, he had Jose pull him the last 15o miles while he suffered, and then he jumped him at the line to come in one place ahead of Jose.
You may be looking at his outfit saying, that is a really cool helmet. I thought those are only available in the Europe and not the States, but wait, it doesn't really match the rest of his biking costume. What gives?!?
In typical LOTOJA fashion, Lil Bills Dad wanted to kill me and said it was the longest and hardest day of his life and he would never do it again, but by the next day he was already trying to figure out how he could do better next year. SUCKER!
Luckily next year, we are taking it at a much different pace.
If i can't keep up with a 60 something year old fat man and a one legged pirate, i am really in trouble.
The old man did climb all the way up to Snowbird yesterday which is a great improvement from when he tried to climb little cottonwood a couple of years ago. I can't figure out why he didn't want me to film it this time?
Thanks to the best looking support at LOTOJA. not just for Saturday, but for all year long, juggling around my rides.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why you should NOT go Mountain Biking with Cousin Kevin aka the Green Hornet

I am embarrassed to admit that aside from an occasional race, i have never really mountain biked in Park City. It never fit in with my schedule. I was always crunched for time with my bike rides, so driving an hour before i even started riding was tough to justify. This weekend we had someone offer us their condo at Deer Valley so we jumped on it. Cousin Kevin was up there too so he and I met up early monday morning and went for a ride starting at Deer Valley's mid mountain lifts. We cruised up the recommended uphill route which turned out to be a lame service road.
We came back down homeward bound and Kevin insisted on riding as many of the freestyle features as he could find. We got back to the bottom and talked to someone and they pointed us up the mid mountain trail and up team big bear. Kevin had to be back for his pedicure at 11 so we ran out of time. Instead of coming back down the way we came up, Kevin thought it would be better and faster if we blazed our own trail back.
With loose rock and 45 degree angles, your brakes actually don't do any good. It was only after we finally made our way back onto a trail that Kevin decided to pull his junk out and relieve himself, much to the surprise of the guy that came around the corner a few seconds later.
Here is some video of Kevin on one of the freestyle features. You tell me if he rides like an 8 year old little girl.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Uninvited Guest

When Megan decided to get a cat for the girls, we knew we didn't want it to be an inside cat. We figured we could just leave the garage door open 6 inches at the bottom and it could come and go as it pleased. We went out of town for labor day weekend and poured a bunch of cat food in a bowl and left. When we returned home, all of the cat food was gone, which was a little surprising since the cat is still fairly small.
We got everything unpacked, got the kids to bed and Megan went out to the garage to get something out of the outside fridge. She caught a raccoon eating the cat food while the cat was hiding terrified in the corner.
Instead of running out of the garage when Megan came out, the raccoon went and hid in another corner of the garage behind a shovel. Megan came and got me, so i retrieved our BB gun, which ironically we got in our first house to keep the neighborhood cats from using our yard as a litter box. After shooting the raccoon 4 times and it not even moving, Megan suggested i use the shotgun she gave me for my birthday a few years ago. Apparently she has no idea what a 12 gauge would do to a raccoon or our garage at short range. I told her i would use it if she agreed to clean up the mess. A few shots from the BB gun later and the raccoon ran off into the night.
Now we need to rethink this whole cat thing. Maybe we will get one of these instead.

Monday, August 30, 2010

#3 Starts Kindergarten

#1 and 2 started school last week.
Although Megan tried all kinds of ways to talk #3 out of starting kindergarten , she started today anyway. #3 has been counting down the days ever since her last day of preschool last spring.
She promised me she would not get into any fights today.
Now megan is left home with #4 and a cat, both of which go to the bathroom where they aren't supposed to.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Megans First REAL Triathlon

Megan has done a few triathlons, but they were more of the informal, neighborhood triathlons on the 4th of July where you show up in the morning and everybody decides what distance they are going to do.


I can really only take megan's word for it if she did the olympic distance or not.
She claims she did a 1500 m swim, 40km bike and 10k run in 3:06. She looks as fresh in the after picture as the before picture. For all i know she could have taken a couple of pictures in the transition area and then went to the spa for the morning.
I wasn't there to see her. When i did my first open water swim, she came to see me and even almost got our car towed because she was afraid i was going to drown. 100 yards into the swim, the thought did cross my mind. I got my swimming merit badge when i was 13 years old, they didn't have other people hitting and kicking me during my swim. This video shows how to properly train for an open water swim.

Bunny was supposed to do this tri so megan took bunny with her.

Friday, August 20, 2010

When it rains it pours 2

What I meant to say was:
When it rains it pours, and when it pours your basement can flood.

Matt, I am sorry we were late and only stayed a few minutes at your 40th birthday/amputation party. We will make sure we stay longer next time you get something amputated and have a party.

Monday, August 16, 2010

3rd annual, 4 Canyons of Fun

Every summer i like to spend a long Saturday with friends climbing the 4 major canyons in the salt lake valley.
Last Saturday was the day for this years fun filled event.
Seven of us met at the mouth of little cottonwood canyon at 6 am.
Temperatures started out nice and cool and we started climbing.
Little cottonwood was recently repaved, so it was nice and smooth going up and really fast coming down.
Big cottonwood was fine and a guy with a broken chain at storm mountain provided a short break while we helped him get fixed and rolling again.
The second half of Millcreek was painful and demoralizing as usual. I can never tell when the canyon is actually going to end.
Emigration Canyon was just hot.

This year was slower than years past and was much more painful for several reasons.
My fitness isn't where it has been in years past. I had an 11-28 cassette and found myself looking for another gear.
As i climbed up little cottonwood canyon, i couldn't help but think about the first time i climbed little cottonwood on my bike. The Doctor dragged me up it.
I remember riding on the shoulder and in the gravel, hoping that i would get a flat so i could stop pedaling for a few minutes. I was cursing him the whole ride.
You see, the Doctor was the one that got me into cycling.
We have ridden more miles together than i care to remember. Some mornings we meet up, say "where do you want to go", ride for 90 minutes without saying another word except "goodbye" and other mornings, we would talk for the whole ride.
I have always envied his aggressive, attacking style of racing. Something that i have never been able to do. He is acting the same way with his recovery.
It will be a little while before me and the Doctor are able to ride together again.
With his attitude, i don't think it will be too long.
He is so positive and ready to get on with life and not dwell on the fact that he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and had his leg amputated. He considers himself extremely lucky to be where he is.
Until he is able to get on a bike again, i am expecting him to follow us in a car on our group training rides passing out homemade cookies. I am a little worried since it was his right leg that was amputated, so he will need to learn to drive with his left foot. I figure i will probably get bumped from behind a few times for the first little while until he gets the hang of driving again.
Luckily he got rid of his car with a manual transmission a few months ago.
As we climbed Millcreek canyon, i hadn't thought much about it until we rounded the corner and came upon Log Haven, where Luke and Bunny had their wedding reception. The rest of the ride, I stopped thinking about the Doctor's stump, and thought about Bunny, Luke and the Girls.
I am a very shallow person that doesn't think much, but 7+ hours on a bike gives you some time to ponder a few things.
Life, death, loved ones, health, mercury in retrograde, legs, family, God, chocolate milk, pain, charity.
I couldn't help but realize that I am extremely blessed.

At the end of Emigration, instead of riding home, I headed to the Huntsman Cancer Institute to see the Doctor. He was positive and a lot more coherent than the night before. He had gotten over his urge to punch the anesthesiologist in the face because the epidural didn't work.
He ended up leaving the hospital to go home Sunday morning.

Zach just started riding a bike this year and he did all 4 canyons. That was pretty impressive. As impressive as Zach's ride was, the most impressive ride to me on Saturday was Parker.
This kid only rode the first 2 canyons but watch the video and see his sweet bike.