Wednesday, May 27, 2009

You Tube Star

Last week I got an email from my friend Randy saying that he got someone with a HD camera to come up and shoot video of us riding down Squaw Peak. I jumped at the opportunity. Many of you know that I have been a little obsessed with this lately and I have to admit that I feel a little sheepish when someone asks what are you doing tonight and I answer "I'm riding bigwheels". then there is this long explanation and a confused look. Obviously they don't understand. Well now I can just send them to this link.

Got to run meet the gang for another night of mayhem

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sundance Canyon

Last November I went for a night ride with my friends down Sundance Canyon, I thought that the story was worth telling so I wrote it down. Now that I have a Blog I figured that I would share.

Watch that next corner

Ok Last night was Crazy. Typically we go up the Squaw Peak road which is very steep and windy. Since this road has so many corners your speed ranges from say 20-35 mph and you spend a lot of your time in a semi controlled sideways slide through the corners. Very fun and since you are not going terribly fast it is usually not a big deal if you slide off of the road. Last night was a little different… We went up the Sundance side of the Alpine Loop since they have closed the gate at the bottom of Squaw Peak for the season. We started at Aspen Grove and proceeded down past Sundance to the Provo canyon turnoff. After the first ½ mile it became obvious that we were in for something very different than what we were used to. Comparatively speaking the turns were more sweeping and straight, not the tight switchbacks like you see on Squaw Peak. This road lets you build up more speed than you really thought that you wanted right before it throws a 180 degree switch back that will eat your lunch if you are not ready for it. My first run through this switchback caught me a little off guard. I immediately slid sideways to the outside of the curve and was able to stay a couple of feet from the concrete barrier. In my peripheral vision I could see the spinning lights of three others that were not so lucky narrowly missing me as they bounced off the wall. When the smoke cleared I exited the corner unscathed and in the lead.

Scary Fast

Next comes a couple more switch backs then a section of road about 4 miles long that is gently curving and steep. The speedometer on the chase truck clocked us at a max speed of 45 mph. On plastic wheels I think that was faster than any of us wanted to go but no one was going to be the first to lift and loose a shot at the lead position. Once you lift and loose the draft there is no chance of catching back up to the pack. This section is somewhat Nascar-ish as we diced for position drafting and slingshoting by each other as we built speed. Loosing control and sliding off the road here would not be pretty. As we reached the bottom it was impossible to wipe the smiles of our faces we tossed the bigwheels in the trailer and headed up for another run. In total we made five runs down the mountain.

Run #4

By now we are getting more comfortable with the road and the speeds. We had just started our run and were traveling at about 35 mph, I hardly even noticed the car passing on the opposite side of the road until the cherries started flashing. Yep we got pulled over by the Utah Highway Patrol on our BIGWEELS. Apparently the folks that live around Sundance thought that we were having a little too much fun. The attitude of the Patrol Officer quickly went from annoyance to amusement when he started looking at our bigweels, “You can’t be ridding those on a state highway! We thought that they had a motor, Did you build those yourselves? Do they have brakes?” Our argument was that they were no different than a bicycle and that we were really not doing anything wrong. He stood there for a minute with a confused look on his face, then walked back to his car “Don’t go anywhere this might take a minute”. A couple of minutes later he came back and said “Well I can’t find anything that you guys are doing wrong… You know the speed limit here is 35, I don’t know how fast these things go but just be careful and keep the speed down. You guys are free to go”. We hopped back on our bigwheels as a second Patrol Car comes blazing up. It took a minute for the first officer to calm down the second and explain to him that we were doing nothing wrong and that he was letting us go. That was seriously the highlight of the evening.

When was the last time you got pulled over on your bigwheel and received a warning for speeding?

And in case you were wondering, yes this is a contact sport.Sorry Jeff, I hope that washes out.
Meet me tomorrow night at the base of Squaw Peak, 8:00 sharp.
No... not to make out.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Calvin's First Mtn Bike Ride

I had some down time today and like I usually do when I have down time I decided to go for a bike ride. As I was getting ready Calvin asked if he could go. He has a little mountain bike that he rides around the neighborhood and I have been hesitant to take him to the hills because I have not wanted to traumatize him by pushing him too hard too early.

On the way up we had the talk about how there is no crying in mountain biking unless you are really hurt. He agreed.

In the parking lot of the Shore Line trail in Layton, I explained to him that this is really hard and it is ok if you can't make it up a hill or if you are scared to go down a hill. I shifted his bike into granny gear and told him to pull his right brake more than his left one when he goes down the hills and off we went.

I let him go in front of me and really didn't expect him to make it up the first hill but he did and then just kept going. He had to get off a few times and pushed then got back on as soon as he could. We came down a steep hill with a stream crossing at the bottom of it, I told him to just go for it and he looked at me confused so I showed him how to do it. I left my bike on the other side of the stream and came back to help him across, then just to show off I crossed the stream again, and climbed the hill that we descended to get to the stream when I noticed a snake crossing the trail in front of me. I see snakes quite often and don't usually get too excited about it since they are usually the harmless non-venomous varieties. I didn't see the snake until I was almost on top of it so I just moved to the opposite side of the trail and kept going, as my left foot rounded the bottom of the pedal stroke I looked down and saw the rattles, it was at that point that I put together the ticking noise I was hearing was the rattle as the snake was scurrying to get out of my way. I jumped a little then got off my bike and ran back just in time to see the distinct tail disappear in the grass on the side of the trail. Then I realized from the direction he was going he had to have been right next to the trail on the uphill slope as Calvin and I just passed by. Needless to say it kind of freaked me out. I turned around and crossed the stream again and caught up to Calvin. Calvin wasn't even phased by the snake when I told him about it he just wanted to keep going. Cool

We kept going and passed Adams Canyon, we were climbing a hill as the trail narrowed and dropped off steeply to one side. Calvin stalled out on the slope and high sided off of his bike down the steep slope next to the trail. I felt hopeless as I watched him slide about 30 feet down stopping just shy of plopping into the drink. All I could say is let go of your bike! I think he was worried that he was going to loose it in the river. It took me a couple of minutes to get him and his bike back up to the trail. He had some pretty good scratches on his back from his chain ring but he wanted to keep going. So we did.

We stopped at the top of a cliff and threw some rocks then went home. I will have to say the kid is a natural, he asked when we could go again on the way home. This is going to get expensive.

Friday, May 22, 2009

100 Miles of Nowhere

Ok it is official I have jumped on the Blog bandwagon, hope you enjoy it.

Tomorrow I will be riding my bike past my neighbors houses 125 times throughout the day. That's right I paid 75 dollars to ride my bike around the block for 100 miles. Why???

I'll let Elden, the Fat Cyclist explain

"The basic idea of the 100 Miles of Nowhere is that no matter where you are, on May 23 you’re going to either ride your rollers, trainer, or a very small outside course for 100 miles. Or if that sounds like too much, you can do 50 miles.
Or 25.
But, ideally, 100.
And since you will be the only one racing in your age group, gender, category, and region, you are clearly going to win your age/gender/region/category group.
Yeah, that’s right. I’m guaranteeing you are going to win. How often do you get that kind of assurance in a race?
Oh sure, as you ride, you will certainly have qualms, and may find yourself saying things like, “I can’t believe I’m riding my trainer for 100 miles,” or “I can’t believe I’m paying to ride my trainer for 100 miles,” but then you’ll remind yourself, “But I’m doing this for a really, really good cause.”
And that cause, of course, is helping Team Fatty raise money to fight cancer. Out of the $75 registration you pay, $50 will go straight to the Lance Armstrong Foundation (the other $25 pays for boxing and shipping and stuff like that — trust me, nobody’s making a profit here)."

Since I don't want to ride my trainer that long I was wondering if I could ride outside, Elden looked into the official rule book and came up with this.

"The outdoor rule is, you have to create a very small course (one that goes as close to nowhere as possible), measure it, and then do it enough times to make 100 miles.
Your friends will be so jealous."

Yeah I know my friends are jealous.

So here is my route, looks fun right?.

Calvin and Maizy are going to be my support crew, they are super excited to set up their fundraising Gatorade stand and Allyson has agreed to keep track of my laps. I have a feeling that she will be lovingly heckling and making fun of me more than counting though. Thanks for the support guys.

So obviously I feel passionate about fighting Cancer. I have joined team Fat Cyclist and together we have raised $224,712 in the fight against Cancer. This team has a lot of momentum and is really making a difference, we are currently the top fund raising team in all four host cities. Please join me in the fight against Cancer by clicking the link and making a donation to my Livestrong Page

Race report

Calvin surprised me and rode 27 miles, notice he is in the lead. Way to go buddy!
Here is Allyson doing an amazing job of counting laps and cheering us on, she made it the whole 100 miles and never gave up on us. Thanks

At lap 5o the neighborhood kids brought out water balloons, super soakers and buckets of water, I had fun practicing my evasive maneuvers during the uphill section of the course. It really helped me keep my mind off of the pain and I think that I was having more fun dodging the projectiles than they were throwing them. They got tired and gave up after lap 70. I guess that means I win.
One of the benefits of a century that is so close to home is the cool mist spray every .8 miles, Thanks Maizy.

Wow that was fun! The neighborhood thinks that I am officially crazy. In all seriousness though I really had fun, and I was able to raise some money on my Livestrong page. The best part was that my family was able to be there with me the whole time or at least for 125 short times and it just seemed fitting to pull out my MOD (pink man sized bigwheel) for the final victory lap. Yea I totally won this race, by a long way.