Sunday, April 25, 2010

Just one minute

Every now and then you realize how important just one minute is.  Whether it's fate, chance, luck, or in this case dumb luck, just one minute is everything, especially when it comes to racing anything.

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of joining over 1,000 other folks in Prescott, Arizona for the annual Whisky Off-Road 50-proof mountain bike race.  Todd Sadow and his gang and their usual fanfare had the whole town involved.  It was awesome!  I loaded the truck up and trekked over with Mom Rose and Victor.  Terri had to work so she and Joshua didn't come.  It was great to have mom along and we had a nice trip.  It was a nice hotel, great room, and good food.  We were beat after the long drive, though, and while the late evening rider's meeting was going on, we were already sleeping.  That was probably the fatal flaw...

I had a lot of hours to think about what went wrong and how it all happened.  So here's how it went...

The morning was exciting.  Just after the sun came up, we got to the start line.  Then a handfull of authentic looking cowboys started a gunfight shooting up the town and each other till they keeled over dead!  Whoa!!  Then the countdown began.  We started right in town and were escorted by a truck with cameras and we headed to the trails.  I didn't realize the altitude would have gotten to me but it did a little and my legs felt really heavy for a while.  No one tried to attack at first so we all settled in and pushed a good pace.  When we dropped into the single track I was in second place behind Andy Schultz. 

The trail was perfect - good conditions - and the Cannondale Flash was handling everything absolutely perfect.  All I thought about was how sweet that bike was riding - no wasted energy - just waiting to make my move.  So I set in and knew Andy had not raced the course before either.  We pushed each other but took trades pulling at a fast pace.  Just after the half-way point there was a big climb and we dropped everyone else that had been hanging on.  As we got closer to the top I realized there wasn't much fire road left to the top but I didn't have the legs to go harder and knew I needed to save something in the tank to get a good finish.  I passed him and then after a few minutes he was not there.  I figured he'd catch up but didn't see him.  Once I got to the top, the fire road turned into single track and then I started hearing the cheers for him.  It took a while to hear that so I knew I had a decent gap now.  I knew he was still trying to catch me and I knew I had to ride smart and steady down the fast single track. 

After I got onto the pavement, I started getting worried about being on the right course.  On the streets, I wasn't sure where to turn and I watched for the cones.  So I followed the cones but I had no idea how far I was from the finish line - probably about 1-2 miles.  So when I got to an intersection with a signal I was not sure exactly where to go so I turned right and I saw more cones and followed them.  I went a while and the cones ended and I kept going....straight ahead. 

Apparently, there was supposed to be someone there to direct us to turn left.  But my time had beat the course record and they didn't expect anyone so quickly.  So I figure the traffic director arrived about a minuted after I passed the intersection. 

I kept going up the street, but there were no more cones.  I saw arrows but I didn't know they were the ones marking the first part of the race.  I probably went about 3 more miles and then I saw the riders entering the single track and that was the start of the race.  I knew I was already lost and at 53 miles.  I tried to be polite, but realized my mistake and tried to find the finish line.

Andy didn't even know he won.

So the best part about the race besides having fun riding with Andy, the excellent weather, perfect trails, perfect bike, was I had a helmet cam on the whole time.  It was my first time using a helmet cam.  I knew I had to be on my best behavior!!  I tried my best to talk about the experience, and worked on my next career as a professional camera guy and narrator.  It was cool!  I flew along and tried to stay smooth and have fun with it and can't wait to see what they do with it.  Next year they plan a very big purse for the event and will use the footage for marketing.  I was happy to help...and next time I'll know the course....

Just wanted to thank Todd for another excellent race and a good time. 

See you next year everyone!



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Catching up

I'll be working on my recent race stories and post as much as I can remember, but lots of people have been asking how the move went and if we're settled in so here is an update for now.

Wow what a busy time...  Everything has been going so well and I couldn't have asked for it to be better.  It was worth all the wait and effort and we worried and went through a lot to get moved but boy it is worth it. 

Moving day

The best things about the move is this house will work out perfect for all of us.  For Joshua and his new schools, a great town for all of us to do things, great places to eat, shop, and hang out.  It is quiet, peaceful....home.  Everything you can dream of having right here and mom has her own private place and so do we.

All moved in - Terri nabbed this photo at 5:30 AM before the morning coffee

The best part is that the mtb trails are two blocks away.  I've been training and playing on these trails all my life but now all I have to do is ride a couple of blocks and I'm there.  Terri, Mom, Victor, and Joshua all love it too.

We already  had a couple of friends over.  Terri's good friend Kriste Baroni came from St. Pete to help move - and kept us all sane!  Thank you Kriste!  With her help we were mostly unpacked within a week.  Roger Carlson stopped in after we'd only been here a couple days and were still up to the ceiling in boxes.  He brought wine and a boat which almost crushed his good leg when we tried to get it unhooked from the car.  We won't do that bonehead mistake again.

Kriste and Terri took a quick trip to Vegas for Terri's 'work'....hummmmm....!

Then a couple of weeks later for the US Cup race in Bonelli my teammate Jeremiah Bishop and his wife Erin and infant son Conrad came for a couple of nights.  The best test of all was the earthquake in the middle of the night!  So the first time ever that a teammate and his family ever have stayed with me we had an earthquake!!  We were all freaked out about it but this house is brand new and it felt solid.  We all feel more comfortable about being here and feel safe now.  Not sure if those West Virginia folks feel the same way, but this is California and there isn't much you can do about it except be as prepared as possible and try and stay calm and not stress out about it.  It's a way of life here and something to expect.

Joshua had his tonsils removed the week after the Bonelli race and that was traumatic for all of us.  It is just as tough on everyone, except we didn't have to feel the pain like he did.  But now he is completely recovered and sleeps so sound and stopped snoring.  Before he had sleep apnia so bad he was tired all day and snored like a freight train - louder than anyone can and was waking up all night.  What a huge improvement!  But when you watch your child go through a surgery it is tough.  We are so thankful he is a healthy child and pray for all those families with children who aren't as fortunate and have to go through that all the time.

Martha Stewart can't do better than this!

Easter came and went and it was awesome.  The Easter Bunny brought us a lot of chocolate and left a bunch of eggs out in the front yard.  Terri and Joshua with Mom Rose's help dyed eggs and made cupcakes all day on Saturday.  Then Sunday we had a nice Easter dinner after church with sister Sandy and BIL Chris.

Mom Rose and Joshua Easter morning

Flying NASA kite in the hills above our house Easter afternoon.  This is our new back yard!

Our new home in Whittier

Here are a few photos from the past few months....been too busy to take a lot but we'll make up for it now!  Whittier in the spring is BEAUTIFUL!!

Thanks for reading.


Pedal Poll Summary

CONGRATULATIONS Gunnar for guessing the correct answer first. He sent the response almost immediately after the poll and blog story came up but I still can't find the box in the garage since we moved. Just wanted to catch up on the blog and send a very sincere thanks to all who participated in the polls! It cracked me up that only 28% of people got it correct.

The correct answer: I raced on those pedals for 15 years. I had friends picking up the pedals from shops all over the country and sending them to me since they had been out of production so long. Once I find something I like it is hard for me to change.

I am currently racing and LOVE the Crankbrothers Candy 1 pedals. They sent me some prototypes to try and they completely rock!  I've been using Crankbrothers for at least 4 years and they continue to impress me. 

"How many years did I race on these pedals?

The winner gets to keep them! I'll pay for shipping in the US.

Be sure to send me a message with your email addy and answer the poll on the right.

Whoever answers correctly first wins.

Hint: The pedals were in production for 3 years."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

US Cup West #4: Santa Ynez, California -- Preliminary Results

Prelim race results are up - story later tonight! Was very good!!

US Cup West #4: Santa Ynez, California -- Preliminary Results Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pro Women

1, Tonya Bray ( 1.39.09
2, Dorothy Wong (The Team/SoCal Cross) 1.49.58

Pro Men

1, Sid Taberlay (Sho-Air/Specialized) 1.48.41
2, Adam Morka (Trek Canada) 1.49.31
3, Tinker Juarez (Cannondale Factory Racing) 1.51.45
4, Craig Richey (Aviawest) 1.52.03
5, Ryan Woodall (Brick City Bicycles) 1.52.12
6, Vincent Lombardi (Sho-Air/Sonnance)
7, Dana Weber (Trek/World Bicycle Relief)
8, Eric Emsky (Blue Competition)
9, Menso DeJong (Santa Cruz)
10, Ethan Gilmour
11, Sean Donovan (KHS)
12, Nate Whitman (Cynergy)
13, Kevin Smallman (Incycle/Cannondale)
14, Alex Boone (Trek)
15, Pierre Facomprez (Look)
16, Aaron Bradford (Specialized)
17, Doug Andrews
18,Matthew Cochran (Win Wheels)
19, Paul Freiwald (Pivot Cycles)
20, Romolo Forcino (Bear Valley Bikes)
21, Randall Jacobs (Wheelworks Racing)
22, Ryan Clark (Cynergy)
23, Chris Heinrichh (The Path Bike Shop)
24, Zac Griffen (Mafia Racing)
25, Tsering Alleyne (Marin Bikes)

Posted by at 9:09 PM