theZeph

namely, fit for a dog

Archive for the ‘s & m’ Category

it’s not that simple

with 2 comments

So Elden has been posting some pretty good videos lately (this one of our near death experience suffered from technical difficulties).

As I watched one of the latest I had a troublesome flashback of my recent descent down Jacob’s on Tuesday.

In this picture you can see the plaid clad butt of a suddenly self-conscious Dug exiting screen right.

Dug ExitLooks simple enough, right?

Wrong.

Witness Exhibit A:

Jacob's Crash

The orange arrow indicates the location on the tree that I smashed my right hand, at speed.

The red arrow indicates the location on the 2nd tree where I subsequently smashed my shoulder and helmet.

The green arrow indicates my final resting place (the shrubbery is a bit matted after my passing through).

Worst of all…I tore my favorite jersey.

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Written by eber

May 21, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Posted in biking, s & m

Tagged with , ,

rawrod 2009

with 5 comments

Last weekend I joined a whole slew of crazy people and subjected myself to a masochistic ritual known as RAWROD (Ride Around White Rim in One Day).  In the simplest terms it is a 100 mile suffer fest across this:

white-rim1

On bikes.  All in one day.

Wouldn’t you know…it was SO much fun.

You might ask “how was it riding 100 miles in the desert through incessant dust storms and occasional downpours?”  I am so glad you asked.

RAWROD takeaways:

  1. When Dug gives you directions to the camp site…it’s a good idea to have a backup source.  (Hi Dug!)
  2. I didn’t realize how much I was looking forward to Kenny’s and Elden’s world famous brats until our batch (the LAST batch) rolled off the grill and into the fire.  It was like someone had just kicked my favorite poodle.
  3. Dug should really invest in a new tent.  Aside from one of his poles snapping in the wind, it was making some very ominous noises throughout the night.  It sounded like a bunch of Orcs were sleeping over there.
  4. At mile 40 when someone asks you “what’s the longest you have ridden your mountain bike?” and you answer “35 miles” and then they respond with “just think, you’ve already set your personal best and by the end of the day you will more than double it!” don’t think you’ll be able to take ANY comfort in that.  While I really like J Dub, at that moment all I wanted to do was let the air out of his tires. (Hi J Dub!)
  5. If you ever have to ride your mountain bike 5 miles across a wind blown highway look for two guys who are at least 6 foot 2 with broad shoulders to tuck in behind…that will certainly save your bacon (thanks Dug and Mike).  And if you are ever able to return the favor maybe try to do it somewhere other than on the downhill (sorry Dug and Mike).
  6. I have never been happier to see someone than when DT climbed out of the SAG wagon at mile 50.  Talk about a joyous reunion.
  7. Riding for 75 miles through incessant wind (gusting to 50 mph) will inevitably, at some point in the day, REALLY piss you off.
  8. Watch out for the wind gusts around the last switchback on Hardscrabble…sheesh.
  9. If you ever come to a climb called Hardscrabble…you should know by the name it’s going to be brutal.
  10. If you’ve ever wondered what would hurt worse hitting you at 50 mph:  hail or a wall of sand.  Let me set the record straight…it’s the hail.  For the love of all that’s holy…it’s the hail.
  11. I’m certain the taste of sand, sweat and phlegm is 100% better than Cola flavored Shot Bloks.
  12. If you ever thought it would be a good idea to climb up 1,000 feet in just under a mile and to do it at mile 99 of a 100 mile ride…think again.

All in all, it was an amazing day with a really great bunch of people and I think we generated about $1,000 for Kenny’s LAF page to be donated to cancer research…that doesn’t suck.

Morning at the RAWROD camp

RAWROD Camp

Shafer Trail (we end up WAY down there…sucks to be the guy  who built this trail on a cliff)

shafer

Hey kids, pay attention…this is how NOT to fix a broken chain

bad-fix

This is the face of suffering (thanks for the pic J Dub)

hard-climb

Horsethief – the 1K ft climb at mile 99 (we started in the sunlight by the river below)

Thanks KK for the pic.

horsethief

Elden also took some great video with his super duper new camera, check it out:  Ride Around White Rim in One Day (RAWROD) 2009.

Thanks Kenny for putting this on…what a great day in the desert.

Written by eber

May 2, 2009 at 6:37 am

dog sprints

with 8 comments

I spent the last couple of days in Eastern Idaho attending the funeral of a really great lady.

My Aunt Jean.

Sidenote: Please  indulge me for just a second. One of the speakers talked about how it seems that power, prominence, property and prestige are the primary factors that motivate us these days.  He followed that with what motivated Aunt Jean…friends and family (which was obvious by the turnout).  His point was that the 4 Ps above, all eventually fade…but family and the relationships we foster will always burn bright.  Point well taken.  It’s pretty great to have Mel in the family.  He has a quiver full of great lessons like that, including this one 7 years ago that has become my Fatherhood for Dummies guide.  Mel also was instrumental in helping me secure theWife for the long term.  When she had convinced herself to ditch the hippie me and head out on a mission I took her to Mel, who put in his $0.02 and basically told her she’d be CRAZY not to dump her plans IMMEDIATELY and marry ME instead.   That’s pretty much EXACTLY how it happened.

So as I was saying…Eastern Idaho.

Ever since I was a kid, Eastern Idaho (specifically Teton and Ashton) has been one of those places where you feel like you’re home.  Sourdough pancakes (cooked in bacon grease of course), whole milk, fresh fruit w/ REAL cream, the Grand Tetons, endless Idaho skies, and that fresh Eastern Idaho air…what’s not to love?

Okay, I can think of ONE thing.  There is just one thing I HATE about Idaho.

Dogs.

You see Idaho has some of the best road biking routes around.  Rolling hills, great climbs, wheat fields, snow capped mountains in the distance.  It kind of, sort of  is what I imagine its like riding in The Tour.  Well, except for the dogs.  And the lack of world class riders.  And no crazy dude running alongside the road, dressed up like the devil.  And no whiny French people.  Okay, maybe not THAT much like The Tour.  But, I’m just saying.

I also don’t imagine Lance spends the better part of a ride strategizing the best way to get around the canine conundrum that IS road biking in Idaho.

So, here are the three critical success factors for a successful doggie dodge, prioritized in this order:

  1. Surprise (how well you sneak up on the dog)
  2. Angle (aided by the element of surprise)
  3. Speed (how fast you can pedal in the event of a chase)

This past Saturday, over 32 miles of riding I had 7 encounters with 9 different dogs…if you do the math that is one puppy problem  every 4.5 miles.  Or to look at it from the perspective of time…I was dodging at least one dog every 12.5 minutes.  Sheesh.  To make matters worse, the dogs it seemed,  had the upper hand on all but one of the critical doggie dodge success factors.

It felt like the scene from Better Off Dead where the newspaper kid and his buddies gang up on John Cusack in the woods. “I want my two dollars!”  Classic.

ANYhoo, of the  SEVEN encounters on Saturday, there was one I thought surely would end with me being Cujo’s kibble.

So Cujo and his puppy pal (we’ll call him…Frank), caught wind of me early and entered the roadway well ahead of my arrival, thus cutting off my angle.  Blasted!  Two of the three critical success factors GONE!  Speed at this point is worthless.  Why?  Because bunny hopping a moving dog on a road bike isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Imagine what the result of speed and a lunging, gnashing dog looks like?  That’s right, biker road kill.  Cujo would be burying pieces of me all over the back yard.

So what do I do?

Slow down.  Be nice.  Make friends with the cute little guys.  Nice doggy.

At first, it appeared to work.  Frank seemed to really be into slow, casual cyclists in tights.  I think at one point he even winked at me.

Okay, I thought…this is working out just fine.  Until I turned my attention to Cujo, who looked like this:

pitbull

And I am quite certain I looked something like this:

scared

Thank the maker for adrenaline.  I rode as fast as my little legs would pedal.  Got around the bend and down a hill into the river bottom where I got off my bike and just sat on the side of the road.  I am pretty sure I peed a little in my pants.

In Utah we call them Intervals.  In Idaho…they are called Dog Sprints.

Written by eber

March 22, 2009 at 4:44 pm

this can’t be a good thing

with 4 comments

So look what showed up in the mail yesterday:

Leadville Entry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those of you familiar with my past endeavours of distance know they didn't turn out so well. Both ended with me in a fetal curl nursing my thumb all the way home [read: two DNFs at the Wasatch 100]. 

So what gives? 

Well I have a couple of friends who have done this race a few times and through the miracle of technology filmed some of it last year.  One of these friends (Dug) also made it clear he wasn't racing Leadville again.  Given Dug's experience, why subject myself to this agony?  Two things...friends and peer pressure.

Allow me to introduce Sam.  So Sam hooked up with Dug last year (not carnally) and became the Wunderkind of biking at Suncrest and finished his first Leadville under 9 hours - 9 hours is the Holy Grail of finish times at Leadville (Sam is still under investigation by the UCI).

What does that have to do with me in all my donut eating, pudge loving glory?  Suffice it to say Dug and Sam inspired us to GREATNESS.  Okay not so much greatness, as a willingness to subject ourselves to 6 months of agonizing training followed by a 12 hour sufferfest in Colorado come August 15.

When I say "us" I mean the 5 other idiot friends who also got into Leadville.  Erik, J Dub, Banks, Seamons, and Tanner are joining myself, Sam, and others in our own version of S & M. 

I am pretty sure this year Dug is just going to watch. Smart man.

 

Written by eber

February 8, 2009 at 10:04 am

Posted in biking, s & m

Tagged with , , ,