theZeph

namely, fit for a dog

Posts Tagged ‘friends

bcs

with 2 comments

A bunch of us got together yesterday to celebrate Elden’s birthday.  What better way to do that than a group ride in the Wasatch.

Here is the group at the top of the first climb:

Top of Alpine Loop

Thanks KK for the photo.  You should be collecting royalties.

What I didn’t know about this group is that not all of them planned to subject themselves to Elden’s Gauntlet of Pain.  As we rolled out only 7 of us headed down Cascade Springs for the brutal 2nd climb.  I should have seen the writing on the wall early as the group consisted of Kenny, Brad, Mark, Adam, Elden, one other guy I didn’t know (but couldn’t ever catch him to ask his name) and me.

As we started the climb back out of the bottom Mark asked if a particularly steep section of the climb was the extreme mile.

To which Elden responded “no, this is the moderate mile.”

To which Adam added “yeah, moderate like Ahmadinejad.”

Eventually we hit the “extreme mile” and Elden wasn’t kidding.  It felt like I was climbing the Widowmaker.

I had held the wheels of the group until this point in the climb, then it all fell apart.  Then it was clear one of these kids was not like the others.  I came around the next bend…and they were gone.  It was only like 2 minutes before that I was right behind them.

I realized I was in for lonely suffering.

Throughout the next mile I kept thinking “this climb is BCS.”

What’s BCS you ask?

Well, I have a friend whose mom is not really all there (if you know what I mean).  Anyhow, one day their family was on a road trip through the Arizona desert and most of the family was commenting on the beautiful scenery.   When they asked their mom what she thought she replied: “nah, that’s BCS.”

Puzzled, my friend asked:

“Umm, Mom?  What’s BCS?”

Her mom replied matter of factly “butt cheeks spread. You know…it’s ugly.”

Indeed.

I feel the same way about the climb out of Cascade Springs.

Written by eber

June 20, 2009 at 12:48 pm

100 miles of nowhere

with 13 comments

Some ideas are better than others.

Elden put out a call for entries to his 2nd Annual 100 Miles of Nowhere bike race.   The name comes from last year’s inaugural “race” in Elden’s basement where he was the only entrant and rode the entire 100 miles on his stationary rollers.  That’s right…he rode his rollers for 100 miles straight.  Without moving ANYWHERE.  I think this idea fits nicely in the “others” category.

This year Elden mixed it up a bit to help raise funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the fight against cancer.  He opened up entry to basically the world and he also gave us all a little latitude to boot.  As long as the ride was a short circuit he would count it.  And the best part?  Each of us wins our own race…because theoretically we wouldn’t be racing against anyone else.  That’s a good idea.

Some of Elden’s readers had some pretty unique ideas:

  • One guy programmed his computerized trainer to ride downhill for the entire 100 miles.  This idea goes in the “better” category.
  • One group was able to score time on a local velodrome.  Kind of like Nascar on bikes.
  • A group in London rode 160 laps around the Inner Circle of Regents Park
  • One guy rode the ENTIRE 100 miles looping his cul-de-sac (another idea that belongs in the “others” category).

So I decided to try a route that would not only be interesting, but would also be great training for Leadville.  I opted to circle Suncrest and the Point of the Mountain 5 times.  With Suncrest perched at 6200 feet I was in for a pretty nasty day of climbing.

Race Preparation

For a one man race of this magnitude I had to take my preparation seriously.  First item on the agenda…shave the legs (to milk the aerodynamic advantage of course).

And because I dig the silky smoothness.

In lieu of shaving, this year I decided to go chemical.  A friend has been bugging me to try a fancy cream called Magic Smooth for over a year now.  theWife suggested I use her bottle of Nair before I mix it up with the big boys and Magic Smooth.

Following the instructions I “smoothed on thickly and did not rub in”.  Wait 4 minutes.  Wipe off.

Are you kidding me!  It was THAT simple?

Question for the ladies:  why would any of you EVER shave again?  Nair is a MIRACLE.

I was so effusive in my new found love of Nair that theWife said with apprehension:  “I am going to come home to a totally hairless you, aren’t I?”

Remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry “did something stupid” and then couldn’t stop?

I couldn’t stop either.

Nair is just SO addicting.

As a consequence I think I am sleeping on the couch for a few weeks.  At least until I no longer resemble a Canadian Hairless cat.

Race Day

So it rained pretty much the entire day and night before the race.  I feared I would be relegated to the drudgery that is riding 100 miles on the trainer in the basement.  Oh, the horror.

Instead, this is what I woke up to Monday morning:

IMG_1911

Dry roads and the sun rising.

Lap One – What an Amazing Day for a Ride

Erik R escorted me around the first lap.  Set a new PR on the downhill…60.1 MPH.  I was so shocked by the speed, I almost catastrophed into the guard rail doing the double take to recheck the speed.  That was exciting.

The conversation with Erik made the first lap pass quickly.  Thanks Erik.

Here is a shot of Erik heading down the north side of Suncrest:

IMG_1912

Check out the clouds.  Living at Suncrest is pretty much okay.

Lap 2 – Feeling Pretty Spry

After climbing south Suncrest and parting ways with Erik I turned around and headed back down the south side to make the loop around the Point for the first ascent up the dreaded north side of Suncrest.  Things were going so well I decided to take a self portrait.  Here I am rolling down the Highland Highway:

Self Portrait

 

Does that picture make my butt look big?

Lap 3 – North Suncrest Sucks…But I’m Already 40 Miles In

Really, it does suck.

Riding up an 11% grade for a prolonged amount of time has a tendency to cause great pain and deep reflection.  Now things were starting to get interesting.  The descent off the north side was great, but I started thinking I still had to climb the north and south sides of Suncrest THREE MORE TIMES.  I started to move my route into the “others” category of ideas.

At least the day was still amazing.  Here’s the view as I approached the second ascent up south Suncrest:

IMG_1915

Lap 4 – Lyrical Clarity

So something interesting happened on Lap 4.  At about mile 70 I started noticing on the iPod that some lyrics were decidedly more distinct than others:

  • “Your engine’s dead, there’s something wrong”
  • “Twice as ha-ard, as it was the first time”
  • “Nothing is real but pain now”
  • “Under pressure”
  • “Had a bad day again”
  • “Your beast of burden, my back is broad, but it’s a hurtin”
  • “House of pain”

You seeing a pattern here?   I was turning into a mental midget (or a mental little person).

[Challenge: I have a packet of cola flavored Shot Bloks for the first person to name the song and band for all the lyrics above.  Banks you are not eligible.]

As I was saying…yeah though I ride through the valley of death.

As I rounded the corner for the next climb up north Suncrest I ran into this:

Suffering

Uh huh.  I was going straight.

Lap 5 – Just…Go…On…Without…Me

The second climb up north Suncrest was quite possibly the single most painful 30 minutes of my life.  Even the descent couldn’t pump life back into my limp noodle legs.

Until I saw this on my last run across the frontage road:

Glen Beck

It was like a light at the end of the tunnel. A beacon in the storm.

No matter how terrible I was feeling at mile 90, it could be SO much worse.  For instance, I could be going to see Glenn Beck at the state capitol on May 30th.

Suddenly I felt MUCH better.

Finish

The last climb up south Suncrest was sloooooooooowww.  Pedaling squares as they say.

I finished.

Here is the evidence…proudly wearing the spoils (based on the drawing my left leg must have carried the burden of most of the climbing):

Dead Body

Recap

100 Miles

8500 Feet of Climbing

Max Speed = 60.1 MPH (descending north Suncrest)

Min Speed = 4.9 MPH (ascending north Suncrest)

Elapsed Time = 6 hours 54 minutes

Most importantly Fatty and everyone who rode their own version of 100 Miles of Nowhere raised over $20,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

That definitely does not suck.

See you next year.

P.S.  Here’s the route:

Route

 

 

 

Written by eber

May 27, 2009 at 9:31 pm

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

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 , , ,