Thursday, April 09, 2009

nice day off but no rain...

The rain called for yesterday never came, I did manage to stay off the bike though, and I enjoyed a low key laundry day. I'm at the Best Western, well one of them. This town has a lot of hotels/motels, and just in this very small area of town I've seen 3 Best Western. I'm quiet enjoying my stay here, good price and nice new furniture. I can back my truck basically up to the door which is a bonus when you have a lot of junk. What they don't have though is laundry, but as a guest you can also use any of the other Best Western facilities, so I drove one block down with my dirties and spend a couple of hours by the pool with my coffee and paper while waiting.
In the afternoon I walked next door to a massage school and got a student massage, after consulting with a friend of my who is a massage therapist I felt ok about asking for an experienced sports masseuse. It felt pretty good, but today my legs were shot!! Probably not to be blamed on the massage, rather little time to rest.
So after a nice massage I started getting hungry and did a drive around St. George and up toward an nice area we rode through the day before. I saw this Italian pizza place, looked great! and all the Italian flags and words like baked pizza just drew me right to it! When done placing my order the girl behind the counter said something like "ok great, that'll be a minute" and me thinking.. "hmm yeah right a minute!"... and not much more than a minute later they call my name... so now I've learned the hard way there are places to buy home made pizza, NOT cooked!! in front of me is this super good looking (probably tasty when cooked) pizza!! What?? you don't cook it?? so I left with a salad and croutons in a bag! :(
So with some rest at the pool, clean cloths, ok massage and not so great dinner behind me I woke up today thinking I'm ready to ride again!!
I meet Steve and Karen at the coffee shop, which today I learned from Karen, that there are only 2 coffeshops and 3 Startbucks in town! Apparently coffee is a no no for many in Utah. Anyway, ride plan was similar to our ride two days ago, The Barrel Loop, Stucki and then a different way back to town. And from the first pedal stroke to the last my legs kept fighting me, just not agreeing or wanting to cooperate. Any gradient up was a killer, but weather was jut too good to take another day off. 55 km and just over 3 hr. ride time later we were back at hotel! Thanks for Brents couple of flats on the way (it was a good break for me, I was gona pull a Dre trick and let my air out if he didn't get a flat!!). But as always, all the pain going up was rewarded with some big smile down!! And now after a ice bath and a great visit to a Thai place down the road I feel like I could climb another mountain!! :) But not gona let the feeling trick me, tomorrow is another lay low key with a road ride with Steve in the morning and then rest!!
The one McMurray crew is now in Lethbridge including the dogs; the other with no dogs has an ETA of 6am in Fruita! with a home on wheels I guess that is no biggy! My self, I might get another night here, they might have a cancellation at the hotel, if not I'll be heading to Park City to play with the dogs Saturday while the rest is skiing. Weather looks good in Moab for Sunday :)

Happy Riding!


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

..and then some more!

So training camp is over and my plan was to head east somewhere, though after checking with the weather man I decided to add a few nights in Zion. Steve and Karen from Hardcore also headed this way and said to stay put as weather out in Moab/Fruita was no good. So the day after training camp I took it easy and joined Steve and Karen for a hike up to Angels Landing, suggested to me by my friend Bernie! Did he forget I'm not great with heights?

The park is beautiful and the hike started with a shuttle ride up to the trail head, then a few km of switch backs up through canyons and amazing scenery. Then about 0.5 miles from the top it turns into a climb with chains to hold on to. I already had butterflies in my belly and some shaking going on! Steve was on his way up so I figured I had to at least give it a try. I manage to go about 20 meters up on the chain but that was it. Watching some kids (off leash!) hanging off a three with one error to death just got me shaking and thinking way too much. It was a bit of traffic as well, and with only one way up and down it got a bit much for me, so I sat down, let people pass and then headed back down, still alive! phuuu... Back at the lodge our friend from Kelowna had finished his massage and cooked up a great meal!

Next day I met up with Steve and two of his friends on Guacamole, the trail I did with the group a couple of days prior. We got lost a bit but had a great ride! From here I moved from Zion to St. George. A nice little Best Western will be my stop until Friday.

Yesterday we rode Barrel Roll, Stucki Springs and Bearclaw Poppy, we got in a great loop of 50 km with a stop at McDonald (later regretted that choice, nevers sits well). A ride I hope to do again before I go! Such fun, fast flowy with some good climbs and views! About 30C also makes for the warmest day of the trip, and the day just never ended with good stuff. Some friends of Karen and Steve's invited us over for dinner at their campground and I had the best meal of the trip, with my fav. ice cream and fruit/berries to top it off, and some over the fire talk to settle the heart rate down to a peaceful state! Life is good!

They called for rain today, so good day to do laundry and catch up on emails etc. But of course so far no rain!! Might go for a little road spin of St. George later on. Plan for tomorrow not yet made, all I know there is a good ride coming.
The Fort McMurray crew should be on the road tomorrow morning, I'm very exited to see them all :) Though as winter is done for me, I will not join them in a day of skiing in Park City. Rather, I'll hang out with the Toby and Sequoia as we have lots to catch up on! By Sunday we'll be in Moab at last.

Happy Riding!


Monday, April 06, 2009

lots more riding....

A few more days and lots more riding has gone by, most of which at this point is a big blur,
I started with a longer update, but didn't get far before I realize I didn't remember much detail.
so here is the short summary;
After a few days in Boulder City we packed up and headed further north to Hurricane, UT. We checked in to the hotel (served by some really grumpy people but didn't stop us from enjoying our stay) and got ready for the first and only ride for the day. We departed from the local bike shop in town and started climbing the paved road, then gravel road and from there on it wasn't much climbing until the end! We rode Gould, Jem Trail to the end and back on Hurricane Rim trail, a total of 46 km after a short ride through town to the hotel. 2hr43min! I really struggled to keep up, even with no climbing I found this trail to be a power trail, some sharp corners and loss of speed for me, then power it up to keep up to the guys. I saw less of them then before, but they would stop and wait in spots, kindly! The riding here is different than Las Vegas area, more like Moab a bit, and the next day we got to see more of "Moab" when visiting the Gooseberry Mesa.

Up on the Gooseberry Mesa I got a taste of the heights and my body reaction to it! We rode together as a group down to a lookout point of the "RedBull Rampage" event (one of them I guess), after this we had a short session on skid cornering and then we split. We started on the south rim and headed up to the Point. Lots of different kinds of riding, plenty of slick rock with power moves to get up, some loose dirt and rocks with some fun cornering, some exposed cliff side riding, but most of the time I'm too busy looking for the boys and trying to hang on, but since I also rode this trail yesterday with Steve and a friend of his, I can now actually give some detail of the trail! When it was all done we had 32 km and 2hr20min ride! We then had a great lunch at a local coffee shop and back to hotel for a quick shower, and out for our second ride a Jem-shuttle ride! A nice break from chasing the boys, a real "coffee ride".

Next day was check-out, so we packed up and drove in to St. George for a ride of the Broken Mesa (my birthday ride!!). It was a nice steady climb and as we passed the trail head (not by choice) and kept climbing we got a bit of an extra decent on the road as well as some extra climbing in as well. Nice! We finally found the proper trail head and got a rocky climb up to the top, fun as a climb can be, and from there it was all down hill!! Great, though it was rocky and rough, it had to get better as we came down, but to my surprised it got more bouldery and rocky at the end!! kept me on the tip of my toes the whole way down! We waiting for the rest of the group and headed for some Subway and then off to Zion where we ended the day with a nice drive up the canyon and a short hike to a lookout. Amazing scenery!

Last day of riding we headed to Guacamole with a guided ride by Darren Berrecloth, (look that up on you tube and you'll see some cool stuff), a steady drive up on a dirt road, and with possible rain, it was decided to descend a bit and park at a lower level just in case! The best call of the day! it did rain during our ride, didn't make the ride any worse, it was some great single track, slick rock and all at very flat area so no major climbs! Short but very fun ride! At the end I rode down the dirt road to my truck and for the first time of the week my bike was dirty! The clay road turned into a skating rink, literally!! We loaded up dirty bikes and headed down the road very slowly!
A quick shower and last lunch with the group before they headed back to Las Vegas for a night at the New York New York.
So as a quick summary of the week with Big Mountain; totally worth it! No need for searching for great trails, no planning, just be ready at certain times and ride your bike! There are some pictures on and also check out there link under my Links.
Happy Riding all!