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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Racing Bikes

What is it about racing bikes that is so addictive. If you were to ask me about racing while suffering up some hateful climb in the middle of a hot sunny day, I'd likely say that it was my last time undertaking such stupidity. Why not. With sweat stinging my eyes, my ass being ground thinner by the minute and my legs feeling like a mega cramp fest is juuuuuussst around the corner it's hard to keep the pedals turning. Hungary? You bet... but you don't have time to eat. That guy just up ahead is probably in your class! Thirsty? Sure... but bouncing down rocky trails on a single speed, blurry eyed on the edge of crashing (and pinch flatting) makes it difficult for one to grasp that bottle on your downtube containing the very liquid you need to survive. I should add that the liquid you're craving is going to be hot from baking in the sun on the a fore mentioned climb and the valve on your bottle, on which you'll be putting your sun caked lips, is covered in.... well.... let's just hope it's only dirt.

Fortunately, there is another side to racing. There are those times when "you're on" and things are going your way. The climb... yea, it was sunny, but that gallon on water you chugged on the way to the race payed off. Hungary? Sure. Good thing you took a few extra seconds to force down a gel pack on that last section of fire road. Thirsty? Yep. And I'm drinking too. Every chance I get helping me stay hydrated and lightening my bike with every sip. It also helps if you're lucky enough to be catching other riders while racing....keeps you're head in the game.

Sooooo, where am I going with all of this since there's 5 feet of snow in my yard and I haven't touched a bike in weeks?????

Ladies first. Let's get all of our collective energy together and focus it towards our local hero Katerina Nash as she prepares for the Cyclocross Worlds in the Czech Republic. Good luck Katerina. Give 'em hell girl!!

Secondly: Start training your pointer finger for ultra fast mouse clicking as registration for the Downieville classic opens Feb 19th at 8:00PM... sharp. This race sells out faster than your favorite line disappears at Squaw Valley on a powder day. Seriously, you've probably got about 10 seconds to do some serious double clicking to secure yourself a starting position for this race. Friggin' ridiculous. I'm doing some pointer finger exercises right after this post so I'm prepared.

Last but not least is The Great Ski Race. Some call it the "Tahoe Olympics". It's a little akin to Single Speed Worlds in that you line up with about 1,000 skiers and see everything from the seasoned pro that's going to beat you by a long shot to... well... this guy.... who may also beat you. In any case, it's a great race (it even says so in the name) w/ a good vibe, great course and free beer at the finish. The race benefits Tahoe Search and Rescue as a little "icing on the cake".

So, common'! Grab some lycra and powerbars and get you suffer on!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

West Shore Pillows

As most of you know, the skiing's been quite good recently.
Doug from Salem Oregon tests one of the many pillow lines on the west shore.

El Nino 2010

Digging out the van last night was fun.

Skiing 4ft of winters' offerings is great....

..... but digging out after such a storm is a different story.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

yesterdays ride...

...was great! If spending most of your ride descending steep, fast trails that dead end miles down and 1,500 vertical feet deep in a lonely river canyon sounds like a good idea, then you missed a good one yesterday. Forget the fact that the trails don't exist on your map. (or maps in our case) Forget the fact the you've spent the last 10 fall, winter and spring seasons riding down there and have never ever come across other trails that head in the direction you're about to. Forget that you're about to drag 5 innocent friends into this descent of possible doom and uncertainty.

It's always amazing to me how fast a bicycle will descend a fire road. Even the most beginning of beginners or the Junest of Junebugs can descend a fire road at a blistering pace. Pointing a bicycle downhill and "lettin 'er run" on an unknown trail is a commitment that each rider faces in his/her cycling career. Sometimes you're rewarded with new found trails but more times than not, you're forced into turning around, putting your tail between your legs and pedaling back out. The bicycle itself is ignorant to the fact that the trail may come to an abrupt and disheartening DEAD END at the bottom of a long steep hill. The bike doesn't care that you parked 15 miles away from this trail you decided to explore.... late in the day.... after you've eaten most of your food... drank most of your water.... and already used up a large portion of your energy.

Yea... yesterday's ride was great.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


"well, it's kinda hard to
bet against James [Stewart]"

Daron Rahlves when asked who he thought would
win the opening round of the AMA Supercross

Ed note: The first round of Supercross starts tonight (Sat Jan 9th) and
will be shown live on the Speed TV Network

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Trails report

Man this place (Truckee) is soooo friggin' cool. Skied Squaw Monday. Conditions were a solid "meh". Good enough to stay for most of the day, but not good enough to go back the next.

So, we loaded up some bikes and headed down to the foothills for some mountainbiking. Within' 10 minutes from the car everyone was down to shorts and t-shirts. Not only were the temperatures perfect for riding, the trail condtions were also quite nice. Very little mud. No trees down on the pioneer and only a couple trees down on the "secondary trails" off the Pioneer.

The Pioneer trail was pretty much snow free all the way to Whitecloud Campground. I'm guessing you could get another mile or so above that before things start to "fall apart".

We experimented with some new trails behind the Harmony Ridge Market that proved to be soooo not interesting. Enticing single track the quickly terminated into service roads. We soldiered on in hopes that some more single track would pick back up... but it wasn't happening.

We "topped out" just beyond Whitecloud Campground on the Pioneer trail where we were going to try yet another trail I found last year. All four of us stood at the top of said trail wondering if it went anywhere. If it did, where would it go. And lastly, how bad would the "suck factor" be if we had to come back out (it's more than a little steep). After checking the time and realizing our energy level (or lack thereof) we decided that the smart thing to do was to park closer than 15 miles from this trail to try again.

Wow, are we getting smart... or soft?

Monday, January 4, 2010


....that was interesting.

It's no surprise that the backcountry at Mt Rose looked like a ski area. With most of the locals passes "blacked out" for the Christmas holiday and the last storm cycle ending with rain that went above the 7000ft elevation mark Mt Rose was an obvious target for any skier looking for winter snow. As of yesterday, the snow was still holding up OK, but anything semi-easy to get to is pretty skied out. It was still good enough for three runs off Fireplug.

Maybe Squaw today. Definitely won't be expecting any magic for snow quality but with a pair of freshly tuned skis, a new random mix on the Ipod and some really nice headphones it should satisfy the craving of getting out for some fresh air and making some turns.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


...it's finally over. My mega work endurance marathon has officially come to a close and it's time to get "ten", "O-ten", "twenty ten", "two thousand ten" (or whatever you're gonna call it) under way.

"What am I gonna do?" Hell if I know.

But it's gonna start with skiing.

Right ding dang NOW!