2013 State Championship Road Race

Sprinting for the line with Aaron Olsen at Antelope Island Road Race

This years State Championship road race for the Masters category was the Antelope Island road race, which has been around for several years but I had yet had a chance to race it. This would be my opportunity, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the race course. In the previous years, I hadn’t raced it because of the weather and early start times, but this year my group started at 11:35 which was a much more manageable time, plus the weather was looking to be very enjoyable. I signed up with 4 other of my teammates and it was a great time.

The course started at the Antelope Island marina and headed out east along the causeway to the toll booth, then turned around and headed back to the island for a small loop past the marina, then south along the island to the ‘ranch house’, then it turned back to the marina. After the first large loop, the race repeated that same course again but with the finish at the top of a 1km hill. The race started out brisk with an attack right at the first mile, and my teammate Mike Austin going along with it. We sped along the causeway and as usual it took me a bit to get into my comfort zone. At the turnaround, Dave put in a huge pull to bring back the break which was confusing because we already had a teammate up the road, I am sure it was because he wasn’t aware that he was up there. Eventually Dave shut off the gas but we were so close that the break got swallowed up.

Right after we finished the causeway for the first time another attack went off the front and this time Nate followed up, along with an FFKR and Contender guy. The break went around the smaller loop and at that time Nate dropped back into the pack but the other two sped on. We rode pretty casually for a while, I figured it would be great to let those guys be off the front expending energy, and on the return from the first island lap our team started putting in bigger pulls to bring the break in. By the time we reached the causeway, we started really pushing hard and on the 2nd return of the causeway we had caught one of the break group, the FFKR guy, I guess I didn’t realize there was still another rider off the front.

The pace started picking up and I tucked into the pack for a while, I probably should have been further up but I wasn’t feeling that great. On the last outbound island leg, Dave put in a strong attack on the hill which really split the pack up, I had a hard time even following it. I was able to get onto the back of the split but just barely, and since there was a split I went to the front and drilled it as hard as I could to keep the pressure on. I pushed and pushed as we came down the descent but the pack came together at some point. Right after that I saw Aaron Olsen attack and so I followed along with Ben Rabner. The three of us were off the front for a while, alternating pulls, but again a good portion of the pack came back together with us.

Right before the final turnaround, there was probably about 10 miles to go, and Aaron and Ben went off the front again. I sat in the pack for a moment waiting for people to react, but no one really did, so finally I went off the front and one of Aaron’s teammates followed behind me. I didn’t really plan to go off by myself, figuring the rest of the pack would get in my slip stream, but with only one guy behind me I could see the pack falling behind and I just kept going with it. The FFKR guy (Erik Flynn), took some turns and in a few minutes we caught the two up front and began an alternating pace line, pushing as hard as we could go. I could feel Ben was weakening because he would skip some pulls, which I thought was funny because earlier in the race he was barking at people for this and that (including me). I cannot stand when people bark at each other, there is no reason for it and every person has the right to race it however they feel like it.

Coming up on the line, I was behind a bit but just enough energy for a sprint.

As the race came into the final kilometers, I had to fight the feeling that I was weakening, but also know in my heart that I was strong. As we came up onto the final hill, I kind of knew that I would do well if I had at least pushed the pace, so I got up front and just put in some strong pulls. I would look behind me to see if anyone was weakening but they appeared to be fine. I put in another dig and saw two of them falling behind, so I pushed even harder to create some more distance and at last it was just down to me and Aaron. As we came up on the 200m to go banner, I started to fall back a little, but found a last bit of energy to sprint to the line, almost overtaking Aaron but he was able to get me by a half of a bike length. I was happy though, being able to battle it out with a great rider made me feel good and confident.

Up until this point, I thought we were the front of the pack and that Aaron had won the state championship, but the guy from Contender (Jason Castor) had done an epic job of staying away the whole time, which meant I got 3rd place instead of 2nd, still I was happy with that and getting a podium place at the state championships. It was a great day of racing and one that I will remember.

The podium for the Antelope Island Masters Road Race

2013 Tour of the Depot Road Race

Tour of the Depot 2013 Podium for Masters A.

This years Tour of the Depot road race had an excellent course and changed from the previous “Stage Race” format to a one day road race. The course started in the same location as the previous years road race, but went over Johnson’s Pass towards the Dugway proving grounds, out in the middle of the Utah desert. The course was great though, with two big climbs, at least compared to what we usually see in Utah road races. The climbs were spaced far enough from each other and the finish line that would allow for some great tactics, with the harder climb being the final one and 20 miles from the finish.

Earlier in the week, Art O’connor and I drove out there to recon the course, which was a great idea. On paper, climbs usually seem easier than they are when you ride them, so it was a good idea for us to scope them out. The first climb was the easier but longer of the two, it wasn’t incredibly steep but probably like the steep part of Emigration canyon. The return climb was a beast, only 4 miles but pretty steep at around 8% grade, I knew it would be very decisive for the race. When we went it was very cold, I only had a jacket on but no tights and the temps got into the 30′s during our recon.

The race was very exciting leading up to it, with a lot of pre-registrations happening and over 30 people signing up, which is great for a masters race. There were also some really strong riders there including Louie Amelburu, Mark Schaefer and Mark Zimblemann, as well as a national track champion. I was excited for the race but knew it would be a hard effort. D

The pace started out strong with a few attacks going off the front, but when it hit the climb I was able to work my way up to the front and stay there, getting up to the top with relative ease. I didn’t realize it but we did cause a split in the pack, and good thing because coming down the steeper back side I blew out my front tire. Luckily I had a tubular on so the glue was able to hold the tire on and I kept upright and let riders go around me. I pulled over to the side of the road and the wheel car helped me get a new wheel, which we changed pretty quickly. Just then two of my teammates cruised by me and helped pace me back to the pack in about 20 minutes. I couldn’t believe that I was able to get back to the race!

The next 18 miles were in the desert part of the race, no trees and just flat, dirty roads. The pace was modest for a while until the road turned back towards Tooele, then the pace picked up and there were a few attacks. I had to push hard to get onto the front group, and right as the race got back onto the main return road, things started to heat up. I was up towards the front with Ira and the pace was hot. The attacks really started happening and I couldn’t keep with the main group and settled into my own pace, pulling a few people along. I could tell Ira was getting into the red zone and I slowed down a bit to wait up for him, he waved me to go on and catch the rest, so i started pushing a bit harder. We dropped most of the people in the group but I had 3 other guys going over the top with me, all great cyclists.

When we went over the top, it was Art, me, Zan Treasure and Doug Armstrong. We soon caught up to two other riders that were up the road and then became a group of six riders and started working in a pace line to chase down the 3 cyclists up the road which included Louie, Mark Schaefer and Mark Zimblemann. I believe they went over the top with about 2 minutes and we found ourselves on the flats at around 60 seconds. The pace was brisk and Art kept urging the riders to keep the pressure on. About 5 miles out I could sense that some of the riders were becoming weaker and skipping pulls, so Art and I just kept pushing.

We came into the final corner with 1k to go and a decent climb to the finish. I went around on the outside and ramped up the pace, everyone started to fall back except for Art. Just before we came into the final straight we could see the 3 leaders, but it was too late to catch them. As soon as Art and I crested the top of the short climb, we could almost see the finish line, I took the front position with Art behind me. We had a good distance from the next riders so we sprinted it out and Art got me on the line, but I had a late surge and got in at the wrong angle and actually went outside the cones. Luckily I didn’t get disqualified and ended up in 5th place, the last spot on the podium. I was happy to be there with some outstanding competition, ended up getting some upgrade points and had a great time. It was one of the funnest road races I have done and I am excited for future episodes of this race.

2013 East Canyon Road Race

The 2013 East Canyon Road Race was one of the funnest races I have done in recent memory, at least now that it is over. This is the third year that I have done this race, the first year (on the newer course) was the third race I had done as a licensed rider. It was about the time I upgraded from Cat 5 to Cat 4, but the 4 race was all filled up so that left me to register in the Masters B race. That was a great year for me, and that race I had a podium finish (3rd place). Last year I was really feeling good about the race and pushed the pace the whole race, but in the final leadup to the finish, I blew a spoke and my wheel jammed up leaving me with a DNF less than a mile to go.

I was really excited for this years race, but again, the weather didn’t look very good during the week just like the week before. This race, without Ira being there, I made a point to be a bit more conservative and watch where I would spend my energy. I was curious if there would be a split on the short steep climb, but in the previous years it wasn’t enough to break things up significantly. I reviewed different strategies in my head and knew I would be riding with some great competition in this race. I got everything ready for my race the evening before and got to bed at a reasonable time.

When I woke up in the morning, it was pouring outside here in Salt Lake City. It was pretty cold, in the 40′s but according to the weather reports the chance of rain was small so I was hoping it wouldn’t be bad but brought extra rain gear just in case. As I drove up the canyon, it didn’t get any better and I could see snow on all of the mountain tops as I drove up there. As i got closer to the race, the sun started to peak out and the temp warmed up. When I got to the parking area, it felt great outside. I took my bike and gear out of my car, set up my trainer and started warming up. It felt warm enough for me to take off one of my layers of clothing.

The second I got off the trainer and out on to the road to ride to the start, I could feel that it was much cooler than on my trainer, but figured I would warm up as soon as we got going. At 10:15, the Masters A group was off and we started calmly riding up the Hogsback  north side. The pace was calm, but then an attack by Mark Shaefer kicked things off as my teammate Dave Swensen followed, then the entire pack caught on and the attack was neutralized. Of course I just hung onto the back for the time being, letting things feel out and letting my legs warm up. As we got over the top of the climb the rain started pouring down, and i was a bit nervous about the descent because the previous year I hit 55 mph coming down and didn’t want to be doing those speeds in the rain.

Coming down the descent the rain turned to hail and pelted our skin causing some stinging, but the good thing is the pace wasn’t out of control on the descent. By the time we reached the bottom of the descent, the rain and hail was pouring down and water was splashing up on us. We rode from the bottom of the descent all the way to East Canyon resort and back in a full on downpour. I was miserable, thinking of the Infinite Team camp when we had a similar downpour that resulted in me having to stay inside a gas station warming up for a half hour. It wasn’t quite that bad, just as wet but a few degrees warmer, but I have to admit that I was thinking if it stayed like this I would have to quit the race on the way back. But then I started thinking how badly I hate quitting and wouldn’t be able to live with it, also what my competition would think. I knew if I made it back past the start location, I could at least go further than that and hopefully warm up.

Before the turnaround, the first big attack went off the front and at the turnaround the pace snapped up to full speed along the return of East Canyon reservoir. We were getting closer and closer to the Hogsback short & steep climb where I thought I would be able to move to the front. The pace picked up incredibly hard before the climb, almost to the point where I was feeling like I was on the ropes, but as I looked at my heart rate monitor I was still in the 160′s. I knew it was probably my body feeling very cold and sluggish, so I just tried to hang on and bear with it, but my mind was wondering why it was so hard so early in the climb.

I worked my way to the front of the group, but by that time there were two riders going off the front and catching up with the rider that had broke away earlier. For how I was feeling from a few seconds earlier, I started to pick up the pace and gap the rest of the field, but it was painful and I knew that it might be hard to bridge up to the front, so I let up a little bit and allowed myself to get absorbed by the 4 riders in the chase group. By the time we crested the summit, I was with Mark Shaefer, his teammate Donald Armstrong, a gentleman from FFKR and Jeff Clawson of Canyon, then three riders up the road about 15 seconds. I hoped on back of the train and stayed there for a few minutes before I was ready to fire again and help get us up to the front.

We took turns hammering our way down the 2nd descent of the race, and the rain had stopped an the heat from the expenditure on the climb had helped me to warm up. By the time we reached Henefer, the front group was now made up of 8 people and we had a mere 30 seconds over the remainder of the field. From here on we acted almost as a team time trial and kept the pace pretty high all the way out to the turnaround. After the turnaround I could see the rest of the pack very close by, seemed like just a few seconds and I expected things to regroup at that point. An attack went off the front and we slowly closed in. Once that attack was neutralized another would go off the front. This repeated attacking seemed to go on and on, but I enjoyed it. Our group lost one rider so now it was down to seven, which I liked because I enjoy a ‘divide and conquer’ type of race.

I was excited to get to the last climb, ready for the game to get on. The weather, which was nice for quite a while, had become cold and rainy again on the climb, not to mention a big headwind. I took pulls at the front just to get my heart rate up. The pace was modest for a while and it wasn’t until the first sustained steeper section that an attack came by Cris Williams, and it wen’t unanswered as he rode off and got a decent gap. I finally took up the chase and alternated with Mark Shaefer to try and close the gap. The pace picked up enough until it became just three of us, including the Mark Zimblemann. I was in some good company, two riders that I have such high respect for and who have a pretty legendary status in Utah.

A few more attacks went off, leaving me slightly behind but it slowed down to the point where I could get back on. The first time up the climb I noticed a cabin in the distance that helped me to see how close we were to the finish. This time I made note of it and as I saw it I prepared myself for a sprint. Finally I could see some flashing lights, but I didn’t want to jump just yet because I didn’t want to get to that location and realize I still had further to go, but at the same time, as I have done in previous races, I didn’t want to underestimate the finish either. I finally saw some cones and the finish trailer, I didn’t jump, but calmly shifted down a couple gears in the big ring and started hammering away. I could hear one rider behind me, but didn’t turn around, instead I kept pushing it and as I came up to the finish I just got back in the saddle and kept the torque on. I heard someone cheering my name which felt great, but head down I pushed on until I crossed the finish line in 2nd place, my best yet race as a Cat 3.

The weather was horrible at the top and cold, so it wasn’t long until I started descending the climb to go back to the car. It was cold, but fun, thinking about how the race unfolded and the bad weather. By the time I got to the bottom I was absolutely freezing and could hardly move my hands, but I was done and that was all that mattered. I got inside my car and talked with some teammates for a minute but it took me quite a while to get warmed up. I was happy with a good result and excited to ride with such great riders with so much experience!

Tax Day Circuit Race

This past weekend I tried out a new race that I hadn’t done but always wanted to, the Tax Day Circuit Race up in Inkom Idaho, about 5 miles from Pocatello. This is a race that features multiple laps of a 8 mile course with around 700ft of climbing per lap. I wasn’t sure I would be doing it because pre-registration was looking to be pretty slim with only 1 registrant earlier in the week for the Masters A group. I talked with Ira and some of the other team members to see if anyone was interested in signing up. Ira said that he would be since he would be gone the week after for the East Canyon road race. Around Wednesday, we both decided to jump in and then registrations started moving up, and by the time registration was up we had a field of 11, not big but certainly much better than what I had imagined during the slow lead up to the race.

As we checked the weather in the upcoming days, it didn’t look good. The weather was to be cold and windy, and then the day before it said it would be rainy. We already committed to it so Ira and I drove up there, leaving around 10am. The drive up wasn’t too bad, about 2 1/2 hours. As we got closer and closer we could see some sketchy clouds, and about 20 miles to Inkom the rain started pouring and the temperature dropping. By the time we reached the race location, it was cold and wet and I was a bit concerned with the dangers of racing up and down some sketchy climbs in this weather. Ira and I decided that we would do it though, and as soon as we started getting our numbers, the weather started getting a little better, some clouds started lifting and the rain slowed down. I had my trainer so I hopped on and started warming up.

As the race started, the rain was still coming down but not nearly as bad. We had a neutral roll out that took us a couple miles up into the canyon and then we were off with Eric Woolsey setting up the early pace. The race started picking up as soon as we reached the first circuit and Ira went to the front to get things warmed up, then I would follow in with some pushing of the pace. I really wanted to make sure that the race had some intensity so when we hit the switchback leading up to the final climb I stepped on the gas and upped the speed a bit. The climb wasn’t too long on the steep section, around 4 minutes, then the descent began and it was a fast one with two cattle guards, on of which came right after a turn which made it difficult to hit at full speed.

On the second lap, Ira was at the front putting in a dig and as soon as he pulled off I didn’t really attack but put in an acceleration which took me and another Microseal rider off the front. When I looked back we had a gap so I just decided to roll with it and keep going. We put in a good pace and alternated back and forth, gaining time on the pack. By the time we hit the switchback we probably had 20 or so seconds, then plunged down the descent with speed and by the third and fourth lap had around a minute lead. I was really pushing it hard, figuring if we could just stay out of site, Ira and Mark Schaefer would be sitting in, either way we had a card to play. I could really feel the climb getting hard on the fourth lap and on the descent the pack really closed in on us. When I saw them right behind I sat up and got absorbed.

The Microseal guy was still up the road and on the penultimate climb, it seemed like no one was interested in chasing him even though he was so close, and the headwind was blowing hard. The pack almost was at a stand still at certain times, Ira would try and close it down, then I would hop on and then the rest of the pack would just sit in while the rider ahead just plugged on. We came up on the steep section of the climb and I just didn’t have it in me to stay with the riders. I let them go and they went over the climb a few seconds ahead of me while I just decided to ride the last lap in on my own, finishing the race around 3 minutes down. At the top it was great to see that Ira took 2nd place, but I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t hang on in the end, as well as happy that I was able to get away and give it a gamble. In the end I only scored 2 points towards the UCA, but I am excited for next week where I will give it another go at the East Canyon Road Race.

Getting Ready For A New Game Plan

They say “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done“. Its crazy to think that I have loved sports and fitness my entire life but never had a coach or personal trainer to help me along. With the encouragement of local cycling legend Dave Harward of Plan7 coaching, its time for this old dog to learn some new tricks! I am excited to say that its time for me to shut up and listen, to let someone else coach me and help me get my fitness to the next level.

After a few years of doing the occasional ‘citizens race’ or century rides, last spring I purchased a Cat 5 USA Cycling license and began doing some real racing. I felt pretty strong, especially in the time trials and hill climbs, and over the course of the year was able to get upgraded to Cat 3 by the end of the year. Over last winter I spend a lot of time training, but it was so hard to know what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. I really didn’t have much guidance outside of some books on training that I had read, but as for putting together an actionable plan, it was more like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. For 2013, I felt somewhat strong, but in all honesty I didn’t see much improvement from the year before on a lot of my times. Time for a new plan of action.

20 minute power test with Dave Harward and Plan7

This week I visited the Plan7 lab for a 20 minute functional power test. Dave hooked my bike up to a Computrainer and had me do a full out 20 minute effort to gather some heart rate and power data which he can use to build a custom plan for me to follow. Dave had me answer a questionaire last week which asked some great questions on what goals I want to achieve for next year. Next week I will take off from training and go enjoy a trip with Angela to Playa Del Carmen over the Thanksgiving holiday. I will plan to completely relax and enjoy myself as well as give my body a much needed break, then dive right on in to my new training plan.

For anyone interested in bike racing, endurance sports, triathlons; check out the Plan 7 coaching website or facebook page for more information. Plan 7 offers not only coaching plans but professional bike fitting, power testing, VO2 max testing and more.

2012 Race & Event Results

2012 Bikes 4 Kids Criterium

Its the end of the season and I am getting ready to start my winter training. Tonight I rounded up my race and event results for the year to submit to my team for race reimbursement and thought I would post my results. In two weeks we will have the UCA awards ceremony where took 1st place in the Overall State Championship and 2nd place in the UCA points series. Looking over my results, it seemed like I got off to a rocky start in the Cat 3′s but over the year got a lot better.

2012 Race & Event Results

Series Results: 

  • 2012 UCA Cat 3 Individual Standings – 2nd Place
  • 2012 UCA  Cat 3 State Champion Series – 1st Place
  • 2012 Crit Series B Flite Individual Standings – 5th place

Cat 3 Race Results: 

  • Tour Del Sol Time Trial – 5th Place
  • Tour Del Sol Criterium – 27th Place
  • Tour Del Sol Road Race – DNF (mechanical)
  • Tour of the Depot Time Trial – 13th Place
  • Tour of the Depot Road Race – 14th Place
  • Tour of the Depot Circuit Race – 18th Place
  • Tour of the Depot Stage Race – 10th Place
  • East Canyon Road Race – DNF (mechanical)
  • Utah State Time Trial Championships – 4th Place
  • Bikes 4 Kids Criterium – 23rd Place
  • Bikes 4 Kids Road Race – 11th Place
  • Bikes 4 Kids Time Trial – 4th Place
  • Bikes 4 Kids Stage Race – 4th Place
  • Utah State Road Race Championships – 3rd Place
  • Utah State Criterium Championships – 4th Place
  • Porcupine Hill Climb – 3rd Place
  • Tour of Park City – 10th Place
  • Snowbird Hill Climb – 2nd Place
  • Double M Road Race – 2nd Place

Century/Gran Fondo

Salt Lake Century – 4:27

 Utah Crit Series (Event/Date/Flite/Place/Team/Points/Team Points)

  •  DLD Criterium 4/4/2012 – 12th Place
  • Saltair Time Trial 4/5/2012 – 1st Place
  • DLD Criterium 4/18/2012 – 13th Place
  • Emigration Hill Climb 4/19/2012 – 1st Place
  • DLD Criterium 5/2/2012 – 15th Place
  • Emigration Hill Climb 5/3/2012 – 2nd Place
  • Saltair Time Trial 5/10/2012 – 2nd Place
  • Emigration Hill Cilmb 5/17/2012 – 4th Place
  • Saltair Time Trial 5/24/2012 – 2nd Place
  • DLD Criterium -5/30/2012 – 17th Place
  • Saltair Time Trial 5/31/2012 – 1st Place
  • DLD Criterium 6/6/2012 – 11th Place
  • RMR Criterium 6/12/2012 – 20th Place
  • DLD Criterium 6/13/2012 – 5th Place
  • Emigration Hill Climb 6/14/2012 – 2nd Place
  • RMR Criterium 6/19/2012 – 17th Place
  • Emigration Hill Climb 6/21/2012 – 1st Place
  • DLD Crterium 6/27/2012 – 9th PLace
  • Saltair Time Trial 6/28/2012 – 1st Place
  • Saltair Time Trial 7/12/2012 – 2nd Place
  • Emigration Hill Climb 7/19/2012 – 4th Place
  • Saltair Time Trial 7/26/2012 -1st Place
  • Emigration Hill Climb 8/2/2012 – 3rd Place
  • Saltair Time Trial 8/23/2012 – 2nd Place
  • Emigration Hill Climb 8/30/2012 – 4th Place
  • Saltair Time Trial (Double Points) 9/6/2012 – 3rd Place

Tour of Park City

I had a fun and exciting week in Park City last week doing the Tour of Park City and thoroughly getting my butt handed to me. Angie and I got a hotel at the Marriott at the last minute and were just a few minutes away from the start, luckily we went and found the place the night before. I was actually able to get a decent amount of sleep and woke up at 5:20 and got ready. I got up perhaps a little earlier than I needed to but it allowed me to get everything ready, eat, stretch, shower etc. I wasn’t really too nervous but we got to the start and it was getting warm already. I saw a few friends at the start and then before I knew it they were staging the Cat 1-3 start. As soon as I pulled up, Nate and Ira pulled up next to me, and then Paco Mancebo pulled right up to us. It was soo cool being next to him at the start.

The race started pretty mellow and rolled on for about 30 miles before things started cooking. Mancebo was the first to attack, along with Jake. The pack just hung out and there wasn’t too much action going on over the rolling hills until the race hit the dirt section, then shit really got cooking and hit the fan. I saw the race starting to fall apart and I went way deep within myself to keep up. Riders started falling back all around me and I scrambled to get onto the second chase group. I almost crashed coming down the last section going at about 30-35mph when a support car stopped in front of me. I was able to make it on with a lot of effort right as the dirt road ended and we headed to Evanston. From there the paceline was insanely hard, riders kept ‘sitting on’ which is what i should have done.

The pace was unrelenting and finally after Evenston I was unable to keep up and fell off the back. From there I was riding alone for nearly an hour before I saw the next group and we started working together. I fell off the back of that group as well right before the 95 mile mark. The hill climb was insanely hard, I felt like I was crawling up the mountain, but it was beautiful and fun after the fact. I finally made it over the top after taking two breif stops, then the rest was pretty much down hill and I began to gain back some energy. Finally on the second to the last climb I started getting into my groove and just wanted to pass at least one guy, which was a cat 2, and on the very last climb I passed a couple more. I thought I was close to the back but after the results came in I realized that I was in 10th place of a very brutal hard group. So many negative thoughts were going through my mind while I was riding, like quitting and not racing anymore, but that all went away pretty fast after the finish.

It was great to be done and cross the finish line and see my love Angela, who had completed her ride about an hour and a half earlier. We dinked around the finish line for a bit then went to the hotel, showered and freshened up, then went over to the KPCW festival a few blocks away on our bikes. It was fun to see everyone there and get a few bites to eat and talk to some friends. We hung out with Ira, Nate, Dina, German, Justin and Jake. After that we went back to the hotel and kicked it for a bit then walked up to Vinto and had dinner, it was such a perfect evening. The food at Vinto was amazing, Angie had a gluten free pizza and I had one with Sausage, we had a polenta and mushroom appetizer and then a piece of cheesecake for dessert. After dinner Angie and I walked down through the park and had a wonderful time.

Angela had a great ride this day as well, she rode the 50 mile version of the Tour of Park City called the “Medio Fondo”. She climbed over 3500 ft during her ride which went up over into Kamas to Francis, through Peoa and up Browns Canyon. Her ride took about 5 hours with rests and 4:24 of riding time. Her favorite part of the ride was getting her fastest speed of 45 mph!

http://app.strava.com/rides/15115863

When we got back to the hotel, we sat in the hot tub for a bit and then went back up to the hotel room and just watched TV for a while until Angie fell asleep. I got the munchies and grabbed a few snacks from the 7-11. The next morning we went for breakfast at the eating establishment on main street, I had a delicious eggs benedict and buttermilk pancake.  After that Angie and I went over to the Park City outlets and kicked it for a bit, then went home and crashed out for a few hours, completely exhausted. We had planned to do more like go see a movie but we were completely wiped out. Monday I had Jake fix Angelas bike and get it all tuned up.

Capitol Reef and Porcupine Hill Climb

The week after the State Crit Championships Angie and I went down and spend a couple days down in Capitol Reef and it was a great time. We stayed at a little bed and breakfast in Teasdale. We left early on Friday, around 2pm and passed a few big fires on the way down there. There was a huge fire in Scipio that colored the skies. We got into town about 6pm and were able to go for a bike ride on the circuit course, it was great to ride with Angie and she got going about 41 mph down one of the hills. After that we went back and got changed and then went to Diablo for dinner.

A brief rest on my bike ride to enjoy the scenery at fish lake.

The next day I got up early and Penny from the Bed and Breakfast cooked for us, then I left about 9AM and rode up to Fishlake and back around the backside and coming down Johnson Valley Resevoir and into Freemont, then back through Loa, Lyman, Bicknell and up to Teasedale, for an 80 mile ride. After I got back I showered and Angie and I went and got a lunch over at Slackers Burger Joint in Torrey, then went back to the B&B and took a nap. After that we went on a hike, trying to reach the Fruita Overlook in Capitol Reef. We ran out of daylight though but still had a fun and beautiful hike in. After that we went back and showered again, then went out to dinner at a cowboy bar in Torrey, which was pretty fun. Then the next day we drove up to Fish Lake around the back side and went to the lodge for a bit, took a few photos and then went on our way back home.

The following week was kind of a short one with the fourth of July and on Monday after a day off from riding I did a huge ride, 4.5 hours doing big and little Cottonwood canyons. Did a recovery ride the next day and then went large on my day off and rode out to Henefer which took about 6.5 hours and was 100 miles. That evening I just hung out with Angela and we cooked dinner and ate on the patio, the rest of the week was pretty chill, doing long rides and raced the Porcupine hill climb on Saturday.

Porcupine Hill Climb 2012

The Porcupine hill climb was great, I was able to get 3rd place in the Cat 3′s. I had a great warmup for the race and got to the start warm. The race started out pretty hard and it took me a few minutes to get into my own and get to the front group, which split right at storm mountain. I had to dig really deep to get into a good chase group and basically spent most of the race in this group. We caught up with some Cat 1 & 2s and the pace was pretty high up until Silver fork where I started to fall behind, although i wasn’t too concerned b/c i couldn’t see a lot of 3′s ahead of me. I ended up finishing in 1:06:54 which was a new best time for me so I was happy. After we did the awards ceremony Angie and I went down to the Porcupine grill and ate breakfast. Later that night we went out and had Indian food downtown, it was a great day. The next day I did a 62 mile ride.

3rd Place at 2012 Porcupine Hill Climb, Cat 3

The past week I did some big climbing rides on Monday and Wednesday, Sandy to Alta and both sides of Suncrest on Monday, then just Alta on Wednesday. I did the Saltair TT on Thursday and it was so hot that I had a hard time riding without drinking lots of water, but still had a decent time I felt, but still 11 seconds behind Adam Catmull. On Friday night we went out to dinner at Shogun and the food was absolutely horrible, then went to the Bar Deluxe to see Alexa, but got there an hour early and ended up sitting around for a long time but we made the best of it. I ended up bailing on the race in Heber I was planning on doing, thankfully only 4 people showed up, so I did much better by going on my own ride and doing 5.5 hours on my bike and 100 miles. Yesterday i was so wiped out that i didn’t do much of a ride, more like a recovery. I spent most of the day just hanging out and tired.

http://www.cafediablo.net/

State Championships Series

 

This year I was able to compete in all three of the State Championship events, the Time Trial, the Criterium and the Road Race. This year the UCA started something new, the “Overall State Champion” which gathered points from each race and totaled in a series to define the state champion from all disciplines. I was lucky enough to capture a fourth place in the time trial, a 3rd place in the road race and a 4th place in the criterium, sealing the deal with the most points of the cat 3 racers. What a great experience!

State Time Trial

Memorial Day, 2012 was the State Time Trial championships. The evening before Ronnie and I went out to scope the course and ended up riding the entire 40km at an easy pace. The road was flat out and had some minor hills, but mostly flat and decent road. The next morning Angie and I drove out there and set up a place to warm up, everything went pretty well. I set out with 11 other riders and got into my rythmn pretty easily, ramping up to speed and catching my first guy within the first ten minutes. I felt like I was going pretty well, feeling strong and gaining on my rivals. I believe I passed two people by the time I turned around and about to catch my third. When I made the turnaround I saw two of the riders that started behind me, right on my tail, I was pretty shocked. Nevertheless I worked hard and kept them from gaining any more on me and actually had a pretty good kick in the end. Unfortunately I wound up 4th on the day, 1:30 down on the winner, and about a minute off Adam Catmull and Jared Prince. I guess I have some serious work to do on my Time Trialing.

State Road Race Championships at Little Mountain:

Friday I took the day off and got a hotel room up in Logan so that we could get a jump on the State Road Race on Saturday. It was awesome because I picked up Angie from work and we were able to get up to Logan before 7pm, then we went and ate an amazing dinner at the Indian Oven and had a few appitizers and a coconut Kurma, Chicken Tika Masala and some delicious Indian ice cream. The food had such great flavors and I had a great date with my love. After we ate we just wandered around Logan looking at some charming older homes around the neighborhood. It was perfect weather outside, nice and balmy. On our way back I found a cool used book store, it was pretty ghetto and Angies allergies were kicking up because of the dust but they had thousands and thousands of books for pennies on the dollar, i was able to get 4 books for $5. Then we went back to the hotel room and watched Sex in the City and then finally fell asleep.

On the road with Ira in the yellow jersey.

I woke up at 5:45 AM and showered and got ready for my race, woke Angie up around 6:20 and then we ate a hot breakfast at the hotel. We were able to get on the road by 7am and after taking the wrong route and Angie helping me find the correct way, we made it to the race with not a lot of time to spare. This year was even worse than the prior year as far as bathrooms, they only had 2! i had to actually pee in someones driveway because there was no where else to go and a line down the block for the portables. I made it to the start and I really didn’t feel that great, but finally we started to go. It took me a bit to warm up but the laps seemed to go by fast. Up the hills it always hurt and I felt a lot more sluggish than I normally do when climbing, just because its a short and steep climb without being able to get properly adjusted. The race was action packed the entire time, with lots of attacks and stuff.

On the 3rd lap I was trying to get my water bottle from Angie and I dropped it, so i was quickly running out of water. As I came around for the fourth lap I found myself off the front of the pack with maybe 20 seconds lead, I just went with it without going too hard, but it gave me a head start up the climb and the best part is I was able to slow down and get my water bottle this time and as the pack swallowed me up a break started and I was easily able to hitch on. We rotated and got a small lead but to my suprise as efficient as we seemed to be we didn’t stay away even the whole lap, getting caught just before the final climb. On the climb I barely hung onto the leaders, but we did create a decent gap and was able to go with it. There was a lot of playing around in the lead up miles to the finish, and when it slowed down at one point I attacked and got a way for a bit, not too long but enough to put a little pressure on the pack, but more importantly show initiative and that I wanted it.

There was about 9 of us left at this point and still we were going to slow, I told the guys that we needed to pick it up or we would get caught again, so finally another guy attacked and the race finally started moving as we approached the finish. Somehow I ended up in last place coming into the final 200 meters but came around everyone, I missed first and second place but then nipped third by less than a wheel lenght by ‘throwing’ my bike. It was a great experience and gave me more points in the UCA as well as gave me the lead in the Overall State Champion points series. Only the Criterium remained.

State Criterium Championships

The Criterium was the big day for me, a chance to win the Overall State Champion title. I had made 26 points with a 4th place and a 3rd place in the State TT and Road Race. The only thing left was the crit, and I had to finish either in 10th or better place or stay within 9 places of Ira. It sounded like i was going to do pretty well, just knowing that I only had to beat 5 of the pre-signed up people. I tried not to self-talk bad about myself, saying that I am bad at crits or whatever.

This day was going to be a hot one, over 100 degrees, so I tried to drink a lot of water leading up to the race, and not eat too much. I felt like I got a good jump on things but as usual I was running behind and scrambling to get caught up. When I got down town and got my race number, I was already behind and my car was parked in an underground parking lot. As I went back to get ready, I realized that I had lost my number. I put it in my backpack but it must have fallen out on my way to my car. I frantically went back to search for it, and luckily I found it on the lawn of the Salt Palace, but now i was running even further behind. I was flustered trying to get my bike onto my trainer, my number pinned, and all my gear ready. In the end I only had about 10 minutes to warm up, but perhaps that was a good thing.

When we lined up to race, instead of the 17 riders that had signed up before hand, there were close to 30, which really freaked me out and made me wonder if I would even have a chance at getting enough points. Right before the race started, I doused myself with water to cool me off, I could hardly swallow it was so hot. The race started with a fast pace, just as expected. Immediately I fell off the back and just tried to hang in there, and on the third lap there was a wreck that somehow I managed to slip through. The laps started counting down and i could hear Angela, Alexa, Damian and a few others cheering for me.

As I bit the time and counted the two primes, I eventually started moving up in the pack and felt like I was getting my groove on. Everytime I went around and heard someone cheering for me, I would push myself to move up a little more. About 40 minutes into the race, i saw a gap of a few bike lengths and I attacked to bridge up to these two guys. Suddenly there was a split in the pack and I took the reigns and went for it. The next lap I could here Angie yell “Look, he’s winning!”, which gave me quite a bit of inspiration and made me push it even further. Ira was in the group along with Chad Vansolkema, Jason Goodfellow and a few others.

The final corner.

There were only a few laps left and then finally I could hear the last lap bell ring. I was pushing the pace but no one would help, I didn’t care though, I just wanted the points and I knew if we got away then I would secure the overall. As I came around the final corner, I pulled off and the sprint started, I just rode in on my own to take 7th place, which in the end was good for 4th since 3 people were disqualified. Apparently the 3 that I bridged up to were lapped and then thrown out at the end. I wish I would have known that, I would have pushed for a higher placing, and I should have just gone for it anyway since I had nothing to lose and was clear of the rest of the pack. Lesson learned, but it still worked in my favor to finish out the series with enough points for the overall. It was a great day!

Crit Racing With My Friends

 This summer I started getting into some crit racing at the DLD (Drivers Licence Division). The racing is intense and gets going from the beginning. This particular criterium is extremely technical with between 12-16 corners per lap, plus a small hill and descent. This makes for a fun race but also very dangerous. This year I raced in the “B” Series with mostly cat 3 and experienced cat 4 racers. One night Angela came out to watch and caught some of the action with her camera…..