Sunday, 19 October 2008

deadgoat 'cross race

Somehow I managed to drag myself out of bed after 3 hours of sleep to help set up the cyclocross course behind the Brentwood Co-op today.  We showed up ready to roll, and I'm almost certain Lonn had  a great set of coherent instructions and ideas for everyone.  After his explanation was done, I realized I hadn't understood much of it, so we set out to improvise the course.  It's fun to scope out the park through the viewpoint of the racer's eye to use the available terrain as well as possible.

I had a blast watching Tori race, she finished after Pepper Harlton.  

I only had enough batteries to take pictures of the races prior to the men's elite race, full set is available here.


I fit in a 5 hour ride today, then 9 hours of partying at Shawntoberfest. Who knew Tubby Dog could line a stomach that well? Who knew Tracey Shearer could buy that many shots? Who knew so many hotties showed up at the karaoke bar? Who knew the Amsterdam Rhino DJ's could mix every catchy dance tune of the last 30 years into one grand finale? Who knew we could eat $50 worth of pizza at 3am?

I don't think I'm racing tomorrow. Somehwere along the way, Shawn registered as way more important than my $17 entry fee to the Gorilla run.

Devin's going to wake up late, as is Jon, Shawn, Claire, Bill, Phil, and Keith.  That was a full night's effort!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Busy week, busy weekend

The first day back from St. George turned into a 19 hour workday for me, followed by getting into the office at 6am the next morning. Ug. Not the way I wanted to ease back into the workworld. Looking at my quotes screen didn't feel any better either.

This week wasn't a good week for business either, which is why a little Friday noon meeting felt better... investment banks are funny places. Things happen on Fridays that ruin weekend recreation, but that can turn the mood of a week around in a hurry. Such as the following:

-----Original Message-----

From: [blanked out, but let's just say FirstEnergy's el Presidente]

Sent: Friday, October 17, 2008 11:30 AM

To: Erik B. Bakke

Subject: Company XYZ

Please meet me at their offices at noon. They "have some business for us".

Half hour countdown to hustle over. And post the lunch discussion, my weekend looks even fuller.

Work, trailbuilding with Jon, the Gorilla run, the deadgoat cyclocross race, and general La Ruta training are all vying for time.  Something's going to have to give.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

St. George, pt 2

In a 4 day weekend, I didn't get to ride half the trails that are accessible just from the doorstep in St. George, but beauties like the technical trail Zen, the smooth flow of Stucki Springs, the rollercoaster like Bearclaw Poppy, and the steeps of Clavicle Hill and The Three Fingers of Death are now stored in my memory banks. We also did a fair abount of road riding, past the Gunlock and Quail reservoirs, up the biggest hillclimb I could find to Oaks campground, and through Snow Canyon. St. George's proximity to the great outdoors, and Utah's landscapes in general, really impressed me. Tori and I rode together all weekend, which was fun.

Aunt Peggy and Uncle Bob's hosting was fantastic, we were treated to gourmet meals every night. The pool and hot tub were icing on the cake. Buddy's continual attention to everyone's wellbeing was noted as noble service.

St. George even has it's own version of the fountain of youth. I rode the middle finger of the Three Fingers of Death. Whether it's the poetic symbolism or the simple act itself, that's living!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

St. George, Utah

After rush packing Thursday night, flying to Las Vegas, waiting 60 minutes for the rental car we already booked, Tori and I made it to our hotel at midnight.  I crashed hard as I knew my Friday morning "vacation" had a lot of work obligations too.

I woke up feeling crummy, I hadn't exercised much since the prior weekend's triple race agenda.  We ordered breakfast to the room, closed the door between the living room and the bed, and did 3 hours of conference calls each, plus other random emailing, phone calling, and work.

We left the hotel to find out that our key fob for the rental car only opened the trunk, didn't notice when we picked up the car as the doors were unlocked.  So we crawled in through the back, called the rental agency, and tried to get that dealt with before driving to St. George.

It felt nice to finally be on the road once a Mexican employee of the rental car agency, who I'd rank among their star employees after the pace of our pickup last night, assessed and fixed our problem without running us through the "system" for a car exchange.  We took the scenic route along the north side of Lake Mead, and arrived in St. George several hours later than expected and feeling tired.  

After sitting around and making small talk, we put together our bikes and Uncle Bob took us for a spin to some local trails.  It took 3 minutes from the driveway to get off pavement onto very, very high quality trail systems.  Awesome.  We rode until sunset along some red rock mesa, on technical single track loops.  To have that so close to home is a fantastic luxury.  Once we were home, it was time to hit the backyard pool before dinner... speaking of which, dinner was a gourmet affair.  I think there's a chance I might never leave their casita (little house room where a guest can come and go separate from the house, but it's attached to the house).  

We went to bed early feeling good with the 2.5 hours of riding and feeling like we're almost on vacation.

Saturday we rode about 7 hours, including a 10 mile climb up a nearby mesa to a campground, very La Ruta-ish route.  It was cold, they've got a freak cold spell this week the weatherman on TV says is from Canada.  It hailed, it rained, and was about 10-15C depending on elevation.  We had enough clothes to have a great day still.  

St. George is an amazing city for mountain biking.  There's 70,000 people here in an area that's completely surrounded my mountains, mesas, buttes, and all those other landscape terms of the southwest that are a little outside my vocabulary.  It's all public land, and hiking and biking trails are everywhere.  It's the equivalent of having a dozen Moose Mountain type areas surrounding town all within riding distance of home, if you're willing to do an hour commute on paths/roads each way.  If you want to load up the car, double that amount.


Monday, 6 October 2008

oval 'cross pics

Two pics turned up from the weekend, "the Bee and me". Fun times, but I'm so sore from all the racing, I'm nostalgic already and it's only one day into the workweek.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

High intensity times three

Today was the second race of the 'cross double header at the U of C, and it's safe to say I'm fully tuckered out.

Tori and I went over at around 9 to register, she was scheduled to race at 11 and I was slated for 12:15.

I saw part of Tori's race and it looked consistent with yesterday, she got 6th and is looking pretty smooth riding all the terrain.

I think I bit off more than I could chew this weekend, the race was hard.  My forearms were sore from yesterday, and my calves were sore from running, and my back from moving boxes.  I wasn't anywhere near fast, so I tried to focus on having a good time and riding skillfully where I could.  I flatted on the second last lap and ran for about 1km of the course, then Tim Brezsnyak lent me his bike for a lap... it felt sweet.

I think I finished dead last!  Time to rest up for a few days and get geared up for riding some longer rides in Utah next weekend.

High intensity times two

I started Saturday by riding down to the Calgary Road Runners 8k (or slightly less) trial race at Sandy Beach by Elbow Drive. First running race I've done in a long time, it was fun. I forgot to bring dry socks for after, but the 2x Elbow River crossing felt good even with 2 hours of wet feet after. Looks like I finished up 27th/114. I need to work on running downhills, that's where I'm slowest by far. The long false flat downhill is where I got killed.

After that it was coffee time at Shawn's house, the home for 3 hours of packing and moving furniture and heavy boxes.

From there it was time to head over to the university for the night cyclocross race. We watched the girls race which was well attended, and fun to watch Tori look like she meant business.

For the mens race, the first corner barrier tape got knocked over, then caught in my foot and pedal. By the time that got sorted out I was in last by a long margin. I think I passed 1-2 people a lap for a while from the tired Elites, and some of the fast Experts caught me too. I actually enjoyed the sprint through the three sand volleyball courts, that's where most of my passes were made.

After that we went down the the Art's Hotel Raw Bar for Tyler's 30th birthday. Nice to catch up with everyone, good times had by all. My spring cycling travel is going to have to be to Laguna Beach to go visit Tyler in his new place.

My calves are sore from the trail run. My back is sore from moving. Rest of my legs, and my left forearm are sore from the 'cross race. Signed up to race the 'cross race at noon today though too!