Uhl in Eagle, ID – I purchased this Yeti AS-X a few years ago but with my emphasis on road racing these last couple years I hardly ride it anymore. This is one great freeride bike. It’s perfect for lift-served mountain biking or just to use as a heavy duty all-mountain bike. It climbs well for such a beast of a bike…I’ve taken it up Hard Guy many times. Size is medium and I upgraded a few things from the stock build. Details and more pictures can be found on my For Sale ad on PinkBike.
Uhl in Eagle, ID – Since I've been focusing on road racing these last few years I haven't been mountain biking much. But now that the road season is almost over, I decided to join a couple co-workers of mine for a lunch time mountain bike ride. We headed out from the old ProClarity building and rode the Military Reserve trails. We climbed up trail 25 then 20, then continued upward and did Shane's Loop.
Then we had fun coming back down and headed back to work (bummer)! I rode with my Garmin Edge 705 so I was able to download the ride. While I don't have a power meter on my mountain bike, it's nice to have at least some stats of the ride. You get a map of the ride along with speed and heart rate data. Although, since I had the Garmin in my hydration pack it crapped out a few times. Here are the details of my ride.
Looking back at my training diary I realized that today was the first time I rode my mountain bike all year! But it's almost fall, so that means more rides like these and maybe a few epics...one of these weekends I'd like to do 8th Street, Ridge Road to Bogus, Eastside, Sweet Connie.
Uhl in Eagle, ID – Heather and I helped out with some trail work at the Idaho Velodrome & Cycling Park and it was actually lots of fun. It was nice to do some manual labor for a change (cycling doesn't count). Dave Beck is the man who organizes these volunteer efforts and when Heather and I first showed up there were only a few of us. But we were shortly joined by a group of Boy Scouts and then more people showed up as work progressed.
The main task for today was putting up a few sections of fence. That involved drilling holes for the posts and then setting up the log fence and tamping in the dirt around them. I worked with Dennis and Mark using the gas-powered auger. I had never used an auger so I was a little intimidated at first. Basically it's like a huge drill that takes two people to handle. It wasn't too hard to handle initially, but after a few holes your hands and shoulders get tired. So we switched on and off who was "driving" the thing. I was amazed at how easy that auger went into the soil...at least for the first set of holes. But on the last section we had a few problem holes that took a bit more work. Even so, I was told it was nothing compared to the holes they dug last week; those took a lot more work. They were hitting all sorts of rocks and hardpack layers.
Heather was helping with setting up the fences and tamping in the dirt. By the time all the holes were drilled there were plenty of volunteers so the actual fence building went really fast. With less people would have taken much longer. At the end, Dave explained the different areas of the park. It was amazing to see how much progress had been done. The pump track is completed and two of the three "mini" downhill lines are completely done. The four-cross course is getting close and now with these fences in, the trail system that intertwines with the new Ridge to River Trail System is almost complete. Heather and I watched one of the kids go down one of the downhill runs and it looked like so much fun that we're probably going to come out and try it ourselves!
Uhl in Eagle, ID – This weekend Heather and I went down to Park City for an informal family reunion. We stayed at The Canyons and enjoyed some time at the pool and lots of great food. While we were there, it just so happened that the Jeep King of the Mountain tour was going on. So we went up and watched the men and women bomb down a dual-cross course, two at a time. It was fun and since we planned this weekend off, we didn't feel guilty about not riding...but we still hit the fitness center at the condominium we were staying at.
1) They're really hard! It's like doing a 40k time trial, but for two hours! I don't have a power meter on my mountain bike, but I did use my PowerTap in HR-mode. My average HR was 172! That's almost my threshold HR! It also didn't help that I went into the race feeling overtrained. I think all the mountain biking I did this week was a bit much. Even so, every time I do a mountain bike race, I realize how much "easier" road racing is. There's just no resting in a mountain bike race. Even when descending, you have to be on top of it and stay focused. With all the body english, even while descending my HR only got down to around 140!
2) Racing mountain bikes negates all the things I actually like about mountain biking. Like taking my time and just going whatever pace I feel like. Enjoying the scenery and the sounds of being out in nature. No worries about wattage or HR. Just riding for fun. But when you race mountain bikes, it's stressful! First you have a chaotic start with everyone sprinting from the line (not at the line, like at the end of a road race). Then once the dust settles you're either trying to pass someone, or being passed. This is especially nerve-wracking on singletrack. That's where I was actually trying to do the passing! And of course, there's no time to enjoy the scenery. What fun is that!?
Uhl in Eagle, ID – With a lull in the local road racing scene, I'm considering doing the Coyote Classic mountain bike race this weekend. This race is part of the regional Knobby Tire Series. I used to race mountain bikes a lot more when we lived in Utah, but have only done one or two mountain races a year since moving here. But as I'm working on threshold these few weeks, I figured doing the Coyote Classic would be a great workout and give me a little change of pace from all the road riding.
I set my PowerTap to HR monitor-only mode, and headed out on Hwy 55. Since the new coded strap that came with the PowerTap SL works so well, I figured I should use it. Then I can download the ride, and even though it will only be HR data, I could still look at average HR and time spent in zones and compare it to similar road rides to estimate training stress. I warmed up for a few minutes then put my HR into my tempo zone. Since it's been a while since I've trained with HR, I had forgotten how much lag it has. I've gotten spoiled with the instantaneous nature of power readings. With HR, it takes a minute or two for your HR to catch up to your effort. This is especially annoying for an impatient person like myself!
I mostly rode tempo on the road to the course but I did do a couple "mini" LT intervals on the climbs up Hwy 55. I got to the parking area for the race and had to open the gate to get through (and close it behind me). This is cattle grazing territory and so we were told to leave the gates as we find them when pre-riding the course. Once on the trail it was easy to keep my HR in my tempo zone, of course, the initial climbing of the first loop of the course helped. After not having mountain biked for so long I had forgotten how "slow" it feels for the same effort. I think speed is one of the reasons I like road riding so much. The first loop of the course was marked with orange sprinkler flags so it was fairly easy to follow the course. I did stop a few times and fix some of them as they had fallen down onto the double-track. It was breezy today so it didn't feel too hot but I was drinking quite a bit.
Uhl in Eagle, ID - Tonight was the first in a series of four training criteriums at the Idaho Center in Nampa. It is put on by the Snake River Cyclists and Lindsay's Cyclery. Since I knew the race would be short, I did a mountain bike ride with a buddy from ProClarity at lunch. I rode into Boise and met Tim at Camel's Back park and we proceeded to do a "dork" loop. I rode the Santa Cruz Blur to get used to it since I'm planning to do a couple of the spring mountain bike races. I have to say, I love that bike! Coming down Hull's was a blast! After riding my Yeti AS-X all last year I forgot how responsive the Blur is. After the loop I rode home the same way I came (on HIll Rd), but I tried out some trails by the Veteran's Cemetary. I didn't realize the trails were there until I looked at the updated map at the top of Hull's. It's a short trail, but it was pretty fun and all single track. It also allows you to ride more dirt on the way home from downtown.
As for the Nampa Crit...Klaas drove Ted and I to the Idaho Center. We all brought trainers so we could warm up. We were supposed to go for 28 minutes, but they said they'd shorten it if daylight, became an issue. I got a short warmup and during my pushes, it felt better than last week, but still not great...so I wasn't hoping for much during the race. I lined up right in the front and went from the whistle. I hammered at the front for an entire lap and it didn't feel that bad. Then Matt from Hyde Park Cycles pulled through and I just tried to hang on his wheel. He's been winning all the local races and is fyling right now. I had a hard time hanging on during those first few laps. The course is a parking lot crit marked by cones so it also took those laps to figure out how to best take those corners. Finally, after we had been hammering for a while I look down at my computer and we'd only been riding for 7 minutes! We eventually formed a break of five riders; 3 George's, Matt and myself. There were attacks and things got split up, but all five of us lapped the field. I think I ended up getting 4th, but I'm not certain of that. They should have official results by next week. It was a good training race and it definitely hurt. The race only ended up being 17 minutes long, but it was hard and fast 17 minutes!
Uhl in Eagle, ID - Heather and I decided to do a mountain bike ride after church today. The weather had been somewhat dry lately so it was a good time to go checkout the trails by Hidden Springs. Heather wasn't feeling good so we took it real easy on the ride out there. They were also doing some construction on the bridge on Cartwright Rd. This is good news since this will complete the paving of Cartwright road, which used to have about 2 miles of dirt. This expands road ride options near town.
We went through the woods and I hooked up with the town trail that now has a plank bridge crossing the creek. I wasn't feeling good today and probably reflected it in my attitude. So Heather decided she'd just ride home at that point. No sense riding with a pooh-head! I rode up Red Tail and was happy to see most of it was dry. I went up all the way to the benchmark at the top of the hill and there was only one short section of semi-dry mud.