Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Super-Secret Tandem Switchback technique

Matt & Lisa unveil the new,  Cyclocross-inspired tandem switchback clearing technique.

Super Secret Tandem Switchback technique from Dale Riley on Vimeo.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Breaking this year's race cherry.

Winter Park Series (Now the "EpicSingleTrack series"....)  Race report for Race number 2.  Well,  in my humble opinion,  really race #1.  Just can't see a hill climb as a race.  True,  race of truth,  blah,  blah, blah,  but at my advanced age & experience,  I just can't see participating in a MTB race that only goes uphill.  Or a Time trial.  For god's sake,  not a uphill time trial.  Call me a wimp,  go ahead.  I think I've already done my "time" and served my Time trial sentence.   There should be a 5 year rule.  You only have to do Time trials for the first 5 years of a race "career" and then you are "grandfathered" out of any more.

Anyway,  I digress...

SO headed up the hill to Winter Park on Saturday.  Given how lousy I've been feeling on the bike most days lately,  the only thing that kept going thru my head was..  "Really??..."   Over & over.  I was really going to race?   Rick got sick of me repeating that over & over on the ride up...  Really?  Right up to the 5 second call,  it was in my head.  Really?

Well,  I really did end up pushing off with the herd anyway.   As usual the hump up the start road was it's hellish self.  I immediately had to force myself to back off, as my lack of intensity so far this year reared it's head after about 45 seconds of the mistaken thought that I could stay in the main bunch.   Quickly slid back into the 3rd bunch,  and as we got up to the road switchbacks,  I even tailed off that group a bit.  Off to a GREAT start,  50 meters back from the "bunch" going into the trees.   It was then that what came to be the theme for the day started.  I IMMEDIATELY bridged back into and partly thru the bunch.  Nobody could go downhill.  I seldom pass many people on fast descents,  but was going by 3-4 on the first drop.  Put me right back in the thick of it for the second climb up Ice Hill & the double track beyond.  With my feelings mended by getting back in the bunch so soon,  I immediately squandered it by passing 5 guys in a flash,  and less than a minute later realizing I was WAY over my limit.     This of course led to most of them going right back by me,  and looking at me like I was a dolt,  which I was.

Realizing I needed to tone it down,  race at MY pace,  and quit trying to pop everyone else in sight with the total lack of real fitness I have,  I was able to SLOWLY start picking folks off again,  at a bit more leisurely tempo this time.  With a LOT of trees down in the WTB area,  this race had been put on a new course,  not getting North of the Vasquez road this year.  Sadly,  that left about 5 miles of dirt road for this race.  Up Vasquez,  Back on the water board road.  Flat.  Fast.  Road-Race-like.  yuk.  Course this ends with a climb back up the back of the ski area.  Never really got out of a bunch of people in this whole section.  ended up hitting the top of the last climb in a bit of a herd.  

The Long Trail seems to have been totally "new waved" since the ski area made it into downhill only.  Lots of SWEET,  big bermed sweeping 180 degree turns.  The berms were great,  stuff the bike hard into the outside rim and snap around it.  Still,  was seeing the same thing that marked the day.  Not many people were railing the descent.  Passed one guy in the middle of one of the bermed turns,  since he was down on the flat inside,  poking around the bend,  and 3 of us just baked by him up on the berm.    Got by a few folks,  but was still in a herd as we dropped into Lower Arapahoe.  It's Narrow & twisty drop seemed to really get to some people,  as we immediately got into a yo-yoing line of about 15 people,  all held up one one guy.   HE eventually relented to the howling from behind,  and stopped right in the apex of one of the narrow tight switchbacks to "let everyone by".  After THAT yelling subsided,  we finished the descent in the same manner.  Only had 2 guys want around me,  and passed 5-6 more going down.  With great relief,  I hit the finish road with no one around,  so there would be none of that "sprinting" nonsense.   

Ended up in 8th place in a 17 rider field.  2 minutes behind Rick in 6th.   The New course had a bit too much road in it to be really fun.  I was able to ride better than I expected given the way I've been feeling,  and having moved back up to sport after my "sandbag" year last year.  Heart rates not getting as high as last years cross season,  but seem to be putting out about the same or more juice,  given my finish & higher category.  Not as far off of real race fitness as I thought.  Can start some limited intensity,  till after Laramie,  then hit the hard stuff.
SPORT MEN 50-59 - Cross Country Super Loop - June 26, 2010
Place Number Name Age Sponsor or Hometown Time Pace Sex Overall
1 507 MICHAEL SCHAUB 51 GREEN MOUNTAIN SPORTS RACING 1:38:36.8 5:26.9 167 170
2 504 HAL MCKELVY 51 CHRISTIAN CYCLING.COM 1:41:14.7 5:35.6 196 201
3 5016 TODD SCHOLL 52 SCHOLL 1:48:50.5 6:00.8 282 297
4 5070 ERIC HOUCK 52 ECHLELON ENERGY 1:49:20.1 6:02.4 288 304
5 508 MAKEY TOWNE 52 TEAM EVERGREEN RACING CINDER 1:52:03.1 6:11.4 300 324
6 5060 RICK THOMPSON 53 HIGH PEAKS MASTERS 1:52:47.3 6:13.9 303 328
7 557 PETE FENNELL 52 TEAM EVERGREEN RACING DENIM 1:53:59.4 6:17.9 311 336
8 5100 DALE RILEY 50 CYCLISTS FOR THE PLANET 1:54:41.8 6:20.2 315 343
9 585 PHIL MURRAY 50 BLUE SKY VELO TEAM BLUE 1:56:11.6 6:25.2 317 346
10 5078 NED SMITH 54 FORT COLLINS CYCLING TEAM 1:56:47.2 6:27.1 321 352
11 591 ROBERT J QUINN 50 GCC 1:57:03.1 6:28.0 322 353
12 5053 JEFF PEARSON 50 SNOWYTREE 1:58:06.2 6:31.5 326 360
13 5081 STEVEN NOEL 54 BOULDER, CO 1:59:23.9 6:35.8 333 369
15 5005 MICHAEL STARITA 52 ROCKY MOUNTAIN RACING 2:01:47.6 6:43.7 339 376
16 5677 GREG BUSHEY 51 BOOMER 2:02:34.2 6:46.3 342 381
17 5101 GREG ERNEST 53 BROOMFIELD, CO 3:05:36.0 10:15.2 360 414

Biggest thought was still the amazing lack of downhill ability in the sport bunch yesterday.  Rick note the same thing.  LOTS of guys going down pretty slow.  While I've never been a "Descender" by any means,  I've never made that many downhill passes in any race before.  Not sure if it's just a bunch of roadies crossing over,  or what,  but it was VERY noticeable yesterday.

Glad to get that first race out of the way.  going in with NO expectations and the "Really ??" attitude was good.  No anxiety in the race AM.  Was so relaxed I only had to go poo twice at the venue before the race.   Amazing.    Mid field finish on no real intensity in my training so far this year feels good.  Going to want to hit a couple more of the Winter Park races.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


After another long "training" ride for Laramie,  my fear of that race does nothing but grow.  These few long rides I've done are not as long,  not the climbing,  and not the pace of Laramie,  but I've been left beaten to a pulp.  Me thinks this thing will be one of the harder things I've ever attempted.   Gulp.

Had a nice ride anyway.  Windy & long.  41 miles,  5800 feet of climbing,  >5.5 hours moving time.  Averaged 7.4 Mph for a "diesel" pace day.  Kind of windy,  but at least it was not nearly as hot as my last long one.  Riding the front range trails midweek is sure a nice change.  feels like you have the place to yourself.

Lots to see,  even on a deserted midweek day.   Strange messages in the dirt.  Who?  Went on where?

Topped out on a few little hills

Grass is REALLY tall this year.  Guess all that rain will do that.

Fake Lakes have been filled to overflowing

Even got to rail the skinny at the bike park (With no 8 year-olds around,  I was not too intimidated to get on it...)

What ride in the northern front range would be complete without paying a visit to my favorite service road from hell?  While that stupid road gets "easier",  it never gets more fun.

Got to see what "REALLY" cool is now in the mountain bike,  one-upmanship-my-ride-is-harder-than-your-ride world.  Bottom of Spring Creek Trail in Horsetooth ("kinda" technical...) run into 2 young guys repeatedly working a nasty drop.  After multiple good efforts,  one tells his buddy "you could do it if you had a freewheel..."   Yep.  FIXED GEAR single speed rigid bikes.  The new cool.  He WAS cheating though...  he did have brakes on his bike.  COULD be cooler yet.

That leads me to take a stab at the Lame to Cool cycling steed rankings.  I've shown the bikes I ride in Bold.  Hmmm..  pretty far to the LAME end of the scale.   Oh well,  too old to be cool anyway.

Hipster Fixie
Triathlon / TT Bike
Road Bike
Cross Bike
26" Dually Mountain Bike
29" Dually Mountain Bike
26" Hard Tail
29" Hard Tail
26" Fully Rigid
29" Fully Rigid
26" Hard Tail Single speed
29" Hard Tail Single speed
26" Rigid Single speed
29" Rigid Single speed
26" Rigid Fixed gear Mountain Bike
29" Rigid Fixed gear Mountain Bike

Where do you ride?

And a related philosophical question to end today...

If you ride a single speed,  alone in the woods,  and no one sees you,  is it still Cool?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


The after work ride in June.  Long evenings,  everything green  & moist.  Not much better to be had.  Great ride with the boys tonight.   Great weather,  my favorite trail and good heckling.   Even after hooking a bar-end on a tree and going down like a sack of hammers in front of the line (going UP hill,  even..),  it was a great way to end a work day.  Great times at less than 6 MPH average.

YogiDave even got the pic...

No work for me tomorrow.  Hitting my LONG ride for this week.  Laramie looms ever closer.

Monday, June 14, 2010


So,  took advantage of both the soggy weekend,  and Young Matthew's decision he no longer wants to use his Powertap for training.   The roadie bike is now truly instrumented up.  Will start "Training" with the wattmeter rather than with the heart rate monitor.  What has EVER come over me.  back a few years ago,  when I "quit" racing,  I sold the heart rate monitor off,  swearing to never do another interval as long as I lived.  Then,  the cross bug RE-bites,  I get another heart rate monitor,  do LOTS of stupid,  painful intervals for last years cross season,  and NOW I get a wattmeter.   I am NOT sure I like this direction in my life.

Kirk even wants me to come run an LT test to "set my zones".  I think I will.  God help me.   What have I done.  Lots to learn about working with the new box,  and I'm sure it will make it harder to slack off on the "structure" days.

This had better help me come cross season.  Am really wanting to move up just a bit in the "Beer Drinking Dads League",  maybe get into the top 20 "regularly",    and am just getting the real "speed" work going here,  so MAYBE the timing is good.  We shall see.

Suffering is on the horizon.  That and a lot of "is THAT all I really have???" moments to go along with it,  I'm sure.  

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Best mid-ride line in a LONG time.  This was said to me more than half-way through a complete frothing,  testosterone filled gag fest. 

     "I'm supposed to be on a recovery ride today......"

I love bike racers.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Going Long

After a very nice Memorial Day weekend,  great fun,  but not exactly a study in structured training,  it was time to get back on the pony.  Had a nice Tandem ride with the better half at Hall Ranch on Saturday,  a yard full of spring chores on Sunday.    Since I have acquired an "excess" of vacation time at the salt mines,  I scheduled every Monday in June off.  These would be the long ride days.

For Monday,  I thought I'd hit up the local "link-up" that I'd never quite done all of.  From "Not-Boulder" out to Heil Ranch,  Down Picture Rock to Lyons,  Hall Ranch,  and back.  Well,  I can say that ride is even more "interesting" than I thought.  60 ish miles,  5000+ feet,  and a LOT of hours.  JUST what I need to be doing for Laramie.  

Had my long day in the saddle,  with it ending up being a race between my butt & hands to see which part would crap out first.  Seems like the Butt ended up winning.  Tried out some new liquid calories and food strategies for long rides & races.

Ended up feeling wasted at the end,  but recovered quickly.  Actually felt OK even later Monday night.  Good signs for the training "plan".    Need some speed work,  as I can't seem to put the knob on "suffer" and keep it there for very long right now.  Will work on that kind of fun stuff in between the long "Laramie" rides.  Winter Park Series is coming up,  and that should help in the "pain calibration" as well.  Either June 26th for the X-C super loop,  or for sure the Valley Point to Point on July 10 for the start of my racing this year.  Starting to get more motivated.  Look out,  beer drinking dads....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Not much Bike-ie to talk about.  Spent our Memorial Day weekend "tourist-ing" about the San Louis valley.

Sand in my Shorts, 

Good beer (even in Alamosa),   and Alligators.  (yes,  Alligators..)

We now return you to our regularly scheduled work-ride-sleep time.