Monday, December 14, 2009


Things have been kind of slow lately. Denver and Colorado is kind of in that lull between fall, which is typically not to bad and winter. I'm still riding a fair amount, but am willing to shut it down in poor weather, or at least try to make the trip to and from work. I've already made the commute in below zero weather, which caused many people I run into to question my sanity. One of the days I even questioned my own sanity. I think its a bad thing when one questions ones own sanity. I am close to what I thought was kind of a crazy goal. 7,000 miles in 2009 on the bike. Yes, that is 7,000 miles of pedaling OUTSIDE, no "trainer miles." That is better than 1/4 way around the world, freaking crazy.
Saturday Chris and I headed out for our monthly 100 miles. The weather was supposed to be nice and reasonably warm, upper 40s. Once we started the initial climb out of Chris's subdivision, we where greeted with a strong wind. The wind helped me establish a new land bike speed record of 56 mph for me down the Wall-as seen in American Flyers. We were going to do the Carter lake loop, but as things progressed, we were not so sure about that. During a break at a convenience store in Hygiene, we ran into a few other bikers and thought it was best to battle the 20 mph plus winds back through Boulder to Westminster. To the west above 8,000 ft the mountains looked very uninviting to bikers, it was quite dark. The wind made for a pretty difficult bike ride back, though I think the wind let up a bit. We made a couple loops around Westminster to tack on some miles, and ended up with about 6,000 feet of climbing and lots of added resistance because of the wind. Both Chris and I agreed it was a very tough day in the saddle. The 100 mile bike ride was the 12th consecutive month with a century. After Monday I have 170 miles to go to 7,000. I would really like to have that wrapped up by the time I leave to WI.
Once I get 7,000, it will be time to reduce the time on the bike a little and incorporate some other activities to change it up. The best way to stay in bike shape is to bike, so I will not be completely turning it off. I recently bought some new skis, and hope to get decent using them. Snowshoeing and yoga are a couple other things I will be mixing in. Oh, and it is indoor rock wall climbing time too.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tampa Bay year 2

Brett and Andrew on beach with beer.

Andrew, Andy, Brett, Mike
Ticket and media pass compliments of Rhonde Barber
Brett and Erik
Brett, Andy, Andrew, and Mike on the field.
Almost on the field, and on the wrong side of the yellow lines
Packers coming down the tunnel
Climbing Florida style.
A week ago today I left for Tampa Bay Florida to hang out with Andrew Huebner, Andy Wylie, and Mike Jung and go to the Packer game. Both Andrew and Andy are from Neenah, my home town. Mike is a friend of Andy's. This year we stayed Saturday through Monday, an improvement on last years 36 hour car to car whirlwind trip to Florida. Andy and I got to Florida within 10 minutes of each other, which is pretty sweet considering I flew from Denver and Andy flew from Minneapolis St. Paul. Upon arrival we headed straight to Clearwater beach for beers, football, sun, and swimming. Saturday night we had dinner at a restaurant in the hotel complex and then were off to Channelside, which the valet recommended, for a few late night cocktails. Don't trust valet, as Channelside was not where it was at.
Sundays pre game meals consisted of egg and sausage bagel sandwiches on the grill. Then we made brats and burgers. It was a tailgate setup that would have been perfect at Lambeau field. Erik Roach stopped by as we were eating. Erik is a friend of mine that I've not seen since college. Per facebook we both realized we were going to be at the same game. It was nice catching up with Erik, who now lives in Orlando and has a successful chiropractic office.
Andrew got our tickets from some guy named Rhonde Barber. I think he plays cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We also got media passes to go onto the field for an hour before the game. All I can say is kid in a candy store. It was pretty much a dream come true being on the field on game day along with both NFL teams. I was able to high five most of the Packers as they ran out onto the field. It was amazing to see how big the players are. Once that was over, we found our seats. They were in the end zone on the same side as the pirate ship. The game had its moments, but overall was quite disappointing. Two years in a row I've gone to Tampa Bay to watch the Packers play, and two years in a row they've blown the lead late in the game. This was especially disappointing as the Bucs were 0-7, and we thought the Packers were playoff contenders. After the loss, we went back to the hotel. While watching Sportscenter on ESPN, I saw the four of us in Packer lowlights. It was a fun weekend and Rhonde Barber is my new favorite Buccaneer for hooking us up with sweet tickets and Media Passes to on the field. I doubt the Packers will be in Tampa next year, so I look forward to heading off to a different warm weather city to watch them. And hopefully I will get to fly back after watching a win!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Denver has a visitor, from WI

This weekend Jesse Shoemaker visited Ben and Amy. Mountain biking was out due to the early season Blizzard Denver got. The only other choice was to torture Jesse on road bikes. Saturday we road up Deer Creek Canyon to High Grade road. For flat landers, the extended climbs of Colorado are typically pretty tough. Deer Creek is pretty well graded. It was also quite cold going up with late afternoon shade and snow on either side of the road. I've not ridden High grade before Saturday. There is a decent climb of 2.1 miles and then the switchbacks start. It does not look to be to tough to me, but it is a climb, and I can't wait to go back to try it in full. Saturdays temps at 7,500 feet were just to cold to push on. Jackets and warm clothes were needed for the ride down. When Jesse, Ben, and I stopped climbing, we could see our breath. I hit a max speed of 42 mph on the way back down, brrr.
Sundays ride was a bike path ride that consisted of the E470, Cherry Creek, some city, and the Platte trail. 67.5 miles, with some snow, a few attacks, and lots of sun that lead to some fair November sun burn. Oh well, off to Florida next weekend, so some sun should be good for me, unless I can't sleep because of it.
October started out with me feeling pretty burnt out. The first week I could barely turn the pedals, and it was mentally frustrating hitting the wall. I ended the month feeling much better setting some pretty good PRs for me. 757 miles and 51 hours of biking!!!! 7,000 is still a ways off, but I put a pretty good dent into it in October.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Great Bonk Ride

Today Golden Bike Shop led a ride called the Great Bonk ride. It was at least 6,500 feet of elevation gain in 42 miles. Ride notes here. Todays forecast, mid 30s and 40% chance of precipitation. And this was at 6,000 feet. We climbed to over 9,000, and experienced, snow, fog, and sleet for a fair bit of the ride. About 12 riders showed up for the ride, with some notable pros (Kelly Magelky and Yuki Saito) so it was a strong group. We rode a fair amount of singletrack with some roads and double track mixed in. The singletrack at higher elevation was covered in up to 3 inches of snow. There were several long, wet, and snowy descents too. The last half of the ride was really cold and wet. It was probably the craziest mountain bike ride I've ever done. It was tough, the conditions were bad, but it was a lot of fun. The guys at Golden Bike shop organized a really fun ride and when we finished, we had pizza, cookies, brats, burgers, and a 1/4 barrel of beer waiting for us. It was a really fun ride as I've never ridden any of the trails we rode. I met a bunch of good riders and shared some good stories. Epic day, you bet so.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


No Cisco Service equals a bad idea!
24 hours of Moab with the La Sal's in the background
Ben Welnak, 11th overall 24 solo 193 miles
Singletrack on Porcupine rim
View from beyond the Jackhammer
Jackhammer, yup, thats the trail

Porcupine Rim, GF Rig 32x18

Friday Ben, Amy, and I took a half day to head to Moab. Ben was going to race 24 hours of Moab solo, Amy was going to crew, and I was going to ride Porcupine Rim on my singlespeed. Once we got to Moab, we went to Paradox Pizza, and Fred took care of us. We had the Margherita pizza with sausage, and it was good. Friday night was a pretty easy night of camping at the racecourse and an early bedtime. Saturday we woke early to head to the Jailhouse cafe, which has great omeletes. Ben and Amy dropped me off just past the Slickrock trail so I could ride the Porcupine rim. It was 5 miles of climbing to the trail and then 4 more miles of climbing on ledgey rocky trail. Even with perfect temps, I was toasty and pretty beat once I got to the top. But after that, I got to descend 2,800 feet, so it was worth it. Porcupine rim is one of my favorites. The trail consists of pretty amazing views (is there one in Moab that doesn't?), lots of ledges to climb and drop, and lots of good sized rocks. It is pretty harsh for a hardtail, but I was fine except for a couple spots. I had the trail all to myself. I either beat the crowds and or no one was in town thinking the 24 hour race would draw to much of a crowd. Once I was done with the trail, I had about 20 miles to bike to the racecourse where my ride was. As I biked through Moab, I stopped at subway. The Moab Subway has to be the slowest dam Subways in the country. The last two times I went there it took at least 20 minutes to get a sub. Really?
Once I got back to the race, I sat around for a while and helped crew for Ben when needed. He started off decent, but kept riding straight through the night. There were only a few hiccups during the race. And they were quite minor. A couple flats that did not completely flat was the worst. The highs and lows of the race were amazing. Ben rode a consistent first 12 hours, but at about midnight when he lapped through seemed out of it. I am sure this is pretty typical, but he kept pedaling and fought through it. Because of his consistency, he ended up 11th overall in the mens 24 hour solo category. Awesome race. It was fun getting out of Denver, especially with a miserable forecast. In the past 6 weeks, I've been able to ride three amazing trails, Monarch Crest, Kenosha Pass, and now Porcupine Rim. FUN!

Monday, September 21, 2009

RATM storms WI and the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival

September 19, 2009 was the 27th running of the "40." The Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival is probably the biggest race in the midwest. I've done this race every year since 2004. It is more than a race, it is a time to hang out with friends and spend a weekend in the great north woods of Wisconsin. This year Chris, Marni, and Scott made the trip back to WI to see what it was all about. Wed after work we loaded up my Element and headed east. We ended up driving to 2 A.M. CST. which was longer than we expected. Thursday morning we got on the road and headed to Eau Claire WI to meet Jim Parman and ride Lowe's Creek. Man that trail is fun. The riders in Eau Claire do a good job of keeping that trail in good shape and adding new fun trails. After about an hour of riding we went out to dinner and my parents, sister, and niece met us out. Friday morning lead us to Hayward and the rented cabin were all were awaiting our arrival to register. Jim cooked everyone an amazing dinner of chicken, pasta, and broccoli. An early rise and pancake and egg breakfast was the making for a good race. I had a goal of 2:35, which would have been a pace of 15.8 mph. I got a good warmup and a better start than expected. The gun went off, and we left the start. This year the pace was quite a bit slower than usual the first couple of miles. Once we hit hwy 77 the pace jumped to that of a road race. I hit Rosie's field, and it was game on. The rolling terrain of the Birkie was tough, but I was feeling good. I made the first split at OO which is at mile 16 in 58 minutes, and I was very happy with the speed at which miles were ticking off. I made it a point to work with riders as much as possible. My heart rate was in the 175-185, which I felt comfortable maintaining for the whole race. The Seely Fire tower climb is at about mile 28. It is a four pitch loose climb. Strong riders can middle ring it, but many people are forced to walk because of how tough it is or someone choosing a poor line in front of you. I felt great, and middle ringed it the whole time. About 2/3 of the way up, some random dude behind me said "you climb like you are from Colorado." Flabbergasted, I stuttered a few words and asked if he recognized my jersey. He had no idea where I was from or who I was and it turns out he is from Westminster CO. He likened it to climbing Mt. Falcon, which I would not go that far, but it was funny. At the start, the announcer stated the race was 40.9 miles. At the low 30s I started doing the math, and realized if that was the case, I would be close to being sub 2.5 hours, but would have to hustle. I again started to work with a group of riders, Don Edinburg among them. I stayed in my big chainring through most of the climbs and rollers. I fast approached the final climb, flew down the backside, and jumped up the last little climb to a time of 2:28:13. I smashed my goal. Shortly after I was done, Chris rolled in too. We celebrated the evening with a trip to famous Dave's and several beverages and stories.

Sunday saw the four of us head up to Rock Lake near Cable. That is another amazing trail system. Lots of flowing midwest single track with rocks and other obstacles. I would strongly recommend riding there if ever near Cable, WI. I could not have predicted better weather or how things fell together for the weekend. It was great seeing a lot of friends, even if brief, seeing family, and introducing some of my Colorado friends to my Wisconsin friends. The biking was great all weekend. The driving sucked, but was well worth it.

Guilty parties
Nate Jasperson
Paul Kekstas
Jim Parman
Justin Lund
Jeremy Vogels
Sara Birdsall
Luke Utech
Chris Plesko
Marni Plesko
Scott Deleeuw
Jesse Shoemaker
Brett Ebben, of coarse

Results for:
Brett Ebben
Chequamegon 40

Bib #578
City, StateDenver, CO
Team Name:ride against the machine
Age GroupM 30-34

Split Results

Finish Results
Finish Time02:28:12.9
Overall Place180 out of 1778 Chequamegon 40 finishers
Division Place160 out of 1475 Chequamegon 40 Men finishers
Age Group Place24 out of 161 M 30-34 finishers
Gender Rank176 out of 1622 M finishers

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monarch Crest Trail

Friday nights place to sleep

Its a trail, its a river
Chris on a hidden trail
Erik, Michelle, Chris, Marni, and I
The Monarch Crest Trail is one of the higher rated trails in Colorado. This past weekend Erik, Michelle, Marni, Chris, and I set out to ride there. It starts at 11,300 ft, climbs to 12,000 ft, and then descends to 7,500 ft in about 33 miles. Typically, you would shuttle this with a vehicle on the top of the pass and one at the visitor center in Salida (more on this later). The day started nice and sunny, though a little cool, but that is to be expected at that elevation. The ride has quite a wide variety of terrain. We climbed for a while to start. The first extended downhill section dropped us 1,000 ft in no time. Most of the descents throughout the trail are rocky and contain a fair amount of roots. Some of them were really loose. We occasionally went through small scree fields. But there was nothing that was really tricky. After a while the the skies became overcast and there was light rain and thunder. In a bunch of places the trail was overtaken by flowing water. There was a fair amount of hail that missed us. At lower elevations the weather was better, almost warm for the last bit. The day went pretty well. The only thing that made the trip interesting was that the keys to the shuttle car at the bottom were locked in my car at the top. Fortunately there were many others out riding and I was able to get a ride to the top.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Last Winter Park race

The King of the Rockies is the 6th and last race in the Winter Park series. It is a 25 mile point to point race that includes a good mix of what the area has to offer. We started the nearly 4 mile lead out at a pretty relaxed pace for a group. After about 2 miles the attacks came. Two riders sprinted off from the group, and then there was a second attack. I was able to cover both of them. After the second attack, there was a 200 yard or so gap between about 12 riders and the main group. I was hanging on to the back of the lead group knowing we had a good climb in front of us. We hit the climb and caught a bunch of riders in the group before us. I felt pretty good and snaked through some of both of the groups up the climb. Even though it was my first race in quite a while without my heart rate monitor (died this week, sweet) I found a good tempo that I could push without cracking. The backside of the climb is an equivalent distance and elevation change. I did not ride it well last year. This year I bombed down and felt great descending. We ducked into some single track that reminded me quite a bit of north central WI. Twisty, turny, rooty trails with pine trees. I stayed on it here. A long gravel road climb lead to the most technical part of the trail, and we got to climb that. WTB has a lot of rocks and roots and really saps the energy out of every rider. From here, I knew all of the trails except the very last part. I did not make the main creek crossing as two riders dismounted in front of me. I was forced to get off and run my bike through freezing cold water. I rode the rest of the trail pretty fluently and felt good until the finish. I hit the last section and sprinted to the finish passing a couple riders and dropping two riders I worked with in the final section of the race. I felt pretty good from start to finish and I think I am going to be in good form for Chequamegon if I can get two more good weeks of training in.

Saturday night a few of us camped. Jeremy and I got up and rode the race coarse backwards from Vazquez road to the start and back to the car. It was a good ride. I felt pretty good for the day after the race. It was nice to finally ride Winter Park for the fun of it. There are a ton of really good trails there and I need to ride it more often. The ride was fun and the weather was really good. Surprisingly, hardly anyone was out. I noticed as I was going down Tipperary, my front tire was a little squirley. About halfway down the trail, I hit a root and got thrown off of my bike. I landed in a puddle of goopy mud. My left arm looked like I dipped it in Hersey's chocolate, though I doubt it would have tasted as good. 60 miles of mountain biking between Saturdays race and Sundays ride. Relaxing by the camp fire both Friday night and Saturday night was great.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mt. Evans Hill Climb

For August, Jeremy, Chris P., Erik, and I decided we would climb Mt. Evans. For a century. From Morrison. The elevation at the start of the bike ride is somewhere near 6,300 ft. The elevation of Mt. Evans is 14,130 ft. That is a lot of climbing. 10.900 ft counting all the ups and downs on the way to and from the car. We started a little after 7:30. Ouride started up from the beginning. It took about 18 miles to get to Idaho Springs, and we had to ride on I-70 for about two miles. We got maybe a few miles of downhill in the first 18 miles. My max speed was 49 mph during the second short descent. From Idaho Springs, it is 28 miles to the top. Though we restocked as we had some cars with food and water waiting for us. We started the next leg of our climb which took us from 7,600 ft to 10,500 ft. I started to set the tempo here, and due to the elevation and constant climbing, the conversation and screwing around ceased. It was time to work. We rotated through a bit and took a few breaks along the way. At Echo lake, we resupplied and took off again. It is 14.2 miles to the summit, and there are mile markers every mile. We thought it would be great fun with 3,500 ft. of elevation in front of us to sprint at every mile. I think Chris won the first mile. Chris and Erik crashed the second mile, and the fun continued. It took us 4:51 of ride time to reach the summit, which was really cold. Fortunately for me, Erik brought along more warm clothes than he needed, because I did just the opposite. The first leg of the descent is really bumpy with a lot of cars, really narrow roads, and tight switchbacks. It is ok, but really rough. The ride from Echo lake to Idaho Springs is just the opposite. We could carry a ton of speed through turns, keeping speeds of 30 to mid 40s. We had two climbs left once we left Idaho Springs, and they were not big, but they were painful by the time we got this far. The second hill climb was at the end of a stretch on the freeway. Erik and Chris started to sprint. I joined in shortly after. Erik won, and I was able to gap Chris a bit. After this, it was all downhill to cars and pizza. The weather was perfect. It was sunny, and warm at lower elevations, and we did not really ever get threatened by rain. There was a little headwind, but not bad. Michelle and Marni climbed from Echo lake to the summit. Thanks to Kim who drove the car the whole way bringing food and warm clothes.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The weekend

This past weekend I did something I'd been kicking around for a while. I looked at and bought a new car. Actually, an SUV. I got a 2009 Honda Element EX AWD black. I liked my Vibe a lot, but I had been cursing its inability to go the speed limit over the mountains. The E provides more power and a heck of a lot more cargo space and functionality. I will miss the gas mileage of the Vibe, but living in Colorado my needs out grew what it is and could do. Funny thing too, I got 5 speed manual transmission, which I am not very good at driving. I am still learning how to drive it, though after a couple days, I am getting better.

Saturday night I hung out with Erik, Chris P. James, and Scott. Scott is getting married on July 25th, so we took him out for some fun. We went go carting in Littleton. It has been a few years since I've gone, and I've never been in go carts that were this ridiculous. The attendant said they had a top speed of about 45-50 mph! It took me about three laps to feel comfortable. Then I spun the car.

Sunday I did my monthly century. This time because of a few things that came up, I rode all but the first 9 miles by myself. Scott joined me for a bit, then I was off by myself. I rode to Golden and up Lookout Mtn, which is 4.5 miles and about 1,700 ft. Then I went down the C-470 trail to ride Deer Creek Canyon, which is about 7 miles and I am not sure of the elevation gain. On my ride home along the Platte I noticed a bunch of tubers in the river. At one point while I was crossing a bridge, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a body floating face down in the river. I had my mobile phone on my, so I quickly stopped, hopped off my bike and ran as best I could with carbon soled road shoes back to where I could see the body. At about this time an older couple was crossing the bridge opposite me on a tandem bike. I told them what I saw and they got off of their bike to see what I was talking about. The guy on the tandem was first to view, and he noticed the body in the river had a snorkel and was searching for something in the water as he had some sort of sucking contraption. We all got quite a kick out of this, but it startled me quite a bit at first. I ended up with a shade over 100 miles in just under 6 hours by myself with two big climbs, a coffee break at mile 50 and a Coke break at mile 85. 7 for 7 for centuries done in a month this year!

Monday, July 13, 2009

WP race 3 and the weekend

Friday as soon as I was out of work I took off for Winter Park to camp the night before the race. Angela and her roommate found a site off of Vasquez road that was not to far from the river but a nice distance from the road so we would not here traffic. We relaxed after dinner and had a campfire that lasted about two hours.

Saturday's race was 24 miles of mostly double and single track with some fire roads thrown in occasionally. It starts off with the same 1.5 mile gravel road climb that I like so much (sarcasm). I was about 10th going into the trails and got stuck behind some riders that were not good descenders. I had to ride the brakes more than usual until I could find a safe place to pass. Good starts seem key with all of the tight trails, and because of being stuck behind slower people, I lost a lot of time. There were a couple crashes in front of me and I was able to pass some others on a tricky climb. I worked pretty hard to try to catch some people, maybe too hard. My race heart rate was 175-183 for most of the 2:07 it took to finish. The climbs were not difficult, but the single track was. The course did not present much recovery. Most of the trails were very rough consisting of a lot of roots, rocks, and other obstacles. I felt pretty good until about mile 19 or so. I knew the race was about 24 miles, so I kept as hard of a pace as I could. At about mile 22 a rider along side me looked equally crushed. We exchanged a few glances and realized we were in the same age category. I stood up and attacked to gap him. At this point, my hands were so sore I could barely shift and there were a lot of tight turns meaning accelerating in and out of corners would be key. I crossed two tight bridges and sprinted to the finish putting 17 seconds on him. 12/32 in my age category. I rode hard, but my heart rate and legs were not in agreement as they were in two different zones I think. I am not surprised as I did not have two good weeks of training. I was completely cooked at the finish. After the race I rode back to town adding another 8.5 miles. In the post race raffle I won 4 rockies tickets for late September, which was pretty sweet. My team, Angela, and I went out to Lime for supper. I then went back to Denver shortly there after. Its funny, in WI. I thought 2,500 ft of climbing would kill me. Now that amount in a 24 mile race is not to bad

Sunday I woke up and did a 21 mile recovery ride. It was probably the slowest I've ridden 21 miles not doing a crazy climb. Chris P. and I went rock climbing in Boulder canyon. It felt really good to get out again. I was a little awkward the first time up, but fine really. Each time Chris and I go out teaches me new things. I cleaned the line he set removing multiple nuts and cams.

Recently he finished the Tour Divide race 3rd overall and set a new single speed record. 2745 miles in 19 days from Banff Canada to Antelope Wells NM. He and Marni had a party Sunday night.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Today was the second bike race of the Winter Park series, and it was a course I liked last year with some changes.  It is about 18 miles with about 2,700 ft of elevation gain.  The race starts off with an annoying 1.5 mile gravel hill climb.  After about 200 yards, I was maybe 15th.  But then things changed.  I got a really good rhythm and kept a steady effort.  Most of the people in front of me started coming back to me.  We hit the single track and I was 5th.  The first couple miles are pretty tight with limited room for passing, and it is a rocky gradual downhill.  I let it rip and was attacking as soon as I got to the trail.  After maybe 1/4 mile I passed the 4th place rider.  I was feeling really good uphill and downhill-which is normally a weakness of mine.  I rode a really clean race for the most part.  There were some wet areas with roots that I got caught up in with some other people and had to run my bike until I found a good spot to get back on.  A little bit later there was a fast tight rocky downhill that made a 120 degree turn and went uphill.  I was screaming downhill into it and had to lock up the rear brake to do a controlled skid and was able to point my bike in the right direction without skipping a beat and in doing so I passed a rider in my age category.  There is a stream crossing on the course that we were warned was tire deep, unrideable, and pretty strong.  I came around a corner and hit the crossing pretty fast and managed to make it 3/4 of the way through before being knocked over by the current.  The water was most likely snowmelt and it was freezing.  I was alone for a while to make the final push to the last real climb of the race.  I knew were I was and for the most part what was in front of me.  I had about 4 miles of switch back single track to the finish and knew without any major mistakes I had a good position locked up.  My new Continental Mountain King 2.2 run with Stans @ 28 psi hooked up amazing on all the downhills.  I could not believe the control of the bike.  I entered the last section of single track to the finish by myself, and quickly caught and passed a few riders.  The raced ended with a 200 yard long  gravel road.  As soon as I was dumped out to the bottom, I sprinted against no one.  I was 4th out of 30, which is my best race since moving to Colorado.  I felt strong the whole ride and was able to maintain a high heart rate.  I even talked to JHK before the race and saw his new GF Superfly 100.  It is HOT.  Oh, and he beat me by 30 minutes!  JHK rolled in for the win 4 minutes up on the next fastest pro.  I finally put together a strong race from start to finish.  I was beginning to wonder if this would ever happen in Colorado.  

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Squaw Pass Hill Climb

Today I wanted to redeem and punish myself for what I thought was an unimpressive first mountain bike race.  Jeremy (I think I punished him more!) and I went to Evergreen to try Squaw pass.  The road starts at 7,800 ft. and summits at 11,200 ft.  I thought it would be about 8-10 miles.  I was wrong, it was 15.  It is a really nice and steady climb.  The two of us started out about the same time as some other random dude.  We latched onto his wheel and followed him for a mile or so not knowing what to expect.  It was time for my pull, and I was starting to warm up.  Every time I looked back I noticed they were a few bike lengths behind.  I tried to keep a good rhythm and not redline but the tempo was a bit much for the others.  The sun was out and it was a really nice day, not to mention we saw snow capped mountains all around us, so I sat up a bit and enjoyed the view as much as the company and effort.  At a decent effort, it took me 1.5 hours to reach the summit.  We rested for a moment, ate cliff bars, and put on arm warmers for the descent down the winding road.  There were quite a few switch backs and blind corners.  It was a really fun descent, and we were able to haul down, except for the times when a few cars slowed us down.  We had to pass them to keep  from riding the brakes.  The reward for the tough climb was a 30 minute downhill with speeds ranging from mid twenties up to forty miles per hour.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Winter Park Hill Climb

Today was the first Winter Park race.  It is 5.2 miles and starts at about 9,000 ft. and goes to a little over 11,000 ft.  My game plan was to start off and not blow up.  The first mile or so is pretty steep, so I thought I would spin a high cadence.  For most of the first three miles I was not to far off the lead group.  About that time they started to pull away and I could not keep the same pace.  My heart rate for the race once I got in a groove was 177 and up, which is quite high.  This is the first time I've done this race, and I thought based on last years times I could beat 45 minutes.  Unfortunately when the clock stopped, I had a time of 48:26.   This was only good for 14/30 in my age category.  I  was completely gassed at the finish, and am pretty happy with my effort, but I am not happy with my results.  I don't think riding at elevation was a limiting factor, I just think I did not have it today.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Elevation Training

Sunday was a day of recovery and with the Winter Park mountain bike series approaching I thought it would be best to recover at elevation.  Most races start around 9,00 feet.  Jeremy and I went up to the Squaw pass near Mt. Evans.  I am not sure what the elevation is, but I think it is over 10,ooo feet. Any attempt to get acclimated to the elevation.  It also looks like one hell of a climb on the bike.  Can't wait to try it.  

Monday, May 25, 2009

Goose Creek Loop

Nick, Brett, Chad
Moat to island uncrossable by scouts
Overlooking a canyon, rocks in back ground typical of area

Chad, Nick and I headed off Friday to the Goose Creek Trailhead Friday to take advantage of the long weekend.  Our plan was to camp Friday near the trailhead and hike about 20 miles Saturday and Sunday.  We ate dinner on the way to the trail at Zoka's in Pine Colorado.  From the outside, it looks like a hole, but it is an amazing restaurant.  We each had their Zoka burger, and it was amazing.  Once we got to the trail parking lot, we set up camp and attempted to make a fire.  Dry wood was hard to come by.  Despite using 22 ounces of fuel and a lot of other stuff, we could not make a fire.  Saturday morning came, and we were off.  We hiked about 9 miles at a pretty good pace in four hours.  We got to our pre determined campsite ,which was on an island, at about 12:30.  This gave us plenty of time to hang out.  During the next three hours we had some sporadic rain.  After that, some pesky boy scouts tried getting to our island.  Thankfully our moat was uncrossable by the scouts.  Saturdays fire attempt was very successful.  Our fire lasted from 4:30 to 9:30.   Sundays route was quite a bit more taxing.  There were 11 miles to go to finish our loop.  The weather was comfortable despite the overcast appearance.  There were three notable climbs during the hike.  The second climb took us from 9,000 ft. to 11,000 ft.  The scenery was amazing.  Everywhere we looked we saw tall aspens and pine trees, slab style rocks and canyons, and we seemed to follow a river and even crossed it several times on log bridges.  Rain broke during the last two hours of our hike back to the car.  The loop was pretty nice, different from what I typically see in the mountain ranges of Colorado.  Despite periods of bad weather we had a lot of fun.  

Monday, May 11, 2009


Side profile with ridiculous backpack
Brett, Jeremy, Marni, Chris
Early morning in the middle of the drop in

This past weekend Erik, Chris, Marni, Jeremy and I headed to Moab for a White Rim In A Day trip around the desert.  The forecast looked good with sun and warm temps.  And warm they where.  We made the initial climb up Mineral Bottom rd. to warm up and warm up.  I took my Gary Fisher Rig, which is a single speed, and used a 32x18 gear, which was perfect.  The start was a little difficult, but with the climb out of the way, my gearing was good for all but a couple climbs.  Even though it is a hard tail, it felt pretty decent on the descents as well.  The sun was bright and as the day went on the temperature approached 90 degrees, and there was not a cloud in the sky.  We ran into a couple groups that asked us how many days we were doing the ride in and where our support vehicle was.  I always get a kick out of this question.  The answer is one day, where as most do it in 3-4 days and are supported.  We carried everything on our backs, which usually works out.  By about mile 90, some in the group needed to stop at a campsite and ask for water.  The last mile or so is about 1 mile and a thousand feet up to the vehicles.  I was probably able to climb 75% or so with a mix of walking included.   103 miles of riding a single speed, 9:08 on the bike.  Riding the single speed on the White Rim was one of my goals for the season, and I finished and felt good afterwards.  
Sunday we woke up and went to the Jailhouse cafe for a nice breakfast.  Chris and I climbed a couple routes up on Wall Street just outside of Moab.  The first route we did consisted of climbing a crack for a while.  The second had a couple tough moves with obvious holds after the third bolt, but Chris was able to get to the top anyway.   

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The weekend update

My first lead climb, a 5.7
Marni climbing a 5.7
Chris placing pieces on the 5.7

Saturday morning Chris and I set off for our monthly 100 miles on the bike.  This particular Saturday was a bit overcast and dreary.  The northwest part of our ride, from Westminster, Golden, and a bit further south on the C470 we got misted on.  The rest of our ride was rain free, which was sweet as there was a pretty good chance of rain by the local weather forecasters.  We kept a pretty good pace for about 90 miles and then turned it down a bit for the final stretch.  We did not stop for anything except stop lights and stop signs.  Four months with a 100 mile bike ride down, eight months to go!

Sunday Chris called and said he and Marni were going to climb a bit in Boulder Canyon.  I met them about an hour later and we hiked up to some places where we could top rope.  We got a little higher than we thought and ended on top of where we intended on climbing.  Chris set up an anchor and we had to rappel down about 100 ft.  We picked a route that was a 5.7 to warm up on and Chris led the first route.  I went up next, and felt ok.  Its been a while since I climbed outside, and it is a bit more nerve wracking.  Marni went up after that.  Chris asked if I wanted to try lead climbing.  I went up the 5.7 and was kind of fluent.  It was nice having tried to lead something that I'd just done so I was confident I could make it to the top.   Chris then tried a 5.11-5.10 and made it up pretty good.  I then climbed the next route.  It was tough getting started, but I kept moving.  There were a couple moves that were pretty difficult for me.  There was one point that I was more or less on the toes of my left foot.  My right foot wasn't on a solid position, and neither of my hands had a good hold.  After a bit of careful planning, I went for a move that was a bit out of my reach and was able to grab the rock.  Once I got past that, I was able to get to the top.  The next route we climbed was a 5.8.  Chris led, rapped down and pulled the quick draws and then the rope.  The second lead I attempted to place the draws and the ropes.  I had to climb about 20 feet up before I could place the first one and proceeded to place the next few without any hiccups.  The 5th and 6th were a bit more difficult, and I crossed the 5th, so I had to down climb to fix my mistake.  I was pretty nervous up top.  Then I got to the top and had to place the anchor, which was about 10 feet above my last draw.  Thankfully there was a nice ledge to stand on to place the anchor.  It was a fun day and I overcame a couple things that had previously made me pretty nervous.  I can't wait to build on what I learned today! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


The previous two time trials have been good, but not ideal.  I typically work until 5, and I race at 6:17:40, so I had to scramble to get to the race, let alone get a good warmup in.  Today I left at 4 so I was able toA get a solid warm up in.  The coarse is about 10.5 miles with a couple decent hills and a couple deceptive hills, but it is mostly straight and flat.  Conditions were great for the race.  The temps were around 70 ish with a bit of sun, and light wind.  In tonights race I shattered my previous personal record of 27:00.5 with new PR of 25:36 for an average speed of 24.61 mph.  Smokin!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

CCTT on Wednesdays

Yesterday was the first race in the Cherry Creek Time Trial.  It was also my first road race ever.  I know the coarse very well, as it is one of the places that I ride my road bike quite often.  I was late getting to the race, had to get my number, got about 4 minutes of warm up-which is no where near enough, have never used aero bars in my life, and got to the start line 14 seconds before go time.  I left the start shoot and tried to warm up in the race.  I felt good considering I was not ready.  The race consisted of 10.5 miles of road.  I had a goal of about 28 minutes.  Because of my late arrival to the start line, I had no idea what kind of pace I was putting down because I did not have my computer properly set.  All I knew was that my heart rate was pegged at 180, which is pretty high for me to hold so early in the season.  I ended up with a time of 27:02 and an average speed of 23.3 mph.  It probably would have been better, but I was all over the road because of my aero bars.  I am really happy with this pace considering everything.  Six more weeks of racing the TT, I can't wait until the next one.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


At the trail with new jackets!

Today Chris, Jeremy and I decided to go to Frisco to look at skis at a shop that had rentals on sale and then head to the south side of the Ben Tyler trail.  This did not work at all.  The shop at Frisco opened at 10, which we thought it opened at 8.  Turns out we went to the wrong shop.  By the time we figured this out and went to the right shop, all of the skis we wanted were already gone.  They did have 50% off on winter gear though.  Chris and I each got down jackets that are the same color (only ones they had, not completely intentional).  At least mine is a Mountain Hardware Phantom (crazy warm), where as Chris's is The North Face.  Plus it was getting later in the day and we did not feel like driving all the way to the Ben Tyler trail.  Since it decided to be winter again in Colorado, we went thought it would be best to go to the Echo Lake trail head near Mt. Evans, which is closer to Denver so we would not have to fight ski traffic.  The snow was actually really nice, and so was the trail.  We snow shoed for a couple hours and then headed back to Denver.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cheq cleared!

Today my check for the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival cleared.  This is one of my favorite races. The annual trip to the north woods of Wisconsin to race against 1,700 other lucky entrants is unlike anything I have ever done.  This will be my 6th year in a row competing in the 40.  The race is fun, but the festival atmosphere tops it off.  Seeing many of my friends, cooking out, sitting by fires, and consuming post ride celebration beers is a great time.  I am excited as this year Scott, Chris, and Marni will be racing with me.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Moab for the Weekend

Asleep on Mineral Bottom road Saturday morning
Random livestock on side of road while biking
Road biking to Moab
Jug handle arch 14 miles from Moab
Vibe in Sand (not recommended)

Friday I ducked out of work early so that Jeremy, Chris D. and I could head off to Moab.  We got to our camp site at 11pm, and the sky was as clear as can be.  Hundreds of stars could be seen, and it was a great night to sleep under the stars off of Mineral Bottom road.  Saturday we slowly got going.  Jeremy and Chris wanted to go hiking.  I on the other hand feel that if I am in Moab and have any legs, riding bikes is the way to go. I Headed off by myself from the end of Mineral Bottom road and headed to Moab.  The initial descent and scenery was awesome.  Red rock and desert with the snow capped La Sals off in the distance.  I rode down 191 into Moab with the thought of riding down 128 which snakes around with the Green River.  Unfortunately there was a 1/2 marathon so the road was closed.  I decided to bike to Potash, which is in a canyon and mostly shielded from the wind.  It is 16 miles one way and was really nice.  I saw lots of people climbing and many people off to the Poison spider bike trail.  By the time I went back to Moab, 128 was open, so I rode out to Porcupine Rim and back.  I was pretty beat so I biked to Subway and chased that with a mint chocolate chip brownie ice cream sandwich.  66 miles on the road bike capped a 270 mile week.  Chris and Marni rolled into town a couple hours later and met up with us for more ice cream.  Dinner was at the Moab Brewery, which was nice despite the hour wait.  
Saturday nights campsite was found off of Willow Springs rd.  We found a narrow sandy road.  It was a bit cloudy, and we were a bit nervous since we did not bring tents.  I woke up sometime around 5AM to a clear sky and stars.  After a couple more hours of sleep, the five of us headed over to the famed Slickrock mountain bike trail.  Jeremy and Chris D. really haven't done any mountain biking.  Both of them did pretty well and had great time.  It was quite windy, but there was plenty of sun.