Monday, November 26, 2012

Rays Mountain bike park

Video courtesy of Jim Parman

Feets of strength

It was good to get in a week of riding with great weather and a short week of work during Thanksgiving.  21,000 plus feet of elevation gained with most of it on dirt in late November is quite a surprise.

Sunday I rode Nice Kitty, which is a newer trail at Buffalo Creek, with Mike.  Thanks to all of those who helped make the trail.  It is well designed.  It is mile .5 to about mile 4.6 in the link below.

Buffalo Creek ride with Nice Kitty

Monday, October 22, 2012

Into the darkness

The last bit of light on Sunday nights ride before a 2,000+ foot descent with Ben, Tim, and Brandon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge and back

Park City Point 2 Point wrapped up a long, mentally and physically challenging two months.  A few to many big events and lots of traveling (5,000 miles in two months) left me drained.  I was looking forward to relaxing after the race, but was invited to ride with a group of friends from Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge, spend the night in a rented house, and ride back the next day.  It was going to be a pretty tame ride on some really fun trails at about the time the leaves begin changing colors in the high country. 

Saturday morning the eight of us departed Denver to park at Kenosha Pass to begin the journey.  It was a little cold at 10,000 feet early in the morning, but the first half of our day consisted of a lot of climbing up to  Georgia pass.  Few riders were out as we started.  It was nice and peaceful having the trails primarily to ourselves.  I felt a little tired, but set the pace and was riding pretty well, which enabled me to stay at the front and get a few pictures.  There was a chance of rain in the forecast for the weekend, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky during our ride.  The last few miles of the descent down Georgia pass was quite rocky and technical.  Once we made it to Breckenridge, I had to make a quick stop at a local bike shop and then met the group at Breckenridge Brewery for lunch.

Part way up to Georgia Pass on Saturday

Sunday morning's start was quite a bit colder.  As we departed our house, the temperatures were in the upper 30s.  The ride to Tiger road was quick.  Not long after we reached the pavement though, Nick's chain broke.  Thankfully I learned my lesson from Pierre's Hole 100 and had a couple SRAM quick links that I used to fix his chain.  The technical section after Tiger road proved to be a bit of hike a bike, but once we got past that, the climbing was consistent.  Again, once we got above treeline the sun and temperature was perfect.  

 Brisk but sunny start to the day
 Back on the CT to Kenosha pass
 Brad leading the way up to Georgia pass
 Justin just out of treeline
Nick riding through the Aspens

The weekend was just what I needed.  About four hours of riding a day, no pressure to ride fast, a good group, and lots of good trails. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


July 4 Fireworks in Breckenridge started at 9:32.  AM.  The Firecracker 50 Expert 30-39 field was the second wave of racers to begin the July 4th parade and two lap 50 mile race.  The road lead out and 6 mile climb up Boreas Pass separated the field early.  I rode conservatively consistent on the climb and worked in with a few riders as we gradually picked off riders that could not keep pace.  I rode well and let it go on the downhills as much as I could handle on the hardtail with sort of numb hands from a couple big early season rides.  I had a small crash, but besides that, the first lap went well and I lapped through earlier then I expected. 

A very quick pit thanks in part to Eric, who handed me two new bottles, and I was off.  The second lap was a little slower as I felt a bit tired.  A friend offering encouragement on Little French Gulch kept me moving up the rocky, steep, loose climb.  One of my water bottle cages broke, so I had to stop and "fix" it.  A case of chain suck due to the dry course slowed me for a few moments also.  I actually thought I was not going to be able to get my chain free after a few moments.  I was pretty worked the last 1/2 of the second lap, but still managed a solid time.  I was a bit faster then I thought, but it was hard to compare times from this year to last year as the course was a little bit different and probably faster.  I was 50 minutes faster though, and am happy with the result. 

The Breck100 a week and a half later was a far different story.  I didn't ride much between the two races since they are both fair efforts and I wanted to be fresh for the Breck100 which climbs over 13,000 ft.  I took the start line Sunday morning at 6AM with questions on how recovered I was and if I was ready to rock.  30 minutes into the climb I knew it was not my day.  The two previous years I had to hold back the effort on the climb up to Wheeler Pass.  This year I could barely turn the pedals over.  My heart rate was really low and I could not get it to the zone I normally climb in.  I couldn't even get it to my normal endurance effort.  I continued on with the hope my body would come around.  Who knows.  Sometimes it takes a few hours.  My lap one time was slow.  I didn't feel right.  And I didn't feel another 70 miles.  I pulled the plug, which was difficult to do.  It had been 4 years since I DNF'd at a race, the last being a triple flat day.  I was pretty disappointed I was not ready, but I think DNF'ing was the best idea as I did not want to dig a deeper hole and not be able to get out of it for a while.  Some days you have it, some days you don't. 

I took five days off the bike after the race, which was mentally challenging.  This past weekend was the Courage Classic Children's Hospital fundraiser, and I wanted to make sure I was ready for a good weekend of riding in Summit county.  Most of team GTRI stayed at a condo that we rented in Frisco.  The goal was to ride from the condo each day.  The start line for the day one route was in Leadville, 31 miles from the condo and over Freemont pass, which was almost 2,000ft higher than our start.  Tim and I rode to the start and got going a little later then we planned.  Most people probably started IN Leadville before we started in Frisco.  Our pace was a little different, so we each rode on our own.  Turquoise lake is surrounded by 12,000ft peaks and a thick pine forest.  The ride around the lake consists of steep climbs and descents.   Flat sections don't really exist here.  I was tired and uncertain how I would react to big rides less than a week after having nothing, so I took it easy on the way back to Frisco.  Ride data here.

Sunday's ride was 100 miles.  It was a lot of riding on Summit counties elaborate bike paths and then out to Ute Pass, which was a new climb for me.  I felt pretty decent for the first couple hours.  I worked in with a pace line before the Ute pass turn off to save energy and keep moving.  I worked to the front a few times, even jumping ahead when it seemed to slow down.  When I was at the front I was keeping speeds between 25 and 35mph, which surprised me quite a bit.  The route had us going up and over Ute pass and turning around when the rough pavement turned to gravel.  Its a nice climb from both sides.  I don't think it ever got over 8% on either side.  A little rain for a while was the only notable thing for the rest of the ride.  Ride data here.

Mondays ride started off quite painful.  Turning the pedals after 180 miles the previous two days was brutal.  It took about 30 to 40 minutes for the legs to come around a bit.  The steeper pitches up Freemont Pass forced a greater tempo.  My "pacing" for the long ride turned to an all out effort to the top 15 miles into an 80 mile ride.  I used the frustration from DNF'ing the week before to keep the pace up.  The ride was very similar to Mondays ride, but this time it was supposed to end in Leadville.  That was our lunch break before the final 31 miles back to the E.  A quick coffee stop for some extra fuel and we were on to beat the rain and lightning.  My legs felt great climbing up to Freemont.  I reached a new top speed on the bike on the ride down, 58.1mph.  Monday's ride here.

The Courage Classic was a great weekend for a great cause.  My legs felt good for most of the weekend, and I really needed a good weekend of training. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Courage Classic: Riding for the Children's Hospital

The weekend of July 21 to July 23 I will be riding in the Courage Classic, which is a 3 day bike ride . The Courage Classic is a fundraiser for Children's Hospital here in Colorado. Global Technology Resources Inc. (where I work) has always been very involved with the hospital and has actually had some families who have spent time at the facility with their children. For this and many other reasons, Children's Hospital is near and dear to us at GTRI. As such, we have started a team to raise money for the cause.   I will be riding for team GTRI and wearing my RMR kit all weekend.  Donations can be made using the link below.

See where the Money goes here.

Donations can be made here

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Two big races in May and my results in both races lead me to do a fair amount of thinking about where I am at and my performances in both races, which explains my delay in blogging about them.  May 12th I raced 12 Hours of Mesa Verde and May 27 raced The Original Growler

Friday morning I departed for Cortez, which is about 45 minutes west of Durango, to set up shop and check out the course for 12 Hours of Mesa Verde as I was racing this solo.  I am glad I did this as there were definitely some tricky spots on the course.  I was able to clear everything in my pre-ride, but I knew there would be many spots that would force most riders off of their bikes.  It was also good to know where I would be able to consume fuel.  The start of the course had some punchy climbs and quick winding descents.  The middle of the 16.4 mile course was very rocky and had lots of step like features and drop offs.  And the last part contained really steep rollers that if you let it rip down you could easily roll up over.  Parts two and three were difficult to drink bottles during.

A windy Friday night did not set things up well as my tent was flapping around all night and I got very little sleep.  As the sun rose so did I as I was very excited to turn laps on a fun and challenging course.  The race started off with a 400 yard or so le mans style run, which was probably my longest run in 10 years.  Long races like these I find quite funny.  My plan was not to burn to many matches, so every climb I was pacing myself with what I thought was an ideal heart rate limit.  Downhills and technical sections, not so much.  This is where I would let it rip.   I ticked lap after lap off and was pretty consistent right around 1:40 for the first three or four laps.  As I lapped through I would grab a bite to eat and I made sure to drink a bunch of water, Powerade, and Coke as it was pretty warm out.  Lap five even went pretty well, but I was falling off.

Lap six was another story.  I was not riding technical features very well, and had to walk a few difficult sections that was I was clearing earlier in the day.  My mind was tired.  My body hurt.  Funny thing is my hands, back, and arms hurt more than my legs from the constant jarring of the course.  The last half of the sixth lap shifting even became difficult.  I lapped through at 10:33 minutes.  I was pretty certain I had enough.  Most 12 hour races you have to finish the last lap before 12 hours.  This race was different.  As Long as I went out by 6PM, I could have taken as long as I wanted.  Due to my deteriorating condition, I decided to pull the plug.  99.9 miles was a pretty fair effort.  I also had 10:15 minutes of moving time in 10:33 minutes, which I was very happy with.  I did not think another lap would have been good for all parties involved, but the thought of turning another lap still lingers in my mind.  The way I looked at it at the time I could have finished 12th to 14th had I done a seventh lap, so I did not think it was worth it.  I ended up 19th of out 40 riders.  Garmin info here.

The course was a lot of fun.  The race was well run.  But I am not sure I will show up to this again as it is a pretty fair ways from Denver and took a while to recover, which leads into the Growler.  Lynda Wallenfels, a well respected cycling coach, states it takes two to three weeks to recover from such an effort.  The start of the Growler was 15 days after 12 Hours of Mesa Verde.

The week after 12 Hours of Mesa Verde Tim and I went to Gunnison to ride a few laps at Hartman Rocks, the site of the Original Growler.  I had two goals for the weekend: become familiar with as many of the technical spots of this course as possible as this is the most technical race on the schedule and determine if the Niner RDO was the bike to race.  I sessioned many of the tricky sections and figured out the lines that I could ride and determined what sections were hike a bike for me.  At the end of the weekend I was also not beat up, which was great since I thought the Niner would be faster if I could handle riding the hardtail. 

On to race weekend.  A few rides on Friday and Saturday around the course made me feel even better about my previous weeks reconnaissance trip.  Crazy winds kept Saturdays riding to a minimum and forced us to head out to eat dinner.  Sunday morning was cold.  The game time temperature was somewhere around 35 degrees, but it wasn't windy.  I rode in the middle of the pack on the four mile road lead out.  Once we turn off the road and onto the dirt, the race officially starts.  Kill hill, which is a gravel road with really steep pitches, instantly separates the pack.  Two thirds of the way up I found a clearing and decided to go.  I actually felt good and my legs were responding.  I ended up putting in a good effort for a while and got in with a fast group.  15 or so miles in I wasn't sure I could hold the pace of the group I was riding with.  I noticed a few Pro ladies and a couple other strong riders were in the group, so I decided to back off a bit.  Even though my legs were a bit heavy, I kept a solid pace and rode most features well.

I lapped through at about 3:40, ate some food, exchanged water bottles and took off on the initial climb.  It hurt.  I was fairly conservative on the start of the second lap, maintaining a pace I knew I could hold for quite a while.  The riding became more difficult as my legs became more tired.  I seemed to be passing more riders then were passing me, which made me feel good.  I also gapped the group of riders I started with on lap two.  Halfway through I started doing some math and I thought I had a shot of being sub 7:30, which I thought would be pretty solid all things considering.  I knew where I was at and roughly what I had left to go and in the tank.  I increased the effort a bit knowing that if I cracked, I would have left it on the coarse, but if I finished in time, the increased effort and pain would be worth it.  I rolled in at 7:29:04 completely crushed knowing I gave it my all.  I took about 40 minutes off of the previous years time even though others said this years course was more difficult. I finished 47th out of 90ish riders including DNFs and 115 out of 206 men and there were many more with DNS/DNFs.

Both races were fun and a great challenge.  The ultimate compliment to a racecourse is would you ride it for fun if you could, and the answer to both courses is yes, I would definitely ride them for fun.  The primary reason for being uncertain about my return to 12 Hours of Mesa Verde is it is to close to the Original Growler.  I am sure I could have ridden faster if my legs were less tired at the Growler.  I think next year I will not do any races the three weeks leading up to the Growler, which should enable me to put forth a greater effort.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Whiskey 50

A little over a week ago Ben, Amy,  Brandon and I rolled down to Prescott AZ for the Whiskey 50, my first race of the season.  Its taken me a while to put this together as I have been pretty tired since the race weekend, busy, and waiting on some pictures to go with it.  Better late then never, I suppose. 

The Whiskey 50 is a full weekend of mountain bike racing and a great spectator event.  Friday afternoon we arrived in Prescott, which gave Brandon and I a chance to preview the first part of the course.  We rode for a little over an hour and got about 1,200 ft of climbing, mostly in the first six miles as the race goes up from the start.  After our ride and a bite to eat, it was Ben's turn to ride, but his ride was required.  All Pros have to take the start line at the Friday night criterium, which was 20 minutes of riding plus three laps.  The laps took the men maybe two and a half minutes with the lead group setting a blistering pace.  The first five finishers received call ups for the 50 mile race, so it was interesting to see who would play with the lead group.

 70+ pros took the line, above is the lead group led by Geoff Kabush
Steep climb that separated the pack

Go time for me was 7:30 Saturday morning.  I got an ok warm up in and headed to the start line a little late as it turns out.  Many riders already staged at the start and I started a fair ways back.  I wasn't to worried as the start of the first four miles were a road climb, which would give me plenty of time to pass.  My thinking was keep a solid pace, not put in to much of an effort, and do what I could.  I was passing tons of riders, which made me feel better.  I even heard one rider say "that guy on the Niner isn't even breathing."  This is one of the benefits of riding and racing at elevation.  Prescott is about the same elevation as Denver, and max elevation of the race was a bit over 6,700 ft, which I ride higher than that quite often.  As I guessed, the singletrack still bottlenecked when I got there.  

Once on the trails, the race still climbs a fair bit.  I was consistent in my effort and still picked a few people off when I could.  A really loose long descent made me feel confident in the descending capabilities of my new Niner Air9 RDO.  This is the first time I raced a hardtail bike since probably 2004.  I put in a pretty fair effort on the second climb of the day as is apparent by the look on my face in the picture below, taken near the top.  I knew there was a long descent (10 miles or so), which would give me plenty of time to rest before the real test of the race, the Skull Valley climb.

Skull Valley is about the halfway point of the race.  Descending it, you get a preview of what you get to climb once you get to the turnaround point.  Ben and Amy were waiting with new bottles and food for me, which prepared me for 12 miles and 2,800 ft of climbing.  Once again, I settled into a good rhythm knowing it would take a while to get to the top and I did not want to blow up.  Few if any riders passed me in the hour plus time it took me to get to the top, which seemed to be the trend on all the climbs.  I did WAY more passing than were passing me.  Even on downhill sections, few riders were passing me. 

Once I reached the top I knew it was mostly downhill.  After passing a few riders, a few more caught me.  The group I rode with through the last 5 miles of trail actually stayed together until the finish of the race.  The last part consisted of six or so stream crossings, some switchbacks, a few rocky sections, and open fast trail. 

When we reached the pavement, the group I was with seemed to sit up as if the race was pretty much over.  I knew there were about four miles left, though I did not know if it was road or trail, or both.  I asked the group of there was anymore trail left, and the answer was no.  At this time I was in the second row or riders (three left to right two rows), sat up a bit, got a drink, and launched.  If they wanted to take it easy from here on out, that was fine by me, but I wasn't having it.  I took off on a four mile time trial on my mountain bike.  A couple of riders decided to sit on my wheel and follow.  I knew it was all road and mostly downhill, so I went as hard as I could.  My heartrate was in the upper 170s until the finish and I was pulling at speeds in the upper 20s to low 30s, which proved to me that the 38 tooth ring (old style three rings normally have a 42) was not really a limiter.  No one else in the group would come to the front and take their turn though.  This was starting to upset me after a while as no one in the group wanted to do any work, so I was on my own to set the pace.  Within 100 yards or so of the finish, two riders out sprinted me as I was completely crushed from my effort.  I tried to counter that as I stood up and gave it my all in an attempt to pass them before the finish line, but was not able to.

 Sprint Finish!

I rode in about 4:02, which was faster then I would have guessed after looking at some of the finishing times from the previous year.  I put in a good effort from start to finish, taking only a few minutes of easy riding as I felt cramps a bit around mile 40.  My results were 49/266 mens open, 92/591 overall.  Ride info here.

Sunday Ben took the line in the pro race.  Brandon, Amy, and I watched the start and hustled to Skull Valley to do hand ups for Ben and watch the race unfold.  Then it was back to the start/finish area to see how the race would unfold.  Ben had a good race.

Lead group at Skull Valley

After Sundays race, we started the drive home.  A quick stop at the Grand Canyon to do the tourist thing was the highlight of the ride home.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Air 9 RDO

Today I took my new Niner Air 9 RDO out for its first ride at Buffalo Creek.  The weather was perfect.  It was a little warm, which was actually ideal as I need to get used to riding in warmer weather.  I rode the normal loop since I know times and how my other bikes handle with a few additional trails.  I added 1/3 of Segment 2 and Green Mountain, which I've never ridden before. 

I figured that there would be some necessary trail side adjustments and a bit of a break in period.  I stopped a few times the in the first 1.5 hours to adjust the height of the seat.  The brakes took a bit of time to get used to as well.  My legs felt a bit sluggish too as I've been doing more speed work to get ready for the Whiskey 50.  My first impressions of the bike, wow, it climbs amazing.  Step on it, and it takes off like a rocket.  Even though I did not have a lot of speed today, I was still faster to the CT from 543 then I was on my previous ride, which I rode fairly hard and felt decent.  The XTR brakes are absolutely amazing.  I've heard people talk about 1 finger braking, but never really felt comfortable doing that with my old brakes.  The power and feel of the XTR brakes makes this possible.  I was also quite amazed that I was able to use the big chainring (38/26) the whole ride except one short stretch on Green Mountain, which is a pretty fair climb.  Ride data here.

My bike is full XTR except for the cassette, which is XT.  The matching Sid XX World Cup felt sweet and looks even sweeter.  Crests, 240s, and Schwalbe Racing Ralphs rolled really nicely.  With Crankbrother egg beater 11s it weighs 21.7lbs.  I currently have a borrowed seatpost, which is a fair bit heavier than what I will have shortly.

I would like to thank Golden Bikeshop and Adam Boe, who was great to work with.  Adam was able to get me the green matching fork and the frame before Niner promised it.  He even borrowed me one of his seatposts for the time being until the one I want comes in.  Now thats customer service!  Getting the bike is especially key as a week from today I will be racing it for the first time. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

RMR Team Training Camp

This past weekend was the four day Rocky Mountain Racing training camp in Fruita.  I departed Thursday morning by myself to get there as soon as possible to let the riding begin.  Rolling solo also gave me the flexibility to bring an extra bike and whatever I needed.  I got to 18 road around 1:30 and began to gear up for a ride.  I didn't see anyone and wanted to make the most of my time there, so I decided to head out for a little while.  I did a few loops occasionally lapping through by the main parking spot, but did not see any of the team.  After riding pretty much every trail there, most both ways, and logging in more than 3.5 hours, I decided to pack it in.  As I was leaving I saw the rest of the team, which I ended up riding with for another hour.

Friday mornings plan was to head to the Kokopelli trails.  40 mph winds made us constantly evaluate what trails we should ride and what the best direction to go would be. I rode with the lead group for a while, but after an hour or so, the previous days effort, and a kinked chain, it became difficult to hang on.  I ended up going to Over the Edge to get a new chain, which solved the last problem. 

 Example of trails and views

Sunday we rode the Edge loop at 18 road.  A few miles of singletrack leads to a 8-10 mile gravel road climb.  Towards the end of the road, the climb steepens for a constant 1,000 foot climb at 15% or so grades, which separated the pack.  I started up the climb and was towards the front.  I felt good the whole climb chasing faster riders without going to hard since I did not know how far the climb was or what was in front of us for the rest of the ride.  After the summit of the climb, there were two really fun sections.  The first was really loose terrain with 30% or so grades.  If you crashed, it would be ugly. I hung on and road it out.  It was great.  I smiled and laughed knowing I just rode a sick descent and any mistake would have cost me quite a bit.  After this descent, we regrouped for a long, loose, winding singletrack descent through desert type trees.  Later in the ride we got to the waterfall, which is a 45 foot multi-pitch rappel, see pictures below.  Some fun trails lead to an open area. 

Careful with that bike!
 1st pitch done, now time to swing

Sunday a small group decided decided to ride the Ribbon trail, which sounded like a lot of fun.   A long climb followed by a fun singletrack downhill.  A mile in the cable on my rear derailleur broke.  No long climbs on the singlespeed for me.  I ended up riding 18 road for 3.5 hours as I knew it was singlespeed friendly.  It was getting near the end of the ride and a long weekend as I lapped through near the car.  I was about to quit, but the Honeystinger team was there, and after getting a Honeystinger waffle hand up, I had to ride more. 

It was a fun weekend great weekend camping and riding with RMR, my new team.  I got lots of riding in and rode a few new trails.  Our new team kits are pretty sweet.  Hopefully I can get at least one more weekend in the desert before it gets to warm.

Monday, March 26, 2012

WRIAD (6) on a SingleSpeed (4)

White Rim In A Day has seemingly become an annual event.  Back in 2008 it was my first century, first century on a mountain bike, and it was my first look at endurance mountain biking.  Its also become a nice early season measuring stick to see where my fitness is at.  Its also a great single speed ride with amazing scenery the for the majority of the ride.  Eric and I decided it was time to get out of the city, head to the desert, and see if the early season training has paid off.

A long day at work and a long drive put us at camp at about 11PM Friday night.  As soon as we arrived I found a nice soft spot in the sand and laid down for a few hours sleep.  5AM arrived and it was time to get moving.  I started pedaling a couple minutes after 6 and the gradual climb up the dirt road warmed me up quickly, which was nice as the sun was yet to rise.

A few miles of road riding before we get to the Park
The trail is down there somewhere
Still descending

The day was shaping up very nicely.  As we reached the end of Mineral Bottom road we were greeted with a nice sunrise.  The forecast for the day was a high of about 80, and it seemed to approach that early on.  As a single speeder, the first 35 miles or so presents a few good challenges with longish consistent climbs.  I was able to get through these sections and still feel good.  My personal goals for the day were to try to ride consistently and try to stop as little as possible.  If I reached my goals for the day, I will up the ante by riding a bigger gear the next time I take the single speed for a lap (32x17).

Gas tank with cookies!

Part of being able to ride consistently is eating and drinking on a regular basis to keep fueled.  I brought my Mountain Feedbag and filled it with Honey Stinger bars and my camera.  I stuffed my gas tank with cookies.  Both of these allowed me to eat as I was pedaling.  I also tried to bring less stuff overall so I would not have as much weight on my back to slow me down.  

Along the way we encountered a group of riders from Salt Lake City who were doing a 3 day trip.  We ended up riding with them for 20 to 30 miles.  It was nice having some added company and their group  seemed really nice.  At about mile 64 I came within a foot of getting "doored" by some lady in a Sportsmobile.  This is probably the closest I've ever come to getting hit by an opening door.  Then came the lead up to Murphy's, a series of 4-5 pretty steep but short climbs.  I made all the climbs except 1, which I could not get because my tire spun out as I was out of the saddle in an attempt to just turn the pedals over.  The final climb up Murphys is when single speeders use their third gear, hiking. 

Murphys is a great place to eat lunch and take in the view as its the high point in the area and 67 or so miles in.  The SLC riders were arriving at the same time.  Eric and I decided to hike a little ways from the road and sit on some rocks for lunch.  We heard someone in the SLC group say "Coke" shortly after their support vehicles arrived and we got excited.  How nice would it be to have a cool sugary soda in the middle of the dessert!  After talking about it for a few minutes, I gave Eric $2 and said "I buy, you go get Cokes."  A couple minutes later he came back with ice cold Dr. Peppers!  

Their is a nice descent down the backside of Murphys and a few smaller hills shortly after that.  The time seemed to fly by and it was evident that both of Eric and I were still feeling pretty good, especially after lunch and a soda.  Hardscrabble is the next big challenge around mile 87.  This again is mostly a tough climb that turns into a hike.  After Hardscrabble, the main challenge is the final climb.  1.5 miles and 900 or so feet.  I was 0-5 going into this ride.  As the miles ticked off, the anticipation grew.  I've wanted to clean this climb for years.  I made sure to drink often leading up to the climb.  I made the turn and started up.  It was a struggle to turn the pedals.  I had to stand the whole way up just to turn the pedals over.  My breathing was labored.  Once I got to the final switchback, I knew I had it.  Even as I got to the car, I knew I could keep riding if I had to.  The climb and really the whole ride seemed much easier than before.  I think I passed the test.  I finished with 41 minutes less of ride time than any of my previous laps of the White Rim.  Next single speed lap will be done with 32x17!  Data here.

 Burgers and vegies on the grill!
 Top part of the final climb
Beginning of the final climb