Posted by: ahypio | December 21, 2009

Skate-Skate-Tour-Avatar

The shoulder season doldrums are over and winter has arrived.  Friday was 2 hours of skating at Mt Dell.

Saturday was 2 hours of skating in PC with Rhonda.

Sunday morning was a quick tour in East Bowl.

The snow was quite nice.  Fresh tracks in 8-12″ of sweet sugar snow.

I saved the best for last.  We caught a late afternoon screening of Avatar in Dolby Digital 3D at Jordan Commons.  I can’t say enough about how excellent this movie was so I won’t even try.  All I’ll say is that if you don’t see this movie in 3D at the theater you will be doing yourself a grave disservice.  Yes, it is that amazing!

Posted by: ahypio | November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving comeback

We headed south for turkey day to warm up and clean the smog out of our lungs.  Rhonda’s mom is not so great at cooking large meals so we decided to splurge on dinner at the Zion Lodge in the park.  It was pricey but excellent with a quinoa pilaf being the highlight. 

Friday we met Fox and the Rock’s in Hurricane for a rim loop.  Alex G started a bit later but caught up and rode with us for a bit to.  The comeback is in full swing for Fox as even a slow Sly shreds the DH like nobody’s business.  I’d catch up to him on the climbs but as soon as the trail pointed down he was gone.  An excellent 2.5 hrs that left me hungry for more but dusk was approaching so we had to settle for one loop.

Saturday we met Fox and Dave Harris in Green Valley.  The locals were running a sweet demolition derby in the valley floor.  Some dude was launching an old Mazda 626 off a table top and a Durango was smashing him when he landed.  Later while we were doing a Zen loop a couple old farts in a Benzo SUV were blasting x-mas ornaments off the sage bush alongside the trail.  DH had to shout them down while we hid behind a ridge of rock.  That place is crazy with rednecks.  I blew up the spring on my eggbeater right before the downhill and as sketchy as that trail is on one pedal the local fauna is far scarier.  I didn’t bring an extra set of pedals so that was it for my weekend.  Disappointing but it’s only November so no biggie.  I’m actually already excited for some Jan and Feb big rides in the desert.  Winter can’t end soon enough.

Posted by: ahypio | November 9, 2009

Cutthroat Cross

My keys to an awesome race experience can be summed up with the four “C’s” for success.  Close, Cheap, Challenging and sCwag.  Cutthroat Cross delivered.  Rico served up another delicious course.  He eliminated one of the two evil run-ups from last years course but the remaining one was steep, long and plenty evil.  All in all it was a fast flowy course with very little breaking necessary and absolutely no recovery.  In my opinion it was cross perfection.  I had a good start and clamped on to the back of the lead group of B’s.  Moved by a couple people on the run-up and was holding steady through the chicanes till I took a corner a bit too wide and got hung up in the tape.  The guys ahead got a bit of a gap and I was working hard to close it coming into the hard left turn off camber downhill.  I came into the turn way too hot.  My front tire was grabbing for all it’s worth but I had too much speed and too much leverage against it.  Down I went sliding under the tape, all the way down the hill and off the course.  I picked myself up and everything was still in one piece so I remounted and began chasing.  As I got back on the bike a guy passed me and yelled “dude that was epic”.  At least it was entertaining.  Needless to say in a B race I don’t have the watts to catch back on after a wreck like that but I got in an excellent work out and had a blast.  Rhonda hasn’t been feeling well but wanted to give it a go so she literally gutted out the race through some cramps and finished.  She won a nice Swix beanie for her troubles and I grabbed a bag of Carborocket  in the raffle.  Another excellent day on the bike.

Posted by: ahypio | November 3, 2009

Fruita

Fruita in the fall is becoming an annual trip for us.  There is nothing better than ending an excellent MTB season with a long weekend ripping desert single track.  In the past 10 or so years I have introduced quite a few people to the wonders of Fruita.  This year the Fruita virgins we brought along to sacrifice were the Buzzards.

We arrived Thursday afternoon to temps in the low 40′s and partly cloudy skies.  The sunniest place in the area seemed to be Rabbit Valley so we headed out there to ride.  Rabbit Valley is the only place in the area we had never gotten around to riding and we were in for a real treat.  We took Trail 2 to the Kokopeli trail over to the West Rim trail which was absolutely spectacular.  Imagine riding the White Rim except on sweet 1-track and you have the West Rim trail.  I can’t believe we waited this long to ride that trail.  Defiantly one of the hidden gems of Fruita.  After finishing the West Rim I missed the turn which would have linked us back to the Kokopeli  and our car.  After about 45 mins of climbing which took us most of the way towards Westwater I realized my mistake.  By the time we turned around the sun was close to setting and we ended up riding the Kokopeli back to the car without lights in  freezing temps.  Riding in the desert under the nearly full moon without lights was a kind of cool experience but not one I would like to repeat.

The Buzzards arrived that afternoon and we met them for dinner.  Since the weather was supposed to be cloudy and cold again on Friday we decided to do a couple short loops in the Tabaguache area near Grand Junction and then hit happy hour.  It was barely above freezing when we started at noon.  We climbed up Pete-e-Keys and headed down Lemon Squeezer.  It had been raining and snowing earlier in the week and when we got to the base of Lemon Squeezer we ran into a field of pretty nasty wet clay.  Strange because everything else around was dry.  We slogged out of the clay and back to the car.  The girls bailed for Latte’s and warmth while T-buzz and I headed back out to hit some of the higher and drier trails.  We did a loop of Pete-e-Keys, Holy Cross, Miramonte, Ali Ali, and Kurts back to the car.  Pretty fun loop with a lot of excellent well thought out technical on Holy Cross that was just a bit beyond my XC weenie skills.  We hit Happy Hour at the Rockslide for dinner and dropped $18 to see Zombieland at the Carmike.  Laughed my ass off!  Probably the funniest movie I’ve seen all year.

The weather improved on Saturday and we headed over to the Kokopeli trailhead to ride my all time favorite desert singletrack loop.  Mary’s-Rustler-Horsethief-Steve’s-Lion’s-Troybuilt.  Almost 30 miles of 1-track bliss.

For a finale on Sunday we hit the trails at 18 road.  Prime Cut-Joe’s Ridge-Kestle Run was loop one and we finished with a loop on Zippity.  Zippity has become a victim of its own success.  Too many Fred’s skidding down the hills have turned the wicked fun trail into a loose, rutted mess.  Too bad but there are plenty of other trails around to ride plus rumors of a new loop being built out there are intriguing.

Fall Fruita 2009 was a sweet success.  Nothing beats a weekend of great trails and great friends.

Posted by: ahypio | November 3, 2009

Fall Fruita Trip Picture Post

Rhonda on West Rim

Rhonda on West Rim

West Rim

West Rim

West Rim

West Rim

West Rim

West Rim

West Rim

West Rim

Rhonda, Meg, T-Buzz on Troybuilt

Rhonda, Meg, T-Buzz on Troybuilt

Rhonda and Meg on Troybuilt

Rhonda and Meg on Troybuilt

T-buzz on Lions

T-buzz on Lions

Rhonda on Mary's

Rhonda on Mary's

Rhonda, Meg and T-buzz on Marys

Rhonda, Meg and T-buzz on Marys

Horsethief

Horsethief

Cold day at the Lunch Loops

Cold day at the Lunch Loops

Posted by: ahypio | October 6, 2009

Vernal 1-track weekend

Drew put the call out awhile ago to investigate the rumors of sweet 1-track in Vernal.  Little did he know I had already been there twice and knew just where the goods were.  Drucy, Wedge, Single H, Rhonda and I left the cold of the valley behind on Friday and met up at McCoy Flats just west of Vernal to begin our 1-track weekend.  We started with a warm up on Serendipity loop which starts with a gentle climb to the ridge above the McCoy flats parking area and finishes with a fast romp down the ridge on the narrowest single track you’ll ever see.  Unlike Fruita, Vernal gets very little traffic and the trails are still of the 4-6″ wide hand cut variety.  We finished our riding Friday on More Hoe’s.  Over 30 Hoe’s were destroyed in the construction of this loop and I can see why.  It’s super narrow, rocky and kinda technical including a scary traverse of a 6″ wide knife edge ridge on loose cobbles. 

Saturday we woke up, shook off the early AM chill and headed over to the Red Mountain trailhead to ride Rojo.  Rojo starts by climbing almost 3 miles up a jeep road and finishes with a technical decent all the way back down on slickrock.  This isn’t your typical Moab slickrock either.  It’s scarred and pockmarked from erosion with endless wheelsucking holes if you stray off the marked trail.  In other words wicked fun.  After Rojo we headed over to ride a big loop of Cabin Boy, Three Amigos and Chrome Molly.  I had ridden these trails a few years ago and navigation was a challenge to say the least.  This time we came prepared and Single H loaded his Edge 305 with track files to keep us on trail.  It kinda worked.  We started on Cabin Boy which was a nice mix of narrow 1-track and slickrock.  Three Amigos was next and thats where the fun began.  About halfway through the loop we followed a trail sign off a double-track which coaberated with the GPS track.  After a couple hundred yards the trail pretty much disappeared.  We would see a bermed switchback here and there but large swaths of trail were gone and without the GPS we might still be out there!  Well not really but we would have ended up bushwhacking back to the road.  Apparently sections of the Three Amigos trail have been abandoned.  Who would have known.  Eventually after 3-4 miles of losing the trail and following cow paths that went in the same general direction as the GPS track we re-connected with a part of the trail that was still in use and rode it back to the car.

It rained a bit Saturday night and the skies looked pretty threatening Sunday morning when we woke up.  Our original plan was to explore the new Springfield trails (all named after Simpsons stuff) northwest of town but with the possibility of bad weather we decided to stick with what we knew and ride some of the trails we hadn’t hit yet at McCoy flats.  Just as we were about to head out the skies opened up and dumped rain.  Ten minutes later the rain stopped and we saw a small patch of blue to the southwest open up so we headed for the trailhead.  We started on Firesale which was a blast.  Narrow single-track and a bunch of fun little moves to test your technical prowess.  About halfway through the loop more dark clouds started heading our way so we motored through as quickly as possible.  We quickly loaded up in some light sprinkles and just as we were leaving the parking lot it started to hail. 

Vernal was fun and I’d defiantly go back again.  It’s not as cool as Fruita or some of the new trails in Moab but it’s closer and there’s far fewer people.  The entire time we were there we never saw another soul on the trails and only a handful at the various trailheads.

Posted by: ahypio | September 6, 2009

Park City Point 2 Point

I can’t help but use the overexposed cliche’….. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

We showed up Friday night at the Canyons for the racers meeting. Pretty un-eventful other than I have never been in a room with a skinnier bunch of mofo’s in my entire life. Costavich thought he was the heaviest dude in the room of 150 people and he was probably right.

Saturday we arrived in Round Valley around 6:30 to perfect temps and partly cloudy skies. I waited in line for 20 mins to use the one crapper on site (my only complaint about the logistics of the entire race) threw on my gear and lined up at the back. The start was faster than I thought it would be but I had no intention of going out too hot early like I did at Laramie so I took it easy through Round Valley. About halfway through Round Valley I started feeling a familiar bubbling down low and knew I needed to make an early pit stop as we exited Round Valley. I dropped some extra weight at the Round Valley toilet. I’ve never had to do that at a race but didn’t think that much of it. Leaving Round Valley I pointed my bike toward one of the coolest rainbows I have ever seen framing the climb to Prospector. Where there’s a rainbow there is of course rain and it started pouring as I summited Skid Row and started around Prospector. Even with the rain making thinks sloppy this was the highlight of my race. The course wasn’t closed but between the rain and the 100+ racers ahead of me I was pretty sure it would be safe to blaze through Prospector as fast as I wanted. I passed about 5 people on Prospector, another 5 or so on the Snowtop climb and a few more on the Deer Crest climb up to Silver Lake. This section of the race was all firmly in “the best of time”. I was on a high. My pace was sustainable, the trails were great and I was having the most fun in a race I’ve ever had. The only thing that would portend to the misery ahead was a slight but noticeable queasiness in my stomach. I was still feeding well so I chose to ignore it. I rolled into Silver Lake and passed right by the aid station since I didn’t need anything. I started up the steep service road to Bald Mountain. There were a couple guys walking their bikes and it was very steep but I was barely able to stay riding so I did. The course turned off the service road and started uphill on one of the downhill only MTB trails which was turned into an uphill trail for this race. It was ridiculously steep. I rode some and walked some but when I was riding I was redlined and my stomach which is perfectly content filled with Gu and energy drink at a HR of 150-155 was not happy at all with HR’s near my max at 172. By the time I hit the top my stomach was doing somersaults and I knew I was in trouble. I’ve never had this problem in a long event and I wasn’t even halfway done. I limped down to the aid station and grabbed a coke hoping it would do the trick. I sat in the shade sipping my coke and a little bit later I felt solid enough to continue on. The coke had kinda settled my stomach but I still didn’t feel great. By the time I left the aid station it was a little after noon and I had my doubts about making the Park City aid station by the time cut off of 3:30. The climb up Tour de Suds went well. I was able to sip a little energy drink and as I started down TG2 I started feeling a bit better about my race. TG2 is kind of an annoying trail and not my favorite. It’s OK as a recreation trail but it’s annoying when you’re tired from racing all morning. It’s steep in spots and there’s too much to think about with lots of roots, rocks and off camber stuff plus it’s handbuilt and narrow so there’s only one line and if you get off it you end up in the woods (luckily I only blew one corner and didn’t hit the tree I ran into too hard). Exiting TG2 onto Mid Mountain I was feeling kinda OK. I wasn’t able to feed well but I knew most of the annoying trails were history. All I had to do was take Johns 99 to the service road and then start up the smooth climb to Shadow Lake. As I exited Johns 99 by the Town Lift I saw Jen Hanks directing traffic on to Johns trail (a very different trail from Johns 99). I asked her “we need to do Johns trail?”. She responded with an affirmative and I wanted to die. Johns trail is the most annoying trail in Park City. A lot of people love it and I like it OK when I’m feeling good but by this time my coke had worn off, I couldn’t get a gel down and I could barely sip my energy drink. I was blown and now I had to ride the most technical XC trail in Park City with no energy and slow reflexes. I started down. Slow doesn’t work on Johns because even on a 29er you need momentum to clear all the roots. I was doing OK but about halfway down I washed out the front end on a corner and rammed into a tree hip first. It wasn’t too bad so I continued on. I popped out of Johns on the service road and started heading back up the mountain. My hip hurt and so I didn’t have a lot of power in my left leg and my energy level was on empty. At this point it was 2:00 and I knew there was no way in hell I was going to make the time cut off. I started forming exit strategies. At first I was just going to suffer up Steps trail, cut the course by taking Thayne’s road over to Crescent Mine Grade and from there ride down and pull the plug. Once I got to the top of Steps I decided I might as well finish this leg and have Shannon pull the plug for me when I got to the aid station too late. I got to the top of Shadow lake at 3:00 knowing the was no way I was going to be able to descend halfway down the mountain, climb Thayne’s road and then descend the rest of the way in 30 minutes. For some reason I can’t explain I shot a gel at this time. I was going to roll off the mountain and be done plus I came inches from vomiting as soon as I did it so why I bothered I still don’t know. I blazed down the service road and Powerline trail at speeds that make me cringe as I type this. I just wanted to be done. I got to Thayne’s road in 7 minutes and started up. I made it halfway before I had to stop and rest and walked the rest of the way up. I started down Crescent Mine Grade at 3:25. Another unholy descent involving three scary passes and I was at the aid station right at 3:30. I was done….right? Shannon asked me and the three others that came in right behind me if we wanted to finish the race. I grabbed a Coke, sat down and desperately wanted to pull the plug. If I was alone I probably would have but Rhonda, TC, Lucy, Shannon and Ryan were all there looking expectantly at me and I couldn’t do it. I had to finiah. I finished my Coke and headed out as the Lantern Rouge…..last man to make the time cut off. The Coke got me to the top of Spiro and I tried to drink some energy drink but my stomach knotted up and I had to sit at the junction to mid-mountain to calm my guts. Limped up the climb to the overlook, sat down on the bench in the sun and took 15 minutes to choke down a GU. Somehow I survived the journey across mid mountain and stopped at the final aid station at the Colony for another coke. I knew there was no way I could get anything else down so I hoped the coke would get me home. It didn’t. The energy from the Coke carried me for about an hour and I blew up on the final climb up Ambush near the end of the race in the Canyons. My HR was 126 yet I was panting and I had nothing left. I rode some, walked some and prayed for the end. Somehow I finshed the climb and started down. As I crested the small ridge above the Canyons I could see the end and and almost broke down into tears. I rolled to the finish with the crowd cheering me on and was done. 11:10 of riding time and over 12 hours on the trail. Finishing that race in my condition is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. Ideally on a 12 hour ride I would consume at least 3000 calories and drink at least 250 oz’s of fluid. I consumed less than 700 and had maybe 70oz of fluid. It was the ride I’ll never forget and hope never to repeat.

It was an excellently run race and I’ll definatly do it again but absolutly not solo. Well…. probably not solo:)

Posted by: ahypio | September 3, 2009

A Little More Kauai

Ho’opi’i Falls
Hanakap’ai Falls

Maha’ulupe Beach

Crazy local dropping over 100 ft out of the tree into Kipu pool

Kauai Singletrack

Pool of Mokolea


Napali Coast (if you look close you can see crazy nekkid people running down the sand hill)

Napali sea cave

Momma and baby along Napali
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I’m plenty rested for the PCP2P on Saturday. I’m doing it solo, does that make me craaaazy……….possibly.

Posted by: ahypio | September 2, 2009

Kauai

Ke’e Beach view from the Kalalau Trail

A highly endangered Monk Seal

Kilauea Lighthouse

Ke’e Beach

Wailua Falls (173 ft)


Kalalau Valley

Kalalau Valley


Waimea Canyon

Waipo’o Falls

Outlying Kapa’a Town seen from Nounou Mountain

An insurance salesmen


Nounou Mountain

Two weeks in Kauai was wonderful. We did some hikes, some sightseeing, a lot of snorkling and a ton of just chilling on the beach. Soundly slept 9-10 hours every night with the sounds of the ocean in the background and the Trades blowing through our condo.

Posted by: ahypio | August 7, 2009

Laramie Enduro Garmin Track

I’m an information guy. The more info I have the happier I am and having a Garmin makes me very happy. By analyzing the data from my Garmin I found I went out a little too hard. It felt OK at the time but the numbers dont lie. I was over threshold too often in the first 90 minutes and I definatly paid for it over the last 90 minutes.

Leaving Saturday AM for two weeks in Hawaii. With no saddle time in sight the PCPP could be interesting.

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