Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Big news! Sort of...

If you read the last post, I mentioned that there was some pretty big news coming. Well, here it is:

I finally got in our catlog! I knew that I had no chance as a model but never imagined that one of my photos would make it to the cover. Sweet!

Here's the back story: Marc Kipp (one of our catalog guys) came by my work bench to chat and asked if I could take some pictures with the GoPro camera since they were looking for something different for a cover shot. The next evening I put the camera on and rode across the street from my house to Ute Valley Park. Ironically I was feeling a bit "off" on the bike and actually almost crashed in the most random place during the ride. I turned the camera on a setting that takes one shot per second and started to ride some fun sections of the park. The reason that I picked the area that eventually ended up on the cover was that it was the only place during my ride from which you could see Pikes Peak. This cliff is just off of the main trail and I just started riding along the edge while the camera was shooting. Simple.

The owner of the Colorado Cyclist, Doug Bruinsma, picked this photo not knowing that I had taken it. When he found out that it was me, he came back to the shop to ask about it and then wrote the copy on the back side of the cover. I think that it's funny that his perception of me is a "wild man" when I am actually pretty cautious on the bike. Especially when you know the kind of riders that I ride with!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Random Photos from the GoPro

If you remember my rhetorical question from the last post about how long my perception of what a long ride is, here is the answer: about 2 weeks. For some reason, July is not a good time for me on the bike. Maybe it's the pollen/mold wreaking havoc with the allergies. Or spending too much time in an air-conditioned environment all day and not doing lunch-rides because of the 90+ degree heat... Who knows?

What I do know is that I am eating and drinking beer like I am still doing epic rides every week so my blog title may soon be referring to the shape of my belly! Ha! Hope not...

Anyhow, the GoPro has been a fun source of photo ops lately. Actually, I have some pretty big news about that, but you will have to be patient. There is a setting on the camera that allows you to press the shutter once and it will take a picture every second until you press it again. What follows are the results of that action whilst riding mountain bikes in the woods or just standing around in the woods...

Merely blocks from my house. I have been scoping out this line while sitting in my car, slowing for the stoplight. Now I have it dialed!

Super fun descent in Ute Valley Park. Roots, rocks, trees! Teetering on the edge of disaster.

Way up in the mountains near Catamount Reservoir there exists a pristine single-track descent called Magic Carpet Ride. One of my favorites.

 Chasing Kelli down the first descent towards the crashed airplane near Palmer Lake. Keeping up with her is not a walk in the park. Just ask any of the Pro Women that she routinely drops.

This is what you get when the camera mount comes loose and starts slipping down and pointing towards your feet: a really cool picture!

 Another random shot while the camera was still shooting. Kelli is like: "is that thing on..." and Jeremiah is contemplating the tragedy of the plane crash from a half-century ago.

Unintentional yet ethereal self-portrait. Standing around in the woods has produced this, my new Facebook profile pic.

Chasing Jeremiah down Limbaugh Canyon. He bobs right while I weave left.

   Riding bikes in the woods with friends (or alone) is fun. Now get to it! Don't forget your camera.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ring the Peak, twice in a week!

Initially I was going to do the "Ring the Peak Trifecta" but decided that a 7+ hour road ride is not something I really want to do at this juncture.

The plan was to jump on the cyclocross bike for the "easy" version of Ring the Peak ( a lap around Pikes Peak) on dirt and paved roads. Then on another day, climb on the mountain bike for a long day of Ringing the Peak on trails.

As it happened, June 11 and June 18 would be the chosen days. Mostly because Scott N. was available to join me for both rides. And the weather looked good.

Here is the Google Earth pic of the cyclocross ride around the Peak. Ride stats include: 75.6 miles, 5:03 ride time, 5932' of elevation gain and about 4300 calories burned.

Scott conned his buddy Mike R. to join us on his newly assembled Breezer mountain bike. He had the advantage on the washboards and deep gravel, for sure.

Here we are posing in front of some spectacular rocks along Gold Camp Road:

Once we hit the pavement, we were rewarded with a tail-wind and ice cold water from a mountain spring. That is the back side of Pikes Peak in the background. 

At this point, my legs had turned to cement (reasons unknown) but soon after ingesting this Costco frozen organic burrito, I started to feel better. I now carry one on every big ride!

A week later, we met at the bottom of High Drive at 7am for the mountain bike Ring the Peak. This time we got Todd B. to join us. It was decided over a sushi lunch the day before. I wonder if he knew what lay ahead?

Todd shot this at the top of the first hike-a-bike climb. We had been riding nearly 2 hours and were still in town. That's a hard way to start a ride like this. Right after this photo, we started riding and a large black bear appeared in front of us on the Ute Pass trail. Luckily, he ran the other way.

Here is the start of the second hike-a-bike, the Mount Esther trail. Half way up, I found out that my fancy new custom mountain bike shoes are not made for hiking. Blisters appeared on my heels and made the rest of the day's hiking pretty miserable.

After Mt. Esther, there are some really great sections of trail that eventually get you to here, the scenic Catamount Reservoir.

Here is Todd and Scott with the Peak and the "W's" in the background:

My co-worker Dave B. decided to drive up and ride the trail to meet us with delicious treats. We missed him by that much:

That was all the pictures that I took that day until Scott and Todd did their final emergence from the last single-track descent of the day, Trail 666 (Bear Creek).

 That was a really long day to be riding (and hiking) a bike. Final ride stats include: 73 miles, around 9:00 ride time (and almost an hour of hiking), 13,800' of elevation gain and around 6600 calories burned. This ride was so long that the battery on my Garmin died at the mountain spring rest stop! That was only 2/3 of the way around.

After gaining big fitness from riding Ring the Peak, riding has become quite a bit easier. A short ride is now 4 hours. I wonder how long that perception will last?