Arizona Sunshine!!

A few times a year I like to take a week offline. Partly to prove I am not addicted to Facebook (which I do enjoy, a lot…) and partly to keep my head fresh for everything else. Christmas week was good timing for that. Kinders were off with their dad for Christmas this year. This was my first Christmas since my divorce without my kids. To take my mind off that, Dave and I conjured up a great bikepacking trip on the Arizona Trail. The plan was to be out under the full moon and total eclipse on the winter solstice and to be in the boonies under the sun and stars on Christmas day.

The timing proved to be most excellent. The sun shone while we were in Arizona while St George experienced the storm of the century and flooding. The timing proved to be most awful…Dave came down with the flu on the drive south and was in no condition to ride or bikepack :–(  :-(

My last minute 2010 OP duo teammate , Scott Morris, known henceforth as my Southern Arizona wingman stepped in to be my ride partner for the day.

Dave, weak and coughing, unable to ride, was able to drive and shuttled us so we could cherry pick a sweet point-to-point ride on the Cienega section of the AZT. It was a big cheesy grinner of a trail – yummy!! Scott took the beauty pic of me below. He can ride and take awesome pics at the same time – good talent to have.

Scott had to head home and Dave and I moved into the amusing and historic Old Stage Coach Inn in Patagonia, Arizona.

Dave continued to hack, cough, take flu meds and be my shuttle bunny for the next few days as I rode a total of 135 miles, point-to-point unloaded on the Arizona Trail. He watched my Spot from his Droid, streamed Netflix to amuse himself and even picked me up one day a few miles early before an intense storm cell hit me! Elite service!! It certainly wasn’t as fun as bikepacking with Dave would have been, but it was still pretty darn ok to be in AZ riding big miles in the sun on the AZT. I plan to ride the 300 mile AZT race in April (and have another week offline then) so it was all good scoping time too.

On the 3rd day of the above shuttling/not riding/being sick in a hotel room, Dave announced he was “over it” and we drove home early. I finished out my week offline (mostly) at home. Christmas was a non-event at home and it made me realize that I really like Christmas and missed it and the non-event of it all this year isn’t how I want to do it again. Expect more Christmas celebration in 2011 :-)

Blue Dome Racing

Kenny Jones and I have been chasing each other around for years, but usually just a bit too far apart to converse.  I’ve long admired his grit, quiet poise, and downright bike killing abilities.  Call it a man crush if you must.  Can you blame me?

So after the Park City shindig we cooked up a plan to race the 25 Hours of Frog Hollow on a 4 person SS with Heather and Lynda.

And then Heather stepped it up a notch.

“Let’s go as missionaries of the Blue Dome!”

It all spun wildly out of control from there.  Name tags were made.

Deseret Industries received visits to acquire the proper kit.

Racing 25 hours in a tie?  Really?

As it turned out, everyone received the power of the Blue Dome with open arms and spinning legs.  It was such an easy sell at this crowd.  I think it was about a 50/50 split between folks that thought we were actual missionaries, and folks that got our little pun – but regardless, all seemed to love it.

The night is long in November – be prepared.

The days were warm which also took special preparation.

Appropriately, Zion was our constant backdrop.

The race was fantastic. The course was perfect: mixed dirt road/singletrack/wash climbs, down the rippin’ Jem trail, then a few minutes of techy ledges on Hurricane Rim just to keep you honest. There was a new snack surprise every time I got off the bike in the timing tent. If you missed it this year don’t miss it next year! Super fun, good vibe.

Post race meal rocked!

Oh, and we did make great bike race.

Kenny drilled it on his second lap trying to shake a persistent guy from the Idaho team and in the process nailed the fastest SS lap of all time on the course. Lynda drilled her first lap and got both the fastest female SS lap and fastest female overall lap (and only 2 min off Kenny’s ripping lap to boot!).

Heather killed it on every lap. I went out after her…she told me she would be doing 1:15 laps and then turned a 1:02…guess who wasn’t there in time? Doh! Didn’t make that mistake again.

My last lap was nearly my fastest. I was locked an a duel with a geared rider and we were both loving it. It’s been a loooooong time since I’ve had that much fun on a bike.

Lynda rode a lap inches off Greg Martin’s wheel. She came in giggling about it, said it was sooo much easier cause it was a windy lap and Greg pushed it all out of the way for her (and also had some very kind things to say about his bike handling). Then Kenny came in off his lap was pissed that some dude wouldn’t get off his wheel (it was the same team). LW and I busted into hysterics immediately ;)

In the end the Idaho boys opted to drink beer instead of get wrapped up in a drag race. They appropriately received beer mugs for their prize. Jon from Sabrosa captain’d a strong team for 2nd.

Look out for the Blue dome tour in 2011.

Following the Thin Dotted Line

Jackson pass sits between Square Top Mountain and Jackson Peak. It is a major skyline feature from St George. The map has a thin dotted line “pack trail” over it and Sunday, thanks to a gps, we followed that line.

It did have a few cairns.

and a little bit of scrambling

and a little bit of pushing

and a little bit of Tourettes  “Really?”

but the thin dotted line did exist on the ground – thinly

and was even rideable in places

and the very big view from the top of the pass was worth it. Wow!!

The Dixie’s in 2011

The Dixie 311 and Dixie Lite will morph into a single event for 2011:  the Dixie 200.  The route will be similar to that taken by Scott Morris last year  The preliminary route is here.

Essentially it’s the 311 minus the Sevier and Tushar  sections.  Using the Lite route as a reference point, it now includes the entire Paunsaugunt segment of the 311.  The full Paunsaugunt is a real treat :)

The recommended start is 8 AM Saturday,  June 25th at Woods Ranch (same location as last year).

The 311 is going native.  It will live on in the memory of all who rode it last year.  I don’t plan on modifying the route at all – so last year’s files are good to go should you have an urge to challenge yourself a bit more.

Camp Lynda V 4.0 is on!

January 28-30th, 2011

Same format as always. No cost, everyone is invited provided you come self supported; have your gps with the route (we provide) loaded, ride at your own pace, shortcut/bail when you have reached your fun threshold. Fitness and ability level are non-issues, you set your own pace, fix your own flats, bring your own food/fluids and lots of mojo to share.

Camp Lynda is a training mission. A three day training binge. It is a training camp about fitness on the bike and not so much a guided tour of the sweetest single-track StG has to offer. Rides will be in the 4-7 hour range per day. Most will have shortcuts. We will meet at the same time to start out in the morning and have a group evening dinner date for post ride confabulations. Dinner locations Friday 6pm Bajio at Sunset corner and Saturday 5:30pm Golden Corral. Non-campers/riders, friends and family are welcome at dinner. Do warn the non-riders that bikes is the only dinner conversation topic ;-)

Tentative plan:

Jan 28th:  4 hours mostly single track. No resupply points on the trail. Meet 9:30am Starbucks parking lot, 1091 N Bluff St, St George.

Jan 29th:  5 hours mostly single track. No resupply points on the trail. Meet 9:30am Starbucks parking lot, 1091 N Bluff St, St George.

Jan 30th:  6 hours mostly jeep road. No resupply points. This means bring enough fuel, fluid and carrying capacity to stay hydrated for 6 hours. For me that is about 100 oz plus 1800 calories. YMMV. I’ll probably carry more than 1800 calories as this is day 3 of camp and I get HUNGRY on day 3 of any binge, tour or stage race. Your food always looks better than mine on day 3 so bring a little extra for me (and others) to steal ;-) It is easy to make friends on day #3 if you are sharing goodies.

Courses are not firm. We will post the gps files and routes on this site about 4 days before camp when we have a decent read on the weather forecast and trail conditions. It is your job to upload the routes to your gps so you are self supported and know where to go. Topofusion is the recommended software for gps route upload. We will be providing .gpx files.

If the weather stays dry we will go high. Maybe all the way up to the Cedar Pockets overlook.

If it is wet or snowy up high we’ll stay low on the sand and slickrock terrain.

If it is wet or snowy down low like last year we will cancel :-(

More details on Camp Lynda.

Red Canyon at last

We have been planning to ride in Red Canyon all year and haven’t made it. This weekend was awesome up there.

Photoblog time

24, 26, 29 one of each

Emma has just grown big enough to be able to handle her 24″ wheel bike on anything technical and she railed it this weekend

She was determined to pedal over all sorts of stuff

So cute

Wes and I got out for a super-fine evening lap on Thunder Mountain. I used to think he would start dropping me when he was 14yrs but I have had to just downgrade that to 12!! He is 10 now and pushed it hard enough a few times to make me breathe!

I rode Thunder Mountain for the first time with him three years ago. Look how cute he was then.

We took a photo in the same spot this weekend. After comparing pics Wes pointed out that he is wearing the same helmet in the second pic that I am wearing in the first pic – funny (to me anyway…)

Some refueling was done at camp

Group pic