Monday, December 6, 2010

Cactus, Sand, Pump Tracks and Retirement

You can tell I am attempting to work on my thesis again, because I am posting blogs instead of actually working on it.

Either way, we went down to Phoenix this weekend. I know, great way to show how committed I am to finishing school, taking off every weekend to go ride somewhere warm. It was St. George last week and now Phoenix.

The weather was perfect. I rode in shorts and a jersey Friday and Saturday. 70 degrees in December isn't too bad. I think I may have to look into finding a job down there if I ever finish school. If.

We did the Dawn to Dusk race. Killer Hiller, Captain Nails, and I did a 3 maned 4 man team. We had a really good time and I think I can speak for us all by saying it felt good to blow the pipes out and do a little racing around some cacti.

The sandy course made for some fun cornering. It was never as bad as the 24 hours of moab course as there was always a good line through the hard pack, but you could get a little squirrelly on the corners if you wanted.

After the race Kyle took me over to the pump track. I think pump tracks are a lot more fun not after 4 hours of cross country racing. But that's just my own humble opinion.
Mark and me at the transition

Oh, and I retired this weekend. I no longer race bikes. My name will just be Dan for a while. Like all high profile athletes, I will one day come out of retirement, and maybe even be better when I do. But for now, I have decided that I am unable to fully focus my attention on more that one thing at a time.

And unfortunately for my dream of one day being the fastest Wednesday Night Worlds Racer in Utah county....that one thing won't be racing bikes for a while.

I really have to finish this stupid thesis. I mean yeah, a lot of guys do go to college for 8 years....but they end up being doctors or something.

Maybe I'll take up yoga....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where'd (insert season here) Go?

Where'd the summer go?

I guess I ask myself that every winter. It seems like last winter just barely got over, the trails are just barely opening up, the days are finally getting longer, and there is nothing to do but shred dirty mountain bike trails all day long, just in time to stare at the snowline, plummeting down the Wasatch all over again.

I guess this must be some kind of life theme. It seems like every stage of life has barely started by the time its over and time to move on to the next. I can remember the day I thought "where'd high school go?", then "where'd my mission trip for my church go?" and even "where'd my hellish summer job of installing fiberglass insulation go?"

For everything there is a season.

And I guess the best way to live life is to milk every season for all its worth. Which is why I've been stuck in limbo the last 4 years. I've been milking every last drop I can out of grad school.

However, I think the time has finally come to move on. To enter a new season. Whether it is a better or worse season matters little, only that it will be the new season, and one to enjoy in its own way.

I just hope it involves me having my own garage. No 28 year old man should be without his own garage. Its killing me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Frog Hollow

Raced Frog Hollow last week. That was a total blast. Definitely one of the more enjoyable times I've had racing bikes. Granted my throat swelled up, my legs felt like they wanted to disown me, and my bum bum caught fire, but those aren't the things I remember.

What I remember most was hanging out with some of the people that mean the most to me in this world. Captain Nails, Papa Jo, Big Air Lar', you guys made this one of the best weekends I've ever had. And a special thanks to Shae and Lisa, for making us tasty food. And more especially for putting up with Apuro's GI tract on Little Debbie Snacky Cakes.

(Oh, and a special note to KC: Nice work. Maybe I was just jealous that I didn't beat the next place team by 10 laps...)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Heck Track

SS State Championships

SS race went well this morning. I don't know where all the SSers in Utah county were (our plan to get Kenny to show up late worked perfectly) but we had 12 guys show up. Good day of shreddin some sick trail.

I just got the SS built up this week. Still getting used to the thinner Formula brake levers. They feel like they're going to break if I pull too hard. And my eccentric bottom bracket slipped a bit during the race, leaving my chain quite loose. But I got over it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

TT time

The season has officially started. It is now time to throw down what you got, and make sure everybody knows how hard core you are. Check out the local TT blogs.

For the dirty mountain bikers:
Dry Canyon Loop

Or for the refined roadies:
Squaw Peak Hill Climb

Monday, April 26, 2010

Magical Trails

So this weekend I was out riding my bike. (I know, imagine that)
As I rode I discovered these sweet new switch backs above the Bonneville Shoreline trail north of Dry Canyon. They were quite fun. As I rode I noticed something rather odd:

Alongside the trail there were several magical elves with tiny hoes, shovels, and picks working on the trail!

I'll admit, I was a little weirded out at first. I mean when's the last time anybody even saw a real live elf, other than on the package of those sweet little EL Fudge Keebler Elf cookies? (And those are merely an artist's depiction of how they might look)

So yeah, it was weird. After a while I even noticed they were repairing the trail behind me, filling in skid marks and brake ruts left behind by my careless riding style. I was absolutely amazed. When I finished the little loop I decided to find out a little more.

Fortunately, for my arts and letters credit at the Brigham Young Institute of College Education and Higher Learning and Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too I took an Elf language class.

(Elves don't speak English. So if you wanted to, I don't know, prosecute one for illegally building trails, you'd need to find a certified translator. And most of them are Obama supporting democrats.)

So I asked one what they were doing. He said "Building sweet trails so everybody can come enjoy this beautiful scenery while getting healthy exercise"

I was amazed at his answer. He continued, "Rising obesity is costing our country $344 Billion a year in health care related costs. If everyone in Utah county would just ride our trails once a day, they would burn 500 calories. They would lose a pound of fat a week, 50 in a year!"

I was dumbfounded. I then asked if they had a building permit to be digging up the grass, tearing down all the weeds and brush, and basically destroying an entire ecosystem of life. He said that no, they did not, but that some poor guy named Benny was getting all the wrap from the feds for building the trails.

I got mad and squashed him with my foot. His magical little hat and tiny little hoe are still stuck between the cleats on my Sidis. Little boogers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sandbagger in Sea Otter

I saw a sandbagger with a blue niner in his hand

Walking through the streets of Montery

He was looking for a place on the podium, gonna score some sweet swag and a medal

Aahoo, sandbagger in Cali

So I wrote my own verse to Werewolves of London. Maybe more to come. Depends on how much of a distraction I need from doing actual productive work later.

Basically my new middle name is Sandbagger. In case you wanted to know

AND I totally got some sweet kiss on the cheek action from the podium about an awesome weekend

Monday, April 12, 2010

Finals Week

Oh, sorry, I would write about how rough finals week is going to be, but I don't have any.
Maybe I can take up some box gardening....

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Fates take a poop on Fast Dan

I am not a huge believer in fate. I like to believe that we shape our own destinies. (Or "densities" as George McFly would have us believe) However, I am thoroughly convinced that the 3 old ladies from Greek mythology that sit around and decide our fate had it in for me today.

First off, its March. The first day of spring has already happened. There have been days where the temperature only drops below 50 around midnight. So when I got up this morning and saw the temperature wasn't supposed to get above 40, I was a little dismayed. But only a little.

As I dressed up to ride I put on long tights and a jacket, thinking they'd be coming off as I climbed. The truth is I couldn't even feel my toes, hands, nose, or brain until the first climb. Fates 1, Fast Dan 0.

As I got to the Shoreline trail the sun started to come out. Started. But never really finished coming out. Totally psyched me out. Fates 2. Fast Dan 0.

As I got down to Springville and headed up the climb along Slide Canyon, the sun finally decided to come all the way out. And get warm. Very warm. Perfect for a long steep climb. By the time I got the top I was drenched with sweat. As I started down the descent the sun conveniently snuck back behind a cloud, resulting in a 50 degree drop in temperature, sucking all the fun out of the descent. Fates 3, Fast Dan 0.

About half way down the canyon I started feeling some stiff bumps in the rear. Sure enough the rear tire had gone flat. Not just a goat head or nail, but a nice tear in the sidewall. Of course it was too big and too much on the side for the Stan's to seal it up. So I pulled my spare tube out, patched up the torn sidewall and inflated the new tube. Sure enough, my spare tube had a huge hole in it. Total deucer for the fates; putting the running total at Fates 5, Fast Dan 0.

As I started walking down the canyon, my hands were too cold to even operate my phone. So I walked. And walked. Much like the Utah pioneers of old, except I did NOT sing as I walked and walked and walked. Just rocked out a little to Motley Crue. The pioneers would have definitely appreciated a little light rock. Fates 6, Fast Dan 0

After warming up a bit, Mark Johansen (I figure if he's gonna be a good enough friend to pick me up in the middle of the day I might as well spell his name right) answered my phone call and came to pick me up. He took me to the shop so I could fix my tire.

After fixing the tire I decided to try Provo canyon trails. As I got to the race course it looked like the sun was about to come out again. Psyche. After promptly hiding behind some dark mean looking clouds it began to snow. Then hail. Then snow. Then big hail. Then bigger snow. I just kept riding. I came to the conclusion that the Fates were now in full force, attempting to take the Fast out of Fast Dan, and I couldn't let that happen. So I kept on riding. Faster than ever. However the score continued to favor my opponents, Fates 7, Fast Dan 0.

The turning point finally came at about 4:00, as I rounded the top of Upper Frank and saw the altar. I hadn't seen it since early December. Three months was a long time. I got a little choked up. I had almost cried the day the big snow happened that sealed off the upper trails for an entire winter. It was like saying goodbye to a friend. And now he was back. The same tears that tickled my corneas 3 months ago were right there to welcome it all back. It was like NBA Jam, Tournament Edition, where you had those rad "Hot Spots" where shots were worth like 9 points. Basically seeing the view of Utah county from the altar was like being on fire and slam dunking from a half-court hot spot. Fates 7, Fast Dan 9. Take that old ladies. Bombing down Betty made the entire day worth it. Life is good.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just a picture

I stole this from Miles. I like it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Somebody has a case of the Mondays"

-Note: The first person to name what movie that line is from, they *win a free (slightly used) Racer's Cycle Service water bottle and a mountain bike ride with me: The Phast Dan

-* I'm attempting to boost my number of readers and overall popularity by giving out free stuff. I hear it works well

So its Monday.

I normally don't have to be to work until 1:00 pm. So I normally don't even get out of bed until around noon. I know, rough life, huh? However, today (not so normally) I decided to be productive.

I got up at 7, showered, watched my roommates eat breakfast (I've decided that I'm not going to eat until April. I'm kind of giving up food for Lent. After watching 5'10", 120lb cyclists blow by me this weekend, I've decided that at 165lbs, I'm about 65lbs overweight. Chicks dig skinny guys, right? Maybe I'll start a new blog where I take pictures every day, showing how many ribs stick out of my chest in order to shame myself into getting down to my goal weight: 21lbs. ((yes, that is correct, I want to weigh less than my bike)))

So yeah, I finally managed to get to my office, start thinking about being productive (who really wants to outline the diagnostical differences between simple D.O.M.S. and full blown rhabdomyolysis anyway???) but all I could think about was mountain biking.

And well, since I'm supposed to be here in my office, and not off rolling around in the dirt, I just thought I'd write about mountain biking, since I told myself I'm not allowed to go until at least 10 o'clock this morning.... (only 37 more minutes to kill)

Here is a picture of me this weekend. The weather was perfect, the trail was great, and we all got to go race some bicycles, "yeah, baby"

OK, I can't wait anymore...I'm out of here. Its sunny outside.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sweet Pictures

So I've never been into photography. Which isn't to say I don't appreciate some good picture taking skills. My brother married a photographer, and one of my best friend's dad teaches photography...needless to say, I've been "exposed" to some good art (sorry, couldn't resist the pun)

So, to spare you from pictures taken with my phone, take a look at some well snapped photos Kyle took of the new bikes.

Look Here for pictures

Thanks, Kyle

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Night Train (never get enough)

While the rest of you are tucking your kids into bed or voting on the next American Idol, I'm out chasing my own night train at a time.

Monday, February 22, 2010

She's finally starting to come together

Well, its been a month. Time to post something new. I guess the only time I find something worth posting is after a race or when I get some new bike part, or when I come to some life altering conclusion while out riding.

I raced the first week in February...Frozen Hog. Totally sucked. The only reason I didn't quit the thing after running the first mile was cause we needed the points to keep the trophy at Racer's. However, the best comment of the whole race was made by some individual in the first quarter mile or so:

ME: This sucks. Running sucks.

INTELLIGENT INDIVIDUAL: Yeah, I really don't mind getting my butt kicked in a lousy running race

ME: Good point. Running in the snow is so fun though. Especially in stiff soled bike shoes while carrying a bike


ME: Oh, wait. Running in slush, slamming my shins on my cranks, and ramming my baby makers into my stem really does suck. What was I thinking????

So yeah, not a whole lot to report on the Frozen Hog. Greggy won the overall, Kenny was right on his heels winning the masters division, and Noah pulled a 1st in the children's division. Me, well, I finished. Either way we did good enough to keep the trophy for another year.Now, as for new parts...well, check this out:
Yup, I finally got a frame to go with my seat collar. Looks good. (and yes, this photo was taken on the kitchen table)
Instead of ordering all the parts one by one like I intended, I ended up just ordering everything at once. Patience never was a virtue I managed to possess for very long.

So yeah, some sick crank, shifters, and derailleurs should be coming tomorrow...feels a little like Christmas....

And now for my life altering life experience....
I'm sure something will come up later...

Other than that I have a shameless plug for Ascent, a sweet Garmin ride tracking software.
For anybody out there who uses a Garmin and wants a good way to monitor/track their riding buy the Ascent software. Its the best 40 bucks you can spend.
I heard about it from Miles, and it is just incredible. Super easy to view all your data from each ride.
I had some issues when I first downloaded it, but the customer support was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. The guy emailed me back quite quickly and we got it all figured out. Very patient with me despite my block headedness.

So yeah, check it out here:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

12 Hours of Temecula

Last year Mark "Nails" Johnson (yes, its Johnson. No matter what he might say, his last name is spelled J-o-h-n-s-o-n, like Johnson & Johnson, the makers of baby wipes) decided to be ambitious and do some early season racing. We duo-ed 12 hours of Temecula and then 24 hours in the 'ol Pueblo down in Tuscon, AZ.

Needless to say, we did pretty well in both races. I mean, you can only imagine what happens when you combine Nails' raw speed with my endless giddy excitement and enthusiasm that seems to come out during these stupid (and yes, I mean stupid. Any bicycle race longer than 2 hours is STUPID) endurance races.

Either way, after last year I was determined not to do any more early season racing. I was ready to take a nice easy winter and keep it low key until the first I-Cup race in March.

However, as you may or may not know, I am a sucker for peer pressure. Especially when the phrase "unless you aren't tough enough" is utilized.
Which is exactly what Calvin used to talk me into doing the 12 hours of January. Yeah, go figure.

I did a good job of keeping the training low key so as to not peak in the first month of the year, but there is still something just wrong about having one of your longest races of the season be in January. Just sayin'

So the four of us, Calvin, Darren (Calvin's training partner), Kyle (yeah, he got talked into it too), and I drove down last week. We left Thursday, drove through some seriously crappy weather and made it to Vegas the first night. Calvin had a good friend who was nice enough to let the four of us weirdos stay at his place for the night. We then drove the rest of the way to rainy southern California.

Now I don't know if you've been following the news, but apparently there has been some serious precipitational issues down there lately. We're talking floods and land slides. So of course it makes perfect sense to drive 10 hours to go race mountain bikes in it. Perfect sense...

We set up our tents in the sporatic rain and tried to get a bit of a pre-ride in. Between the rain and the oncoming dark we got about a mile into the course then turned around. Still hoping the rain was going to let up for the race the following day.

Well we slept a bit that night, but between the rain and a certain individual's obnoxiously loud snoring (I'm not gonna name any names. Mostly cause it might have been me) not a lot of sleep happened.

However, as the sun popped out and Saturday got started, not a cloud could be found in the sky. The course dried out nicely, the weather warmed up and it ended up being a perfect day on the bike.

I went out a little hot like always, but managed to "cool the engines" before burning all my matches and settled into a nice steady eddy pace.

All in all it ended up being a jolly day. No GI issues, nutrition worked out well, pit stops ran smooth and the legs lasted the whole day. Not bad for January.

Nothing better than a whole day to ride your bike.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010