Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bucket List: An Epic Race in Africa


28 March 2012 Photo by Greg Beadle/Cape Epic/SPORTZPICS singletrack.competitor.com

www.cape-epic.com
I was on singletrack.competitor.com today and I came across this picture from the ABSA Cape Epic Mountain Bike Stage Race. I had never heard of the event until today, but this picture peaked my curiosity and forced me to google it. It turns out that it takes place in South Africa every year during the end of March and beginning of April. Supposedly, it is the largest full service mountain bike stage race in the world. The 8 days of grueling racing provides riders the opportunity to cover about 500 miles, suffer through 49,000ft of climbing, and ford treacherous river crossings like the one above. The scenery along the way is said to be magnificent. The routes are famous for scaling up some of the most beautiful mountain passes in Africa. Racers compete in teams of 2 and sleep in tent cities between stages. I am thinking about adding this one to the bucket list. Maybe when Ben heals up he'll be willing to jump on board and we could start the training? I just hope the youtube dude who was hit by the antelope on his bike wasn't doing this race when it happened?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Big Year


Michelle and I were married at the end of 2011 and we love playing in the outdoors. 2012 is the year of new adventures in our home. So far we’ve been lucky enough to explore Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, and Bryce Canyon and we have plans to visit Yosemite, ride Slickrock, and see Old Faithful before the year ends.  

When we were ring shopping for Michelle there was only one ring that I liked enough to get her, and that ring took every last penny from my savings. When Michelle realized that, she surprised me with a Trek Superfly. I love that bike and I love mountain biking. I'm going to participate in my first sprint triathlon and mountain biking race this year. It's not like I plan on winning, but as long as I don't finish last it'll be a success.

In February, Matt (bro-in-law) and I took our bikes to St. George to get the biking season started. We rode Bear Claw Poppy and it was awesome. The first ride of the season is always great. Flying down the hill on your bike is addicting, and when you haven’t had it for a while you forget how great it is. I finished the week with two rides on BCP, then I returned to the snow covered trails in Ogden. But those rides left me anxious for my trip back to St. George in two weeks. 
Two weeks... I needed to tune up the bike, pick up some quick links and upgrade my helmet. Check, check and check. I was ready to go. So I hit the trail at 5:30 and it was beautiful. 70 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. I peddled 4 miles to the top of BCP and was ready for the reward of the down hill. I survived the drop zone and splashed through the wash, now it was just fast rolling hills all the way to trailhead. I was on the final mile of the ride and the fastest mile of the ride. Gearing up to hit the last few jumps before the ride was finished when...

X-rays



Road Rash






Broken
Missed the landing. I broke my wrist, forearm, and elbow. Separated my shoulder. Broke my new helmet and damaged my pride a little bit. Lucky for me it wasn't worse. It's still going to be a "Big Year" , but it's just going to start out a little slower than I planned.

Monday, March 19, 2012

To ski or work?

I was surprised to see a few inches of snow on the ground this morning, as I woke up to get ready for work. The ski report showed that our local mountain, Beaver, had only received 6'' of new. In a normal year this wouldn't be enough to tempt me to skip out on work, but things have been different this season with the lack of snow. I almost made a few phone calls to get out of work, but in the end decided not to.

http://www.snowbird.com/birdsnest/
If I lived down closer to the Cottonwoods, I wouldn't have had any dilemma whatsoever of wether to ski or work. The decision would have been easy, skip work go ski. The snowcam at the Bird showed about 15'' of new, and that was on top of everything that had fallen the past two days. Every spring they always seem to get dumped on. Anyways, the snowy commute to work made me think of JP Auclair's Street Segment in "All I Can" from Sherpas Cinemas. The work or ski dilemma would not be as big of a problem if you could ski to work.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kick Push and Almost Eat Crap

Justin and I headed up to the top of Smithfield Canyon Road this past November. He road his longboard down and I filmed him as I followed on my bike. I forgot about the footage, but I rediscovered yesterday while I was going through files on my hard drive. I decided to throw together a quick edit. It isn't much, but I do smile every time I see Justin almost going down. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sliding

Here in Logan I live with some buddies in a house on a steep hill. A blizzard finally decided to visit us the other day and we couldn't help but play. Better us than the cars we figured, right? I shot it on my iPhone, so the quality isn't the best, but enjoy!

video

Ice Fishing

While Matt and co were down south having fun, I found myself at my parents house with nothing to do. Thankfully, my dad approached me that Friday night and asked me if I'd like to go fishing with him, my uncle Wade, cousin Derek, and Wade's father-in-law Darrel, and brother-in-law Tyson, the next morning. They were headed to Whitney Lake up in the Uintahs, just off the Mirror Lake Highway. The road in to the actual lake was snow packed, so it would be 15 miles in on a snowmobile and 15 out. Normally I would have probably tried to find an excuse to tell him no; not because I didn't want to go, but because we were to leave at 4:30 in the morning and all my winter gear was up in Logan. This time however, I  took the high road and agreed to go. We scrounged up some old snow bibs and a good warm jacket and I was ready to go.

Darrel 
4:30 came super early and instantly I began to question whether or not I had made the right decision the night before. After a quick breakfast we finished loading up the car and were on our way to meet everyone at Darrel's house in Roy. When we got there I was grateful to see that the snowmobiles were already loaded in the trailer and ready to go. Wade, Derek, and Tyson arrived within ten minutes and we piled in two cars and headed towards Evanston.

My first fish

It took around two hours to get through Evanston and to the service parking lot where we unloaded the snowmobiles. Our cars told us the temperature outside was a bone chilling 4 degrees; albeit was still dark. Between the six of us there were four machines and a tow-sled, which held our gear. I hopped on back of Derek's and we set off on an extremely cold ride to the lake.

Wade looking good for the camera

By the time we got to the lake it was light out and we had our pick of spots because no one was there. Once we chose our place we threw down the tarp and unloaded the sled. Me and Derek used the snow shovels to clear six areas for fishing and Wade started the auger. Luckily, we had a gas powered one that breezed through the three-foot thick ice to the water below. We rigged our poles with a small fly and tipped the hook with a mill-worm. Not five minutes in we all had our first fish of the day, and from there didn't ever look back. 

Dad and his "monster"

We fished for four or five hours and had a great time. What our fish lacked for in size, we made up for in numbers. Derek led the pack with a whopping 38 fish, while Darrel and Tyson brought in 24 each. Wade ended up with 16, me 14, and my dad caboosed it with 12. It was well worth the trip out there and I'd do it again soon. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

All Was Not Well In Zion

Last weekend my wife (Jackie) and I joined up with my brother in-law (Ben) and sister (Michelle) to head down to Zion National Park. Ben was gracious enough to drive us down there in his new Subaru Outback. It was nice to throw our mountain bikes on top and store all of our gear in the back. The four of us had plenty of room, which made the five hour drive more than bearable. We stayed right outside Zion's main gate in Springdale at Flanigan's Inn. Somehow we got lucky and only had to pay $175 for three nights. With that split between four people, it made for cheap lodging. Things always seem to be a little cheaper during the off-season. 

Ben and I loading up the bikes
On our first day down there the weather was perfect. Low 60's, clear skies, and lots of sun. We decided to head over to St. George. The girls longboarded on the pathway that connects Santa Clara to St. George, while Ben and I hopped on the bikes and did some laps on the Bear Claw Poppy Trail.

Michelle, Me, and Jackie

Me and Ben looking like gomers
The day was great. The trail was in excellent shape and it felt awesome to be mountain biking again. The girls had fun, even though Jackie took a spill on the longboard. She got going a little too fast for comfort and tried to bail, but didn't make it. She suffered a little road rash on her hand and elbow, but all in all she took it like a champ.


Everything went great until Jackie lost some skin to the pavement

 After spending an enjoyable day in St. George we headed back to Sprindale. That night things started to change for the worse. We went to a little italian restaurant. As we stood in line to place our order, we noticed that the nightly special was linguini and meatballs with a side salad for $11. It seemed like a good deal, and we were all famished. We waited in the line for almost twenty minutes to order the special when a waitress came out and put up the "out of meatballs" sign. I was devastated to say the least. Springdale must be a small enough town to not have enough meatballs to keep up with demand. We were all forced to order overpriced pasta dishes that were mediocre at best. What a bummer. I wish I could say that this was the worst, but the "out of meat balls" was only a precursor of what was to come.

The next morning we woke up to a winter wonder land. It was Sunday, and we had planned to hit up a local church and then spend the rest of day in Zion hiking and long boarding. We hoped for another beautiful day, but the current conditions threw a wrench in things. There were three to four inches of snow on the ground with more coming down. All we could do was head to church and hope that the storm would clear out and the snow melt. We had left our bikes locked on top of the Subaru overnight and they had been dumped on. Before we left for church Ben and I pulled down our bikes to clean them off and put them inside. As we were doing so he started the car to warm it up and defrost the windows. A few minutes later we all piled in to leave. As we pulled out, we noticed that the car was filled with smoke. At first we thought it was just exhaust, because the car had been running for a few minutes. We rolled down the windows but the smoke didn't clear out and it started to smell chemically. Smoke then started seeping from the vents in the dashboard and we knew something was definitely wrong. We quickly popped up the hood and found flames spitting from the windshield wiper motor. The snow made it easy to extinguish the fire, but the damage was already done.

The sight we woke up to

The carnage was bad, the photo doesn't do it any justice, but its all we have. 
The windshield wiper motor was faulty and started the fire. Heavy snow prevented the blades from returning all the way down, which caused the motor to overheat to the point of flames. Fortunately, for Ben's sake the motor was subject to a factory recall and covered under his warranty. Unfortunately, for us the the car couldn't be driven back home before being repaired. Long story short, the snow eventually melted and we were able to do what we wanted in Zion. The last day of our trip had to be wasted at the dealership and rental car place. Three of us drove a rental car home. Ben stayed behind a few extra days to wait for the car to be fixed. The car is now fixed and the warranty covered everything. In spite of misfortune, the trip was still epic and all is now well in Zion. 

We still had a good time

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lovebird?

Today being Valentine's day, my brothers and I decided we needed to celebrate the right way. A few days ago we heard about Snowbird holding a special on lift tickets in honor of the day of love. A bro date it was. They cut their price down to $40 a pop and made a special "singles" line at their Peruvian lift. The idea of the line was to pair single ladies and single guys for the ride up, giving them an opportunity for a speed date on the speed quad. Great idea, right? Not so much. Despite being creative, it turned out to be a flop. Whether it was because of the cold weather, or the fact it's a Tuesday, no one really showed up and the line went unused. The only opportunity of the day for a date would have been with a lovely lady of at least 60; which we gracefully declined. We weren't too disappointed, though. The upside to no one being there was a mountain to ourselves and no waiting at the bottom of the lift. All in all, it was another great day off at the Bird.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Living on a Bike

Could you ever live on your bike? I know I couldn't. My backside wouldn't allow me to do so. And plus, it would be so stressful. Some tasks would be a nightmare to perform while pedaling, but not for this Guillaume Blanchet fellow. He is a crazy French Canadian, who lives out his life while riding up and down the streets of Montreal. He is the man who lives on his bike. Watch his creative short, it is definitely unique.