Saturday, April 21, 2012

April Snow

Two weeks in a row we've had snow in April. We couldn't buy a flake in early December/January/February but now it's decided to come along with plenty of rain. I read that we've got 4 inches or so in April. I also noticed that almost all the snow has melted from Spirit Mountain and it isn't even May. Weird. These pictures are from my ride in to The Ski Hut this morning to get new Sram brake pads. After putting in set in the front and rear both wheels have a serious amount of brake drag. Great for training, bad for racing. Thanks to Reynolds and KUHL for the wheels. I can't wait to get the brakes dialed in to see how responsive the wheels are.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

MOAB 2012

The Eurovan is the way to travel with a 3 year old. Kiera is a great traveler when she knows there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The pool and playground (along with the hopes of lots of other kids) put her in a great traveling mood. She barely fussed the entire way out and back even though she had a pretty nasty cold (which Sara and I now have). The old van also got over 20 miles to a gallon most of the way out and back!

Morning walk down Main Street

Our morning walk is one of the favorite things about vacation for Sara and me. We don't have to move the van once we arrive and it is great to get some active recovery before a long ride.

Once we finish our breakfast we then walk to coffee. In the pic above it is pretty clear that I need coffee badly! Our favorite coffee spot is the Moab Creamery, although Sara really likes Wicked Brew, it is one of the drive-through spots so it's impossible to sit, read and enjoy if it is 40 degrees and windy. The Creamery also sits next to a used bookstore so we have plenty of reading material at our disposal. Boppy is happily reading while I wrestle Kiera.

This is one of our favorite rides because the climb up Sand Flats road is really long and steep at times and the single track back down to Porcupine Rim feels like a WORS course in spots (which is really rare out here because it is usually quite rocky, rough and full of drop-offs). We are at the top of the sweet stuff in this picture. If we had more time on this ride we could have done the Burrito Pass loop for the first time since the La Sal Mountains didn't have the usual amount of snow.

Here's another view of the La Sals.

Sara rode her new Fuel and I opted for the Superfly. My skills are taxed a bit more riding a skinny tire (BONTRAGER XR 1'S WITH NO FLATS!!!) hardtail and I have to think more when it comes to tricky drops or multi-step climbs. I get to work on my finesse a lot more and the overall challenge is a good way to work on skills.

Sara can't believe how nice the new Fuel is, and for the first time ever, she didn't take a tumble in Moab. She knows she cannot afford to fall but she was still able to ride pretty darn fast down some tricky singletrack loaded with drops, random rocks strewn about and sand hiding around/in corners.

A couple of new trails that are must rides: Magnificent Seven linked to the Portal (my pick) or Poison Spider (Sara's pick), Pipe Dream (all single track nestled in the canyon wall west of town - about a three minute ride to the trailhead from our campground), and a trail that has been around for a few of years now, Rock Stacker (to Jackson Trail). All of these trails have some really tricky sections and a couple of mandatory walk spots unless you've got a death wish or like taking chances and evac rides on helicopters.

We also managed to get in a ride at Fruita, CO on the way out and stayed in Vail at a buddy's house (a former Duluthian, Sean O'Brien, who also met up with us for some rides in Moab).

My dad accompanied us on the trip along with Bill Schwalbe. Kieara absolutely adores both and she wouldn't let Bill out of her sight very often. For the first time ever, the weather was fantastic the entire trip and I only carried arm warmers twice during the seven days of riding. We met up with Bushey and his wife Jody for a few days along with Aaron and Jess, an extremely kind couple from Whitefish, Mt. Aaron grew up on Esko, MN so it is always nice to catch up with old friends on trips like this.

Racing is just around the corner for us. It looks like the WORS race at Iola will be the first one for us this year unless this unrelenting cold decides to take hold and not let go.