Some updates on Voler gear...
Some updates on Voler gear...
What a day! From start to finish it was a blast. I loved the people I was with, especially my warrior teammates: Kristin, Andy, Adam and Spencer. This is my 3rd time racing LOTOJA and each year I go home feeling overwhelmed by the love my wife and partner shows me. She loves to see me race, ride hard and work with the Mi Duole boys. She is enthusiastic and proud. She is selfless and never complains. Nothing is better then rolling into Teton Village for that hug when the day is over.
Two weeks ago Adam and I crashed hard at the base of American Fork Canyon. After coming down the canyon my front wheel crossed with Andy's back and I went down into a 30mph asphalt power slide. Adam catapulted over the top of me and we ended the ride with a trip to the hospital. Covered in road rash and lucky it wasn't worse we both wondered what today would be like. I am thankful we where healthy and healed enough to ride this year.
We left SLC on Friday and took our time eating dinner at Maddox. Steak, way to many rolls and lots of laughs. We rolled into the Marriott around 8:00pm and got all our gear set up. Bikes tuned and numbers attached. We woke up at 5:15am to eat, shower, sunscreen, and band-aids to the remaining road rash. I had a new full kit for the day that included the new Voler Axiom jersey - it was the tightest single piece of clothing I have ever pulled onto my body. We rolled out of the hotel at 6:25 and made our way to the start line for the 6:48 gun (Masters 35+ Cat 4/5 800s). It was warm enough to shed shelves early as we made our way through Logan. Pretty soft paced group with lots of chatter and talking. I even added some low-key Utah Fight Song whistling. It wasn't until the first climb out of Mink Creek that the group started to break apart - although it was surprising how many dudes made it up and over together. We had 16 guys together moving into Montpelier. Got our goodies and moved onto the Geneva climb. Strong pace, but I don't think anyone dropped. We got to the Salt River climb, but no one broke away or made a move to really push the pace. Andy had a crazy scare at the top of the KOM when he got cut off in the feed zone and went over his bars. He landed on his chest, but popped right back up. We closed the gap on the descent and pushed into Afton with about 8 guys. Andy is one tough dude. It was an honor to represent Mi Duole with him all day. We finished the final 30 or so miles into Alpine with a HUGE tailwind. Each taking turns on the front and working hard. Steve, in our group kept telling dudes "No free rides in this group." I loved hearing that. Riders took turns at the front or moved out. We made a quick stop at Alpine and moved up the Snake River. The pace was fast, but not crazy. We didn't really know who was behind us from the 800s, but the group was tracking to finish in a little over 9 hours so wasn’t a big worry. Ted, Don, Toby, Steve, Andy, Shawn and me made it to Hoback Junction together and made the final push to Jackson. Don, Toby and Steve made a break at the little hill going into Jackson and I got caught sleeping with Shawn and Ted. As soon as we turned off the main road I felt my front tire start to go flat. It was a slow leak that I thought I could ride out, but it went all the way down and Ted and Shawn moved on with out me. I pulled over to fix it and Sean Jager, who was riding with the 700s pulled over to help. I met Sean last year during LOTOJA. He quickly pulled off his whole front wheel, handed it to me and told me to go. I was blown away - overwhelmed that a friend would do that. It was one of the best moments of the whole day. I love working and pulling for other guys, but this was next level. I made a break to get back with Ted and Shawn but I knew it had been at least 5 minutes. Andy rolled up behind me and we crossed the finish together in 9:14 total time.
The race is always an adventure, but the people make this event special. Grateful I could compete. A little disappointed I couldn't sprint for that finish line. Blessed to have ridden with strong, supportive dudes all day. Changed by Sean's sacrifice. Thankful for a beautiful wife and partner.
June 16-17 Huntsman Cancer 140 bike event start in Delta, UT and ending at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City. The team signed up through of title sponsor, Barbacoa. They donated food at the finish line and along with the donation received a handful of registration spots. We drove to Delta late Friday night and couldn't help but comment repeatedly about how long it seemed to take us to get to Delta. The road felt like it wouldn't stop! I think it was the first time any of us conceptualized the 140 distance. We checked into the Rancher Motel (a Spencer Chipping find) that turned out to be a really nice little place for the price. It was weird, but that is what yo want in situations like this. Whey settle for normal? Unpacked the gear, bike and set up in our room: Andy Welch, Spencer Chipping, Chelsea Wood, Stuart Anderson, Kristin Anderson.
The starting line was close, but first we hit McDonalds and then dropped off Chip's car so it could be transported home. We arrived with just enough time to snap a picture and roll out with the group of about 200 people.
After a soft roll-out start we stayed in a BIG group until around the 30 mile mark when things started to break apart after the first pit-stop. We went from 200 people group to a 5 person group and the stress of 140 started to become apparent. The wind picked up and wouldn't stop until we finished the ride. After the first 30 miles there weren't any more easy miles for the group. We moved through the back side of Utah Lake and came into some serious wind right before lunch. We picked up a couple more riders to help us finish off the first 100 miles, but a lunch everyone was ready to call in the bus to take us home. We re-grouped, ate some Cheetos and got back out there. We slogged through the last 40 miles through the city, which included a stop at Crestview Elementary where to got to visit with our families for a minute.
It was a LONG day, but worth it. We finished strong as the second group coming from Delta. It was a good event, but the wind gave a plenty to complain about.
My 2nd LOTOJA in the books. Man it was so cold in the morning, and by cold I'm talking "She look at the tree later Clark, her eyes are frozen." Logan was forty, but as we moved out of the city I watch the temperature on my Garmin slowly take a turn for the worse. Base layer, wind gloves, arm warmers and wind vest and I might as well have wore nothing. Our group's pace started pretty slow which contributed to the cold, but it really got cold. Outside of Logan it got down to 30. Crazy Rob Harrow was a frozen little critter by the time we got to the Strawberry climb. Once the sun got to us thing started to warm just in time to start the climbing. Some leaders broke away but Adam Barker, Jameson Rice and I kept at a fast, reasonable pace. Keeping them in sight and not breaking the bank we rolled into Montpellier with a pretty big group of around 30 guys- most from other categories. Quick pee break, food, bottles, and off we went. Somewhere in the Strawberry climb we lost Jameson and I didn't see him the rest of the day - bummer. Turns out he was just trying to get his vest off and had to take a 15 second stop. Adam and I worked with a good group of dudes until the Geneva climb when Adam fell back a little to go at his own pace. I moved on with two new friends, Sean and Tim. We paced each other and stuck to a plan to work to get a sub 10 hour pace. Rolled into Afton feeling good, without my back or feet hurting like last year. Afton to Alpine was a blur. Faster pace then the year before with the long flats and dangerous rumble strips. Alpine rest stop was quick but not rushed. Kristin took such good care of me and was so thoughtful. I met up with Andy Olsen with about 30 miles to go and we traded some really good pulls together. Snake River Canyon went fast! It was a strong finish trying to keep the pace fast enough to get sub 10 hours. Andy had a huge surge at the end that kept me motivated and moving. It was beautiful and a perfect day. Cold in the morning, but sunny, no strong winds, and warm - not hot. My bike and gear worked perfectly. Our condo at Snow King was a disaster, but we did get to watch the Utes beat the Cougs 20-19. We missed the game at Rice Eccles, but it was fun to watch it together in the condo. Great day. Great race. So glad it's over!
Adam Barker MST 35+ CAT 4/5 (12/62) 10:01:45
Stuart Anderson MST 35+ CAT 4/5 (7/62) 9:56:07
Jameson Rice MST 35+ CAT 4/5 (11/62) 10:01:44
Rob Harrow MST 35+ CAT 4/5 (31/62) 10:57:18
Erik Olsen CAT 5 (7/55) 9:31:46
Andy Welch CAT 5 (6/55) 9:31:45
Dave Sharp MST 45+ CAT 1-4 (16/31) 10:01:41
Paul Watson MST 45+ CAT 1-4 (17/31) 10:02:12
Ken Jones MST 45+ CAT 1-4 (18/31) 10:18:51
Tek Kilgore MST 60+ OPEN (6/49) 10:23:37
Dan Moser MST 60+ OPEN (14/49) 10:53:10
Jim Hutton MST 55+ OPEN (18/43) 10:59:11
Phil Olsen CAT 5 (37/55) 11:53:55
Jace Muramato CAT 5 (38/55) 11:53:56
Steve Brown CAT 5 (35/55) 11:53:55
Sean Hansen MST 45+ CAT 4/5 (17/54) 10:14:25
It was a pain in the butt to get to the starting line, but once we figured that out, it was all downhill - almost. A 4:30AM wake up call to get on the road by 5:00AM and to the parking lot of Snowbasin for the 2016 Ultimate Challenge. Claiming to be "America's Toughest One Day Cycling Adventure" the ride once again lived up to the expectations by finishing in Little Cottonwood Canyon in 100 degree heat. This was the seventh year for the event, which is not a race, just a casual ride through 114 miles and 10,000 vert. The starting line was crazyiness as all the riders began riding 45mph down the hill from Snowbasin. Not the safest start, but we all survived. The first 80 miles of the event passed relativity fast as there was not a ton of climbing. The real event started as we climbed Empire Pass, descended Big Cottonwood Canyon and then made our way over to the final 6 miles and 3,000 feet of climbing in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
The Triple Crank award this year includes the Rockwell Relay, LOTOJA and the Iron Lung Event. Iron Lung replaced the Ultimate Challenge this year for reasons unknown, but this was the first year the event would take place. The ride, not race, started at This Is The Place Heritage Park and turned around near Snowbasin Resort. It included a trip up Emigration Canyon, Big Mountain, past East Canyon Reservoir, through the towns of Morgan and Mountain Green and then a short climb to the base of Snowbasin. We turned there and headed back on the same path. It ended up being around 110 miles with over 8,000 feet of vertical. The best part was having a solid group of 8 young, strong, Mi Duole riders to stick with during the whole event. The race included a meal when we returned to the starting line and a pass to the This Is The Place Heritage Park. Well planned event with good support.
There is something special about suffering together that seems to make relationships stronger. The Mi Duole team tried to make the Rockwell Relay fun. We really did. We got a gargantuan van with beds, showers and coolers. We conned our wives into joining us. We even had self-talk sessions filled with positive affirmations, but in the end the competitive nature in each of us came to the surface. Maybe a little more in me, we wanted to do well, represent our team and families and maybe get a little hardware in the process. It was a fun weekend, but it was filled with a fair share of pain.
Rockwell starts in Moab, UT. On Thursday June 19th we pilled into our rented Sprinter Van and started the three day trek on the open roads. Strategy was discussed. Nutrition was analyzed. Gear was double checked. As a team, we had been planning on racing since February 2016. This would be the second go-around for Team Mi Duole so we felt like we had a pretty solid grasp on how this race would shake out. In 2015 we signed up to participate as a competitive team, but un-knowingly registered to start our race at 11:00 with the teams in the Open Category. The Open Category consisted of 5 teams, all pros, and strong a bulls. From the first twenty minutes last year we where working to play catch up. This year we started at 9:00, where we belonged, and it made all the difference.
We spent the night in Moab. Woke to Marriott hotel breakfast and made our way to the start line. We had an hour to put numbers on our bikes and listen to the pre-race instructions. The 9:00 start featured 60 teams toeing the line, chomping at the bit, acting like caged tigers. It was eighty degrees by 9:00AM, and a 54 mile climb up 5,000 feet to Monticello loomed. At the end of the first leg we sat in 3rd place and seemed pretty comfortable working with the other 8 teams who had established themselves.
The Rockwell race consists of 12 total “legs.” These are designated distances that each member of a four person team is required to ride. For example, Adam Barker was our second rider, so he took care of legs 2, 6 and 10. Before the race the team has to decide who will take what legs, but with our team being so well rounded it was tough to determine who would go where. In the end, each team member suffers in their own way. There isn’t a “safe” position, but with that said here is a breakdown of the work each of our riders took care of:
Cyclist 1 - Stuart Anderson
Total Distance: 129.2 Miles | Total Ascent: 10,233 Feet | Total Descent: -1,582 Feet
Cyclist 2 - Adam Barker
Total Distance: 111.7 Miles | Total Ascent: 6,346 Feet | Total Descent: -11,748 Feet
Cyclist 3 - Andy Welch
Total Distance: 154.5 Miles | Total Ascent: 5,295 Feet | Total Descent: -7,507 Feet
Cyclist 4 - Spencer Chipping
Total Distance: 120.7 Miles | Total Ascent: 4,941 Feet | Total Descent: -6,460 Feet
A couple highlights from our race:
The Van: It’s difficult to describe to you what it was like in there. Quarter morgue, quarter changing room, quarter restaurant, quarter dance party. Somehow we convinced our wives that we needed them to come and take care of us. When the idea was first conceived it was brushed off as a joke - no way they would agree to ride in the van for 30+ hours using discarded bibs as pillows and nursing us back to mortality. Kudos to them for agreeing to serve, because that is what they did. They drove us. They fed us. They let us sleep through the night. I loved sharing the experience with Kristin. When I remember Rockwell 2016 I will remember the van the most. The laughing. The encouraging, and overall the love that surrounded the team.
Lake Powell: When Spencer took to his bike for the first time we had been in the van for close to eight hours. He had been anticipating riding the whole day and when it finally came time to ride he unleashed the beast. This is a 45 mile ride that climbs out of Lake Powell and moves it’s way through Glen Canyon. Spencer and another rider cranked out a 30 minute lead on the seven other teams trying to catch us. It was pure magic to watch him pull away.
The Boulder Climb: By the time the team reached the climb up Boulder Mountain it was pitch black. The Boulder climb is part of Leg #6, a 40 mile segment that climbs close to 4,000 feet. Adam has done this segment two years in a row. It’s a brutal climb with a terrifying descent down the back side. Adam rode like a man possessed and then forsook his children by throwing himself down the descent. I was pleased by his efforts, his wife was flabbergasted by the speed.
Darkness: In the race bible it describes this leg by saying, “This section of State Road 12 is what makes it famous! It just cannot be put into words. You will feel as though you are cycling in the clouds.” The ironic part about this segment is that you can’t see anything. It comes right after the Boulder segment and it’s 1:00AM. All you see is black road, and a lot of it. Andy Welch took this segment, which consisted of 56.6 miles (the longest of the race) and 3,000 feet of climbing. I will never forget pulling up along side Andy after some mechanical issues set the team back and watching him pedaling like a crazy person, on Adam’s bike, with no light, and temperatures hovering around 38 degrees. He was riding so hard to catch the leaders without any regard for himself or his comfort. The worst part was, that in between gasps for breath Andy was apologizing for not going faster. That’s the kind of dude you want in your corner.
My overall feelings about Rockwell is that it made me really tired. Also, I loved the atmosphere of racing for and with my friends and working as a team. There were times when I was riding that all I could think about was how grateful I was to live in such a beautiful place and how blessed I was to have a body that allowed me to ride.
It took the team 28:45:12 to finish, good enough for 8th place.
"White Rim In A Day" also known as WRIAD was taken on by Spencer Chipping and a few other brave souls this past Thursday May 19th. The ride takes 101 miles with 6,000 feet of elevation not to mention the total lack of convenience stores along the route. This is 8 hours of the most scenic mountain biking Southern Utah has to offer. Usually, this is done as a caravan of cars and support follow you, but die-hards can prepare and plan to be out on the trail the whole day without any additional support.
Check out Spencer's Strava for a glimpse at the ride profile.
Wanna know the planning that went into this adventure?
Being in Utah, you are probably well up to date on cycling affairs.
Still, so many trails have been constructed in Moab, I simply have to make sure you and your organization are informed.
Just this past autumn, the Horsethief section officially opened.
You can find all of the trail information on http://discovermoab.com/biking.htm.
Our volunteer organization, Moab Trail Mix, keeps the Moab Travel Council on the top of the list with descriptions and maps. In fact, the maps can be printed and brought along, or these maps are also for sale at our local bike shops for $2-$3 each. Thatmoney fills the treasury of the Trail Mix and keeps the great work going here.
Notice the green circles, blue squares and black diamonds, to indicate trail difficulty.
If you do a group trip to Moab, I am here to help as well.
Moab Travel Council
by Greg O'Neil
Swarms of flies, the stench of decaying brine shrimp, buffalo pies on the road, hail, rain, and lightning were all absent from Saturday’s Antelope Island Classic. The Men’s 35+ B flight race was a little short by club standards (only 49 miles), but when a reminder popped up on Facebook about the race this weekend and I realized there were no work/family commitments Saturday I decided to give it a go. The forecast was a little iffy, and got worse the night before, but fortunately the rain, hail, and torrents of foul weather held off until the afternoon.
Having done this same race last year I knew what to expect and wasn’t worried about showing up early. But it never pays to be late. While pinning the numbers to the jersey I could hear in the distance “wha wha.. 5+ on deck”. Crap. Did a quick inventory, chose to leave the spare wheels behind and sprinted across the gravel/mud lot to find they were only calling the 55+ riders. By the time I arrived the 55+ were about to start and they were calling the Men’s 35+ to line up. Riding or running back to the car to grab wheels made little sense at this point and I spent the last few minutes struggling to get the muddy gravel out of my cleats.
The first 20 miles were an out and back across the causeway. It provided a nice warm up. A rider in a Bike Accident Attorney’s kit flatted next to me on the sharp gravel on the south side of the road as we headed east toward the entrance gate. Mental note; no tube, no CO2, no spare wheels, must avoid gravel. The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful.
With 40+ riders in our flight and a relatively flat windswept course there was little chance for anyone to break away. A couple of riders pulled 150 years ahead as we began making lapping the North end of the island, but that was short-lived. The 35+ B flights are notoriously disorganized, so despite the strong turnouts by Zone 5 Racing and America’s First Credit Union, most of the race was more like a large group ride. It wasn’t until we made the u-turn at the south end of the island that the pace began to quicken. But even then it was a matter of fits and spurts untilthe final 1000M.
Last year I made the mistake of pulling hard for most of the last 5 miles and had little left in the tank for the finishing sprint. With the benefit of experience, I sat in the back of the pack this year until those last 1000M.
The final stretch is a long gradual climb to the finish that begins to level off in the last 200M. Passing the 200M sign, I began to accelerate and close quickly on the last 2 racers. They had started their kick early and managed to hold on just long enough to secure their spots on the podium.
Strava link: https://www.strava.com/activities/568742010
Spring in Utah has brought it’s “A” game. April was a nasty mix of high power winds, wet afternoons and even snow flurries above 7,500 feet. The road to Big Mountain cleared the first week of April, but the Cottonwood canyons have been more difficult navigate. Last year the team was riding consistently together beginning in the middle of April, but this year the rain and wet morning roads have made it more difficult to plan consistent Tuesday and Thursday morning rides. Mi Duole riders have found time to get up Big Cottonwood Canyon a few times in the morning, only to find it was 28 degrees at Mill D.
Some of the team spent a long weekend rolling through the White Rim in Canyonlands National Park - in ONE DAY! Usually, riders will spend 3-5 days, breaking the ride up into segments, but some of our squad took the full 100 mile mountain bike ride and chewed it up in one big gulp.
The new Canyon Cycles (3969 Wasatch Blvd) hosted our spandex party last night. Tons and tons of tight fitting outfits where distributed to the team. Wind vests, hats, bibs, shoes covers, gloves, thermal tops, knee warmers, arm warmers, booties, jackets, socks, jerseys, long sleeve jerseys -- the supply of goodies seemed endless. There is a certain joy, almost Christmas like, when you tear into those plastic bags housing the new team colors. You lay it all out on the bed and wonder if anyone wants to see a short Mi Duole fashion show. Nope. The new red kits where a big hit as well as well as some new features that I noticed: new arm bands on the race jersey, knee warmers, reflective pockets, different leg bands, softer more-breathable fabric on the thermal coats and vests. Voler seems to do a good job changing and updating products each year to better fit our needs. Enjoy the new kits and if you capture some good pictures of yourself in them text them over to me 801-599-4239.
By Mi Duole team member Dan Braun
Traveling anywhere with Peterson Squared (Patriarch Chris and Son Stephen) is always an adventure and lesson in humility. It all began as we checked our mo-tel for bedbugs and dead bodies. Fortunately none were found and all were unscathed through the night. Then came the real fun- riding True Grit, primarily getting through Barrell Roll and Zen. I was fortunate enough to witness the great Tinker Juarez and a women's champion blowing past me as I was very diligent to not get in anyone's way. I was once again put in my place by Peterson Squared as the only way I can get an edge on them is to miss part of the course- unintentionally! Strava doesn't lie that I missed a turn, thus about 30 minutes of the course. I'm bummed I missed the "wash" section as I was feeling great the second half of the race- probably because I was not as fatigued from more earlier geography and was experiencing the euphoria of caffeinated Gu. Chris and Stephen did awesome and I only hope to someday achieve their time- and Greatness.
Chris also features in the St. George news and I have a blurry cameo appearance as is fitting behind a women's champion.
Starting in 2016, the Mi Duole team will use this journal space for race re-caps, ride reports, stories about the team and general news about all things Mi Duole.