Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back in Blue

This weekend I will be back in blue. Baby blue that is. I am working as an official for the Tour of Park City. I have to admit I was a little disappointed that I wasn't racing when I saw that they were actually giving cash prizes for Women's 4. (Usually we race for socks or T-shirts). But then I remembered that the 30 miles I did at Chalk Creek last week hurt like hell and that I am in no way ready for 170 miles in the heat, money or no money.

So I still get to be there watching smooth, tan, male legs pump away for hours on end and I'll even get to see more racing than just the women's 4 field riding away from me on the hills. I'm pretty low on the officiating totem pole. That means I'll do whatever Holly and Richard tell me and hopefully not have to use any of my official powers. So race hard, race fair and I know it is hot but wear your helmet if you are on your bike.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chase. . .

If you haven't heard teammate Chase was hit by a car in Canada. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers

Monday, July 28, 2008

Poor sick Doggie

My little Berrie doggie has been sick. She wont eat, wont drink and she doesn't even try to bring me the ball or get on the couch. So today I called her doggie daddie and we went and took her to the vet. $200 later they don't know why she is sick. Some kind of a virus combined with the fact that she is a medium sized dog and 13 years old. She's on antibiotics and special food- which she actually ate but it is $3 a can.

Poor Berrie doggie. She's going to get better though and soon we'll be playing frisbee at the park again.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mixing it up

So I just couldn't take another day of exercising in the heat. It just seems to suck the life out of me. I told Diane that I feel like I'm in a chronic state of dehydration. I'm thinking it would be great to get an IV every night. Just a nice little saline drip going so I would wake up feeling refreshed.

The heat seems to amplified by the fact that I come home to my swamp cooler. Despite the fact that it has run on high constantly for the past 2 weeks it seems to do little to cool the house. There is a nice cool spot directly under it but the dogs have already claimed it. Remember when I was complaining about the cold? Geez, tell me to quit whining.

Anyway, I gave myself a break from the bike and went to Gold's Gym. I got there late so it was the usual hung over, post party scene - girls with words on their rears, guys in muscle shirts and couples arguing by the ab machine. I did the elliptical for 40 minutes which seemed like an eternity because everyone else was on and off the machines in 10 to 15 minutes. I also lifted some weights which I'm sure I'll feel tomorrow. Anyway, the gym makes me both glad to not have to pay for a membership and appreciate riding outside!

The best part of the the day was seeing Kim. She is also an instructor at Gold's. She is one of those amazingly positive people that is just great to be around. She was telling me about finishing her first Marathon and instead of describing the event as grueling or hard she said it was "pure heaven". Wow!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I am not a Ferrari. . .

So after today's race I'm chugging up towards Parley's summit in my Liberty. I'm doing well passing people when I see a sports car quickly riding up behind me. Soon he is close enough that I can see the Gold insignia and as he zips around me like I'm standing still I realize it is a Ferrari. Sweet! But then I have to laugh because it is just like on my bike races. I'm zipping along doing fine feeling good when someone passes me like I'm standing still. I guess it is all about perspective.

Chalk Creek Road race was today. I felt good about this one despite the hills. With Alisha, Allison, Breanne and Jamie all playing with the big girls in the 123 field I thought I might get a top 5. At the start line I only recognized a few riders which is pretty unusual. Missy blew the whistle to start and 3 of the women took off like greyhounds out of the chute (I guess they didn't get the memo that in road racing we have at least 5 miles of BSing before the racing begins). I hung on up small rollers but we lost 3 women pretty quick. The three hammer heads at the front stayed at the front and set a fast pace. By the second big climb I was off the back.

I suffered alone in what I thought was a headwind until the turn around- then there was a bigger headwind. I'm still not sure how this is possible but biking seems to invite headwinds regardless of direction. Still I was able to hammer back down the road and keep some speed up going back over the rollers. I managed to pass one competitor but never could catch Kris. I finished 8th but after I found out the top 3 places went to Olympic speed skaters (19 year olds that train 6 hours a day) I am not counting them and am giving myself 5th. Top 5 right where I expected to be!

Speaking of perspective, this was Alisha Welch's first Cat 3 race. She won, beating out some heavy hitters in the 1/2 field.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My favorite memory game

Let's play:
1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

3. If you can't say anything nice, don't comment. If you do, I'll delete it OR point out what a jerk you are! (he he)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Capital Reef Round 2

CRC was not a race I'd planned on doing. I had looked at the course weeks ago and decided it was a climbers course and I was still looking forward to some more July downtime. But with no kids, no school, no boss to ask if I could take another day off and a free place to stay, I had run out of excuses for not doing this race.

There were only 5 women registered in the Women's 4 field and three were Ski Utah. Not bad odds.

Once again I stole these pics from Rios blog. I took a few but left my camera at Kara's place in Fremont (I'll just use it as an excuse to go back soon). Thanks Slingshot for taking great pics!

After the TT I was only 44 seconds out of first. That has to be a record for me. I usually lose at least 2 minutes in a TT. (It is not so much that I've improved but my kick butt teammates Allison, Jamie and Breanne have all upgraded.)

After the TT we rode 10 miles back to Fremont. By then Kara and I were starving and we had to race again in only 2 hours. I had a big protien shake and a banana. Soon it was time to gear up and head out for the next stage. By the time we got to Kara's 90 year old grandma's house in Teasedale my stomach was churning and angry. I stole a couple of Grandma's Tums and got ready to head out for my warm up. It was then that I realized my cleat was spinning around due to a missing screw in my shoe. Thankfully Grandma had a screwdriver. I tightened the two screws the best I could and we headed to the start.

My stomach was still angry as we rolled up to the start line and took off in the hottest part of the day for a very hilly circuit race. I made it down the hill and around the corner. As soon as we hit the first hill I was off the back. By the second hill I pulled over and threw up. My stomach felt better but I was weak and miserable and going very slow. My cleat was also loose and I had no power and was not comfortable standing up to climb. When the Jr. passed me (yes I was going that slow) his follow car got behind me for a while. I really thought about quitting at that point. I think I was full into altitude sickness. Since I had only about 6 miles left I decided to finish out the stage so I'd at least have the option of starting Stage 3 the next day. My 44 second time out of GC was now a 15 minute deficit.

We headed back to Fremont where I drank what seemed like gallons of water and took apart my old shoes to fix my good shoes. I went to bed as early as the party on the front lawn would allow and woke up every hour to drink more.

On the way to the Road Race the next morning Kara was full of plans and tactics. She was sitting in third with 5 minutes to make up. Maybe if she could get a break away she could close that gap. My stomach was feeling better but I was exhausted. I was really dreading getting on my bike. I told her I'd work for her if I could but really my goals for the day were to just finish, not throw up and not cry.

We got into Torrey and pulled up to Shane riding down main street swearing and screaming that his start time was in 3 minutes and he couldn't find the start. His exact words were @#%! @#$! We couldn't find it either and flipped around. Torrey isn't that big and we still had plenty of time before our start.. .. or so we thought. We found the start at the park and as we got out Breanne and Jamie informed us that everyone's start time had been bumped up by 30 minutes. We got to the start line just in time, once again with no warm up and this time no Kris. We told the refs that we didn't think she'd quit and that we were sure she'd be there if she'd known about the time change. Finally, after they waited a bit they started us.

There was a screaming headwind and I was determined to stay with the pack into the wind and up the big climb out of Torrey. We settled in at a reasonable pace and took turns pulling at the front. Surprisingly I started to feel really good. I even went to the front and set the pace up some of the climbs with the idea that at least if I was up there and no one else wanted to work then I could set a reasonable pace.

Since I was still with the pack and Kara had been pacelining right behind me I told her to attack up one of the rollers in Fremont from second wheel. She got a little excited and took off on the downhill right before the turn into Fremont. Suddenly I didn't have anymore downhill power as the field came around me and gave chase. After the corner I was alone. I could then hear a hissing sound. I thought my tire was flatting but I looked down and could see my front brake rubbing. I opened the lever but by this time the field was gone and there was nothing left in my legs from the climbs.

Now I was alone and because of the time change I had moved into 4th place. No amount of chasing would help my standings and likely I wouldn't be of any further help to Kara. So I pulled off and relieved my bladder. Now I just wanted to finish. I still felt pretty good so I just went at a good pace and enjoyed the ride.

Back on the TT course I saw Slingshot. He told me that Kris was only 30 seconds back. I slowed and waited for her knowing I could use her help up the hills and she could use some help going down. We worked together and enjoyed the ride. The officials told her she couldn't help her teammates so she backed off for the finish. Really I don't think it was going to matter since she had already helped me by not being able to find the course. Kara hung in the with the climbers until almost to Torrey. She did manage to get her first podium of her short race career by finishing 3rd.

I'm happy to say that Breanne and Jamie did well finishing behind the Laura's (Howat 1st and Patton 2nd) for 3rd (Breanne) and 4th (Jamie). They had a good sized field of 10. Allison had some mechanical problems but I think she still finished 6th. Way to tear it up ladies!

Regretfully I left the quiet of Fremont for the usual chaos at home. During my long rides alone I had lots of time to scope out property. I'd love a little piece of land up there. Hopefully one like Kara's with no cell service!

Once home I sat in traffic to take my son to the urgent care for an ulcer on his eye and picked up my daughter from her river rafting trip. I just got a shower and now I can sleep as long as I want!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A hidden gem in the desert

After a couple of hours of mountain biking around the Desert Rampage course, which was right by our condo, we headed to Kanarraville for a hike. Since this hike is not actually in Zion there was no entry fee and hardly any other hikers. We followed the river for about a mile. As we hiked the canyon narrowed until we were forced to hike in the cold water. Steep cliffs climbed hundreds of feet above our heads. There were two waterfalls. Fortunately, someone had put in ladders made from ropes and tree trunks to help us get up them. It was amazing!

The trail becomes the river.

No where to go but up!

Stacey climbing the second waterfall. This ladder was shorter than the first but most of it was swinging rope.

Ashley needed a shower after all the hiking.

Austin is afraid of heights so he wasn't too thrilled with the ladders but he conquered his fear and did it!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Matheson Family Reunion in Enoch

After a fun few days with the girls I met my family in Enoch for a family reunion. This and the old farm house are all that is left of the Matheson dairy. This is the farm where I rode my first horse and learned to shoot a rifle.

Capital Reef Day 3- hiking and biking and eating

The ladies take a break

Capital Reef hiking

Yummy food at El Diablo. Rattlesnake cakes, rubbed Atlantic Salmon and Chai ice cream were just some of the exotic dishes we ate.

The ladies. . . Lacey, Kara, Shanna, Amy, Shannon and Sharon

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Capital Reef Day 2 the epic ride

At this point we were still thinking this was the best trail ever with Golden Eagles soaring above our heads and blue lake below. It was so beautiful!

The top. At 10,010 feet above sea level there wasn't much air. See the blue sliver? That is the lake way below.

The bikes get a boat ride back to civilization.

Ahhh. Much happier after water, pecan sandies, strawberries, and Mountain Dew provided by our rescuers.

Our rescuers!

Me before I started dropping F bombs.

I had looked up on and found a nice trail around Fish lake. The description said the one whole side of the lake was easy beginner trail then it said something to the effect that intermediate riders would continue on the same trail as it climbed above the lake and around to complete a 26 mile loop. Sounds reasonable right?

Kara and I headed out about 10:30 and said our goodbyes to Amy and Lacey since they just wanted to do the easy flat trail by the lodge. About 5 miles into the ride I stopped to fix my flat back tire and take out the duct taped tube that was dated 03 (disclaimer: I did not put this tube in my tire!) The going was great for about 10 miles. Although no one had ridden the trail for a while, it was nice single track with some rocky patches and a bit of climbing. Suddenly the trail turned steep. We rode what we could and hiked a bike when it was too steep.

After about an hour of alternating hiking with riding we looked across the lake and realized we had made no more progression around the lake only elevation gain. We still felt the top was near then we'd descend and be back to the easy stuff. Another hour plus later we finally did make it to the top. At 10,010 I had to keep stopping to breathe because Kara used all the oxygen by going ahead of me. We finally made some progress as we rode across the top of the ridge. Finally, we began heading back down and out of there (we thought).

The first descent was awesome. It was alpine trails with fun, steep but rideable sections. Then one more short climb and we were heading down again. Now the going got really rough. Still steep but with giant boulders. Some sections an expert level rider could manage but much of it had to be walked. Kara went down hard and her helmet saved her noggin when her head slammed into a tree. Finally we made it back down to lake level but the trail was non existent due to boulders. By this time we were both out of water and food and we'd been on the trail for over 4 hours. I couldn't see Kara for a while and thought I was hallucinating when I heard voices. Finally I saw Kara sitting on a boat drinking fresh cold water. I climbed aboard and the fisherman were very nice telling us we looked like we'd been in a fight and offering us a ride back. We probably had 6 more miles and at least 3 of it were unridable boulders. We managed to do 18 of the 26 miles around the lake. I think I'll email and let them know that "intermediate" isn't quite an accurate description.

Capital Reef Day One

From the top you can see all the way down into Goblin Valley and Escalante.

When we arrived on Wednesday Lacey and Amy drove Kara and I to the top of Elk Horn camping area and dropped us off for a little down hill mountain bike action. We descended down the face on an old cattle road. There was no one in sight and we even beat the truck back to the house. It was awesome!

Monday, July 7, 2008


Tara and Shanna. . best biking friends 4 ever

Me and the gang at USG. Shanna, Steve, Tara and Jason after the TT.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Shane!

Happy Birthday Baby Brother!

I'm so glad that I never successfully managed to kill him growing up (and I'm not just saying that since he now carries a gun and a tazer). If I would have known he was going to grow up to be so cool I might have been nicer! Shane is great! He's cynical, sarcastic and hilarious! He is also a great Dad, brother and officer. I just love him!

I remember how much fun we had as kids playing Starsky and Hutch on our big wheels. Funny that he's still playing cops and robbers but now for real. We also would spend hours playing Hot Wheels, Atari and picking on each other like only siblings can do.

Happy Birthday kiddo!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Diva's coming back

Sweet Singletrack

3 crashes, two trips to the ER a partially torn rotator cuff and a broken elbow later and my Downhilldivaness was suffering. I used to fly down mountain bike trails no fear whatsoever. But it turns out a couple of painful crashes on trails that were really easy made me a little weary. I can't imagine losing even part of this summer to an injury. But I missed it. I missed that zone where I'm flying down and not even thinking, the bike moving beneath me and the trail opening up before me. I started of a little scared today but I made myself ride stuff, I made myself clip in and I found the zone again. Maybe I'm not as fast as I once was but Diva is coming back!

Summer Time. . .

Summer is. . .

Riding east on a cool morning and watching the sun come up over the mountains. . . late evenings. . . riding through sprinklers to cool down. . . fireworks. . . BBQs. . . good friends. . . . family. . . mountain biking. . . no arm warmers. . .bike races. . . more freckles. . . . less weight. . . fresh fruit. . . starry nights. . . a campfire. . . new discoveries. . . helmet head. . . the nation's birthday. . . Playtime. . I love summer!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Grind Pictures

Pics stolen from Rios as promised. .. .

Hot Ski Utah chics. . .

Even Hotter after. . . literally

The Team party tent. .

Crit Happens. . .