Who Needs Disneyworld?

June 14th, 2010

The headline:  New Mountain Bike Park in the Works.

The location:  Surprisingly, Orlando, Fla.

The Orlando Sentinal reports that a mountain bike park with off-road trails, thick woods and man-made rolling hills will open on 17.6 acres not far from downtown Orlando and Fashion Square Mall.

The park is being built with private money and sweat equity, boosted by a $50,000 grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation.

The trails will be built by mountain bikers.  Local members of the Ocala Mountain Bike Association are forming a chapter to maintain the park once it is built.

The park is being built on land that was part of the Orlando Naval Training Center.  Once the park is opened, it will give mountain bikers a much-needed place in an area with very little off-road riding.

– Deb Acord

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Colorado’s First Womens Only Mountain Bike Race.

June 11th, 2010

This Saturday, June 12th, the Yeti Beti Bash will be the first womens only mountain bike race to be held in Colorado. It is being held in Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood Colorado.

The race course is a 4 mile loop with ~300 feet of elevation gain per lap featuring rolling, non-technical terrain at Bear Creek Lake Park. It’s mostly singletrack riding with 4 short punchy climbs. There are views of Red Rocks and the surrounding park.

Under 14 will do 1 lap (4 miles), category 3 beginners will do 2 laps (8 miles), the category 2 sport racers will race 3 laps (12 miles), and the elite/category 1 racers doing five laps (20 miles). Don’t want to do it alone? There’s also a 3 person relay where each lady rides one lap.

In the afternoon, there will be a kids race. It doesn’t say whether it’s limited to girls or if boys can ride too.

The last I saw, they have 147 women racers registered. It’s too late for online registration but you can show up and register the day of the race.

UltraRob

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Bears at Palmer Park Mountain Bike Race

May 22nd, 2010
Bears at Mountain Bike Race in Palmer Park

Today was the first race in the Ascent Cycling MTB Series put on by Sand Creek Sports. Mountain Bikers weren’t the only ones to show up. A mama bear and her 2 cubs wandered through the course during the Pro race during the afternoon.

I was out shooting photos of the race. My friend, Matt Simmons, was in 4th. I was expecting to come by and I kept waiting longer than I thought it should be. My first thought was he had crashed but no one else came by either.

All of a sudden my friend hanging out with me said to look behind. There was the mama bear and her 2 cubs walking across the course. They crossed a couple parts of the course and went down into a drainage.

Soon my friend came by along with about 7 other riders. By then I think the top 3 had a gap of nearly 10 minutes. In the end I doubt it made much difference if any difference in placing since the top 3 already had a fairly good gap.

Matt said he was close to the bears when he got stopped. The mama bear got up on her hind legs and was growling. He was happy when they moved on but knew they headed to where the course looped back. He wasn’t sure how long to wait to make sure he didn’t run into them again.

I also got several shots of the racers and will get some posted in the next day or two. In the meantime, here are a few more photos of the bears.

Update: I’ve uploaded several race photos. I’ve gotten questions about where I saw the bears. This map on SmugMug shows the locations of the bear photos.

Bears at Palmer Park Mountain Bike Race

Bears at Palmer Park Mountain Bike Race

Bears at Palmer Park Mountain Bike Race

Bears at Palmer Park Mountain Bike Race

Bears at Palmer Park Mountain Bike Race

UltraRob

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Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Entry eBay Auction

May 14th, 2010
Leadville 100 - Bottom of Columbine Climb

If you didn’t get picked in the Leadville 100 lottery and you still want to do the race after the felony charges drama this week, here’s a chance to get in and help a charity. A Leadville 100 entry is being auctioned on eBay to benefit Arts Street. Normally you shouldn’t buy a Leadville 100 entry on eBay but the race organizers son, Cole, is on the board of directors for Arts Street and is a legitimate entry.

Currently there’s only a day left on the auction. The price is at $521 but the reserve hasn’t been met. Over the last few weeks they sold an additional 25 entries for $2,275 each to benefit the LT100 Legacy Foundation so I’d guess the reserve is a fair amount higher.

Arts Street is a 10 year-old non-profit youth program in Denver that creates opportunities for the youth of Colorado. The opportunities provided are designed to foster the inspiration and education of these youth to become tomorrow’s professionals – supporting the workforce needs. This is achieved by developing and implementing highly diversified career-based, educational programs that incorporate real-world learning, artistic expression and creative thinking.

UltraRob

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More On Leadville 100 Felony Charges

May 13th, 2010
Lance Armstrong at Leadville 100 Start

The news about Katie Brazelton giving her Leadville 100 entry to Wendy Lyall and both of them being charged with criminal impersonation has spread outside of the mountain bike world. There a good post on the Ex-Pat Ex-Lawyer blog with what lead up to the charges.

In a letter to the Lake County Sheriff, Leadville 100 organizer Ken Chlouber asked for prosecution on theft of services for the $250 in race fees, $225 in awards, plus racer services, including aid stations, security, and a pre-race banquet. That would be much less severe than the criminal impersonation felony that DA Hurlbert charged them with. It seems that Katie Brazelton may have already lost her job over the incident.

As I said I think that cheating to get into the race is serious but worse in this case because of Wendy finishing 2nd in Katie’s age group. Still being charged with a felony is overblown for something like this.

Some people are complaining that Ken doesn’t enforce his rules consistently. We own an old mining claim in Lake County close to Leadville and we always say it’s still the wild, wild west there. It’s not just that Ken runs the Leadville 100 that way. Even so about 10 times as many people wanted to do the race this year as are allowed in.

The Leadville 100 entry lottery isn’t totally a lottery. Some number of riders appear to get picked and the rest get drawn in the lottery. I know riders that have used a friend’s address in Leadville so they’d get picked. Leadville is small enough that Ken and whoever else does the preferred picking probably know when that is the case but the riders have still gotten into the race.

UltraRob

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Felony Charge for Racing Leadville 100 Without Entry

May 10th, 2010
Leadville 100 Start

The Leadville 100 mountain bike race has long made it clear that entries are non-refundable and non-transferable. It’s one of a very few races where I’ve had to show my ID to pick up my race packet. Now race organizer, Ken Clouber, has made it clear just how seriously he takes racing with another person’s entry.

Last year Katie Brazelton was injured and unable to race. Rather than just lose her entry, she gave her entry to her friend Wendy Lyall. I’m not sure how that worked because of the required photo ID check. My guess is that Katie picked up the race packet herself.

During race check-in though they put on a bright green band that must be worn during the race and still be on to pick up awards. Although you have to give your race number to check in the morning of the race, they haven’t checked for my band. During the race I can’t tell that they look for the band so it may have not been noticed if Wendy wasn’t wearing one. In the photo with the Denver Post article there’s something green on her left wrist but it’s not clear enough to tell if it’s the required band.

The switch off may have gone unnoticed but Wendy finished in 9:53:27. That was fast enough to put her in 2nd place in the 40-49 age group even though she was 36. Ken Chlouber received an anonymous tip that it might not have been Katie Brazelton racing.

According to the Denver Post article Rachel Farrett, who finished 3rd didn’t recognize the woman who picked up the prize from the race the day before. Farrett remembers the woman who passed her on the race course had blond hair. The woman who accepted the trophy did not.

After being contacted by Ken and Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte, the women returned the belt buckle, pendant and necklace. Ken didn’t think that was enough since the true 2nd and 3rd place finishers didn’t get to enjoy their accomplishment. He also banned both women from ever competing in the Leadville 100 and now Katie and Wendy have been charged with criminal impersonation, a Class 6 felony.

I think using someone else’s entry is a serious thing and it was much worse in this case because Wendy finished 2nd in an older age group. I’m not sure that USA Cycling has anything in the rules to deal with something like this other than suspending them from other races.

Filling felony charges does seem to be going a bit far. I’ve heard the race received well over 10,000 entries for this year’s race. Last year there were 1,400 entries accepted but I haven’t seen the number for this year yet but I hope it’s not higher. Maybe this case is more about deterring the thousands that didn’t make it in the race lottery from lining up on race day with Lance Armstrong than it is about 2 women from last year’s race.

UltraRob

Update 5/13/10: More On Leadville 100 Felony Charges

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Life is Dangerous

September 14th, 2006


Life is full of dangers even if you don’t participate in fun things like cycling. On my first project at HP, the technical lead always made sure my code was checked in before I left on Friday. She always said she didn’t know if I’d come back on Monday. I’ve always maintained that you can get injured or killed even if you’re a coach potato. You might as well enjoy life. At least that way you’ll have great memories and have something to talk about when you’re crippled. Fortunately I’ve always been able to show back up to work on Monday. I’m still aware of the risks while I’m out which is why I always wear my RoadID.

A few weeks ago one of my co-workers, we’ll came him Jack, didn’t show up to work. Nobody heard anything until afternoon when his son called and said he wasn’t able to come in to work but didn’t give any details other than his arm was shattered. After a few days, our manager got the scoop but was sworn not to tell us what happened. Jack didn’t come back to work for a couple weeks. In the meantime we properly padded his cubicle to make sure he didn’t get injured by bumping anything. Once he was back, I found out that he had been filling the bird feeder. He wasn’t thinking and stepped back right off a retaining wall. At least the only thing my co-workers here at Fluke Networks have done to my cube, is put up a banner welcoming me back after RAAM.

The worst I’ve done is crash mountain biking in Moab and limped around the office for a few weeks. I had just gotten a full suspension mountain bike and had never ridden full suspension before. Sure I had tested it a couple times on some local trails I new well but hadn’t done anything long or hard. I was screaming down Porcupine Rim with some other good Expert racers. One by one they had dropped off. We had hit the single track at the bottom a short distance from where you come out to the highway. I finally dropped the last rider that had hung with me. I dropped over a drop off. The rebound was set pretty fast on the rear and I wasn’t used to it.

When I hit a little rock, I got launched through the air. When the first other rider got there, I was face down in the dirt with blood gushing out of my chin and my bike on top of me. I hadn’t moved because my wind had been knocked out plus I was in on awkward position in addition to my bike being on me. He asked if I was alright and I said I didn’t know. Once I got up, he said my chin didn’t look that bad. I was scraped up but able to move.

By the time I had gotten collected, the other fast riders had caught up and we rode on down to the road. I was in pain but nothing I thought was serious. I knew the other guys wanted to hammer so I told them to go on. We had some slower recreational riders that we had last waited for at the top. I figured in worst case if I was in too much pain to ride they’d find me and go get help. As I rode in to Moab, my knee kept swelling. Pain was shooting up my arm from my elbow to the point that I was nearly in tears. Of course we were camped up near the Slick Rock Trail which meant climbing up a big hill to get back to camp.

Julie was back at camp and when the other guys got back, they told her I had crashed but they didn’t think it was anything serious. They suggested she drive down to check on me. She debated whether to because I refuse to bail and get a ride back. My friends finally convinced her and she drove down. By then I had made up most of the climb and didn’t have too far left to ride. She asked me how I was doing and the first thing I said was I thought we should put the bike on the rack and go to the ER. That’s all she needed to hear to know I was in a lot of pain.

The ER visit was less than reassuring. It turned out I had a really deep gash on my chin underneath the big glob of blood and I needed stitches. The doctor numbed it up but didn’t really seem very experience and getting it numbed up was quite painful. The nurse aid seemed to have no idea what she was doing and had to keep asking the doctor what to do when she was cleaning up my chin. Julie could have done much better. At some point we found out that she was a ranger at Sand Flats and worked at the ER part time. By the time she had it cleaned out, it wasn’t numb anymore so I had to go through getting my chin numbed all over again. Before the doctor got it stitched up it wasn’t numb anymore. He said he only had a couple more stitches and just kept going as I clung to the table in pain. The x-rays of my elbow and knee didn’t show anything. They figured I had a bone bruise near my elbow and my knee was just freaked out and swelling.

By the time we got back to camp if I tried moving my leg in any way, my quads would seriously cramp. The guys took down our tent so we could drive to my uncle and aunt’s house in Grand Junction. It was Sunday night and they were gone to church so we couldn’t get a hold of them. We know how to get in their house so they came home to find me all bandaged up and in a sling and Julie was in a removable cast because she had sprained her ankle a couple weeks before.

A couple days later, I ended up going to my doctor which sent me to an orthopedic doctor. It turned out my knee had been bleeding internally. The blood was in a bursa instead of the joint so there was nothing that could be done to drain it. The doctor said it would take about 6 weeks for my body to re-absorb it and the less I moved my knee the less chance I’d end up with chronic bursitis. It took 4 weeks before I could bend my knee enough to walk very well and another couple weeks before I could bend it enough to start riding again.

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Weekend Training Rides

May 9th, 2006

Since I’d been sick last week with a mild cold, I didn’t go to the 200k brevet that I had planned to do. Instead I did a ride up to Palmer Lake, through Black Forest, out on the plains to Peyton and then back US 24 in to town and then rode up toward Woodland Park.

I started late because it was cool and rainy first thing in the morning. It cleared off nicely and dried off making for a nice day when I started out. Thunderstorms kept building around them but I managed to stay out of their way for a while. When I went through Falcon on the way back into town, there was a thunderstorm on each side of US 24.

I debated whether I should take shelter at the gas station or hope I could get between them. I decided to take my chances and the 2 storms grew into one. At first it was just big, stinging, cold rain drops and then it was mixed with big chunks of slush. Fortunately it didn’t turn to hail. I probably rode in the rain for about 30 minutes but it took over an hour to dry off once I got through it and then sun came out. My cyclocomputer once again quit picking up just like it did after riding in the snow a little over a week ago. I discovered that the o-ring that’s supposed to seal the battery compartment on the transmitter has gotten old and cracked. Now I hope I can find something to replace it with. I think I got almost 110 miles in although my computer only recorded a little over 91.

I had the stitches removed from my arm last week and Dr. Carter said I could use the aero bars as much as I wanted as long as it didn’t hurt. I didn’t even feel any discomfort. Unfortunately that couldn’t be said of my knee that I slammed into the fence post when I was riding near Avon. It was stiff for the first couple hours and then it got to the point that it didn’t feel too bad. My bio-mechanics were off though because my ankle and hip hurt and my hamstrings were getting tight.

Sunday I went for my first weekend mountain bike ride in a long time. I’ve done a few mountain bike rides at lunch but they’ve been short. I rode a bunch of my favorite trails such as the Chutes, Buckhorn, Upper Captain Jacks, Bear Creek, Intemann, and some trails in the Red Rock Open Space. My handling skills actually were better than I was expecting but my shoulders and arms got tired since I don’t use them much on the road.

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Granny Gear 24 Hour Race National Point Series

April 7th, 2006
24 Hours of Moab 2009

Granny Gear has announced a 24 Hour Race National Point Series. It’s a series made up of 6 of Granny Gear’s 24 hour races. The best 3 results count for the series. Part of the deal is the entry fee goes down for each additional race you do. I really think their entry fees are overpriced for what they provide. I’ve only done their 24 Hours of Moab but I’ve done that 4 times solo. Although some of the 24 Hours of Adrenalin events are about the same. I really wonder though how many teams are out there that do 3 events. They riders I know that do the 24 Hours of Moab are doing shorter NORBA races the rest of the year and Moab just an end of the season thing.

Another new long distance MTB series this year is the National MTB Ultra Endurance Series. It’s a series of 6 100 mile races with 4 races counting for the series. It’s good to see more and more choices in long distance MTB races. Once I get RAAM out of my system, I plan to go back to doing long MTB races. I think the growth of long MTB races is in part because the NORBA races have gotten so short and on such fast courses instead of the epic courses that were common back in the early 90s when mountain biking was new.

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24 Hours of EROCK

March 2nd, 2006

This year along with the Elephant Rock Century there is also going to be the 24 Hours of EROCK. Finally, there’s a 24 hour mountain bike race that is less than 30 minutes from my house! The only problem is it’s the weekend before RAAM. I don’t think doing it can be called tapering.

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