Tuesday, October 16, 2007

24 Hrs of Moab

Everyone has their own take on this one-of-a-kind event, I figured I'd share mine for the amusement of those who may stumble upon my blog.

For me, the race itself is only part of the experience. Of course the anticipation of going to Moab for this race is a large part of my personal motivation to do the other things I must do in life. All year I look forward to Moab and when it finally arrives I try to savor every minute.

Traditionally I arrive early, usually sometime Wednesday. Two reasons; 1. As the team manager I feel obligated to be the one who stakes out and guards our highly desired plot of grass, weeds, ants and sand which we will call home for the weekend. 2. The solice of the desert is, as many know, very therapeutic and it gives me a chance to unwind, de-stress and think only of one thing, riding.

Of course it's not quite as simple as that due to the dynamics of the race and the scope of our team. This year we fielded 5 teams and 1 solo rider. Nevertheless, we have plenty of help which makes it easier to focus on the race and enjoy the experience and for that I'm grateful. I can't imagine doing it any other way.

I suppose the baseline of the race is that it's not just up to you. It's not and hour or two of hard riding and then you go home, it's about consistencey, of not only your riding, but of that of your teammates. It's about hope; hoping that you do well, that your friends do well, that you have no mechanicals or crashes and when you or your buddy have completed a lap, that you all can do it again in short order. In this regard a 24 hour event is more like life than any event in which I've participated. We build a microcosm of a community out in the desert, divide responsibilities and work hard to accomplish our goals, we revile one another near the campfire with our successes and failures, with our close calls and seemingly heroic or daring feats of cycling prowess. We commisserate with those who have defeats but encourage them knowing that the next lap can result in success. Even our competitors become our friends as we recognize our shared pains, our shared experience.

The 24 Hrs of Moab, is, for me, bliss. It lacks the complication of life's varied focuses. It allows us to strive, bond, struggle, hope, dream and ride like no other time during the year. For many of those who attend, it is Mecca, and the highlight of the season. I am just glad to be able to go each year and I already anticipating the next time I can spend a few days in the desert on my bike with my friends.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Ever have that feeling that you've perhaps, just maybe, might have bitten off more than you can chew. This unique sense of dread and impending doom comes only in those particular instances when you find yourself facing what seems at the moment, to be a utterly hopless situation. Like when you are flying down a trail, but it's been raining and you are pushing the limits of what bike and rider can safely navigate in such conditions, and then it happens, you round a corner only to discover that all the traction you once had in your favorite tires has been replaced by a slick, gooey coating of fresh mud which has adhered to the tires like a spoonful of peanut butter to the roof of your mouth. In that instant you know you are headed for trouble, in an flash of an eye you think a dozen thoughts like, what could I have done differently?, Should I have eased up on the speed?, how can I limit the damage?, do I throw myself from the speeding train now or ride it out?

For risk takers this is an all too common feeling. I think I'm relatively conservative on my bike, but I do like to ride some downhills on the edge of my ability level. However, I more often find myself with this feeling of dread in regards to other decisions I make, such as this year's challege of organizing and promoting a bike race. Sure the motive was good, it seems well organized, I've put in lots of time and energy as have other friends, but one week away and I can't help but think, this is going to be bad. I had such high expectations and worked so hard to get to this point, but I tend to worry about outcomes when the tires seem to be slipping and I'm not sure if I can hold the line.

Oddly enough in many of these instances, things don't go so bad, the certain crash doesn't occur, but instead you somehow are able to regain control, get your feet down, and come to a stop without going over the bars. Sure you heart rate spikes a bit and you take it a bit easy for the next little while, but the crisis has been averted and you have survived.

I enjoy the thrill of new challenges, great downhills and doing something that benefits others, but often wonder to myself, does anyone else care about this, is it worth the risk? the effort?, the time?, the energy? Perhaps it doesn't really matter as long as no matter what happens, I get back on my bike and keep riding, which is exactly what I'll do.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

'07 Team Gear

The new team gear finally came in today. So after organizing everyone's order I decided to go on a short ride in the new duds. They are bit darker than I expected, but I think they stand out really well. I like the mountain motif and the flow of the jersey into the short design. Nate really did a good job, considering he doesn't design jerseys full time. Be sure to thank him next time you see him.

Scott and I rode the BST above Orem/Lindon, just a short 45 min loop, but it was nice to get the lungs working for a bit. Scott graciously acted the photog part simply because he didn't want to change into his new gear and have the pictures taken of him I think.

So now I just have to get the team t-shirts ordered and then work on the other dozen things I have on my list and then perhaps in November I can relax a bit.

A couple other photos:

Monday, April 23, 2007

Lazy Blogger

Ok..So I haven't been the most diligent of Bloggers. Sure I have plenty of excuses, work, family, scouts, organizing a bike team (two, sort of) and of course training. Everyone has demands on their time, right? (except Chris and KC apparently, just kidding).

So I'm resolving to do better, to get a digital camera even - my wife won't let me use hers. I WILL start making updates to this blog. Why? Good question, I suppose because there are a few people out there who might actually click a link from someone elses blog and find what I have to say interesting, informative, perhaps even pathetic, hence making them feel better about their own life of quiet desperation (yes that's borrowed).

So I'll have Adam give me some lessons on posting and graphic design and you'll see an improvement. Sometime soon. In the near future. I promise.

Aside from that little confession and resolution here's the current state of affairs:

The Mad Dog Team is looking good this year. We have alot of good riders, many people who believe in the cause and are willing to help us achieve our goals of community awareness and involvement. We will hopefully, be better prepared and advertise more effectively this year.

We will hold monthly guided rides open to the public, we will have two trail maintenance days and we will put together a race for the community this August. Alot of work ahead of us, but I think it can be done and will be helpful to the cycling community.

More updates to follow.