Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Moab MTB Trip


A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Moab, Utah for a three day mountain biking trip with Lane Brostrom and his brother Marc. The experience for me was no different than a midwest skier's first trip out west.  I was in for some scary stuff.

We rented bikes from Poison Spider Bicycle Shop located on Main Street.  My bike was the Niner RIP featuring dual suspension (a must have in my opinion) with 29 inch wheels (another must have).  Acoomodations were at the Best Western Canyonlands also on Main Street. 

Day One was Slickrock.  New riders to the Slickrock park are offerred the opportunity to ride a short practice loop to get accustom to the riding surface and the technical challenges of Moab's severe ups and downs.  We skipped that introductory loop and immediately launched ourselves into the most technical riding I'd ever faced. Frankly, I was scared and the hesitancy showed.  Lane and Marc weren't sure if I'd make it because I kept lagging behind.  After two hours, I managed to loosen up and ride with some confidence.  It was a great day of riding that lasted about four hours.  Afterwards we played frisbee in the parking lot before riding bikes back to town (fyi - we drove up to the park's entrance;  small fee to enter it).

Day Two was Gemini Bridges.  This was the easiest ride of the trip, but still very technical.  Bull Run>Great Escape>Little Cyn (Canyon)>Arth's>Portion of Getaway>Metal Masher Rd>trail head off Hwy 313. 

Day Three was the Whole Encilada (Burro Pass>USFS Road>Hassard County Road>Kokopelli Trail>UPS Road>LPS Road>Porcupine Rim).  This was an epic seven hour ride covering thirty six miles with the most technical riding I'd ever encountered.  We took a shuttle van that started at the bike shop ($25) that took us up a mountain where we climbed out into the cold.  I was glad to be wearing arm and leg warmers plus a light jacket.  From there we rode another thousand feet of elevation before making our long descent. 

The first two hours had numerous extreme downhill sections that made me fell like I was falling downward.  After a couple of creek crossings, we rode through a beautiful stretch of Ash trees.  From there we rode through some wide open stretches before working our way to the most technical section --a 4x4 road that looked like a road of splintered rock. That means if and when you fall, you land on rock not soft dirt.  All and all, I managed to stay upright until the 5 hour mark. Somewhere along the beginning portion of the Porcupine Rim I fell.  When my front wheel rode off a ledge, landing on a slight incline, my front wheel got stuck causing me to flip over the handlebars.  Upon landing, I placed my hands out and my left thumb took most of the weight.  Immediately I knew I sprained the thumb.  After picking myself up, I could tell it was a grade 2 sprain and that riding back was going to be painful. 

After a few minutes to regain my composure, we took off and I did my best to manage the pain.  Marc had some Advil along that I took and that started to kick in about 30 minutes later.

It was a long haul back.  We had another two hours in front of us and I was bonking.  Somehow I thought this was a 10 mile ride so I had only packed two Powerbars.  So for the next few hours I grimaced at the pain and tried to ignore the ache in my stomach.  The last thirty minutes of ride was not rideable so I walked bits and pieces of it. In many sections the trail led right to the cliff's end making any sort of mistake a fatal one.  Eventually, the end came and after catching my breath, I felt reinvigorated enough to ride hard back to town and give back my bike. 

It was great trip and something I look forward to doing again. 

PS Because my flight got delayed I spent another day in the area of Park City, Utah in a quaint town of Coalville. Because Marc has a decent motorcycle collection, we did a nice ride in the area in the early evening.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

IM Wisconsin 2013

I signed up for Ironman Wisconsin 2013. 2012 was a fun year without a single triathlon. Without the burden of a weekly training regiment, I had a lot of free time. It allowed me to have a life as well as participate in a few non-athletic hobbies as well. Last year in the midst of traveling to Kona, we bought a mid century modern house in Fox Point. It has permitted me to grow my MCM furniture collection and abstract-modern art collection. At this point, I'm nearly at the end given the space requirements of the house so another endeavor needs to fill the time hence the return to Ironman.

Since I've had a number of good races under my belt and done Kona, I don't really care about how it turns out and remain focused on being the rabbit and Thomas Brunold being the tortoise, ie keeping Thomas Brunold staying behind me for as long as possible (or any others for that matter.) My guess is that it'll take:

Swim - 55
Bike - 5:10
Run - 3:02-05

Training Benchmarks become:
10x200 on 2:30 with 10 seconds rest
230 watts for 4 hrs
7:05 pace for most runs

Race Day
Swim - hard the first 100 yards, settle in
Bike - 220 watts; 260 hill cap
Run - 7:00 for first three miles then a bit faster

The funny thing for me is that my wife Adrienne is the biggest pusher of this. She is tried of me goofing off and thinks I need to do this race to achieve my "nearly perfect race" as most of the ones in the past were be marred by inexperience, flat tires, a penalty, and a busy work schedule. I can live with those hiccups, but she cannot. Secretly, I think she just wants me to be her training partner and do every workout with her rather than just a few like I did this year. See you out there training! Best Regards, Matt

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

South Shore Half Marathon


I had a fun time doing this with Scott. He was looking to go 1:19 and take out the first few miles at 6 flat. I hung on for about 2.5 miles before settling in at 6:2X pace. Certainly not a hot rod time but good considering weekly run mileage is about 15-18 miles/week.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

2012: New Season

The season is about to begin and the local triathlon club TriWisconsin is having their kickoff party next week.

I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012: Outside Magazine

February 2012 Outside Magazine

On the right side of the picture:
Cam Knuth
Matt Amman
Adrienne Amman