observations on gear, adventure, and the world

Training Rides

RSS mess

I’ve not been able to keep up with the really amazing stuff that’s been coming through my RSS feeds lately. So I’m gonna dump it here and now.

First, David Lama is going to blow up alpine climbing. Big time. Here’s a taste of things to come. freeing the compressor route was just the beginning.

So they used ice tools on their ascent and Will Gadd knows a thing or two about holding and swinging them tools. Here’s a post with a very clear title: How to hold an ice tool.

Kelly Cordes, rumored to climb ice, approves of David Lama (he said so on Facebook so it must be true) and Maurice Sendak.

The best thing I’ve ever read on climbing injuries, because it quotes all the other best things I’ve read on climbing injuries. Get well soon Dave MacLeod!

Boots don’t fit? Lace’em gooder!

Five things. A Cold Thistle guest post.

Soloing is cool if you’re good at it.



A new place to lean your bike.

The Girl and I with a little help from Brother Seth and S-n-L Martha and a very very sleepy Father in Law packed up ampersand HQ on Sat and moved it to City Creek Canyon area. We are psyched.

Got in a little spin this morning. Five minutes to dirt. That five minutes is pretty steep pavement but WOW.

The trails up here are no corner canyon but they are athletic and technical so what they lack in buttery smoothness they make up for in toughness.


Tires, quick race update, and some miscellany

I’ll have a full report at soon as the results are up, but the Girl and and I both made the walk-up section of the podium!

Now on to tires.

The Renegades on my Stupjumper (now they are on the Girl’s bike).

Since my last post the Girl has been running Specialized’s Renegare tubeless on her Easton Havens while I’ve been running the Fast Track, also tubeless, on my Roval’s. Both have been great for the transition from spring riding when hero dirt made the Renegade/Raven combo rideable. But now the temps are roaring toward 80+ and it’s time to think about summer conditions.

Well, WTB is one of the Girl’s clients and so she decides to shoot her contact there an email and see what he has to say about tires. His response blew my mind, so I’m going to post some excerpts:

Tires, always fun. Sandy-ish, around Salt Lake, dry and relatively hard soil with almost a loose crust on top I imagine.

Spot on! When I read that he had me hooked. A rep that know’s Salt Lake soil… I’m all ears (or eyes since I was reading the email with my eyes).

If you’re looking for a serious race setup, I’d go with a Wolverine 2.2 AM TCS front tire and a Nano 2.1 TCS rear tire. The reason I choose the Wolverine is that if things are hard beneath the slight bit of loose soil on top – as in almost rock beneath, the knobs on the Wolverine

are really well supported – even on the harder rock beneath, they

won’t squirm.

If you find that you’re dealing more with sandy conditions that are a

little bit deeper, I’d go with the Bronson 2.1 TCS as the front tire.

You need to be dealing with sand that’s deep enough for the isolated

blocks of the Bronson to be able to truly sink in through enough depth

to provide grip. Don’t run the Bronson if you’ve got mostly rock hard

type soil or rock lying right beneath your sand because the outer

knobs can feel less than ideal on extremely hard surfaces.

Not only did he nail the dust-on-crust conditions, his estimation of the Branson echo’s perfectly what I read over at Twenty Nine Inches, however now that I read this, they might just be running the wrong tire – admitedly something that thrives on rocks and sand seems like it should be run south of Price in the Northern Mojave (St George and Moab etc).

Either way, run the Nano 2.1 TCS on the rear, it is fast no matter what, very consistent, awesome rear tire, especially for race

applications. …Your wheels are UST and all our TCS tires use a TCS bead and adhere to UST measurement in diameter so TCS is the right choice for you.

Here are links to the tires in question:

The Nano.

The Wolverine.

And now some miscellany:

Gear:30 Just got back from Rainer and has some great posts on gear choices: Rainier Gear Regrets

Will Gadd, climber of ice and rock has some good tips on climbing AND has made the leap to 29ers!

Great canyoneering resources: Biner Blocks, Pull Cords and All That Jazz

A good day on the bike

A bit of time on the Ninja Stick 6niner. A little warm up on the sandy Lower Corner Canyon single track, then BST south, up the Potato Hill trail to Ann’s to Hog Hollow a little steep climb when I went the wrong way and climbed up to one of Utah County’s MANY unmarked shooting ranges. Then back up Hog Hollow to Jacob’s Ladder and then back to the car on hero dirt. Image

Oh… also we were doing VO2 intervals. Not fun on a single speed. When the interval ends you can’t spin unless you are lucky enough to finish at the top of a hill. I just wasn’t lucky… at all.

Winter riding in Colorado

The Girl and I decide it was time to head for the hills with some cached vacation time. So we headed off to drop in on some good friends who live up on Colorado’s west slope for some cold dry training rides.

A few tips of the hat are in order:
(1) the roads and bike paths in the Glennwood Springs / Carbondale area are beautiful, clean, low traffic, and perfect for winter riding.
(2) the area’s drivers couldn’t have been more courteous, which was an ENORMOUS relief slatted a decade of attempted murder on Utah roads.
(3) Sunlight ski resort has a great Sundance-with-fewer-pretensions vibe, and they allow uphill travel!

For my 30-40 degree kit I wore the following:
Specialized S-works shoes
Smartwool phd ski socks
Gator neoprene under-sock-toe covers
Pearl Izumi cyclone toe covers
Specialized knee warmers
Two pairs of capo bibs
Merino wool long sleeve shirt
Capo Long sleeve jersey
Sl rain cape (in pocket for descending)
Smartwool thin balaclava (rolled up like a beanie)
Prevail helmet and specialized glasses
Boss Arktik Extreame oil rig gloves.




These gloves are perfect for 27-40 degree riding. At this temperature you need a bit of insulation, waterproofing is nice, and 100% windproofing and these gloves deliver with distinction. The gloves are soft inside and the external coating is slightly sticky and stretchy with some breaking. I got them snug and they’ve broken in well. The elastic cuff is a perfect under glove. At $5-10 per pair this is a bit of gear you can’t pass up. It is the dexterity of these gloves that really sets them apart. They shift and break like bare hands and are easy to use pulling food from pockets etc. I think these may work their way into my kit for a broad range of activities.

Citycreek Hurt Fest

The training plan said it was a day for a tempo workout. So the Girl and I loaded our bikes on the car and headed to work. I knew she was feeling good after a good weekend racing UTCX, so I rolled out at 11:50 to warm up for our 12:10 meet up. Here’s where we went. As soon as I get home I’ll upload my Suunto data and you’ll see what she did to me.

Unfortunately, one of the handicaps of using a HRM without power is that when I’m pushing a big gear on my single-speed cyclocross bike I’m hurting like hell but my heart rate is lower than if I’m spinning out.

This quick post brings up several topics for future posts so stay tuned:

Review Suunto t6
My cross bike
SS CX/MTB setups
A whole host of CX articles.
Notes on city creek as a training destination
Several posts on training