Monday, May 26, 2014

Shred Oregon Day 1

We embarked today on an 11 day trip to ride the best trails in Oregon. 
Embarkation was not easy.  This week I spent a ton of time getting Dewey ready for the trip.  Many hours sleuthing problems and finally help from Access RV diagnosed a short in the water heater.  Then a dead battery.  Nearly $200 later and at least 5 hours late from departure time, we were underway. 

First stop Boise.  Rumors of great riding in the foothills turned out to be true.  Perfect riding weather, hills the color of emeralds, and wildflowers in a shade of indigo I have never seen.  Great way to loosen up the legs after 5 hours of driving. 


Then delicious beers at 13th Street Pub before bedding down at an RV park for the night.  We missed seeing my cousin but the timing didn't work out with the holiday weekend. Bummer.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Combining work and play in May

In early May 2014, I was able to go to the National Groundwater Association (NGWA) annual Summit in Denver: a professional meeting to discuss new research in my field.  My employer sent me, but I went a couple of days early to spend time with my sister and brother in law.  Drew was able to arrange to fly into Denver after a trip to join us.

What do we do as soon as we land? Go hike!

Di and Tod took us north to Boulder to hike the Flatirons at Chautauqua Park. The Flatirons are a famous formation that was tilted when the Rocky Mountains were uplifted.

The Flatirons are the five slabs of smooth rock tilted at a 45 degree angle in this picture. Classic front range geology!

Front range hikers.

Lying flat on a Flatiron!

Monkey in a tree.

Rugged terrain off the trail.
Quite the view of Boulder from the trail.

I'm happy about the geology. It must have rubbed off on them.

After a day of hiking I spent the next gorgeous spring day in a conference room in a downtown Denver hotel learning about ways to quantify recharge.  Woot woot. 

My lodging for the week of the conference was my sister's high rise condo in downtown Denver.

The view from the condo is spectacular.

Thanks to Facebook, I realized that Judy, my old friend from college, and her boyfriend were in town for a separate conference.  We got to spend a fun evening together in LoDo. The next few days were filled with more conferencing and a visit with a high school classmate who lives in Denver, which broke up the conference nicely.

After the conference I jetted off on Southwest to Vegas.

Before Drew arrived I got in a nice solo ride on the Blue Diamond area trails.

May is beautiful in the desert.

Work conferences all around: Drew's little brother was in Vegas for a trade show so we stole him away to show him the Hoover Dam.

The Hoover Dam from the new bridge.

Dikes of dark basalt cut through light Tertiary-aged andesite or dacite on the walls of Black Canyon downstream from the dam.

One of the giant spillways. You could almost fly one of Drew's planes through here.

All told, a fun week of work and play.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Desert Rampage bike race

Sunday I posted about a bike race we did in January. This post is about one in March.  After this I will be all caught up on bike trip documentation. My form of spring cleaning.

March 1 was Red Rock Desert Rampage bike race in Saint George, Utah.  Team tradition is to rent a huge house and fill it with teammates. Hang out, eat together, ride together, and, oh, yeah, do the race.  Well, at least for some.  Drew raced but I just went down to hang out and ride a lot.

Because of his work schedule, Drew drove up from Vegas.  I rode down with friend Monique.  The weather was not looking bike-friendly at Cedar City on the way down.

But went we arrived it was perfect, so we got out and rode Barrel Roll.
Crazy beautiful scenery.

Even crazier with the saturation bumped up.

Monique and Drew

The next day, Friday, there were more friends around and some wanted to pre-ride the race course so we all went out together.  Some of us split off to a different way out to Sidewinder, etc. We went up some parts of Cove Wash. 

Most of the part of Cove Wash we rode was through the Upper Triassic Shinarump Conglomerate, a coarse grained sandstone commonly stained by iron-manganese oxides and containing poorly preserved petrified wood, a piece of which Ellen found while scrambling.  This rock was deposited in braided steams around 200 million years ago, when dinosaurs were first wandering about.

Cool erosion and that iron staining.

Some parts were rideable; some were not.

After the wash section, we found lots of real single track.


On the way back, we dropped into the wash sooner than we should have and ended up walking a lot

Drew is fascinated by the rock.  Good husband.

We eventually got cliffed out to where we had to scramble up the steep sides of the canyon, not easy in bike cleats and dragging bikes, but a great adventure nonetheless!

The end of the trail for bikes.  Had to scramble out from here.

We made it back to the house just as the rain started again. 

Everybike was stuck inside for a while.

Saturday was race day.  More than half the 25 people at the flop house raced, including Drew.  Monique and I and some others chose to ride the City Creek trails, which were new to me and quite enjoyable. 

Back at the house, everyone rejoined to tell tails of racing and riding. Post race at the flop house is every kind of party.

No post race shower necessary: there is a hot tub! Is this what you would want your renters to be doing if you owned this house?

Always competitive, Erica, Sally and I held swimming races in the pool.  I lost horribly but that was the fun part.

More things you don't want to happen if you own a rental.

Unofficial team photo.  All but one of these people were staying at this house!

On Sunday the tradition of riding Jem-Goulds-Hurricane loop continued.  Monique and I tried to keep up with the fast kids but ended up not. 

That's fine by me. More time for fun photos.

Take a closer look at that funny sign.

Saint George has some excellent riding, especially in March!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

6 Hours of Temecula

Since it is spring and I either want to be riding my bike or working in my yard but it is too cold and wet outside, I will reminisce about biking times past.  Here is a report on a trip we did to Temecula, California in January.

Seven Team Revolution Racers made the journey to Temecula to ride or race the 6 Hours of Temecula. Drew drove his car from Las Vegas.  I flew on stand-by to Orange County and Drew picked me up and we drove the last couple of hours.  Our teammates all drove the 12 hours from SLC.  That is how bad they wanted out of Utah winter. 

Temecula is in southern California. It was January. No coincidence.

Evidence of the severe drought.  Very dry trails and landscapes.

Pre ride fun-ness.
Sunshine and dirt beats air pollution and snow.

The Utah contingent hooks up with the director of the So Cal High School MTB League for dinner.

My goal in the 6 hour race was really just to ride as long as I could and not damage my out-of-shape getting-old body.  I started slow, like in the back, but passed people as I kept plugging along.  I felt really good until the end of lap 4, at which point I was tired, my back hurt, and I wanted a beer, but in the interest of my original goal, I didn't want to give up when there was still time for me to complete another lap before the 6 hour time cut, so I went out for a 5th.  I finished my race with 4 hours 58 minutes of racing.  The last lap had taken me more than 1:02 so I knew I couldn't get another in, which gave me time to take pictures of my teammates and, of course, have that beer.

Drew finishing 6 laps.

Bob finishing 7? laps

Doug, Drew, Karl and Sally. All done.
Part of the reason to travel to races is this:
Chilling out after the race with otherwise off-a-healthy-diet goodies and beer.

When Bob checked the results board, Drew and I were both flabbergasted that we were in the top 4 in our respective categories!

Drew on the podium in 2nd place in Clydesdale (200+ lbs)!!

Sally in 2nd and me in 4th out of 19 racers in the women 35+ age group.
 In addition to our medals, Drew also won some goodies in the raffle.
Drew with his winnings.

All in all, a fun race and a good time.