Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Broken Collarbone and National Title

I finally got my motivation to ride back after the MTB national disaster sometime around the beginning of September. I thought that with nationals being up at Tahoe, if I trained I might have a shot at winning the race and finally end the foreign stranglehold on the race. I was feeling pretty good going into nationals despite getting DQ'd at one of the collegiate races for a wrong turn, and finishing 6th at the RMCCC conference mud fest. I had a slight head cold, but other than having water poring out of my nose I was good. After leading the XC for most of the first lap, Rotem attacked me and I had nothing. I closed a little on the DH (which was probably the best DH I have done in a really long time) but he took off on the climbs and was gone. I finished 2nd. The Short Track went similarly except that I couldn't go down hill to save my life. I actually had about a 5 second gap going into the first DH, but I managed to blow out of both pedals and ended up standing over my top tube with the whole collegiate field bearing down on me. Rotem left towards the end of the race and I was able to pass a Lees McRay guy on the last lap to take 2nd again. Turns out that I needed to train for more than a month to beat the foreign muscle brought in by Fort Lewis. Next year. However, Nationals didn't end for me there. Because I won the Intermountain conference in four cross and because I was the sole member of the University of Utah's team (Rob and Dave were too busy being lazy) I was able to race the 4x and DH races thus qualifying me for the omnium.
I was able to finish in 44th place (points went 50 deep) in the 4x and then all that was left was the DH. I had had a good qualifying run that put me ahead of all the big contenders for the omnium and all I needed was a clean run down. The race started off great. I hit all of the lines that I wanted to and had a really fast run going. Then I came around a tree and there was a big boulder in my line. I swerved to avoid the rock and hit the next rock drop in a place I hadn't before. The ledge off the rock bucked my rear wheel up into the air and I landed very nose heavy. I almost saved it, hit some more rocks, almost saved that, hit more rocks, and then I was looking up at my tires. I landed on my head and shoulder pretty hard, spun around, grabbed my bike, and took off again. I started to notice that my left shoulder hurt everytime that I hit a bump, but I had to get down inside the top 50 to score a point. I went as fast as I could and my shoulder hurt more and more. Now there were shock waves being send down my arm every time I hit a rock. After crossing the line and getting a medical guy to look at it, I took the chairlift down. While I was at the bottom trying to decide if I should go to the hospital like the guy suggested or not, Abby called with the results. 50th. I had scored at least one point in every event and I was the All Around National Champion. Of course this meant that there was no way that I was going to go to the hospital. I had to put on the stars and stripes jersey for the first time. I had come so close so many times before and so many times I had been thwarted by illness or injury, but this time neither illness or injury was able to stop me. I had to put it on. It was the most painful yet satisfying thing I have ever done.
After I returned home my shoulder started to feel better and I thought that I had just torn some muscles, but when it didn't get better by the next week, I decided it was time for an X-Ray. Turns out that I broke my collarbone. It was very very close to needing surgery but fortunately the bottom part of the bone hung on by a sliver. Even so, off the bike for 4 weeks. Pretty much sums up my season this year. Able to train for a month, got sick, injured myself, had to take a month off. All and all, a pretty frustrating year. I'm hoping to be back for cross nationals and I am really pumped to get out and race again.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

School and Geckos

I know that you don't normally equate school with geckos, however in my case this year that is exactly what happened.  Allow me to set the stage.  The class is Foundations of Analysis, which for those of you who don't know, is a math class that proves calculus.  I have yet to use any numbers and it seems to be more logic than anything else, and so far has been a pretty cool class.  Anyways, its a college math class.  One day, during the first week of school while I was waiting for the professor to arrive, I overheard a guy, who we will call Apu, talking about how he has the opportunity to go europe for a while so he was thinking about dropping all of his classes for the semester.  This sounded like a good idea to me, in fact one that I have done in the past.  Apu went on talking about what he was going to do there and other things, but there were smudges on my erasure that needed removing so I wasn't really paying attention.  Then he said a word that perked my interest; that word was "gecko".  I am and always have been a big fan of lizards, especially geckos.   I really like their sticky feet.  I wish that I could run up glass.  I decided that the remaining smudges were just fine and I turned my attention back to the conversation.  Turns out that Apu had recently bought a baby crested gecko and now that he was leaving the country had no way of keeping him.  The guy he was directly talking to, who we will call Lisa, suggested that he try to sell it.  Apu thought that this was a good idea, however he didn't think that he would have time to sell it and was thinking about just letting it go.  Apu didn't want to do this as crested geckos cannot survive in snow.  I interrupted them (don't you hate it when that random weird guy sitting behind you comments on you conversation?) and told Apu that if he didn't sell it, I would take it off his hands.  I didn't particularly want a gecko right now as I also travel, but I also couldn't stand the thought of having a little gecko drying up or freezing.  A week passed, I did some research on how to take care of crested geckos, nobody bought it, and I now own a very small, very cute, and very active baby gecko.  It is a very cool little lizard and I am looking forward to watching it grow.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


That is right, my tiny little T-Rex arms are receiving use despite their dramatic protests.  I can't brush my teeth anymore and if a pen  hits the ground it is staying there, however it is a lot of fun.  It is just the thing to cool down from a nice 4 hour bike ride, however the weather up here in the UP is in the upper 60's and is poring rain.  I mean today it was almost dryer in the lake than out of it.  The Lake still felt much better than a hose shower and the wind calmed down and allowed me to run the slalom course on perfect glass.  Rob is crushing the world cups, wish I could join him but it wasn't meant to be.  Oh well I guess living on a lake waterskiing and riding some of the sweetest trails ever made isn't such a bad thing. 

Friday, June 26, 2009

Law Issues

As some of you know I have been having issues with the police and getting my car registered.  The issue was that I had a shot exhaust sensor and therefore I had a check engine light that would come on from time to time.  This didn't cause any problems with how the car runs, however due to safety regulations it wouldn't pass the state safety test.  During the time between when my previous registration expired and when I could finally get it to pass I racked up some traffic tickets.  One was on Valentines day when I was driving to the store to buy some flowers for my GF.  Although irritating for me, I can understand where he was coming from.  As a fat, balding, police officer with a mustache, I am sure he has spent many single awareness days at home with a bottle of scotch.  Maybe putting soap in people's coffee.  Anyways I told you that story to lead you into this one:
Back in early April I was dropping Sayoko off at her dorm after our date at 11:30ish on a Tuesday night.  On my drive home I came to an intersection that had a no left turn sign.  I needed to turn left so I turned right drove up the road a little ways and made a U turn.  I drove on until I saw some flashing lights in my mirror.  I pulled over confused as to what I did wrong.  After having the spot light from the police cruiser shined on me for a good 5 min I was wondering if there had been a silver audi involved in a drug deal or gang shooting.  I have no idea what she was doing.  Finally the cop waddled out of her (Female cop, yeah I was screwed) car over to my window and proceeded to shine her flashlight directly into my eyes before asking, "Do you know why I pulled you over?"  I answered, "No, I really don't know what I did wrong."  She responded, "That sign back there said no l
eft turn."  I said, "I know.  That is why I didn't turn left."  Cop, "Well by turning right and then making a U turn you effectively made a left turn.  Therefore I am giving you a ticket for turning left because that is what you ended up doing."  MTP, "Well then if you can't head west on this road, how am I supposed to get out of here?" Cop, "What you need to do is turn left into the hospital and use their circle thing (I believe she meant round-about) then turn right."  MTP, "Isn't that still an effective left turn?"  Cop "No.  By doing what you did you block the road so that other cars can't pass."  Now, by this time we had been sitting there for about 15 min and not one car other than ours could be seen.  Furthermore, she had pulled me over on a road with no shoulder so we were stopped in the middle of the road.  I didn't push this issue and realized that, like any cop, logic and reason far exceeded her 
mental ability so it wasn't worth trying to persuade her.
The next day I went in and pled not guilty to the offense because I didn't turn left.  They set up a pre trial date for me, however they didn't tell me that it was a pre trial.  That date happened to be yesterday.  I prepared my case and went in with the hopes of being able to show the judge why this was ridiculous.  Turns out that all that happened was the DA offered people a deal and then they either took it or didn't.  The DA never even told me what my deal was because she couldn't understand what it was that I did wrong.  Therefore I pled not guilty for a second time and set up an actual court date for the middle of August.  Now you would think that this process wouldn't take very long seeing as all I needed to do was say two words and get a court date set up.  Unfortunately I was dealing with people paid per hour not per case and it took over 3.5 hours.  Not only did this waste ~3:15 of my day, but the parking meters outside have a 2 hour limit, so I got another ticket.  This pretty much su
ms up my experience with Utah traffic enforcement.  Once they have you, there is no escape.  I drove for 6 years without ever getting a ticket.  Since February I have probably had 10.  I'll let you know how the trial goes.       

Friday, May 1, 2009

Life Update

So as some of you may have heard or witnessed, it was above 75 degrees and very sunny at Sea Otter.  Infact is was 96 in Salinas and over 100 on some of the climbs out on course.  This was not a good thing for me coming from 34 degrees and sleet.  I ended up suffering from heat exhaustion that was borderline heat stroke.  I passed out and fell off my bike on one of the climbs.  I was totally out of it and rode passed the medical people but fortunately Trevor stopped me and sent me to the medical crew.  I had stopped sweating and wasn't functioning very well.  The medics pored water over me and put ice packs inside my shorts.  Then it was off to the ambulance for a nice ride over to the medical tent.  I was feeling much better after an IV put 2 bags of saline solution in me.  All and all it wasn't the best Sea Otter I have ever had.
School is taking up most of my time, however I still managed to perfect my skills of catching fish with my bare hands.  I am all done with it next Wednesday.  Less than a week of studying hard and writing papers and I will be free for the summer!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Good Gossip for Utah Cyclists.

This is a great blog.  Check it out: http://utahcyclingtabloid.blogspot.com  You got to love a blog that calls everybody out and gets the roadies all wadded up. haha

Training in SLC

Yesterday I had a nice 3 hour ride planned.  Nothing to hard, but a couple nice climbs just to keep it fun.  However when I woke up and looked outside I realized that it was going to be exciting no matter what.  There was about a fourth of an inch of snow in the grass and it was snowing hard.  I went to class hoping that the snow would go away and it would be a good day to get in some miles before Sea Otter, but it just snowed harder.  I put on my waterproof jacket and pants and went out.

There was only one man brave enough to join me on my crazy snow ride, Ali G.  I met up with Ali at Contender and as we were heading out Reed said that we were crazy and Ali told him to HTFU. The ride really wasn't bad at all after my face went numb.  The temperature outside averaged 35 degrees for the whole ride and it was snowin
g the whole time.  This meant that the snow would melt as soon as it hit you or your bike, however the wind would quickly freeze it again.  This caused our bikes to get covered in ice, my shoes and gloves to fill with water, and ice sheets to form on my glasses.  Fortunately
 I had Oakley's hydrophobic lens so it wasn't too bad.  Ali wasn't so lucky.  It was without doubt the worst conditions I have ever trained in and I don't think that it could have been any worse.  If it had been colder we wouldn't have been wet, which would have been a lot warmer. 
 All and all it was a pretty good ride.  I was able to get in my 3 hours and I am prepared for anything Sea Otter can dish out provided it isn't above 75 and sunny.  

Friday, March 20, 2009


That's right, I am in Chile.  I am in a hotel about 6,000 ft above Santiago, Chile and am surrounded by 18-22 thousand foot peaks.  I would show you pictures, but I forgot a camera and a picture really wouldn't capture how this place looks.  I did ride my bike for a little over 4 hours today, but hang on, I am ahead of myself.
Let me start from Atlanta because it is where the story really begins.  I was able to fly in first class from Atlanta to Chile and slept very well after gorging myself on ice cream sundays.  After arriving I headed straight for the customs agent so that I could beat the mob and get out quickly.  Little did I know that I was about to get slammed with another fee on top of the $300 bike charge.  For those of you who have never been to Chile,  apparently every American citizen has committed a crime against the Chilean government and therefore must pay $131 in  a "reciprocity" fee before being allowed to enter the country.  I was completely unaware that my birth was a crime against the people of Chile.  At least they didn't charge me a late fee. 
Back to the ride.  I started the ride with tad and had the idea of just doing a kinda easy 2 hour ride.  We started climbing up the road towards the ski resort that was at the end of the paved road.  From there we road around a little bit and then headed out towards this place called Colorado.  After climbing dirt road switchbacks for an hour, Tad said that it was time for him to turn around.  I wanted to go to the top of the ridge and see what was on the other side.  Well once I got to the ridge, it was so amazing that I had to go up to the next little peak.  This continued on and on and I ended up climbing for 4 hours, went above sections of snow (it is the end of summer here) and got up to around 13000 ft before I ran out of water.  To put this into perspective, imagine doing 4 snowbird widowmaker hillclimbs back to back and then have the top of the mountain be 7000 ft above you covered in glaciers.  It was crazy and absolutely beautiful.  I have never seen anything like it.  I was above all plant life.  No bushes, grass, or anything.  I could see glacier covered peaks all around me and not one person.  It was most definitely one of my top five rides of all time.  Yes, I may have fried my legs for Sundays Continental Championships, but I have tomorrow to recover and it was worth it.  I hope you all get in at least one epic ride this year.  It will show those clowns at AIG what life is really about.