I try to avoid the eaten Lodgepole Pines. There are better trails in better spots. Aspens and Ponderosas, it's better in there, quieter, less din. Less sound of the beetles getting meals.



This is my tunnel right now. I get to hide in the trees and roll quietly (usually solo) to the lines of leaves, listening to the seasons change and the leaves fall. Perfect to roll fresh rubber and the clean lines of the ribbons.


This felt a lot better than the race I tried to do Saturday. Good course, so far from what they normally give us in Colorado. Grass, turny, power course. No skills necessary, just full throttle and ride your bike. Riding on the grass literally required no real skill, I am not fast, I need courses to force handling skills. It didn't quite suit me. I rolled around in lead group on or near the front until the decisive attack came. I had no response. Game over, I was ridden off 2nd and 3rd. Rolled 4th in to the finish. Lackluster to put it nicely. Singletrack was better, Peaceful quiet riding on the trails, looking at the leaves.



Backwards and forwards, the commute becomes the work some weeks. I wonder what riding 9 hours a week with a 20+ pound pack does to my fitness and my back. Thank you Ergon for the great small pack, the other pack for the heavier loads makes me stronger.



Closing the door on the summer opens up the better results, not for lack of trying all summer long for the big one. It pushes me back onto the fat tires more in the fall. Getting to the top of the dirt pile is the goal, always trying.



I don't know if I raced a lot this summer but the more we get into cross season the more I want to ride, mtb, cross whatever it is that's coming. Sleep is easy this week, last week was hard, not a ton of mass, just a lot of intensity. Good stuff for later in the fall. It's on.


Week #2

Sunday was a mess, no warm up, parking cluster-fuk, poor timing, all getting me to the line not quite ready, my mistakes, I made them and paid for it. Using the first few laps to learn the course is not the way to go. Poor start, having to come off the bike and run around stopped riders on a riding stretch, made the first lap hectic, not real panic as much as never really getting the lungs open made the first half of the race hurt. Finally almost settling in with a bit of separation and rolling around with one pilot fish, pulling through when I thought it was my turn, and I spill on a slick little bumpy lefthander, straighten my levers and he's gone, full on attack. Is that what we're supposed to do? I'm torn. Attack a rider after he falls? Either way, I recovered and did all I could to limit losses and roll in 2nd. Better timing next week.


This morning I saw a near head-on crash, maybe the asshole dropped his; coffee, phone, cigarette, bong, whatever, it was close.


The tank needs to be emptied everyday. Not all the way to empty but at least to the half point. Recovery days are lost unless they involve an easy 90 plus minutes. If not sleep is lost and the snowball fatigues and grows instead of melts. The balance is always just out of reach, every time I think I am getting close it slides just out of reach.


one day

One of the better rides I did this Summer. Topping out @ 14,000 feet. Going uphill is great...


Meted Out

The cold rain I rode home in at 40 degrees was far rougher than the drips off the trees at 30 in the woods on trail to work. At least I had a head wind. Clear days and rainy late afternoons. Puzzles, don't burn too many matches or the last month of the season will seem like a whole winter.



The sky is getting better, not only are we getting fall colors in the trees but also Summer storms in the sky. Dodging the biggest thunder I have ever heard and trying to stay upright, cross practice is always good, whether here or in the Republic.

Best ride lately

Check this ride out it's an hour or so. Perfect, maybe next time on a single, the 10x1 was maxed out up the steeper pitches. After getting back to town I wanted to go again. Ideal, after bike practice hit this one.



Today I had curry without rice, I did have tofu and some sort of eggplant, I enjoyed it but I don't know exactly what it was- I normally don't get the green curry. Lots of other veggies in there too.


The snow and rain from the late part of the week made the ok to not so ok course into a good one. The perpendicular ridges became soft bermy ridges, carving the tubeless tires and feeling the first full cross effort was good, little snag just before the mid-point helped me more than it hurt me. I dropped the chain just after pulling through and stopped, got off and fixed it, no panic, just get it back together and race the bike. 4 seasons of single ring with a double guard and this never happened, first race with a third eye and a single guard, I had to stop. I don't think they attacked as much as accelerated when I stopped to fix, take time where you can. I attacked after getting it on to catch, I didn't want the two to get away. Top class racers like Ward and Jon don't need that much time before they're gone and I'm stuck in third. I guess Jon had issues and faded a bit as Ward lit it up on the road, I was comfy enjoying the shelter on the headwind stretches and came around to lead out the last lap or two, Van der Poel would be proud. The screw turned and I was able to gap Ward enough to take the first win of the season, good stuff.



Snow and hail and whatever else falls out of the sky frozen or semi frozen. I can only hope it makes the course better. We all have the same puzzle, the pieces go together, somehow.



Bring the good bar wrap and the gloves, or the moleskin. I rode the course for this Sunday's race. Hard. I didn't go hard, I just went. Awkward transitions, rough riding, as the rain falls outside I can only hope it eases me into the fall. As the development eats up more and more of our little(r) nordic center, the course evolves. It'll be a cross race, just a bit rougher than years past.


Last and always

Sort of a pop-quiz. Show up, sweat, ride hard, repeat. Bike and body are ready. Bike practice shows the cracks, nothing too bad, just early and easy. More days to come, more work to be done.


Smell Autumn

I smell it only in the morning. It's there and burns off by the lunch effort.


Number 1

Number 1 needed a little swim to clean up after a morning run.


I cheated this summer, concerns about a bad knee and new enjoyment of gears had the single as second choice to the Paragon. I am happy to go back to the right way of doing things for 2009. Yesterday was a healthy dose of the proper approach to trails. Good distance, great climbing and lots of time turning one the gear I had. My right thumb made me realise the error I have made. I was reaching for gear mostly on the descents to go faster, the climbs not so much. Good work. Happy to be tired the day after. Trying to cruise with the double-bangers is a give-take, they give me time on the climbs 32:17 climbs only so slow and I let them take time on the descents, rolling rigid gives me a cleaner view of the trail.



It seems if I ride more than 2 hours one day I sleep better that night, less than that and at 5.30 I'm up with the bears. No complaints, it's just the way the system works. Yesterday I was running late to get home on the path and i saw section of spinal column, and for some stupid reason I didn't take a picture of it. Today it was gone. That would have gone well with the leg from last fall.


Pig Iron

Sounding off, the first shots of the fall are about to be fired, a slow build to new groups in December. Take it steady it will be here before you know it. The best season is on and building, bite in the air, 30 degrees and frosty a.m. work. Pig Iron today, probably 30 pounds of it. On the way in great, try and resist, you can't falter and there's only more to come. Always more work, just time it right and make it count. Pushing through the rough days on foot, not always wheels.



The two fat guys who passed me on the path coming down from copper gave me a condescending smile. I was adjusting my iPod and the pathletes got a bit of time, they were moving pretty fast , probably 53:11/12, I was on the cross bike in the 42:12, it was perfect, I worked to get within 150 feet of them and stayed there the whole second half. It was great work, random intervals. The wind flowing through the trees made the work harder and legs stronger. I didn't see the marmots or the beavers but the more work I do the less animals I see. I too am a pathlete, reluctantly.



Ready to pop, it's all in line. My season is here. Little bits of dirt and road add up to make fall the best time of year. Link up the sections, perfect the transitions.


My bike doesn't need a warm shelter, sometimes I wonder if it does, it likes it just fine in the shed and the warmth is on a different scale than what I need. Fall is here, chilly mornings take longer to fade into warm days, it's on, the season begins with little bits of gold on the trees along the singletrack, ready for the work, falling together.