Friday, May 27, 2011

Beware of Barefoot Running

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pictures from Lake Tahoe Trip

Here are some pictures from my little visit to the frozen North West. I had great time and have much to say in a follow-up post...

Lake Tahoe Trip - Tour of CA

Friday, May 6, 2011

California Here I Come

Heading to California next week - Bella Vita Italian Vacations to be exact. My friends Mark & Kristine Studnicki invited me out for their Amgen Tour of California - Lake Tahoe Trip.

It has been 5 years since my last visit to good ole California and I must tell you I am looking forward to it. On my last visit Carolynn and I went out to the 2006 NORBA National MTB Championships held in Sonoma, CA. That was the year they we were suppose to be held at Mammonth Mountain, but got moved due to heavy snow. That is one event I would like to soon forget but can not....things started off great that year with both Carolynn and I winning the Missouri State MTB championship in our class and earning a chance to line-up for a National Championship - not that either of us actually thought we would hang with those guys. I was all pumped to head up to Mammonth Mounatin, but then the record snow fall and USA Cycling moved the event to a venue that had about 300 yards of single track. The rest of the course was held on the rolling sun backed hills of Infineon Speedway. I am not lying when I say that about 1/2 the course was on dirt roads that are used for parking spectators that come to the speedway. There was little to no skill need for this course. All you needed was the ability to climb fast and you were in the $$$. Add to it the fact that Sonoma was in the middle of a heat wave and this kid does not have a chance in hell. I raced the best I could, suffered like a dog, about succumbed to heat stroke and just did break into the top 20. Poor ole Carolynn did not even start her race. After the pre-riding the course (I should say dirt parking lot) the day prior to the Championship and the 100+ degree heat she said "there is no way in hell that you are going to get me out there". She is the smart one in the family for sure. We still enjoyed our stay out west and looked forward to a return soon especially the wine. Looks like I am the only one going this time around. Don't worry honey, I will bring you back some wine :-)

Back to my upcoming trip....At last check-in with Mark, it looks like road riding only due to guess what, damn Snow again. I though California was a sunny state. Besides riding the roads up in Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains we get to see the big guys race in the Amgen Tour of California. Looks like it is going to be a great event and watching the top riders ride is always fun, yet humbling..... I am really looking forward to this trip. California, here I come...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Finding my Way

I have competed in a little over a dozen adventure races. When things worked out right and my team did not get lost we usually won. For example, when the Hi-tek Adventure Race Series was going on I teamed up with my Friends Joel Leffler and Scott Hayford and we took a hard fought win at the Oleta round in 1997. Another example Mike Classen and I (pictured above) in route to 1st place overall several years ago at the Smithville Adventure race. When things went wrong, like when we would get lost or a team mate thought he could ride a mountain bike, it turned into a very disappointing day.

Well I decided that I want to return to adventure racing and this time I am going to be prepared. My biggest weakness is navigation and when I noticed that the Johnson County was hosting a Map and Compass: Orienteering Workshop I signed Carolynn and myself up and invited several of my teammates that are also interested in getting into AR racing to join me. A good turnout including Tige Lamb and his son Griffin, Bob Tarne, Sean Gaulter, Chad Harvey, Carolynn and myself.

The Possum Trot Orienteering Club actually put on the class and did a great job. It is amazing how simple it actually is to use a baseplate compass an orienteering map, and control card to find your way. I knew about 1/2 what was taught this weekend, which is where my problem came in when I participated in adventure races that required a lot of navigation and the few orienteering meets that entered. As soon as the terrain got hard and I got lost. Well, after this weekends class I feel a lot more confident that I can now find my way......

Stay tuned for more info about our new adventure racing team....

Some photos:

Orienteering 101