8500ft of Fun



With massive wild fires just outside of Boulder, we decided to come up to Shelby’s condo in Fraser (right outside Winter Park) to get some good training in without having to worry about what the smoke was doing to our lungs. Dan and I, packed the mini van in a whorl wind of a rush and hopped in the car to make our way to our mountain get-a-way. You would have thought that we were going to be gone for a few weeks with all the stuff that we packed, but that’s the nice thing about taking a big car – you can take all you want!

 After knocking out a quick swim right when we arrived, we headed out for a nice easy 40 min run. Well… “nice and easy” has a bit of a new meaning when you go up 3,000ft higher than what you’re normally used to training at. So our “run” was more of a jog.

We took Bella (Shelby’s dog) with us and I think we may have broke her. She’s been sleeping non stop ever since we got back over 24 hours ago. I told her to watch her electrolyte intake, but she would listen… because she’s a dog! Duh! :-)

The next morning we got up somewhat early (why get up with an alarm when you can just wake up when your bodies ready?!?) to head out for a session of repeats. 8x [3min on, 2min off] is a lot harder when you can’t breathe or feel your fingers. We all came a little unprepared for the cold weather, but when you threw on enough stuff it was bound to keep you warm. I’m running with my mountain bike gloves on :-) I guess when you look at this pic further, Damian and Kaz don’t looks so weird, just me.

 

Dan didn’t want to wear his mountain bike gloves, so what better than a pair of running socks! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I would like you to meet Mr. Dan “Sockhands” Hugo.

 

After our run, we jumped in the iCool to rejuvenate the legs. This thing is portable ice bath that you can set the temp to your pleasing. We had it at 50 degrees F and boy o boy is that chilly! Feels fantastic after 15 minutes or so. 15 minutes you say?!? Don’t worry, your legs go numb after about 3 minutes and you can’t feel anything :-)

With another swim and an easy 90 minute spin, we finished the day pretty knackered! I can’t wait to get up and do it all over again tomorrow!

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The ULTIMATE TransRockies Experience (1of4)



This year I attempted to do something no one has ever done before – finish both of the TransRockies events in the same year. Doesn’t sound like to difficult of a feat, but when you start adding the numbers its rather brutal.  In the next few blogs (4 to be exact), I’ll give you the down & dirty details of my 13 days of racing this past August.


 The mountain bike race had over 39,000 ft of climbing across 240 miles in 7 days. We started in Fernie, British Columbia and finished in Canmore, Alberta. My Timex teammate, Matt Boobar, and I represented Sugoi and Timex as we battled our way to several podium finishes and a 5th place overall in the GC in the rainy Canadian Rockies.

 

 

The running race, though it may sound a short in comparison, was just as hard if not harder! My partner, Amber Monforte, and I had originally planned to podium  every day and in the overall GC, but as we started the 6 day, 125 mile race that would eventually lead us over 21,000 ft of climbing, we quickly realized that was a lofty goal.

 

 

The TransRockies Mountain Bike Race – Stage 1

Stage 1 was slightly different from the upcoming stages because it was a time trial start. After acquiring UCI licenses the day before (it took us nearly 5 hours to get all of our registration sorted), we were seated to start at 2:08pm. As we sat in our hotel room on day 1, we watched the rain dump down on the athletes out on the course. We fully expected to be riding the whole time in the mud and end up coming back looking like the bikes in this pic (see my clean pre-race bike). Luckily for us, the rain stopped just as we rolled to the start line. The ride was a rough one with Matt riding strong the first half and pulling me, and then me taking the lead and pulling the 2nd half. It was only 29k, but it took us 2 hours, 27 minutes to end up crossing the line in 7th. I made the comment to Matt that this was the first race that I had ever worn Chamois Butter for and it felt like I had diarrhea in my shorts the whole ride. Fun stuff!

All and all it wasn’t a bad first day. We finished 7th overall and 5th for the UCI teams. This is important to note because even though we were concerned with our overall placing each day, the prize money was only distributed to the UCI teams.  

The pic below is all the data from stage 1 that I gathered with my Timex GPS Global Trainer. If you haven’t seen the Global Trainer, you are missing out! This thing is freaking awesome. It is super customizable and incredibly easy to use. I set mine up for the race so that on one screen I could see distance, overall time, elevation, and heart rate. The only thing I think it is missing is a windsheildwiper. Matt and I covered ours in mud from the get go!



Day 1 data from my Timex GPS Global Trainer


The TransRockies Mountain Bike Race – Stage 2

After spending hours packing, figuring out what to wear on what day, and getting all our nutrition sorted out for 6 days, we were ready to head off to the start line. As you can see from our lists below we favored the custom Timex cycling kits by Sugoi. It was really fun to look so sharp.

 

What better way to start the day, then to do a little breaking & entering in your own hotel. I accidentally locked the keys in the room and there was absolutely no one around. I mean no one! We looked everywhere and tried calling for help, but to no avail. So I figured I’d put my swimmer shoulders to use and “lightly” pushed them against the hotel room door. That thing shattered like a squirrel under a semi. Bam! Problem solved.

Stage 2 was the first “real” start we had for the race. The entire field lined up and launched into action to the tune of Highway to Hell by ACDC. We hammered up a long dirt road to start things off with our performances being the opposite of yesterday. I was working to keep Matt with the pack and not blow up myself at the same time. We reached the top of the climb and got to do one of the funnest, steepest, brake heating descents I have ever done! I blasted down the entire thing only having to get off during the final 100 meters because it was absolutely unrideable! And they said that couldn’t be done! Ha!

At the bottom, we have our first minor set back. Matt got a massive chunk of weeds stuck in his cassette during our insane descent. Just a few minutes to dig it all out and we were back on track. As I mentioned earlier, our day shaped up to be somewhat the opposite of the previous day. As we sped along the single track and dirt roads towards the finish, I was hurting. Matt pulled almost the whole time and we crossed the line the exact same as yesterday – 7th overall and 5th for the UCI teams.

 




 The TransRockies Mountain Bike Race – Stage 3

Our first podium finish! 2nd overall on the day! Holy cow! It didn’t come without a few set backs, but we were quick on our feet and even quicker on our bikes!

Stage 3 started with a long road section (nearly 40k) that was a bit hairier than I would have thought. With over 300 mountain bikers packed together on our parade around town and then quickly funneled onto a short single track, there were several crashes. Matt and I stayed clear of those and worked our way up to the front pack til check point one. The lead pack of ~60 turned into two smaller packs of around 20 and 40. We were in that 2nd pack of 40. As we approached check point two, the group thinned out and we were psyched to hit some single track. That’s when we hit our first problem.

Just minutes after check point two, I snapped my derailleur clean off. Luckily it was just the derailleur hanger that broke, so Matt jumped in and quickly converted my bike to a single speed. We had to lock out the rear suspension so as not to snap the chain (when the rear suspension activates, it changes the chain stay length and can put enormous load on the chain causing it to break), and that left me with a leg burning, rough ride for the rest of the day. Check out the spot right in the middle of the data below where the red line drops. That was us stopping to fix my broken bike.



We used our triathlete legs to fly up the long climb to the Continental Divide (nearly 5k of hike-a-bike), and work our way to 4th place overal. As we ripped down the descent on the other side, team positions went nuts! We leapfrogged from 2nd to 5th. Back and forth, back and forth. Everyone was having mechanicals and flats, and it was a game of who could fix them the fastest and the most efficiently.

The last few miles into the finish would have been quite comical to watch because up to this point the grade had been steep enough up or down that I could either run, or ride without peddling. Those last few miles were just flat enough I couldn’t do that. I was doing my best to hang onto Matt’s casual pace as I pedaled over 110 rpm. My legs were spinning as fast as I could, but when you’re in the wrong gear there is only so much you can do. I kept looking over my shoulder expecting to see the fully geared teams come up on us, but we had put enough of a gap on them coming down from the Continental Divide, that we held on for 2nd overall (and 2nd in the UCI teams)! Woohoo!!!


 To hear all the rest of the details from TransRockies Mountain Bike Race, check back for the next installment of


The ULTIMATE TransRockies Experience

 

 

 

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