Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jan 9th AZ Trail Jamboree Charity Ride Tucson, AZ

Here is a great way to give back to the sport of mountain biking: Support the AZ trail building efforts by giving a small donation. http://www.aztrail.org/donate.html 

The Arizona Trail is an 800+ mile multi-use recreation trail from Mexico to Utah.

If you are in southern AZ, make a $30 donation by visiting the link above,
near the bottom of this page is a button that says PayPal Donate Now. It will take you to PayPal's website where you can enter the amount ($30), be sure to input the following on item description: AZTJAMBOREE
then attend the AZ Trail Jamboree Charity Ride. Info here

Saturday, January 9, 2010
8:00 AM
Pistol Hill 

Christmas Day ride Saguaro National Park East

Sunday ride (or hike). AZ trail headed up Mt lemmon. Between Millagrosa and Catalina Hwy.

Pro Tour XCT update
Still can't figure out the race schedule for 2010. If you look in one place it looks like we have a few UCI Class 1 races, if you look on the UCI calendar, we don't...  Hopefully USA Cycling will announce the actual calendar soon.

Sponsorship update
Working on this too, things are coming together, but moving much slower than in years past.  It seems that budgets that used to be approved in October are still in the process. I think I know my sponsorship lineup, but without everything in writing I'll wait to post it...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Road Trip to Incycle

Riding in Tucson is still awesome. You can ride forever up Mt Lemmon, but I stay low (warm) and watch the cars come back down after filling up with snow to make a snowman for the afternoon.
~ mile 3 (of 29) on Mt. Lemmon
We hated to miss the BOD party this year, but got to go to the Incycle party near San Dimas, CA. We left the house at home and took the “guesthouse”.
On the road.
Party time at the BMX track:
Rick going old school
This is how it's done.
some of the Incycle boys
No party is complete without the inflatables.
Lala's down...
posing with Mark and Jason
Now it's time for some Christmas shopping at Incycle, the largest selection of any shop I've ever been to. They also sell online and ship anywhere! Perfect for our lifestyle.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Clinic, Arizona Endurance Series, Erika at Cross Nationals...

Indoor clinic at Sabino Cycles this past Thursday: . Right before the holidays is a good time to review your nutrition. I talked about the tips I have learned, mentioned books that have been helpful and discussed products like Cooper Complete and FRS. We snacked on veggies and water while avoiding the ranch dip. :) Sunday's Kentucky Camp ride (part of the AZ Endurance Series): . 46 mile MTB ride followed by swag, campfire, food and hanging out with new friends.
Todd's group I wore too many clothes, who knew it would be warm.
Topofusion course profile. (Mirre and I added the last ~7 miles, it isn't part of the course.) .
Cross Nationals, Erika Powers: My sister Erika placed 10th out of 50+ in her first big race, Masters 30-34, US National Cross Championship in Bend, OR. She also raced in the Elite race on Sunday but was crashed out on the pavement when another girl looked back and swerved right into her. in her words: "DNF not how I wanted to end the season...made it through the 1st lap without getting hung up in any crashes and felt good, hit the pavement and a girl turned to look back swerved into me and took me out, trashed the right side of me and my bike, broke spokes, rear derailer, handlebar...but it was the most exciting and ...fun race I have been in till that happened and I am excited to go try again next year!!" Pro XCT:
No news yet... . Trips for Kids: Arizona Daily Star article on the Trips for Kids ride I attended a couple weeks ago. . 2010 Sponsorship: Sponsorship is not working out too well this year, same story everywhere, budget cuts... I'll do an update on where I am with everything in the next couple weeks. Still trying to get to Europe for some racing, not sure if that will work out now...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pro XCT news, riding in Tucson, Ergon BA1

Crazy week in Tucson.
Freezing night temps, rain, hail on our ride, see more great pics of this ride on Chad's blog and on our new Holland friend Mirre's blog. (Read the kind of translated version here.)
Mirre after the hail melted. Pic by Chad.
Snow and ice on Mt Lemmon, Lance is rumored to be in town. US Cup and Pro XCT split, Cycling News article. This is good because we need a change, maybe it won't make for the best year, but hopefully things will improve as a result. My sister, Erika Powers, is attending her first ever UCI cross race, US Nationals in Bend, OR this weekend. She will race both the Masters (Friday) and Elite (Sunday) race. I assume without any UCI points she will be lining up on the back row, so her goal will be to pass and many racers as possible. I'll be checking MTBracenews and following Cyclocross Nationals 2009 on facebook for updates. I got a new pack. Ergon BA1! It fits great, actually, it feels like you don't even have a pack on, zero pressure on my shoulders. I love that it opens like a duffel bag so I can see everything at once. I use every pocket, actually I just found the one on the side that may be accessible while riding, haven't tried that one yet.
Pic stolen from Scott, my go-to ride partner when Todd is busy.
Last crazy thing: Dejay Birtch can cook!

Friday, December 4, 2009


Look how big our yard is! We have a great setup in Tucson, Todd is ready to pay for next year to reserve our spot. It is private, no loud neighbors, no barking dogs, and every ride is from "home".
Front yard
You can find someone to ride with every day here. Yesterday we rode mountain bikes to Le Buzz coffee shop, met a group of Cactus Cycling riders (roadies), rode up Mt Lemmon with them (absolutely gorgeous as always), and when it was time to head back down Todd and I jumped on a bit of singletrack, then met everyone for coffee.
Side yard. Today's ride is on the road bike.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How to plug a tire with Genuine Innovations plugs

What do you do when you get a puncture in your tubeless tire during a group ride and the tire keeps spewing Stans? Well, if you are riding with us, you get a quick plug and you are on your way. Last week we plugged two tires. First Todd's, which he continues to run. He has put ~ 200 miles on it since and doesn't see the need to change a "perfectly good tire". Then Saturday we pre-rode part of the Kentucky Camp course and Todd plugged Mike's tire. Although we had plenty of CO2, neither of them had lost enough air to bother with it.
Happy Mike.
Marty Mares, CEO of Genuine Innovations, was kind enough to give us a tour of the facility a couple of weeks ago. Todd and I met many of the employees, saw the operation and got a sneak peak at some new products. It was interesting to learn that they do more than just bicycle products. article here
Some Goodies from Genuine Innovations:
Check out my red and super-custom pink nozzles!! And Todd's Niner 25g CO2s.
New pumps. Todd loves the Campione with simple press-on/replaceable brass fitting. I like them both, I am guessing the Campione will be with Todd's gear next time I go to look for it...
Visit to Genuine Innovations:
Posing with Marty in front of the cases of past and present products which, among many other items, include a CO2 self tanning applicator, a gun barrel CO2 wad shooter (a device to clean gun barrels) and something that helps doctors open up clogged arteries during angioplasty procedures.
Touring the facility
Checking out the Big Air label process

Sunday, November 22, 2009

MTB El Tour de Tucson and Trips for Kids

One tank of gas in a month, I think that is a first. You can ride your bike everywhere in Tucson. This week the El Tour de Tucson and ~9000 people came to town. I was debating doing part of it but heard way too many injury stories. Instead we hung out at the tour expo on Wednesday...
Recovery Socks at the El Tour Expo
...and did an around-and-over Mt Lemmon ride on mountain bikes Saturday.
Top of Mt Lemmon with Todd, Rudy, Tom and Dejay. All downhill from here.
ride profile (Topofusion).
From "home", across Tucson, up to the town of Oracle, up the backside of Mt Lemmon (dirt), stop at Summerhaven store for fudge then down the pavement, back "home".
Kids on bikes
Sunday was spent with a group of kids riding in the Saguaro National Forest (East) thanks to Trips for Kids Southern Arizona.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FRS Deal

If you want to try out the FRS product (see my review below) here is a promotional coupon code. FRSVIP30 I am not sure how long this will be good for. Go to the FRS website click on the "purchase" tab then "buy online" to see selection.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Todd and I dance the Oakley dance. From our wonderful friend Bri...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reviews: FRS, ipod Shuffle, Compression Socks, Hydrapak, ZeroGoo, The Stick, Handlebar pack, etc.

Of the new small items I have been testing this is a list of my favorites: FRS drinks and chews. I got hooked on the FRS drinks at interbike when I was running on no sleep and had the typical Interbike all-day/all-night schedule. I used it after Interbike while trying to fit too much into a family week complete with training, wedding, lunches, dinners, and nights on the town. Now I use it for training and recovery. Basically, it gets me going and keeps me going. Try it if you are heading into the conference room and know you are about to fall asleep, or before getting on your bike to do intervals at the end of a draining day.

Zerogoo's Fuel Injector is a great gadget. It allows you to regulate the quantity and timing of gel and water mix. I have even used it on hard group road rides (no, I don't look roadie with my pack, but I can get to my gel when no one else can). Zerogoo is working on perfecting this system with various size re-fillable/collapsible gel containers. I have ridden ~1300 miles with this setup, I don't even notice it is there and actually prefer the way the hose is now mounted. The pack and Fuel Injector are usually left in my car (with gel) between rides (25-120 degree temps). If you do this a lot, and never clean it out, eventually the gel will clump and not flow through the valve, my solution was to just shake the entire thing, pack and all. I should probably clean it at some point... But it still tastes good, so I haven't. . Next I plan to try it with other gels. I hear it works just as well with CarbBoom, GU, Clif, PowerBar, and EFS gels. Another thing to try is Gatorade powder, fill the bottle with the dry powder and screw it on, sounds cool.

Here is my injector pictured with Hydrapak's new magnetic hose holder and Surge bite valve. The magnet is great, just place the hose close to the right spot and the magnet "grabs" it. The Surge bite valve is great, no more leaking; if you have the old one replace it now, see details below. .For a $1 deal from Hydrapak:

"How to get the Deal: Click to order our old Easy Flo Bite Valve You will see the $1 Dollar Price Add to shopping cart When checking out use the code: surge (case sensitive) You will then see the Free Shipping applied We ship the Surge!"

Close up of new Surge bite valve:

New ipod shuffle. I do love the controls, they make sense and are easy to use. The pink Shuffle is pictured here tucked in my helmet with the extra wire wrapped up and the controls left in easy reach. No more wires to get in the way. However, I do not like the ipod ear pod (it falls out of my ear). I plan to cut off the ear pods, shorten the wires and replace with a single Memorex EC100 Sport ear piece. That is the issue with placing the new controls inline with the headphones. Although there are adapters, I will just cut and solder it the way I want it. . . The Stick Wheel (for feet). This is one of those things you never knew you needed. I have never cared to have my feet massaged, but this makes me realize I have tight muscles or small knots in the bottom of my feet. I now leave it by the couch and use it when I watch TV, I just leave it on the floor and roll my foot back and forth on top of it. Swiftwick's arm warmers. I really like these arm warmers, they do not fall down and are not tight, they have a perfect level of "compression" which is not noticeable (unless you add too much of a new electrolyte product and your arms swell up, don't ask...). They seem to be warm in cold weather but don't get hot in warm weather, I'm not sure how that works but I like it. Guys, if you have really muscular arms they may be too tight, so try them on first if you can. .
I love my pink Recovery Socks. Turns out these guys are out of Tucson so I have been seeing other people running around in "my" socks. These are the first pair I have tried that are long enough, don't feel tight at the top, don't fall down (ever), and hold up to washing and drying. They recommend not drying the socks, but since our washer automatically dries after washing, I never get them out between cycles.
JANDD handlebar pack. This is a really functional pack and great for extras like gloves, arm warmers, jacket, map, etc. I can stuff a lot in the pack and get in and out of it while riding. It's great for the road bike, but I had issues off-road on the MTB. First, the straps loosen. Second, although it doesn't move around too much, when full it was heavy enough to bounce up and break my handlebar computer mount. For the MTB I am going to try the Mountain Feedbag by Epic Ride Research.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Erika Powers Cross Racing

My Sister Erika is tearing it up in the Utah cross races, read about it here.
Erika leading the pack, photo taken from MTBRaceNews.com
MTBRaceNews.com also covered the Iceman Cometh and the pro athlete's comments on why this race draws so many racers and spectators.
I had a great weekend here in Tucson, AZ including spending Saturday at the Trips for Kids race and joining the 82-mile option of the GABA Silverbell century ride on Sunday.
Just a few of the kids pose for pics with me at the Nov 7th Trips for Kids event

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back in Tucson

We are back in Tucson, AZ! It has been two years and it is everything I remember. We are staying near Catalina Hwy, the road that goes up Mt Lemmon. You can ride all the way around Tucson from here, it is a perfect location.
Saturday 10/24: On the way from Santa Fe we stopped in Tullarosa, NM to ride the White Sands 108-mile century on the missile range.
. It was a fun ride "not a race" with plenty of wildlife and no cars, the best wildlife being the Oryx.
At the start of the ride a girl with good intentions picked a fight with Todd because I was on the windy side and he was on the wind protected side of the group, it was pretty windy I'll give her that. She thought it was so rude of Todd and told him multiple times to switch spots with me. (my heart rate at the time was ~ 110bpm.) What do you say in a situation like that? "no, I am actually a good rider, I just look slow" (since I have a full Hydrapak, MTB shoes, handlebar bag, Bento Box, tool bag, a front and rear light, etc.) I just said something like "oh, I'll be fine, thanks."
As it ended up I was the first 108-mile route finisher @ 5.5 hours (2nd to cross the "finish line"), but only because the lead group I was with stopped at the 60-mile aid station for lunch while I continued on. Todd had turned off (alone) at the 35-mile mark to do the "70-mile" loop, which ended up being 93-miles! He ended up being the 1st finisher and beat me by 30-minutes. It was a great ride, we didn't race it (my heart rate average was 145) but it did make it interesting to see if I could "stay away", Todd had his own slow motion race, making sure he got in before I did while not going hard.
After the century we drove a couple hours toward Tucson and spent the night at the Deming Wal-Mart.
Sunday 10/25: Did our shopping at Wal-Mart, finished the drive to Tucson, stocked up on propane and diesel for the winter (never go to Gas City in a big rig!), pulled into our new location, and got in a quick spin to the local coffee shop before dark.
This week is my favorite part of getting to a new town, scoping out what it has to offer, finding the local gym, health food store, mail service, new training routes, etc. We hooked up with Chad Brown and Scott Morris today for a late day ride in Oro Valley, those two are a lot of fun. I was a bit worried they would decide to ride to Mexico while surviving on gas station food and sleeping under the stars or something. But luckily they were happy to do an easy spin and grab a taco at Rubios. Thanks for the pics Chad.
. Now we have a freeze warning, what happened to the warm weather???