Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I thought this was pretty cool...

One of the events at the Teva Mountain Games is the ''Mountain Click Photography Contest'' where individuals can submit 3 photos into 3 different categories throughout all the weekend's events. Photographers are free to shoot whatever they want so the artistic aspect is super fascinating. It appears that someone submitted the photo above in the ''Performance Category''! Check out this link to see all the submissions for this year's event. I believe they select the winners in each category tonight at 5pm :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Winter Park MTB XC Race

This past Saturday was the Winter Park Cross Country Loop MTB race. Since we are only 90min from the mountain, we decided to head up early that morning in the Gas Gas Sprinter van with Cole and Emily who were visiting from Texas! It was a 10am start and the weather was absolutely PERFECT so everyone was ready to rock and roll. The course was originally supposed to be 25 miles but since the excessive snowfall has yet to completely melt, we were told that the loop was only 18 miles at the start of the race. Ready, set, go...

Like always, it was a mad sprint off the line. The first mile was a 9% climb on a fire road which just plain hurts and sets the tone for the rest of the race. Luckily, I was able to position myself well going into the singletrack and put myself in a great position going into what I thought were the last few miles of the race. I pushed as hard as I could to stay in front of a few girls during mile 17 but when mile 18 came and there was no finish line, I began to panic. I pushed even harder thinking that maybe my watch was off but I soon saw miles 20 and 21 and there was no finish line in sight. I was running on pure fumes and at this point we just kept climbing and climbing. At mile 22 we ducked into some tight singletrack where I absolutely cracked. I was seeing stars, bouncing my handlebars off trees and eventually just had to stop. I got off my bike for a quick minute and watched my 5th place go to 9th in a blink of an eye.

I managed to make my way the last 2 miles back to the bottom but it wasn't pretty and the ground never felt so good after crossing that finish line. Had the race been a mere 18 miles like we were told, I would have been thrilled with my race as that was the distance I paced and fed myself for. However, everyone else had to deal with extra 5 miles so I guess it doesn't really matter. I'm a bit bummed out as I was well ahead of all 5 girls that passed me at the last race but oh well, there's always next time!

My prettier half, on the other hand, had a spectacular race and finished 2nd in his age group in the Expert class while our good friend Cole took the top podium spot in his class :)

There's nothing better than spending a weekend with your favorite person in the world and great friends.

Big thanks to Cole and Emily for coming up, racing, hanging and having lots of good laughs for the week. We'll definitely have to do it again!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

XTERRA Forest Drive

Calling all Rocky Mountain folks looking for a fun XTERRA and or Trail Run this summer!!! If you are around on Sunday July 31st, you can't miss this great event in Aberdeen, SD. It was voted the number one race in the Rocky Mountain region and tied for overall best race on the American tour. If that's not enough to get you there, they are also offering a $3500 cash prize purse that goes 8 deep :) Click on the picture above to check out all the details.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Playing Boulder Tour Guide

Since we have been doing a lot of mountain biking lately, I thought it would be a good idea to take the boys hiking to mix things up!

We went up to Mt. Sanitas on an absolutely perfect day and they got a sense of what ''real'' hiking was all about.

It definitely wasn't a walk in the park, but they made it and loved seeing the variety of fun and outdoorsy things to do in Boulder.

I want to do a more detailed blog on the new bike park that just opened in Boulder, but here is a little glimpse of the newest playground we now have. Russell had to show everyone up and ride the XL line on Joe's new bike!

Since we are all racing the Winter Park XC MTB race on Saturday, we needed to get the blood moving in the legs and the bikes dialed. We headed up to Betasso a) because it's close b) because it's fun and c) because I thought Cole would like it!

The hike took a bit out of Cole's legs on Thursday so we hit up the freezing cold creek on our way back from Betasso. Holy crap is that thing flowing!

To wrap up a great couple of days, we made a great feast of grilled ribs, asparagus, homemade sweet potato fries and a quinoa/veggie/cashew stir fry! Mmmm :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hanging with the moto boys!

After the Inyan Kara National Enduro on Sunday, Cole Kirkpatrick and Russell Bobbitt decided to head back down to Boulder with us to spend the week relaxing and riding a lot of mountain bikes. Since everyone was a bit tired on Monday after the racing and traveling, we took it a bit easier and played around at the new bike park, did an afternoon yoga session, then had a killer BBQ! After a great night's sleep, Tuesday came and it was game on. We got an early start, grabbed Josh and headed over to Heil Ranch to ride the Picture Rock trail to and from Lyons. It was an absolute blast and the boys loved every second of it.

Later that night, we rounded up the crew once again and drove down to Denver to do a little Go Kart racing. What dirt bike racer wouldn't get jazzed to go play on 250cc go karts, right?!? We all had a total blast and for once in my life, I actually got to school almost all the guys, except Cole, on something motorized. Last time we went, I was the one getting t-boned every lap so this time I got my was AWESOME!

Bryce was able to get the morning off of work so we planned a great day of riding up in Nederland so we could show the boys what true mountain singletrack is all about. We got a bit of rain on Monday so the dirt was absolutely PERFECT and we didn't see one other person on the trail which made the day even more epic. Below is a clip that Cole and Russ put together with the Go Pro helmet cam that shows how freaking awesome the trails were that day. Man those boys can rip downhill :)

I have been feeling really great over the past 10 days or so but unfortunately went the direct opposite direction during this ride. It's so exciting that I am seeing improvements, but also frustrating that these days are quite over yet. Thanks to Bryce for sticking with me on the decent so I didn't crash and burn and big thanks to Cole and Russ for their patience as I was seriously struggling just to make it back to the truck at the end!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back to Wyoming!

After a great MTB ride with Bryce, we headed out for another long drive to Upton, WY on Saturday afternoon for the 6th round of the National Enduro Series that is co sanctioned with the RMEC. It's always fun to see the big fancy rigs that show up at the Nationals as well as Cole and Russ who chase the entire circuit. Maybe one day I'll be good enough for KTM to shuttle my bikes around in their factory semi :)

As with most races, I started on one of the very last rows to avoid getting run over so I'm always looking for stuff to do while Bryce and all my other friends have already begun racing. Luckily, I was riding on the same row as Nicole, Mandy and Ben so I had company and good times all day.

The trails were absolutely amazing and so much fun. Every special test consisted of tight singletrack through the trees with various mud holes throughout which made for some interesting line choices. I didn't ride great but finished safely with a 4th overall.

Bryce had a great day as well with no big mistakes and a solid performance. After getting a little mixed up about where the gas/food would be during the day, he came back absolutely famished and devoured the last bit of food we had available as fast as possible! We packed up and quickly headed home so we could get ready for Cole and Russ to spend the next week with us in Boulder.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Runner's Roost Global Trainer Demo

The Colorado crew recently acquired a demo fleet of 20 Timex Global Trainer GPS watches and our first true demo was last evening at the Runner's Roost in Lone Tree.

We coordinated the demo with their weekly club run so they had the opportunity to really touch, feel, test them out and ask as many questions as they could possibly think of.

After the runners checked out the watchs, Will Kelsay, Brian Schaning, Tim Hola and myself gave one on one instructions on how this sophisticated product works.

We began with showing each person how to turn it on, scan for their heart rate monitor and input their personal settings.

We then gave them a brief rundown of the general functions of the watch and how they could customize the 5 different displays to show anything and everything they could possible ever want to know!

Everyone was really excited about how easy it was to setup and they got even more pumped when we explained that everything they just did could easily be done right on the computer once plugged in!

Once everyone was set up, they headed out for their 30-50min run. As soon as they came back, we had computers set up and each individual was able to download their personal information into the Device Agent then upload it to Training Peaks. Once we walked them through the various screens, graphs and pods that you could personalize in Training Peaks, everyone's eyes just lit up!

This was a huge success and a great first round of many demos to come. We also had a lot of great feedback on how much they liked the watch and all of its features. Big thanks to Brett Rose (Colorado Timex Rep) and Stacey Regula (Runner's Roost Store Manager) for helping out. We all look forward to doing it again :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

CU Cycling Short Track Series

Every Wednesday evening for the entire summer, the CU Cycling Club holds a STXC race for 7 different categories as a fundraiser for their racing seasons. They use the CU Research park which has the best singletrack with lots of climbs, descents, corners, 180* turns, burms, jumps, etc and is the punchiest and toughest 25min EVER! You better be warmed up because when the gun goes off, it's a mad sprint from start to finish while you ride technical and fun loops with tons of spectators cheering throughout the entire course.

There have already been 2 races that I've missed, but yesterday I did my hard group session in the morning so I could have even the slightest chance at being recovered by the evening. Although I was wasn't super fresh, I was able to put in a solid effort and end up in 4th behind some fast girls. It was a total blast and I was happy to keep my HR at 187 for over 20min :) If I want to be snappy and on top of it for the cyclocross season, this is where I've gotta start! Stay tuned for more CU STXC updates throughout the summer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Moto Trails!

I've always been told about how great the moto trails in Woodland Park are, but for whatever reason, every time we've made plans to go ride out there, something has come up.

Not this time though...after rounding up the Boulder crew (Bryce, Tony, John and Zach), we made the 2 hour drive down I-25 and met up with our tour guides, Ray and Ken.

They did a fantastic job of leading us through a maze of incredible trail for over 5.5hrs! It was Zach and John's first rides on their new dirt bikes and it was smiles all around.

Everyone and their bikes came back in one piece even after Tony launched his bike 15ft off a cliff and watched it somersault 3 or 4 times. How it only got a few scratches, no one will ever know :)

It was a VERY dusty day but that's why we love playing in the dirt...getting dirty is FUN :) Thanks Boys for a great day on the motos!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Winter Park MTB Hill Climb

Saturday was the kick off race of the 2011 Winter Park Mountain Bike Series which featured a hill climb with the following stats:

Distance 5.2 miles
Start Elevation: 9,080 feet
Highest Point: 11,142 feet
Total Climbing: 2,062 feet

Although I live at an elevation of 5500ft, it doesn't even compare to 11,000+ when you're riding a bike, and boy could I feel it! The Pro and Expert Women began together at 10:14am and with all MTB races, the start was an absolute sprint for position. Since the climb was on fire road, I wasn't sure why it went out so hard but I stuck to my game plan of pegging my HR where I knew I could keep it and just staying steady. After the first 10min or so, I found myself in 8th but quickly began picking off riders within the next 15min. I eventually positioned myself into 3rd and never looked back. I could see 2nd place about 30 seconds in front of me the entire second half of the race but couldn't quite catch her.

As you can see, my HR went from 109 to 180 in the first 45 seconds and toggled between 180 and 190 the entire 44min race! Ouchy...

I have to say that I'm beyond ecstatic with my performance and so excited to finally see that my fitness is turning around. Not very many mountain bikers enjoy riding up dirt hills without single track but at least we had unbelievable views from the 250% average snowfall from this past winter :)

It's been a while since I've been on the podium so I was all smiles! Sara and Cait have been cleaning up in the Pro MTB races this year so being as close as I was to them today should give me a huge confidence boost for my upcoming races!!!

A big congrats to Luisa for wining her age group and Josh for sticking it out since going up hill isn't really his thing. We had a great time cruising around the mountain after the race and lots of good laughs. Below is a short video to show you what the course looked like and how much snow the mountain still has in mid's ridiculous!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Uni-Hill 2K

Thursday evening was the kick off race for the Boulder Run Series. The Uni-Hill 2K features a 2 lap course around the area of Boulder known as ''University Hill''. Although it was raining all day, the clouds cleared up just in time for a really great event. Click on the link above to check out more info, pics and results.

Before the big hitters took off, the event hosted a Mascot 1K run and a Kid's 1K run. Barry, Tingle and I helped get all the kiddos warmed up, stretched out and pumped up for their race. It was the cutest thing ever and they all ran like the wind! Check out the small clip below to see how they did :)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Summertime House Additions!

We have added a much needed area rug to the living room to help hide the constant mess that our dark bamboo floors show!

Without central air, our place gets REALLY hot in the summer. Our good friend Ryan did some serious electrical work to add in this ceiling fan in the living room which does absolute wonders! He's not finished yet, but he's also adding a ceiling fan to the master bedroom upstairs :)

Monday, June 06, 2011

Teva Mountain Games MTB Race Weekend

After going to Bryce's sister's Master's graduation in Denver Friday night, we woke up early Saturday morning, packed up the car, picked up crazy Aussie Josh Carlson and headed to Vail to participate in the 10th Annual Teva Mountain Games. Click on the logo above to check out the website and the numerous fun events they had going on all weekend.

One of the events for the weekend was a cross country mountain bike race that had A LOT of prize money to win. Of course, I had no intention on winning any of it as all the big hitters were there, but it's always fun to be at big races with big crowds and lots of hype!

Let's just say my race went pretty much exactly how I expected it to go. I started out really hard for 10-15min trying to hang with the fast girls then began seeing stars and knew it was time to shut it down. The professional men and women had 4 laps on a 5 mile course that had about 1000ft of climbing per lap that started at an elevation of 8600ft. Not only am I skeptical about racing yet, I'm definitely not ready to be hammering at altitude so I put in a solid effort and had a great training day. I also made for some good laughs in the feed section since I was probably the only person coming by that was able to get several words out!

The expert men and women had 3 laps of the course and since it was Bryce's hometown race, he had to give it a go. He's been extremely busy with work the past couple weeks and has only ridden a handful of times, but he finished quite respectably and even got an interview over the loud speaker when he crossed the line since a long time friend was commentating the race :)

Although he didn't race, Tony came up for the weekend to help out and hang out!

I had to post this video because this was by far the most attended event at the Teva Games. The rubber toy started around 3 feet high and eventually went up to 6.5ft before they crowned the winning pooch.

Not a bad view of the start/finish area...and of Josh, Judy and Tom too!

As with every weekend we head to the mountains, Momma Bingham had a full fajita dinner prepared with homemade poppyseed cake for dessert...mmm! We hit the hay early that night so we could go cheer Bryce's dad on at his first bike race in 15 years. He was participating the road timetrial and finished 8th in his class! We're all so proud of him :)

After watching Brent go by, we decided to head up to Nederland on our way back to Boulder to ride mountain bikes since hardly anything in the Vail area was rideable due to immense amounts of snow. Ironically, almost the entire ride in Ned was dry except a few snow drifts which Josh thought would be funny to leave his bike in for a bit! Good times, good times.

Josh is an absolute NUT on a bike (maybe it's because he used to race Factory Honda Motocross), but nonetheless, these videos are quite entertaining.

And round 2...

Nothing like another amazing weekend with great people. I may not be riding fast or performing well right now, but as Scott Tietzel said earlier, at least I'm out there and not sleeping 23 hours a day again :)