Plzen World Cup


Ah Thanksgiving, the oldest American holiday, truly we have much to be thankful for: carbon fiber, aero wheels, ceramic bearings, wool jerseys, integrated etc.Sometimes I wonder what the thankful list  of one of the original holiday celebrators would consist of. I guess it was about mid 17th century so life was probably number one on everyone's list, followed closely by some kind of shelter and food. I seem to be accumulating more and more things to add to my list recently. 

My family definitely makes #1, my wife, children, parents and brother and sister, all the love and support I could ever need. Friends, like family but we don't argue as much. Faith, for answering all the questions I could ever have and for reminding me that family really is number one. Seems like anything else is just gravy, or DRY Teflon chain lubricant whichever you prefer but here are a few more anyway: my job and the people I work with for, their support, opportunities and investment, education because the more you know the more you know (is that bathos or hyperbole?) anyway I love to learn and am very thankful for the many opportunities to do so, my health because it is so awesome when I have it and really really miss it when I don't so you know it must be important, my bicycle because it is so awesome when I can ride it and really really miss it when I can't so you know it must be important. I could keep going on about lesser and lesser things but I don't know if anyone is still reading this by now so I won't bother, unless you are Kirsten because you are #1 on my thankful for list. Somehow you fill in all the gaps, make up for all the things I lack and inspire me to be better.

Happy  Thanksgiving - please take the time to tell the people you are thankful for, that you are thankful for them.

I know this is a bit long and there are no pictures but it is worth reading and sharing, the message is just as relevant today as it was in 1863.

By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln


For me , cycling is therapy. Pushing myself until I can't think about anything but spinning my legs, pounding up a hill or staying in a tuck. It is a great way to focus the mind and forget about stressful things. It was always a good feeling to be absolutely drained and sore from a workout. Since my bike is on the rack and I can't lift anything over 20 pounds for a while I have been searching for other things to do that take my mind off stressful things. At first I would spend hours in the recliner watching Netflix. I think I made it though all the movies worth watching, my motivation to be productive was about -100%, watching movies wasn't working. I couldn't get motivated to read anything. Eventually I started feeling what I was really lacking a opened up to watch one of the General Conference messages from last month. Check it out.

After watching the video again, I watched a few more. That feeling of focus started coming back. Exercise is great, but isn't the only way to get the relief we need every day. A renewed effort to read the scriptures is more than compensating for what I can't get out of exercise right now. Eventually my body will be well enough to return to a routine that includes some exercise. I hope that when it is I don't forget how important it is to strengthen our spirits even more than our bodies.

Missing PumpkinMan Triathlon 2012

I remember thinking to myself many times, as I often do as a race gets closer, "stay healthy, all the training and preparation is for nothing if you get sick the day before a race." I gained a little perspective this weekend, and continue to as I try to type this with one hand, the other holding a pillow against all the staples in my belly. What is the point indeed, I eat pretty healthy, I have never smoked or drank alcohol. No drugs and I exercise frequently. Then something small like a little indigestion after eating a big dinner turns out to be an extremely painful trip to the doctor, then to an oncologist, then to the ER, then to the operating room where something is removed from by abdomen a few days later. Coagulated blood, a tumor, cancer. We are still not sure. We might find out tomorrow. Now my triathlon consists of sitting up in bed, trying to walk a few feet down the hall, and pushing the magic morphine button. Days later if this turns out to be benign I hope I am able to capture a little bit of how it feels to not know for sure what will happen next. Sometimes I like to think I am a better person because I just beat another guy's time on Strava, or finished a transition 2 minutes faster, or held my breath longer or got a better grade or got a bigger bonus or found a better job or parked within the lines better or found a solution first or bought something cheaper....this type of competition is not what being athletic or even this entire life is for. We are not here to prove that we are better than everybody else, just to do the best with what we are given. That way a 5 hour long race, or even a walk down the hall dragging your IV and catheter behind you can be a huge victory. Things happen in life that can be sad, but being angry is a choice. Chose to be happy and do the best you can.

At the starting line
Changing in transition 1

Changing at transition 2
Finish line...maybe tomorrow.

If you are wondering if living a healthy lifestyle is worth is even though stuff like this can still happen. Believe me it is. You can only imagine how much more complicated this could have been if I was a smoker or was addicted to alcohol or caffeine. Living right goes way beyond even those reasons, more on that tomorrow.

Mt Charleston Hill Climb 2012

It        was        TOUGH. Just a 17.5 mile ride, with a 5,375 foot elevation gain. There really isn't much else to say about it except how it was different from last year. This year it was an official USAC sanctioned race which stiffened the competition and I think drove away some of the less competitive riders, I think there were just as many DNF's though. It was still a very rewarding ride. I think my performance was lacking since I have been skipping so many spin classes and spending more time studying and working than on my bike in the last few months. I was totally motivated after the ride especially with PumpkinMan coming up next Saturday. The climb took me over 2 hours to finish, and the ride back down, about 20 minutes.
Start of the race

Yes that is a guy on a unicycle, he does this every year. I'm not sure how far he gets but he is crazy strong.

The position of my head is a good
indication of how I'm feeling right now.
See that valley floor? Actually you can't
but that is where we started. About a third
of the way up I noticed my quads were
getting a little twitchy. You have to stand up
now and then to let the blood recirculate but
after a while whenever I stood up my quads
started to cramp worse than ever.
It made for a long ride in the saddle. 
Matt, staying strong the whole way.
No snow at the top this year.

Almost feels like home. It is always fun to go for a ride where the temperature is 20 degrees cooler at the finish line. Thanks for a great ride

Interbike and CrossVegas 2012

Interbike and CrossVegas bring the entire world of cycling to one place. Nowhere else will you see so many pro's other than at the Tour. I saw some amazing stuff this year, I don't just mean the 2,000 - 6,000 dollar category, I'm talking 10,000 to 20,000 dollar bikes and components! Carbon fiber bottle cages, sun glasses, number mounts. I thought Garneau had the best booth though, Chrissie Wellington and Louis Garneau were both there signing their books, awesome people and they were free to chat for a while too.
Louis Garneau, a champion cyclist and entrepreneur
Keith and Matt at the CrossVegas Media Tent
I had the opportunity to work the race registration and results again this year which is always fun. It gives me a prime spot to watch at the finish line and some swag and who doesn't like swag!?!

UCI Men's Elite race, Jeremy Powers leading after lap 1

Race finish - Jeremy Powers, Tim Johnson and Ben Berden

Kokopelli Triathlon

swim start
Another beautiful day in St. George. I couldn't have asked for better weather, the water was a warm 77 degrees, nearly too warm for my wetsuit. I noticed many others had decided to leave theirs at home. I felt better in this swim than ever and managed to maintain are fairly consistent pace and line. Though less attended than the SG tri earlier this year it was still a good group of people to race with. The first transition felt slow. Maybe sometime I will try spraying some PAM on my skin so my wetsuit comes off easier, sounds weird but people say it works.
On the bike, starting the climb. It isn't very long but at 15% grade it is enough to wear anyone down.
Finishing strong with my best time yet.

Running up the slight hill
to the turn around point.

It was a great race, a nice break from the hot summer. It also motivated me to step up training for PumpkinMan next month.

Goodsprings Ride With BLV

Woke up at 5 to meet up with the Biking Las Vegas crew at the M resort this morning. We then rode to Goodsprings and back, first long ride of the summer with temps under 100 degrees. In total we did about 70 miles.

Event Registrations

Signing up for a couple events today! Who is with me?

Mt Charleston Hill Climb 

Viva Bike Vegas (122 mi Gran Fondo) 

My Cloud

A word cloud generated from the blog. Apparently I like to mention shoes.

SG Triathlon

Went to St. George for the SG Triathlon last month. First time on the course, it was great, had a nice climb on the bike and the lake was much more clean than Lake Mead. It was also nice to get out of the heat. Kokopelli Triathlon is coming in September, it runs the same course so it will be a good opportunity to improve my time.

Olympic Swim Start

RAGE Triathlon review

It was hot. Reaching 102 degrees, a pretty solid season opener reminding us all how painful it is when we take a break during the winter, but it was a great experience and through it I was able to learn some key areas to focus on improving (all of them).

 Swimming in Lake Mead isn't always the best experience but the water was cold enough to counter the heat that early in the morning. The lack of wind kept the waves to a minimum so after getting away from the crowd it wasn't so bad. As I was swimming back to shore the water was actually clear enough to see down to the bottom of the lake, about 15 feet deep - I think I prefer not being able to see the bottom in Lake Mead.

Wetsuit off, bike stuff on. Racing in Lake Mead always means the longest and most narrow transition zone ever. By this time all the sprinters had gone so it wasn't too crowded. Still can't resist the urge to sit down to pull my stuff off and put my shoes on. Standing might save me a couple seconds but until I'm finishing in the top 10 I probably won't care. Since the transition is uphill I opt to put my bike shoes on before running to mount. Some still think they can do a running mount then slip into the shoes but most often those people end up crashing or can't slip into their shoes until the top of the hill, which isn't that close.

Still relieved that I don't have to swim any more, I find the energy to stand up and climb out the ramp. The bike if full of hills so I haven't been sold on using aero bars yet and I seem to get by ok.

Trying to enjoy going down hill, though I know I am going to have to climb back up it soon.

Coming back down the hill to the transition zone is a fast descent, some didn't stop soon enough to dismount and I heard one even crashed into the arch. I was also going a bit too fast to get both feet out of my shoes before stopping. Fortunately I had the right foot out to stop on so I could reach down and unbuckle the left. Someday I might invest in tri bike shoes that dont have the ratchet buckles.
A brief stretch before starting the run, yes still rocking the sweatband. Laugh all you want, at least I can still see at the end of the race.
About half a mile of the run was done on the rocky dirt road, sometimes dirt is a nice change but this time with all the rocks and holes, wan't so fun.

Finish Line!!! And starting to feel that sunburn, maybe someday I'll remember how painful it was and decide to put on sunscreen before the race. That was the Rage 2012, great season opener. 

Coming up next SG Triathlon in St George, UT May 19th.

RAGE Triathlon

I am either pregnant, or I just finished a grueling triathlon. Post triathlon cravings: Chinese food, 2 pickles, grapefruit, can of chili, root-beer float, cookie, you decide. Pictures and review coming next week.

Happy New Year

Time to celebrate another revolution of the Earth around the Sun. Another reason to think about self improvement and spend time with family. My advice - don't make any new goals just because it is a new year. I have never thought much of new year's resolutions, make resolutions because you want something or need change. Here are some things to think about while setting goals:

> One of the greatest realizations we can make in our life is that each of us has the ability to control our attitude and therefore control the external facets of our life. Once this is realized and pursued, the opportunities to get what we want will increase.

> Anger is a choice, happiness is a choice.

> Consider your situation by imagining that you are the Moon, looking down on all the things going on on Earth and everything you are going through. Perspective can help solve any problem.

> Learn to set a plan, but don't over plan. Do this by writing down your goals but if you start scheduling every hour of every day you will probably be setting up for discouragement.

Try asking these questions...
What changes do I need to make?
Why do I need these changes?
Where will I start?
How Will I reach my goal?
Who will help you?

Another lesson from Jack Lalanne:
10 - point plan for improvement