Breck Epic Stage 3, Guyot Loop

15 08 2013

Guyot Loop Elevation Profile. That red hot poker at mile is Guyot

Guyot Loop Elevation Profile. That red hot poker at mile 12 is French Pass

Stage #3, Mt Guyot Loop.  The notable feature of the day being the death march to over 12,000 ft.  Approaching it is like doing the Firecracker 50 course backward.  So we got to descend Little French Gulch instead of climb it.

Along the way, Stuart had to see a man about a horse

Along the way, Stuart had to see a man about a horse

I thought this would be the day that I found my legs.  It wasn’t.  I still felt sluggish and winded, but on the bright side, we came across Chris after cresting French. He was using some choice four letter words as he struggled with his CO2 and a flat tire. We stopped for a bit and got him fixed up.  We all stayed together down the rest of the rocky descent, since Chris only had about 15 PSI in the fixed tire.  We made it down fine though, and he was able to fill up at aid 2.

Disco, Chris, and I on top of Georgia Pass. Chris and Stuart crushed the climb and had to wait for me. They were chatting with tourists when I got there.

Disco, Chris, and I on top of Georgia Pass. Chris and Stuart crushed the climb and had to wait for me. They were chatting with tourists when I got there.

We rode most of the rest of the stage together, snapping photos, and enjoying the day. Well, as much as you can enjoy having a red hot poker shoved up your a$$,

Shower Cap Boys

Shower Cap Boys

The weather was intermittently rainy and then sunny.  So we stopped to put on or take off our jackets about a dozen times.  At aid 3, we donned shower caps as the weather seemed to be getting serious.  But of course, as we climbed American Gulch, the sun popped out, and we roasted under our jackets and shower caps.

Podium!

Podium!

Despite my crappy riding, we still managed to get on the 3rd podium spot. We are still over an hour out of 3rd place in the overall.

More photos below.

Riding up French Pass

Riding up French Pass

Little Marching Ants. This was a false summit.

Little Marching Ants. This was a false summit.

From the top of French. Whole lotta this going on.

From the top of French. Whole lotta this going on.

Welcoming party at the top of French.  They were handing out Skittles, which I promptly aspirated on the way down.

Welcoming party at the top of French. They were handing out Skittles, which I promptly aspirated on the way down.

Big Johnson. to be more precise, a smoked, nasty Johnson.  Named after Tim Johnson. Bread, marshmellow fluff, Nutella, potato chips. Pickles makes it nasty. Bacon makes it smoked.

Big Johnson. to be more precise, a smoked, nasty Johnson. Named after Tim Johnson. Bread, marshmellow fluff, Nutella, potato chips. Pickles makes it nasty. Bacon makes it smoked.





Breck Epic Stage 2, Colorado Trail Loop

12 08 2013

Colorado Trail Stage.  See that fang at around 11 miles?  That one hurt.

Colorado Trail Stage. See that fang at around 11 miles? That one hurt.

Aah, what a difference sleep makes.  And Albuterol. And food. And time.

I felt loads better today.  Still at around 70%, but a big improvement from yesterday, which was a uniquely strange and terrible experience.  Today was the Colorado Trail Stage.  Probably the most funnest stage.  Steep climbs and long, flowy descents are the signature features for the course.  Last year, I was soaked and hypothermic, and barely limped home.  I enjoyed none of that ride.  But today was perfect conditions, and my lungs were staring to come back around.  It was also nice to not have to stop for directions, since the course markings were up.  Funny how starting on time with the rest of the field makes for a more productive day.

Mike decided to throw in a couple new sections this year.  A long, bumpy ridge trail, which felt like a rock-strewn tightrope.  And a 17% grade road climb before getting to the fun stuff.  But the sweetness that is the Colorado Trail and Blair Witch Trail makes the grunt worth it.

We made the stage’s podium in third today, picking up about half an hour on the current overall third place team.  We forgot to get a podium shot. My lungs are recovering, so Stuart is only waiting minutes instead of hours for me.  We have about an hour and a half to make up for the overall third spot.  4 more stages to go.  Guyot Loop tomorrow. Over 7K’ climbing.  Better get some rest.

Time to dine!

Time to dine!





Team Alchemist Race Updates

11 08 2013

Been MIA for quite a while.  Lots happening with Alchemist and Racers.  Will have to catch up with most of that eventually.

But a couple things to mention.  Leadville and Breck Epic.

Several years ago, I was done with Leadville. Too much craziness.  Well, Dice was going for her tenth belt buckle, and so Stuart decided he would give it one last go too. But Stuart wouldn’t ride the Breck Epic with me unless I did Leadville too.  The Epic starts the day after Leadville.  Sounds like an awful idea. But what the hell.

Jenn's 10th

Jenn’s 10th. Those are solid gold.

Alchemist actually fielded a fairly large Team for Leadville:  Jenn, Ryn, Noel, Ken, Stuart, Rob S, Neil (and Team Alchemist Canada), Mark R, Bob W (yes, Bob, I’m borrowing you from Wolfpack), Dan R, Drew and me.  We also were joined by honorary Alchemist members, Farrar, Alden, Mirek, and Hunter.

We were supported by an all-star crew that would make NASCAR pit-crews cry with envy.  Jeff C (badass singlespeeder and fresh off nuptuals last weekend), Chris C (also badass and also doing the Breck Epic), Jon P (who narrowly missed the big belt buckle last year by 3 seconds, 3 SECONDS! and should have been riding with us this year, but somehow didn’t get chosen in the lottery to race. W-what?), Deb P (who already has her belt buckle and has crossed this race off her bucket list), Toni G (also already has her buckle, and also would rather help us through our suffering than race), David F (son of Farrar, great kid, fast mtb’er, and will be old enough next year to race LV), Steve M (Kili veteran and sub 9 guy who earned that b*tch “before they paved Columbine”),  Kim R (who rocked the Alchemist support tent with her son Nathan, who is going pro next year).

Perfect conditions yesterday.  No rain, hail, lightening, or swarms of locusts.  The previous day’s rain made the course packed and tacky.  It was the fastest course in history.  Good day to go under 9 hours.  We all went under 12 hours, six of us earning the big belt buckle for under 9.  Drew at 8:06, Stu at 8:10, Ken at 8:12, Rob at 8:29, Dan at 8:46, me at 8:43, Noel at 9:42, Mark at 9:44, Neil at 10:49, Bob at 11:22. Outstanding. And yes,  Dice earned her tenth buckle, which is so big you can’t bend over to tie your shoes when wearing it.  She and Ryn rode in together at 11:14.

I’ll have to give more details another time.  I need to sleep at some point, since we just finished stage 1 of the Breck Epic. Pennsylvania Gulch.  36 miles, 5500 ft of climbing.  Stuart recovered spectacularly from yesterday.   I . . did not.

Breck Epic Stage 1. Pennsylvania Gulch.

Breck Epic Stage 1. Pennsylvania Gulch.

Stuart trying to figure out where the heck we are going

Stuart trying to figure out where the heck we are going. The paper map, as it turns out, is only helpful if you know how to read it. Unfortunately, neither Stuart, nor I, have that ability.

We started the stage at 10:10a.  The actual race start was 8:30a.  Being the loving and doting fiance that he is, Stuart wanted to see Dice get her tenth Buckle at awards this morning, so we started a smidge late.   We finished last in our category.  We also finished last overall.  DFL, as some would call it.  The course markings and aid stations are pulled after the last rider in the pack, so we had to navigate with my Garmin 500, and a paper map.  We only got lost a couple times, when the Garmin would inexplicably lose track of us, and we couldn’t figure out where we were on the paper map.  Ken, we could have used your Rand McNally sense of direction there today.  When we finally caught up to the course sweeper, she was baffled how she could have missed us.  It caused a storm of chatter on the crew radios, and eventually led to bets being placed on whether we would finish DFL.  I’d like to blame the late start or getting lost or having to ride back to the car because I forgot the map for the DFL, but really, it was because I was sucking wind, and ass, today.   It felt like riding at 16,000 ft on Kilimanjaro. I’m hoping the Albuterol and Flovent I called in for myself will help.  I think a real night’s rest will help too.

With that in mind, more tomorrow.





Dan B. rocks the Ironman Coeur d’Alene

28 06 2013

Finish Yoga.  Or as Buss described it "Vomit suppression pose"

Finish Yoga. Or as Buss described it “Vomit suppression pose”

Dan B. could barely swim when he decided to do an Ironman.  But then again, Busse is no stranger to bad decisions.  He’s done multiple Leadman’s (all the Leadville events in a season), RAAM rider, Breck Epic . . . The list goes on.

Last weekend, he went to Coeur d’Alene  to qualify for Ironman Kona, and try not to drown.   He came out of the water in 71st.  By the end of the bike, he was in 35th.  The man can ride.  He was picking off more folks until the wheels came off around mile 11 on the marathon.  He death marched it home, and still manage to fend off most other folks to keep his standing, finishing in the top 10%.   Congrats buss.  You da man.

Buss crushing the bike with his Alchemist kit and aero helmet.

Buss crushing the bike with his Alchemist kit and aero helmet.

Feeling rough, but looking strong at the finish

Feeling rough, but looking strong at the finish





Drew, Jon and Dan R. contend for 24 Nats, and Sean and Todd ride with Ron Kiefel

24 06 2013

Jon throwing down at the 24 hours of Enchanted Forest National Championships

Jon throwing down at the 24 hours of Enchanted Forest National Championships

Drew, Jon, and Dan R. went down to Gallup, NM last weekend for 24 hour Nationals.  They rode solo in a large men’s open category.  Turns out the rain turned everything to mud around 11pm, so the race was shut down for 7 hours.  Come morning, Jon had put in 120 miles, and figured that was enough, so he focused his energy on supporting Deb, who won the 4 person women’s Team category.  Awesome.  Congrats, Deb.  Dan rode after the mud delay, and shot up to 15th. Drew knocked out another three laps after the morning start before clipping a pedal and supermanning it into the dirt.  He dislocated his shoulder in the process.  Later, he would tell me that he thought to himself  “WWJD”  or “What Would Jeff Do?”.

We often have the debate in the ER about whether to sedate people for shoulder reductions or not.  He prefers to knock em out, I prefer to give them no meds and slam it back in, Lethal Weapon style.  Actually, it’s very gentle, but the point is that we have different styles on shoulder relocation.  After the crash, he didn’t have the option of sedating himself, so he did it Wu style.  The tough mother-grabber put his own shoulder back in, and then rode 10 miles to get back to camp.  He packed it in at that point, finishing in 11th place.  He was in 5th at the time.

Nice work out there, you three.  I’ve officially retired from solo 24 hour racing, so hats off to anyone who is willing to suffer that much.

Jon, Dan R., Deb, and Drew at 24 hour Nats. Before the pain.

Jon, Dan R., Deb, and Drew at 24 hour Nats. Before the pain.

Team Headquarters

Team Headquarters

Mud Lap Casualty

Mud Lap Casualty

Deb and her Team on the Top Spot

Deb and her Team on the Top Spot

Sean and Todd finished up the RTR this past week.  Before they were done, they rode a stage with Ron Kiefel, who, despite a few extra years, can apparently still hammer.

Sean and Ron Kiefel

Sean and Ron Kiefel after sharing pulls at the Ride the Rockies.

Ron K. back in the 7-11 days.  No Helmet!

Ron K. back in the 7-11 days. No Helmet!





Naked Women Show Appreciation for Alchemist Team Riders

11 06 2013

Sean's caption for this, "Naked Girl swoon over the Alchemist magnetism"

“Naked Girls show appreciation for the domestique work of the Alchemist Team.”

Sean B. sent this photo of him and Todd at the Ride the Rockies.  The caption under the photo is his, not mine.  Domestiques, for those who don’t know,  typically ride at the front, blocking the wind for the Team leaders behind them.  So Sean, what you are telling me is that you and Todd rode at the front, pulling the Naked ladies along in your wake.  So that means they were looking at your asses the whole day?

You guys are doing it all wrong.





NAKED WOMEN Mix It Up with Alchemist Team Rider

10 06 2013

Sean B. gets busy at the Ride the Rockies with the Naked Women Race Team. Kris in an Alchemist made 303Cycling Kit joins in the fun.

Alchemist Team rider, Sean B. gets busy at the Ride the Rockies with the Naked Women Race Team. Kris in an Alchemist made 303Cycling kit joins in the fun.  Todd, where were you?

 

303cycling video of day #1








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