Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pulks are here

Pulks (sleds) came in this morning. Now I need to figure out the best way to pull them with the bike. I'll pull one of them around the park for a while and then experiment with pulling them on the mountain biking trails. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Used the aero bars on the dirt roads this morning. Worked better than expected. 

Monday, July 29, 2013


I took the aerobars off of my road bike and put them on my snow bike. The aerobars don't do any good for mountain biking, it just doesn't work to use them on technical single track trails.

However, on the trip to the South Pole I will be facing katabatic head winds on snow and ice. Riding for extended periods of time on aerobars takes some getting use to. So I figured it was time to put them on the bike and do a little bit more riding on the road down in the aero position. 

Felt like Autumn this Morning

It felt like autumn on this morning's bike ride. It rained a bit yesterday, and it was cloudy today which made the air have that cool fall feel.

Fall really is the best time of the year for mountain biking in Utah. Like the spring the temperatures are nice, but the trails in the spring are muddy. Wild flowers in the spring and summer are nice.
The snow in the winter is great
But nothing beats the colors of the fall.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

You can ride your bike to ___

I think we have become too dependent on the automobile. I frequently get asked why I walk to church. My answer is, why do you drive to church? It is less than 2 miles to church and is easily done by bike or foot. So my question is what do you do by car that could be done by bike instead?
  • Although 25% of all trips are less than 1 mile, 75% of these short trips are made by automobile
  • If Americans were to bicycle instead of drive for 60 minutes a day, gasoline demand would be reduced by over 48 billion gallons.
  • The average cost of driving a car is $8,946 per year. 
  • Average cost of driving is 59.6¢ per mile. If you were to replace 20 miles of commute (10 miles one way) per day 5 days a week you would save $59.60 per week, or $3,099.20 per year!
  • Riding a bike improves your health and reduces obesity.
  • Being obese cost between $2,646 and $4,879 per year. Add in the cost of lost life expectancy and the cost of being obese is $6,518 to $8,365 per year!
The South Pole Epic is attempting to be the first to bike to the South Pole so that we can improve peoples lives by promoting cycling.

Riding a bike:
  • Burns calories. On average 500 to 900 calories per hour depending on fitness level and effort.
  • Can be done for many tasks that are commonly done by car
  • Boosts energy by 20% and reduces fatigue by 65%
  • Is good for your heart. Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the USA. Cycling reduces blood pressure and lowers cholesterol.   
Leave a comment filling in the blank:
If Dan will bike to the South Pole I will bike to __

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ride a Bike

For those of you who like to read the last chapter of a book first here it is, and for the rest of you here it is anyway:

Living a healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet and exercise will improve your quality of living and help you live a longer.

This is not earth shattering news, we all know it is true. The news is filled with stories like this one that says that a healthy diet and lifestyle reduces Alzheimer's disease and the dementia caused by the disease. The story says, "I am in my 50's, what I do now may determine whether I develop dementia when I'm in my 70s or 80s."

My wife's knee needed a few stitches
after she went mountain biking
with me.
I frequently ask myself, "Why am I doing this?" It is very hard to work 14 hour days 6 days a week, with something like 4 days a year off. I have people say to me, "but you are doing what you love." Yes I love biking, but when you have to take out loans so you can pay your property taxes and then they raise the property taxes by another $900 this year, when you struggle to have your wife go to the instacare center to get stitches because you can't afford insurance and can't afford to pay for the stitches, when you can't heat your house in the winter and you struggle to keep the pipes from freezing, and a million other things that you can't afford but you have to do anyway, and then realize that the solution is really simple, "go back to being a programmer and earn a living", when you look at all of this, there has to be more than "you love what you are doing" to make it worth doing.

The thing is, as a computer programmer I would have more free time to go biking. I'm told that the unemployment rate for programmers in Utah right now is 1/2 of 1 percent, and because of that programmer wages are very high right now. I could go back to being a programmer, and love what I am doing, and provide the income my family needs. So why don't I sell my bike store and go back to programming?

I think the answer is two things:

  1. I can't give up. I think I am close to getting the bike store to being profitable and getting to where I can provide for my family's basic needs, and I just can't give up when I am this close to making it.
  2. I want to make a difference, and I believe I am doing that with my bike store. I believe that biking saved my life, and I believe that I can help others have a better quality of life and a longer life if I can help them get out on a bike and be active.
So, I need your help. A lot of you have donated to my expedition using the GoFundMe project I have set up. If you have donated, I am extremely grateful for your help, if you haven't please consider giving a donation, even a small amount helps. I will be using this expedition to continue my efforts to get more people out riding bikes and improving their lives.

Also I think the nature of this expedition will make for a great return on investment for companies that are willing to sponsor the expedition. We have already had a lot of media coverage, and of course the media coverage will be exponentially higher in December and January as we journey to the bottom of the world. I need some great companies that can understand what a great opportunity this is to get some great publicity. If you know of such a company, or if you work for such a company, let me know.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Giant Link

Spent the day today at the Giant Link where they give their dealers training on their latest products. After meetings in the morning the rest of the day was spent riding the new bikes. As you can see in this picture there are a lot of bikes available to test ride. 
 I got there a few minutes after they opened up the demos which means the nice full suspension cross country carbon 27.5 bikes were all ready out. So I told them I would ride the trail 27.5 bike. I ended up with the gravity version of the bike. Awesome bike, but I wanted to start out climbing. The cool thing is, even thought this is a plush bike designed to going hard on the downhills, it is a good climber. Flip the rear shock into climb mode and all pedal bob disappears. The fork also has the ability to go from 160 to 140mm of travel giving the bike a better climbing geometry. However the 34 tooth single chainring made it hard to pedal up the steeper hills. So amazing climber for a bike that is designed to go downhill.

I then traded for the aluminum cross country 27.5 bike. Much more what I am use to. The 27.5 inch wheels make for a quicker acceleration giving the snap needed to get over technical rocky sections. Yet the wheels rolled fast and provided a lot of traction like you expect from a 29er. Giant is making a huge investment into the 27.5 wheel size, and I think it will make a lot of customers happy.

Some of the 27.5 bikes. Giant asked that we not post closeup shots of the bikes, or give out bike names so I figure this slightly out of focus picture works.

Numb Toes and 27.5

My toes are back!

Back in June I did the White Rim in a Night. 100 miles on rough terrain with no suspension other than the fat tires beat me up, but after getting some sleep I was feeling good again. That is except for my toes. I have been living with numb toes for nearly a month now.

I think part of the problem was the saddle. I changed the saddle to the Giant Flow 1 saddle. I think it does a better job of not pinching the nerves.

I also started taking B-complex vitamins. Years ago I cut the nerve in my left ring finger. I went to a neurologist. He said he could do surgery and attempt to reconnect the nerve, but it wasn't guaranteed it would work. I decided it wasn't worth doing the surgery. However, the neurologist recommended that I take large doses of vitamin B-12 and that maybe the nerve would reconnect itself. My finger is still numb so the B-12 didn't work, but B-12 is suppose to help the nerves so I started taking the B vitamins hoping that would bring the feelings back to my feet back.

I don't know if I can credit the B vitamins, the saddle, or just time with having my toes almost back to normal, but it is nice to have them back.


A few months ago we were speculating what Giant would do for 2014 bikes. I had heard enough to suspect that they would be coming out with a bike with 27.5 inch wheels. Then a few weeks ago they did an early release on their 27.5 Talon sport mountain bike. 

Today I am at Giant's dealer convention where they show us all the new stuff for the new year. Giant is going big with the 27.5 bikes. Everything from entry level hard tail mountain bikes to full suspension carbon fiber performance mountain bikes. Not only that but they have the full range of 27.5 women specific mountain bikes. 

I will get my first test ride of the 27.5 bikes later today. I usually end up doing my riding in the mornings and then work all day so it will be strange to have the biking in the middle of the day, but I am excited to go out and ride the new bikes.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I was working on the Cedar Pass Ranch trail on Monday and a piece of wood flipped up and got stuck in my eye. I couldn't get it out so I finished my trail work enduring the pain. When I got home I looked and looked in the mirror turning my eyelid inside out and I just couldn't find it. So I started to wonder if it wasn't there and my eye was hurting so bad from all the yanking on my eyelid.

Well, this morning it finally moved into the corner of my eye and I got it out. It turned out to be a cheat grass seed not a piece of wood. It is amazing that such a big seed could get stuck in my eye and I couldn't find it for two days.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

studio c

I have been following a family's blog on their trip from Alaska down the Alcan Highway. It is an amazing trip for a family with small kids. It was fun working with them as they prepared for their expedition. On the last day before they left one of the young daughters told me I should check out Studio C on YouTube. They have a lot of fun clean videos.

The other day I found this Studio C video

So, John (or whatever your name is) you can help. Be a philanthropist and like my Facebook page. :-)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Flash Flood

  • On Aug 5 last year we saw lightning hit the hill side about 2 miles north of our home. It started a little fire, it seemed it would be easily put out. Unfortunately by the time they started to fight the fire it was out of control and it ended up burning for over a week and burned 5,771 acres.
  • Saturday we had a nice storm roll through the area giving us some much needed rain. We don't get a lot of rain during the summer so we are very grateful we we do get some. 
  • My back property line is the Tickville Gulch. I have been working on the trail through the gulch for a few years and have enjoyed biking and walking along the trail.
  • On Sunday's I walk through the gulch to get to church. 

This Sunday when I got down to the gulch I had to turn around because the rainstorm hit the burn area, and flash flooded down the Tickville Gulch leaving behind a black slick muddy streak. Although most of the water was gone by the time I got there, I could see that the water had been up to 5 feet deep.
The flow of water left a trail of black soot 

Panoramic view of the trail of black soot

A wide spot in the flow

Black soot left behind

The difference in color is from the soot left behind

Just a little bit of water was still in brown black puddles in the bottom of the gulch

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Snow in July

I dreamt that it snowed last night. It was such a strange thing to have a couple of inches of snow on the ground in the middle of July, especially when it had been over 100° the day before.

I decided to get my snow bike and go for a ride, but before I could get on my bike all the snow had melted.

I'm not sure what it means. Maybe that I need to enjoy the snow when I can.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I should get Neosporin to sponsor me. Meanwhile I think I need to go buy a new tube. I end up with a lot of scratches on my legs from the sage brush along the side of the trail, but today I had a couple of crashes. I endoed coming down a new section of trail.

And then I crashed trying to climb up this little rock garden.
Well, the videos didn't do it justice, so I'm going to end this post and go get that Neosporin.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013




Yukimarimo south pole dawn 2009.jpgThe high temperatures at my house have been 105º F the last couple of days. Meanwhile in Antarctica the temperature is -82º F, and a little over a month ago they were -104º F. A combination of a little humidity, and dropping temperatures creates hoar frost. Add a light wind and the electrostatic attraction of ice crystals forms little snowballs that roll around the Antarctic Plateau.  I found a nice little video of the Yukimarimo blowing about like tumble weeds.

And for good measure here is a Utah tumbleweed.