Friday, August 23, 2013

The Key

I hate it when I get to the store and realize I forgot my keys. Fortunately I left early enough this morning to ride back to my house get the keys and then go back to the store.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Mania

Owning a bike store is hard. I spend on average 14 hours a day 6 days working at the store. I don't get any vacations and I only get a few holidays off each year. And to top it off I can't afford to pay myself. I sometimes (maybe too frequently) tell people this, but I really don't think they understand. Frequently people will say, "Yeah, but your living the dream!"

The truth is, this is not my dream. There are two main reasons I am doing a bike store: One, I'm trying to help people get out and ride bikes in the hope that it improves their health and helps them live longer and have a better quality of life. Two, I am trying to do something productive that I can make a living at. I think I am being productive, and I think eventually I'll get this to the point that I can pay myself a small wage.

But, again this is not my dream job. My dream job has always been to be out doing what I love and getting payed for it. Currently that is biking. Yes, working in a bike store is related, but the dream job would be getting payed to be riding a bike.

My fantasy job is to build a mountain bike trail on a Caribbean island, get a fleet of mountain bikes, and then take cruise passengers on a day shore excursion mountain biking in the tropical forrest. I've looked at Caribbean real estate, I've looked at suitable islands that are close to an island that has a port frequented by cruise ships. I could pick up the customers and take them by boat to my little island and have a fun day exploring, checking out the forest, and enjoying some time on sweet single track.

The Caribbean mountain bike business is probably not reasonably doable. Besides my family, for some strange reason that I can't quite figure out, does not want to move to the Caribbean.

Biking to the South Pole is clearly more extreme than my Caribbean mountain bike destination, but is doable. I have put a lot of time, thought and effort into this idea. My wife accuses me of having a one track mind. She says I am like Mr Toad in The Wind in the Willows moving from one mania to the next. The problem is, she is correct.

So the South Pole Epic isn't my dream, but for sure it is my mania.

Rainy Morning

It is just a light rain. The fat tires should do a good job of packing and smoothing the trail. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Saratoga Springs Triathlon ... on a Fat Bike

Yesterday was the Saratoga Springs Triathlon. I had been talking for a while about doing it using my snow bike, and the night before actually got signed up for the event.

Back in the spring I was training for the Ice Breaker Triathlon thinking maybe I could win my age group and then switched to training for the South Pole Epic and didn't do the tri. So I haven't done any swimming or running since early March. The timing company still hasn't posted split data so all the following data is based off my Garmin 910XT

Swim - 20:35 

Last year I did the SS Tri without a wetsuit thinking the faster transition time would be better than the wetsuit. Big mistake! So this year I did the wetsuit, and even with the lack of training improved on my swim time, and more importantly I felt much better about my swim. I stayed on course a lot better, and didn't cramp up during the swim.

Fat bike in a sea of road bikes

Bike - 48:11

This is the fun part of the tri. I was passed by a lot of people on their road and/or tri bikes, but managed to pass a few people on mountain bikes, and even passed a couple of people on road bikes. I felt a bit bad for people getting passed by a fat bike, but with the noise the Bud and Lou tires were making on the road they knew I was coming.

Run - 28:05

Running uses different muscles than biking, and I usually end up real sore if I run a mile after not having run for a long time. I decided I really didn't care about my times, it was just about having fun doing a tri with a fat bike, so like the swim, bike, and transitions I just had fun and didn't try to push it. I was able to run the full distance and didn't end up with any muscle soreness the next day.

Official finish time is 1:40:29.2 which puts me near the bottom of the age group but I had a great time doing a Fat Bike tri.

Now back to getting ready for the snow and ice.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bag Full of Crumbs

Strapped my Shimano cowbell to my Giant Anthem so I would be able to keep up with Juan Carlos on this morning's ride. Had a lot of fun showing him all the trails I've built lately.

After getting back to the road, and heading to work, again I was passed by a road biker and so I hopped on and drafted most of the way to work. Thanks whoever you were for pulling.

When I got to my bike store I went next door to get some food for today's lunch. Saw some guy loading chips onto the shelves. No wonder there is always half a bag full of crumbs at the bottom of the bag.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Took my son to the Post Office to get my passport renewed for the South Pole expedition and to get my son's first passport as he prepares to serve as a missionary. He is hoping to be able to leave on a mission before he graduates from high school. He should get his associates degree from UVU a few weeks before his high school graduation, and figures once he has his associates degree he should be able to go.  

When asked where I was going, and I said to bike to the South Pole, the Post Office worker said she had read about the story in the paper and knew all about the expedition. I get this a lot when I tell people about the expedition. It is cool to see other people getting excited about the expedition, and being told that it is inspiring them get out on their bikes.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Fat Drafting

On the way to work today, I was headed down SR73 on my fat bike, and some lady passed me riding a bike she probably bought at Epic Biking.

After she passed I wondered to myself, "if I draft off of her will I be able to keep up with her skinny 23c tires with my fat 5 inch tires?" So I put a little sprint in and jumped into her slipstream. 

OK, we all know that drafting works, but I was actually surprised that I could coast along as she pedaled down the hill. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Shimano Cowbells

A couple of people I know have started riding with bear bells. I'm not worried about running into a bear, I'm worried about other bikers, so I think I'll put one of these biker bells that my Shimano rep gave on my bike. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

And that has made all the difference

Either there are a lot of horned lizards on my trail, or I keep finding the same one almost every time I go to the top of the hill I am calling The Horned Lizard Hill.  I have gotten a few videos of him, but this time I used my iPod to take some stills.
Here he is on my full fingered Pearl Izumi gloves getting a view of the valley below.

On my way to work this morning I stopped to move some shredded tires off the road. They cause a lot of flats. Anyway, as I was cleaning off the road I came to this fork in the road and I, I took the one less traveled by.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Strange Dreams

The rain on Monday helped my trail, but then I took my McLeod to the trail on my way home last night. Fixed up a narrow spot, and did a little bit of whacking the brush back from the trail. My legs are getting pretty scratched up. Anyway, any work I do on the trail leaves is dry and dusty. We could use some more rain. Weather forecast calls for a small chance a rain. I'm hopeful.

When I sleep in I have strange dreams. This morning I slept in until about 6am. I dreamt that I had a fat belly, and when someone questioned me about it I told them it was OK, because I needed the extra fat to go to the South Pole. I think it is highly likely that I will loose weight on this expedition, so I haven't been worried too much about my weight. I'm still keeping it in check, but a few pounds higher than normal.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Looks Like Rain

Looks like a thunderstorm is headed over my trails. With all the work I put into the trails last week it will be nice to get a little rain to firm up the trail. 

I was talking to people about the trail last Saturday and then found them out riding the trail on Saturday and Sunday. Nice to see people enjoying all the work I put into the trail. The one guy I talked to had a hard time finding the start of the trail. So here is a picture showing the break in the fence where the trail starts.

This picture is not black and white,
 it's just that the flood left everything coated in black soot.
My wife get jealous of how much time I put into the trail instead of working on the yard. So I took her out for a walking date to at least let her have some of the benefits of all the work I have been doing. She thought the big cracks in the drying mud left over from the flash flood was cool looking, so I took this picture for her.

I talked with Eric Larsen at the Outdoor Retailer last week. It was great to be able to get a little insight into his attempt to bike to the South Pole last year. We talked about pulling a pulk vs. using panniers. I'm thinking of adding a rack and panniers to the bike.

I saw this bag at the Giant dealer show a couple of weeks ago. Looks like it could be a good bag for the expedition.