Tag Archives: racing

ICUP #6 Stan Crane Memorial Race Report

30 May

I’ve been flying high for the last 36 hours. The rush that comes with winning a race is a mighty fine feeling to have. The rush that comes when you AND your significant other win at the same race, well, that is some sweet sweetness for sure. I wish it upon everybody.

Before the race I had duct taped the words or affirmations, if you will, “Beat Bob” along with “Win Susan” on the front and back of my jersey before the race The purpose was twofold, to hopefully, spur me on to dig deep for a good cause and to psyche out Bob. Why single out Bob with the duct tape message?

  1. He won the last the expert class race so, he was an appropriate target.
  2. I knew he’d enjoy the attention.
  3. I knew I’d enjoy the attention.
  4. I really wanted to beat him.
  5. I really just wanted to wear pink duct tape.

It worked.

The affirmations were just part of my winning strategy. Because I ride Clarks trail several times a week I felt like I had the home court advantage on the downhill. Also, the Vassago Jabber Wocky totally feels like an extension of my body, it handles so well that I’m pretty sure I could have done the downhill blindfolded . I knew If I could beat everyone to the top of the climb and hit the downwhill first then there was no way anybody was going to hang with me.

Yes, I was feeling “it”. “It” doesn’t come around often enough.

Chris Bingham tried very hard to foil my plan but my affirmations were just too powerful, he flatted just as we started the downhill and that was it. I didn’t see anyone for the rest of the race.

I had drained one water bottle on the first climb and got a little concerned as I lost my second water bottle on the first descent. Didn’t need it, didn’t need food, didn’t need anything. I was fueled by endorphins. I was so giddy by the time I crossed the finish line that I lost all decorum (yes, I had some, once) and was shouting,”I won! I won! I won!” and pumping my fists in the air and slobbering all over myself and anyone that got too close.

Great race and great friends. I’m pretty sure I enjoy hanging out with friends and meeting new people before and after the races more than the races themselves. Maybe.

5 Mile Pass Race Report

5 May

Neither Tasha nor I were too excited about racing 5 Mile Pass on Saturday. Tasha pre-rode it a few days before and proclaimed it a terrible race course. It didn’t help that she and Whitney got lost and did a hike-a-bike that was twice as long and steeper than the one they’d be hiking on Saturday.

I was questioning the wisdom of doing a long, notoriously brutal XC race only a week after the RAWROD spectacular.

Of course, we went anyway.

Tasha and Dot battled back and forth for the lead most of the race and then Tasha flatted and lost a chain. I think she did great still pulling off a 5th place finish after all that. I also take full responsibility for her bike problems. I should have known better than to Stans her wheel the day before a race. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb!

It’s amazing how calm and relaxed you can feel right before the start of a race when you have no expectations. I also had a good excuse already formulated if I did poorly.

We had a pretty good group show up which lowered my expectations even further.

I knew it would be a long day so I tried to sit in but I tend towards impatience (imagine that) and decided to jump out front. That worked for a little while until we hit some downhill sections. That would set the tone for the rest of the day. Other than Fred who put a good gap on me on the first long downhill I yoyo’ed back and forth with Bob for 2nd and 3rd position most of the race.

Bob finally dropped off (thankfully, as he was really putting the hurt on me) on the 3rd lap but then I had to contend with Chris Bingham and Glenn Adams. They kept getting by me on the downhills and I couldn’t gap them far enough on the climbs. I ended up 4th.

I’m pretty happy with how I did as the flatter courses, which I struggle with, are now behind me for the season and I can look forward to the steeper, climby courses that are more my cup of tea.

BTW, Whitney Pogue who finally moved to Sport class promised before the race that if she won she would move up to Expert. She won by over 13 minutes, how bout just jumping right to the Pro class?

Cholla Challenge Race Report

13 Apr

Epic…camping. We arrived at the race site about 8 pm on Friday night to what felt like 100 mph winds and people folding up their tent trailers and heading back to town to find a room. We grilled brats inside the Yotavan on the stove while the wind howled and the dust and sand coated everything. I went upstairs to the tent condo while Tasha and Cassidy slept inside the van. It felt and sounded like I was in a washing machine until about 12:30 am when it died down and I finally got some sleep.

Cassidy was the first to race and stacked it up pretty good on her 3rd lap in the 10-12 category but finished anyway with bloodied knees and elbows. She rocks!

Tasha thinks she finished in 5th but isn’t sure. She is however, sure that she enjoyed grilling brats in the van more than she liked the Cholla course.

I lined up in the Expert 40+ category with the singular goal of beating Bob Saffel zero expectations other than to finish.

Things went how they usually go for me which is to say I went out way too hard and blew up on the 2nd of 3 laps. I had notions of soloing to a win after finishing lap number 1 in first place but that quickly disappeared as I got passed by just about everyone on lap 2. I thought I was done, cooked, baked.

I hung my head and pedaled on feeling like I was completely alone out on the course. No one in sight in either direction. I got off my bike towards the end of lap 2 to pee and stretch out a hamstring that was hurting. Nobody anywhere.

I started feeling better on lap 3 and began catching people which was a great morale boost. Off in the distance towards the bottom of the last climb I thought I spied a Revolution jersey, a carrot, and thought it might be Bob which gave me another boost. I caught up to him and he said if I passed he was getting off to pee. Sensing his discomfort with his bladder I obliged.

36 miles, 2.5+ hours and 3rd place.

Some observatons:

The dork bike rules! Loved everything about it.  It motored on the climbs and felt like a full suspension bike on the downhills. Really.

One porta-potty just doesn’t cut it.

I’m pretty sure everyone was drinking CarboRocket.  It was everywhere.

UtRider Mark in real life is much taller than on his blog.

My nemesis Kenny Jones was MIA and I wasn’t sure how I would cope without that carrot. Turns out I had eight other carrots.

Cholla Challenge Revisited

8 Apr

I did this race a few years back and it was hot, long and miserable. I ran out of water just before the last of 3 laps and ended up snagging a bottle of some red stuff from Cris fox. I chugged it as I was parched and knew I wouldn’t finish without it but as the liquid hit my lips my stomach started to churn.

I finished the race but could barely drive back to my parents house in Washington. I spent the next few hours alternating between flailing around on the floor and hugging the toilet while puking GU and red stuff. Everyone had to leave the house, I am very noisy and I was making everyone nauseous.

Last year was also hot and miserable. Kendra, my 12 year old, also finished her race but got so dehydrated we had to take her to the emergency room for an I.V.

Why am I so looking forward to this race this weekend? Weatherman says it’ll be hot. It’s going to be long. I’m sure it will be miserable. I can’t wait.

It’s my first big mountain bike race of the year. Tasha and kids will be there racing and sharing in the misery. We’ll be camping and cooking brats on the fire at night and bacon and eggs in the morning. Lots of good friends will be there and I’ll be getting worked over on the dork bike. Yeah, I can’t wait.

I’m So Weak

17 Mar

Usually, but not today. Today I was strong, so strong.

I went out on a road ride with the goal being to spin easily. I’ve actually got a few hard rides in lately and thought it would do me some good to take it easy today.

I was spinning along doing fine until this woman or girl, I couldn’t tell which as she was going too fast, went flying by me at warp speed on a tri-bike. I’m fine with a girl passing me and even fine that she was on a tri-bike. Really, it doesn’t bug me. At all. Seriously.

But, as she passed me she blurted out, “how you doin?” I was doing really fine until you blew past me like I was standing still thank you very much, I thought to myself.

Two thing happened at that very instant that prove I’m not as weak as I thought I was, at least not today anyways.

First, I bit my tongue and didn’t blurt out, “I’m just doing a recovery ride today.” which woulda made me seem like an idiot even though that is what I was thinking. Instead I said, “fine thanks, you?” Of course, she didn’t hear a word.

Second, I overcame the almost impossible to overcome urge to stand up, sprint by her and leave her in my dust. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to catch her but that’s not the point.

The point is I was tempted and didn’t take the bait. My flesh ain’t ain’t so weak. I can walk proud. I am strong. I have self discipline.

Desert Rampage 2008

2 Mar

I think I got more miles in this January than any other January to date. Even with the harsh winter we had in Northern Utah I still got in some extended weekends with long days of saddle time in Southern Utah and plenty of hours on the trainer while at home. I gave it all back in February.

Between my trip to Vietnam and being really sick most of last week I think I got on my bike a total of 3 times the entire month of February. I’m not complaining though, I did get that nice trip in and then I got to crew for my girls at the Rampage on Saturday.

They kicked ass. Tasha took 2nd in the women’s 35+ category and Kendra and Cassidy came in 1st and 2nd respectively in the girls 10-12 age group. I got to take care of them and cheer them on from the sidelines and take lots of pictures. That’s right, I didn’t race. I didn’t even take my bike so as not to be tempted.


I had a blast spectating for a change. I enjoyed watching the suffering as each racer headed out on another lap. Some with yellow rivers of snot flowing from nostrils to lips. I guess I wasn’t the only one getting over a cold or flu but my snot would have been green.

One of my favorite things about mountain bike races is re-connecting with old acquaintances that I’d label as best friends even though I tend to only run into them at the races. For example, Doug Rock. If there was an award for the nicest human being on planet earth it would be given to him annually. And then there’s Travis Brown. Ok, I just met him after the race but he chatted me with like we were old friends.

The usual people kicked the usual butt with one notable exception. Matt Ohran, who I can safely say I’ve been able to whoop on for the last number of years, must be on drugs. He stepped it up in the pro-class no less, taking 8th out of a huge pack. Surprised the hell outta me. Way to go Matt.

I had to borrow a camera as I left mine at home but here’s some of the better pics from the race.


Leadville Debt Ratio Too High

4 Jan

I’m at the 2008 Leadville Trail 100 racers meeting / pep-rally and Ken has just finished his little cheer. The pumped up crowd is filing out of the gymnasium headed for bed or to drink some beer and take their Ambien and then go to bed. I hear my name over the PA system. “Brad Keyes and Steve Fisher please come see Ken immediately.” What? Who is Steve Fisher? Why me? What did I do? WTF?


I make my way through the crowd to the front and spot Mr. short shorts himself. I say, “Ken, I’m Brad what’s up?” “Son, I’m really sorry but we can’t let you start the race tomorrow.” I just look at him like he’s an idiot and ask, “why?” “We got your debt ratio report back and I’m so sorry but it’s just way too high and we just can’t have that kind of thing at Leadville.”

I continue looking at him like he’s an idiot and I’m silent as my mind races to figure out which debt ratio is too high and why it even matters. It must be my oxygen debt ratio, that’s got to be it I thought. “Ken, I’ve done this race before, I’ll be OK. Really.” “Son, It’s your debt to income ratio. I’m sorry, but we can’t let you race. If we let you race we’ll have to let everyone with high DTI’s race. We have to draw the line somewhere.”

And so it was, I missed out on the 2008 Leadvile Trail 100. It was just a dream I had last night but man, it was the most realistic, memorable dream I think I’ve ever had. I’m not sure what if anything it means for me this year but it’s got me worried. Tasha says not to worry too much about the race, the dream just means that I’m gay.

There Will Be Blood

27 Dec

I can’t wait to see that movie but the blood I’m talking about will be on Squaw Peak on New Year’s day. I just got an e-mail from Kenny confirming the 2nd annual New Year’s Day Squaw Peak Hill Climb is set to begin at 10:00 a.m. Here’s a pic from last year and conditions appear to be similar. Looks like 12 showed up.


Get your new year’s resolutions off to a good start. Join us for a ride that will surely turn into a race up the Squaw Peak road to the Look-out parking lot. We’ll meet at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday the 1st at the parking lot at the bottom of the Squaw Peak road. It should take about 45 minutes to an hour to climb to the top. We’ll regroup at the top and race back down to the cars. There will be blood.

Don’t miss out on all the fun. Last year we had dislocated fingers, frost bitten toes, maxed heart rates and few coughed up lungs. I’m pretty sure everyone crashed at least once.