Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lubberline Billabong "Billy"

I just can't leave the post of Guinness and his passing as the last post of Team Terpening. Not that I didn't love him, it's just sad to see his "little buddy face" and not get teary. So here is the newest member of Team Terpening! He is pretty F...in cool! More pics to follow.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Guinness Gurney

Goodbye Guinness...You truly were one of a kind. I came into your life when you lived with Pete & Sarge and Mike Bodht just moved out. Those guys loved you so much. G definitly gave them his doggy love. He trained me to submit to him and taught me to love him with that face and those ears. I brought Bodhi over and hoped that you didn't hurt him and you did let him know you were the dog of the house but you loved him too-he was your brother from another mother. He had a few names: Little Buddy, Yellow Bear, GiGi, G, G-dog, G-love and the special Sausage(Bodhi) God Damn it Guinness, Precious Little One, and when he was really in trouble, Guinness O'Brien Patrick Gurney. Thunderstorms are not the same without you, I actually stayed awake the first one and waited for you and it made me really sad. The chipmunks have now taken over and soon the deer will start creeping in. I am sure your dad has many things to say about you but I just wanted to say to all your friends how much you taught me about alpha dogs and how much I still love you. Miss you little buddy, Sarah

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Blast From The Past

I've been going through the carload of crap that my folks felt necessary to drag all the way out to Arizona for me this fall.  50% miscellaneous items to be deposited in the Flagstaff landfill in the near future, 50% knick-knacks worth saving or passing along.  I came across the picture below, which I feel made my father's less than stellar gas mileage and carbon footprint from hauling 50% junk up and over the Rockies all worthwhile...
Circa 2002, A Special Place In My Heart For All Those Pictured Above And Those That Aren't In This Picture But Were Such A Vital Part Of My Summer Fun.  Mad Props!!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Fall Update

So I've been on a bit of a break from the bike (and training in general) for a couple of weeks now. My exercise has consisted of clearing ski runs in the woods and yoga. It's felt pretty good, but I'm going to start getting back into "training" mode this week. So I'll be cutting/hauling a little extra firewood and running around in the woods until the snow flies. In a complete departure from anything bike or ski related, I've also started a very interesting and fun project this fall. A good customer of ours happens to be an expert boat builder, and this winter he is helping me (or maybe I'm helping him) build a kayak. We've been at it for a few weeks now, working for a few hours every Monday evening. It's been quite interesting learning about the design and lofting process. We've just about gotten the drawing out of the way, and we should begin building in another week or two. Below are some shots of the full size drawing so far.

Only a couple of Wednesday's left before the men with guns start populating the woods, so get it while the getting's good. I'll be at the WNR(un) tomorrow and the next week so I'll hope to see some of you out there as well. Over and out.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Cyclocross Sunday

Our very own Twisted Stone/Latitude 45 team put on a cyclocross race on Sunday at the Winter Sports Park in downtown Petoskey. It was really fun. It hurt really bad coming on the heels of Saturday's race. The weather was excellent. The turnout of both spectators and racers was great for the first year. Thanks to the boys for putting it all together. Someone even put together a little youtube recap. Check it.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Cry Baby 2011

The extra mileage added onto the course this year makes this race an official motherfu**er, but in a good way. 9.3 miles a lap and over 1,300 ft. of climbing per. Even with the advantage of gears, it would be brutal. Running the 34/18 on the singlespeed today made for an extra special sweet kind of suffering, a kind I have not experienced for quite some time. I don't recall a mountain bike race in which I saw my heartrate pop over the 180 mark quite so many times as it did this morning. Rarely did it dip below 170. Just to change things up and make it interesting this year I tried a new race prep routine. It was really quite simple, I did nothing to prepare. We had some friends over for dinner last night and consumed a tad too much vino. This morning I got up and had breakfast, put on most of my kit followed by some tights and a sweatshirt, gave the tires a quick squeeze before loading the bike, and left the house about 45 minutes before the start. It was cold, like 41 degrees cold. My feet never warmed up, but other than that the cold temps. didn't bother me too much. I came to work after the race, so I wasn't able to stick around and see the results. I'm pretty sure though that unless one of the other 6 or 7 expert singlespeeders dropped out, I may very well have finished DFL. But given the fact that I don't race too much cross country anymore, and the fact that in order to tackle three laps on this course without gears requires a pretty good level of fitness to begin with I was pretty happy with how the race went. I measured out the pace pretty well, and stayed real consistent all the way through (consistently in pain and suffering that is). So two weeks now until the last bike race of the season. Then it's time to switch over to some trail running, stairs, and roller skiing. Oh yeah, I'm doing a cyclocross race tomorrow too at the Winter Sports Park in Petoskey. Most of the team should be there, and I'm fully expecting a good time. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Grand Island

I was able to talk Matt into taking a little adventure with me over the weekend. I picked him up Sunday morning, and we drove up to Munising to catch the noon ferry over to Grand Island to ride around and camp out for the night. The island, and really the whole trip, far exceeded both our expectations. The campsite we stayed at on the north end of the island was hands down one of the most spectacular campsites I've ever stayed at. The riding was way better than we thought it would be too. Lots of elevation changes, great views of surrounding islands/cliffs/pictured rocks, and just enough roots and rocks on the trail to keep it interesting. The best part was that we pretty much had the whole island to ourselves. We rode just over 30 miles on the first day and another 11 yesterday. That pretty much covered most of the terrain on the island; and that whole time, I think we saw less than ten other people. I told Matt yesterday on the ride back to the ferry that "you know someplace is truly awesome when you are already figuring out how to get back before you've even left."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BIkepacking 101

Throughout the summer I've spent a half dozen nights or so in the woods working the kinks out of my "bikepacking" setup. I think Sarge posted up a link to this site before, but here it is again for everything and anything you ever wanted to know about the emerging cycling subculture of bikepacking. Anyway, I've had this route in mind for a while. This weekend was my first attempt of it. Basically my plan was to ride the NCT up to Mackinaw City and then head south on the old rail trail past Indian River. From there I was planning on hooking back into the NCT via Thumb Lake Rd. and continuing north to complete the loop. The first half went very well. I made it to a suitable campsite along the river south of Indian River after 85 miles and about 8.5 hours in the saddle. I had stopped at the Keyhole for lunch at about 2:30, so I wasn't super hungry when I made my final resupply for the night. Therefore, I walked out of the gas station with a bag of cashews, a large bag of cheese it's, a big bottle of water, and a tallboy of Blue. What a dinner indeed. So during the night it began to rain very hard. Fortunately my hammock tent setup kept me dry and cozy once again. In the morning it was still raining hard so I waited around and had a breakfast of a Clif Bar with the leftover cheese it's. By 10:30 it was pretty clear that it was not going to clear up, so I packed up. From my GPS it appeared that home was about 35 miles due east, and that seemed plenty far to ride in the downpour. So that's what I did. The highway between Indian River and Alanson was interesting in a scary kind of way. The traffic was intense, but I did have on a bright ass yellow coat, a rear red blinker, and I even turned my headlight onto flash mode just to be on the safe side. So my shortened loop ended up being 118.6 miles. I'm thinking the whole deal will run over 150 miles for sure. A couple of lessons learned on this trip: One, I need to pay a little better attention to my nutrition. I was tending towards thinking I didn't need to worry about eating so much because I was riding at a more relaxed pace, but it turns out you still burn calories even if you're not operating at full on race pace. Just south of I. RIver I started to bonk pretty bad, but a kind bar and some cashews set me straight. Two, while I stayed nice and dry in my hammock some of my gear did not. I'll need to take a little better care of getting gear stored under protection of the rain fly. Other than that, the trip went pretty well. The legs felt pretty good both days, and the discomfort from carrying the extra weight on my back was minimal. One last note, you may think the flat rail trail from Mackinaw City south would be a piece of cake. I sure did. I'm here to tell you it's a bear. It's flat so there is no coasting.....for over 40 miles. To add insult to injury, there was a stiff wind out of the southeast making a 11 mph pace barely sustainable. So that's that. Hope to see everyone on Wednesday. Enjoy the crappy phone pictures and ride data below. Over and out.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Making The Best Of It

Spending the first weekend after Labor Day in the greater Metro Detroit area is far from ideal. But there was a cousin's wedding and Sarah needed to get her foot fixed, so here we are. I did get a good ride in on some new to me trails at he Highland Park Recreation Area. They were quite typical of downstate trails, very twisty, rooty, and rocky. Hills were short and steep. On the way to Sarah's aunts house after the ride, I got to experience a good traffic jam on the freeway. It took about an hour to go less than a mile before I could get off the freeway. I made the rest of the journey without too much hassle, but all told it turned what should have been a 38 minute trip into something closer to 2 hours. But I did get to see a lot of suburbia that was totally new to me. The wedding reception was exactly what one would expect if you tried to picture the quintessential generic downstate wedding. Sunday was a bonus day. The hotel had an Aubrey's pizza place next door, and the Lion's pulled off the big W on the road in Tampa Bay. So we head over the doctor's office in a few minutes for Sarah's surgery and with any luck we'll be safely back above the 45th sometime this evening. I hope not to venture south of it again for many moons. All the people, cars, and pavement are enough to drive you insane.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Coconino 250, Stage 1, Part A

During a conversation with WPG the other day, he expressed his interest in flying out to the southwest for the Coconino 250, a 250-mile grassroots mountain bike stage race here in northern Arizona.  I've taken it upon myself to help him out by doing some reconnaissance by riding the route myself in smaller stages over the course of the next 8 months.  So, here's the first in a series of posts regarding the route:

Stage 1, Part A: New Frontiers to Marshall Lake

I began at New Frontiers (a local health food store here in Flag) and headed out for the first 10.4 miles of the ride from the start, near Lonetree and Butler Ave., to Marshall Lake.  Once off the pavement of Lonetree Road, the route follows about a mile of the Flagstaff Urban Trail before it veers off on the Arizona Trail (AZT).  It immediately brought back some fond memories for me.  I did my first group ride since moving to Arizona on this trail, and I also had my first Arizona OTB wipeout here.  Since I generally stick to the trails near Mt. Elden and Fort Valley, it's been years since I've ridden this section of the AZT, and I forgot how absolutely beautiful it is this time of year - lush and green.  The single track winds through the forest on an old double track and drops into singletrack that rolls through some open meadows below Fisher Point.  At about mile 4.9, the trail splits for a route to Fisher Point or a route towards Marshall Lake.  At this point, and although I'm familiar with the area, I realized how important it will be to carry the cue sheets, especially in areas that I am unfamiliar with.  The mileage seems very accurate and will be a necessary and handy thing to guide you/me through the course.
AZT Shortly Before the Junction to Fisher Point and Marshall Lake
Heading along the AZT towards Marshall Lake, the trail crosses a drainage before it heads up to the top of the Mesa.  Here begins the first of several hilly challenges.  A series of switchbacks lead you up the mesa and eventually to a loose, rocky straight up climb.  It's a challenging climb by itself.  I would imagine that with the required bikepacking gear, it's certainly a hike-a-bike.  I walked several portions of it carrying only my CamelBak. Once on top of the mesa, the singletrack trail undulates across a series of valleys through ponderosa pine forest.  I had two bull elk cross the trail in front of me, as I dropped down into one of the valleys.  A beautiful sight. The wildlife only got better.  As I cruised along, I approached a full tank on the right.  To my surprise, I saw what, at first I thought was a large black dog running away from the tank, but it turned out to be the first black bear I've ever seen in the wild in Arizona.  So cool!!!  And after some further map reading, I'm pretty sure that the tank is called Bear Tank...  kind of fitting.
AZT Singletrack Before It Heads Up to the Top of the Mesa Towards Marshall Lake
The trail emerges from the forest into an open meadow.  The nearly level singletrack is fairly smooth going, but with an occasional cluster of rocks, just often enough to keep you honest and on top of your game.  Around mile 9.8, the trail starts to descend towards Marshall Lake.  Now, as you'll see in the picture below, keep in mind that Marshall Lake is a seasonal lake.  Generally a small marshy body of water during the spring and wet times of the year.  Right now, it's dried up to almost a nonexistent body of water.  And at this point, the end of the first leg of my reconnaissance. Time to turn around and head home (please see this post about the return trip).
Marshall Lake, Almost Completely Dried Up
Next - Stage 1, Part B:  Marshall Lake to Mormon Lake Road, approx. 20.6 miles.