Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Year

I tried to summon the energy for an end of the year re-cap post, but it's raining out and I just don't have it in me. So I give you the "reader's digest" condensed version instead.

I had a good ski season in 2010, but it wasn't super. I did a couple of new to me marathons (Noquemenon and Birkie), and what I learned in those races will hopefully translate to some better results this winter.

My bike season was filled with ups and downs. Getting shut out of the Lumberjack threw a huge wrench into my schedule. Having a 100 mile race on the calendar in mid June forces me to build a really good base in the spring, and the actual race gives me a great boost of fitness that generally lasts me threw the summer. We'll see what happens next year.

Thanks to all the WNRiders for helping me to at least maintain some sort of fitness and structure. Special props to the hearty few that kept her going up to #40. And thanks to Sarah for putting up with me and helping out at all the races.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010


A GREAT way to finish the 2010 riding season with our 40th Wednesday Night Ride in the snow! Commemorated appropriately with a 40 of Post Bicycling Refreshment...thanks to Secret Steve. If you've been paying attention, you'll understand the title of this post (if not XL is the roman numeral for 40) and that the moniker doubly symbolizes the essence of the 2010 riding season. As if 40 weeks of riding weren't enough to make the year extra large, the Wednesday night group grew in number of riders and also in it's caliber of participants. Not since the 'old days' with Drew & Sarge have we pushed the group ride envelope in the way that we did this year. More rides, more riders, more trails, more miles, more races & much more fun. From starting the season on St. Patrick's Day to continuing into deer season (riding trails closed to hunters) and beyond, into 4 consecutive Snow rides! Including #40 with the crew pictured below. The quartet consisted of myself, Charlie, S.Steve & Kevin all determined to complete the landmark ride. Thought we might coax a few more out either to try their wheels on the snow or to join us on skis, snowshoes or even by such luck. We met just above the Meadow & rode down Warwick road to the snow-mo-bike trail, only saw one snowmobile on the trail and only passed one truck on the roads to & from so we know there were witnesses besides case you think the photos were staged.

The bar was set awfully high in 2010 (in more ways than one) and not likely to be replicated any time soon, barring a serious climate shift or a group shift to more southern latitudes...not bloody likely. I want to say that it was an absolute joy to ride with each and every one of you this year (even up the cart path) and I look forward to our continued single-track adventures! Merry Bike-mas & Happy New Rides!

Merry Christmas

Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday this year. I'll be skiing.

Monday, December 20, 2010


How do you make a Bike Stand?
Ride until the snow is deep enough!

In an effort to keep the WNR reports fresh this late in the season, I've decided to see how many different ways I can title the report count. This week is probably the least recognizable as I've gone binary - If you don't like it, don't let a geek write the blog. The 1's & 0's above represent 39 - Yes, we are still riding in the snow and we are one ride away from hitting a very high mark for number of weeks that we have held a weekly ride in one calendar year. Not only are the report titles fresh, WNR #39 headed to a fresh venue in Charlevoix for Snow Ride #3 at Fisherman's Island State Park. If that weren't enough to be excited about, Secret Steve showed up with his new snowmo-bike - a new Pugsley and a new WNRider, Cooper Dendel - eager to show us her riding chops and take on her first WN/Snow Ride.

We landed in CVX at Kevin's suggestion, hoping that we would be able to ride some groomed, if not well packed, trails. We launched from the entrance of the park as that is as far as the road was plowed & Kevin didn't really feel like towing anyone out. There were actually some solid tracks along the access road and the ride started out pretty easy...then we turned off-road onto the hiking/skiing/snowshoeing trail. Thanks to a two-day stiff north wind and the lake effect machine, conditions were not as ideal as when Kevin first scouted the park. There were a few fresh inches of snow along with a mix of hiking & snowshoe tracks. As we've learned riding in the snow this year, it's actually easier breaking trail than following in other's footsteps (I'm sure there's a metaphor in there somewhere.) Unfortunately, the trail was fairly narrow and riding on the sides was not an option. This combined with a few downed trees, some narrow, rooty turns and a few mild inclines made for an extremely challenging first couple of miles. Then we turned back out to the access road at the south end of the park which followed the shoreline back to the start. Some sections of the road were blown clear while others were drifted shut and had it not been for an adventurous drift-busting 4-wheel driver, our ride would definitely have been extended.
What the ride lacked in mileage, it made up for in least the first half of the ride. The grand total was only around 4 1/2 miles, not very impressive by most of our WNRides but we kept the streak going and had a pretty good time to boot. Not to mention adding another name to our roster of die hard riders. Way to go Cooper!

Here's picture proof that we at least dressed up & took the Pugsley out in the snow! Man those are some FAT tires!
You know that we're going for 40! If you want to be a part of the historic ride of 2010, get your bike, cold weather gear, headlight(s) and rear blinker & meet us at the top of Emmet Heights Rd. in Harbor (just above the Meadow) for a ride on the snowmobile trails & two-track to round out our awesome year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Movie Night at the Orpheum Theater

The Orpheum Theater here in Flagstaff was home to the Northern Arizona Premiere of the new mountain bike film "Life Cycles".  Kristina and I made our way down to watch it last night; and, by all means, if it's playing in your neck of the woods, go see it.  It's an excellent film that is sure to inspire and awe.  As I usually feel about movies like this, I was amazed to see riders on that thin line between completely shredding the gnar and being completely out of control...  Although maybe being out of control is the definition of shredding the gnar.  Watch the movie and see if you can figure that one out for yourself.

Life Cycles OFFICIAL Trailer from Life Cycles on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Surf's Up!

A few of the dudes we know round these parts (particularly Secret Steve and Marcus) have to taken to this whole cold weather surfing thing. I'm told that with the right gear it is not uncomfortably cold, but I'm not sure I believe it. I do like the water, and it does look like fun. Unfortunately, my sporting world is currently filled to capacity between the biking and the skiing. If and when I win the lottery/retire I may give it a try though. Good work WNRiders on keeping the streak alive. I've fully made the transition to skis now, and my first race is a little less than four weeks away. Enjoy the video.

Rochester Surf Sesh Nov. 2010 from jimmy rathbun on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thirty Eight

Refusal to Quit. Unwilling to Yield. Perseverance. Insanity. Many things depend on your point of view. As you may deduce from the photo, we're still riding on Wednesdays (a few of us anyway) and are trying to hit the big 4-0 before 2010 runs out. The quartet at left, Secret Steve, Kevin-Tron, Below-Zero Benson & Action Chuck suited up for WNR #38 & Snow Ride #2. The conditions this time were a bit different than our first snowy foray. For one, the temperature was about half that of the week before...somewhere around 16; snow wasn't pouring from above and the ground underneath had frozen. There were several inches on the ground but it was the consistency of sugar sand, at least where there weren't frozen footprints below. You would have thought that following the footprints would have been easier than blazing fresh tracks but riding on top of them was like riding over chattery frozen hoof prints. Needless to say, these settings made for a much more challenging snow ride. The ground was now frozen solid, which made turning/staying on course and climbing even moderate inclines extremely difficult. At first it just seemed like monotonous work, spinning out, struggling around every corner AND straight line, not to mention that it was COLD! But just like going swimming in Lake Michigan, once you're in, it's not so bad. Once we got off of the semi-beaten paths & started making our own, the ride smoothed out & we started enjoying it again, riding for just over an hour & about 6.5 miles. We're finding that snow riding isn't about the speed & distance because you're working harder throughout the ride but it's that good kind of work. Just take a look at our post-ride smiling faces, they're not just plastered on because we're mugging for the camera, we all had a good time. And that's what it's all about, getting out, riding with your buddies & having fun. We've chosen to ride in some questionable conditions this year and every time it has been worth it...beyond keeping the riding season going. To that end, #39 is scheduled & we're heading to Charlevoix to Fisherman's Island State Park to ride some groomed XC Ski trails. Hey, as long as we're still riding, we might as well check out some fresh trails. If you're interested and want to join in the fun, check out the Team Calendar for directions, details & info. If you're not up for the bike aspect, bring your skis or snowshoes, plus your headlight!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Burn Returns

A Wonderful Day For A Ride!!!
With the unseasonably warm temperatures we've been having lately in Flagstaff, the snow in and around town has pretty much melted off, with the high country and north facing slopes being pretty much the only exceptions.  A temp of around 56 degrees and the sun shining brightly made for a perfect day to get a quick ride in (it also helps that the Arizona Cardinals aren't worth watching anymore), so I loaded up and headed to what was a dry Campbell Mesa.  Although, I wasn't trying to set any land speed records on today's ride (currently held by Canadian cyclist Sam Whittingham at 83mph on a flat surface and unpaced); the burn has returned.  I haven't been riding too much recently (basically not at all) due to buying a house, getting married, remodeling a room into a nursery, work, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah, excuses, excuses, excuses...  To quote what seems like Peter's favorite saying these days, "HTFU, Sarge!!!"  It did feel wonderful to get out and get those legs spinning, though.  I managed, to my surprise, to maintain an 11.0 mph average over the course of 11 miles.  And although it was at Campbell Mesa, not Flagstaff's most technical trail and mostly a flat series of loops, I managed to get that burn going in my legs and also my lungs.  Which really boils down to one conclusion...  "Sarge, you need to ride more!"  Campbell Mesa and the base of Mount Elden may have to do for riding locations, though.  I'm trying to stay close to home these days.  Even with a due date of Dec. 20th, the birth of our first child could happen any day now, so taking the trip down the hill to Sedona to ride will just have to wait until January...  hopefully.

While perusing our pictures on the computer today, I came across the following vids that I haven't seen in quite some time.  Keep in mind, I'm no video guru; they may be a bit shaky with random commentary by myself.  Short as they may be, they brought back some fond memories of riding with Team Terpening.

 Peter at Barlett Wash, Moab, Utah.  I Love The Smile On His Face After A Short "Pump-track Style" Session On The Slick Rock

The View From Along The Porcupine Rim Trail, Moab, Utah.  With Peter, Sarah, and Ginni Biggs.

The Finish To The Vehicles At Campbell Mesa, Flagstaff, AZ.  With Peter and Sarah

***Also, there may be a SargeFest 2011 in the works for sometime in September.  I realize it may be a challenge for some of you to get here, but good times are guaranteed with plenty of great riding, beer, and BBQ over the course of weekend.  Shoot me an email if you have any input regarding dates that may work best.  I'm leaning towards a weekend in late September.***

Thursday, December 09, 2010

More Mike Bodt

Even though our friend hasn't been to visit in a while, we still talk about him a lot!

Here is a recent photo from Travis' apartment in Brooklyn where we had an amazing time with great friends! Come home soon Mike! Love, Sarah

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Video Wednesday

The closest I've ever come to actually skateboarding was a brief stint playing Tony Hawk with Bodt and Sarge about ten years ago, but this is a cool video all the same. Check it out.

Have a good time on the ride tonight if it goes (they're calling for 2 to 5 inches today), I'll continue running until I can ski. Over and out.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

36 and 37

Somebody has been slacking on the Wednesday ride updates...I'll confess, it was me and since our official WNRide season typically ends on the last Wednesday before firearm deer season opens coupled with the arrival of several inches of snow, you might not expect there would to be much to report. However with the phenomenal riding season that we've had, we just had to find a way to extend our streak. With 35 consecutive weeks of riding already in the history books, we were determined to find a way to add a few bonus rides and possibly reach a total of 40 weeks of riding in 2010. There are enough weeks left in the year that we could conceivably reach this lofty (some would say crazy) goal.

WNR #36 - Bonus Ride #1 - November 17
Even though we don't start our night rides until 6:30p, well after hunters should be out of the woods, we've abstained mostly for our own safety as well as out of respect for the hunters...they are armed after all. Still wanting to ride some single track, we chose to ride at Avalanche Park in Boyne City as it is a Preserve/Park mainly within the city limits and off-limits to hunters. The weather was cool, around 38 and had been raining on & off throughout the day lake-effect style giving dry-ish respites when the rain bands shifted. Undaunted, six riders arrived to enjoy the ride including Myself, Action Chuck, Secret Steve, Racin' Rob, Kevin & Joe. With a break in the rain, we suited up & headed out. We only discovered Avalanche Park this year but it has quickly risen to a top ride destination with its tight, twisty, flowy & well managed trails. This would be the first time most of us rode the trail wet. The bottom half of the trail consists of quite a bit of clay, while this is normally nice & grippy, add a little (or a lot) of rain and you get sections something the consistency pudding covered Crisco. Normally a wet trail in the fall isn't too bad, there are plenty of leaves to soak up some of the rain & give you some traction. Unfortunately, some overzealous leaf-blower jockey had cleared the entire loop, making for traction, as Charlie put it, "like a glass doorknob covered in snot." Challenging, to say the least but kept the adrenaline near the red line at the same time the fun-meter was pegged. The steeper hills were mostly unclimbable, the roots course-corrected ever-so-gently and the corners let you drift whether you wanted to or not. All in all an exciting and worthy bonus ride! Plus, with all of the clay caked on our bikes & tires, we got to take a little of the trail home with us.

WNR #37 - Bonus Ride #2 - December 1
We planned ride the 2nd Wednesday of deer season at Boyne Mt. as it is primarily private property. This was the first time we were riding this near Thanksgiving so we opted to move the ride up to Tuesday (mostly to accommodate me as we were hosting the family dinner & I needed to help get the house prepped.) Alas, it wasn't meant to be this night as a snow storm along with some scheduling conflicts aided in the ride's demise. The following Monday, Kevin rallied the troops & we decided to try again and even though deer season would be over, we opted to stick with the previous plan to ride at the Mt. December 1st arrived with a little mixed precipitation in the morning that quickly turned to all snow & by noon there was about an inch+ in and around Harbor though the lake-effect machine had been pumping a bit more to the south. A brief flurry of emails confirmed that we were all still up for the ride, no matter what. With the snow bands clearly targeting Boyne Mt. Charlie & I pulled into the snow covered parking lot to see Kevin, Joe & S.Steve gearing up to round out our first snow ride. By the time we suited up and hit the trail, there was a good 3-4" fresh, white blanket covering the trail and plenty more falling all around. I was glad that Joe/Kevin/Steve were leading the way, breaking trail, let alone finding it. The wet heavy snow, along with the fact that the ground wasn't frozen yet, actually made for decent traction. With the snow falling heavily, it was difficult to see, whether you had glasses or not but our headlights effect was doubled as it reflected off the white trail ahead. It was a beautiful sight with the snow heavy on the thorny canes arching on either side of the trail, no longer reaching in to grab our arms as we passed. A few of the climbs were even less possible and the snow covered roots made for some surprising course corrections but we managed a decent pace and covered about a 7 mile loop in about an hour. the consensus was that this was one of the most fun rides that we've all done and I believe the first "Snow-Ride" undertake by our merry band...certainly not the last!

We thought we had better take a few pictures following the ride to commemorate the event & for some quality blog fodder.

As you can see, the snow was still falling at a good rate as we pulled up to our cars and made for some quick clothing changes before heading to the Red Mesa warming hut.

Not to be outdone, we are continuing toward the goal of 40, so long as the snow isn't too deep. Ride #38 will be at the Meadow, group launch at 6:30. Dress warm, bring your lights & make history with us.

*(Studded tires are optional)

What's this?

On Saturday, Kristina and I made our annual trip out to the Mogollon Rim to cut our Christmas tree.  A wonderful day was spent out in the woods thanks to the NFS and a $15 tree permit.  The sun was out, and it warmed to a balmy 50 degrees.  We found a nice, not-so-treefarm-perfect-but-close white fir tree...  homegrown, hand selected, and cut with my bare hands (well maybe not bare, I did have gloves on).  The route to the designated tree cutting area takes us out of Flagstaff via Lake Mary Road, a popular road biking route.  It was spring the last time I traveled out Lake Mary Road, during a period of road construction to see how full the lakes were.  The City/contractor did a nice job.  Fresh, new pavement and widened with a bike lane on each side of the road.  One thing really caught my eye, though.  A new road sign.  A sign that made my mind wander back to a small incident in town regarding a bus and a bicyclist.  DC and the AZ Daily Sun reported about this incident and even posted the videos from the bus surveillance camera (click on the links).  An incident that pitted a cyclist against, first, a bus driver and, secondly, the City of Flagstaff.  The feud was brought about by a passing bus that appeared, at least to cyclist Randy Mason, too close for comfort...  even illegal.  It brought to my attention a rule of the roads that I had never even heard of before - The Three Foot Law.  Also referred to as Brad Gorman's Law, named after a Tucson cyclist run over from behind, it was passed in 2000 in Arizona and requires motorists to abide by the following:  "When overtaking and passing a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, a person driving a motor vehicle shall exercise due care by leaving a safe distance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle of not less than three feet until the motor vehicle is safely past the overtaken bicycle."  Aside from the cyclist involved, the law seemed to be a mystery to all involved including the bus driver, responding police officer, and city attorney.  And so, as the law was interpreted and the whole ordeal seemed to fizzle out, it resulted in a ticket for the bus driver and a new awareness to a law that existed, but was never really enforced...  But it was brought to my attention once again as we traveled down Lake Mary Road.  Apparently, Randy got one more thing out of the ordeal, the first one of these I've seen in the state...

Randy's Sign, Lake Mary Road, Flagstaff, AZ

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Cry Baby Revisited

The video they filmed at the race this fall is out. Check it.