Tuesday, April 28, 2009
On Sunday, the Decorah Park and Recreation held their annual time trials. The flier stated that trails would be held rain or shine.....and they were despite 48 hours of rain prior to the race.
Saturday night was filled with thunderstorms and a heavy downpour on Sunday morning. I had to work at 6:30 before the race and on my drive to Waukon it was coming down hard. I began wondering if the race would still be on and how it would be handled. The race directors decided to cut out the Palisades section of the course and keep it limited to the Van Peenan and Dunning's trails. The course was just over 7 miles and over 2400 feet of climbing if I remembered correctly.
I was the 52nd rider on the course and to say that the trails were "greasy" would be a tremendous understatement. Like many others, I took a pretty cautious approach to the race. Picking up a lot of speed could prove to be very painful with your tires covered in mud. The race was fun, I crossed the finish line in 1 hr and 12 minutes while covered from head to toe in mud. It was a stressful experience because of many bike and riding problems, but nothing to complain about. It was my first time riding in such conditions and my second competitive race, so I will accept my results. I finished around 45th(?) overall, good enough for second in my age division (19-23) and a plaque. It was an accomplishment for anybody to compete in this race because the conditions were miserable. Three other Luther students that I know of competed and congrats to Ben for putting up an impressive time of around 47 minutes. A huge thanks goes out to all of the volunteers for running the race and getting everything in order beforehand.
After the race an awards ceremony/party was held at T-Bocks. I was only able to stay for about 45 minutes of the presentation, and with my luck, my name was drawn for the door prize about 5 minutes after I left.
The reason I had to leave early was because it was my final weekend of coaching the Coyote Freestyle Club in Caledonia, MN. I have been coaching a group of kids for the past seven Sunday's from 4-6. It has been a great experience and I am glad I had the opportunity to give back to the wrestling community. Coach Friedhof better make sure the Decorah boys are prepared when they dual them next year :)
Friday, April 24, 2009
83 degrees, sunny, clear skies....what a great day to be able to get outside and enjoy life!
I had a great ride yesterday. Rode the unofficial time trials course that has been laid out. Finished in just over 1 hour and 7 minutes at a pace less than race speed. Trails are pretty dry and rain is expected this weekend but hopefully it holds off enough for the time trails to be raced. My goal is to get my time below one hour in optimal conditions and have a fun ride. Race report will be given as soon as I can.
After my ride I went right to Perry's for an adjustment. He was willing enough to let me come in besides the fact I was a little sweaty. Going into the office is an awesome part of my week for many reasons. I always seem to come out of there with a different attitude on life, whether it is from something he said or how my body reacts after an adjustment.
His office is set up in an open environment where you are able to pick up on the advise that he gives to his patients. Yesterday he asked someone advise that I thought was very practical, "How awesome would you feel if you worked with your body instead of against it?" How many times do you make things more difficult than they should be? Are you getting the proper amounts of rest? Eating the right foods? Allowing enough time for yourself? Getting stressed out about things that are not that important? Are you getting enough exercise? Are you getting adjusted?
Things pile up quick. Take care of yourself.
Have a great day! Get outside!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
.....means lots of time spent outside.
On Friday, a group of friends from school and I went up to Van Peenan to hang out and build a campfire.
Before we started our nightly activities, Derek, Aaron and I had a good ride before we parking ourselves beside the fire. There are days when we have really laid back rides and just screw around trying to accomplish some new technical stuff on the trails. Derek, after many hilarious attempts, finally made his way completely across the log ride on Little Big Horn. Check out the video below...
Here are a few pictures of us hanging out. We had some intense games of ladder golf followed by a few diet pepsi's while hanging out and debating about stuff that nobody could agree on. It was a good night.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The course for last night was short: start at the fire pit, through West Pines, down Fred's, up Rocky Road then ride the top half of Little Big Horn back to the finish. My course was a tad longer because I assumed there was a longer loop than mentioned at the bottom of Fred's and avoided the local rule of finding any loophole you can to ride a shorter route. Nonetheless, I finished in 14 min 50 seconds which was good enough for fourth. The winning time was 12 min 30 seconds which I thought was insanely fast.
After the race was over most everybody stuck around the campfire to talk. Heard some great rock climbing stories from Deke. O'gara talked about his first Canoe Derby experience and I was able to catch up with Freidhof for a while. (On a side note people should start haggling him about getting a blog going for Decorah Wrestling....) Around 10 we put out the campfire and I followed those with lights out of the park. It was a neat experience riding in the dark, not knowing the ground you are riding on, just following a red taillight ahead of me.
I apologize for not having any pictures to share. Bringing along a camera always seems to be the last thing on my mind when going out to ride. Check out the Bike Decorah Blog for some pictures and a short recap.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The trails have been awesome this spring, thanks to a lot of work from a lot of people, and some good weather. Derek and I rode all of Palisades, up Rollercoaster and Rocky Road to Little Big Horn, Dust Bowl, Back 40, Gunnar and Julia. We then weaved through both pines before going down Fred's and climbing up New Randy's. We rode around up top of Dunning's for a while before riding Mother's Day and Lower Mothers Day and back home.
This past week has been the most I have ridden in a week, ever. I want to be able to compete this summer in some time trials and the long term goal is to complete a 24 hour race with a team, preferably, but if I have to, by myself. There are two races I am currently looking at: one is Salsa's 24 hour race in Bloomington and the other is 24 hours of 9 mile in Wausau. The race in Wausau conflicts with Nordic Fest and the race in Bloomingtom may conflict with school but I will be able to work my way around that. Both events are a long ways away and right now I am just concerned about getting into better shape.
I have not been able to get out and take any pictures on the bike yet so I will bring back some old memories from when I was little.
Mom and Dad definitely had me riding my bike early. I have so many memories from our trips to Lanesboro as a family and they are times I will never forget.
Hope everybody had a great Easter!
Easter break has been great for me. Friday I was able to get out and work on some trails with Jeff, Jim, Derek and Captain. Derek and I nipped a new connector for Mothers Day and Lower Mother Day. I know a large group of guys got out to work on the trails again on Saturday afternoon so hopefully the lower trail will be ready to ride soon. All the trails are in great shape and are getting pretty dry now. I am just happy to be outside!
After working on the trails Brandon, Derek, Mitch and I played disc golf. I had never played before but Luther has a great course that was set up last year. First nine holes were rough, but I began to figure out how to play the second nine and shot only two over. I plan on purchasing a disc golf set in the near future for this spring/summer.
After disc golf I went back to the room to catch a quick glance at the Masters before heading back to the trails. Derek and I got a nice ride in the Captain and Kirk Johnson, who we met at the start of our ride. We rode trails we built in the morning and we now have a great way to get atop Dunnings without having to walk up that steep washout on Ice Cave. It was really fun to be able to ride on a trail that you just built. I have never done any trail building, just maintenance, and it was a rewarding experience.
Saturday, Dad and I got out for a ride in the afternoon after cleaning the garage out in the morning. It was good to get back on the trails with him and I am looking forward to whipping him into shape again this summer. Many rides to Bluffton along the gravels of Iowa will be in store.
For today I plan on sitting back and watching the Masters before I get out and ride again.
Get outside and enjoy this great day!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I have created a Flickr account and created an album to share all of our pictures that can be viewed here.
My trip to Aspen was arranged through the Backyard Wilderness Pursuits group here at Luther along with 15 students. It was an incredible opportunity and decided I had to go….and for the price, it was a no brainier. We took off early Saturday morning on March 21, the beginning of Luther’s spring break. I completed my share of driving from Decorah to Des Moines right way so I had the rest of the drive to relax, read and sleep. We got to our hotel about 11 p.m. mountain time that night and went right to bed...apparently the excitement from driving through Nebraska was not enough to keep us up.
The next morning we woke up early to get to the hill before most of the crowd. Our passes allowed us to ski on four mountains; Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. As a group we decided that the first two days we would ski at Snowmass and the last day we would ski at Aspen Highlands. Snowmass is the largest mountain and had the most variety for different skill levels which made for some great skiing. I had never skied outside of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa and I was really pumped to see what it was like in Colorado. To say the least, I was not let down.....
Our first day was relatively warm, up around 50-60 degrees at the base but very windy at the top. Being able to stay on runs for over 30 minutes took some getting used to but throughout the trip my legs held up extremely well. I started out with some of the easier runs and worked my way up to blues right away once I got my legs under me. One of my favorite runs that we did was called “Longshot.” We took the lift to the top of the mountain and then had to hike up even further to start the trail. My roommate, Aaron, who was on the trip as well has a Blackberry and we decided to e-mail our parents the sign posted before the trail that read, “Back country skiing: Risks include death.” Needless to say, I received a text from my Mom moments after she received the picture.
It was an awesome run where we were all by ourselves surrounded by nothing but snow and trees. Longhorn is the longest run on the mountain at 5.3 miles from top to bottom with no way out but the trail itself.
After a long day of skiing we went to Glenwood Springs for dinner at a microbrewery and came back to the hotel to relax in the much needed hot tub.
Monday was much of the same, skiing at Snowmass again. Only Monday had something even
better for us at the mountain, 5 inches of fresh powder. I had never skied in fresh powder and as my Dad said, “You will never want to ski in the Midwest again.” He was right. It was awesome! We did one run first before heading right back to Longshot. Only 2 or 3 people had been on the run before us and we were able to carve our own trail the whole way down. It was a little more work with more powder and it took a toll on the legs but it was worth it. The rest of the day was much of the same, trying to figure out the runs we had not been on yet and attempting some runs that were above my skill level. It was a great day and to my surprise the hill was pretty empty. We went over an hour of skiing without seeing more than 2-3 people on the same run as us.
That night a few of us decided to eat in downtown Aspen and get the full experience. We ate at a really nice Italian restaurant to fuel up for our final day of skiing.
For our last day of skiing we went to Aspen Highlands to ski. It is known to be the locals favorite as well as the most difficult of the four mountains. On Monday, we didn’t think we could top skiing in 5 inches of fresh powder but apparently, skiing in 14 inches is much better. We were getting way to spoiled. Highlands had some really awesome runs that were a lot of fun. We decided to attempt a long double black diamond with moguls and I paid the price. I made my way through the first ½-3/4 of the hill without much problem but the last part of the hill became extremely steep with some lager moguls. I took a pretty good crash and lost my skis.
My problem was not so much maneuvering through the moguls, but just getting my skis back on was the biggest problem. Once I thought I had my ski in and took off, only to be surprised when I took a turn that my ski was not completed locked in. It was frustrating but I finally made it down and decided not to attempt that demanding of a run again.
My experience in Aspen was awesome. The views were spectacular along with the skiing. Ally and I are heading to Boulder this summer to stay with her cousin and I cannot wait to go back.