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Thursday, December 25, 2008

CYCLO CROSS NATIONALS IN BEND-2009 AND 2010

Well it has happened. Cyclo cross nationals is returning to Central Oregon. Returning? you say.  Yes they were in Sunriver in 1976. That was before I was a crosser though. 
What does that mean to me. Well next year I will be in the 60-64 category (though I will only be 58 years old go figure). It has to do with racing age. Technically the cross nationals are for the 2010 and 2011 season. European countries have their nationals  in January, we have ours in December. Worlds are in late January or early February. Anyway I will a first year 60-64 year old. This will be my best chance to do well (Podium I hope). I have been close before, three top 10 finishes in 6 tries. I am training hard now, even though it is 12 months away. I am trying to keep my weight down during the holidays, I am doing indoor cycling intervals twice a week, and, thanks to Rebound I am lifting weights twice a week. 
I am nervous and excited. I and many others will be in front of a home crowd. There will be many cheering for me (I hope). That will make me dig, and will also make me want to do well. It will be a challenge I will look forward to. Thanks for reading.
Don 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

CROSS NATIONALS IN BEND,MAYBE

Yesterday I went to a reception for Tom Vinson, representative of USA Cycling. He is in town to check out our bid for 2009 and 2010 Cyclo-Cross National Championships. I was there as a guest. I guess I have been in Bend so long and have raced bikes so long and love cycl0-cross so much I was invited. Tom was was a no show. Not his fault though. He got stuck in Spokane because of the snow. We got to be on a video telling him why Bend is so cool and the best place for Nationals. I hope he watches the video. I rode my cross bike downtown, it was pretty cold with about 2 inches of packed snow on the roads, I was the only one who rode a bike. I wasn't really trying to make a statement, Kathy had the car. It was fun though. I love riding in the snow, the cold snow, the dry snow. It is fun in the night because the snow reflects the light and everything seems so bright.
They told Doug LaPlaca they would know soon about Nationals. I have already started to train. I will be in the 60-64 category next year, and I will want to do well in front of the home crowd. I am getting excited just thinking about it. See you on the snow, either skiing or riding.
Don

Sunday, December 14, 2008

HOW THINGS CHANGE



Here are some photos from this week. I couldn't help but add the one without my head. That was me trying to take my own photo with timer.  Then Brennan showed up so he and I both have photos. Brennan is this cool kid that shops at Sunnyside.

He likes bikes as much as anyone and the one he is on he just got a month or so ago. It is fun to to see happy customers. 
That really isn't the point to this blog though. The photos were taken on Dec. 11th at the helipad at the top of Phil's Trail. I have never been to the Helipad in Dec, probably not many times in November. It was a great day though. The trails were in perfect condition. I knew the weather was changing so up I went. On the way down I did the whoops trail. I love the berms but am afraid of the jumps. I don't really do air. 
A friend of mine, Gary Graves fell while getting a little air on KGB yesterday and broke his neck. He is going to be OK, I hear, but it is a scary thing to get hurt and have a friend get hurt.
That being said on my way home after not getting air on the whoops I went by the double of death. This is a jump next to Skyliners Road on the way home from Phil's. It must be 12 inches high. I have been avoiding it for years and finally decided I could clear it. I did. Jacob, from the store, cleared it last week. For us it was big. When I was describing it to Jim he referred to it as "that little double". Little for him double of death for us.
Take care out there on the trails. We may have some time off with this snow, so go try some skiing. That is what snow is for. That is what the last photo is, my backyard, 7 degrees F and snowing.
Don







Monday, December 8, 2008

Don's Adventure

I am not sure what was harder, riding the "tree" on the new Funner Trail near Bend or downloading the Video. I had been to the tree twice by myself. I knew I could ride it (it really is not that hard). But I was not ready. I then went with some friends and decided this was the day. John took a video and here it is. I feel pretty stoked about riding it. There are some harder routes on the tree but I took the easy one. We are going to use this in Picketts Charge next year. Don't worry there is an alternative route, but it is longer and not "funner". Thanks for watching.
Don
PS Thanks to John Riley for the video and Mike Schindler for helping me download it.

video 

GRAND PRIX CROSS IN PORTLAND, END OF SEASON




The season is over for me, Nationals is too far away, and it is time to take it easy. Yes I work hard and train hard for cross. You will never hear me at the start line making excuses. When I start a race I want to do well and I am well prepared.  I have developed a training program (with a huge help from Justin Wadsworth) that allows me to stay in shape 12 months a year, have huge amounts of fun riding my mountain bike and doing well in cross. But now it is time to rest a little, enjoy the holidays, and do some skiing.
The Grand Prix races in Portland were the best this year. The coursed fine tuned, not too wet but lots of mud. The last few times I have been out riding my bike I have run into Ryan Trebon. Probably the strongest cross racer in the USA. The first day he attacked a few times, let Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers attack him, but I think he was waiting for the last lap to put in one of his super speed attacks for the win. Instead he slipped and Tim Johnson just exploded to get out of reach. The second day he was having none of it. He went to the front and kept on the pressure until all of his rivals faded of the back. He just kept on charging. Impressive. It is great fun to cheer on someone you know,  and the more I know Ryan the more I appreciate him. I was in the pit for another pro. Chris Sheppard. The first day he needed nothing, the second he crashed on the first lap and we had his bike ready. I got it fixed but he didn't need it again. Nothing like being a help. Chris is a semi retired Canadian bike racer. He was suspended a few years after some EPO problems. Now he lives in Bend, is at COCC becoming a massage therapist. He can still race his bike though. 
My races went pretty good. I ended up second both days (the same as last year). Ron Strasser beat me both days. He owns me on those courses. The second day I gave it my all. I led for most of the first two laps. Then we hit this deep mud and my legs were done. I had to do everything I could to hold on to second. In fact I didn't know I was second until I got home.  I was thinking we would be done when I went through the finish line after 4 laps, and Splinter even said over the loud speaker that my race was over. But everyone around me kept on going (he didn't say anything to them) so I did the 5th painful lap. Eric from Seattle came around me at the finish and I was sure I was third. They gave me a third place plywood even. 
This is a philosophical dilemma. Am I just as happy with a second after the fact as I would have been if I had known at the time. I think so. The plywoods were the same size after all, different colors and numbers though. I think doing that fifth lap though was the most painful. 
The photos are of me in the mud, Renee Scott going great in the women's B race, the start of the Pro Men and my plywoods. I now have four plywoods. Thanks for reading. 
Don



Monday, December 1, 2008

AWESOME NEW TRAILS AND OLD TRAILS

If you are a skier you know there is not much snow, and it is already December. I own a ski store, and I am a nordic ski coach. Don't think for a minute that I don't want snow. However I am not in charge of weather. I am in charge of Don's mountain biking. This week I had the pleasure of having my friends from Wisconsin visiting. I wrote about some of our trips last week. I just wanted to update a little. I had to work for a couple of days so they went out on their own and rode the Whoops trail. Pretty famous trail now a days. They thought it was pretty fun. Well lots of fun, but they wanted one more epic. Something to really remember Oregon by. They were here for a nordic ski holiday so I really wanted them to remember this as the best mountain bike holiday they have had. I called the Umpqua National Forest and, yes, the North Umpqua was open. 
I have a rule, when I take a friend from out of town on a trail I have to have ridden it first. I want to show them a great trail not have some kind of an adventure. We did the Deer Leap section. This is just below Tokatee Lake. What can I say. It was 30F when we left the car. It was 65 at, what I call, Deer Leap. The trail was perfect. If you have ever had first time visitors you might notice they are always surprised by Bend. It isn't green here it is green/grey. It is a desert. The trails are dusty, and loose. They learn to like it or even love it like I do. However you will do them a favor and take them to the west side. Most people choose the McKenzie River Trail, I choose the Umpqua. I don't like shuttling, and the Umpqua has lots of different segments to choose from. 
They thought they went to mountain bike heaven. The trees are huge, the canyons deep, the river well it looks like a river. It was another epic ride.l
In my last blog I mentioned the new trails at Wanoga. If you go there you should have a map. I suggest riding to the top of Storm King on the South side of Century Drive.  Then I like to ride up about 2 miles on Funner. You can go all the way to Wanoga if you like. To get the map go to this site http://www.cotamtb.com/files/WanogaTrails%2010-7-08(1).pdf . This should help. I will post a video of me riding across the tree soon. 
Enjoy.
Don