It’s time for us to thin the herd a bit. I got this Kelly Knobby X about 10 years ago in Vail. It’s actually in really good shape and runs great–I only raced on it for one season. It’s a little heavy but with a classic, smooth-riding steel frame, it’ll never go out of style. Perfect for someone looking to get into ‘Cross, or swap out the rear wheel, make it a fixie, put on your skinny jeans and you’ve got a hipster head-turning machine. I think it’s a 56″ frame–should fit someone 5’6″-5’10”. Asking $400. Let me know if you have questions.
Yesterday I raced in the Steamboat Stinger mountain bike race and then I did a trail marathon on the same course today–but honestly, looking back it really felt more like a week-long adventure race.
For me, the race started on Thursday, packing the kids’ clothes, cooking rice cakes and gluten-free scones, and getting my borrowed bike dialed. On Friday, I worked in the morning and then Ian and I both came home early to squeeze the truck full with all our gear. We rolled out at about 3pm and arrived in Steamboat a couple hours later. In the ‘Boat we stopped at BAP to register for the race and picked up our accommodations for the night: a brand new Big Agnes Big House 6 tent. From there we were off to the KOA, where we met our good friends Rob Russell and Elinor Fish, with their 3-year-old boy Reed. We got the tent up and dinner started, just in time for the rain to start.
With everyone exhausted, we got the whole family into the tent for bed by about 9, but some of us were far from ready to go to sleep. Axel would have nothing to do with his Pack’nPlay and so we tried to get him to sleep on the floor with the rest of us. It didn’t go well and let’s just say I got less than a good night’s rest.
We woke up to drizzling rain, which added to my already sour mood. I almost threw in the towel right then and there, but got dressed and made my way to the start line. I felt pretty terrible for the first lap, but after about an hour and a half of racing I started to come around. I caught up with Rob, who was racing on a team with Ian, but having mechanical issues. Rob is a great descender so his misfortune worked in my favor; I grabbed his wheel for the long descent to the end of the first 25-mile lap. There, Rob handed off to Ian (Elinor was kindly watching our kids) and I caught sight of my friend Kelly Boniface, who was running in second place in the solo race.
I caught and passed Kelly on the next long climb and managed to hold on to second place for the rest of the race, feeling better and better as the day went on. With the morning’s rain, the trails were in great shape and I really enjoyed the awesome singletrack on the course. National cyclocross champion Katie Compton defended her title for the women’s win, while Russell Finsterwald won for the men. There was a solid showing for Team Honey Stinger, with Peter Kalmes in third, Trevor Walz in fourth, Daniel Methany in seventh and Max Taam in eighth. Ian had a fast 2:18 lap, and he and Rob finished in fifth for the duo men. Full mountain bike results here.
On Saturday night, we wimped out. Max and his girlfriend Jessie had an extra bedroom in a condo they rented and when they offered it to us, we jumped on the opportunity. I slept really well and then got up early for the start of the run with Max and Jesse, both of whom had raced yesterday as well. At the start line, I was somewhat surprised to see Lance Armstrong standing next to me. Cool.
Anyway, my legs were definitely tired from the mountain bike race, but I actually felt pretty good overall. There were a few women right behind me as we started up the long first climb, but eventually I opened up a gap and then I raced for almost two hours without seeing anyone. I have to say, there aren’t too many race courses that would make both a great trail run and a great mountain bike ride, but the Steamboat Stinger definitely is one. I had just as much fun running the course as I did riding it the day before.
Lance had great race and won handily for the men. I was pleasantly surprised with my win for the women and psyched to finish in eighth overall. I also was crowned “Queen Bee” for the fastest combined time in both races. Jessie finished in third place with her combined time. Max was King Sting. Steamboat Pilot story about the race here.
What started as a rough weekend, ended up being one of my best of the summer. Len Zanni, Colin Osborn, Nate Bird and the rest of the Honey Stinger/Big Agnes crew put on an awesome race and not only did I win cash, but I won a couple of sweet, new Big Agnes sleeping bags, and a real deal cowboy hat from the famous F.M. Light and Sons.
I couldn’t have pulled off the weekend without the amazing support of Ian, who talked me off the ledge several times in the days before and during the weekend. Elinor and Rob were awesome helping out with the kids. Colin was kind enough to loan me his Trek Superfly for the race, which ran better than my own. Max and Jessie saved us with comfortable beds and a roof over our heads on Saturday night.
Sponsor shout for this post goes to La Sportiva–I wore the new Vertical K shoes for the run and they were awesome. Super light, with enough cushioning for a 25-mile trail run and plenty of traction on the technical trails of Emerald Mountain.
Now, I’m off to Rhode Island to visit my family and enjoy a little vacation. Thanks for reading!
It was a spectacular, bluebird, Colorado weekend and we took full advantage of it as a family. On Saturday I toed the line at the annual Inferno, a local race up and down Highlands Bowl. The Inferno was relatively small and casual this year – only about 50 people showed up – but you can never underestimate the local competitors in a race like this. Case in point, see the snowboarder in the blue blazer and plaid polyester pants in the photo below (Brad Yule). He didn’t look like he was taking the race very seriously at the start line but he stuck to me like glue as I set the pace on the bootpack climb up the Bowl (conditions were not ideal for skinning). We started skiing down the Bowl at pretty much the same time. I’ve gotten much faster on my short, skinny race skis this season, but I couldn’t quite keep up with him on the down. He won the race and I finished in second about a minute behind him. I think my time was about 26 minutes. I certainly felt a little tired from the Power of Four race last weekend, but I was happy to finish in second place overall.
The lack of snow here is just about all anyone can talk about, so I won’t. Instead, here are some recent photos of me, Ian and our friend Michael Hayes making lemonade out of lemons.
For my birthday, Ian organized a proper adventure. We planned to ride from Marion Gulch in Carbondale to Sunlight Mountain on a series of maintained snowmobile trails. I borrowed a new Surly Moolander from our friend Darin Binion who owns the Gear Exchange in Glenwood. The Moonlander has five inch tires and it proved to be have impressive traction and floatation on the snow packed trails. Ian and Michael on their Pugsleys, were both envious.
In all the 30-mile ride took us four hours. It was the perfect way to spend my birthday.
Otherwise, I’ve been training on my rando gear whenever possible, usually early morning up at Ajax. Ian and I are heading to Jackson Hole on Friday for the US National Ski Mountaineering Championships. It’s going to be to tough race with an especially competitive women’s field.
The race started with a swim in the James River, which was running pretty high with the recent rain here in the southeast. We had to swim against some strong current and set aggressive ferry angles in order not to get pushed too far downstream. I was four minutes behind race winner Melanie McQuaid coming out of the water and onto the bike. We raced two laps around Belle Island, on some surprisingly technical, fun trails. I didn’t have the best bike time but held my position overall. The run went well and I got lucky when Rebecca Dussault missed a turn and I overtook her to finish in fifth place-on the podium and in the money. Full results should be posted here tomorrow.
Click any photos in the gallery below to see a full-size image.