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Rudy Project, the exclusive eyewear of A2B

Saturday, July 31, 2010

GOLF

Eagle Ranch, just a short walk from the homestead. I wanted to run this post on Saturday, right after I got done playing at Eagle Ranch, just a 7 iron away from my home, but the vij upload is having some issues on Blogger for the time being. Golf, the four letter word that rings of boredom and a incredible waste of time. Well, I used to play alot in my younger days, worked at a golf course in South Florida while in high school and junior college, and ran a fishing program at
Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami for four winters in the late 90's.

The golf bag still dons the tag the pro shop made for me after landing one of the very few giant tarpon that live in the land locked lakes there. Circa 1998
Very fortunately, one of my old fishing clients was Jim McLean and his family. We fished in Colorado at Seven Lakes Lodge while I worked there for four years, and Jim and Henry Kravis got me the in at Doral to start my guiding business there. Jim McLean is one of Golf's most noted instructors, he appeared in the movie Tin Cup, and his lessons weighed in at $1000/hour from him personally, and his golf schools are all over the place. The funny thing is, Jim would CALL ME to go golf with himself and his two sons on occassion at Doral, and when we would tee it up on the Blue Monster, a crowd would gather to watch the legendary golf instructor stripe one down fairway number one like the touring pro he once was, then his kids, then me. Typically I'd have to strap a Depends "belted shield" on my ass for this first tee shot to keep from crapping myself with a crowd gathered, just to get the ball down the fairway on the short stuff, it was one of the most nerve racking experiences of my life. But I could play golf in those days, and Jim used to give me plenty of tips to work on and improve my game, for free. I still have his hand written note he gave me while out in Colorado after he first analyzed my swing while wearing fishing waders down at the White River.

So now I make it a point to play nine holes once every two years, and when Big E asked me if I wanted to walk 9 on Saturday morning, I was a bit skeptical due to some shoulder issues I've had, but I decided to go hit some balls and check it out, and it was fine, and we played, and it was the same, and the notes Jim had written started coming back quickly, and I was +1 after three holes, made a bunch of good swings and just two bad ones and shot 43, without cheating, and it could have been a 39, or a 49, but it was 43, and I was ecstatic with that, and had fun, and once again realized that golf is not about how you play, but how you practiced so long for so many years, and it comes back, just like riding a bike. I can't wait for two more years to go by so I can tee it up again for another 9 holes. And maybe by then I'll have the vij uploaded.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'VE MADE THIS MISTAKE BEFORE....

Hmmmm, see any interesting lines out there?
I'm an idiot, that goes without saying. During what is going to go down as one of my favorite Mountain Biking seasons ever, because I have NOT raced at all, and I've simply been riding all of my favorite shit whenever I feel like and at whatever pace I feel like on that particular day, I'm going to fuck it all up an go race next weekend, at Keystone, in the State mountain bike championships, because I like riding at Keystone and it's close to home, and I'm sure I'll race like shit and be disappointed with my result, but isnt that what all racers do? And then I can sit around and talk about how my start was'nt good enough, or how I ate wrong, or how I did not sleep well the night before, or how have I not trained enough for racing, or that I'm too old, or that my brakes were rubbing, or that I had the wrong tire pressure, or that it was too hot, or cold, instead of just saying that I sucked and that all the racers that beat me are just stronger riders than I am, and taking FULL responsibility for my own actions, it's usually the truth and the most simple explanation. On second thought, maybe I won't race, because nobody actually gives a rats ass about why I'm going to say I sucked on that day.......
With that said, yesterday was kind of a fun day on the bike, again.
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Monday, July 26, 2010

IT WAS 1983....

And I was pretty fresh out of college at Florida State University. I had a 1971 Opel Station wagon we called the "beach rail" and I had outlived the fun in the Tallahassee area and it was time to move on, move west. My first job in the west was in Yellowstone National Park at the Lake Hotel. This was the summer I fell in love with fly fishing, and then made a living teaching it for 20 plus years, this was also the summer I met one bad mother effer and one of my very best friends I'll ever know in this lifetime, Duke Brown. Duke was a fishing guide in the park and I used to bribe him at the prime rib station on the dinner line at the Lake Hotel to take me fishing and show the "spots". It was a fucking GREAT summer, the best of my life. Not a care in the world, no money, a shitty car, a cheap fly rod, and one of the best fly fisherman in the Rockies to run and learn the ropes with, damn good days. We determined how far we would drive on our days off to fish by how much money we had in our pockets for gas, that determined the trip of the day, how far $6 of gas would get us. And we lived like kings. And we caught the shit out of fish. That summer, Duke introduced me to this crazy vehicle with two wheels, it was dark blue and called a "Stumpjumper". He called it a Mountain Bike, and I had never seen one before. Duke rode this bike ALL OVER YELLOWSTONE to fish in the back country, waaaay before this became illegal, it was just cooler than shit I thought.
So the very next summer, while now living in Gunnison, with none other than John and Liz Bailey (yeah, the John who ended up racing in Worlds with Mike Kloser, and beat him), I sold my Opel for $500 and bought a Trek Mountain Bike for $750, and that was the start. I raced my first mountain bike race in 1984 at Crested Butte during the third annual Fat Tire Bike week which was held in the fall in those days, and finished somewhere mid field, there were two classes, pro and amatuer.

Duke and Kirk on top of Keyworld
This was the very first stretch of single track "hand built" at Keystone, by Joey Klein, who now works for IMBA.So some 27 years later here we are. Duke Brown and Kirk, another of the Yellowstone contingent from 1983 drove down to Keystone this past Sunday with full on downhill gear to rip Keystone Mountain, and hell yes I drove over to my old stomping grounds to meet those guys and ride and laugh. I worked at Keystone 1984-1996. Me of course and the hard tail 29er and them on 50lb Norco rigs. I met them at the top for lap 3 after climbing to the top of Keystone (my old training ride in the 80's) and followed them down the hill. 9 inches of travel versus 2.5 on the front and zero on the back. We laughed like school kids despite our advanced age and well, felt pretty damn alive. It was the bomb. After lunch at one of my friend's pizza joint, the afternoon session sent them back up the lift, and I snuck off to one of my old spots and found a VERY seldom used foot trail that connects "a part" of Keystone to the Colorado Trail, and it was KILLER. Beer and burgers ensued, stories that get more enhanced everytime we meet, and plans for hopefully more fun in the future, life was damn good yesterday.

Some highlights...

This is the building where I bought my first pair of skis and boots, from Tom Glick, K2 710-FO's and Hanson Boots

Kirk and Elgee, DH and XC living harmoniously
Duke and Kirk on the way to the goods
Can't tell ya....
Part of the Colorado Trail "access" trail....
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My first year working at Keystone was 1984, the same year YAN installed several new lifts on the front and back of Keystone Mountain. I knew ALL the ski patrol staff very well and was skiing Keystone the day the Teller Lift bullwheel weld failed, it was massive carnage, and the stories from the ski patrollers on sight that day were horrifying. Mark Campion, one of the first patrollers on the scene helped set up the triage station, and the battle to save lives began. That night Campo told me that there were a couple of dozen bodies just laying still in the position they had hit the ground in, there was no way to assess injuries or anyway to know where to start, but they got it figured out and done. Mark now runs a window cleaning business down in the islands and plays golf, he is one of the funniest people you'll ever meet, but nobody was laughing the day the Teller ski lift failed....notice the chair back destroyed in the pic below.

The Teller Lift was installed in 1984, when Keystone expanded into the
North Peak. In a multi-million dollar contract, Lift Engineering installed a 143 six-passenger cabin high-speed gondola at the River Run Base.
Along with the tram, two Yan 1000 model triple chairs were built in the
North Peak area. The following year, a faulty weld on one of the lifts
failed causing the drive bullwheel to fall to the ground. The end result was fifty people thrown to the ground, which left two skiers dead. Lawyer settlements between Yan and injured skiers topped over seven million dollars. The chairs nearest the top of the ski lift took the brunt of the lift cable whiplash, violently slamming the three person chairs up an into the chair cable, in some cases shattering the "unbreakable" plastic seat backs. The skiers sitting in the middle of these chairs were crushed and sent flying into the air from a starting point of 30-50 feet in the air, it was a bad day to say the least.....

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

THE ROAD TO NOWHERESVILLE....

Today the road bike was my sanctuary from insanity...
This is the road to absolute nowhere
Where the pavement meets the dirt, that is where I rode today, and that is where I seem headed these days in life. Boy have things changed the past couple of years. Seems like everyone is struggling through it. As for me, the full reversal of any chance of a professional career has taken place and I've got this ball and chain hanging around my leg called a condominium, but at least I'm not upside down on the bastard. I've got friends that are in shit so deep they are going to have to suck five feet of it through a straw just to get the top of their head showing again. I've slowly begun to cut my losses, this is the only choice now. I'm thankfully still a bachelor (kind of) right now and only have myself to take care of. Christ, more than half of all marriages are ending in divorce from all the stress out there, and only God knows how many of the remaining marriages are hanging on by a thread or wish to hell they were separated. It's sick. As for me, I'm working my ass off just to barely make ends meet and have enough money for a date once in a blue moon. It's a freekin war. I feel like I've been spiraling down this road that seems to lead no possible where for months, gave up my real estate career which was flourishing three years ago, and I want to be a professional bike race announcer now. How wacked out is that? Nearing 53 years old, still single, battling this shit economy, and damn glad I've got just me to take care of at this challenging time. And then there is the bike, which is my savior, and reminds me of how good I actually have it. I've got my health, a roof over my head, a car that is paid for, a job, food on my plate, and alot of bikes and places and friends to go ride them with, so all in all it's pretty damn good. I may be headed no where right now, but it's a damn good ride on the way there...Where am I going? I don't know, but I'm on my way.....

Friday, July 23, 2010

CRAIG BIERLY, THE MAN ON THE MISSION...

Mountain biking the states, it's that simple. If you read Bike Mag at all, there was a VERY cool story last month about a free spirited individual named Craig Bierly. This guy spent his early working career in a management position at a foundry, then worked for Boeing for many years before being persuaded by the force to sell everything, buy the now infamous Sprinter Van, and travel the country "Mountain Biking The States". We at Squirt Lube caught wind of this journey and contacted Craig to try and get him some of our lube to check out by dropping at one of his journey check points. Well, to make a long story short, Bierly had already started using Squirt through a tip in Hurricane, Utah where they love the stuff, and he has been a Squirt Head ever since. Just so happened he was passing through my hood this week and we hooked up for some good ol lightning dodging and then a rock solid loop on the Boneyard once the storm passed. Craig's trip is now Squirt Lube sponsored.
Here it is, "the Sprinter" right in front of the Mountain Pedaler in Eagle.

Craig chats with Bart Sigler in the shop as we wait out the weather after getting chased off of Tick Alley by the lightening...one of mountain biking's true characters, it was very cool to spend a day on the bike and a post race beer with the guy, the ultimate free spirit who turns 60 next month... Craig Bierly tops out on the Boneyard in Eagle on his Turner 5-Spot Follow his adventure
HERE
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

GUESS WHO'S COMING TO THE TOP OF THE PODGE?

There was a very loud noise on Vail Mountain yesterday evening, and the noise was made by Jake Wells crashing the Vail Rec district town series top spot of the podium yesterday. A very exciting race to watch and call as Jake, Jay Henry and Mitch Hoke came through together after lap one, J Dobber then seperated some on the descent of lap two, then held off the chase on lap three for a convincing win and his first over Jay Henry in our local series after years of knocking on Jay's door.
Below the front row of the start

Ross Schnell made an appearance last night...
The start of the throw down on Vail Mountain

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Monday, July 19, 2010

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BOYZ IT'S HOT

What else can ya say? It's freekin HOT in Eagle. Time to jump in the river, chase fish, and ride at night, and only at night.
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AND JUST IN CASE YOU DO NOT HAVE FRESH BALLS AND OR TITTIES...

I refuse to name my source for this product, (all though it rhymes with Herminator) however after observing the many competitors who finished the Breck 100 on Saturday and their post race "state", you may want to check out this product....and you can check it out
With that said, I guess this is a legit product, I however will not be product testing unless they send it to me with a $100 bill and I manage to grow some man breasts, don't hold your breath, or breasts.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

THE ULTIMATE LEVEL OF SUFFERING, THE BRECK 100.

After spending the better part of 15 hours on the Mic yesterday at the Breckenridge 100, it is clear who is running the most difficult, most incredibly daunting, most beautiful, most cool, most best 100 mile mountain bike race in Colorado if not the country, if not the world. Three MEGA loops of riding, with the majority of it singletrack challenged over 400 riders. Here is the beauty of it, you can also line it up and ride a 32 or a 68 mile version of the race on the same course at the same time as the 100 milers as the "short" versions which start at 10:00 am as opposed to the hunge that starts at 6:00am. You can also do the entire 100 or 68 as a relay team with each rider doing one of the 35 mile loops which are all different, it's just the coolest. Josh Tostado won the men's version of this beast for the sixth year in a row, but only by 8 minutes over Joey Thompson. Yari Kirkland decimated the women's field and also finished 17th overall, an amazing ride. Mark Thompson finished tenth, ON A SINGLESPEED, WHAT? Nearly 13,000 vert of climbing, most of which is over 10,000 feet beat the competitors into mere mortals, but they ALL were winners, what a great day to call a race, perfect weather, perfect people. You make it possible for a race announcer to stay excited all day, even if its a 15 hour gig! What a blast! Thank you racers!
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Find your results

Friday, July 16, 2010

TOMORROW IS TOAST...

Josh Tostado looks to dominate the Breck 100 again tomorrow
There's a whole lot of racin going on tomorrow, Saturday, July 17th. Right here in the hood it's goin down big time with MTB Nationals at Sol Vista, and Xterra Mountain Championship event at Beaver Creek and the Breck 100, the penultimate MTB sufferfest. The Breck race is a true MTB race as opposed to some of the other races in these parts that claim to be such. Josh Tostado has dominated this event for years, and I'll never understand how these riders push themselves to these way over the top limits, but we will find out tomorrow if "Toast" can repeat. Last year's victory was norrow by 100 mile standards, with the margin of victory just over 10 minutes...I'll be there calling the action all day, it's gonna be a BIG race on a BIG day in Breck, and to be honest, the Firecracker pales in comparison. 100 miles and in the hood of 12,000 vert of climbing, over 400 racers....yowsa.

And now that I'm getting old and baggy, well, let's just say it's time for me to join the "pants on the floor" crowd and GO BAGGY. A fresh supply of baggies just arrived at the Mountain Pedaler in Eagle from JETT, and I'm givin the rogger doggers some breathing room from here on out, I aint dumpin the Lycra, due to having like 20 bib shorts, but this is my new grandpa style plaid look, and I dig it, get ya some.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

RETURN OF THE SHOP RIDE....

Summer rocks, winter sucks....
It's been a long time a comin. I unfortunately have turned into a semi normal person this year, and I've had to cut some of my losses and give up my real estate career. I work a shit ton, pretty much everyday at one or another of my jobs. The beauty is I still get to ride enough due to working at Beaver Creek, and the riding there does not blow, and I rarely if ever race anymore, so I feel strong right now instead of super burnt out and slow like I normally do this time of year. I've missed every Wednesday night shop ride here in Eagle for the past couple of months due to work, and it kind of sucks. But last night it was back, the same knuckleheads on the same program, and the ride and the crew and the dirt and the eve were all killer. It's good to get regrounded once in a while, and reminded of why I dislike winter anymore...
Checkin the shit out before beer and za at the end of a stellar eve on the dirt.

Part of the posse...sorry I missed the rest of you guys, I fucked up and slipped the battery cover in the middle of the action... video

Sunday, July 11, 2010

OUT OF THE CLOSET...

I've forced myself to watch ALOT of soccer the past five weeks, I've tried to embrace the World Cup but just could not do it. It's simple, there is nothing to watch from my point of view, and I have watched endless hours of it and still find it for no better word to describe, BORING. With that said, I once played the game, many, many moons ago. While primarily concerned with baseball at this age, myself and a ruthless band of renegades formed an intramural soccer team while at Florida State University in I believe 1980. We called ourselves the Cone Kickers and we had a couple of guys that actually knew how to play, we also had guys who had never played before that wore steel toed work boots to play in and their underwear on the OUTSIDE of their pants. We had a seven color minimum for some reason, which meant your uniform had to have at least seven colors on it each week. I suppose this was to celebrate the true international flavor of the sport as we tried to represent all of the flag colors, or maybe we were tripping on mushrooms and thought it would look cool when we ran. Anyway, we won every game and made it to the championship game to play for the coveted Champions T-shirts which were sure to get us laid if we wore them on campus. We were matched against the Foreign excahnge students who spoke broken English at best. They had not been scored on once the entire season, and that is the truth. Just minutes into that epic battle, Alan Hoffmeister kicked the ball from midfield towards our opponents goal. The ball skidded off the bottom of the crossbar and over the goalies stretched out fingers and we scored. It was perhaps the greatest goal ever scored in unrecorded World Cup play. We dog piled Alan at midfield. As I can best recall, the ball rarely touched the ground the remainder of the game and we lost 11-1, but we left champions, we scored on those bastards. I never attempted to head the ball in those days because there was no way of telling where the fucking ball would go off my afro, and that is the truth.

The Cone Kickers, 1980

I played (loosely) defense, my job to kick the crap out off the ball away from my goal and run over people.
And of course running over people means getting knocked on your ass every now and again. Here I am literally knocked out, for a while.

And this was the collision that caused my first or second concussion, can't remember which.
Filed under WTF

I think I got red carded for trying to head the ball with my fro one time.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2010 SNORE DE FRANCE

Boy, now that the Hurl Cup is nearly done with tomorrow's final, and then Tour de France organizers pretty much eliminating the drama in the entire race by throwing cobbles into the earliness, as we now get to watch Contasnore follow Lance's wheel around for 15 days until he decides to attack Evans and company over the course of about 10km the rest of the way, then Andy Schleck try and do something he is not capable of due to his lack of TT, I prefer this as my favorite highlight and will keep it at that...

THE OFFICIAL T-SHIRT OF CYCLOCROSS WORLDS IN LOUISVILLE, KY.

I'm not really sure how Louisville, Kentucky, ended up getting the Cyclocross World Championships in 2012 and 2013, but they did, and this is the logo and official T-shirt of the event as presented to me by Courtney Wuwuwuwuwuwuwuwuwuzup Gregory to show his apprecitation for my efforts in the short track series here this year, swanky sweet. By the way, am I the only person who thinks Kentucky's abbreviation is a bit on the telling side? K Y, just wonderin.

Friday, July 9, 2010

DUSTY BOOT SHORT TRACK SERIES ENDS ON A PERFECT NIGHT..

Thank you to all of you who made this series happen...what a sweet night to end the series on.

NOW THAT MY RACE PROMOTION IS OVER FOR THE SUMMER....

I want to build one of these...

AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT BEAST, THE BRECK 100

This logo will take you there...
The Firecracker 50, these words create a buzz amongst racers the likes of which your rarely see. I suppose the fact that it is a National Championship race on the USA Cycling calender helps, as most of the big endurance names show to throw. But on July 17th, the true test of one day endurance racing takes place at the Breck 100. If you think you are a tough guy or girl, give it a wurl. The three loops are impressive to say the least and wyou will ride ALOT of the legendary singletrack around the Breck area. And on top of that, you'll have Squirt Lube to get you through the mileage as well as me on the microphone reminding you of just how incredibly badly you are suffering. Thanks to Thane Wright and Warrior Cycling for putting this sufferfest together, and most above 10,000 feet....enjoy the ride, a very long ride indeed.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

NOLAN LAKE DON'T SUCK

The hike up to Nolan Lake was stellar this past Saturday, with plenty of water flowing, blue skies, warm temps, no bugs and fish eating and eating well, not to mention great company!
Brook trout galore...

Monday, July 5, 2010

FIRECRACKER 50, JULY 4TH, 2010

This year's Firecracker 50 was the same as most in the past, with the course absolutley pummeling the competitors into submission with the exception of just a very few of the strong. When you bare witness to this event, or partcipate, you will observe the heads of 99% of the competition dropped an beggin for mercy somewhere on lap two, highlights follow...
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Trebon on lap two would lose a few spots between here and the finish, the former Champ hung tough most of the rideAl Marvin, still rockin in his 60's, nice job dawg....Marcus Georgopolus rollin home after 50 brutal miles...and that's Stew in the background with the Mountain Flyer kit calling out the Squirt Lube love...

4TH OF JULY WEEKEND, OVER THE TOP SHANANAGANS...

Not sure how much higher you can spike the fun meter than what was happening this 4th weekend in Eagle and Summit Counties, but the attempts were made, Especially by thew 750 racers at the Firecracker 50 Mountain Bike Marathon National Championships in Breckenridge yesterday. Of course there were stellar fireworks in both Avon and Eagle, BBQ's, and some high alpine lake hiking up to Nolan, a spot I've seen from above but never actually hiked too....

Eagle's fireworks under cool skies..
Irmiger, Dombrowski, Park, Reeves, Boniface

Aid Station one at the Firecracker, checkpoint Charlie for Squirt Lube

JHK, Shultz, Wiens, Bishop, Swindlehurst

Court Butler rolling at mile marker 49.9
Colorado's State Bloom....
On the way up to Nolan Lake
Nolan in all it's glory

Support Station #1 at the Firecracker hosted by Squirt Lube, too bad I ate it all...
If you have never witnessed or participated in the Firecracker 50, you have never seen the bottom of the cavernous Pain Cave, as so many who raced for a National Championship did yesterday. Kudos to all the warriors who lined it up to suffer like you read about, and who competed. Many were successful, many failed to reach their goals, but they are all winners for lining it up in one of mountain biking's true tests of endurance...well done!