Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tubing Is Not a Crime...Need I Say More?

Love this guy. May I never cross his path in race...


Gravity Play Adventure Extreme Series- Moab, Utah 2009

350 smiling adventure racers descended upon Moab, Utah for a 12 hour multisport race that always seems to be the season kicker off'er for the US adventure racing scene. Teams came from all over the Rocky Mountain region and as far as Washington state to race this great multisport course. My old team Boulder Performance Network is on hold for this year with sponsorship woes and I continue to focus on wildwater kayak racing. But with a later start to the international wildwater scene, I couldn't pass on my favorite place in the US to race so I entered as a soloist.

The race began on mountain bikes allowing for a fun peloton of sorts for all racers to chum it up and catch up with my old pals. The chum'ing ended rather abruptly as the course turned vertical for a 2,000 ft climb from the Colorado River basin up Longhorn Canyon on near 18% sandy rocky Jeep trails. The course flattened out before the rappel on classic Moab slickrock and I was very impressed with the new Gary Fisher Superfly hardtail 29er that University Bikes/Gary Fisher in Boulder set me up on for the 2009 season. At just under 24 lbs for a 29er, I'm certain it is my ultimate dream adventure racing bike.

My old teammate Travis Macy (Salomon), myself (BPN Clif Bar), James Kovacs (Golite), and 18-year old (wow!) Spencer Lacy split off the front of the pack to make the 350 foot rappel as getting hung up in queue behind other racers is the end of your day in this race. On the mountain run leg, Kovacs and I exchanged our best imitations from my favorite movie Top Gun as Travis was showing us both without mercy "there are no points for second place"!

I spent the rest of the day chasing Travis down on foot and bike by map and compass only to arrive at the final paddle leg to the finish about 20 minutes behind. In years past, my only hope was to make up time on the paddle on Travis but his paddling skills and boat selection have really impressed me this year. Water levels were super low this year and paddle hits were a bit problematic combined with me mixing my "big gulp" energy drink way too concentrated (note to self: add electrolytes after you know how long paddle leg will be:) which triggered some projectile vomiting followed by some fierce paddling as I felt like a new man afterwards.

I couldn't close the gap; finishing 2nd overall and almost 10ish minutes behind the son of adventure racing legend Mark Macy. I'm sure his dad is quite proud as I don't see anyone in the US short of the Nike's Mike Kloser and company and the still formidable Mike Freeburn beating Travis in a multisport run/ride/paddle/compass race. Spencer Lacy, son of longtime wildwater kayaker Gary Lacy, finished 15 minutes behind in 3rd then finally the 1st team arrived 30 minutes later. Spencer Lacy is another upcoming youth phenom as his bike and paddling skills are impressive and he's isn't even out of highschool yet! I think he actually may have been doing homework during the prize giving but Travis and I have his medal to deliver next weekend as we head up to Jackson Hole Pole Pedal Paddle. I think Spencer will really raise some eyebrows as he's an even better nordic skier placing top 10 in the nation as a junior.

Special thanks to my sponsors KEEN, Clif Bar, Boulder Performance Network, and Immersion Research for another great opportunity to represent your brands!

Travis Macy wins the overall...and the nicest guy in adventure racing award...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Westwater Canyon Meets Wildwater Kayak Nov 2008

Westwater Nov 2008

So Heather and I joined 30 of our newly met friends on a paddling trip organized by Bob Cooke from Denver REI. Westwater Canyon is a classic big water class 3-4 run from the Utah Colorado State Line almost to Westwater. We joined 10 kayakers and 3 rafts for this overnight camping trip.

It all started innocently enough, with smiles from ear to ear. Day 2 made up for a casual first day of great slot canyon waterfalls and slickrock slides in one of America's true paddling treasures. We had one raft puncture so had to consolidate the rafters onto one raft seen here with "Boz" at the helm running the uncommon line right through the Skull at Skull Rapid. I'm too old for the hero line so here I am taking the weak sister line with Bob on the camera waiting for carnage to unfold without fruition in this saavy, crack squad of motivated paddlers. We had our share of carnage and had to work through a shoulder dislocation in the belly of the canyon but all worked out and what a great group. Our rescue raft was so overloaded we had a little fun towing it out of the canyon here right near the takeout.

Kayak to Work Week! March 23-30th

We'll it's official race fans. No better way to get your kayak to your local waterway than in tow behind the townie bike! Special thanks to Ian Adamson from Boulder for his engineering expertise in designing this marvel of geometry and mathematics. I sure do get alot of honks and rubbernecking when hauling a load but it sure beats gas prices these days. I'm even offering neighboorhood kids a ride if they're under 4o lbs and they don't mind it's a little top heavy design so no BMX moves when sidecar occupied. Truth be known, it's actually my stealth mode of paddling on Boulder Reservoir afterhours at night as the park rangers can't find my bike hidden in the fields nor can I after a brisk spring paddle with ice on my drytop!
Pass it some gas and make someone chuckle.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

March 11, 2009 Back to School!

So I found myself back in highschool last week helping out Dawson School's Kayak Academy students interested in downriver racing. We spent 2 hours working on forward stroke, stroke timing, start from stop, heeling the boat while sprinting, and shallow water paddling skills. No capsizes to report and what a great bunch of young adults to work with! Special thanks to their coach Mr. Nate Lord for inviting me as a guest instructor. I'll work with their wildwater team a few days per month through the spring.