Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Feminine Fortitude

 In Madison last month, we had our 2nd-ever female overall win in an Urban Assault Ride.
It's a pretty impressive accomplishment to best all the other 646 riders, but Stephanie and Julie took home the win (and a year's supply of Jack Link's beef jerky).

The UAR crew asked them a few questions about their victory and how it feels to tell all the dudes in Madison, "You just got CHICKED"...

 1. What was your strategy at the UAR?
We mapped out short routes between the checkpoints but also ones that allowed us to ride continuously without frequent stops. Sometimes this meant that we added on some distance in order to take the road and avoid a bike path or stop light. We were sure to hit the first mystery checkpoint early on - this was important as we needed plenty of time to figure out the second one! Riding as fast as possible between the checkpoints and working together to block the strong winds that day were also key.

2. What did you do to train/prepare?
Julie is training for Ironman Wisconsin so the endurance/biking/training piece was already there for her. In preparation she put some mountain bike pedals on her road bike so that she could use her mountain bike shoes but still have a nice light road bike. Stephanie has several hundred cycling miles tracked already this year, and put cages on her road bike pedals so getting on and off the bike were speedy transitions. We both rely heavily on our bikes for transportation and know our ways around the city. We spent a good amount of time the week before UAR test-riding the course, working on the quiz (we scored 90%!) and trying to figure out the first mystery clue.

3. Are you going to share your Jack Link's winnings?
Julie has the brilliant idea of hosting an Iron Chef Jack Link's beef jerky party so of course we are going to share! We already have our friends and family thinking about recipes for the Jack Link's jerky and will be challenging them to come up with a delicious dessert that includes beef jerky.

4. What was your favorite obstacle? What was the hardest?
The bike tire sling-shot with the Keen shoes was really clever. It took a few tries to get a hang of it but we had the shoes launching high in no time. Riding the mini bikes with one person sitting on the handlebars was pretty hard. It was tough to pedal and navigate, and the person sitting on the handlebars had a tough balancing act.  Julie's vote for the hardest obstacle was the bike wheel barrel race - her abs hurt for a week after that one! Figuring out the second mystery clue was also a challenge.

5. How does it feel to be the 2nd female team to win the overall at a UAR?
It's pretty awesome! We got out there and rode hard and smart, and it was fun to see our efforts pay off. It's not too often that we've seen a women's team win an athletic event overall, and the UAR staff did a great job of making it known to the guys who was boss that day! There was a lot of chatter about "getting chicked" during the awards ceremony, and the crowds really got in to it. Hopefully other ladies can be inspired to get out and ride, and maybe we'll see some more female teams take home the beef jerky in upcoming UARs!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

18 Hours of Fun

The “off-the-couch-endurance-race” experience is becoming all too familiar. Why do I continue to do this to myself? Somehow that immediate post-race delirium prevents me from remembering the pain, which eventually leads me to sign up for yet another suffer fest, where I inevitably remember why I promised myself I would train harder before doing this ever again.

Nonetheless, I have accepted that I am innately attracted to endurance events. Even when I am under-fit, I continue to throw myself into these experiences if for none other than the incredible team bonding and for the opportunity to feel moderate to severe delirium in the wee hours of the night. This, of course, is made exponentially worse by the fact that I am going manic out there on the course, throwing everything I have into each pedal stroke, redlining the entire lap, and somehow recovering enough to do it again and again and again. And I keep getting away with it. I secretly hope that one of these days I’ll get severely shut down, forcing me to consider undertaking a more rigid, or at least more consistent training routine before embarking on such feats in the future. For now I will continue on - a blissfully average mountain biker with a knack for throwing down hard every once in awhile.

This past weekend was the 18 Hours of Fruita. Having been invited onto the New Belgium Brewing team, “The Chocolate Factory”, I was stoked to be riding amongst excellent friends and former co-workers.  Our co-ed team of four was White Chocolate, German Chocolate, Carob, and myself, Chocolate-Covered Cherry. What I loved most about the experience is that none of us had any attachments or expectations. We just wanted to ride our bikes. I don’t even remember checking the standings until about 9 hours into the race, when, to my surprise, we were sitting in the top 8. Needless to say, as we climbed into a solid 3rd place with 6 hours remaining I was pretty giddy.

There were more than a few memorable moments this weekend, not the least of which was the fact that I fell deeper in love with my new single speed. No surprise there.  And then there was this one early morning lap. I was in the zone, enjoying the playfulness of high-speed flow, my tires hooking up at exactly the right moments. Each birm, each twist was executed perfectly. Railing through a quick turn I caught some air, dramatically landing at the entrance to a dirt-covered bridge. My rear wheel washed out on the ball bearings, and in a moment of uncharacteristic grace and bad-assness I recovered, pedaling frantically, and pulled off an admittedly-awesome feat of balance and power. I was one with my bike. Just as I pulled out of the powerslide and cranked over the bridge, I heard a little kid maybe 10 years old (who happened to be standing directly beside said bridge in the stream bed) exclaim, “THAT was HOT!” as I blazed by with a huge smile on my face, en route to completing my fastest lap of the race.

Since we were doing blocks of two, I had yet another lap to look forward to. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, in the last mile of that 2nd lap I busted up a quick hill only to be greeted by an angel….an angel offering bacon. Bacon? Heck yeah I’ll have some bacon! The crunchy, salty deliciousness couldn’t have been appreciated any more. I laughed as I entered the high-speed descent down to the water’s edge, my eyes watering and my mouth salivating and my heart happy. The last climb out was a breeze. The tight hairpin switchback that once eluded me and my one speed was effortless. I blazed by our camp yelling “CHOCOLATE FACTORY!!!!”, then passed the torch off to our next rider.

We walked away with a solid 2nd place finish, a satisfying reward for such spectacular efforts from the entire team.

Till next time……


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Racing over the weekend

While some were planting flowers and eating brunch with their moms, others were getting all anerobic.
 Here's Mr Swift airing it out at the 12 hours of Mesa Verde.
 He said, "the race this weekend in Cortez was a blast! drove down friday.  pre rode the course friday evening.  its called Phils World and its the most fun singletrack and race course i have ridden in CO!  here is the GPS of 1 lap...  the course is VERY twisty with lots of whoops and 99% singletrack.
 Then we had Sam and Dave taking on the Battle of the Bear in the TOUGH AS NAILS Single Speed Division
 ...and they took home 1st and 2nd place. Great work dudes!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The 1st Mothers Day for Adventure Fit

Perhaps it's best to start off with a little background...
Many moons ago, weekends meant 4+ hour rides each day - if there was not a race to take on. 9 years later, weekends mean taking care of family matters 1st, rides 2nd, beers 3rd. Not a bad thing by any means, just a change of perspective and responsibility. We love them both equally and it's nice to appreciate both.
Over those 9 years, we've grown this company called Adventure Fit, embracing the ideals of an active lifestyle, fun adventures, while putting it all together in an event experience. As the business has grown from a 'mom n pop' to a full-on company with employees and payroll we've tried to create a fun life for the original 'mom n pop'.
Well - today was a special day because it was a celebration of the Adventure Fit 'Mom'. Here's how it went down...
 Brunch to fuel us up
 Dipping little Ollie's feet in his 1st mountain stream
 Rasta and Maple were living it up
 Ollie and Daddy all geared up
 Adventure Fit Family photo

Happy Mother's Day Jackie! We love you!

...and speaking of Mothers...remember, "when you put down one mother, you're putting down mothers all over the world."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

super cool titanium lock

Hopefully the product comes to market and is as tough and light as they claim....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Super Cru Haiku

20 years of Fat Tire. Oh malty, biscuit-y, perfectly balanced Amber Ale how I love thee. Your bottles have welcomed me home after a long day. Your cans have joined me on backcountry adventures. Your kegs have been the star of the show at every Urban Assault Ride party around the nation. And now....now....in 2011 you have been miraculously transformed into a Belgian Double style Fat Tire: the Super Cru. With double the malt and hops profile, a tad bit of Asian pear juice, and a lovely Saison yeast, you are truly a celebration brew.

In honor of 20 years of Fat Tire Amber Ale, and in honor of the limited release of the Super Cru, I have created a haiku. For you. Don't laugh. It was entirely inspired by one of your beautiful 22 oz bombers, which I savored over a dinner of artichokes, bacon-wrapped cream-cheese stuffed jalapenos, and chicken kabobs. It was a brilliant sensory experience, which naturally led to this beer-induced moment of appreciation:

 Fat Tire malts and hops
Add love and double it up
Super Cru yum yum.