Battle of Words: A Conversation Between Two Endurance Geeks

April 23, 2012 on 10:46 am | In Fat Tires, Life at, Random Musings | No Comments

This past summer I did quite a bit of crazy riding to get ready for the Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race.  One of the guys that I trained with was Paul “PT” Thomas.  This conversation took place about 16 hours after the finish of the Leadville 100 Mtb  Race (August 13, 2011) between me and PT (who subsequently went 7:13, a blazing time especially at the young age of 41).


Vangina – the name of Paul’s VW Euro Van
Noreen – Paul’s wife
Debbie – Seton’s wife
Molino – A basin about 5.5 miles up the famous Mt. Lemmon climb in Tucson.
Sabino – A popular walking/running/cycling canyon in Tucson.

Seton and PT at the finish of Leadville 100 MTBSeton and Paul at the finish of the Leadville 100 MTB Race.

(7:00 PM)

PT: How do the pistons feel?

SC: Feeling good, I just got back from an easy ride up to Molino Basin.  It was a bit warm.

(7:57 PM)

PT: I am actually motor pacing behind the Vangina as I write.  I told Noreen to keep it between 45-48 mph.

(8:49 PM)

SC: Just got back from my run.  Kept it easy, just two repeats up Sabino.  I had to run on the road because it was getting dark.

PT: Interesting….I don’t want to make it seem like I am one upping you, but Noreen ran outa gas after 3 hours of motor pacing.  We are fixing up a cabled harness and I am going to ride the Specialized, pulling the Vangina 30 miles to Deming.

(9:07 PM)

SC: That sounds similar to my experience earlier today.  Our plane ran out of fuel right after we landed so I volunteered to hop our and pull that bitch to the gate.

PT: I am way too familiar with runways.  I once had to tow a plane up to speed that needed help as it was carting the space shuttle Challenger back to Florida….not to “one up” you though.

SC: Yeah, I remember that, they had me on that mission hooked up to a power bike to provide aux power for the shuttle.

PT: Sorry for the delay in responding…I was pre occupied with taking the lug nuts off with my bare hands.  Noreen thought I should rotate the wheels as the Vangina was pulling to the left a bit.

PT: F#*c….after all of that manual labor, we figured out it was not the wheels, as now it is pulling to the right.  I switched my one legged drills from left to right leg.

(10:00 PM)

SC: Damn, I am spent.  There was a creaking under the house so I had to lift it off the foundation so Debbie could have a look underneath.  Turns out it was just noise from my one-arm clap push ups I was doing.

(2:26 PM next day)

PT: Just read this one. You are the winner as I am laughing hard!!!!!

A welcome home hug at the finishAfter many hard hours of training, it was good to see PT at the finish line.

Mountain Bike Clinic with Grasky Endurance Coaching

September 20, 2011 on 1:29 pm | In Employee Adventures, Fat Tires, TriSports Triathlon Club | No Comments

“You are not too old to learn to “bunny hop”” or so Brian kept telling me at last Sunday’s mountain bike clinic that was put on by Grasky Endurance Coaching at Sweetwater Preserve.  Instructors Brian and Jill Grasky and Bryce Phinney did a top job in coaching a mixed skills groups of mountain bikers through a set of skills drills and then took us off to ride.  This was a great opportunity to practice and hone your mountain biking skills with some Pros – or in my case try to actually acquire some basic skills and increased confidence.  Although I have raced twice in the Tour of the White Mountains and the Kona 24 hour race, my actual mountain biking skills are abysmal.  It’s hard to take years of triathlon and road cycling in straight lines and convert that into the wild down hills, boulders and cactus of Arizona mountain biking!  When this clinic opportunity came up I knew it was a must for me!

View of Tucson from Sweetwater Preserve

They offered a workable combination of individual skills drills and actual riding, and with three instructors we were divided up into beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels, so everyone’s needs were adequately met.

I never mastered the “bunny hop” and even fell in the parking lot trying – but I came away from the clinic with better confidence after the ride and some real instruction on  weight distribution for cornering at low and high speeds, climbing and, of course, the downhill.

Speed is your friend when mountain biking – the brakes are not, especially the front ones!  Everyone participating enjoyed the clinic and left asking for more of these!

This was a lot of fun and a good opportunity to meet other Mountain bikers and get some Pro insight into how it should be done!

Coach Bryce tearing it up at the Deuces Wild Triathlon XTERRA


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