So last night Cami and I had a sweet sushi dinner at Kyoto. It was nothing too crazy: miso, squid salad, a few rolls and some nigiri. After finishing I was satisfied, but not completely full, so my thoughts soon turned to dessert. We stopped at Wild Oats on the way to pick up the kids and while Cami shopped for a few missing ingredients she needed to complete some recipes in her new Raw Foods cookbook, I looked for something sweet. My original plan was to pick up a cookie or two from the bakery but after a trip down the baking aisle I changed course and selected a Nature's Path organic chocolate chip cookie mix. The thought of freshly baked, warm, slightly gooey chocolate chip cookies with a cold glass of milk (skim of course!) was too much to pass up.
Upon arriving home I went to work, adding walnuts and oatmeal to the mix, and soon had 15 cookies ready for consumption. This is the point where I got into trouble. You see, according to the nutritional information on the box, 1 cookie (servings per box was 10) contains 150 calories based on the dry mix alone. Since I ended up with 15 cookies I was looking at 100 calories per, but when you include the canola oil, walnuts and oatmeal I added to the mix, the final count was probably closer to 150. When all was said and done, I had consumed 8 cookies and 2 glasses of milk. My glass holds about 2.5 cups so if you do the math (8 cookies x 150 calories/each) (5 cups of milk x 80 calories/cup) it appears that my dessert equaled about 1600 calories. Needless to say I haven't had the courage to go anywhere near the scale today!
One nice thing about birthdays is that I usually end up with a little extra cash. So, this evening I did what any good American does with gift money: I spent it. 10 boxes of Larabars and 3 containers of CarboRocket later the $ is gone but hey, I should be well fueled for the next few months of riding!
Oh man, I met JE this afternoon at the International Center Subway for a ride to the SLC Marina and back that included a 20 minute effort at 165+ average heart rate. Well, I learned a lesson today: Don't give JE a head start. When I do intervals with another rider I like to let a gap open before starting my effort. That way I have somebody to chase which helps me maintain my intensity. Today, I followed that approach only to have JE light the road on fire. I never even got close during the 20 minutes! It provided a fantastic rabbit to chase but dang, he was motoring. His TT bike is sweet and I'm excited to see how he fares on the same road once the Saltair Series begins.
Ripped around on the BST after work yesterday for 3 hours. I from the office, logging a few extra miles before meeting Kris at the trail across from the zoo. Kris tried to make up for a relative lack of mechanicals last year by fixing a flat, rear deraileur and broken chain - all before we reached the gate! Luckily he had a chain tool and quick link which made for a quick repair. At that point I remarked that his shock would probably blow next but thankfully his bike held together and we finished the ride incident free.
There were a ton of people out on the trail. Up Dry Creek, just after we flipped a U-turn to avoid the mud, we saw KDay and the MTB Monday group heading up, chased by Fox who was definitely NOT pushing just 125 watts! Later we ran into Bob who was breaking in some sweet new 4-ti Eggbeaters. Kris snapped the below picture (the only pic of the ride).
This afternoon I'm meeting JE at Subway in the International Center for a ride to the Marina. If you want to join us we're meeting at 4 pm.
Lots of veggies, a little chicken, brown rice and a generous amount of Sriracha to give it some punch.
In terms of riding, I must admit to feeling the urge to upgrade something on one (or both!) of my bikes. I'm not sure what it will be, maybe a new crank for my mountain bike (the new XTR crank is the sweetness), MTB shoes without a Boa closure (my tongue always slips to the side), Ergon BD1 pack, or a new lense for my Radars. Perhaps a Specialized Toupe saddle (now that it's offered in a 155 to fit my wide sit bones) or pair of Arundel carbon cages for my road bike. Next week I turn 35 so I need to think of something...
Well, dinner included not just this little pizza but 3 others as well. And yes, Todd, that is whole wheat crust. Taken with my crappy cell phone camera, the pizza tasted much better than it looks in the picture! For those of you more familiar with Little Caesars, Pizza Hut, Dominos, etc. this might look a bit strange. Welcome to the world of real food.
It's always a bummer to return home after a good vacation, but thus far I have yet to discover a means of extending my time away from work & daily responsibility. Luckily the weather has been good since we returned Monday night and I've been out on the road bike each day. Yesterday was a super easy spin around the southwest end of the SLC valley in the evening and today was an easy ride up Emigration during the early afternoon. My legs aren't great, and I'm still feeling tired, but once I recover from the efforts of last week I hope to be rolling well.
I'm not sure what I'll be riding on Friday and Saturday so if you have any suggestions let me know. Company is always preferred over riding solo. Next week looks promising for some early spring action on the SLC BST. It will be good to log some hours on the local dirt again.
My legs are toast. Fried. Completely smoked. Especially after this afternoon's ride, which saw my brother and I explore more of the trails in the McDowell Sonoran Reserve. We started the fun by climbing up to Bell Pass which was a tough, rocky, steep climb that saw us walking the majority of the last mile. This was the high point of the ride at 3204 feet. Dropping down the backside we rode over to the Windgate Pass trail for what we assumed would be a quick descent back to the valley floor. Unfortunately we had to climb up to Windgate Pass and then climb again to the Gateway Saddle. Total elevation gain was 2000+ feet.
Bell Pass is in the center of this picture, just to the right of the middle peak:
On the way up:
At the top of Bell Pass:
Looking down the trail we just finished climbing:
Descending from Bell Pass on the way to Windgate Pass:
The goal for today's ride was to complete the Desert Classic trail at South Mountain. As an out-n-back you're looking at close to 10 miles one way which isn't a big deal unless, like us, you start the ride after 5 pm. Being a conservative, cautious, worrisome guy I was ready to flip a U-turn at 6 pm, before we'd reached the end (or beginning, depending on where you start the ride) of the trail, but my brother was set on going the distance so we continued. 15 minutes later we hit the turnaround and, after snapping a few quick pictures to document our historic achievement, we headed back. It wasn't long before the sunglasses came off followed soon thereafter by a dramatic reduction in speed as our visibility steadily declined. Finishing a little after 7 pm in near darkness, we were greeted by a couple enjoying a little tailgate loving in the bed of the pickup behind our car. Yeah, let's just say that I should have waited a few seconds before turning on my headlights...
Today was a family hike to Sunrise Peak that I had planned to follow up with a trail shred at McDowell with Cami but, I'm a little embarrassed to say, after the hike we were all so tired that the biking didn't happen.
Last December I rode up Sunrise Peak from the Lost Dog trailhead. This time I decided to try it from the opposite end which is a shorter, albeit steeper trail. While I wouldn't recommend this approach to mountain bikers, it was a great hiking trail.
It took the kids close to 30 minutes to get warmed up but once all of the "I'm tired", "I'm going to die", "I just want to sit on this rock and wait for you to come back" had passed they did great. We saw lots of lizards and sweet black & orange beetles that kept them engaged. I was even called upon to help a lady who had somehow tangled with a cactus and had a bunch of spines in her finger. Luckily she had a pair of tweezers which I used to pull them out. In the process I managed to stick myself with a couple that I then had to remove from my thumb!
While the kids were swimming this afternoon at the community center I headed out for a quick ride. Wanting to ride dirt, but not having enough time to drive to any of my usual trails, I decided to ride from the house and check out my brother's neighborhood. Thanks to MtBikeAZ'strail description I knew the McDowell Sonoran Preserve was close. What I didn't realize was that it would only take 10 minutes before I was riding dirt! The initial approach was a rough, rocky doubletrack but once I neared the mountains I hit singletrack that never seemed to end. I jumped from one trail to another to another, riding portions of each as an out-and-back so I could try as many as possible. This area is a ton of fun and, as is evident by the pictures, extremely scenic as well. A very nice way to spend my late afternoon.
I didn't have a chance to explore either of these options:
I say "Part 1" because this is the first of many days that will be spent in McDowell Mountain Regional Park on this trip. Tonight was just a quick 14 miles with my brother to wake up the legs. We hit sections of the Pemberton, Granite, Bluff, Tonto Tanks and Secret trails. This is my first trip to Arizona during "spring" and the desert is in bloom, not to mention incredibly green. I've never seen anything like it as all of my previous trips took place during the winter months. Speaking of firsts, this was also my first ride of 2008 in shorts and a jersey as the temperature was 80 when we started!
Met up with Matt for a lunch ride to the Marina. We just rolled easy except during my 3x3 minute intervals where my average heart rate was 178, 181 and 179. He accelerated a few seconds early which gave me a nice rabbit to chase during the first half of the effort and then jumped in the draft as he eased up and let me pass. More of the same tomorrow (minus the intervals) and Emigration is tentatively planned for Friday.
Paid a lunchtime visit to the Salt Lake Marina again yesterday. While the temperature was noticeably cooler than last week the air was clean and clear making for some nice views of the lake and mountains. Assuming it's dry tomorrow, I'm planning to hit it again as I need to knock out some 3 minute intervals. As always, company is welcome so drop me a line if anybody's interested. Later in the week, once it warms up a bit more, I'll be heading up Emigration if that sounds more exciting than a flat, windy road that parallels I-80.