Monday, July 30, 2007

A$$holes in SUVs

Last Wednesday, while riding my bike on Snow King Avenue, I was passed by a rather large pickup truck, the driver of which thought it necessary to scream at me through the window as he passed dangerously close. "Why don't you grow up and buy a car!" Ashamedly, I returned him the requisite finger gesture and then forgot the encounter until later.

That was June 6th, a date that has always been very special to me. Sixty-three years ago, on that day, my grandfather was running along the beach in Normandy on D-Day. Each year on June 6th I call my grandfather and never say a word about the war or D-Day, but it’s a day when I’m sure we both think about our country and what it means to be at war. I understand
that was a different era and a different war, but it struck me as strange that this particular truck driver had a giant American flag and "Support our Troops" sticker on his tailgate. In a war dependent on our unquestionable need for oil, it seems ironic that self-proclaimed patriots in gas guzzling monster trucks think it “childish” or stupid that I might want to ride a bike instead of driving a car.

During WWII, it would have been unthinkable to throw out a can or a piece of rubber that was usable in the war effort. Entire communities walked to work to save fuel, women filled factories to take over production while their male counterparts went off to war. In 1941
General Motors, who at the time controlled 45% of car sales in America, completely retooled its manufacturing to produce everything from airplanes to guns.

Yet now, with our country at war, it seems people don't sacrifice anything for the good of the war effort. In fact, I’d bet most people never give it a thought during the day. Yes, it's true that me riding my bike may never bring one soldier home, but it's my symbolic gesture. I believe that if you really support the troops, then perhaps a little sacrifice in your personal life is more patriotic than a $3 sticker on your tailgate.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Grand Teton Ascent

Yesterday I ran up the Grand Teton. Parking lot to summit in 2:59:27. First time I've ever broken 3 hrs. Beautiful day, but quite warm. Windy on the summit.

Middle Teton from below the Meadows

Looking down into Valhalla Canyon


WYDAHO mtb race at Grand Targhee Resort - Great course at 8,000 ft. Three laps of 7 miles for the expert class. Start temperature? 97°. I was doing great for the first 2 laps. Unfortunately at the top of the first climb on the last lap I flatted while in 5th place. Rather than using common sense and turning back to the start, I proceeded to run with my bike the next 5 miles and finish.

Turns out my running shoes are WAY more comfortable than my cycling shoes. Also turns out that when running with your bike, there's no way to out pace the horses flies. At least I didn't finish last.

Tough Weekend

Saturday I woke up at 6am, ate and headed out for the Cache-Game Trail Race. The race consists of 11.5 miles of trail running beginning with a 5 mile uphill section followed by a 6 mile downhill, rolling finish. I finished in 1:27 with an average heart rate of 175 and a max of 194.

Sunday I woke up at 5am to ride Jackson-Targhee-Jackson. 90 miles with 6,000 ft of climbing on 3 passes; the first and third of which averages 10%. Average heart rate 160, max 187.

I'm taking a nap.