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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Crazy Updade

Or, should I say an update because I'm crazy?  No, we are not in Florida, we're still in Utah.  Like I posted before, life is what happens when you are making other plans.  The new plan?  This week we became foster parents.  Jaide and Trent, 9 and 13, moved in yesterday after a whirlwind week of preparation and many trips to Ogden/Layton.

Why are we doing this?  It's pretty simple.  We have enough food, house, things, experience, knowledge, and love to share.  We all talk about charitable giving, making the world a better place, and doing for others.  This is something completely different.  It's something we just feel a need to do.

Crazy?  Yes.  The short list of things to get/do:  build closets, build a wall, chest 'o drawers, fix the seat belt in the car, organize the upstairs, go to the grocery store (again), do the dishes (again), and get more laundry baskets.  And yes, ride my bike.  And yes, go to Florida for a short trip.

I will fly to Jacksonville on January 5th and return to Loganistan on January 17th.  Lupine should be flying with me (she may change her mind).  I still plan on doing the Florida Championship cross races and the Tour de Felasco.  I'll do these rides for fun.  I have to, now that I've already gained 8 pounds since my last race on December 17.  I really like potato chips.  And pizza.  And sausage.  And...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Poem for Lynn

Inside and above
When the snow-fog leaves my head
I'll stand in the sun

Utah Cyclocross Final Points 45+

Belay That Order

Life is happening while we're making other plans.  So, don't put the cat in the car just yet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Long Haul

We are going to get in the car in a few days.  The goddamned cat, too.  If I can find room I'll strap the fixed gear cross bike to the rear luggage rack, somehow.  No, I'm not going to Nationals.  No, I'm not going to Worlds.  I may not even get to the Florida State Championship race on January 8.  Then again, I might.  If I do, it will be nice to have a real bicycle rather than a 30 pound 30 year old ten speed.

I have not trained since last Saturday, already getting fat, eating chips and drinking two beers.  Yeah, I'm a real beer drinker.  I may go run the stairs today.  Then again, it's 14 degrees out there.  I need to do some core conditioning, but the floor is dirty and covered in dog hair.  I could go ride Green Canyon on the snow bike, but my toes would freeze after only a half hour of pedaling.  I really have to get out of Utah.  What's the temperature right now in Florida?
The route home, you ask?  Moab, Utah, Taos, New Mexico, Batesville, Arkansas, and Mendenhall, Mississippi are the for sure stops.  I'm sure there will be others.  Tallahassee?  I'm taking bets on where the cat runs away.  Pick the spot; the closest location wins.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Utah Cyclocross 2011 Is Done

Final race today
Flat, bike change, chased back to third
Podium in sight

Hard left, inside out
Slipped on the ice covered leaves
So long podium

All said and done now
Second overall this year
Masters 45

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I live in a place
Where you can't ride in winter
Without cold numb feet

Friday, December 9, 2011

Working Through My Depression

I'm up in Montana's Bitterroot Valley until Sunday, collecting data, changing batteries, and installing 6 more cameras.  Work is good for me.  I just need to get back on the bike.  That is hard to do for many reasons:  the ass-whoopin' I endured last Saturday brought me down, the super cold temperatures (I tried to go ride on Tuesday of this week but it was 8 degrees, so I pulled a Dave Parker and turned around and went back home before I even got started), and the depressing long shadows even in the middle of the day.  But, I'm feeling better.  I'll bounce back.  Short dark days can't last forever.  I may even go for the win in the final race on the 17th.  Just seven more days until the end.  I hope it will be slick and frozen solid.  Then, I'm going to drink a beer, eat hamburgers, and get fat again.  That will make me feel better about myself, that and more than 8 hours of sunlight each day.  Florida and warm air is not far off.  I can't wait.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

UTCX #11 45+ Results

I did not ride bad.  Actually, I rode pretty good.  The Throttle, on the other hand, put a little more than 20 seconds on me every lap.  That's 20 seconds every lap!  Darren was super fast today and I was not even close to being able to keep up with him.  It was the man against the boys today.  He is the Utah 45+ champ.  I got the second place medal.  He is now 11 points ahead overall with one race to go, and that last race is double points.  But, even if I finish one place in front of him, he will still win overall by two points (he will drop a 64 and I will drop a 67).  So, I'll have to finish two places in front of him to take the series.  Yeah, right.  If the course at Wheeler Farm is fast and dry like Fort Buenaventura was today, I won't even be close to the man.  On a dry fast course, I am just another racer.  Pray for mud.  Deep mud.  Really deep slick mud.  And pray that he falls down three or four times.  Or five or six, if you want to pray really hard.  Hey, it works for Tim Tebow.  Realistically, I'll be riding for second overall in the last race, and I'll be riding for the fun of it.  The pressure is off now.  I know my place.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Conditions At The Fort

I went with Jason Sparks today to pre-ride at Ft. Buenaventura.  It's dry and fast, not to my advantage.  I'll have to ride the geared bike.  I'll have to go hard.  I have to finish in front of The Throttle.  I think I will.  I think that he thinks I will.  But you never know until the race is done.

Monday, November 28, 2011


We are in Monticello this morning, headed home to Logan via Moab.  Yeah, we are going to squeeze in a ride if we can.

The picture below says it all.  Monticello has nice mountains, deer, elk, the Peace Tree Cafe, and a temple topped with a gold dude blowing a trumpet.

Friday, November 25, 2011

New Mexico Thanksgiving With Heather and Greg

This Thanksgiving was one to remember.  We rode some of the best singletrack ever for fixed gear cyclocross.  Then, a turkey dinner New Mexico style at Antonio's:  mole on turkey, mole on stuffing (yes, stuffing with green chilies), and mole on sweet potatoes.  The best part was the cream of squash-green chilie soup, and the pumpkin empanada for dessert.  I ate so much I fell down.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

UTCX # 10 Wheeler Farm

I am not going to give a race report.  I'm not going to put up a picture of the standings.  If you really need to know you can look it up on the UTCX website.  Sorry no hyperlink.  I just can't keep worrying about the points standings and the final outcome.  I just have to win the next two races and it will be all good.  When it's all said and done, I will blog about it.  Here is a great video.  I'm at :58, 1:26, 1:57, 2:17, 2:35, and 4:20.  Yeah, that's me at 2:17 making the crazy high side pass around Mr. Cottle "The Throttle" and at 4:20 drifting through a turn.  Slick.

Monday, November 14, 2011

UTCX #9 Mt. Ogden Golf Course

Another fantastic video from Adam.  I'm the guy with the strange looking unwrapped silver flared drop bars.

It's Mathematically Possible, Right Jimbo?

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I spent all last week working on motivation.  I trained consistently, doing steps and hill repeats.  I made positive predictions.  I told myself over and over and over that I would ride well.  I showed up this morning at the race in Ogden and rode the course and got in a decent warm up even though it was cold and raining.  I stayed near the front for three laps.  On the fourth lap I made it to the top of a really long hard climb off the front by a few seconds.  I had a bobble after that, but held a gap for my third first place finish of the year.  This one was special.  I rode well and Darren Cottle was in the race.  It was the first time finishing in front of him since December of last year.  I even got a trophy.  I now own a cow bell that says I'm the 45+ King of Mount Ogden!  It's good to be King...of your own little world.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mind Set

I plan on having a good one in the morning.  All positive.  Snow, rain, wind, mud, frozen mud (frud), and cold?  Good.  I'm going to pre-ride the course, warm up, and stay at the front.  I'm going to ride hard, fast, and dig deep.  Look out Dr. Cross and Mr. Cottle.  I'm going to be motivated.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just Another Utah Cyclocross Race

Here is another video from Grizzly Adam showing the conditions from last Saturday's race.  It was pretty miserable in the morning then blue sky in the afternoon.

UTCX 8 - Wasatch County Fairgrounds from Grizzly Adam on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The End Is Near

Here are the top 20 overall in the UTCX Men's 45+.  I'm sitting in third, and virtually tied for second with Doctor Cross (Darrell Davis).  All I have to do is ride better next week than I did this week, and finish in front of #1823 wearing the Contender kit.  I have a plan.  I going to ride the geared bike.  Really.  I'm going to have the right mental perspective.  Really.  I'm going to finish second overall.  Really.  I've put way too much effort into this thing to be third.  Or fourth.


There is one thing I know for sure about cyclocross.  Sure, you have to be fit to win, but the mental component is so much more important than anything else.  When I got out of the car yesterday morning at Heber, I said to my race buddies, "I just don't have the motivation to do this."  It was snowing and windy, well below freezing.  My teeth chattered.  It was all I could do to get into the skin suit and layers.  It was too cold to warm up, so I didn't.  On the way to the starting line I fell.  Twice.  Really, I am not kidding.  I heard my name when they did the 45+ call up, and as I moved forward I fell in a rut.  They all laughed, but it was a sign of things to come.  At the start of the second lap, I went down again.  As I fell I stepped on my chain and it came off.  I put it back on as seven or eight people went around me.  I fell off the virtual podium.  So, I just went as hard as I could.  On the last two laps I started passing folks.  I ended up in fifth.  Not bad considering my lack of mental preparation, but it was just not my day.  If I finish third overall in the series instead of second, I have only me and my brain to blame.

Tired, cold, muddy, and completely spent, I did the singlspeed race right after the 45+ race.  I started dfl (that's dead f_ _ _ing last, in bicycle racer lingo), but picked up the pace as I went and started passing some folks.  I was "training."  When I went around my buddy, Arthur Morris, the battle was on.  For nearly two laps we went at it.  The announcers were going wild.  Through the technical twisty infield, we were over the top aggressive, riding side by side, bumping shoulders, cutting each other off on the inside turns, with both our bars touching the flagging tape on each side of the course.  This went on for nearly a whole lap.  Then, in my head, it was one to go.  I put in the big attack.  Really big.  I was 10 seconds in front of Arthur as I crossed the line and the announcers said "one to go!!"  Did I already say cyclocross was mental?  So, I kept going and Arthur slowly pulled me back.  He made a good move on the final turn and sprinted for the line.  I went outside and slid a little.  It was no use.  He beat me, but I could not get rid of the smile on my face as we crossed the line.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hard Headed

I'm headed for Heber early in the morning.  There should be some snow on the ground and some snow falling at race time, according to the forecast.  It's going to be cold, below freezing with a stiff northwest wind.  So, the fixed cog is back on the bike.  The lock ring is tight.  I hope the forecast holds.  On snow and frozen ground, the fixed gear is not a real disadvantage.  For the first four races, I must confess, the freewheel was an advantage over the fixed cog.  It gave me a chance to coast and rest a little.  Dismounts were a little easier too.  Last Sunday I rode the geared bike for the first time.  Yes, I'll confess again.  It was faster.  I didn't say better, I just said faster.  Back to being hard headed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Another Video From Adam

UTCX 5 - Wheeler Farm from Grizzly Adam on Vimeo.

Just Nine Little Points...

...between me and Mr. Cottle.  Yet, I've not finished in front of him head to head this year.  Yet.

Also of note, Mr. Davis has not finished in front of me this year.  Yet, he is in first place.  Yet.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Cross Weekend

It was a fun weekend of cyclocross racing in Salt Lake City.  This picture of the headless crossman chasing the alligator is much better than any I can find of me.  I had a good weekend, still trying to get over being sick.  I had to dig really deep both days.  Yesterday I finished third, a minute or more behind "McCottle." 

John McKone and Darren Cottle did not show up today.  So, riding the geared bike for the first time in this series, I stayed near the front most of the day.  The last lap turned into a dogfight with Chuck Collins and Jordan Swensen.  Jordan got stuck in the sand and I passed Chuck just after the sand.  I put everything I had into riding fast but Chuck stayed on my wheel.  Three turns before the finish he made his move and came around me.  He went down in the next turn, an off-camber-downhill-right-hander with roots.  He carried a ton speed into the turn, tapped his brakes late, and started drifting, then rolled a tire.  Right on his wheel, I barely got around on the outside, then soft pedaled to the finish for the win.

Monday, October 24, 2011

On The Road

Off to Montana
My body still infected
Loosing fitness fast

Back to the races
On Saturday and Sunday
To get back in shape

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Back In Utah

We are back from Florida.  I'm on my couch looking at the colors of the changing leaves outside.  My parking receipt from the Salt Lake City Airport says we were gone for nine days, but it feels like it was only a day or two.  On the plane to Florida, as soon as I sat down the man beside me started sneezing, so I incubated a sore throat and bad cold for most of the trip.  I did two cross races anyway, just for good measure, and did one TT ride with the guys in Gainesville.  For the last two days I've had a nasty cheek-bone-pain sinus infection and have been coughing up bloody gunk from my lungs.  So, no cross race this morning.  But, I'll be back at it next weekend.  I'm not dead yet.  Here are some pictures from the lung destroying cross race on Thursday.  Yes, I was the only guy on a 30 year old 10-speed frame set up fixed gear wearing a t-shirt and sandals.  Yes, I was on the podium.  And, one place in front of me, was some fast dude named Chad Parker, number 146.

And, just to prove I went to Florida:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"It's A Conundrum"

Great Video from Matt and UTCX.  I'm on at 2:19 and 8:38 if you want to skip ahead.

UTCX #3, Fort Buenaventura, 2011

Mud.  Puddles.  Mud puddles.  Deep sand by the river.  Peanut butter.  Yesterday was a fine day for a cyclocross race.  Or two, for those who like to pile it on, beat a dead horse, or kick a man when he's down.  I must be one of those.

I did the Masters 45+ race first.  After the first three turns I was in second place and there I stayed for the rest of the race.  When you are in that type of position you are truly only racing yourself.  Darren Cottle was slowly pulling away in front of me and I could hear and see Doctor Cross (Darrell Davis) and The Claw (Jeff Clawson) duking it out behind me.  Just past the middle of the race I backed off, knowing I was not going to win, and knowing I was going to finish in second place.  That's not a good place to be mentally.  With one lap to go I shook off my complacency and went hard to finish with a pretty good gap between me and Doctor Cross.

The Singlespeed race was next.  I had only a few minutes to drink some water, eat a Powerbar, make a futile attempt to clean my chain (waste of time, see pic below), and then line up at the start.  I knew I would not be racing at the front.  I was cooked, and there was a pro and some really fast dudes in the race.  Darren Cottle, who had just beaten me in the previous race, was there too.  My goal was to ride just above threshold instead of just below my max.  It made me a smoother rider.  I was better through the technical sections.  I was able to ride through the deep sand on nearly every lap.  In my previous race I had to run through the sand nearly every lap.  Where did I finish?  Right behind Cottle, just like before.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Song In My Head

Cross Canadian Ragweed - Jenny .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine


Tonight: Rain and snow. Snow level 5900 feet lowering to 5300 feet after midnight . Low around 31.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sunday's UTCX Race Picture And Report

This report is for Jimbo, because it seems I can no longer reply to comments on my own blog.  Blogger?

I think my face says it all.  I dug about as deep a hole as I've ever dug.  I may not have been the fastest man in the race, but I was absolutely the most determined.

Lap 1, Stayed near the front
Lap 2, Wanted to quit as I drifted back
Lap 3 to 5, Sucked it up and went back to the front, making up time each lap by doing a near power slide into a technical-gravel-to-sand-left-turn-downhill-off-camber-by-the-Jordon-River-back-up-off-camber-right-turn-into-gravel section
Lap 6, took the lead before the above mentioned technical section and then sprinted out of the next 6 turns for the win.

Monday, October 3, 2011


It's my blog, but it's not always about me.  Here's Greg flying in New Mexico.  I just love this picture.  South Boundary Trail?  Will this trail be covered in snow on Thanksgiving Day?  We'll find out.

First Time For First

I had a pretty good weekend, especially for an old guy on a singlespeed bicycle with a herniated disc and several other ailments.  I finished third on Saturday and first on Sunday.  It was my first win ever at a UTCX event.  Notice that the two guys in front of me on Saturday (affectionately referred to by the 45+ field as "McCottle") did not race on Sunday.  I'll try to get some pictures from the races posted soon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just Took The Plunge

My racing buddy Tim S. explained it all to me.  I have a defective gene.  Below is a copy of my receipt:

2 x Same Day Extra Race

SKU: extrarace
Category: Singlespeed Men

1 x 8 Race Pass
SKU: 8pass
First Name: Robert
Last Name: Hamlin
Age: 46
Phone Number: 4357641990
Team: Joyride Bikes
Category: Masters 45+
Number Plate: 2 number plates

Monday, September 26, 2011

Stuff To Write About

As of today, at this moment, I plan on doing the Utah Cyclocross races this weekend.  Really.  I know, I know, I said I wasn't going to do it.  Why?  Turns out the question is reductio ad absurdum.  This guy has a pretty good (absurd) explanation:

I set up Patty and Lupine with a shuttle to do Stump Hollow yesterday.  Her are some pictures.  That's Bear Lake in the background to the left.

Pushing Lupine's bike up the Peter Sinks Road.  I think she may be a downhiller some day.  She is only happy going down hill.

My mountain bike daughter and her Bernese Mountain bike dog.

The colors are here.  Fall is here.  Cross here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On My Bike

What has the world come to?  I rode the mountain bike for nearly 3 hours today.  Yesterday I did some hot cross laps, and on Tuesday I was on the mountain bike with the fastest dude in the valley, David C.  If this keeps up I may get into race shape.  Too bad I'm nearly crippled from back pain.  Well, not really crippled, more like hobbled on occasion.

I did a long hike with Lupine and her class today.  The colors are coming, the colors are coming!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More Fun

Lupine is going to a friend's house today after school.  I did not want her bike left at school so we needed alternative transportation this morning.  Looks like her legs are finally long enough to ride the tandem.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Riding For Fun

The proof is in the pictures.  I've got the big tires and the little gear on the bike.  It's now a fun bike.

Not much clearance.

I finally took the time to finish my first trailer.  It works.  I went to Pet Smart for dog food and cat food.  This is 40 pounds of dry food and 2 pounds of free canned food.  There is a lot I need to change before production begins.

The tow arm needs a redesign.  I'm thinking galvanised conduit that is super easy to bend.  Bent aluminum is ugly.

There are things I've done right, like the hitch and the wheel/axle/dropout design.

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