Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Tough Day at the Fat Pursuit. Hopefully, I learned a Couple of Things.

photo credit Trent Bora/Fat Pursuit
Jay Petervary’s cycling events are second to none-organization, volunteers, participants, aid stations, gift bag, and raffle are all first rate. But as Jay himself reminded us today, not even he can control the weather.
We had good participation at the Fat Pursuit today from locals and near locals (Zac, Lance Parker, Zac and Lance’s friend Nate, MIke Schjeldahl, and Gabe who always keeps the fast guys honest). Tony was there as well to provide logistical and moral support.
The original 60 K route (to the top of Chick Creek Road, north on the Fish Creek Road, looping back on the Chick Creek Flat Road) should have been pretty rideable in 4 hours with decent conditions, significantly faster for the top guys. But there were some complications. The snowmobile grooming can’t start until there is two feet of snow at the base. There is about four feet of snow at the top of Chick Creek, but well under two feet in the valley even though Island Park received a fairly heavy snowfall overnight last night. The connector road along the pole line from the Island Park Ranger Station to the Chick Creek Road was covered by new snow over a minimally tracked base. The west end of the Chick Creek Road featured fresh snow over icy ruts. It was reportedly unrideable with deep untracked snow above the aid station at about mile nine.
Jay P’s plan B was a double out-and-back to the aid station. I started with tires a little over inflated, but by the time I was in the middle portion of the Chick Creek Road, I had lowered the pressure to what I judged to be a minimal sustainable level based on feel. When Tony checked my pressure at the finish was just over 2 psi, front and rear. I was making good progress on the lower part of Chick Creek, but by the middle, the snow got softer and deeper, and it became a real battle to continue moving forward at any speed.
I arrived at the turn around at about 1:50, still planning on the double and hoping to make up time on the return, hoping for better conditions, Instead of improving, the snow got softer and the track got deeper. My return trip took twenty minutes longer than my outbound trip. It stopped being anything even remotely related to racing and became a matter of pure survival long before it was over. Of the sixty something participants only about half even attempted the second lap. I was absolutely destroyed by the end of the first lap. The second lap would have taken me days.
Here is something to put my day in perspective. The top eight guys finished two laps faster than I finished one. What did these guys have in common besides being younger than me and having a significantly higher level of talent? Every one of them was on five inch tires. I rode my stock 3.8 inch tires which are great on hard pack, but were a disaster today. Better tires would not have put me anywhere the leaders, but they may have ameliorated a significant amount of misery.
I like to believe I have a fairly wide range of skills on a bike, nothing really exceptional, but a minimal level of competence. Today I realized that my very worst skill is riding in a deep narrow rut. By the end of the day, I was willing to ride in some pretty soft snow to avoid the misery of riding in the single tire track.
If you need one more reality check, think of the 200K and 200 mile versions of the Fat Pursuit that will be taking place in January. Even with good conditions, it is difficult for me to wrap my head around that. In bad conditions, those distances become unimaginable. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Congratulations to Kelton on His CX State Championship

Kelton Williams is the new Idaho State Champion in Men’s Cat 3 cyclocross following a victory yesterday at Shoshone Falls Park in Twin Falls. Kelton is still young enough to race juniors but the state of Idaho does not have any other juniors at his level. At Twin Falls, Kelton raced with intelligence and maturity, hopping barriers and riding difficult lines on a technical course which featured off-camber sections and a big run up, winning the Cat 3 race by a margin of a minute over second place. The State Championships are a USA Cycling sanctioned event so the points that Kelton earned there should help him to qualify for a better starting position at Nationals in Reno.

Ensign Peak MTB

After the Barnes Park race, there was really only one thing to do-ride some more. Thomas does a lot of mountain bike riding on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and related trail networks just north of Salt Lake City. A year or so ago, I wrote a couple of blog posts on some rides that we did there. Thomas wanted to show me a newer trail near Ensign Peak. I have included a link below to the rides in the area. None of the routes matches ours exactly, but the Ensign Peak Loop generally matches the middle part of our ride.
Thirty years or so have passed since mountain bikes became relatively ubiquitous, and in that time, people have gotten a lot better at building mountain bike specific trails. The new trail starts just north of Ensign Peak and descends along its west side through a long series of switchbacks terminating just north and west of the Utah Capitol. Most of the trail probably falls into a high intermediate range with a handful of expert sections.
The engineering quality of the trail and its numerous switchbacks is outstanding. It is insanely fun to ride. Thomas tells me that he seldom sees other riders on the trail. The reason for that is probably fairly obvious. It is a tough climb to the top. We ran into some last minute mechanical issues with Thomas' mountain bike so as plan B, he rode his Surly fat bike. Even on the fattie, he rode better and faster than me.

Wrapping Up the Cross Season at UTCX Barnes Park

The 2017 UTCX season wrapped up Saturday with a fine race at Barnes Park in Kaysville. Participation numbers were high for the final race of the season no doubt augmented by the mild weather. I have occasionally heard flat non-technical cross courses described in a pejorative way as grass criteriums. The Barnes Park race is indeed a big grass criterium with a lap distance of just under 3 km and a couple of deep sand sections. Even though this is probably not my favorite format for a cross race, every now and again, it is absolutely the best. It is very satisfying to ride a cross event with the throttle wide open for extended periods, especially as a contrast to those really slippery days in which you never really run at full power.
No cross course is perfect. Barnes Park has some problematic transitions between grass and sidewalk with a chain link fence along the sidewalk. I saw a very ugly crash into the fence. It has always featured a transition from the west side to the east side of the park via ascent and descent of short cement staircases. The worst part about the transition is a dismount on concrete. (Presumably, a top tier rider could ride the stairs without dismounting, but I did not see that guy). Logistically, the stairs might be tough to avoid, but if it were my race, there would be no dismount on a paved/cement surface, period.
Oh, and the sand. It was tough. I am not a huge fan of sand or mud, but I am realistic enough to understand their place in cross. The sand works well in the context of the Barnes Park race, making it much harder than it would be otherwise.. I feel like I was about average in the sand, but the people who could really ride it well were at a significant advantage.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving--Final Group Rides of the Season (?)

Weather is by its nature unpredictable and real winter is probably not far away, but the forecast looks good for the next few days.Please help spread the word on these three rides.
  • Road ride tomorrow (Thanksgiving) 9 a.m starting from my house.
  • Casual gravel ride-sometime Friday. Please contact me if your are interested.
  • Road Ride Saturday--9 a.m.--Sticks and Stones. This will likely be the last big group ride of the season.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

DNF at Observatory Park UTCX

Writing an honest blog sometimes means owning your failures as well as your successes. Today was not my best day on a bike, but I still rode a new cyclocross venue and I was happy to have Stephen there to provide logistical and moral support.
For many years, I have tried to make it down to Utah for at least one or two of the UTCX series races. Today’s race was at Observatory Park in Ogden which is home to some of Ogden’s permanent cyclocross features. Observatory Park is above Fort Buenaventura Park on the west. Today’s course dropped down into Buenaventura, returning by one of the most intimidating run-ups I have ever seen-long, steep, and muddy.  I have heard various explanations as to whether Observatory Park and the Ogden Cyclocross Park are two separate parks that run together or two names for the same park. Anyone who knows the answer to that question is welcome to comment.
Like both Bozeman and Boise, Observatory Park features a number of sizeable singletrack climbs and descents. But in contrast to the buttery smooth singletrack of the other venues, the Observatory Park singletrack is rough as hell. One of the guys that I started with today told me that most of the singletrack is new this year and is actually a lot smoother now than it was earlier in the season. Parts of the course were pretty muddy today with a layer of ice-over standing water-over deep mud along the bottom edge of the big hillside. After a couple of practice laps, it was all churned into a semi-solid.
I crashed out about two thirds of the way through the second lap in the wooded area shown in Stephen’s pictures. It happened on the Buenaventura side on a dropping left hand turn on wet leaves. I slid right and the rider behind came over the top of me landing on my front wheel. It was not badly damaged, but too far out of true to spin. When I go to a cross race, I generally take two wheelsets, one mounted up with mud tires, the other with dry tires. In light of yesterday’s heavy precipitation, I knew it would be muddy, so I left the second wheelset home. Even if I would have taken the extra wheelset, it is very unlikely that I would have had it in the pit area. My finishing rate for cross races is very close to 100% and I have gotten a little lazy.
I think people have a pretty good idea of how much I love my orange Kelson cross bike. It has been to hell and back through five Crushers, three Rebecca’s, a couple of Gravel Pursuits, and more cross races and local gravel rides than I can even remember. But the thing that modern bikes have that the orange bike lacks is disc brakes. Even in dry conditions, disc brakes are better, but the advantages of disc brakes over rim brakes become exponentially greater in really sloppy conditions like today. If you are considering a new cross bike, buy the model with disc brakes.
As a cyclocross venue, Observatory Park is spectator friendly and generally pretty promising. I am looking forward to returning but I will not be unhappy to have the singletrack break in a little more.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Rail Jam is Tomorrow

16th Annual Sled Shed Rail Jam - 11/11/17

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Come join in the fun! It's always a good time! Doesn't matter if you come to participate or come to spectate we promise you won't be disappointed.
Event starts at 5pm, if you intend to ride then please be there at 3pm to register and to practice. We accept riders of all ages and disciplines (skiers or snowboarders). Registration is $20 (cash only)
Redd's Grill will be there with Hamburgers, Fries, and Hot Cocoa!

Click Here for More Information

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Eastern Idaho Cyclocross Season Wraps Up with Bengal Cross on Saturday

There are only three cyclocross races in Southeast Idaho for 2017 (Moose Cross, The Cube, and Bengal Cross). The final race of the season, Bengal Cross, takes place on Saturday. Bengal Cross is organized by a great bunch of guys. Peter Joyce is one of the oldest and most loyal supporters of the Cube. Hopefully, the Upper Valley can reciprocate at Bengal Cross on Saturday.

Cube Photos from Greg Heide/KIrt Douglas

What a great year for photos from the Cube. Here are some more.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Lost and Found: Stephen and Dave at Lava

This photo of Stephen finishing the Trailblazer race at Lava Hot Springs in 2000 originally ran in the Idaho State Journal. It has probably not seen the light of day since. I found it by accident today. The Trailblazer races ran concurrently with the Wild Rockies Mountain Bike Race Series and they were the real deal following a very substantial portion of the adult race course.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fine Weekend at Boise Waffle Cross

This weekend was my first visit to Waffle Cross. Every compliment that I lavished on the Bozeman course applies to Waffle Cross, but even more so. Waffle is a similar course with twists, turns, steep descents and punchy climbs. Perhaps most remarkable, it is an extremely spectator friendly course passing near or through the start/finish/pit area several times plus much of the course is visible from there.
Dan, Sam, and I started on damp, highly consolidated hero dirt. By the start of the women’s and 1-2-3 races, it was raining steadily. The climbs and descents that had been completely rideable before the rain turned greasy and dangerous. Shae won the women’s Cat 3 race and was the second woman overall. Kelton won the man’s cat 3 races on both Saturday and Sunday finishing third overall in the 1-2-3 field on Sunday. I believe he will be moving up to Cat 2 based on those results.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Blue Goose Cyclocross 2017 Has Been Cancelled

Terrorists don’t scare city cyclists. We already have to deal with cars. - The Washington Post

Jay P's Upcoming Events

November 16
Tour Divide Talk in Lander 

The College of Western Wyoming is letting me give a presentation about the Tour Divide. This is a one of those chances I relish to help teach others about ultra endurance cycling.  

November 18
Winter Bike Riding Expo

Pedal of Littleton is throwing this shindig. Everything you every wanted to know about winter riding on road, fat, or mountain bikes. Commuting. Clothing. Fat biking. Trails. Tire choices. Camping and overnighters. 

December 16
Fat Pursuit 60K

A 60km bike race on a network of groomed snowmobile trails. Groomed is relative. This is a backcountry event that will require some experience and winter survival skills. You will be challenged, humbled and rewarded in many different ways. 

January 5-7
Fat Pursuit 200K and 200 Mile

This event was created to help people gain experience and learn about backcountry winter travel. I feel everyone needs that chance and I do not require a resume of experience to do the 200km distance but I do require past winter travel experience to participate in the 200 mile distance.

January 11-15
Winter Fat Bike Camp

This camp will further your knowledge and education about winter bikepacking and survival in the variable conditions one might encounter during a winter bike adventure.

Eight tips for extending your season with 'cross |

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017

Rolling Thunder 2017 Reminders

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Rolling Thunder Cyclocross Race

Sat October 28 2017
Location: Missoula, MT US 59801 Directions
Type: Bike Race
Thunder weekend is rapidly approaching and we are sure to see some great racing Saturday!
A few reminders about Rolling Thunder 17:
  • Friday checkin and late registration party from 5-6PM at Big Sky Brewery Tap Room. Ride a lap and checkin!
  • Saturday checkin up to 30 min prior to each race. Onsite late registration only available from 9-10AM.  Inside the Big Sky Brewery Tap Room.
  • Online registration is preferred and will remain open through the event.
  • If you raced another Wild West event and still have your WWCX plate, please bring it and use it when checking in. Other Wednesday night series plates will not work. Wild west series winners will be announced at Thunder as well!
  • T-shirts for purchase with registration. Inventory is limited so pre-order with registration. Extras (if any) will be sold onsite. Registered already and forgot to buy a shirt? Hit the giveaway tab on reg page to pre-purchase shirt.
  • New this year, earn your registration. For every person that registers through your unique reg link (provided in your confirmation email) receive a $5 refund up to $30. Share link on social media!
  • All apparel sales will go to Rowan Parsons.
  • Your second race of the day is 50% off. Discount shown upon checkout. Select both races at once.
  • Wild West Overall Podiums will be done at 4:40pm and 9:45pm.
  • Camping inside the brewery parking lot, general parking and team tents in the south field.
  • There is 20 minutes between races so lot's of time to get a lap or two through out the day.

Rolling Thunder Cyclocross Race

Missoula, MT
Sat October 28 2017

Contact Race

Road Ride Tomorrow

Road ride at noon tomorrow. Sticks and Stones. Couple of hours. Weather looks pretty favorable. Please help spread the word.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Blue Goose (Maybe) on November 4th?

Here's all the info we can find right now on the inter webs:

We'll post more if we can find out more...

Bengal Cross Registration

Cube Cyclocross Photos - Nigel May

Thanks to Everyone for Supporting the Cube Yesterday

The morning started cold and windy with a skiff of icy snow but conditions moderated over the course of the day. We had a great course and unparalleled support from volunteers. On balance, I feel like it was the best Cube ever. We will be posting additional content over the next few days including still photos, video, and drone footage. A heartfelt thanks to the participants, volunteers, sponsors, and organizers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Dave


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sundown at the Nature Park, Countdown to the Cube

Thanks to everyone who came to the Nature Park last night to preview the
Cube course and to help refine some of the details. The course will
generally follow the published map, but it will not be set in stone until
the tape goes up on Saturday morning. Thanks to Joe for the photo (which
probably makes the Nature Park seem more beautiful than it actually is) but
regardless of its relative beauty, the Nature Park is still a decent venue
for cyclocross.

We are looking forward to Saturday. If you are going to be in the Rexburg
area, please join us to race, spectate, volunteer, or some combination. We
will be setting up the barriers (a total of six-a single, a double, and a
triple) Friday afternoon. And as a reminder, we will be taping the course
Saturday morning starting at about 7 a.m. We will be grateful to anyone who
can help. And finally, local events like the Cube live or die based on word
of mouth and social media. Please help us spread the word on the Cube.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Bozeman Grand Prix

I’m just back from the Bozeman Grand Prix Cyclocross Race. Kelton and KO were there as well. (Send me some pictures guys, I will post them). Both of them are young, fast, and talented. Kelton especially rode well in the Men’s 1-2 race. I am a middle-aged guy riding a bike just happy to be there.
It was an absolutely beautiful fall day. This was my first time on the Bozeman course. It is one of the best I have seen anywhere. It features a long lap with a lot of high quality single track with sharp turns, climbs, and drops. In spite of all the singletrack, it never feels claustrophobic. There are plenty of opportunities to pass (or in my case to be passed).
Thanks to Dawn for the photos and her unfailing good humor in supporting another bike race.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Kelton Williams - 2017 Montana Cross Camp Interview

Kelton Williams rode his dad's creation to 12th in the Junior 15-16 men at the 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine
Kelton Williams rode his dad’s creation to 12th in the Junior 15-16 men at the 2017 Cyclocross National Championships. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Countdown to the Cube, Call for Volunteers

Rexburg’s annual cyclocross race, The Cube, is only two weeks from today, Saturday October 21st. Occasionally, someone asks about the Cube name, so for those of you who do not know the history here it is: Chris Huskinson may have been the first Rexburg local to participate in a cyclocross race. He came back, pitched the idea of cyclocross to me and Tony, and convinced the City of Rexburg to organize a cyclocross race named in his honor (Chris’ Ultimate Bicycle Experience).

·         Next Saturday, October 14th, I will be at the Nature Park at 9 a.m. with a couple of weed eaters to clean up the grass on the northwest corner and along the single track. Anyone who would like to help with a little course maintenance is welcome to join me.

·         One week from Tuesday, October 17th, we will be doing a little pre-ride and reconnaissance of the Cube course for the TNR. Don’t skip the TNR is you do not have a cross bike because there will be road riding that night as well.

·         On the morning of the Cube, it will be all hands on deck at the Nature Park starting at 7 a.m. We have a lot of set-up to do and a limited amount of time to do it. We need every able bodied worker we can get.

·         We also need volunteers for race day registration, support on the course, and especially help with the kids’ race. Please let us know how you can help and pass the message on to friends and family members.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Danny MacAskill Tests Santa Cruz Reserve Carbon Wheels

Sasha Represents Rexburg at Jay P's

Sasha was the only Rexburg local to ride Jay P's Gravel Pursuit this year and reports that everything was awesome including the weather and the group of 60 cyclists who participated. Congratulations to Sasha who rode the same time as last year finishing eleventh in a fast field.

Two Days Until Moose Cross!

The weather is looking great and we are excited to race!
See you this weekend.

Full Details available at
Click here to register at Athlete 360
We still need volunteers for Saturday afternoon and Sunday, sign up to help us out!
Click Here to Volunteer

It's time for the government to get off Lance Armstrong's back--The Guardian

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Moose Cross Cyclocross Festival - 2017

Howdy and Hey There,

I hope you know that Moose Cross is happening this weekend in Victor Idaho. Like the Phoenix, Moose Cross lives.

All of the event information is on the website I've attached the current flyer. 

Added back to Moose Cross, by popular demand is the Fun event - Now the Zany Fun and Crazy Costumes Encouraged Lap. 

Also going to have a Fat Bike lap

The scoring is all going to be done by hand. Raffle for most awards. Of course, proceeds to Mountain Bike the Tetons 501c(3)

It's going to be if not a little chaotic. My apologies in advance about that. But you probably new that Moose Cross had been cancelled back in July. I only found that out at the end of August. It's coming together.

There are going to be lot's of kids. Pumpkins are going to be the prizes for the kids. If you have extra, bring them.

Pass this along if you can. I'm still looking for volunteers and gift certificates for the raffles.


Chuck Collins

Call or text me at 805-705-0352 

Friday, September 29, 2017

VeloNews' Rebecca Rusch Blood Road Story

Rebecca Rusch
photo credit Red Bull Media
This is a fine article. If you have not had the chance to read it in the print version of VeloNews, you can access the full content here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 TCI Kit - Last Call

We've met most of the minimums for ordering and will finalize the orders this weekend.

If you want in on the deal, please put your orders in before Monday!

2017 TCI Winter Podium Jacket

12 Days to Moosecross!

12 Days left to register for the 2017 Moose Cross!
Full details at
Volunteers are needed, so please consider signing up for a shift.
Click Here to Volunteer
The weather forecast is looking to be clear and around 50 degrees, perfect for racing!

We have moved the start/finish to near the Victor Bike Park to make it easier for families to entertain themselves all day and look forward to seeing you there.
Register Here