Monthly Archives: July 2010

My Tour de France – not really the race.

I was there.  I saw a few things.  Here is a highlight video, that shows what actually happened in the race. (could not get it embedded, so you will have to follow the link – sorry).

http://www.steephill.tv/players/versus4/?title=tdf-2010-extended-%20highlights&id=jLpoUwAu65wTZ_Xm9dE0cboco78UL2lW/500/720/

Here is my video from the tour.  You will see that, mine is not nearly as exciting.

enjoy

Joe

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Friday Video post (on a Wednesday) -it’s been a while

I have not had much time to swoop for video on the web lately. Lots of travel and lots of other obligations. So, here is what I have collected over the past weeks.

This is great video from Paul Whibley’s winning GNCC season. I only did one of the races this year. Kind of a drag. I went from doing all of them the year before to just the last one on this season.

I found this video showing a preview of the next World Cup Downhill race. Wow, I don’t think I could even pick my way slowly through a lot of this course, much less look at it and figure out how I can blitz it.

That is all for now. More next week.

Good night

Whacky Week in France!

I am in France.  I have been in France for a week or so.  Funny thing is that the trip was supposed to be just a few days.  Ok, here it is.

I left Wisco on Saturday last.  That alone was funky, because originally I was supposed to leave on Monday.  Monday failed because I realized after the fact that I would not be able to help with the media intro on Monday if I did not arrive until Tuesday.  That fact forced an earlier change to the schedule, to leave on Sunday – arrive Monday and go straight to the media launch to do my part.

During the days before the weekend last, I decided that was cutting it close.  So, on Thursday we made the decision to adjust my schedule and arrive on Saturday.  At that point, because of my shoulder, I decided I would not be able to do the L’Etape du Tour the following Saturday.  So, I made a plan to get the media stuff done on Monday, join Ben at the TDF to get the things done that I wanted and then head home on Wed.  Not.

I landed on Sunday, and hopped a rental car to catch up with Ben at the TDF.  On the way there, I had the French radio station on and could tell that Lance had crashed and then cracked on the way to Morzine.  Uh-oh.  When I arrived at the RadioShack team hotel on Sunday  afternoon, he was at the base of the climb – chasing hard and down by a minute.  It got worse from there.  I sat in a very sombre room, while we watched him loose another 10 minutes and eventually finish 12 minutes back of the leaders.  The TDF is over for him at that point.

But, he later that day makes a really great statement that he will not quit and he will continue to fight on for a good result during the middle and to help his team through the week.  That was classy, and I was proud of him for that.

Here is Ben doing his thing after the Sunday stage. He tells me this is hard work.

I got to see Ben in action with the team, talk to Allen Liam for a bit, meet Liam from the Father and Son tour website www.fathersontour.com.  It is a really cool little effort that Bill and Liam have made.  It supports Livestrong and it tells the story of a father and his young son riding around France and soaking in all that is cool about the TDF.  Plus, they are both Trek and RadioShack team fans, and I have to love that.

Me and Liam from http://www.fathersontour.com - check it out!

Monday was the rest day at the Tour.  Ben and I had work to do, that we will talk about eventually – but not here yet.  Finished that up, and then drove over to Chatel for the media intro and my presentations there.  Wow – Chatel.  What a great place.

This is the view out of my window one morning in Chatel!

There are ski lifts going in all directions, bike trails all around, a freeride bike park, kick ass ski terrain, road riders all over the place… Wow.  I want to live here.

In fact, Liz and I are thinking about renting a house in Chatel for a month or more this winter.  Liz could be a little French girl for a month, and I could work in Europe for the month.  Also, we could wake up to a powder day and decide to blow it all off and do some skiing.  Ya, I think that sounds great.

I think this will be one of my new bikes for next year! New Scratch.

So, I screwed up the date of one of the meetings that I was supposed to have.  That killed my Wed departure.  Ok, I will just go home on Thursday.  Then, Ben got a call that our next meeting got moved to another location and on Thursday, so we got on a plane on Wed and headed to our Thursday meeting.  We needed a follow up meeting on Friday, and that pushed my departure to Saturday.

It is Friday midday now.  I am only about 50% that I am on that plane on Saturday morning.  I will know later today.

I left the house with the pair of jeans that I had on, 4 tshirts, 4 pair of underwear and 1 pair of shorts.  It is getting a bit thin after almost a week now.  Hmmm…  I bet being around me is getting a bit ripe.

Not sure when I am going home.  It has been a whacky  week.

out

Joe

Whistler baby!

Annual trip to Whistler time.  Annual is what I like to think of it as, but last year we did not get to go.  So, as you can imagine, we had a lot of angst built up and needed to shred some Whistler jump lines.

If you have been to Whistler, you know what I am talking about.  If not, you need to do yourself a favor at some point and get there.  You will not regret it.  Whistler is the ultimate mountain bike playground.  Lift access, technical singletrack or flowing jumping trails.  The flowing trails are a bit like riding a MX track with berms and jumps and drop offs and… yeah.  Hell yah.

Here is a film that gets you the feeling of what some of the better jump/flow lines feel like there.  Dirt Merchant and A-Line are 2 of the absolute classic trails there.  This is edited down, but represents some of my absolute favorite 10 minutes of my life.

  That may not look tough, but do that a dozen times and you are worked at the end of the day.

This is the 5th or 6th time that we have been there together as a family.  Ali and Hanna have pretty much grown up riding there, and they have had a lot of years gaining skill there.  Their skills can be attributed to Candace Shadley and the dirt series.  She teaches people basic through expert skills.  And her camps are the best that there are for that range.  www.dirtseries.com

As you can see from the photo’s below, they have gained some great skills along the way.

This year, we had a bunch of friends with us there as well.  We had always planned to be there with Chris and Matt from the UK.  Chris has been a friend of ours forever, and she a Liz really enjoy riding together.  Matt is her boyfriend that she moved to the UK to be with.  Our friends Jose Gonzales and family from California were with us again as well.  We have gone together to Whistler before, and it is always fun.  We rented one bike house this trip at the base of the mountain.  It was bustling and really fun.  This year, Hanna’s boyfriend Evan decided to go with us as well at the last minute.  He had not done much mountain biking before this, but as you can see from below he picked it up pretty well.

Evan did have a tough crash on the drop off on Schleyer on the hill.  Smacked his hip hard onto the ground and was in pain most of the week, but it really didn’t stop him from riding.  We all had small and larger crashes along the way, Liz had one on a turn that she called the nipple ripper – ask her about it.

But, I have to say my crash was the worst of the week.  Not because I want that honor, but it pretty much ended my riding after the 3rd day. I was coming down lower A line, just before Hornet/Old School.  (It is the really tight techie part of A-line that most people hate,  just before the last 3 jumps and the GLC drop.  I happen to love that whole section. If you watch the included Video, you will see it in there towards the end.)  There is a steep slab of rock at the end of it, with some tight trees at the top of it that you must thread through.

We had been blitzing through there 3 days straight, sliding down the rock face and jamming off the dirt at the bottom berming the turn to the right into a left that launches you into the slot for the last 3 big jumps on A-line.  No problem the first 25 times through there.

Apparently, I clipped my handlebar on the tree at the top of that slab of rock, and launched over the bars onto my shoulder and head on the slab of rock.  I say apparently, because I do not really know how it happened.  I do know that rock is really hard and much stronger than a shoulder is.  There was an extreme pain building in my shoulder, before I even moved as I lay there in a heap.

The patrol had to get me down out of there and my shoulder is bad.  I have a separated AC (commonly called a separated shoulder). That is where your collarbone connects at the far end via tendons to the shoulder.  I popped the top rib out back side and possibly front side, that is super painful and is probably what made me black out as I lay there.  And of course, I tore my rotator cuff.

I have crashed before, and unfortunately I will crash again.  Goes with the territory.  It is never fun, but this one was particularly bad as I still had 3 more days of riding to do.  I watched my family go out riding everyday after that for 3 more days.  Oh well, I got permission to hike around the bike park and take photo’s of the family.  Enjoy the photo’s, click them to see them full size.


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(There goes all the great fitness I had)

Out,

Joe