Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rockwell Relay Training Ride: Team Sons of Perdition*

When Matt got home yesterday Liz asked him "How was your ride?" to which he responded. "It was OK." Liz: "Just OK, that's it, you were gone 5 hours and all you have is it was OK?: Matt: "Well, just check Rodzilla's blog, it will be completely documented by [(im)deebers]in excruciating detail, I'm sure he will answer all your questions."

He could have just given her this link:

but of course, that's hardly the whole story. So, this is for Liz:

Sometimes the hardest part of a ride is getting it going in the first place

There's always one more thing to

There's always one last thing to remember, one last piece of equipment to check, charge or mount. Then you get to Matt's house and go through it all over again with him: "Do I wear the under armour, do I not wear the under armour? Wish I had some arm warmers, oh you've got some, why didn't you bring any for me? Are my handlebars straight? Look again, I'm not sure you really looked, it's gonna bug me if it's not straight ..."

Finally Rodzilla aka Sir Rodney shows up with his extra long torque-happy Dura Ace cranks and we're down to discussing the route. 'Zilla & I want Suncrest and the Lehi loop, Matt votes for East bench (he's an East bench snob from his youth. It still chaps his hide that West Jordan is, you know, on the west side) citing the general ugliness and undesirability of everything south of 33rd south and west of Highland. What he's really saying, but not verbally, is he fears the Beast from the Southeast and would prefer a climb he's familiar with. We compromise and roll through Draper and catch Wasatch Blvd at its southernmost point. Matt points out every weed, pothole, stunted shrub and unkempt yard we roll by with comments like "you know you can't get away with that in Holladay or, if this were Sugarhouse that tree would be twice the size and in full bloom, right now." 'Zillla isn'tsaying anything and I realize he, once again, has brought his MP3 player on a group ride and has managed to drown out Matt's complaining. Karma is listening though, She's always listening, and Matt will hear back from her soon enough.

We reach the Church/Park on the south end of Wasatch Blvd in exactly one hour. That's 17 miles with about a thousand feet of climb, the last mile at about 8% grade. Not bad.

When Rodzilla catches his breath he waxes vitriolic about the smooth and consistent delivery of his new 180mm Dura Ace 7900 crankset. He claims a limitless ceiling as far as torque and power on flats and climbs. Notice has been served, Sir Rodney Longcranks is on the scene, pretenders better clear out.

We continue north on Wasatch Blvd past Little Cottonwood and Big Cottonwood canyons. Matt points out that the wind that day is out of the north and another reason we should have listened to him about our route choice, but he says it while he's tucked in behind me and coasting on my slipstream so I don't pay much attention.

We hit Millcreek canyon and it gets colder, but we're climbing now, so even though there are still snow drifts covering the shoulder I don't feel it much. We climb about 4 miles before Karma offers her rebuttal to Matt in the form of a softball sized boulder that he manages to ride over like it's a jagged speed bump. He pulls over to assess the damage and I watch for Rodzilla. It takes a few minutes but finally I see this:

(Sir Rodney Longcranks' Knighthood is called into question by two Ladies In Waiting in Millcreek Canyon)

Rodzilla gets dropped so hard by two lady cyclists [see addendum] that I feel compelled to click the 'Report Abuse' button at the top of this page before I write about it. Turns out when you click that button all you get are some google tech support eggheads that only want to know if somebody is posting curse words or unauthorized, naked pictures of themselves on your blog, stuff of that nature. But even the google tech support eggheads think it's funny that Rodzilla got his lunch eaten by two girls in Millcreek canyon.

We reach the top together and the ladies (that got there before all of us btw) are gracious enough to snap some photos.

The Return of Rodzilla/SRL. He strikes the requisite manly 'Millcreek Canyon is now just another notch on my belt of mountain climbs' pose. The one that says: "I conquered this, for all you know I finished the last mile of 18% grade with my bike strapped to my back."

I try my own variation on the pose:

and instead of: "Touchdown, game over!" (my intent) what I end up with is something that looks like I'm channeling Red Rider's Wii dance-contest performance from the night before:
"Ra-ra- Rasputan, Russia's greatest Love machine ..." Gonna have to work on this in the future. Also, note the unflattering flesh belt that I've unintentionally exposed with my victory salute. One more good reason that if you're given the choice of bibs or biking shorts, choose bibs.

Matt doesn't make the Photo at the Gate. We assume it's because he was busy with:

The Story of Matt

(the abbreviated bare-bones version in deference to Matt's preference for pithy prose. Actually that's understating it, Matt won't read anything longer than a haiku. In fact I once saw him crack open a fortune cookie, glance at it and throw it away saying "ehh, too many words.")

This is Matt.

Matt has a flat.

Matt sat. Matt fixed the flat. The other flat? Matt also fixed that.

No more flat for Matt?

Matt points out to me that every ride he's done with me has featured two flats, which is a 200% increase in flats he's had on other rides. To which La Canadienne asks "Who else is riding with him?" The answer is Matt's (former) boss, Rob (how can you trust him, he doesn't even work at Backcountry anymore) and Ivan, the legendary ghostrider. In fact, when Ivan was pitched to me as the 4th SofP team member it was sold to me by Rodzilla this way: "Ivan is a great guy, you will like him. If you get a flat on a ride, he'll fix it for you" Matt is probably wishing he was riding with the mythical Ivan on this particular day. Apparently, I'm not a great guy, I won't fix your flat, but I will document it in photos and print (in excruciating detail) so you can relive it again and again. Hopefully Matt can make his peace with me and with madame Karma before the Rockwell Relay.

Good ride though, and fun. But we're going to have to either start future rides in the pre-dawn hours, meet our significant other cyclists somewhere on the route and finish with them or just ride faster. 5 1/2 hours for a ride that doesn't cover a hundred miles seems a bit much.

Talk/blog soon,


*Well 3/4 of team SofP at least. The last team member is known only to me in the form of personal testimonials and photographs of questionable providence and mediocre quality. It occurs to me that I can say the same thing about the Sasquatch. In fact I've seen better photos and heard more reliable evidence about Big Foot:

Sasquatch Lineup Announced
(google image the Sasquatch, one of literally thousands)

than I have about Ivan the ... See, I can't even come up with a nickname for the guy and that's saying something, I nickname everybody, Rodney says call him the Peruvian Peddler but I say that makes it sound like he's pulling a cart through the neighborhood full of little Peruvians that he's selling door to door. I want to say Crazy Ivan or Ivan the Terrible (even though he embraces the Latin pronunciation, ee-vonne and not the Russin ay-vin, which inspires no terror and very little confidence but which I respect nonetheless). But I will let you be the judge here is the only physical evidence I have that I won't be covering both the legs of both Cyclist 1 and 3 in the Rockwell Relay:


Photographic evidence of Ivan, image 1 of 2)


(photographic evidence of Ivan, image 2 of 2)

(Wow, it's even sketchier than I remembered)

addendum: Anybody that rides in mountain canyons will eventually get dropped by a girl on a bike. It's inevitable. If you run into a lady cyclist on a mountain road above 7000 feet there's probably a good reason she's there and the reason is, she's not afraid of climbing and is probably proficient at it. I've been dropped by a lady cyclists on a mountain road at least half a dozen times that I can remember . There was mustard yellow girl from Pony Express that dropped everybody on every hill that was longer than 1/2 a mile and steeper than 5%. There was the entire Women's Cat one team from LOTOJA that flew by me on Strawberry summit and did everything but spit on me in disgust as they pedaled past, followed closely by the emaciated pale cyclist of the apocalypse who looked like she just finished her last round of chemotherapy the day before the race. Then there was the Canadian cyclist, wearing candy-striped arm warmers who dropped me like a greased bowling ball on a hill climb in Gatineau Park, Quebec. If getting dropped a girl in candy-striped arm warmers doesn't deflate your ego, chances are you ego was pretty well crushed already. So you see Rodzilla, there's no shame in what happened yesterday, no matter what this video says to the contrary:


  1. Nice Commentary, I just watched the footage and now it all makes sense. I was getting a strange vibe from those gals at the top of the mountain when you asked them to take our picture now it all makes sense.

    Also it was hard to make out what they said with your stuttering about liberal arts, and Matt's whining about the rain and how cold he was. (glad we got that on film)

    Yes I was dropped like a Larsen drops out of a Tour de St. George (see future blog :)) But I feel compelled to point out the combined weight of those two ladies equals one of my thighs.

    PS Also Check out the Mountain Bike Tab at the top, as Matt seems to have flats on what ever bike he rides...

    Also I have another Ivan sighting in there as well OR Click this Link

  2. I like the blog and the name. We will be sure and have some girls drop you on the Rockwell Relay as well!!

  3. Good call. What I learned on that ride: Get your color commentary stright in your mind before you open your mouth, or stick to still photography and the written word and leave video/audio to the experts. Yeah, pretty sure the lady riders thought I was a jerk for laughing at you while they left you behind like the family dog chained to a tree. Or maybe they were thinking "Of course we dropped him, we'll drop you too. In fact aren't you the guy I dropped in Butterfield canyon just last Thursday?" (see addendum)

  4. No wonder you got passed by the girls, it looks like you were checking your phone for a text!!!

  5. That was a long day for the wives-wondering where their husbands could have gone. I am glad it is all explained here. You guys will do awesome in the race. You might even spot the infamous Ivan.