Category Archives: climbs

four times snowbowl

A few days ago I did a bread and butter workout that hurt a lot.  The goal of the workout is to do three repeats of Snowbowl Road in under 1 hour and 30 minutes of total climbing time.  This workout was taught to me by JR six or so years back when he was winning El Tour de Tucson and riding professionally for Successful Living.   JR was one of the most disciplined training partners I have ever had.  And he was always just a little bit (ok, sometimes by a lot) stronger than me so I suffered like a dog.  Which of course is exactly what you want in order to get better.

Since I’m a low, almost no, tech guy without even a computer on my bike I got out my trusty watch that was given to me by my wife’s father.  I basically wanted to get the first climb completed in just under thirty minutes, the second one the same or maybe further under thirty since you are all warmed up and open, and the third one in my experience you always need a little cushion for because you are going to be tired.  The fastest I have ever gone up Snowbowl was 27:22 or thereabouts in 2012 racing for Flagstaff Cycling.  So going a shade under thirty minutes is not blazing fast but steady fast, basically enough pressure so you are breathing full on and recruiting all the muscle fibers in your legs nearly up to the maximum, but not quite.  It doesn’t sting right away, but it wears you down and hurts consistently throughout the entire workout.  The hardest part may be maintaining mental concentration, not letting up, and not getting down when the load seems too much.

I went 1:29:58, just barely making it!  Then I went up a fourth time very gently to wind down and burn some calories, and get one last peak at the crack in the earth far off in the distance that was carved by soft water through stone over deep ages of time.   Going up the mountain traversing biological life zones, moving from ponderosa pine to aspen, spruce, and fir always thrills me, every time.  This workout is good for climbing of course and I did it with preparation for the Mt. Evan’s hill climb in Colorado in mind.  But it is also good for time trialing and generally training your engine to recover from hard efforts and work at a high capacity for long periods of time.  Thanks JR!



Everest Challenge

mark-ttchamp copyBike Yogi is about one week old now!  The Bike Yogi Consulting (BYC) enterprise offers a range of consulting and writing services.  This blog will contain entries about the developing business  but also my experiences riding, racing, and living.  I expect the blog to track development in my writing skills, too!

The business side of BYC focuses on creating a safer road culture reflective of human dignity and a deeper wisdom, one that brings together human hearts with the American landscape.   My efforts include advocacy and teaching, advising and consulting, and writing and marketing initiatives.  My work encourages people to imagine how life can better prosper on American roads, and helps us work together towards realizing a freedom that can only exist if it is shared.

BYC’s writing and marketing strategies help people open their minds, shift perspectives, and be encouraged.

BYC’s advocacy and teaching shows how to use reason as a guide to order and decency, helps us stand up to meet responsibilities, and improves mutual understanding and respect.

BYC’s advising and consulting helps bring people together, leverages our affinities to outweigh differences, and facilitates equality amongst diverse ways of moving.

Our main focus is bicycling, but you can’t talk about what is good about bicycling without talking about what is good about everything else.  When John Muir said, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe”, he very well could have been speaking of how we are all connected and responsible for contributing to safety and a healthy environment on public roads.  The street in front of our house is the first leg of every journey that connects us to every other part of our lives.

The road gives us the country and the country gives us ourselves.  When venturing out together in our shared landscapes, set out with a generous heart, faith, hope and the courage to seek a better sense of ourselves.  Here’s a song for imagining the most adventurous road possible.

First Monsoon

Ride report, July 2

The skin on my arms was beet red and puckering from hailstone impacts.  I was riding my bicycle on Snowbowl Road when the first monsoon of the season let loose.  A grey cloud drop had appeared in the morning above the San Francisco Peaks and steadily grew.  By midmorning deep rumbling thunder was sounding and a few dense raindrops splattered on the pavement.  When I looked to the south the sky was a crystalline blue unique to Arizona.  The Peaks were creating their own weather.  At mile marker two on my second repeat the pauses between rain drops ceased and cold air descended in heavy downdrafts.  I turned around just before the torrent was unleashed.  The pavement darkened and  washed over in seconds, completely slickened.  I rode carefully as this being the first rain in months, no doubt there was oil and industrial fluid washing away, left by leaking motor vehicles and probably some splatters from bicycle and motorcycle chains.  I made it down without getting too cold and the lightning strikes were not terribly close.  Most of Highway 180 on the way back into town was dry.  Past the alpine gardeners pullout on the descent towards the city limits the forest clears to the north and vista of the entire mountain opens expansively.  There it was, a curtain of rain showers drifting down, the droplets coalescing into a three dimensional liquid veil across the classic silhouette of the mountain reigning over town.  Monsoon season has arrived in the high country.  Cyclists, ride early and carry your wool covers!  When you hear the bird song that precedes the huge thunder reverberating off the mountain sides, begin considering a bee line for the sweet shelter of home!