Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vertical Challenge, The Next Level

OffDa wagon right now, so it's a good time to watch other people do cool things. My co-worker Bradley is putting on a great event if you're around the valley (Flathead) this Friday. Slideshow/presentation with this guy Greg Hill from Canada. He's clocked almost to 2 million uphill vertical in a calendar year! Lots of cool photos and tales, and if that doesn't sound fun, all sorts of ale!


Details at:


Friday, November 19, 2010

Man Night/Season Recap

Content has been a little dry these days, I think I may have officially pulled the plug on 2010 race season. I don't know why I feel a little guilty about this, I've been racing on most weekends since Speedwagon Classic in March! I guess I'm just going against my own words a little bit, I've said before that the cycling season goes from Speedwagon until Cross Nationals. But there is snow on the ground and I don't like to ride in the snow. I've also done most of what I wanted to do this year so I might as well just chill out...

Not winning Moab and a lackluster Thunder were my only two disappointments, but you gotta take what you can get as an old mangy dog! Had a great time seeing more of the continent than any previous year, and got to enjoy these places with the greatest friends a guy ever had. Look forward to even more exploits next year.

We've got a great group of guys down in Missoula. So great in fact that sometimes they forget it. A few of these recurring ladies nights in the zoo town were finally enough to motivate us men to get together last night at Flippers for a man night. Don't get me wrong, women are legit, and the Missoula ladies had a breakout year on all fronts, but we just had to lay claim to our terrain. Our group of rogue bulls lays claim to Missoula, the Northwest, the Southwest and internationally at world cups and upcoming TCH camps. We are second to none when it comes to having fun, hittin' trail and being happy. Here's a few highlights of how great it is to be a man...

And possibly the most manly and american activity of all the Baja 1000 starts today. Man is legit.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Good Ol' Times.

I'm so stoked for the upcoming Missoula Pro XCT. In so many ways this is a coming of age for both Missoula and my group of friends. We were both of total junk show back in the day, and hopefully we will stay a little greazy on our meteoric rise to the top. When most people claim Missoula is the center of the universe, they are often referring to the oh so easy vortex that one can slip into for a decade in the peaceful mountain town. Don't get me wrong, living for Wednesday Night Cross League is far superior to workin' for the weekend. But I feel that Missoula is becoming a hub in many new ways once thought impossible. It seems that people are finding ways to live well, improve the community they live in, and basically doing things other than going to grad school so they can stay on the teet for another 5 years.

Anyway...I'm so happy this is all coming together. I'm basing my whole 2011 season on the revived sport of XC, the resurgent town of Missoula, and the ongoing legacy of the Mangy Crew. Some dreams just take some time to become reality!

Here's a little clip from Jedzilla. I swear I was way tougher last year, my bike's gotten lighter and the muffin tops have been waging war on my ambitions ever since I left the yoga ranch... Oh well let the Thunder Roll!

Zootown 9 Euro Ready from Jed Zilla on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pull out all the stops.

"The team that wins a 24 hour race is the team that screws up the least" -me. It's not about showing your ego on lap 1, or risking everything to gain 15 seconds, steady as she goes will get you on the top step. You can ride as fast as a bull, but if you get a flat your lap time will be like a slow elk. If you bust a wheel you'll be rollin' in with the horny toad.

It's also about bringing the right equip. for the mission. For me this means a unreleased 2011 Cannondale. Somehow I made the good list and got one of these (prob. cuz I'm an xl). Anyway, I put on some periwinkle grips for good luck, and we're bringing a small army to the desert in our bid for interstellar trail supremacy. 

Check for updates mid race on the 'book.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Whitey-Seatttle-Whitey-Vegas-Seattle-Hood River-Seattle-Whitey (in 8 days!)

Sweet pic from Craig Prather at Great Northern Cycles, your source for Hammer, Ibis, Specialized, and great coffee in downtown Whitefish.

Lots of miles, lots of racing. Cross Vegas was the biggest race I've ever done and super cool to be a part of. Here's a brief recap. Too many miles for full report.

Cross Vegas was the cap to my mini UCI early cross season. Both Starcrossed and Rad GP were sweet category 2 events, but this was the real thing. I was looking at the start list the other day, and realized just about all the 105 people in front of me were full time riders. The start was very slow at the back, I lost at least two minutes by the time I really got riding. The course was very hard, fast and not tech-e at all. I still had some mud tires on from last weekend which were not ideal for the grass. I had also been on my feet all day at the show so I was feeling pretty beat. But seeing Bandito, Matty, Andy Schultz and the rest of the fellas each lap, I couldn't give up. I made it until two laps to go, with the hunger of the wolf for next year. Last years winner, Jaime Driscoll, rode solo for 2/3 of the race only to be nipped at the line by Starcrossed/ Rad GP/ French Champ Francis Mourey. It was a true international event, the dogs caught the hare with 200m to go! No gifts from the euros at Cross Vegas!

Road Nomad

Monday, September 20, 2010

CX, hotter than...ICE?

I know I haven't contributed much to the blog these days, but it's been even longer since I've slipped around in a good ole muddy cross race. Come to think of it, it's been like four years!

Needless to say, the butterflies were flying around my stomach like crazy before Saturday night's Starcrossed race. I hadn't don a bike race of any kind in about six weeks, I was jumping in with some serious heavy hitters on an incredibly slippery track. When the gun went off, I began a rapid, yet very brief round of maneuvering through the pack with ease. I was passing riders left and right, including a world cup winner who had crashed.

My super powers lasted about 1/2 of a lap, gravity reaffirmed itself, and I was on my back, sliding through the mud in front of thousands of fans. Not a huge deal, but as I went to hop on Doug's bike (I always like racing on Douggie's bikes, not sure why), the bars and shifter were all crooked. A brief tweak got me going again, albeit a little sideways. Saturday's course was way too slippery, fast and technical for the working man, super powers were needed equip. I was pulled with 17 minutes to go for 34th place.

The champion of France however, could have been sipping a Bordeaux as he waited for the finishing stretch to show "The Treefarm" how to execute a world class sprint.

Sunday I felt a little better, and was more at ease in the daytime at a super cool Rad Racing GP (first time presented by Hammer Nutrition!!!) It's never easy starting in last, but I always try to remember that at one time, every pro started towards the back. The track was quite fun with several off camber, rooty, greasy corners and two long sand crossings. I was moving through the ranks until the last fifteen minutes when I believe I was carrying around 8 pounds of excess mud. Apparently all elite racers have two bikes except me, oh wait I have zero :( So I wound up 25th, which was a pb for me (Pippo's best). I'm super pumped for cross, especially the THUNDER!!!! Here's a vid of the start, you can see my big butt sliding around the corner near the end of the peloton.

Let the Thunder Roll!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


No racing for me at the moment, bruised ribs and a xc motocross race at Big Sky that is in dire need of an expo. Depending on my health I may see how I stack up with the six year olds in the 50cc category. I'm loving my Yamaha Vino.

On a side note, I don't know how I feel about traveling this close to Bozeman. I can't stand the stench of cat. Go Griz!!! UM Cycling is #1!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

NGUNNGU. (Trail 2, Pip 1)

We had this goofy acronym in high school football (I had the bench on lock down sophomore year) that a lot of meat heads really took to heart: NGUNNGU (never give up, never never give up). Most of them have since given up and resided themselves to the desk for the next 40 years. But I just can't do it. Earlier this week I wanted to give up and sit on the beach this weekend instead of continuing my battle against the trail. But my new scooter has inspired me to continue on. The 49cc Vino goes full throttle all the time. Plus I need revenge after being outfoxed by the trail last weekend in Butte. I may have lost the fire for a few minutes during the Butte 100, but the trail won't quit so neither am I. So I'm off to the High Cascade 100 for round four of Pip vs. Trail. I won't let off the gas until I look like these guys!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Canmore: OWNED!!!

Touche' Trail, the score is tied! The course at the 24 hours of Canmore was almost as fun as the granddaddy, Moab. Toby had me a little worried with his recon report, but the roots and technical singletrack of the Bow Valley Foothills were no match for the Cannondale SuperFlash 29. I can honestly say that for 24 hours straight, for once, I shredded the @#!* out of the trail. I might have put a foot down once or twice, and I bumped my hip on a tree, but the throttle was broken past full for the entire race and the rig was handling it beautifully. It felt great to pass five inch dual suspensions on descents. The Canadians were riding like molasses, I believe the term is "cyclosportif". To their credit, they are a beautiful, content, happy people. However being content makes for molasses.

I was also very pleased to have figured out the night riding a little better. Eventually, there will be no difference between my day laps and night laps. But Oakley is still finalizing the night vision Jawbones I have requested. Until then, lights will do. My best NIGHT WORK! was only three and a half minutes slower than my fastest day lap. Part of this feat was due to the full moon. I derive immense power from the full moon, and at one point I let out a howl.

Our team took a second 24 hour victory of 2010. We are really starting to function like one big machine, Big Rig included!  We were a little bummed out at the continual lack of anything whatsoever for winning, but whatev. It's just annoying when the promoter is obviously raking in dough on the event and can't throw the working man a bone. Oh well, one more grease rag in the garage. Til next time trail, but rest assured I am not content to rest on the victory!


A voracious predator of the trail. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pip vs Trail Round Deux: Canmore.

Well the score is Trail 1, Pip 0. I guess I never gave the trail the respect of a recap after it kicked my butt at the Firecracker 50. The trail did not relent in Breckenridge, I was a mere mortal trying to do more than my legs could push. To be fair, most of my training for one month leading up to the race was riding my beach cruiser to get Latte's on the way to work, and then riding it for cold ones after work. The transition into corporate life was difficult at first, but I think I've got it dialed in a little better this time around. I basically just need to plan my life to the minute between now and 24 Hours of Moab, the finale of Pip vs. Trail 2010.

I am overconfident as ever going into this weekend's 24 Hours of Canmore: Pip vs Trail Round Deux.The fellas are flying right now, I dropped off the big rig for some fresh lube, and America is better than the rest of the world, especially Canada. After attempting my first fifty, I realized how much more I prefer 24 relays to ultra events. I would much rather do six 15 mile hot laps than sit there and suffer for 100 miles. I am really excited for this weekend. We just had a great weekend of epic road rides at the 9th annual Highline Hammer and we all feel great.

At the request of upper management, I am not to use my USB broadband card while in foreign countries, so I will save the results for Monday. But I assure you, it won't be anything like round one!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

King of CdA

Aaaahhh the new life allows me little time to devote to the personal blogosphere. We have been going full throttle in CdA since Thursday, with energy reaching white hot levels. This may have been the best weekend for Montana athletes ever. I am astonished and amazed to be a part of it:

Samuel " stubborn as the badger" Schultz: First Pro xc win.

Linsey "cool as a cucumber" Corbin: First Ironman win, course record.

Adam "meaner than a rattlesnake" Jensen: 9th Overall Ironman CdA. Biked the shit out of that course.

Ice Shryock: Debut Ironman good for 11th place? AYS (are you serious)?

Ironfans: Out with the Owls, Up with the Eagles!

Hammer Big Rig: DID WORK!

Montana athletes, Ice, Jensen, Hammer....WHITE HOT right now!

Also great job to all Montanans, Dr. Ruby, Jeffy, Joel Carlson, Everyone!!!


PS Look for a new era in the blogosphere coming soon: Pip vs Trail, a six part series starting next weekend and finishing in Moab. I'm doing two 24's, one fifty and three 100 mile mountain bike races this summer. If I win, I will have a lifetime of Man-ness to draw upon. If I lose, well, the buzzards get to eat some decadent meat.

Peace out.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

24 Spokane Pix

Comin' up for Air...


My first visit to mtcx.com in three weeks revealed I haven't updated my own blog in three weeks! I do apologize if this has ruined anyone's attempt to make the 9-5 go by any faster. But as usual I have a semi valid excuse- I work 8-5! Plus training...AND doing 24-s with my amigos from the dealer services/athlete relations/race team cave at Hammer Nutrition. So let's just say I've had a very busy few weeks and I'm finally coming up for air...

For starters I really love my new gig at Hammer. It is a heck of a lot easier to get out of bed every morning doing something with passion. My chair is backordered (or so I'm told) so I was presented with a new desk, computer, phone and a yoga ball to sit on. I also rode to work with a spider plant and a picture of Reily to up the feng shui factor. To my right is Brad Lamson, an all around great guy and ultra runner (upper management wants him to ride more however). Across our section is Jason Keister and Matt Butterfield. El Bandito sits on the other side of a wall that we don't really like. So that's our crew, we do our thing in the office and then ride trail after work.

Now that you know too much about my new office life, I should share a bit about the race this weekend. On Thursday I packed about 85% of what we were supposed to bring to the 24 Hours Round n Round in Spokane (I'm new...)  Oh well I brought the essentials anyway: Shoes-check, helmet-check, bike-check, clothes-check.Oh and we bought meat, coffee and beer later on.

Rolling out to Spokane was Jason, Matty, Bandito, Myself and Steve Born (best crew chief ever). Brian, Miles, Ivy and the new Hammer Big Rig came the other way from Seattle and met us at Riverside Park. I don't know I thought this race would be easy, just finishing a 24 hour race is tough let alone the competition. Of course the usual pre race googling gave us some dire news...It would be a very long 24 hours.There were several strong teams in our division, including the local boys from Great Northern Cycles and the classy Missoulians of MOZ4X. The course was a challenging mix of fun singhee, leg burning dirt roads, lung busting climbs and tire eating rock gardens. Needless to say the top five was constantly changing based on who had to run 3 miles to get home.

The first 8 hours treated us well with Matty turning in a very fast lap and the rest of us riding well. We were up  about 20 minutes, which by the way doesn't mean a damn thing at nightfall of a 24 hour race! Sure enough, the race starts at night and ours started off headed for disaster. My first flat happened in little Vietnam, a crazy e-wok style section down by the river. I had some trouble with my pump and had to find assistance from a spectator. After this ten minute debacle, Bandito double flatted on his lap, running for quite some time back to the pits...Luckily Matty and Jason were riding super smooth otherwise we may have been caught. On my next lap I flatted again, crashed and then my bar lights went out leaving me with just the spotlight which was kinda weird. Upon coming home to a decent lap time, I decided to keep this a secret from the team as our morale was not so hot. At this point in the night I'd had enough. Enough of screwing up at the one thing I know how to do, enough moping around and definitely enough of these coyotes yappin' at my heels... I was becoming furious. I headed out on my second night lap full of rage. I was so PO'd I could only focus on the trail. I was briefly distracted by a deer, for a second I thought it was a redneck aussie out spotlighting kangaroos and I should chase it. Night time at 24's are so cryptic. Wait....still work to be done. Everything just started clicking. I finished the night lap only five minutes slower than my first hot lap the day before. Boom. Five minutes tacked on our lead. Dawn came, five more minutes on lap 5. Lap six, samesies. I wouldn't be stopped. Trouble was, neither would our chasers. All morning our lead bounced from 5-10 minutes, they could smell us it was so close (or we just smelled that bad...idk). After my lap 6 at like 10:00 we had to have a pow wow. Two of the fellas had given their all and trust me they surely did. So I didn't even take off the rags, I just sat in the sun for 45 minutes sipping Recoverite. I had no idea what type of lead I would go out with but I knew for certain if I was caught I would have no response. I was so happy at the start line to see el Bandito I forgot how cashed my legs were! Then the other teams crew chief yelled Russell's gonna catch you. I yelled back good luck. Sorry for the plug but the wide array of Hammer products  helped out on lap 7, I was still going full gas after being on it for 24 hours. There is also something about being in front that lets you feel no pain. The last lap was super fun even tho it hurt like hell. Relay's are great because they are such a team effort and we really worked well. Oh and to Russell's credit he turned in a smokin' last lap, four minutes faster than mine. Not enough though to keep Hammer from a well deserved W! That's all for now, pics to follow!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Redneck Cinco de Mayo!

Aaah my last holiday alone at the center of the trail universe, so bittersweet....Such a shame to spend such a "bueno" holiday here by myself. Soy contento though because we had a good ride tonight at the Cinco de Mayo edition of Wednesday Night Worlds, and I made myself a fine feast.

I figure if I'm going to move out of the chainsaw toting Tally Lake area and into the au pair dragging suburbs of Whitefish, I need to clean up my act. I started with tonight's dinner. Tally Lake Phil would have been fine with grillin' a few bear brats and crackin' a Donkey (24oz. Tecate) for such an occasion. But for tonight I made twice baked sweet potato chicken fajitas. It was actually very easy and quite a treat. To start, toss a sweet potato in the oven at like 425. Now go take a shower because hopefully you just went on a hard bike ride. This is also a great time to drink a cold beer!

By the time you've dried yourself off, it's time to toss the fajita mix in a frying pan. Since I'm constantly keeping the pedal to the floor, I buy the homemade chicken fajita mix from Marcus Foods. It has chicken, red and green peppers, onion, garlic and spices. Its pretty good as is but I add some crushed red pepper and chili powder in olive oil to heat things up. This should take about 12 minutes to fry on medium heat and by that time your sweet potato should be closer to edible.

Next, cut the sweet potato right down the middle, cube and expel the contents into your fajita frying pan, carefully preserving the skin! The cubed sweet potato should still hold its form so don't cook it too long. Now is a good time to add some more oil and red pepper to your pan and stir it around a bit. All thats left is to arrange your sweet potato skin on a plate and pile on as much as you like. Then melt a little pepper jack or other queso and pop it back in the oven for maybe five minutes on lower heat. Finish however you like but I added some avocado, kiwi and salsa fresca. Yippeee!


Cran-raz la croix w/kiwi.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Well, It's time I hit the Dusty Trail

It's been a good run here livin' the simple life. Peacuful yet exciting, rewarding and hard. Walking Lightly is truly a sanctuary in a screwed up world. They took me in when no one else would. I found shelter from the storm. But now the batts are charged, the storm has passed and it's time to go past full throttle. Five hundred acres isn't enough land for a rogue bull, but I figure the Rocky Mountains might suffice... for a little while. So stay tuned, if you liked tails of ranchin' and ridin' trail, you'll love a tail or two from the open road. I'll leave you with the wise words of Del Gue;

l ain't never seen them, but my common sense tells me the Andes is foothills, and the Alps is for children to climb.

Over and out,

Carbon Fiber Cowboy

PS let me know if you want a kick ass job: Yogi's, coin, house, trail, spinach.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Morning Treat.

This goes out to my good buddy who just started an office job. I guarantee this will be the best 1:44 of your monday morning, enjoy.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Redneck Ride.

Feedin the flippin' horses!

C Man (The Godfather)

The Crew


It was a long ride that brought me to Walking Lightly Ranch, one that changed my life. Now that I'm here, I celebrate once a week the beauty that surrounds me with the people that make it fun. I do this with the Redneck Ride.

Last year, Chris Connelly and I wanted to get a ride going in the Flathead that captured the essence of our college days back in Missoula. We wanted to ride our mountain bikes til sunset, cook grub, drink beer and bs about whatever. A few times, it was just us, but we are here to stay. Little by little, our ride is gaining a foothold. With temps and spirits looking bleak yesterday, i didn't expect much for our 2010 debut. But the trail gods looked upon us with favor, skies cleared and temps soared this afternoon. Just what we needed for the first Redneck Ride! We even had a few newcomers, a resurgent Dougger, Mark from Hammer Nutrition and Whitefish Soul Rider Dave. I couldn't have asked for more. Come ride with us weary trail riders looking for more. Thursday nights. Six o'clock at the trailer. All summer long.

Peace out to my man Dave Coe.


Monday, April 12, 2010



Well, another year, another car ride to the finish line at the Rocky Mountain Roubaix. Needless to say luck has not been on my side lately. But I do not despair because I know I'm riding well. I was even able to catch the peloton after my first flat! 

Enough about me, I didn't even finish. I was really proud of my team for working together on the road and for Matty riding strong enough for third place. Not bad for first race of the year, I smell some wins coming soon! Also, great job Brian Williams and the NRO team. They rode a smart race and it showed on the line. Well, I'm happy to have two solid weeks of training ahead of me. With my classics season consisting of 6 flats and 2 for 2 DNF's, the letter V is taking over more and more of my hard drive.  

V is for Vendetta.

Friday, April 9, 2010

2010: Whips got nicer, still just a carbon fiber cowboy.

About fourteen months ago, as I approached the bottom of the abyss, I took stock of what I had in life vs what I wanted. The list of material possessions wasn't very long; a few out of style clothes, a thousand dollar truck that i lost the title to, and some construction equipment. I hate construction. This would bother some, but I wasn't phased. I knew I had plenty of the wealth that mattered, amigos. I knew that Chez Shryock's door's would always be open for hot soup and good chit chat, my precious beagle, Riley, would always love me and that I could always call MTCX for cheering up. So when I thought of what else I needed in life, only one thing came to mind:

A fly whip to ride trail on.

Thats right, a cowboy is nothing without his horse. I stretched myself as far as my post-college-spending- hung-over-self could spend. I bought the best whip I could for the time (still didn't spend a lot). My life changed instantly, for the better. A good whip you see, can take a fella far. I just couldn't understand how anything else could take a higher priority. I couldn't understand how anything else could have a priority. I had a great time last year, but after working my butt off for 14 months, I ask myself what else do I want in life?

You guessed it, a fly-er whip to ride trail on.

Yes, I'm still a dirtbag. I still have nothing. I still live in a trailer in the woods. My friend hit a deer with my car and its broken and I still don't care. I want nothing more than to ride trail as fast as I can, after work with my amigos. Oh and maybe a few cold ones after. I don't think everyone should be this way, but for pete's sake (literally, Pete Derrick, he's the new shop manager at Sportsman Ski Haus Kalispell), git your damn bike tuned up and be ready to hit some trail!

Carbon Fiber Cowboy

This post made possible by Sportsman-Ski Haus for their awesome Cannondale bikes, Hammer Nutrition for their tasty Caffe Latte Perpetuem on long rides and lonely Friday night's at the trailer with Layer Cake PRIMITIVO, Vintage 2007.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Big Rides, Big Hides up in Flathead Country

With only a week until the Rocky Mountain Roubaix, there isn't a heck of a lot one can do at this point. You've either got the right stuff or you're pack skat for one more year. I'll be happy with any type of day that actually involves racing the full distance. Phil 1.0 was always at his worst in March and April. The last time I showed my face at Roubaix, I was "tired from the night before" and on a noodly 24 pound cross bike with knobbies. Needless to say I exited stage rear the third time up the grade. I haven't put too much pressure on myself for this weekend, as I know just about anything will be better than I've done before. That being said I'm no stick in the mud either. Here was today's ride, it was a tough one. The "Whitefish Triple Crown" created by Clint "the Monster" involves three nasty climbs, Reservoir rd, Iron Horse and Big Mountain. Lucky for him he lives in that area, I started at rancho grande. I may owe a gas station 69 cents for some 7up that got me home. I was gettin' crosseyed....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Grow Your Vegetables, Yo.

1. Lawns are the biggest waste of space since golf courses and shopping malls.

2. The only way to ensure what you eat is healthy is to collect/grow it yourself or buy it from someone you know. Did you know whole foods sources some of its "organic" produce from China? What a joke. 

3. Look at those geese flying in for a splash landing. They don't rely on wal-mart or the government to make their lives better. We shouldn't be any different, were just animals, same as geese. We have all we need to thrive. Scarcity is created and perpetuated by the antiquated powers that be. I need to be like the goose, self reliant!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Speedwagon Classic Pics

Thanks to Tom for some great shots. With pics like these its keeping the sponsors happy is a breeze! 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Speedwagon Classic; The coolest race you've never done.

Today's 3rd? annual Speedwagon Classic Gran Fondo in Polson was nothing sort of spectacular. Matt Seeley puts on a perfect mix of great views, roads so hard you can't see the view, and an amazing post race party at Wayne's new house (inventor of the gravity dropper seatpost, all around cool guy with awesome family).

The race started to sunny skies and a nice neutral pace. Jeff Crouch soon brought us out of the duldrums with the infamous CAMELBACK ATTACK!  He was well up the road in an instant. However due to his camelback no one really paid much attention. Some more cat and mouse ensued over the next few K of asphalt, which was just about the only good pavement all day. The action kicked up another gear as we approached the first sector of gravel. Phil Ligget's voice started to speak louder in my ear. He was shouting at me, don't go into the gravel at the back! 10-4, Phil. I moved up as we hit the gravel and sure enough, the peloton was coming unzipped. A super strong Shaun Radley, Josh Tack, two Polson Wheelmen, Matt Seeley and I were clear before we knew it. When Matt saw this, he did his best Tom Boonen and put Shaun and the Polson Wheelmen in a very bad place. By the time I realized what was going on, Matt and Josh had a sizeable gap from the three of us. Ligget got on the horn again, "If you lose these guys, your F'd!" I had to put in a big dig, but caught on with Matt and Josh and we were off. I looked behind me, took stock of the chasers, and I knew i was in the winning break. Granted, we were maybe ten miles in, but I was so happy, I've never been in a winning break. It's something Phil 1.0 never figured out.

Alas, my happiness was short lived. My tire selection today was terrible. I watched Matt and Josh ride off as I bounced to a stop on a pinch flat. And then three more....and then i just walked...aah se la vie. I was finally picked up by the lead follow car and watched Matt ripped Josh's legs off on the nasty finishing climb. Suddenly my flats almost seemed like a gift, I'm sure it would have been a suffer filled day. After those two, I think Mike from Polson? came in 3rd, Alex Gallego 4th and props to Shaun for rollin in 5th. Also, way to go ladies for bangin' out 53 miles of garbage, those roads were nasty! We all met at Wayne and Kim's for an amazing spread, they were such gracious hosts! I felt guilty eating so much and riding half a race, oh well. Five hours tomorrow will keep the muffintops at bay.

PS I apologize for lack of multimedia, I wanted to bring my camera but the roads were so gnar I didn't think it was a great idea. Pics by Tom Robertson at www.hellgatecyclery.com

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Jumpstart your year

Early spring can be a tough time of year for the northern hemisphered endurance athlete. For most, the motivation is at its high point of the whole year. But, sadly, the weather is at a low. Some folks bundle up and brave the miserable elements, others attach their bike to some type of device that apparently allows you to ride it inside (although you don't actually go anywhere). I've tried both methods over the last five years with very little success, my performance usually lagging well into June. But after returning from an awesome trip to The Cycling House in Tucson, Arizona, I'm posing a question to all those who suffer through February miles, why fight the slop? Why freeze your extremities before your legs have endured a decent workout? Why spin mindlessly staring at a wall when you could be tapping out a good rhythm on the slopes of Mt. Lemmon? I'm proclaiming here today that happy legs are fast legs!

With expectations very high this year, my stay at TCH was just what I needed to get the wheels turning in 2010. Riding in a jersey and shorts was a real treat, even if everyone constantly made fun of my skin tone. Getting away from my daily grind was just as important as the actual miles. Waking up knowing that your only obligation for the day is to ride a bike is an awesome feeling. I returned home with the hunger of a pack of wolves! So if you get a chance, jumpstart your year with a friendly, warm trip down to TCH, you won't regret it! I'll leave you with a quote from a great philospher:

"The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is now"

Also a terrible picture of myself, if you can't make fun of yourself, someone else will:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rollin with the Ark

This week has been great here at TCH. I'm so grateful to be down here and to be riding with some great folk from the Ark Intervals multisport team outta Philly. We've been going on big rides and runs everyday. Today saw an epic battle of nations on the slopes of Mt. Lemmon. Ed from Toronto challenged Noah and the Americans. I didn't want to see a lone wolf go up against a superpower, and seeing as how I live 60 miles from Canada, I wore the red and white Hammer kit. The big day started with a 20 mile roll out to the base of mt. lemmon. From there things really started to heat up. I was pacing Ed up the early slopes and we had  Noah from USA! in a spot of trouble. Then Halp flew past us at a high rate of speed. I couldn't let the dreams of Canada slip away, I had to leave Ed as this could be the deciding break. Luckily, Brendan's coach had told him to ride at 150-160 beats up the grade, about all my early season legs were good for. After some meaningless chit chat for an hour, we made it to mile 14 where global warming had caused the road to be snowed in. We didn't stay there long, we wanted to see the real action between Canada and the USA! back down the hill.  Fist ones up were of course the girls team, Jen and Sharon were shredding lemmon on their tri bikes! A little further down the hill at mile 11.5, we found that Ed, the crafty kanuck, had employed two domestiques and was pulling away from Noah. Once Ed's henchman had done their work, he made his final push, taking back 30 seconds at the top. He may have won the stage, but as always, USA! took GC at the end of the day. We all had a great time and then enjoyed a lovely dinner of Red Snapper.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


more to come.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sweet Sweet Whip...


Oh how I am torn when I get a new whip. So clean and beautiful...So perfectly dialed in and crisp. A rolling extension of myself. A new member of the family. A perfect baby that I'm going to kill this summer. Thats right, new whip, I'm going to ride the living shit out of you. By November, you will be like the old man and the sea. I'm going to do this because if I don't, the competition will. If i flat on the last lap, I will ride you home on the rim. If I have half a chance to pass, I will shift poorly under power while riding through the shrubs. Your hubs you ask, well they are going to be full of red sand at 3:00 am in Moab. Your amazing carbon lefty fork, well thats going to get bottomed out on Runaway Train a few too many times. But you don't mind, you know thats what your here to do. And I promise to always wash you down and give you some lube after. Thank you sweet whip, and hey, at least you don't belong to Doug!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Training Plan:

I know I'm always yappin about how I don't like rollin with clocks, HRMs, power meters, coaches, graphs or any rides that aren't fun, but that doesn't mean I don't have a plan of action. It's fairly simple really. If I feel like riding my bike, I ride my bike. If I don't, I don't. Not saying its perfect or that it will work for you but I'm more concerned with having fun riding trail than anything else. If i were to describe how an ideal season of biking goes, its like this sweet music video by Ok Go. Every ride builds upon the previous ride and the snowball keeps rollin all the way to the 24 Hours of Moab!

Way to go Johnny Montana! I remember getting my first road "win" at the TTTT, local glory is where its at!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fight the power!

Stairways To Heaven Race - Los Angeles from The Bicinity on Vimeo.

Found a good video about some fixie dudes rippin around LA. Sure they are breaking just about every traffic law in the books. But I say big deal, they are on a bike! How about the crazed workaholic speeding around in a 8000 pound death machine. Anyway, its pretty good cine' and it got me in the mood to stick it to the man.

This week has been mostly bitter, a little sweet. If you haven't heard, Whitefish Mountain Resort called their landlord, the USFS and instantly got a new policy approved regarding uphill travel on Big Mountain. This new policy, put into effect without prior public input, bans uphill travel after lift hours throughout the season until two weeks after season closure. I guess I don't find this too surprising, it was only a matter of time. Free uphill on the big was one of the last examples of this user group on a forest service leased ski resort. Further proof that we don't live in a democracy, it's nothing but an elaborate illusion.

I don't know what I will do once this new policy goes into effect. I had just cancelled my gym membership because I've had so much fun on Big Mtn this year. As of yesterday, I've summited 28 times on skis, mostly after hours. Because of this, I have stayed fit and mostly depression free this winter. I have shared some amazing times with close friends climbing the mountain, watching the sun go down over one of the most beautiful places I've ever lived. They too have jobs during the day, pay taxes and now have nothing after work. I guess the man would rather we pay for gym memberships and run on treadmills with tv screens. The man can't make any money if the people are just walking around staying fit. Such a shame.

Anyway, I'm doing what I can in our corpratocracy to voice my opinion about this travesty. I am hereby not going to spend any money at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Ciao Mambo's, Mackenzie River Pizza, Craggy Range or the Whitefish Aiport, all under the same ownership. I urge anyone who shares my discontent to do the same. Calling the forest service is great, but hitting Foley in the pocketbook is the only way to get back what's ours. If you've eaten at Mambo's or Craggy this shouldn't even be much of a sacrifice. Remember, WE are the majority. Power to the People!  I'll leave you with the sun setting on the Flathead valley, and our freedom.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hotsprings Plains Hotsprings, A killer Loop!

View Larger Map

Today was great! First bike ride in almost 3 months but well worth the wait. A composite team of Flathead and Missoula riders set out on a great 60ish mile loop. I say ish because i don't train with computers, coaches, HRMs or Power. I just like
to ride my bike in fun places with my amigos. My road bike wasn't ready so i set out on "the creamcicle", a 2007 Kona cross bike with large knobby tires and 1x9 gearing. This is nothing new to me, in fact I havent ridden on slick tires since 2007. Anyway, eight or ten of us set out to chilly but amazing skies and had a great time. Shaun Radley got some great beta on a backroad between paradise and plains on the other side of the river, see map. I don't know why I don't live in Paradise, it's amazing! The five mile climb out of Plains was a little tough for the first ride but with age comes wisdom and I didn't bother to explode trying to chase Matt ice. After the ride, we sat down at Symes hot springs with a much older and fatter bike gang, the Bandido's MC. They seemed a little soft for a motorcycle club, they all drove to Symes in their car! Today really stoked my fire with road, so much so that I'm adding a new element to the blog: Hot or Not!

Anyone who showed up today
Matching kits (we're mid twenties now only Bill Schultz can pull off the Split Kit)

Anyone who didn't show up
Having to wear more than jersey and shorts (not cool)
Riding on trainers, go skiing for pete's sake!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Time to get serious"

A phrase I say far more than I actually do. Like a wave approaching the shore my fitness builds every spring and well into the summer. When things go right, times come when I feel untouchable, a "purple patch" according to some. But all waves eventually find a beach. For me that means the enticement of celebrating after doing well usually brings me right back to where I started...almost. I've noticed that although my body is totally useless each winter, every spring I start out a little better than the year before.

Exempio: One spring in high school I went out for the track team. I had shown promise as a runner in junior high so this was nothing new to me. However the food that is somehow legal to sell to high schoolers in america was dragging me down. On the first day of practice, we went on a co-ed EASY group run, I made it a half mile and quit the team. A prime example of someone I call Phil 1.0.
Fast forward to 2009: After half a decade of racing anything with two wheels, I knew how to train, how to hurt and how to save it for race day. That pic of me is from my first race of 09, the Riverbank Run in Missoula. I had a great time and PR'd in the 10k, 5k and mile all in one morning. This was the first appearance of Phil 2.0, a totally different person.

Anyway, I try to look for improvements anywhere I can. They can be small from week to week but year to year they should start to appear. There is no staying the same. We live in an emergent universe. Things that are possible now were unthinkable a short time ago. Apply that to training and staying the same isn't staying the same. It's getting worse. So who wants to see where they're at and run the Snowjoke Half marathon next weekend? I know a lot of people that could easily improve. Heck all Doug needs to do is finish without the vultures pecking at his scalp!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stickittodaman! A President's Day Tribute

The phrase "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism" is often attributed to Thomas Jefferson. According to the Monticello webpage, this is not the case. Regardless of whether or not he said such words, they perhaps apply more to today than 1776. Today is Presidents day, A day that we are supposed to honor the presidents and our democracy. However at this juncture of time and space, I have determined our President is nothing more than a chosen suit and we certainly don't live in a democracy.

Do you really think that checking one of two boxes every four years is a democracy? It's an insult to your intelligence.

By the time any of these people make it into office, they are heavily indebted (literally) to the interests that got them there. They have no time to help the people, they must serve their master! How can someone be called president if they run a country thats currently 12,363,899,843,891 dollars in the hole? They are nothing more than a puppet. So here's to you Mr. President, I'm only doing what your predecessor supposedly told me to. 

Here's a great documentary about Noam Chomsky, one of the greatest intellectuals of our time. It's called Manufacturing Consent. If you have a couple hours to kill, he tells a necessary tale of the multibillion dollar effort to keep us distracted from unfavorable truths. It was made in the eighties but even more true today, minus some really bad hair.  


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Workin' for the weekend.

I respect the weekend warrior. No one cares if they compete, no one is looking anxiously for their result. Ultimately, the only one pushing the weekend warrior is himself. He just does it because he knows thats why he was placed amongst the cosmos. Yes, some athletes have dreams of "making it", and some do. Thats great, but for me not really worth envying. I follow those who know they're never going to get paid, yet compete at the highest level of their sport anyway. Because the purest of passions have nothing to with money. it's just something in you, it's innate. Like the butterfly that fly's to Meixco. What else could drive someone to summit the Big Mountain (2,200 foot climb) in 27 minutes for free? Well, actually, they lost money after the entry fee. Thanks event promoters...

To my knowledge the whole US National Randonee Team has day jobs. Our best placing last go round at worlds was 30th of 90. Not bad for a workin stiff! The sport is getting more popular in some circles, but doesn't really appeal to the masses (pun intented) in America. We are more interested in riding chairlifts, superbowl, getting fatter, and paying doctors and pharma to come up with complex answers to problems that shouldn't exist. I had a few extra pounds last month, so I started walking up mountains, not seeing "doctors". Wo, too much rant!


Brandon French and Ben Parsons are holding a slideshow/raffle to help offset the cost of traveling to Andorra at the end of this month for the World Championships. Andorra is in the Pyrrenees im Spain, obviously not a cheap tik. They have traveled the Rocky Mountains in their entirety, and should have some amazing pictures and stories to tell. Brandon has previously raced in Europe and should have some fun times to talk about. They are auctioning outdoor related gear that has been donated, so obvi there might be some deals. Phil's Liquidation has been hired as auctioneer so bring your $$$ and lets have a good time sending these guys to worlds!

Slideshow and Auction at Reds Theater
30 2nd ST E. KSSR
Thursday. 7. Feb 18. 2010 

PS although Ben and I are now teammates I completely disagree with this news report from last summer's TNRL:

"At this stage of the season, the expert stage is up for grabs. Ben Parsons, one of the top cyclists in the valley, was almost unbeatable last season, but on this particular night, a flat tire prevented him from finishing. 
“He didn’t win last week and he didn’t finish today,” Knight said, “so who knows, in this mixed-up, crazy world.” -Flathead Beacon

I get no love.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010