Thursday, April 3, 2014

Back on Snow

Yesterday was the first day on snow since like what.....mid February?

Jeez, things have changed!

After spending 4 weeks nearly exclusively inside with a Achilles injury, getting out in to the mountains again was the best medicine ever. Both mentally and physically, since yesterday morning at Park City I'm feeling refreshed, energized and focused in a way I haven't felt since racing at Valley of Fire.

Eric and I hiked Jupiter Peak a few times, with the highlight of the day being among the first 10 to reach the summit. We were treated to creamy untouched powder towns from top to bottom, whooping and hollering the whole way down.

I had missed that!

Yesterday I also registered for LOTOJA, this year opting to race in the much faster and more challenging CAT 3/4 group. Keaton, a friend and teammate from SaltCycle-INTELITECHS will be joining me this year, and I'm seriously looking forward to training and racing together.

A big case of nerves comes as a side-dish, per usual for events such as this. Challenges, questions and doubts all swirl in your head when faced with the challenge ahead, but this is part of the allure of such an event.

It's not something you can take lightly, and few can just show up and race for 200 miles. It takes dedicated planning, time, commitment and sacrifice to prepare one's body for one 9 hour day of racing. Success is only possible through commitment and meticulous preperation for months leading up to the event.

April is the time to begin that journey.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Touring in The Tushars: Part Two (sortof)

Checking out from a life focused on bike, skis, and the outdoors over the last month has been a horrendous experience. It has become very clear that constant physical activity and motion outside is required to live with any balance. When finally healed from this injury, there will be stronger commitment and appreciation to the lifestyle that brings happiness.

I've been meaning to finish this story for over a month or so now. It's been something to hold on to, an untold tale of fun and adventure; something to look forward to.

Words are a bit hard to come by at the moment, and pictures of our touring in the Tushar Mountains speak for themselves really. There's also a short edit from Go-Pro footage of some turns. The skiing is certainly no where near the level it once was, but it's still enjoyable all the same.

Tushar Trip from Trevor Jackson on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Valley of Fire Stage 3: Road Race

The road race for the Valley of Fire Stage Race finished 2 weeks ago, and since that finish it's been a very tough 2 weeks.

The road race was the final nail in the coffin for a very painful overuse type injury in my right achilles heel. I haven't been able to ride my bike, ski or even walk without pain since this race. This has made life very dull and depressing, especially considering all the work put in over the winter to race, and now not even being able to do so.

It's not certain when I'll be back on my bike as achilles heels are a bit tricky to rehab, and racing again seems as far out as it was back in December. For now lets finish this race report and the Touring in the Tushars Recap.

Team Results:

Full USA Cyling Results Here

It was a tough race for everyone, and unfortunately the team wasn't able to snag any outstanding results we were looking for.

The SaltCycle-Intelitechs Cat 4 women finished their first race experience strongly, with Kate snagging a solid 13th place finish in the road race and 12th in the general classification. More importantly Kate, Annette, and Ashley finished their first race, and have a lot to look forward to this season.

In the Cat 5s Joergen suffered a two flat tires late in the race, and with a shorter course didn't quite have enough road to catch back on to the leaders for a second time. After finishing 11th in the road race and the overall standings, it's unfortunate he didn't have a chance to battle again with the winner, but that's bike racing.

In the Cat 3/4s Keaton, the team leader, finished 11th in a group sprint with the leading group. Paul was only a minute behind finishing in 22nd, while the rest of the team was well behind at 5 minutes back. Anson, Alex and I finished 38, 40 and 41 of 62 finishers, respectively. In the general classification Keaton would be our top finisher at a respectable 16th. Not quite the result we were looking for, but solid nonetheless considering the competitive field and the first race of the year for us.

The Masters 35+ cat 1-4 was a tough place to be for Dustin, the only Cat 4 amidst an elite group of masters including previous national champions. Dustin showed true grit and pure willpower to finish the road race. Hey may have finished at the back of the pack, but he worked harder than anyone else on the road that day.

The Pro/1/2/3 race was break away happy from the start. Dan and Richard were in the mix with the breakaway action, but the difficult efforts eventually took their toll. Richard and Dan would finish 20th and 33rd in the road race, with Richard finishing 16th overall in the GC.

Trevor's Cat 3/4 Race Recap:

Rolling out from the hotel my right heel was sore.

Sore on the down stroke, sore across the bottom, and sore on the way back up..."HEY! It doesn't hurt at the top!"

Left foot.

Right foot.

Pain 3/4s around. I'll be fine!

Ibuprofen, icy hot, and stubbornness seemed like sure fire way to cure achilles heel pain instantly. Stubbornness especially, I was going to do this road race.

The weather was perfect, the start was mellow and the SaltCycle-Intelitechs team, with Anson on the front, was establishing the speed of the pack on the first climb out of town. All was well.

The turn to the Valley of Fire was made, all hell broke lose on a fist to the gut type of an incline, and racing was on...sort of.

Keaton and Paul were near the front, I was floundering near the back of the lead group, and Anson and Alex were behind in a "chase" group that caught back on shortly after the punchy climb.

There were lots of accelerations, there were lulls, but no breakaways and we were only 15 miles into a 70 mile race.

The pace ramped up heading into the  climb out of the valley, and Paul and I lost contact with the group. After seeing stars and questioning my life choices up the climb, I found myself in no man's land between the leaders and everyone else.

A good time to ease up, eat, drink and wait up for some people to chase with as trying to catch the leaders alone sounded stupid.

Soon I was with a group of 6 riders, developing into a rolling paceline chasing vigorously along the long descent to the flats and the turnaround.

Eventually Anson, Paul and Alex caught up to us with their large chase group, which was fantastic news for our dysfunctional group. Can't say it was a pleasure riding in my group, with a lot of yelling at each other and general surging & angst.

We did catch the lead group right at the turnaround point, and all the accelerations and chasing of the day seemed ridiculous as the group was essentially the same as at the starting line.

Heading back to the climb, Paul and Anson worked their magic through the peloton. Once again the entire SaltCycle team was on the front, Anson in tow and setting the pace.

Sure enough as soon as the incline increased, an attack was sent on the left. Keaton and Paul being the savvy racers they are, followed it.

With my heel screaming at me, and I couldn't respond to the acceleration. Anson wasn't responding either, so we stayed at the front and tried to block as much road as possible.

This actually worked pretty well at slowing the response of the peloton to the attack. It was a highlight for me to kick the hornets nest and crack a sly smile to all the yelling and cursing that ensued.

At that point, the race was essentially over for Alex, Anson and I and we just made are way up the climb at a brisk pace with others who failed to catch the acceleration.

This wasn't all that fun either, with constant bickering and barking of demands and instruction by a certain team from a certain city known for its gambling.

We weren't the least bit disappointed when we happened to lose touch with them on the descent into the valley.

Through the Valley of Fire a second time, my heel really started to cause problems. No change in pedal stroke, saddle position, or heel position could lessen the constant pain with every pedal stroke.

We were still cruising pretty briskly, and it was absolute hell. Alex and Anson graciously took extra pulls when I struggled to come through to do my share of the work.

I wanted nothing more than to get off my bike.

Only with their help was I able to make it through those last 15 miles.

The finish came, I got off my bike and we drove home.

Two weeks later, I want nothing more than to get on my bike.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Valley of Fire Stage 2: Crit

Wrapping up another great day of racing here in Overton, Nevada.

The 2nd day of the Valley of Fire Stage Race brought on a fast and fun 0.9 mile crit course. The Men Cat 5 and Women Cat 4 raced for 30 minutes, the Masters 35+ and Men Cat 3/4 racing for 45 minutes, and the Men Pro 1,2,3 cat raced for one hour.

Team Update:

The SaltCycle-Intelitechs team put in some great efforts and snagged some solid results in every category, and most importantly everyone was able to finish safely.

Annette, Ashley, and Kate all had a great first experience with crit racing. Kate was able to hang on with the main group until the end, and it was a great learning experience and a new perspective of what to focus on in training.

In the Men Cat 5, Joergen snagged another 2nd place finish. He was just shy of winning on a solo breakaway, but wasn't quite able to stay away. With only a few seconds off of the leaders overall time, he sits in a great position to take the overall win with a successful road race tomorrow. We're just hoping he can upgrade quickly so he can race with the Cat 4s!

Dustin was faced with a very daunting task of hanging on with the Masters super combined 35+ 1,2,3,4 racers. He hung in there tough but suffered a flat tire, and couldn't quite recover enough to catch on to the blistering pace.

In the Cat 3/4s, Keaton and Paul finished with the main sprint group, with Keaton snagging a 7th place finish. A very respectable result for his first crit as a CAT 4. Keaton was a last minute addition to the team, and we're sure stoked to have him on board! Looking forward to seeing his continued success this season.

The Pro, 1,2,3 race was super fast with lots of daring breakaways that could never quite get away. They were in the mix the entire race, with Richard finishing 5th and Dan finishing 9th, respectively. 
Keaton and Paul sticking together through the first corner.

Yours truly in the first corner, hanging on for dear life.

Paul in the corner.

Me in  the corner.

Trevor's Race Report: 

For me, this crit was seriously the most insane bike racing I've ever experienced. From the start, it was guns out, blazing fast. 10 minutes in I was seriously doubting my ability to hold the pace, and sitting at the back wasn't helping either with the extreme accordion effect after every corner. There was one corner where I went from as slow as 19mph to as fast as 32 mph, and I knew I had to move up or I would be toast.

Luckily I still had the energy to move up a dozen places or so, and shortly after avoided 3 crashes in one lap. Alex and Anson weren't so lucky, and were caught behind these crashes which essentially ended their race.

When you're going that fast, everything really becomes a blur with all focus on maintaining position, speed and avoiding crashes.

The main highlight of the race for me came with 6 laps to go. With a slowed pace for a moment, I saw an opportunity to move up from about 40th position to the front. It actually didn't take much effort to get all the way into 6th position heading into the last corner, and after a smooth transition to the final straightaway, I was feeling strong enough to launch an attack.

It was a suicidal attack and I knew it, but the opportunity to jump out in front and show off the new team kit was just too good.

Though my 1/2 lap of fame was short and ended after popping in the headwind, it was a super good time and an awesome experience in such a fast crit and large field.

This would prove to be the end of the race for me, as after such a hard effort I was only able to hang on for dear life for the final 4 laps. I did finish with the main group, but at the very very far back in 44th position.

Overall, I was satisfied with the effort. A lot of progress has been made from last season to this one, and with more experience I hope to be able to put myself in better position to do well in these high speed crit races.

Strava profile of the last few laps of the Crit.  The last lap was really fast with a 28.5 average. While on the 5th Lap I was able to get my average heart rate to 192 bmp!! That was due to a 1/2 lap solo breakaway and the ensuing explosion.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Valley of Fire Stage 1: Time Trial

The first day of the Valley of Fire stage race is in the books here in Overton, Nevada. A long day of anticipation for a short 6.3 mile time trial eventually brought rain & pain, lots of it.

I was satisfied, but not thrilled with my effort. In a down pour, adrenaline and overall giddiness at racing again brought a far too fast start on the first 3 miles.

Not the most aero position ever, but having a road bike as actually very useful for climbs

After passing a guy on a TT bike at the turnaround, my body was cooked and I was way too slow on the downhill. The guy on the TT bike actually passed me, but I was able to pass him again quickly after recovering, making the corner and hitting it hard on the flat.

The last hill was the most brutal part of all. With legs, lungs and brain all screaming, the pain cave was as dark as the road was wet.When I finished I wanted to puke and/or fall over, and had a headache and cold chills for the next 30 minutes or so. Feeling just fine now, but it was not pretty for awhile there.

Finishing time was 15 min. 28 sec., putting me 26 of 73 overall, and 1 min. 2 secs. behind the leader.

Coming back was pure agony.

   NO    CATEGORY  NAME              TEAM                 ELAPSED       
  1   260     CAT4    TOTH, Ronnie      Castashadow          14m26s           
  2   249     CAT3    GRASSI, Noah      Les Rois             14m32s           
  3   228     CAT3    YOUNG, Douglas    Carefast Race Team p/b Les Roi 14m33s           
  4   211     CAT3    MCNULTY, John     South Bay Wheelmen   14m44s           
  5   202     CAT3    MICKELSON, Chad   PENTA Building Group 14m46s           
  10   237     CAT3    GRILL, Nathan     Carefast p/b Les Rois 15m01s           
  15   219     CAT3    OVED, Shai        Velo club Lagrange   15m07s                      
  20   222     CAT4    CARY, Jaycee      Michelob Ultra-Velo Club LaGra 15m15s                         
  24   252     CAT5    GRACEY, Dakota    Pacific Premier Bank Cycling T 15m26s           
  25   215     CAT4    EDMISTON, Keith   Velo Vegas/Every Kid a Bike 15m28s           
  26   255     CAT4    JACKSON, Trevor   SaltCycle-Intelitechs 15m28s           
  27   214     CAT4    DUNCAN, Mark      Carefast p/b Les Rois Cycling 15m33s                     
  30   246     CAT4    RICH, Keaton      University of Utah   15m36s           
  35   239     CAT4    KIRCHNER, Anson   Saltcycle Intelitechs 15m41s           

Racing with the CAT 3/4 group for the SaltCycle-Intelitechs racing team for this stage race are Keaton Rich, Anson Kirchner, Alex Headman, Paul Burger and myself.

The team didn't quite get the best results ever in the time trial in the 3/4s, but Keaton and I finished in the top 30 and only a minute behind the leader. Nobody on the team is that far off the leaders, so if we can all stay safe in the crit tomorrow and bring the ruckus to the road race on Sunday, we still have a chance to snag a good stage race result for the team. At the very least I hope we can get someone on the podium in the crit or road race.

Joergen Trepp had an awesome TT in the CAT 5s, taking 2nd and only two seconds behind the winner. He should have a great chance to take the overall with a safe crit and a good road race.

All alone in Masters 35+ is Dustin, who didn't have the greatest TT ever but should have a great showing at the crit tomorrow.

Kate, Ashley and Annette all had great efforts in their first race ever, and have a lot more fun to look forward to as well.

Daniel Marsh and Richard Knut did well in the Pro, 1, 2, 3 category, but I wasn't able to get my hands on a results list for them.
*edit from Dan: "Richard: 11th. Me: 18th. i'm about 21 sec behind tenth. There is a tight spread, so either of us could move a bunch of spots depending on the road race."

In the 3/4s we've got a couple of great crit riders, with guys  experienced in winning, so the hopes are high. But with a field of 73 people, a fast course and likely wet conditions, any top result is going to be very difficult.

A note: Well I haven't gotten around to finishing the trip recap of "Touring in the Tushars," but that will be interrupted for a day to day race report. After 3 mini race recaps, Touring in the Tushars will be back.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Touring in The Tushars: Part One

This past weekend was filled with adventure, high altitude, freezing temperatures, blisters, vomit and powder.

All the fixings for a quality backcountry skiing tale.

My mom, the ringleader of this adventure, had planned and organized this second trip to the Tushar Mountains. Our friends Eric, Anna and Nate would be joining us for a two nights stay at the luxurious Snorkeling Elk Yurt at a 10,400 ft.

We lucked out with the conditions, arriving the day after a healthy storm putting 5-6 inches of light powder on top of a reasonably solid base.

How the trip unfolded was another story.

As a claimed "gearhead" by profession, I should have known better than to use alpine boots for a 3 day touring trip. But alas, my stubbornness in not forking out the cash for a AT boot proved to be a painful mistake. Maybe 3/4 of a mile into the 4.5 mile skin to the yurt, I could feel blisters forming all around my heels.

It was game over.

Every step the rest of the trip was painful, and my heels are still screaming at me today.

After the long trek with heavy packs to the yurt, we had a phenomenal afternoon, taking a few laps on the untouched, powdery and low angle slopes around the Yurt.

Eric, and the rest of the crew skinning back up through our turns.
That evening we settled into the yurt, ate lots of great food, and looked forward to a full day of skiing on Saturday.

Sleeping at 10,000 ft. is difficult in and of itself, toss in a freezing yurt, needy fire, and top it with 3 members of your group vomitting all night and getting locked outside, and you'll find it's difficult to get much rest.

Who I am kidding? I actually slept the whole night through. Go me.

Eric, Anna, and Nate on the other hand, spent the night puking, stoking the fire and getting locked outside of the yurt. They had a really rough night, and were in no condition to ski the next day.

To Anna and Nate's credit, they did give it a shot but couldn't make it past the first ridge the next morning.

The three members of our group headed home early, but thankfully my mom and I were feeling great as we made our way up the -20degree wind-chilled ridge of the 12,000 foot Mt. Delano.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Strava is Dogs Peeing on Everything

Our family dogs, Kipper and Baxter, love three things in life.

Walks, food and family; in that order.

Just put on some shoes, move towards the front door or mention the words "walk" or "outside," and they go completely nuts.

Whether we go for a short walk to the mailbox or an hour long trail run, the boys always join in on subset favorite activity of going outside, peeing on everything.

Now of course this is something all dogs do, an animal instinct to mark their territory. And while I was a bit annoyed at Kipper for stopping to leave his mark for the 20th time during a snowy mountain trail run, I couldn't help but make a connection to a certain training app.

Strava. It's just dogs peeing on everything.

Strava, the app that lets you track all your training rides and runs, compare them with your friends and dangles out the juicy treat of a potential KOM. In the cycling world it's nearly become necessity, sparking the phrase "if your ride's not on Strava, it didn't happen."

We've all succumbed to our basic animal instincts. We must mark our territory!

KOM's just happen to be the biggest, baddest dog on the block with the smelliest urine. While weaker pack members try and justify their less smelly urine through marks all over the map wherever they can.

But whether we're just pack fill, or the the big dog on the block let's face it, we're just peeing on everything.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stairs are Pain

A new semester has arrived.

New semesters brings new classes.

New classes bring new classroom locations.

New classroom locations brings the floor 1-8 lottery in the new business building.

Lottery pick of floor 5 brings stairs.

And stairs bring pain.

Stairs=pain? What are you complaining about Trevor? You afraid of a few stairs? Just take the elevator, brainless.

To first address the sarcastic man in my head; No! I refuse to take the elevator. Ever see the roly poly lard sacks that take the elevator? 

No elevators.

Second, stairs=pain, no questions about it.

Actually, life is pain so just deal with it. No need to sugar coat that with an elevator; whilst you eat your sugar coated friend dough ball, drink your sugar coated Starbucks milkshake and browse your life sucking, sugar coated iPhone. 

Then why are stairs pain, oh ye of little sugar?

Stairs are pain, because my bike is killing me.

It's not that base training for races that don't begin for 2 months is over kill, it's that spending this much energy on a bike everyday, leaves little energy for anything requiring physical movement off the bike.

Thusly, stairs are pain.

But life is pain, elevators are stupid and I will continue to climb those blasted stairs.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Base Training & Other Winter Things

Over the last two months, the goal has been to learn how to train more effectively for bike racing success. My main resource has been "The Cyclist's Training Bible" by Joel Friel, along with a real swell excel worksheet which enables you to create an annual plan, weekly & daily schedules based on racing goals.

Spring Training Schedule. Goal is to come out swinging in April

It's been a super useful tool for providing a training outline for my season, while also laying out weekly and daily training goals and objectives. Sticking to this schedule has been challenging during the winter, but it's not so binding that it hasn't been altered (several times). Finding flexibility, especially during the winter is key for maintaining motivation. Being able to ski some powder, toss a few tricks in the park, or work on my skate skiing technique at Soldier Hollow have all been quality distractions & cross training opportunities off the bike.

Luckily (or not so luckily) Utah has not seen much snow this winter, and with sunny sky's and clean roads sneaking in road rides outside has been easy. There were a couple of weeks there were I found myself on the trainer 9-12 hours in a week, but these were the dark times of old. It would be  better to forget them. Some of the best highlights were skiing and then riding outside on Christmas day, cruising for 4 hours in and around the Heber Valley on Jan. 2nd, and a handful of rides through Emigration Canyon.

Above all else, it's been awesome to see improvements in fitness over the winter, and especially to be headed in the right direction in terms of body weight for race season. The grind continues!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Direction

A note: Things have been busier then usually over last month for me, and I've been neglecting my writing pursuits. Writing about the cycling & skiing really contributes to the overall experience of the lifestyle, and going forward I hope to get back in the swing of things with more regular posts.

Thus far, it's been a very strange winter for me.

In the past, I'd be looking forward to ski season with a 100 day count down after fall classes began. Once Park City was finally open, I'd be lapping the park 5-6 days a week, on schedule for another 100+ day season. All my focus would be on progressing my tricks for film exploits and slopestyle competitions from November to April.

This year was much different, spending most of my activity time doing 10+ hours a week of base training on the road bike during November, and never really having ski season cross my mind. Many of these rides have been group rides with my new teammates on the SaltCycle-Intellitechs Racing Team. It's been awesome to be apart of such a tight knit team, and cold 3 hours rides aren't quite as hard to get suit up for when you know there's some good buddies to meet up with.

In the middle of the training block, opening day for Park City came. Since it came on a bad weather off day on the bike, I went and took a couple of runs. It was great to be back on snow, but my mind was still focused on base training for the upcoming race season.

Since opening day, I've only been back to the mountain once for a super enjoyable morning of groomer laps with my mom. But for many reasons, park skiing just isn't as appealing to me anymore. Don't know if that hit to the head back in January knocked some sense into me, or my passion for cycling has just tromped my desire to toss cork 9's to hard packed landings, but it just seems time to head in a new direction.

Sure, I'm still going to ski; probably a lot more so than most any other person would, but it will not be my main focus. My plans for the season are to explore more in the backcountry, with a new touring setup I've purchased through my employer. I still itch to play in the snow in the mountains, but it will certainly be in a different style than it has been in the past.

Above all else, my focus will be on the spring race season, starting with The Valley of Fire Stage Race on February 28th. The motivation for personal goals will help fuel the desire to conquer the drudgery of winter training, but the motivation to be a good teammate will be even stronger.

There's a lot to look forward to for this season of bike racing with my new team, and here forward I am committed to do the work necessary to reach my potential.