Monthly Archives: August 2013

Dale Stetina Seriously Injured

This entry was posted in Important Life Stories on by .
Share

I received an email a little while ago telling of a horrible accident that my friend, Dale Stetina had. Dale is the father of Garmin rider, Peter Stetina, and brother of Wayne Stetina, Shimano guy. Dale crashed while descending a canyon outside of Boulder and is in serious condition at a Boulder hospital. I contacted Wayne and he is flying out tomorrow morning to stay. Anyway, I know a bunch of you that read this are friends and acquaintances of Dale’s. I hope only the best for Dale and a speedy recovery. Email below.


Friend of Dale,

I am so sorry to be delivering you this email, but Dale’s wife Anne asked me to reach out to his good friends and fellow cyclists. Today as we descended from Ward in Left Hand Canyon, Dale was involved in a serious bicycle accident that was caused by a vehicle pulling onto the road as he descended towards it.

Dale did not hit the car, but hit the pavement, landing face first, suffering significant facial and ocular damage, and loss of responsiveness. EMTs were on the scene rapidly, he received good care. He was flown to Boulder Community Hospital in a Flight for Life helicopter. He is there now in ICU.

The CatScan diagnosis revealed Brain Stem injuries. The neurosurgeon describes the injuries as very serious. Dale is in tough shape. The future of Dale’s recovery is not known at this time, the doctors have offered no predictions. His vital signs are stable given the trauma he encountered. We are all hopeful.

Dale on the cover of Velonews after winning the Coor's Classic in 1983.

Dale on the cover of Velonews after winning the Coor’s Classic in 1983.

Dale and Wayne Stetina at the Pro Challenge a couple years ago.

Dale and Wayne Stetina at the Pro Challenge a couple years ago.

Dale, 2nd for the front, at the Nevada City Criterium.  I'm out of the picture, obscured, but my team mate Andy Hampsten is there along with Chris Carmichael and a few others.
Dale, 2nd for the front, at the Nevada City Criterium. I’m obscured, but my team mate Andy Hampsten is there along with Alexi Grewal, Chris Carmichael and a few others guys I know.

Crash scene.

Crash scene.

Race Day in Steamboat, but…..

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .
Share

I’m not doing it. I’m still in Steamboat Springs and there is a three day road stage race happening and I’m not going to do it. I did the race a couple years ago and the road course is great. The problem is that there is a 17km tt and it is such a short event. I don’t really mind riding the time trial, but I would be smeared. Smeared because I don’t have a tt bike and smeared because I suck at time trialing. So, I decided I’d rather just ride my MTB bike up in the mountains with Kent and Katie. I really do need to race some, but today wasn’t the day. I can still drive to St. Louis and do the last two days of the Gateway Cup. Monday’s race is a super hard circuit.

This morning we’re going to head out of these guys house and ride single track somewhere. I did a very short, but intense ride yesterday out of their driveway. It was pretty much straight up and straight down. The last 3 miles going up, there were a ton of downed trees at the most inappropriate places, usually in in the middle or top of a very technical section. Descending was super rough. My arms and lower back are toast and I hardly rode for much over an hour.

I spent most of the day down in town yesterday mounting new tires on my MTB bike, hanging and talking some with Brad Bingham. Kent and Brad are making some pretty incredible bike frames here. Their new dual suspension MTB bike, which Brad designed is a work of art. It is so cool so many ways that it is impossible to list them all. Both of these guys are pretty much perfectionists, which is not a bad thing in custom bike construction. It was a pleasure to watch them at work.

I’m trying to decide what exactly I need to do in the next few weeks. Next weekend is the Source Endurance Cyclo-X Clinic in Kansas City. You can sign up here. Then I’m racing Chequamegon two weeks from today. I feel pretty unprepared, but I never know what form I have until we hit Rosie’s field. The weekend after that Chequamegon, I’ve been invited to do a Gran Fondo in Chico California. More about that later. After that, it’s up in the air. Cyclocross starts, obviously, but the season is so long. I think I need to go back to physical therapy for my shoulder some. It is still pretty valueless for most things. It slows me down a bunch riding off-road, so I assume it is going to be bad for cross. It is crazy how long this is taking to feel and function better.

Okay, I hear stirring around here. And Bromont has been looking out the window, into the woods since it got light, so I should let him go romp around. It should be a great day to explore here in Steamboat.

Brad Bingham assembling one of his dual suspension bikes.

Brad Bingham assembling one of his dual suspension bikes.

This piece is so complicated I don't even know how complicated it is.

This piece is so complicated I don’t even know how complicated it is.

This is Upper Bear trail and it is very hard to climb, even without all the downed trees.

This is Upper Bear trail and it is very hard to climb, even without all the downed trees.

This is the view towards the Hot Springs  from the Lower Bear trail.  The structure to the left is a huge house built a few years ago next to Kent's land.  It has a glass roof.   To the right is the Hot Springs.

This is the view towards the Hot Springs from the Lower Bear trail. The structure to the left is a huge house built a few years ago next to Kent’s land. It has a glass roof. To the right is the Hot Springs.

Katie is cooking gourmet meals.  Between these meals here in Steamboat and the gourmet dinners that the San Diego crew were cooking for me in Park City, I'm not short of calories this trip.

Katie is cooking gourmet meals. Between these meals here in Steamboat and the gourmet dinners that the San Diego crew were cooking for me in Park City, I’m not short of calories this trip.

20130831-223756.jpg

Just Another Day

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .
Share

Yesterday I drove the scenic Hwy. 40 from Park City to Steamboat Springs. Here is the day in pictures.

Bromont was worried to death about getting left.  I wonder why that is, since he always gets to go.

Bromont was worried to death about getting left. I wonder why that is, since he always gets to go.

Went to the Starbucks in Park City and had a coffee from the Clover Machine.  There aren't too many of these around and they make great coffee.

Went to the Starbucks in Park City and had a coffee from the Clover Machine. There aren’t too many of these around and they make great coffee.

This is just a sampling of the views in Utah and Colorado along the drive.

This is just a sampling of the views in Utah and Colorado along the drive.

I stopped in the middle of nowhere and let Bromont romp in the tundra for a while.

I stopped in the middle of nowhere and let Bromont romp in the tundra for a while.

The only tourist attraction along the route is the Dinosaur National Monument.  I'm not sure why they think a big pink dinosaur will advertise it properly.

The only tourist attraction along the route is the Dinosaur National Monument. I’m not sure why they think a big pink dinosaur will advertise it properly.

I was driving 74 in a 65 most of the way.  This guy in the red pickup passed me had got super unlucky cresting a hill and having the highway patrol nab him.  He must have been going over 90 when he went by.

I was driving 74 in a 65 most of the way. This guy in the red pickup passed me had got super unlucky cresting a hill and having the highway patrol nab him. He must have been going over 90 when he went by.

This was at a rest stop in Utah.  It didn't seem so usual considering where I was.

This was at a rest stop in Utah. It didn’t seem so usual considering where I was.

Bromont after running around chasing rabbits.  This is one of his usual traveling positions.

Bromont after running around chasing rabbits. This is one of his usual traveling positions.

At Kent Eriksen's shop taking a look at my new road frame.

At Kent Eriksen‘s shop taking a look at my new road frame.

It has a pretty beefy downtube and headtube.  Also a tampered steering column.  It should be pretty stiff, yet light.

It has a pretty beefy downtube and headtube. Also a tampered steering column. It should be pretty stiff, yet light.

This is the turn out of town heading up to Kent and Katie's house up by the hot springs.

This is the turn out of town heading up to Kent and Katie’s house up by the hot springs.

The road is super steep and has a bunch of braking bumps.  It heads up through the aspen trees.

The road is super steep and has a bunch of braking bumps. It heads up through the aspen trees.

Katie made an unbelievable dinner.  Dessert was ice cream with fresh peaches and homemade chocolate sauce.  It was yummy.

Katie made an unbelievable dinner. Dessert was ice cream with fresh peaches and homemade chocolate sauce. It was yummy.

Bromont ran around in the mountains for 3 hours this morning.  He would only stop to refuel, but was gone again instantly.

Bromont ran around in the mountains for 3 hours this morning. He would only stop to refuel, but was gone again instantly.

I sat around this morning talking to Kent, so this post is way late.  I'm heading down to the shop to strip my cross bikes for welding.  Then we're going MTB riding back up here.

I sat around this morning talking to Kent, so this post is way late. I’m heading down to the shop to strip my cross bikes for welding. Then we’re going MTB riding back up here.

Strange Ride

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .
Share

Yesterday I had a pretty strange ride. First thing in the morning I went to see Eric Heiden’s wife, Karen, about my hand. She is super good with hands. She said that I need to get a MRI to see exactly what is wrong with it and it would be pretty complicated to actually make it work better. My thumb has a little arthritis on top of being super loose. Anyway, I guess I heard what I needed to.

So, I decided to go for a long-ish MTB ride up to the top of the mountain and ride the Wasatch Crest Trail along the ridge. I started up the same climb as yesterday, the Armstrong Trail (not related to Lance) and just before I got up to the Mid Mountain Trail, I came upon a woman that had her rear wheel out and looked like she needed some assistance. I asked her if she was okay and she sort of hesitated and then said she was having trouble getting her skewer back in the hub.

So I stopped and took a look at it. I’m not sure why the skewer was out of the hub, because she had just flatted and changed a tube. It was the first time she had ever changed a tube and it sounded like it took a while. She broke the valve stem off the first one and had to patch the original tube. Anyway, sometime during the process she had the wheel on its side for a while and had pushed it hard into the ground because the axle was crammed full of sandy clay. Completely full. A skewer wouldn’t go in a millimeter. I took out a multi-tool and used a small allen key to try to dig out some of the stuff. It was super hard and I could only get out the first inch and a half from each side. The middle third or so was jam-packed. I finally put the skewer in and pounded the wheel on the ground and the remaining dirt came out. It took me a while to get her going. I rarely come up on a mechanical that I think that I might not be able to fix. At least one as silly as this one was. But, for a bit, I thought that it wasn’t going to work. I thought about it later and figured I could of tried filling the axle with water and that might of helped some, but that didn’t come across my mind at the time. Anyway, she was very thankful and I went on my way.

So I rode up and then got on the Pine Cone Trail to climb to the top. It is a very nice climb. I got up to the top and it comes out on a gravel road that you have to ride for a mile or so before you get to the top. I was riding up the gravel road and there was a sharp switch back. Standing there was a big family. Two parents and 3 daughters. That was sort of depressing on its own since I’d been climbing for over an hour to get up there. But what was more depressing was that the three kids were pretty fat and that they were on really junky bikes with flat pedals. I’d thought I had done a pretty good ride to climb the 3000 feet up to the top and here was a normal, everyday family just standing there. They stopped me and asked me if this was the Wasatch Trail I said yes, but I’d never ridden it. Then they pointed to a singletrack that went off from the switchback and asked if that was the trail. I had been so consumed about riding the steep corner, plus perplexed by them being there, that I had completely missed the singletrack. I stopped and got out a map and realized that was the right direction. I asked them what they were doing, since the Wasatch Trail is marked difficult on the trail map and the father said that they were going to ride it over to Canyons.

I found that nearly impossible to believe. It was going to be a 30 mile, hard ride for me and they had to be going less than 1/2 my speed. One of the daughters pulled out a tupperware container out of her backpack and started eating a big thing of macaroni and cheese. It seemed so surreal. Pretty depressing on my part. I wished them good luck and started down the trail.

I thought about it for a while. It was depressing because I thought I’d ridden high enough that I wasn’t going to see anyone but a pretty fit athlete the rest of the day. It would sort of be like climbing Mt. Everest and getting up to the last technical section, near the top, and some guy comes walking up in shorts, smoking a cigarette, asking which way to the top.

I guess it was great that the family didn’t have any limitations and were just going to try it. They seemed way over their heads in my estimation. I rode the ridge trail for just a mile or so and came upon a super technical, off-camber sand stone area. There is a zero percent chance that they could have went past this point. It would have been nearly impossible for them to ride the section or walk the section. I think they were lucky that part came so early in the endeavor because obviously they didn’t have any knowledge of the area. There wasn’t a turn off for 12 miles. At least a turn off that got them back down towards where they came from. I wish I knew where they ended up.

The rest of the ride was great. Great views from the top. Great single track descent. I rode down to the Red Pine Lodge, got a coffee, then rode back to the Holly Trail and descended into Canyons. It was just about 30 miles. Really great. My butt doesn’t think so, but my mind does.

I’m packing up and heading back to Steamboat Springs in a little bit. I’m kind of up in the air about what I’m doing this weekend now. I guess I have another day to decide.

The woman I came upon with the wheel issue.

The woman I came upon with the wheel issue.

The family was at the top of this gravel climb.

The family was at the top of this gravel climb.

This was in the waiting room of the Heiden's Ortho office.  Where else could you go and there is a race bible from the Tour of California mixed in with the magazines?
This was in the waiting area of the Heiden’s Ortho office. Where else could you go and there is a race bible from the Tour of California mixed in with the magazines?

Some of the singletrack descents were muddy.

Some of the singletrack descents were muddy.

I saw this on the bike path riding back up to Park City.  Pretty extreme.

I saw this on the bike path riding back up to Park City. Pretty extreme.

Bromont is the best sleeper in the world.Bromont is the best sleeper in the world.

Park City, Utah

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .
Share

I’ve only been in Park City for one day and I can say I really like this town. I’ve raced here a bunch off-road, but not in the last decade. Man, has this town chanced a bunch since then. Mainly by growth. It is amazing how much more is here. Deer Valley is jammed, as is Park City. The MTB network on the hill is amazing.

Yesterday I rode up the Armstrong trail, to the Mid-Mountain trail and met up with the gang from San Diego. The Armstrong trail is only uphill. I’m wondering if they are going to rename that one? Anyway, we rode over to Red Pine and then back on the Mid-Mountain trail to Park City. It was about 30 miles off-road. My arms are pretty worked. I fell once. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but for some reason, my bike stopped and I flew over the bars. When I got up, my rear wheel wasn’t in. It was about 2 hours into the ride, so I’m not sure exactly what happened. I assume my quick release came undone during the fall, but that doesn’t explain getting launched. I doubt I’ll ever figure it out. My shoulder was pretty achy all night from hitting the ground.

This morning I have an appointment to see Eric Heiden’s wife, Karen, who is also an orthopedic surgeon. But, she specializes in hands. She is in practice with Eric I think, but I’m not sure about that. She is going to look at my thumb and hand. It is a good time, since they both are pretty jacked up. Maybe I’ll get Eric to look at my shoulder if he is around.

Trudi took off at the wee hours of the morning to drive the 1700 kms. up to Edmonton, Canada. That is a long ways to go. She got a good bike ride in yesterday, so that is going to have to last her for the next two weeks. She is working through the Tour of Alberta, then the two World Tour Races in Montreal and Quebec City and then she is done for the season. She has a ticket back to Duluth the day after Chequamegon, so it’s only a couple more weeks.

I’m going to try to spend the majority of the day riding my MTB bike. I’d like to put some new, fatter, tires on to ride, but I doubt I’ll get around to it. I’ve been riding some Specialized Fast Trak 2.0. I got some 2.25 Schwalbe tires to try out, but don’t have an air compressor readily available, so I’ll just have to wait I guess.

I’m heading back to Steamboat on Thursday to go hang with Kent (Eriksen) for the weekend. Maybe I’ll hang with him late at night, when he seems to get a ton of work done. Maybe I can miter up a couple tubes and help put together my road bike if he isn’t already done with it.

I rode up on this kid when I was climbing up the Armstrong trail.  He was pretty high up.  I saw his dad a little later and got his phone number.  I'm going to send him some MTB shoes and pedals for his son.

I rode up on this kid when I was climbing up the Armstrong trail. He was pretty high up. I saw his dad a little later and got his phone number. I’m going to send him some MTB shoes and pedals for his son.

I wonder how many cities across the country have places and things named after Lance?

I wonder how many cities across the country have places and things named after Lance?

The view from the Mid Mountain trail.

The view from the Mid Mountain trail.

Bromont waiting for Trudi after the ride.

Bromont waiting for Trudi after the ride.

The San Diego gang getting a beer after riding all day.  It is amazing how much stuff they carry in back packs.  That weight would kill me.

The San Diego gang getting a beer after riding all day. It is amazing how much stuff they carry in back packs. That weight would kill me.

Trudi got a great birthday card from her team.  Click twice to enlarge.

Trudi got a great birthday card from her team. Click twice to enlarge.

MTB Bikin’

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .
Share

I’m in sort of a rush, so have to make this short. I met up with Trudi last night in Park City which was great. Bromont was kind of funny when he got out of the car. He didn’t initially see Trudi, but saw a few of the gazillion other dogs that the San Diego crew had brought with them, so he kind of freaked out. Bromont is not really much of a dog person. Anyway, eventually he caught a wiff of Trudi and then it was all good. Trudi has just one day here before she has to take a BMC team car up to Alberta, Canada for the start of the Tour of Alberta which starts early next week. Cadel is flying over for that so everything has to be in order by Thursday.

I’m staying down in Park City and the West coast people are all staying in a huge house above Deer Valley. The house is unreal, but there are lots of everything, super crowded. I’m going to ride up there in a bit and see where they are planning to head.

I haven’t ridden a MTB since I crashed up in Cable Wisconsin in early July. I jacked up my thumb, which made shifting impossible. My thumb still isn’t great, plus I fractured 3 ribs that don’t feel good either. But, you have to start somewhere and this seems to be as good a time as any. Chequemegon is in just a couple weeks and I haven’t missed that race in 15 years.

The drive from Steamboat Springs to Park City on Highway 40 is unreal. If you haven’t done that drive, you need to put it on your bucket list. Super beautiful and remote.

Okay, need to get a move on. Here are some random photos of the last 24 hours.

This is Brad, the welder for Eriksen Bicycles.  He is the best in the business.

This is Brad, the welder for Eriksen Bicycles. He is the best in the business.

This is a CAD design of a road frame for me.
This is a CAD design of a road frame for me.

This is a hand cycle thing that Kent built at his house years ago.

This is a hand cycle thing that Kent built at his house years ago.

This is looking down his driveway up by the hot springs.  The cable for the hand cycle is on the left.

This is looking down his driveway up by the hot springs. The cable for the hand cycle is on the left.

A coffeeshop a bit off the road on Highway 40.
A coffeshop a bit off the road on Highway 40.

Pretty unbelievable views.
Pretty unbelievable views.

I'm not sure what this reservoir's name is, but it is always special seeing water out in the middle of an arid area.

I’m not sure what this reservoir’s name is, but it is always special seeing water out in the middle of an arid area.

The mass of MTB bikes up in the house in Deer Valley.

The mass of MTB bikes up in the house in Deer Valley.

Kent Eriksen Cycles Steamboat Springs

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .
Share

I drove over to Steamboat Springs from Silvethorne to give my cross bikes to Kent Eriksen to have rear disc mounts put on. I’m not sure I’m going to use disc brakes, but there isn’t a down side to having the option. Hanging with Kent and Katie is always super interesting and fun.

We didn’t get here until noon, went for a short ride, and then drove up to his house up above Steamboat. He’s been doing a million projects up here and I wanted to check them all out. The guy has so much energy and vision.

Last night I was thinking about bike frame materials and the advancements in weight reduction the last decade. Some of the things that have been done is simple amazing and really good for the sport. But I’m not sure that carbon fiber frames are one of the good things. The frames might be alright for the very top end of the sport, but for everyone else, they are a liability. When I was riding Trek frames, I went through a ton of them. Don’t get me wrong, they rode great and weighed next to nothing. But it seemed like just about everytime I even sneezed, I’d break one. If I fell and someone ran into me, or I ran into someone, they broke. And falling is part of bike racing. I hate it when I break a frame and I don’t pay for them. The “hate” of breaking a frame when you do pay for them is much, much more.

Bill Marshall, Mr. KCCX, posted something on Facebook about his Fuji carbon frame being broken by someone just knocking the bike over in a stand. Wow, I bet that happens way more than you’d imagine. How depressing would that be?

Anyway, titanium doesn’t have these issues. The frames aren’t 650 grams, but you can get one close to 1000 if you wanted. Titanium has really improved over the years and there are so many options of tubing that you can get really have a custom frame with exact characteristics. And with that you get a bike that is virtually indestructible. I’ve had a Moots YBB for 15 years. I’ve thrown that bike off of cliffs, ran into logs at 25 mph, snapped off shock forks, you name it, I’ve done it and it is perfect. One of my cross bikes I’ve ridden for close to 10 years. Show me a carbon cross bike that could be ridden that long. Impossible. When I get done racing, all my bikes are going to be only titanium. It is a great material for bicycle construction, withstands the elements, super strong and pretty light. And those is the reason I ride Kent Eriksen frames. Pretty simple.

Kent is building me a new road frame this week. I’m going to go to Park City, Utah today. I’m going to try riding MTB bikes with a bunch of friends from San Diego. I’m not sure MTB riding and my body are going to sync. Mainly my fractured ribs and screwed up thumb will be issues. I plan to see Eric Heiden’s wife, who is a hand surgeon in Park City too. My thumb is still pretty unusable and I have a couple other long term issues with the hand too.

I plan to come back through Steamboat in a few days. I’m not exactly positive what I am going to do for racing over Labor Day. Most likely I’m going to race a stage race in Steamboat Springs. But there is a MTB stage race in Grand Junction. Plus always the Gateway Cup criteriums in St. Louis. I need to race, so one of these will be what I’m doing.

Okay, I need to get into town and have Kent do a few measurements and then get driving. It’s only 300 miles to Park City, so it isn’t that far.

Picture loading is a little slow up here in the mountains, so here are just a couple.

My pile of cross bike pieces.

My pile of cross bike pieces.

Kent's house up in the Aspen trees.

Kent’s house up in the Aspen trees.