#8 Was it fun?

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#8 Was it fun?

Brian recaps his recent adventures of RAAM and racing his bike for 6 days and 22hrs straight

#8 Was it fun?

Type I Fun: Something that is supposed to be fun that actually is fun while doing it. Examples: MTB ride, 5k with friends or sitting on the beach.

Type II Fun: Something that should be fun, but is not fun until later when it is over. At that point, it is remembered fondly as “fun”. Examples: marathons, high-altitude climbing, Ironman triathlons, bike touring sometimes etc.

Type III Fun: Something that should have been Type I or Type II fun but is not fun during the experience and is never remembered as fun. It might even make one queasy just remembering it.  Example: TBD.

I’m not going to lie. I thought I found Type III fun.  I was standing on the side of the road outside Pagosa Springs on the lower flanks of Wolf Creek Pass puking and I was thinking to myself that this was zero fun.

I was doing Race Across America as a 4-person team with my wife Carrie Ward, and friends Mike Bishop and Aaron Bishop. It started well with Mike and Aaron climbing through the California coast range and I dropped down the Glass Elevator into the blast furnace oven of the California desert. Carrie and I did long hot block through the California desert with a short break where Mike and Aaron took over before a long hot block in 121oF Arizona hills. I was in trouble. We were not even 24 hours in and I was already throwing up and struggling to eat.  I had trained well, I was fit and I was mentally prepared, but the long pulls in the heat had sent my body sideways with my mind right on its heels.

As I stood on the side of the Colorado road waiting for what felt like my execution, I was giving myself a you-have-got-to-get-it-together pep talk, but I was starting to doubt my ability to finish. I got in a couple short pulls on the 10,000 ft. Wolf Creek pass, but at some point Carrie and our sympathetic crew (my sister Andi and her husband Scott) decided that Carrie was riding well and was going to finish the climb and I would ride the descent. As Carrie pounded out essentially the whole climb, the Leap van buzzed to the top and I put on all the clothes for the chilly descent.

I shivered the whole way down but as we dropped massive elevation in long sweeping, glorious turns I realized that the heat had broken.  I got hope that I could get back on track. After the descent, we ate and took a short 2-hour nap while Aaron and Mike rode. I awoke as a new man.

In the wee hours of the morning, we were back on the bikes. We railed the 10,000 ft. Cuchara Pass and descent and quickly switched to time trialing across eastern Colorado. Swapping blocks with Aaron and Mike, we morphed into blazing across all of Kansas. It was still hot, but with a cross tailwind and the combination of an Ares6 front and Disc rear, it was low altitude flying. What was that feeling? Type I fun? Whoa! From there we seamlessly shifted to rallying through the traffic, crap gutters and gravely shoulders of Illinois and Indiana. It was the kind of riding we would normally complain about, but we were having fun. Type I fun.

By the time we hit Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland we were in a rhythm. Mike and Aaron drew the short straw and got the busy narrow roads while Carrie and I garnered the climb of the race leaving Grafton, WV for Ft. McHenry, MD. Somewhere along there crew member, Jason, pointed out that we were going to be done around noon on Saturday. That was a good feeling.

The hard part of cataloging fun is that Type II fun has a way of being remembered as Type I fun – fun all along.  RAAM might be one of the only events long enough that something that was firmly Type II fun can change into Type I fun before the race ends.

We’re still on the lookout for Type III fun. Considering Comrades ultramarathon with the Bishops next year. That could be fun. 

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A Derailleur?

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A Derailleur?

Well he did not look French so maybe he was just a derailler and not a derailleur. He was nice enough to stop, nice enough to call me, afterwards, and help me get my bike replaced. He did seem like a good guy. Unfortunately, not the best driver – the kind who might skip the vital safety step of looking before turning right on red....

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Adventure is Out There!

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Adventure is Out There!

I’ve dreamed of building an adventure van for the last 15 years.  My wife and I like to travel and would love to take all the gear along on trips so we can ride, climb, ski – you name it – and be able to sleep in all-weather without getting soaked.  This has generally been a point of playful negotiation since we‘ve been married so it was to my great surprise when she pushed to pull the trigger on getting the project going. Between RAAM and other travel plans, it just made sense to finally make this the year.... 

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Pity Party: No Invitations

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Pity Party: No Invitations

My friend, and sufferfest compatriot, Tyler, talks often of the various stages of ultra-marathons including what he calls the Pity Party. This is the part of the race where you start thinking impure thoughts and you begin to doubt your ability to finish.  He gets this during 100 mi. ultramarathon trail runs which makes sense since it takes 20+ hrs.

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Five Things to Know About the Rolf Prima RAAM Team

With training and logistics getting the final attention they need, Race Across America (RAAM) is getting closer and closer every day. Under 100 days, not that we’re counting. From the start in Oceanside, CA to the finish in Annapolis, MD; we will cross over 12 states, pass through 88 counties and 350 communities. While we continue hammering out the details for this massive undertaking, here are five little tidbits we thought you’d find fun to know about the team.

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RAAM Training with Carrie

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RAAM Training with Carrie

Carrie Ward is one of the members of the four person team heading to RAAM from Rolf Prima. We recently had the opportunity to chat with her about the different aspects of RAAM and the challenges the team will be facing, from training to logistics. 

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Cannonball Run: More Adventures in RAAM Training

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Cannonball Run: More Adventures in RAAM Training

Shortly after we decided to do the race, I was traveling in Japan with our distributor, Josuke of JSK Force and I mentioned to him our plans to race across the US. He looked at me quizzically and said “just like Cannonball Run?”  I had not thought of that movie since the ‘80’s but I said, “yeah, just like Cannonball Run”.  Actually I really hope not…

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Ode to Zwift: An Adventure in RAAM Training

It was exactly this time of year in 2013 that my wife and I were ramping up our training for the eight stage mountain bike race, the Cape Epic. On the weekends we’d get out for all day grinds on the endless gravel roads but during the week, we put in a lot of trainer miles. While Carrie was diligent and persistent with it, I swear that I never hated anything as much as a two-hour trainer ride. I planned to set up a fake leg on a pivot and pulley so I could pull a string and have it kick me as a more pleasant alternative. 

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Disciples of Dirt - All Comer's Meet

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Disciples of Dirt - All Comer's Meet

Disciples of Dirt's annual All Comer's Meet is a highlight of mountain biking in the Pacific Northwest. Bringing people from all over Oregon, Washington and California, this event has been designated "the largest free mountain bike event in the Pacific Northwest." In spite of the rain this year over 200 people came out to support this event. All brought lots of the trail back with them on their bikes – mud, mud and more mud.

Regulars to this annual event Brian, Cary, Matt S., Matt B. and even our new engineer, Will, joined in the fun. "The trails were a bit sloppy but I have to say the choice of having a fender on front and rear this year really paid off," said Cary after returning the cleanest of the crew. The WhyPass Trail system is on that is fun year round and the challenge of the mud is just another element to the fun this time of year. 

For more information on Disciples of Dirt.

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Playing the Balance Game with Tristan Schouten

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Playing the Balance Game with Tristan Schouten

Tristan is a pro athlete who not only races cyclocross but also maintains a full time job and raises three young children. In order to do it all, he has to find a semblance of balance to get everything done. We recently had the opportunity to ask him how between every aspect of his life, he finds the time and balance that is needed with this busy lifestyle.

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