Saturday, May 24, 2008

Final Wrap-up part 2

We made it to the airport with little trouble and with so much time to spare they couldn't even check their luggage, which was annoying after having to haul it all day. All they wanted was to get rid of it!

As soon as we saw them through security we went to Enterprise to pick up our reserved car. We got a VW Polo, really nice little car, and headed to Blackpool. Should have been a 4 hour drive but there was an accident in Preston and it took us a little longer. We still got there in time to visit with my relatives Joan and Arthur before they headed to Scotland while we minded Eleanor.

The purpose of this part of the trip was solely to visit Eleanor who is my Grandmother's cousin. Eleanor is one of the most amazing and special people I have ever met. I feel blessed and lucky to have her in my life. We were hoping to get a chance to take her out a little but at 92 we weren't sure this would happen.

It did! First we spent the morning planting some flowers she had waiting for Rachel. It was fun. Then we went up to Fleetwood to do iChat with my parents and Holly and then went to Charity shops in Cleveleys. Rachel and I bought about $200 worth of clothing to wear to work, shirts and suits for about $40! I love Charity shops!

We had a great dinner of Fish & Chips and then delivered Eleanor back to her house and headed to our Bed & Breakfast. It is a great place, Norwood, with great food.

The next day we were more ambitious and headed to Tatton Park, about a 1 hour drive. It was well worth it, the flowers were truly amazing! The fun part was trying to push Eleanor's wheelchair through the deep gravel, over the grass, through the woods and over the roots. We managed it with no mishaps so we'll call it a success.

We went home after that and made Eleanor Pancakes. They don't have them in England and she loves them from her visits to the US. We said goodbye after dinner, went back to the B&B and packed.

Thursday went extremely well, long but well. No missed planes, lost luggage or anything. When we go to Denver we had texts about tornado warnings in Laramie, which actually hit! Our house was spared all but the back gate so we feel lucky. My parents drove us up, which was good because I fell asleep about 20 times, through the wind, snow, fog and mess that was left after the tornados. Talk about freaky!

Anyway, we're home now and getting caught up on some work and getting ready for the ski camp, yay!

It was a fantastic trip! You can find more pictures than you can possibly want to see online at

Friday, May 23, 2008

Final Wrap-up

Well, as you can probably tell internet access became extremely few and far between after the last posting. Boy a lot has happened since then.

A quick wrap-up of the last part of the trip.

Canterbury, really cool, old, cathedral with great story about a murder. Town was really cool too. Great fish and chips and high tea.

Dover - Amazing castle, the White Cliffs, really great walk along the cliffs, tons of snails, great lunch at the tea house, not so awesome "The Siege Experience", cool tunnels in castle, Kabob place for dinner, freaking steep hill back up to campground.

Drive back to London - Cool house and amazing garden, GPS rocks but was set on bicycle so went the long way back, driving on left on tiny roads in not tiny car, great Indian food, reached the Generator in the middle of party night, little overwhelming.

London Day 1 - British Museum, ROSETTA STONE!, temples, egyptian artifacts, amazingness! Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliment, SoHo, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, great lunch and dinner, more more more!

London Day 2 - Amazing breakfast, changing of the guard, the Tube, Tower of London, Tate Modern, SoHo for chinese dinner, cute french guys and their cafe for coffee and dessert, more more more!

On Monday Trevor and Ashley flew out. The trip to the Airport was amazingly easy, for this type of thing. We left the Generator with all our bikes and gear packed. Trevor and Ashley had wheels and Rachel and I carried ours. The wheels worked well but needed a little practice to manage.

More later... It's time for dinner!

DU camp Day 2.


The plan for the day was to drive out to Red Rocks and do stair intervals, but it appears that the one high school in the Denver Metro area that isn't graduating at DU yesterday and today had booked the amphitheater for their commencement ceremony. So, the coach decided that we would head out to Falcon park, about a five minute drive away, with a sweet uphill trail system. Once we got there, we ran uphill for thirty minutes for our warmup, I was pretty stoked that I was able to stay in zone one the whole time on the warmup and keep up with all the DU guys. After the warmup we did a zone 4 interval ladder, 1-2-3-4-3-2-1. This was pretty rough stuff, with enough guys to push the pace the whole way that they only got faster throughout. On the first one we all stayed together, on the second one the DU coach tore past us and gapped Havard Selseng and I by about 20 meters by the time we finished. At the start of the third, Havard yells that we can't let him win another, so I dropped the hammer and didn't look back until Havard came around me with about 30 seconds to go, and it was just the two of us. The rest of the intervals were the same, with Havard and I gapping everyone else, with me leading until about 30-45 seconds to go, at which point Havard would lead until the finish. On the very last interval I managed to push hard enough that Havard couldn't come around, and I actually gapped him by a bit at the end, a damn good finish to my two day hard block! Afterwards, as we were coming down, I got some pretty inspiring comments from Havard, who is a total badass. He is Norwegian, as you might be able to tell from the name, and quite fast. We were having a conversation about trying to lose some extra body fat which we had both accumulated thanks to "college diets" (read: beer). As we talked about it he said to me "if you ski as fast as you run, it isn't hurting you." To which I said something to the affect of "well you kick the crap out of me on skis." He gave me a surprised look and said "Well you've definitely got the endurance, so it will come soon." Yes!!! It's awesome to see that my work finally seems to be paying off, enough that a truly elite skier thinks I can be really fast! I'm pretty exited about the training camp and all that we've done, and especially how I've handled two of the hardest training sessions in years on two consecutive days with really fast guys.

Here's to hard work.


Thursday, May 22, 2008


Lots of things to talk about today, and not enough space to write it! 
First, I drove down to Denver via Ft. Collins, and apparently drove straight-dead-center through a storm that produced nearly ten tornado's in two states, all right along the path I drove. While I seem to have missed the twisters, I definitely drove right through some of the hardest rain and hail I've ever seen. I stopped the car (borrowed from Dan and Karin Bergum, to whom I am forever in debt, 30mpg is so much better than 9) because I was honestly worried that the windshield would break. The highway had so much very hard hail on it that it felt like driving on a gravel road, nuts. It wasn't until I got to Ft. Collins and the sun came out that I turned on the radio and realized I had just driven right down the throat of the lion. Weee!!

I got to Denver about 10 minutes until practice started for the DU ski team. This was the purpose of the trip. Three days of trying to hang with and learn from some of the best college skiers from the country. The workout today entailed a ski up Lookout Mountain. No idea how high or what grade or anything, not that steep, but frickin long. And pretty much uphill for a long long long time. On our way up we did four seven minute "L3" intervals. I use quotations because I was not in zone three. Well, I was on the first on, but went downhill from there, haha. Skiing with me was Mike Hinckley, Harold Loevenskiold, and a kid whose name I think was Karl, not sure who he was. Oh, and Garrot Kuzzy. Garrot, not being mortal, did single-stick intervals up the damn thing while we skated. I'm not sure if he was doing the same intervals, but he definitely beat us to the top. Damn. Anyway, first interval I stayed with them in the right zone, but after that I was about 6-7 beats higher than them, but staying with Mike and dropping Harold and Karl every time. It was awesome!!! Even though I was going a bit to hard, it felt great to push that hard. By the end of the last interval, I was pretty damn tired, but it felt awesome to be skiing WITH or ahead of two guys (Mike and Harold) who've both finished in the top six in the RMISA (rocky mountain ncaa region). I'm going in the right direction. I think for the rest of the summer I would like to come here and train with them a couple times a month. This is what I need to get fat. Skiing behind Mike while he V2'd the first two intervals was frickin impressive, I was doing my best to keep up, and I was V1'ing. On the third interval, I said "screw this, I'm hanging with this guy", and V2'd for nearly the whole thing breaking into V1 for about the last 30 seconds, which were steep enough that even Mike let himself slow down. It was awesome to sit behind him and figure out how he could V2 straight up the side of this damn mountain, very powerfully, and yet be efficient enough to hold it for seven minutes hard. And then to be able to DO it was so cool! Training with those faster than you is always an eye opening experience, and one which should happen often to make you a stronger skier. 

Keep up the good work. 


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Medicine Bow

Today I roller skied up the road to Medicine Bow peak, and saw a bit of leftover snow on the way up,...........

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May 13th, 2008

The Weather

Well folks, 
It looks like there is not going to be any sort of snow shortage for ski camp. It's been snowing down in town since about 6:00 last night, and we have about three inches where it stuck, I would imagine Medicine Bow peak got about a foot. We may not be crust skiing, I wouldn't be at all surprised if we get a powder day in there!!

Hope all is well and looking forward to seeing those of you who are coming to the camp!!!


Monday, May 12, 2008

Day ?, what day is it?

Well the last couple of days have gone brilliantly! We rode out of the Motorway services to the glow of another amazing day. Clear, warm, no wind – absolutely gorgeous! We rode about ½ a mile to Leeds Castle and were seriously blown away by the place. It was positively breathtaking!

We walked in from the car park through the Duckery where Rachel found a rare type of black necked swan that she talks about in Micro. Apparently a huge source of sustenance for this variety of swan in the wild is a somewhat obscure group of algae called labyrinthula. We managed to get a bunch of pictures of the swans as they swam back and forth looking positively regal. We then went a couple of steps further and saw the most interesting looking duck/goose bird. I thought to myself that they resembled a NeNe from Hawaii but seeing as I am currently in England I put that thought out of my mind. Soon we passed a sign that said they were extremely rare and endangered NeNe’s from the island of Hawaii! Crazy!

After an extremely beautiful walk up through the duckery we came into view of Leeds Castle, what an amazing site. It’s built onto two islands in the middle of a lake/moat and it was partially built for the sheer point of being beautiful and it was not a disappointment! The castle was amazing with an extremely old medieval section dating from the 1100’s and a newer part. The Castle was lived in until 2001 until the daughter of the last owner passed away.

The castle also had amazing grounds that contained lots of lakes, meadows and beautiful landscape, gardens, aviary, hedge maze and grotto as well as a birds of prey show. It was an awesome time and we left there at about 3pm for Painter’s Farm. It wasn’t far and the ride was amazing, over the top of the North Downs in Kent. The campground was also amazing. Unforturnately there wasn’t anywhere to eat so we had to go into the nearest big town, 3kms, to find a great Chinese buffet. The only problem was riding back up the hill so stuffed we could hardly move!

Today also went amazing, we slept in a little because we didn’t need to go anywhere fast today. We got going about 10:30am found a great bakery for breakfast and bought some lunch or dinner, whichever we needed it for, and started the pilgrimage to Canterbury. Beautiful ride, lots of fun until we hit a divided A road and couldn’t get across, we were able to find an overpass but it threw us for a loop for just a moment. We found the National Cycleway Path into Canterbury and managed a stunning view of the cathedral from above, amazing! The town is also amazing and confusing, those medieval builders just didn’t have cars and bikes in mind when they designed them!

We stopped at the Information Center, or as Trevor put it non-information center since the guy there couldn’t answer any of our questions including when the tours of the Cathedral started, ate lunch and headed to the campground.

We got there in plenty of time for us to wash some clothes, shower, post Rachel’s grades and eat our dinner from the bakery. It’s still beautiful but getting a little cooler. We’re planning on seeing all the sights we can in Canterbury tomorrow.

We’re running out of battery and can’t find anywhere to charge up so we’ll get back on when we can.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Adventure Continues...


We’re alive and well and finally got a chance to get to internet again, hopefully you saw our previous post on the blog, we only had 10 minutes and needed to try to reach a bunch of people so thought that was the best bet.

Anyway, it’s been extremely interesting. London took us 7+hours to get across, then there was a huge fire somewhere which shut down the train so we had to figure out how to get to Greenwich on the bus, which turned out to be way easier than we ever expected.

We spent the afternoon in Greenwich which has an amazing cool sailor’s hospital, queen’s house and of course the Prime Meridian, or as Ashley likes to say Time = 0. It is where time begins as well as the place that is 0 degrees longitude. Cool place thanks to my Dad and sister for giving us that idea.

The next day was wonderful, lots of awesome bike trails and fun places to ride. The bad news was that the campground we were headed for didn’t take tents, we found this out before we left Rochester so we asked around and found an reasonable hotel. It was a little like staying in a brothel but probably wasn’t in as good of shape. The roof and wallpaper were falling down and we had to use my Gerber to control the cold water. Sounds bad but it was a place to stay and worked fine, 15 pounds/person. We were psyched the next day because about 15 miles away was Leeds Castle and there were multiple campgrounds both on the map AND the information center in Rochester found them there as well.

We got up early, got breakfast and did a tour of Rochester Castle, which was really quite nice, one of the ruined ones so it was fairly inexpensive and really fun for Ashley and Trevor as it is their very first Castle! It also had an amazing view from the top of the keep, which is always great. We did have to share it with 30 French teenagers but it was worth it. We wanted to check out the cathedral, it looked amazing, but they were having a university graduation ceremony in it! Can you imagine how cool! I might even enjoy them if they were held in such cool places!

After that we looked at the cycling map and noticed that it wanted to take us over the top of the North Downs on an A-Road and that there was a series of C-Roads that skirted the North Downs. Seemed like a no-brainer to us so we headed out around the foothills of the Downs. Turns out this was a brilliant move, not many hills and beautiful! We happened down this small road and found a thatched farmhouse. As we were admiring the house a guy came out and told us the history of it, it was built in 1743 and his family has lived there the whole time. It has no modern conveniences, like plumbing because it’s an historic house and they aren’t allowed to mess with it. His blind uncle still lives there and the guy was born there. Anyway, it was REALLY cool!

We ate lunch at a great little cafĂ© in a park and road on gleefully for the last 3 miles to the campsite, which was closed! It was still there but they were doing some kind of upgrades or something and they were going to open in 2008, apparently not by May 2008! Anyway, we weren’t too worried because just 2 miles away was another campground on the map so we headed that way. From a distance down the road we saw a tent symbol! Yay! As we got closer we realized it was crossed out! Boo! Now we were getting a little worried, there weren’t any other campgrounds on the map and we asked a guy and he only knew about the closed one, not a good sign. Rachel had had enough and went to the Ramada Inn to get a room for the night only to find out that all the hotels in the area are booked for some kind of car rally! Yikes. She coaxed and begged and he made a call to the Travel Inn. Yes they had a room, a small one with 2 single beds but a room! We took off only to find that the tandem’s back wheel is flat! We’re afraid we’re going to miss the hotel room so Rachel switched spots with Ashley and her and Trevor started riding towards the Travel Inn. Ashley and I fixed the tire and started following them. It wasn’t long until we saw them on the way back, they didn’t know where they were going and they were worried we would get lost and we would never find each other again. It was a good thing they came back because we were all headed the wrong direction, we found this out because of the amazing GPS my parents let us borrow for the trip. I typed in accommodation and it found the Travel Inn and showed us how to get there. It’s a good thing too because it was actually on a travel plaza for the M-6, which is the British equivalent of an Interstate. We would never have gone that way because it looked like you were actually getting onto the Motorway, not a good choice on bikes!

Anyway, it all worked out great and we’re safe and comfortable, not sure where we’re going to stay tomorrow but... At least we’re going to see a really cool Castle tomorrow! Leeds castle is supposed to be the most visited castle in England, hopefully it’s as amazing as it’s advertised.

One last thing is that we are all getting heat stroke and sunburnt, yes I said sunburnt! It has been in the 80’s, muggy, hot, and we’re seriously not packed for heat! We have rain gear, long underwear, jackets, gloves, warm hats and socks and very little for riding in the heat! Can you imagine! Who knew we’d get a tan in England!

Anyway, I’m still having a great time. I think Ashley and Trevor are doing grand. Rachel is having a nervous breakdown from now being able to find campgrounds two nights in a row but hopefully we can work this out for tomorrow by getting online today. Write more when we have internet again!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Wow! What a beginning!

Things went amazingly well up until the time we got to downtown London. We were following this amazing bike path map that was finding the best route from Heathrow to our campground. It took us an hour to get from Heathrow to downtown and that was 1/3 of the way and then it took us 7 hours from there to the campground!

We wandered, following the map, what appeared to be aimlessly crossing the Thames 4 times, 3X on bridges 1 on an underwater pedestrian tunnel. The tunnel was interesting because it had about 200 steps down and back out. Let me tell you, with 3 heavily loaded bikes, one of which was a tandem complete with trailer, this was not as fun as it could have been! Although how many people can say they've been at the bottom of the Thames and still be breathing!

We pulled into camp at about 10:15pm, set up our camp in the dark and then Rachel and I went to find food. Found a great little kabob place open at that time so had some yummy, if extremely spicy kabobs. No one was complaining...

It was a great experience because even though we weren't sure we were going to make it to camp but it was a wonderful experience as random Londoners helped us carry our bikes up and down the stairs and offer to give us directions. No one complained a bit and we made it, just a little late.

We also didn't have a lot of things go wrong that could have, we didn't have any technical problems with the bikes, we didn't get a flat, we did get through the tunnel, we didn't ever get lost and we got a tour of the city riding by Pariament, London Bridge, Tower of London, Chelsea Garden Show, Chelsea soccer stadium and a bunch of other awesomeness.

We are now in Greenwich waiting for a walking tour, life is good!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

We're off, sort of...

So when we returned from Nationals this year in Maine we passed a sign on the wall of the Denver Airport that said "Non-stop flights to London!" Rachel looked at me and said, " Let's go!" two months later we are sitting in the terminal at DIA waiting for our non-stop flight to London.

It was a crazy couple of days as we were trying to get all our grades for our classes graded, figured and entered as well as trying to get our folding bicycles folded and loaded and ready to go. There were moments during the last two days that I did not think we were actually going to get off at all but here we are with, hopefully, everything we need to at least get the bikes together. Everything else we can buy there!

I guess I didn't mention that we are going bicycle touring and I also didn't mention that Ashley and Trevor are joining us on our trip. We're all extremely excited, if exhausted.

We will be taking British Airways non-stop to Heathrow Airport on the west side of London, putting our bikes together in the airport, riding through the middle of London with jet lag and a time change and camping on the east side of London. Should be interesting! From there we will play it by ear but we are vaguely planning to continue East through Canterbury and on the White Cliffs of Dover. The White Cliffs are the only real plan we have, Rachel is dying to see them.

Anyway, hopefully the bikes will get there in one piece, or actually in the many pieces they are currently in, and we will get some sleep on the plane.

Hope everyone is doing great. We'll blog whenever we get a chance!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Week Four

The week in review

Well, after the race on Sunday, I was a teeny bit tired, and since that was supposed to be my rest week, I took it easy for a few days before really getting back to it. Sunday was supposed to be a long classic rollerski out 9th street, but  I realized it was a lot shorter than I though, and my double pole was a little stronger than I'd though, so it ended up being only 1:00. Still fun though! First workout of the year without a shirt!!!!!

11:00 hours total:
10:30 L1
0:30 L3

Run to weight room
Run home

60 minute recovery ride (60-65%)

Run to weight room
Run home

1:30 L1 run

Run to weight room
Run home

30 minute zone 3 run

1:10 double-pole -first rollerski of the year!

1:00 strength in the weight room

Next few weeks:
15 hours
7 hours
15 hours


Sunday, May 04, 2008

As it turns out coaching is super rewarding in more than one way. Getting up extremely early, learning wax and getting an awesome present. Thanks guys!!!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Dessert Extravaganza Tonight!

Tonight will be the annual end of the year Dessert Extravaganza, team awards, announcement of next year's officers and, most importantly, the premier of the Ski Team video!

It will be a wonderful time with good food, good company and good movie. We love to conclude the year with a fun get together to send everyone of for the summer inspired and excited to train and keep in touch.

I just finished the video for this year and will be trying to get DVD's burned, hopefully this will go smoothly and everyone can take their DVD's home for the summer.

Once everything settles down for the summer maybe I'll put some of the parts of the video up on You Tube.

Hope to see everyone there!

Friday, May 02, 2008

The weather sure isn't boring,.....

May 2nd. 

Spring? I don't think so,....