Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Upcoming early-season races

The start of the 2012 season is about to begin soon with some pretty epic races.  One race I have been wanting to do for some time is finally coming to fruition this season.  I will be heading down to Guatemala for the 4-stage El Reto del Quetzal race.  I will be partnering up with another fellow Oregonian, Nelson Snyder.  The race used to only include 3 stages, but this year they have included a 4th stage (a 13K time trial).

It's going to be a good change of scenery from what we have been experiencing here in Bend, OR the last few weeks.  The local temps have hovered in the 40's and as of the last few days we have received over a foot of snow and more is expected.  From what I can see on the radar forecast for Guatemala, temps should be in the high 60's, low 70's with mostly sun and a few days of rain.  All in all it will be an experience to enjoy and log some solid race miles to help get the legs in shape for what's ahead this season.

Nelson and I have spent a few days riding together to get accustomed to each others' strengths and weaknesses.  The team-style of stage racing is very unique in the fact that you must stay within 2 minutes of each other or you will be penalized (time added to your finishing time).  I'm not sure how many other American riders will be participating in the event, haven't seen the registered rider list posted as of yet.  I do know that will post results daily. The race dates are March 8-11.

Once I get back from Guatemala, hopefully the snow will be melted away in Bend so that I will be able to prepare for the Whiskey Off-Road 50 race in April.  This is a race I have done once (3 years ago), and am looking forward to doing again.  Riding in Prescott, AZ is pretty sweet, completely different than in Bend.  The race is at higher elevation and the temps are certain to be n the 80's if not higher.  Last year Todd Sadow (Epic Rides) decided to include a Pro division category and get many sponsors to pitch in some cash to add some incentive.  That incentive is a total purse prize of $30,000 this year with the men's and women's winner taking home $5000.  Last years' winner was none other than Bend resident Chris Sheppard...who will be returning to defend his title, as will many other strong Pro's.

I will take a short break in May and begin to really focus on the season starting in June.  It's going to be a long season this year (racing into late October) so I am starting the season a  little slower than I have in the past.  I'm excited to represent ProAir HFA again as my title sponsor, and hope to stand on the podium at a few events this season.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Attitude - which one do you have?

I'm copying this post from my fitness site (

All of us have an attitude, the question is, is it a positive attitude or negative attitude?  The type of attitude you have can affect how you live your life and the things that happen around you. 

Believe it or not, having a good attitude is a choice.  Having a good attitude will lead to positive circumstances. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true, in such, that if you have a negative attitude, negative circumstances will occur.

Attitudes can be changed but only if a person wants to alter his/her state of mind.  According toJames Patterson, PhD., FACSM, "people are either the master of their situations or the victims of their attitude".  You can make your attitude whatever you want, you just have to be willing and choose to change.

So why do people have different attitudes?  "All people are born as distinct individuals, with certain characteristics that can affect the attitudes that they hold", says Patterson.  There are, however, other factors that ultimately affect which type of attitude each of us develops.  Some of these factors include your temperament, environment, self-image, how you look physically, your family, and the success you have in life.  In fact, a person is more likely to be successful and be happy in life if they carry a positive attitude.  Have you noticed that you are able to achieve more when maintaining a positive attitude?  If you tend to look at most things negatively, you will probably experience much less success.

One key component of a positive attitude, is that you learn to deal with failures.  You have the ability to see the positive benefits that can be gained from setbacks/failures, etc.  A perfect example of this is a quote from Michael Jordan, arguably the most talented athlete ever to play basketball, and one of the greatest athletes of all time.  "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.  I've lost more than 300 games.  26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.  I've failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed".  

Attitudes can be contagious too.  What I mean by this, is that others like to be around those who have a positive attitude, and those with negative attitudes are usually avoided by others.  Positive people tend to display a level of energy that attracts others.  Think for a second why you like certain people and why you dislike others...makes sense doesn't it?

Our attitudes can also determine the outcome of our actions.  If you stay positive during a certain project or event, it can help ensure success in the end.  I can attest to this from my own personal experience.  During the days I was racing 24-hour solo mountain bike events, I used to think more negative thoughts during the late night /early morning hours of the race.  Instead of saying to myself, "I have only completed 12 hours", I would say, "I've already completed 12 hours and only have 12 more to go".  A simple fix in my thinking allowed me to get through those rough hours much easier.  Another simple thing I did (which was recommended by a former coach of mine, Thomas Chapple) was to post a mantra (positive saying) on my stem so that I could look at it and be reminded of positive thoughts.  I would write things such as "be strong", "I am a fit athlete", or "I finish Top 3".  Keep a positive attitude and good things will eventually happen.

According to Patterson, "a person with a positive attitude sees an opportunity in every catastrophe, whereas an individual who harbors negativity tends to see a catastrophe in every opportunity.  The key is to make the most of every situation.  Positive people respond in a positive way to their circumstances, whatever they might be".

I hope this has given you some food for thought.  Pay attention to your attitude at work, with friends, and during an event you participate in.  If you find that it is more negative than positive, just know that you can change it by choosing to do so.  Just like all things in life, it takes time to make a change.  Very few things happen over night.  Now stay positive in life and with your goals...whatever they may be.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I have the thermometer stem cap installed, weather has been pretty descent lately, so I am hoping to get outside for a ride soon to fully test the accuracy.