Saturday, September 25, 2010


In this last week I have many reasons to be appreciative. I live in the most amazing outdoor playground. I am surrounded by some of the most amazing people, some I know others I meet daily. I have had the most incredible life experiences. I am truly forever grateful to have the life I have and be able to do what I do.

Yesterday, I read a shocking Facebook post. An incredible human being has lost his life doing what he loved, riding his bike. He was involved in an accident with a car as they were both going around a corner at the same time in opposite directions.

Jure Robic is the most successful ultra cyclist. To me, and many others Jure is a Lance. Jure has dedicated his life to long, long cycling events. Others have not duplicated his dedication and devotion to prep work and training undoubtly because they are up there in the super human category. His results have paid off for him and his family. Ultra cycling doesn’t receive the same amount of coverage or interest as cycling as a whole. One, because it is difficult for most people to wrap their minds around the distance the ultra cyclist is pedaling. Not unusual for an ultra to go out the door on a short hundred-mile ride. Hours and hours spent in the saddle with their own thoughts.

So yesterday, when I received the news oddly the only way I felt like I could get my head around what happened was to go out for a long ride. I spent the day in the saddle by myself with my own thoughts and listening to the purring of the chain and cassette working in unison to propel me for towards my destination. It was a perfectly calm Colorado blue-sky day, perfect to reflect and remember my colleague Jure Robic. I met Jure a few years ago while racing RAAM. I have followed his career along the way with interest and curiosity as to what makes this man do what he does on a bike. Over time realizing that the bike is a vehicle for his devotion and passion for life, family, friends, his connection to self and a higher power. I have learned lessons from him that I will have forever and for that I am very appreciative. His wonderful perceptive that “Difficult thing take a long time, Impossible things… take a little longer … is full of hope, faith, This man had many gifts and I believe it is our responsibility to continue sharing his gifts with the world. The world needs his and our gifts.

Jure Robic has touched all of our souls by living his life to the fullest incorporating the following philosophy: Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

On this day, although still in shock about the news of his death I am filled with immeasurable appreciation for having our paths cross and for our lives to have been linked together.

Jure Robic was a wonderful caring human being that rode a bicycle for fun.

Live Out Loud!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall 2010

One of the last days of summer for 2010 was unbelievable. I believe we are experiencing the hottest year in history in the State of Colorado. It has been very dry, unfortunately huge forest fires are hopefully a distant memory.

I am very grateful to see in color because the fall colors are going off in a big way right now. The aspen trees are no different than athletes waiting to have the performance of the season. In some locations more than others, the fall colors are experiencing peak performances before they go into the off season mode. In other locations they are just about to show themselves in true form. Perhaps, they are in their taper phase, just waiting to unleash a performance that will leave us all in awe.

I truly enjoy watching nature's daily scenes. It always delivers and never disappoints!

Friday, September 17, 2010


"The best cycling workout videos YOU'VE EVER SEEN! This is what SUFFEREFEST says about their products. Clearly an incredibly bold statement to make. I decided to check them out, since I've trained with many other cycling DVD's I wondered how their products would measure up. The following are some of my thoughts:

Last night I downloaded their latest DVD called ANGELS. The title is definitely a play on words. ANGELS is a climbing session with the best riders in the world. Being able to feel like I was riding with the best of the best for an hour was heavenly. As the session progressed I visualize having ANGEL wings to stay light in the saddle with powerful legs driving the two wheel machine up the relentless inclines. At the end of the ride, as I was cooling down, riding on open roads in a magical setting it was like riding in heaven on earth. Also there may have been a few moments in the 3 x 8 minute climbs where I was praying to God for the strength and the commitment to continue riding in the suggested zones and cadences.

Throughout the session the power of suggestion that is offered is certainly the brain child of a much schooled coach. The ongoing encouragement that pops up on the screen is well timed, purposeful and helps to keep things real. Brilliant!

Looking at the actual training blocks:

The workout session is roughly an hour in length. The warm up is very cleverly done as you go around on a track oval for about 6 minutes until the work begins with 5 sets of over/under intervals of 1 minute each. The footage places you in the saddle behind Luis Leon Sanchez in a breakaway as he courageously and successfully keeps his pursuer Alberto Contador away.

The 3 climbs that follow are 8 minutes in length. You might think, only 8 minutes. Well, when you spend 8 minutes trying to stay on Andy Schleck's wheel in the 09 Liege-Bastogne-Liege the 8 minute reference changes. The next 8 minute interval is following Vockler/Contador/Sanchez up Col d'Eze in 2010 Paris - Nice. Now we all know how frisky and explosive they can all be, so imagine those 8 minutes. And for the grand finale 8 minute interval try following Contador up Alp d'Huez in the 2010 Dauphine Libere. He most certainly has ANGEL wings as he lightly but powerfully dances on his pedals.

The 4 minute rest sessions between intervals takes place down some mind stimulating descents, my favorite. But we all know in order to get the descending reward we have to front load it with a CLIMB.

In conclusion SUFFERFEST in more than accurate in stating that they have "The best cycling workout videos YOU'VE EVER SEEN! The impressive selection and editing of the race footage dovetailed with the finest song collection makes this video a must have training tool. No question if ANGEL'S is incorporating in your training program you will become a climbing God or Goddess.

Live Out Loud!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ordinary or Extraordinary?

“I can't believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary.”
- Lou Holtz

As I walk through the daily adventures of life I wonder how to absorb as much as possible. This summer's explorations have brought me to a place of better balance. Adventure is my passion which also provides the peace and fulfillment I seek. Jill Homer articulates so eloquently what adventure means to her so I borrow her words; "I plan adventures because their promise drives me. Adventures are a sublime sunset that I can chase. I grind my body into the dust and dirt and pavement toward the horizon, that elusive line I think of as fitness, which is really just a color-streaked threshold between my body and a borderless expanse of discovery. But as I approach that line, I discover there's nothing there but more horizon, more reasons to keep grinding away, and I realize that even if could somehow become exponentially stronger and faster, I would only chase sunset forever."

It is through various adventures that I learn more about myself, my desires and ultimately work on the elusive balance. I have experienced some incredible sights and sounds of nature from scenes like the photo above, to the sound of hummingbird wings in the enormous natural amphitheater called the backcountry, to elk calves celebrated the joy of life. All of those and many other extraordinary experiences are opening my eyes to the realization that seeking to be more than ordinary is the way to be.

Live Out loud

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Experience the Flint Hills

As my sister, Sandra and I drove past the sign that read "Experience the Flint Hills" we had no idea what the next 24 hrs would bring. Months ago I registered for the Dirty Kanza 200. I found out my sister was going to be in Colorado for that weekend so a plan was formulated that she would accompany me on this cycling adventure. The Dirty Kanza 200 is a 200 mile cycling race on gravel farm roads in the Flint Hills.

After driving more than half way through the state of Kansas we arrived in Emporia where the race would start and finish. We attended the race meeting on Friday June 4th where I received the map for the first section of the course, this is a self navigating race. There were about 125 riders in attendance and should be 160 on the start line at 6AM on June 5th. The weatherman was calling for a forecast of temps in high 90's, humidity 80%, and winds of 20mph winds, mainly cross and headwinds based on direction of travel. The weatherman was absolutely right on this one. The high temp ended up being 105 degrees.

Sandra and I went back to the hotel to prepare for the next morning. I worked on getting my equipment organized and ready for the morning, laid out my clothes and charged the light batteries for night riding. Sandra set out the breakfast food and primed the coffee pot. Off to bed we went setting the alarm for 4AM. I wasn't sure how much sleep I would get but I knew I would get need rest and relaxation by way of breathing exercises and mediation. The alarm sounded off at 4AM, I continued to lay in bed a few minutes gathering my thoughts around the day's activity when I hear Sandra say, "it's 5:15AM." Although the time change was suppose to have been factored in the equation it didn't work out that way. Plan B went into effect. No time to get nervous just enough time to get clothes on and have breakfast on the way to the start line.

I was excited and very grateful to have the opportunity to take part in such an EPIC race.

The race roll out was about 4 miles in length and then it was GAME ON when we hit the first gravel section. I was fortunate to get in a group of guys riding at a good pace up to the first climb which separated the field into smaller groups. At the top of this first climb I gathered my breath and thoughts settling into a pace that I knew I would be able to sustain for the remainder of this first section.

The last time I rode in this type heat and humidity I did not do so well so my goals for this day were to stay hydrated and fueled avoid cramping and have FUN. The terrain offered lots of climbing, I know that sounds strange considering I was riding in Kansas. It turns out that over the entire race there was 12,000+ vertical feet of climbing.

The first section took us up and over lush terrain with numerous water crossings. The open range was spattered with grazing and gawking cattle. Cyclists experienced flats a plenty in fact some cyclists had to drop out at the first aid station because they ran out of tubes and patches.

I made it to the first time station in Cottonwood feeling good. Sandra had positioned the car perfectly in the shade of a huge tree. I ate a bit while she refilled bottles and added lube to my bike chain. With map 2 in hand I headed off toward Council Groove. Being greeted by a heavy handed head/cross wind for the first 10 miles or so I settled in once again with a pace that I felt comfortable with for hopefully the next 40+ miles. As the road turned a bit the wind was at my back and the temps reached 100 degrees. The sheer beauty of this region made riding in these temps okay. I continued to drink and eat at 15 to 20 minute intervals which seemed to work well for me. I was excited about how I felt and how I was riding until I hit mile 85. I began experiencing lower back discomfort and hearing bearing noises from my rear hub. At this point I decided I was riding in the Dirty Kanza 100. I rolled into Council Grove satisfied with my efforts and accomplishment. Sandra was very supportive of my decision to call it a great century ride.

With Sandra's assistance I began recovery fueling and taking a mini ice bath to ward off inflammation and future stiffness. She shared some of the moments from her eventful day helping other support crews provide their racer's optimum assistance. Having a great support crew can certainly make or break a racer's day. I have been blessed with the best.

Cycling across this great planet has certainly enriched my life. The bicycle has a soul. If you succeed to love it, it will give you emotions that you will never forget. ~Mario Cipollini

The Flint Hill experience was incredibly EPIC.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Larger than life...

Someone that is larger than life may be described as "This is a person of surpassing integrity; a man of the utmost sincerity; somewhat larger than life"- Joyce Carol Oates.

Recently I had the opportunity to spend a week with such a person.

20 years ago I had the pleasure of meeting this man and one of his daugthers. As I met them in the morning at the base of Vail Mountain he explained to me that they wanted to ski, have fun and not stand around. I knew I could met those expectations, so off we went. As the day and years have past I've discovered other expectations along the way. Over the years I've skied with all of the family members, business associates and very close friends. One of his dreams was to one day ski with his grand kids that dream has been realized many times over. A highlight certainly has been skiing with the kids during the First Track sessions held at 7am on Vail Mountain.

He has been successful in business and in all types of relationships. He is caring, generous, passionate, intelligent, and makes a difference in people's lives. Over the years he has been the "go to guy." Darren Hardy has said, "we should measure success by the number of people we help succeed" if that is in fact a measuring stick than my client and friend has been very successful.

Skiing and sport as a whole is a strong metaphor for life. As this man enters another defining decade he skied differently than he has in the past. There was clearly a sense of peace and grace that was previously masked with sheer strength. We skied some really impressive terrain and he handled it with grace, power and with extreme efficiency. I believe this ski experience is mirroring his every day life experiences as well. The ski slopes will be in his life for many many years to come.

It continues to be my pleasure to learn life lessons from this man that I believe is larger than life.

Living Out Loud