Tour de Mt. Spokane

In honor of the Tour de France, last weekend my buddy Timmers and I decided it was time to conquer Mt. Spokane with the grueling ride to the top. Earlier this year I rode up to the first lodge (tubing hill) as part of a training ride. I figured if I had already made it up that far the rest should be pretty easy:)

We left the house around 7:15am and headed north. This was to be a VERY hot day so the early start was a blessing. The air was cool and it was actually perfect weather for a ride. Not really knowing how long it was going to take, we planned for the 3 hour journey and off we went.

The first part of the ride is rather boring as you meander through Mead and out towards the mountain. We started up the grade and my legs felt good. I have been recently been struggling on my bike with knee pain and trying to figure out the correct position. But today my legs were there and I was ready to climb to the top.

We made our way up to the first lodge and stopped to take in a bit of food. It was at this point Tim mentioned it might be another 3-4 miles. I, in my ever so naive state, believed him and we began our charge to the top.

Just Keep Walking!

Due to some road construction we had to walk our bikes about 200 yards to find pavement again. It was a nice change of pace but seriously walking that far in bike shoes SUCKS!

And Walking!

We were soon bike in the saddle and thought we were only a few miles from the top. At this point, the real climb begins. The road gradually gets steeper and steeper until it is everything you can do to not stop. You are up out of the saddle and then back in and then back out. Your legs are burning but you are moving forward. You “just” know the top is right around the corner, or at least I did. I honestly don’t think I have ever been up Mt. Spokane in the summer and during the winter it all looks the same.

Climb Tim Climb!!

After seriously struggling to keep moving we finally made it to the snowmobile lot and now reality really sank in. From here you can actually see the top. Though it is very small it was no longer an mirage that you never seem to reach.

The next part of the climb I think I might maybe have forgotten as my lungs struggled to fill my body and brain with the oxygen required to survive. At one point I am pretty sure was moving at 4 mph. I honestly didn’t think you could pedal that slow.

And the Summit!

We eventually made it to the top and even though it took almost 2:30 minutes we had accomplished what we set out to do. Now it was time to hual ASS down the mountain. You would think that it would be fun going down and it is for about 5 minutes. Eventually your hands start to hurt and you are tired of constantly riding the brakes.

What took us 2:25 minutes to make the journey up Mt. Spokane too us 1:25 to come back down. It was a great experience that might happen again someday but as of now, my Tour de Mt. Spokane fix has been accomplished.

Timmers at the Top!!!

Cheesiest picture ever, but who cares I MADE IT!!!
Thanks buddy for an great ride. A+!!!


Hoopfest 2009- Games Report

Just over a month ago, I was approached to play in Hoopfest, the world's largest 3 on 3 basketball tournament. I know what you are thinking, this guy rides bikes and swims, he can't play basketball. Well, that is kinda true. I use to play quite a bit and especially back in high school. But I seem to forget that was almost 10 years ago and brushing up on your basketball skills requires a bit more that shooting once or twice every six months. But I was out there to have fun.

So less than one week after finishing Ironman CDA, I laced up my old sneakers and hit the blacktop. My team made up of 3 other triathletes and one who was a wrestler in high school was ready to get out there and put on a show.

So Ben, Bryan, Nate and I had a REAL short "practice" on Wednesday night, which was shooting for a few minutes, determining our only chance was to run around and try to outlast the competition with our endurance.

On Saturday morning we headed downtown and arrived at our court, quickly noticing might need to gain about 30 pounds just to fit in. We were tiny compared to most of the teams, but we were fit and knew that gave us a chance, however slight that might have been.

Street Ballin' Triathlete Style

Our first game started out ROUGH. Before we knew it we were down 6-12 and looking into the abyss of a game one defeat. And then a miracle happened. Not the kind you hear about on your local news or where a mother picked up a car over her head to free her children but a small miracle none-the-less.

Team Tri-Fusion went on a 14-2 run and won our first game of Hoopfest. I am not sure how it happened but it did. We were making shots, banking in threes and just plain hustling around the court. I personally hadn't won my first game in hoopfest before and definitely didn't expect to with a bunch of triathletes, but we had game and came ready to play. It was an amazing sight, that should have been displayed on center court.

After our Game 1 victory.

By the time game two rolled around we were living the high life. We had just won a game and came rolling back to the court with our heads held high. I think they call it "In The Zone". Well we were not just in the zone, we were eating zone for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The basket looked as big as a 700c and we were ballin'.

Even though our opponents outweighed us by 20-40lbs each and had arms larger than my legs, there was nothing they could do when Tri-Fusion Hoopfest Team 2009 was "In The Zone". I may have had to talk a bit of smack and get banged around just trying hold my ground but in the end we were triumphant once again, holding them off for a 17-14 victory.

What's that? Two wins on the same day? Fo Sho. I am still a bit lost on how we did it but it was something out of this world. We were ballin' with the big boys and came out victorious on two separate accounts.

Game Two Win :)

With two games done and two wins later, it was time to head home and relax for our big final push to the Sunday championship game. We were on the fast track and the only thing that stood between us and the free t-shirt was 4 more wins.

Sunday morning started of SLOW. The "Zone" that was so thick you had to use a chainsaw to cut it was gone. We couldn't find the bottom of the next, even if were were standing under it. The shots weren't droppin' and before you knew it were had lost our first game on Sunday and now we were on the long path to the promise land.

The second game was a little better as we actually made a shot here and there but in the end the "Zone" never made an appearance and we were sent home with our tails between our legs.

In true triathlete fasion, Recoverese after the game.

All kidding aside, this was a blast. It was fun hanging out downtown and actually winning a few games. Our team played hard, never gave up and even though it would have been nice to win a game on Sunday, we represented well.

Even though I felt pretty good on Saturday, my legs were absolutely shot on Sunday and even though we wanted to play more games, I am not sure how many were left in my legs.

Tri-Fusion Cheer Squad!

Special thanks to all the Tri-Fusion folks who showed up to cheer us on and my family who dropped by and watch me play. Good times.

Until next time...Keep Ballin'