Adventure

Adventure
Stealth Adventure
MIKE HALL, Adventure Sports, Travel, Backcountry, Avalanche, Snowmobile, Snowmobiling, Snowboard, Snowboarding, Sledboarding, Winter Fat Tire Mountain Biking, Mountain Biking, Ski Patrol, Motorcycle, BMW Adventure Motorcycling, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Jackman, Maine

Thursday, August 24, 2006

2006 NORBA National Mountain Bike Series

Jeff http://www.jeffhallmountainbiking.com finished up the National Mountain Bike Series a week ago. It was a very good season! You can find all the results at http://www.norbanationals.com. The site will list all the National race sites and Results. Go to Results. You can look under the cross country heading and go to NMBS XC Pro Men to find Jeff's results.

Norm

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Brian Head, UT - by way of Las Vegas, NV

This is my 7th major mountain bike race trip this season. I like to think of these trips as adventure traveling. In an odd way most of these adventure trips are like timed events. I refer to it as "hurry up - wait - hurry up", kind'a like motorcycle enduro events.
So for the Brian Head trip it was no different. I work till 3:00 PM on Thur., meet Jeff http://www.jeffhallmountainbiking.com at 3:25 outside the "Park & Go" (a parking lot for airline travelers) he throws his 1 duffel in my truck. I drive into Park & Go, now the hurry up - wait starts. I park the truck and as soon as the shuttle arrives Jeff grabs his 1 duffel. Then Mike grabs his 3 duffels (each at exactly 50 pounds) and the 100 pound bike bag. THE BIKE BAG is a monster suitcase on wheels. It holds 2 bikes inside and tips the scales at exactly 100 pounds. I hurry and toss my luggage into the shuttle. Relax for the 5 minute ride to the airport, hurry and unload our luggage. Jeff starts the ticket check-in while I start weighing all our luggage. All the bags get tagged heavy, then the diplomacy and explaining that it is just a bicycle in the BAG. We have yet to see a ticket agent in Mpls. that has ever sent a bicycle on their airline You would have to see it to believe it. It is a process.
30 minutes later we are heading for the airline security line. Another adventure. Jeff scampers through in record time. I plow my way ahead, 4 bins, a back-pack and a small cooler later I'm through. A stop at the Subway sandwhich place inside the airport and head to the gate. Wolf down a foot-long and we are good to go. Then the wait, we wait till the last call to board, I hate the line.
Well I played the seat card right and we got emergency seats , great leg room. Jeff always gets the isle seat, it's closer to the bathroom.
Upon landing I draft Jeff just to keep up, cause we are heading towards baggage claim and Jeff hikes like his pants are on fire. So after we claim our luggage, he bolts toward the rental car shuttle. His pants must still be on fire cause we are really moving, we just miss the shuttle. So now we wait. Well, before you know it we're in the SUV and on the road, well ... after we trade vehicles. On the road out of Las Vegas, NV. We left Minneapolis at 5:25 and we are on hiway 15 heading north by 9:30 PM - we gained 2 hours on the flight west. Dang - guess where we stopped for supper? SUBWAY. We sure are loyal or is it that they have one every other exit on the hiway.
Now we are on our way, 100 miles and catch some sleep at a Best Western Hotel. Up at 6:00AM, eat quick and a little grocery shopping, start the drive. The tricky part is that we have just changed time zones 4 times in the last 12 hours. The trip started in the central, crossed into mountain time, then pacific time. Now we're driving 200 miles back into mountain time. I haven't a clue. Jeff just tells me where to turn and when to arrive. I just push the throttle down, sometimes wayyy down.
Great views on this stretch of hiway 15. Zion National Park is along side of us. Spectacular, it is either desert or unbelievable cliff and rock formations. On to Cedar City, UT - sounds like a boring town, eh? Wrong. It is the doorway to incredable high alpine mountain and canyon landscape. This place is a to-do for the adventurer. Mountain biking, 4-wheeling (truck and 4-wheeler trails abound) off-road motorcycling, hiking, rock climbing, site-seeing. In the winter, snowboarding, skiing and snowmobiling. If none of this works for ya, it's 200 miles back to Vegas.

A FITNESS NOTE on altitude adjustment. Jeff lives at about 900 feet above sea level. Cedar City, UT is 5400 feet above sea level and it is the lowest place to stay.
Jeff races at 9200 ft. - 11,300 ft. on Saturday, Aug. 5.

We drive up the mountain to Brian Head Resort, UT on Friday and Jeff pre-rides a section of the course (he rides for 1.5 hours) at 9200 - 10,000 ft.. With-in 4 hours we start the drive back down to Cedar City at 5400 ft.. We eat and sleep at low altitude Friday night.
The next day, Saturday, Jeff races at 12:00 noon. We do not arrive up at Brian Head Resort till 9:30AM, 2.5 hours before the cross country race. I expose Jeff to high altitude (9200 - 11,300 ft.) as short of a time as possible before he has to put out the HUGE EFFORT that it takes to be one of the top mountain bike racers in the USA. Just think, in 2 days he went from 900 ft. to 11,300 ft. and put his body into maximum effort. To find out the results of the race go to Journal and race results at http://www.jeffhallmountainbiking.com
The point of this system is to stay as low as possible until you need to put forth a huge effort. There is a window of time, about 6-8 hours from what we have experienced. We have used this system of beating altitude starting back in 1996 with very good success. Jeff was 20 years old and his 2nd year on the pro mountain bike circut that we 1st tried it. The race was at Big Bear, CA. Jeff was racing for the Under 23 year old title. The race was at 8000 - 10,000 ft.. We stayed at this little town called Crestline down at 4700 ft., it was 1 hour from Big Bear. It was crazy but we had no choice. In this race I witnessed Jeff gain 22 positions in a 40 minute span including his infamous pass of Bob Roll (yes that Bob Roll, ask Jeff about that one). He went on to finish 14th against the top pros in the USA. That race clinched Jeff as the first ever U 23 USA Champion. The result was going to the 96 World Championships in Cairns, Australia (17th place, 1st American).
Any comments, contact me at mjhalln@earthlink.net and I can explain more. I have been coaching and personal training for 27 years.
Thanks for reading and I know it got a little long.

Norm