Friday, December 25, 2009

Bald Eagle Sighting and Snowshoes on Christmas

Awesome day today! Besides it being Christmas, I was able to go snowshoeing for a quick hour up in the foothills of Lone Peak. As I was getting out of my car, I noticed this Bald Eagle in a tree not more than 50 yards away.

I could hardly believe my eyes and got within about 50 ft. of the tree that it was perched in before it flew away.

I did some brief research and confirmed that Bald Eagles in Utah are extremely rare with 11 nesting pairs in Utah in 2007. It sounds like the population is making a comeback, so keep your eyes open for them when you're out and about.

Climbing in my new 25" MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes was a blast. They are super light at 3 lbs. 12 oz., have great traction for climbing and I think the Omniture green paint job on them is an added bonus. I'm looking forward to using them frequently this winter to stay in shape and mix it up when not riding the bike. If anyone wants to go snowshoeing, let me know. I think we could have some good lunch meetings while hoofing it in the Timp Foothills.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lunch Ride - Road Bikes Now

On Friday at lunch, a group of us met at Omniture's parking lot and rode to HWY 92 and back. It was fun to get back on the road bike after riding the mountain bike solid since October. I really needed that ride to help offset all of the extra calories I've been consuming lately.

I don't know if it's like this at your home, but on our kitchen counter top there's a variety and seemingly continuous supply of "neighbor gifts" such as frosted sugar cookies, Sees chocolates, candy cane bark, etc. Since I seem to have very poor will power, I end up consuming my fair share of these items. Also, I had a business trip to San Francisco earlier in the week during which we ate some great food, including dinner one night at the Slanted Door. It's a phenomenal Vietnamese restaurant overlooking the San Francisco Bay. We ordered a wide variety of dishes family style. I highly recommend the japanese yellowtail, crispy imperial rolls and the niman ranch shaking beef (cubed filet mignon with lime sauce).

What else is new? Well, I took my 3 sons on a hike in the snow today up in the foothills of Lone Peak. We started at the base of Hog Hollow and hiked up one of the jeep roads for about a mile and then turned around. The snow off the trail was about 8 inches deep and crusted over. We saw probably 50 deer and my boys had fun exploring. I was most impressed with my 4 year old who climbed pretty well and didn't once complain. I'm looking forward to exploring this area more on snowshoes this winter. I'm thinking it will make a good before work cardio workout, since the trail head is only 5 minutes from my house.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sad Day Indeed

We've had some fun times riding the timp foothills at lunch this fall/winter, but I'm afraid biking the dirt this year has come to an end. At lunch today, I drove up to the shooting range to take the above picture. Time to get some snowshoes? cross country skis?

We enjoyed one last ride on Friday (yep, December 4th). We had a good group of guys show up, probably 10+, and ended up riding from the shooting range up the water tank road, down Bramber (fun downhill)* to University, climb up to Indian Springs trail head, Indian Springs to BST, descend BST to highway and ascend dragon's back. Aaron, myself, Brandon and a few others bailed at this point (check out Brandon's video of us climbing dragon's back - yup that's me 2nd to last....). The rest of the group** continued up Frank to Altar and down Dry Canyon.

*PHAST Dan and Mike Y. collided at the bottom of a particularly steep and loose section of this trail. I shouldn't talk though, I came oh so close to flying off the trail myself. In fact someone behind me yelled out, "stay on target."Like I said, there were 10+ riders and we were all amped to going riding, so it was a bit jumpy for the first part of the ride.

**must all be either self-employed, out of work or on vacation cause at this point we'd been riding for an hour and a half. I was jealous I had to get back to work.

Btw, as a side note, the above referenced Mike Y. (Steve Young's brother) is my 2nd cousin. Mike doesn't know that and sometime when I get a chance, I'll let him know, but it's true. You see, my grandma is sisters with his grandma. Small world.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

11:45 AM - Best time of the day

Lately, I find myself feeling extremely antsy to get out and ride at lunch time no matter how busy things are at work. For example, last week was the year end accounting close (yes, Adobe has a November fiscal YE). Typically this means I'm glued to my desk staring at spreadsheets all day and I end up working through lunch and eating something at my desk.

Despite it being hectic with the accounting close, I found a way to fit a few mountain bike lunch rides with the local Utah County crew (Rick, Ricky, Aaron, Dave B, Jon, Nick, Miles, Brandon, Dan and Adam [sorry if I left anyone out]). I actually think these rides have helped me be more productive. You see, knowing that I'm basically cutting out 2 hours (desk to trail and back to desk) means I have to be more focused in the morning in order to get all of my work finished. Then in the afternoon, I'm wide awake due to the cleansing effect (no not that type) that comes from redlining your heart rate for 60 minutes.

It's been simply awesome lately and I'll be sad when this all comes to an end soon with winter approaching.

Here's the route we took today (shooting range, water tank road, betty, lower belt, frank, dragon's back, gravel road, race track, betty, roller coaster, water tank road, shooting range):

You'll have to check out some of the video footage of the lunch ride scene that Miles posts on his blog. He has an awesome helmet camera that's been capturing it all. I may have to ask for one of those for Christmas....