Archive for Mt. Lemmon

Lust Ended!

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2012 by brianestover

For two years I’ve been lusting after this bike, and the girl, but I’m dating the girl and didn’t have the bike so I had a BIG problem. But yesterday I was able to quench my lust, end my starvation for the ultimate machine, score a super sweet bike for a super, super sweet price. Now sitting in my living room is my new Scott Plasma 3.

Non drive side Delight

Soon I’ll be slapping the Dura Ace drive train parts on it from, a Profile ProSvet base bar then I need to chose some extensions and saddle. The Sickest Bike ever, will then be ready to roll. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m going to crush some dreams on this bike in races. Dreams that people have of having the baddest looking bike in transition. Not anymore hombre. You’re bike is suddenly going to look like plain Jane. Sorry man.

Drive Side Deliciousness.

On another front, yesterday was another day of James making me suffer on the bike. We climbed a good deal of Mt. Lemmon. One of us wasn’t suffering nearly enough if he had time to shoot pics. Here are a few showing you how awesome Tucson can be in the winter, crappy roads aside.

Mt. Lemmon near Geology Vista

Blue Skies over Tucson

While he may have given me a lesson on climbing, I was able to show him how to intimidate drivers on the descents. We caught a car, I was able to scare the driver into pulling over because she wouldn’t drive downhill as fast as we were descending. I did that to her twice. Poor lady will probably never drive up Mt. Lemmon again.

Coach Brian Suffering on the Climb

That’s a (Training Camp) Wrap.

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by brianestover

The Accelerate 3 Training camp has finished. It was a small camp open to just the guys and girls that I coach. Since everyone is scattered across the country and even in other countries, it’s great to get part of the group together and put a face to the name of the person you are coaching.

The purpose of the camp was to challenge each person with more intensity and volume over the four days of the camp then they would normally see. Add in the wind Mother Nature threw at us every ride and the fact that it snowed going into the final day and it became a pretty grueling camp. Those of us that had late flights out got to ride Sunday afternoon. Mother Nature snowed on us, then rained on us, then threw a stiff headwind that had us going at 3.0+ watts per kg maybe hitting 15mph….downhill. Then we got snowed on….again.

Snow low on the Santa Catalina's

The campers got to see some of the best climbs that are offered in southern AZ. Thursday we rode around McCain’s Loop and did a couple of trips up Gates Pass and it’s 14% grade. The next day we climbed Kitt Peak. That’s 20k of climbing averaging between 7-8%. On Saturday it was up Mt. Lemmon up to Windy Point in the very cold weather for another solid 20+km of climbing.

Throw in some runs with intervals, a long run through the Tucson Mountains and you’ve got the makings of a tough four days for the athletes.

Cory, Billy and Steve framed by snow before the long run

We swam in the world class facility at the U of A pool. It was interesting to see other coaches there and how they ran their squad’s swims. One coach, whom I won’t name but is based in Tucson and is a coach to several IM winners, must have gotten hold of my Thursday swim workout. I watched him write my Thursday main set for his athletes on Friday. Either I’m a genius for writing such a kick ass set (which I tend to think is true) or he’s a genius for recognizing geniusness when he sees it and decided to use my main set.

Since we were in Southern AZ, I wanted to show the guys somethings they may not see in their home ranges. While taking our clothes off at the base of Kitt Peak (don’t you wish you came to camp now?), we got to see some illegal aliens run across the road about 50 yards away. We had to go through a Border Patrol check point, some of us while biking. We ran through snow, which is a pretty rare thing to do in Tucson unless you go to the very top of Mt. Lemmon. We weren’t anywhere near Mt. Lemmon for our run. We climbed up and then descended down a 50 yard wide patch of black ice on the road to test our bike handling skills. Four of the campers climbed Kitt Peak for the first time and were able to look one way into Mexico and the other way looked towards Canada. Everyone got in about 20-25 hours of training over four days. Most of the campers reaffirmed my lack of climbing ability by spanking me soundly on the climbs. Some of the campers also got to see a Javelina. All in all good times for everyone while at camp!


Sam, the hiking machine?

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , on September 6, 2010 by brianestover

This past Friday I got done with work early so Sarah and I loaded Sam up to take him to Mt. Lemmon for a hike.

Sam is 130 pounds of thundering mass. Goes from walking to full tilt in the snap of the fingers. When he runs, dirt flies everywhere, the ground vibrates as he thunders past, jowls flapping in the wind, exposing his rather large and shiny teeth from across the yard. Of course if you’ve never seen this then you 1. Don’t have a 130 pound Great Dane and 2. need a bigger yard if you do have a Great Dane. He also goes from full tilt to dead tired in about 4 minutes. I’ve seen him run, I have no idea why we took him on a hike.

Shortest hike of my life. Sam made it maybe 1km into the trail. Maybe. When you are 130 pounds of Great Dane though, that might be good. That was it, we stopped to get the water bottle out for him and he layed down. Done. Finished. Dog tired.

His Tongue Meter (highly scientific tool to evaluate if a dog is tired) was hanging out. I’ve never seen a tongue that big before on a dog. Or a human. Imagine French kissing that.

Maybe a nice swim in one of the many pools still left near the top of Mt. Lemmon would cool him off. All dogs love water, at least the last few I’ve owned did. Nope. Turns out he is afraid of water. Stuck his paw in and said “hell no, it’s cold”.

Still turned out to be an awesome afternoon. You can’t beat a short hike then a nap with your feet dangling in a pool of cold water.


Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , on June 30, 2010 by brianestover

It’s here, it’s hot and it’s starting to get humid with the monsoons building up. It’s my least favorite time of year. Yes, I know that runs counter to about 95% you guys, lets see 11 readers 95% too much math for me. So one other person doesn’t like summer. I’m sure if I lived on the east coast I’d like summer. And I like summer in Tucson much much better then I liked summer in Phoenix.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the longer days, sun peeking up at 4:30 in the morning. Especially since this causes a chain reaction. My alarm cat goes off, I have to throw something at him. He then goes on snooze. Five minutes later he goes off again. Now I have to get up, walk across my room and shut the door. Sleeping is supposed to be lazy, you should be able to do it laying down. Not listening to some stupid cat beg for breakfast.

I like the fact that I can go swim at 6pm get out of the pool 45min later and it’s still light. There is something to be said about not freezing in the water or on the deck before and after I swim.

Love being dehydrated. I work in and out of my car. About the time it cools down from 120 degrees I get back out of it. About the time it gets back to 120 I get back in it. Repeat this for the duration of my day. Joyous. Really. Not. Even 2L of water through out the day can’t keep me hydrated. It was 2 days ago the last time I peed and 2 days ago since my headache started. Makes me wonder if they are related.

I love running in 85F temps. At 5:45 in the morning. It’s freaking awesome. Try it some time. Outside workout in the evening? F*cking are you crazy. Unless it’s swimming. Instead one becomes a gym rat. Endless miles on the treadmill, listening to my mp3 player. My gym insists on it being 80 inside. Really? WFT? I’m paying $26 a month, can we have 77 at least? And they wonder why they had to stick a locked box around the controls.

There are a ton of good things about summer. Half of Tucson abandons ship and flees for cooler climates. Watermelon, fruits and veggies round into season, lots of sunlight. Love Mr. Sunshine, but I’m anti global warming. Mt. Lemmon, especially the higher areas. Super awesome in the summer, actually super awesome year round but especially in the summer.

If Tucson was 10 degrees cooler in the summer San Diego would visit us.


Posted in Stuff, Triathlon with tags , , , , , on December 11, 2009 by brianestover

It snowed in Tucson the other day. Not really in Tucson but on Mt. Lemmon. I wonder how far down the snow line is? Tomorrow seems like a nice day to ride up and find out. Hopefully it won’t be like last year where we kept climbing, it kept getting colder and we kept climbing. After 21 miles of climbing, with numb fingers I realized it was 25F and we had to descend. No gloves, no leg warmers and no vest, which really means I started the ride with no brains working. Hopefully tomorrow won’t require 20 miles of climbing to hit the snow line. I’m not sure my legs will be too happy with me. Here is a pic of last January’s climb right before the descent.

about to freeze on the descent

Ouch, that hurt.

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2009 by brianestover

I learned last night that when the NP in the ER says get the QR they are not referring to a bike or wetsuit.  Instead they are about to dump a coagulant on your bleeding self.  And it stings. A lot. Then they also apply direct pressure.  That hurts. A lot more. Note to self: when slicing anything and using a very sharp knife, move the distal end of your thumb before you remove the distal end of your thumb. After 40 minutes of bleeding down my elevated arm, watching blood run down through my fingers and drip at a fairly steady rate into the sink, going through numerous paper towels and gauze bandages, it was time to let the pros have a shot at stopping the bleeding. Really one can only have so much fun holding your hand up while applying direct pressure. I kind of knew it was a er type of cut, but I was hungry and wanted dinner. Fresh basil in your pasta sauce. How could you go wrong with that?  Add some fresh meat and it’s even better. Mmmmm.

The ER is great for people watching.  I saw a kid come in with his knee cap on top of the lower end of his thigh.  A lady was wheeled in wearing a very nice, little black dress. Unfortunately the full eye shades covering her eyes and the bright pink blanket she was holding over her head seemed to clash with the rest of her evening wear.

On other exciting news, my company was bought last night by a Japanese pharma company with no N. American presence.  Even better, I have a couple of emails from people in the industry asking if I was interested in moving over to where they work. Who knows how this will all pan out.  I bought a few hundred shares around $9.  The deal price is $23. The close today was $22.80. Not bad, that should about make up for when I bought at a much higher price years ago. It seems that my worthless options, well, are still worthless at my strike price, sigh.

Best of all, I have a freaking migraine. From not sleeping much the last few nights.  This is forcing me to not ride Mt. Lemmon tonight.  There is a group, tossing lights on their bikes and heading up for 20 miles or so.  Probably not the best idea to have someone in your group descending who is experiencing some bright splotches in their field of vision, at night, with only mini newts for headlights.  Plus it’s thundering, lightening and raining over there.  I’m not really keen on riding in the lightening. Actually it’s the being struck by lightening part I’m not really too keen on.

I went to Skool today

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , on February 1, 2009 by brianestover

Or more frankly I got skooled on Mt. Lemmon today climbing.  Started the climb with a small group of about 25 riders or so.  Rather casual pace, first two miles go through roughly 230w effort or level 2.  Then my friend Kelly, Eric who is in town from S. Korea and a couple of other guys ratchet up the pace to ~250w.  Still no big deal.  Hit the first steep ramp ~ 2.5 miles into it and we shed everyone but four of us.  It’s Eric, Kelly and I.  We are working against this old dude.  Old dude wearing old school Ray Bans.  No shit those Ray Bans looked about 20 years old and the guy was at least in his late 50’s or early 60’s.  Riding a straight block. His largest cog looked to be about a 21. I’ve got one of those, a 23 and a 25.  Yeah I have a dinner plate size cog on my bike.  No one has ever accused me of being a climber. Old dude attacks, we respond, he surges again and again.  All these surges have me over 300w to cover the moves.  (FTP ~265w currently).  At one point old dude throws in a 4 min effort that has me averaging 308w to cover it. We are not even at MP 5 yet.  I’m thinking WTF?  Dude is wearing Ray Bans, more clothes then any two of us, has to be sweating his ass off.  I’ve got my full zip jersey almost completely unzipped, sweat is dripping from my helmet and old dude is laying the wood to our asses.  We are passing other riders going up the mountain like they are standing still.  2-3 min gaps to riders up the road are closing so fast we  almost crash into them.  Old dude is pulling and whipping ass.  I’ve had enough of this shit and throw in a :50 surge at 375w.  Old dude goes away, you could barely see his lime green jersey behind us. Kelly and Eric cover, plus I moved to the outside to give Eric a draft and isolate old dude as I mad my move.  Just after I tell Kelly lets ride sensible for the rest of the climb and he agrees old dude latches back on.  We roll through MP 5 and again I’ve had enough.  600w for :30 and everyone goes away (although this was a bad spot to attack as the road flattens out right where I went, I should have waited but).  Sure enough about 2 min later old dude rides by with Kelly barely on his wheel and Eric is off the back.  After latching on and closing the gap, I’ve fully embraced the realization old dude is not going anywhere and came to play.  He starts ratcheting up the tempo again and again. No surges just a steady increase in the pressure. I cling to Kelly’s back wheel for dear life.  Lose that wheel and I know I’m gone. Keep looking down and the powermeter says 295-310w.  After a few minutes of this old dude pulls to the side looks at us and says “I hope you have at least 4 min at 300w in your legs because I’m about to go”.  What he really should have said is I hope you have more then 1:30 at 390+w because I’m about to go.  WTF? I”m already at 310w. About 1:15 later and I officially went off the back.  Kelly was clinging for dear life weaving and bobbing all over his bike. For the next 1.5 miles I never dropped below 265w and never got closer then 80 yards to them. Kelly attacked him just below Prison Camp and opened a gap.  Didn’t matter, when Kelly turned to head down around old dude just keep motoring.  I never saw him again.  Realizing I’ve been used, abused, and utterly destroyed I turned, chatted with Kelly for a bit and waited for Eric to get back on.  Eric and I then  rolled up to MP 19 never seening old dude again.  We got totally destroyed today but an old dude wearing the oldest Ray Bans I’ve ever seen

Mt. Lemmon

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , on January 3, 2009 by brianestover

Last night was a house full of people drinking beer in preparation for the assualt on Mt. Lemmon.  Time to eat some breakfast, clear out the cobwebs and maybe get a short run in.  Sounds like we are having a snowball fight at the top once every one gets to the top.  

Pics when we get back, but for now it’s smacktalk, a run and food while I get ready.


We are back.  To sum it up, it was cold.  So cold we bailed at mile post 22 and came back down, which was colder then climbing up.  It was in the low 30’s, someone should have checked the forecast b/c the descent was freezing cold.  I hate high speed wobbles, more so when they come from shivering while descending.  Just what everyone wants when they are doing 38+ mph, the shivering shakes. Here are some pics of the festivities.

Rolling through the hood

Rolling through the hood


Mike letting us know how he really feels

Mike letting us know how he really feels


F*ck it's cold up here.

F*ck it's cold up here.

About to freeze our ass off on the descent

About to freeze our ass off on the descent


Looking across to the Rincons.

Looking across to the Rincons.