Life as a triathlete, Vehicross's and off-roading

off road

First impressions…Brooks Pure Grit

I had TriSports.com special order me a pair of the new Brooks Pure Grits (they carry the rest of the Pure line). I had been running in the Brookd Cascadia’s (very happy with the 5’s, not so happy with the 6’s) prior. I have been wanting to try a more minimalist shoe so decided to give these a try.

Out of the box.

 I immediately noticed the light weight. The Grits weigh in at a hair under 10 oz., where as the Cascadia’s are just over 12 oz. The outsole is wide for a stable platform. The upper is a mesh type material. The Brooks stripe on the side is reflective for low light safety. The insole is soft and spongey to the feel. The Grits have a great fit. The toe box is wide and the heel fits snuggly.

On the trail.

 Once on the feet the “spongeyness” of the midsole disapears and has a firm feel. My first run was a 9 mile run on desert trails…dry, hardpack, rocky, sand, and gravel with 1500 feet of accending and descending. During the run my feet stayed firmly in place in the shoe. I had no blisters or hot spots. The lug pattern of the soles had great grip on the varying ground surfaces. The soles offer much more flex than typical trail shoes. The uppers left my feet cool in the late morning heat (85-90 degrees). The minimal heel drop is great for mid/fore foot runners. The split toe is actually functional as I could feel the movement it allowed of the big toe. The wide sole is very stable. Rocks were not an issue…the soles offer plenty of protection. Overall, these are one of the best trail  shoes I have worn. If they wear well this looks like my new favorite trail shoe!

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Brooks Cascadia 6…a bit let down

After having great success with the Brooks Cascadia 5 running shoe I didn’t hesitate to purchase the Cascadia 6.

I have been running in the Cascadia 6 since January (3 1/2 months). Terrain has been desert trails…hard pack, sand, gravel/loose rock and large rocks with only a small amount on pavement. I have been using this particular pair 2-3 times a week in my rotation for longer runs. I abused my Cascadia 5’s for a full year (rotating 2 pair) and they are still used for short runs so I was expecting big things from the Cascadia 6’s. Not to be however.

The only noticeable difference was the color (now red versus the green 5’s) and the tread pattern on the soles. The uppers and midsoles have performed and held up great. The problem is in the sole. First off Brooks changed the lug pattern on the bottom from a triangle pattern to circles. I noticed right off that the new pattern did not bite as well on the trail. The shoe slipped around on the surface more than it’s predissesor. Not sure of the lug pattern is the cause or if Brooks changed the compound on the sole but the sole wears out FAST. The lugs were worn down quickly and the sole has now worn through and is separating from the midsole. Not at all  what I was expecting after my great success with the 5’s. Lets hope that Brooks can fix this in the 7’s.

However next up to get beaten on the trail will be a pair of the Brooks Pure Grits.


Big wind, big dust, big air, big rocks…2012 Tucson Dirt Riot

Spent a windy day shooting pics at the Dirt Riot. The Dirt Riot is an off-road event that combines high-speed desert racing, the big jumps of the tough truck track and the man-made rock crawl section in a multi-lap short course format. Enjoy my camera’s view from the day…

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3 Vehicross’ reunite on Bull Spring Road

9 year ago I organized the first big get together for Arizona Vehicross owners. It was an off-road outing that attracted 8-9 VX owners. The trail was Bull Spring Road. Back then we thought that was a pretty hardcore trail…now after tackling some truly hardcore trails Bull Spring Road is a pretty easy, although scenic, jaunt through the desert mountains starting south of Green Valley that leads to the town of Patagonia.

So, this year I threw the invite out to the VX crowd to reunite some of the old gang and get some of the new out on an easy trail followed by some great food. Things were looking good with 9-10 people saying they would be there and another 5 or so on the maybe list. As the trip date grew nearer the bailouts started to fly…bummer. Oh well, their loss!

Sunday December 11 arrived and it was show time. I was joined at the designated meet place/time by Bob in  his victory white Ironman edition and Victor in his ebony with Prashant riding shotgun. My wife accompanied me in my ebony.

We rolled onto the trail with the temperature climbing into a near perfect 70 and the sun shining. We had a great view of Elephant Head to our backs.

Our first stop was the Glove Mine. We were fortunate enough to have access to the mine for a little exploring. Bob gave us a tour through the dark shafts and educated us on the history.

From there we climbed through the desert mountain landscape and had several opportunities to catch a glimpse of Whipple Observatory perched on top of Mt. Hopkins.

We made a stop at the ruins of the old post office which during the heights of the mining boom was home to some 1000 P.O. boxes for the miners.

From there it was a short jaunt into the town of Patagonia and the tires hit pavement again.

Lunch called for a stop at the Velvet Elvis for some great pizza of the likes you will find nowhere else.

After lunch Bob parted ways. Victor tailed me for the scenic way home through Sonoita and Box Canyon. Then the day drew to an end with me heading home and Victor heading up I-10.

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ZuZoo rocks Moab

Just returned from a week of camping and offroading in Moab, Utah. This was my 5th trip there and I am still amazed by the beauty. The weather was nice and sunny the first 2 days. The rest of the week we were greated by cool temps , wind and scattered rain…but that didn’t stop us. With a mix of Isuzu’s and a jeep or two we hit the trails. Day 1 a few that arrived early hit the Dome Plateau trail. Day 2 we started the Cliffhanger trail but we didn’t get far before 2 in our group suffered carnage…both radiators. Day 3 a group of 25 vehicles hit the 7 mile rim trail. The day started off under rainy skies but cleared up nicely. On day 4 our group headed out to the Hells Revenge under rain drops making the slickrock…..well, slick! We followed that up with a few of us making a quick trip to Baby Lions Back. On my final day we we ran through Steelbender once again greeted by liquid sunshine. The next morning I packed up and then ate my customary banana walnut pancakes at the local pancake house. Then made the drive south back home.

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Trip pictures…

The trip north from home

Dome Plateau

7 Mile Rim

Cliffhanger

Hells Revenge and Baby Lions Back

Steelbender

The trip south home


Moab or bust!

The VX is loaded up and in the morning I am off to Moab for a week of camping, relaxing and 4 wheeling! Of course, I will still need to get a few runs in while there!


Camera duty

Spent the weekend shooting pics (and spectating) at the opening stop of the WERocks series in Tucson.

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Day 1 pics

Day 2 pics


A little wheeling time.

With weather back to normal here in the desert had the chance to meet up with a few of my Vehicross buddies and get a bit of wheeling time in. We hit the Table Mesa/New River area for a day of fun. Also got the chance to give my new camera a workout.

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Here are the rest  of the pics.