RAGBRAI Training: 15 Week Training Plan and Log

Here is a suggested 15 week training plan that starts for me on April 10th to get tuned up for this summer’s Ragbrai road trip.

Four days during the week of road riding is going to cramp my mountain bike activity so I will probably opt for three days on the road and just up the mileage per ride.

My neighbor and friend is suggesting that I  “Start riding the spars and work you way up to the loop…nothing else will be necessary! The Skull Valley loop is harder than a 70 mile Flat Lander ride…”

With this plan I feel confident that this summer’s event will go great and be a ton of fun.


Click to access 2011-RAGBRAI_Training_Plan.pdf

outdoors, Prescott



This afternoon I had the privilege of  casually speaking with two fire fighters in the Prescott National Forest.
They had hand held GPS units and were working fast but gave me a few minutes of their time. I fielded them a few questions about the “hazardous fuel mitigation” work that has been going on for the past months here in the Prescott area.

When I asked them if they were going to do a prescribed burn in the Emmanuel Pines area they responded with, “No, we are going to start brushing this area like the others.”

After an attempt to gather my thoughts without coming across angry with the two young fire fighters, who were just out in the field doing their job, I ask this question. “Why does the forest service seem to have to decimate everything except the pines on so many acres in our amazing public land?”

They directed me to make a call to the Cortez office and talk with  their supervisor.
I did call Ed Paul (777-5665) of the PNF this morning and spoke with him for about 20 minutes.  He was informative as well as willing to listen to my concern and mentioned he would speak to the company the PNF has contracted with about being more careful with the work they are doing.

He did tell me that it would take from two to seven years for the vegetation to grow back to a normal state.

My request is simple.

Dear Prescott National Forest Service:

1. Please do not trash both the legal and social trails that have been recently established or have been around our forests, in many cases, for decades.
2. Please do not destroy the forest in an attempt to save it.
3. Please realize I am not trying to be critical of the PNFS but just attempting to voice my opinion in attempt to not have to look at a stripped forest for a few years.
4. I do understand the principle of hazardous fuel mitigation but think the application of this practice could be managed better.

5. Organize and allow a trails restoration crew to be permitted go back into the forest and restore both sanctioned as well as “social” none sanctioned trails back to a  usable state.  (under the direction of Jason Williams of the PNF or a PMBA type organization).

Much of the Granite Basin area currently reminds me of the barren land that is directly behind Lowes on Hwy 69 or a better description of that area could be  an “Arkansas with no trees”.
If the “mitigation” work doesn’t have a little more TLC (tender loving care) I am really convinced that the  the Emmanuel Pines area will be trashed in a few weeks.
I realize the Forest service has a huge task of managing about 1.25 million acres and I applaud the service and stewardship they provide. That being said,  my request is that they would TONE DOWN the decimation  of all vegetation and destruction of our hiking, biking and equestrian  trail systems by the mitigation process they are currently active in.
I would, as well as, many others in our community be glad to volunteer time as well as effort in helping the forest service maintain our forest system.  I agree that we need a defensible space but we don’t need a decimated space.

If you would like to contact the National Forest office to voice your concerns, call: Ed Paul @ 777-5665

Here is an article from the Prescott Daily Courier with more information if you would like to read it.


The first photo is a picture of one of our trails were I had the conversation with the fire fighters. The rest of the photos are pictures of what it will look like if the PNFS continues the carnage.

Double click the pic to enlarge it.

Save these trails

After effect of Hazardous Fuel Mitigation work @ Granite Basin.

Welcome to Granite Basin ..”It will grow back by June”.

Of what year?

Awesome – invite your friends this summer.



“It will grow back by June”.

Nice lawn mower.

Mitigation work.


Hazardous fuel?

If you or I did this we are talkin big time fine.

Local quote of the day. ” Their rippen the lichen right of the rocks” – Ed

“it will grow back by June”

I do not want to be perceived as an enemy of the PNFS.  Actually, I’m a big fan of the PNFS and commend the leadership for their recent positive changes. – Just tryin to help the carnage not reach the Emmanuel Pines area like it has @ Thumb Butte or GB.
The tone of my concern comes from a cooperative yet concerned spirit.

Just trying to preserve what is left – Don’t destroy the forest to try to save it.

In  my own opinion … just sayin


church family, Ministry

The Domino Effect part 5

Really looking forward to teaching this 5th message in our series the Domino Effect this Sunday.

Does where we live effects how we live?

According to Acts 17, you betcha!“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him.”  Acts 17:26,27

Geography Effects Destiny

Pastor Steve

Lead Pastor – PFA – Preskitt

Just sayin'


After a weekend of a duathlon on Saturday and a big Sedona bike ride on Sunday I thought this little quote from Bob Hope was fitting.

“Today my heart beat 103,369 times; my blood traveled 168 million miles. I breathed 438 cubic feet of air, I ate three pounds of food. I drank 2.9 pounds of liquid, I perspired 1.43 pints. I generated 450 tons of energy. I spoke 4,800 words. I moved 750 major muscles, and I exercised 7 million brain cells. No wonder I’m all tired out!”

Duathlon, family, Mountain biking, outdoors


This morning my daughter Natascha and I competed in the annual Go Off Road Duathlon here in Prescott.


Dave Sewell a good friend of mine puts this event on each year and people form all over the four corners come to participate in this fun well organized adventure.

Trail Running, then Mountain Biking, then Trail Running again. It’s like a triathlon without the swimming, and done OFF ROAD!

What a great day and way to have fun with one of my best buddies in the world.

Tash did the Run part and I got to do the bike part.

We were TEAM JUMP AROUND…..Thus  the jump pics in this blog.

Jump around..Jump, jump, Jump -Jump around.

Natascha finishing strong.

Tash did great.

Team Jump Around did not podium but we did create another awesome father/daughter experience.

What a great way to invest time with one of the greatest young ladys on the planet.

Thanks Tash for sharing the fun with your pops.


Husband, father, mountain biker, adventure lover,  pastor



This weekend we are continuing our series @ PFA on the Domino Effect.

Really looking forward to to this teaching on how enthusiasm makes all the difference.

EN -THU – SI – ASM : from the Greek  entheos, en theos, god   – To be IN GOD.

ENTHUSIASM -That certain something that makes us great—that pulls us out of the mediocre and commonplace—that builds into us power. It glows and shines—it lights up our faces—ENTHUSIASM, the keynote that makes us sing and makes men sing with us.
ENTHUSIASM—the maker of friends—the maker of smiles—the producer of confidence.

It cries to the world, “I’ve got what it takes.” It tells all men that our job is a swell job—that the house which we work for just suits us—the goods we have are the best. ENTHUSIASM—the inspiration that makes us “wake up and live.” It puts spring in our step—spring in our hearts—a twinkle in our eyes and gives us confidence in ourselves and our fellow men.
ENTHUSIASM—it changes a dead pan salesman to a producer—a pessimist to an optimist—a loafer to a go-getter. ENTHUSIASM—If we have it, we should thank God for it. If we don’t have it, then we should get down on our knees and pray for it.


Lead Pastor

Prescott First Assmebly




Training For ragbrai: Think Iowa’s Flat? Think Again.

I have  officially started my training for Ragbrai.

I did my first 20 miles on a road bike in preparation for the 2011 Ragbrai trip across Iowa this summer.

I have been reading on how I should prepare for the 500 mile ride across my home state of Iowa and here is a great article I will post so I can read it over and over before July.

Much of this blog post will be from Coach David Ertl owner of Cyclesport Coaching.

Everyone who isn’t from Iowa tends to have a stereotype of Iowa – that it’s flat as a pancake.  I know I did before I moved here.

Compared to other hilly or mountainous states, Iowa’s topography is relatively flat, but we don’t ride bikes relatively!  We ride on actual roads that go across, and up and down, the countryside.  Iowa is generally flat terrain, but it’s had 10,000 years of erosion which has carved out a network of streams and river valleys all across the state.  The hills in Iowa are typically places where you are coming up out of these valleys.  The closer you are to the eastern and western borders of the state, nearer the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, the more undulating the terrain becomes.  Iowa is fairly level, but it isn’t flat, if that makes sense.

I just read an article on another website that compared the elevation gains of this year’s RAGBRAI with this year’s Denver Post Ride The Rockies.  You can read the article for yourself here, but here’s some of the interesting statistics:

RAGBRAI has a total of 21,206 feet of climbing this year while Ride The Rockies, which goes over several mountain passes, climbs a total of 21,604. And I don’t believe that this RAGBRAI total includes the addition Karras Loop.

The first two days of RAGBRAI each have more climbing than any of the days on Ride The Rockies.

A lot of the climbing on Ride The Rockies comes in just one or two climbs, where on RAGBRAI the climbs are much shorter, but hit you a lot more often. In a way, climbing long mountain passes may be easier.  You know they are coming and psych yourself up for them. As a matter of fact, that’s the reason people go to Colorado to do rides – to challenge themselves in the mountains.  But what a lot of people doing RAGBRAI don’t realize is the amount of climbing they are in for when they sign up for a ride across ‘flat’ Iowa.  Psychologically as well as physically, our short but fairly steep hills can get to you after a long hot day in the saddle.

Now don’t let this news scare you away.  I’m telling you this well in advance so you have time to adequately prepare.  Because our hills are fairly short, you can get up and over them, but what you will need is stamina to hang in there on those days where it seems like it is just one hill after another.  Some days it is!  The two best things you can do to start preparing is to do a lot of riding to build endurance, and to find hilly roads on which to train.  Some cyclists tend to shy away from hills when they ride because they are, well, hard!  But use your hills to build strength and confidence in your hill climbing ability.  I get quite a few questions from people who live in truly flat places, like Florida, who don’t have hills on how to prepare for hilly Iowa.  I will address ways to train for hills, even if you don’t have any, in future blogs.

Let’s face it, if Iowa was pancake flat, what fun would that be?  It’s the hills that make it interesting!  So get out there and start riding so you will be able to conquer RAGBRAI, knowing that you really have accomplished something.

Coach David Ertl

On another note, I would like to thank my friend Jean Earl who is allowing me to use her late husband’s road bike to train on as well as ship to Iowa for the ride itself. Dan had done Ragbrai numerous times and now his bike will make another trip back to cornfield country to make another ride across the roads of humidity.

The carbon fiber Lamond Chambery – 18lbs will help for sure.

Thank you Jean for helping make this dream come true for me.

I would also like to thank Gerald graves and Team Impact from Des Moines First Assembly Of God for allowing me to be a part of their team this year. It will be nice to be with some great people and some support during the week.

My next few goals include:

-Start getting three to four hours in the saddle in the month of march.

-Start riding to Skull Valley and back.

– Start doing the Skull Valley loop by my birthday. (54 miles)

– Get bike shipped to Glenwood Iowa.

– Airline ticket to Omaha.

– Airline ticket from Chicago’s Midway

– lose 15 lbs by June.

-Get some longer, stronger, younger legs by July.

This is gonna be great.


Mountain biking, outdoors


Just wanted to throw this date out to the blogosphere –  Sunday, March 13 · 2:00pm – 6:00pm

Prescott Riders meet at 2:00 PM in the Goodwin Street Pharmacy parking lot at 2 PM to carpool or caravan to Sedona. Meeting in Sedona for a 3:30 PM Ride from the parking lot behind the factory stores in the Village of Oak Creek, Sedona.
The ending time of this event may vary by 3 or 4 minutes.

If you bring lights and it’s still nice after dark, we may stay and ride
Debbie Cotton going to meet everyone in the Village of Oak Creek at the factory store parking.

last year we had a great group go up from Preskitt.

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This year Jim at the Bike and Bean is offering out group coffee before and after the ride.


Please be self contained and focus on the fun.