Monday, October 12, 2009

Interbike, BLT, Saul Raisin, Hawaii Irornman

Sarah and I are flying to Kona as I write this blog. Ray and Tammy Brown have been gracious enough to invite us out for the Hawaii Ironman world championships. Ray qualified for Kona at Ironman Louisville. It will fun to be a spectator for the race for the first time since Sarah competed in 2003.
Looking back at September at home in Billings, it was a busy month. We broke ground on Montana Cycling and Mark and I took the trip out to Vegas for the Inter-bike show. Interbike was quite a spectacle. I had not been to Vegas since the mid 80s and boy has it changed! The first couple of days were filled with the demo days where we rode bikes outside of Vegas in Boulder City. This was fun and exhausting at the same time. I almost didn’t get out of the Felt tent the first day! And by the end, I could feel the difference from one bike to another with the fatigue that was in my legs. In fact, at the end of one day, I was relegated to an electric powered bike. That was fun to throttle some of the other Billings folks, Rob, Mike and Carissa while only working my wrist!
The best part of Interbike was the cross Vegas race on Wednesday.


The event takes place at night in a lighted soccer field, very cool. It was made more special watching my friend and cycling legend John Howard. He competed in the industry race and at age 63 finished just 3 min in back of the winners. The night before, the Billings crew and John went out to dinner at Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville and had a fun time with the spectacle of watching a babe fly out of a volcano and dive into a giant Margarita glass!
Not a big fan of Vegas, the show was filled with tons of cool bike stuff but when you are opening a bike shop it is a bunch of work as well. It was an exhausting week and I was very glad to get back to Montana.
No rest for the weary -- Montana Cycling put on the BLT century ride just a day after we got back from Interbike! It turned out to be a great event with nearly a 100 participants -- double last year's numbers.


We were very fortunate(thanks to Mark) to get Saul Raisin to come out for the event. Saul is a wonderful and talented guy who raced for the pro team Credit Agricole. In a tragic accident while racing, Saul was severely injured and slipped into a coma. After years of rehab Saul is now back on his bike and doing Triathlons. During his stay here in Billings Saul and I worked on his swimming and running. And now I am coaching Saul in his quest to race the Hawaii Ironman. So far he is a very dedicated pupil(clone) and I have no doubt that Saul will achieve anything he sets out to accomplish. Check out Saul's web site for his complete story at


In Hawaii now and I almost forgot all the buzz that is the Hawaii Ironman world championships! I rented a mountain bike straight away so I can tool around the Kona traffic. Friday we all went on a Helicopter ride around the Island, seeing the lava flowing volcanos, the incredible cliffs and waterfalls of the Big Island and everything in between. It was very cool and I had never been in a Helicopter before! Toshi our pilot was really knowledgeable and fun as our guide.

TAMMY,RAY,SARAH AND I after our Heli ride

Race day was exciting and tiring at the same time. I forgot how damn hot and humid it is here! Boy not used to that living in Montana. My couple of 45 min runs on Alii drive where brutal! The race was very exciting and it made me think that I am a long way from being ready to do one of these things again! Everyone out there yesterday deserves a bunch of credit for their will and preparation. And here's to Chrissy and Craig, who won even without those aero helmets, you looked great!



Ray--- also without the aero helmet -- did great as well! He had not the perfect day. Our house was broken into the night before, his valve on his tire broke and there was gastrointestinal problems that lead to a few too many stops. But all in all he was 15 min faster than his finish in Hawaii in 1997 12 years ago and it was a very hot day.

A few coachjay observations from Kona:

1. It's Hot in Kona

2. 700 aero helmets in the race, in my opinion that is 700 too many, once again the two winners Crissy Wellington and Craig Alexander did not were aero helmets. Do these people think it is better to cook your brain in extreme heat to save a couple of minutes with aerodynamics?

2a. Arm coolers don't work--did you see Chris Lieto jettison his after the bike- if they were cooling him don't you think he would wear them for the run in 100 degree heat?

3. It was reported in the program and on Ironman live that at the end of August Craig
Alexander finished a 500 mile bike week with a 115 mile ride with a set of 12 mile repeats at the track on a 6:30 takeoff, getting each mile at between 5:30 and 6 min, and by the way he ran to and from the track -- an additional 2 miles each way._--Coachjay clones may recognize this workout!

4. The Ironman shuffle out on the Queen K is painful to watch!

5. If you plan on doing this event you had better be prepared for the extreme! and be super fit

Also a shout out to other friends I saw out in the lava fields on Ironman day, Pat Dwyer, Betty Mills (who reached the podium in her first Ironman with a 4th place finish, Chris Ramsey, Dedi Griesbaur who placed 10th in the women, and I am sure I am missing folks).

The day after the race Sarah and I took a stand-up paddle board lesson. Our ex pro-surfer Duane was great and we both were able to get up and do it sort of. The sport is a lot harder than it looks and it involves a ton of balance. I tried to ride some waves but I was a bit tippy and had some nice crashes in the surf! Sarah did catch a good wave with the assistance of Duane pushing her.

Coachjay stand-up paddleboarding for the first time!

On the personal front every thing is well with Sarah, Chloe and I. Sarah is getting bigger growing a baby and is due in mid January. It has already snowed in Billings and I am getting geeked up for snowboarding and skate skiing this winter. Lots of clones have had great achievements lately.

Clone report: Mike Fogassey finishes 3rd in a Florida sprint race with a 1:22 and a pr for that event, Kevin welsh continues to get ready for IM Az with a 5min pr at the Harvest Moon tri, at the Montana governors cup marathon/1/2/10k race we had a bunch of clones competing: Mike Gulledge ran his first 10k and is now officially hooked!as well as Maggie Vrlsted who ran her first 1/2 marathon Paolo Gerbasi ran a solid 1:33 1/2, Sue and Carla both PR'd the 10k with Carla breaking 1hr for the first time. and Cecil Pegram ran another solid Marathon at the govenors cup Matt Rosetti finishes 3rd overall in the central park duathlon, check out the scary footage from that race, Hilton and Anton Kort for great finishes in the triathlon world championships in Australia. Adam Weaver for a solid marathon in 2hrs 56min at St George, Dan Brewer finished the 25 mile rim to rim run in the grand canynon. Carla Cobb and Sue Balter both Pr the 1/2 rock and roll 1/2 marathon in Santa jose. Sarah Ryan,Ali Ryan, and Julie Klarich also kick but at the Santa Rosa Marathon.


  1. It was an awesome trip! See my (Sarah K's) facebook page for a more complete Kona 09 album.

  2. Great blog! I hope to be there again next year for one last run!