The Ancient Historian

Ancient history, mountaineering, cycling and other outside adventures

Archive for the month “August, 2011”

USA Procycling challenge

Long time no post,but really, I’ve been training and getting some work done before I leave for Africa, in two weeks now. I thought I would post up while I await Hurricane Irene, which is passing directly over my house in about 24 hours. There is a lot going on, including the first USA Procyling Challenge in Colorado, which ends tomorrow. This looks like a real success for year one. Good racing, great scenery, very knowledgeable crows like the Tour of California. Congratulations to the organizers on this one.


Ed Viesturs with great wisdom

I guess it is an Ed Viesturs theme night for me. I came across this video, and it contains such good advice I think, not just for Rainier but for any mountain. Like he says, “No shortcuts to the top.” It is awfully easy to to push too hard when you have enthusiasm for getting some mountains under your belt, and I love what he says here. Same goes with descents. Hard to find an analogy with cycling, but one comes to mind, and that’s when you are in a group ride and someone is pushing at the front. It is often easy to let your guard down and to follow mindlessly without realizing that the person can push you beyond where you should be going. I’ve seen a lot of crashes that way. Both sports, it seems to me, require great self control, and thinking.

Ed Viesturs on Colbert backstage-hilarious

Talk about a good sport, and pretty funny too.


I can feel it fairly intensely now; departure in three weeks! I did my gear checklist, all there except a few small items. Finally starting to get some core work in, and some long rides planned for this weekend beginning early tomorrow AM


Meanwhile, hey it’s Summer. Which means Summer reading. I wont bore you with all the reading I have to get done for work. I have a guilty pleasure in taking breaks and tucking into my regular mags like Velonews and The Economist. But more fun still are mountaineering books. There’s no end to them, and lots of good ones in fact, unlike the mountaineering movies. Why can’t anyone make a good one? Anyway. I promised a while ago I would review Ed Viesturs K2 and I will soon. It’s a good one. I am finishing now Freddie Wilkinson‘s One Mountain Thousand Summits, and I just got today a signed copy of Jim Davidson and Kevin Vaughan’s new The Ledge, already getting great press. That one looks great.


More soon.




Gut check time for Kilimanjaro

I received today the final information for the Kili trip, now less than a month away. My first reaction is the one everyone I suppose gets: I’m not ready, not in good enough shape! Do I have everything I need? How will I feel when I actually hit the mountain? In the next few weeks I have a lot of endurance miles to put on the bike. As I write this, it is pouring outside…..Meanwhile Alan Arnette is winding his way back from Russia after a quick and successful climb on Elbrus. Well done Alan! I’m really looking forward to meeting the whole team. So far, the IMG people have been great.

Cycling, Mountaineering and Altitude

I’ve been interested for some time in the comparison between competitive cycling and mountaineering. I smiled, you can imagine, when I received my latest copy of Velo (formerly known as Velonews, I like the old name better) which is called the “Altitude Issue.” This is in anticipation of the first USA Procycling challenge, the stage race in Colorado coming up later this month.

Nice job Velo, lots of good reading in here. Plenty of comparisons, not made directly in the issue, which can be drawn. More anon.

Stunning story on Alzheimer’s today

An article in today’s (August 5) Wall Street Journal discusses recent research that suggests that the chemical changes in the brain that are the precursors to the disease begin years, even decades, before they are detectable. By the time of many diagnoses, it appears that it may already be too late to do anything about it. Want to know why I support Alan Arnette’s 7 Summits quest to support research in Alzheimer’s? When I say about some experience, like climbing Mt Yale for example, “I am going to remember that my whole life,” I really want to!


Alan just left for Elbrus. Make a donation today, HERE



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