Blogger Backups

I've been blogging for two years and have around 130 posts. Not a ton of content, but it took time to write and it's of value to me. The thought of losing it all is troubling so I went looking for ways to backup this blog.

Sadly, Blogger doesn't have a backup feature. The advice they give for backups is to use a special template that will show all of your posts in one long page. Technically this would work, but it's not very elegant so I went searching.

The first solution I looked into was HTTrack, an open source program for copying websites. This tool will work, but not very efficiently for Blogger blogs because it follows every link and saves each webpage as it crawls the website. If the Labels or Archive tree elements are used, HTTrack will follow all of the links these elements provide and save multiple copies of each post. HTTrack has lots of options and it's possible it could be customized to efficiently backup a Blogger blog, but I couldn't find any info for how to do it and I didn't feel like spending a lot of time experimenting, so I kept looking for other solutions.

Another tool I found was Blogger Backup. It logs into Blogger, copies each post and saves them to your hard drive as XML files. It also has a feature to restore posts, which could be useful, but I haven't tested it yet. The program didn't work at first, but worked fine after I closed it and started it again. So now I at least have all the text, and supposedly the links and formatting, of my posts saved. Image backup is not yet implemented, but may be in the future (it's on the feature request list).

The Dummies Guide To Google Blogger Beta (a mouthful name and one of the most hideous styles I've ever seen) had some suggestions for making backups. One was to use a Firefox browser extension called ScrapBook to save copies of Blogger webpages. The interface is a bit odd, but it seemed to work. And the Dummies Guide had a good idea to backup chunks of your blog at a time by Blog Archive links - here are the steps:

Right-click an archive link for a month or year and then select ScrapBook's Capture Link As ... to save all the posts in that time period. The image below shows me about to save a copy of all 69 posts from 2007.

After ScrapBook analyzes the link it will present a dialog box of options (see below). I actually chose "KanyonKris - 2007" for the Title.

I chose to download Image, Movie and Sound files and it worked great for the MP3 file I had linked in one post, but the images were a mixed bag. ScrapBook did capture the smaller 400 pixel "thumbnail" images I use for the blog, but not the larger version of the image linked from the thumbnail to Picasa Web Albums because the link does not end in ".jpg". It would be nice if I could copy the larger images as well, but I can see why ScrapBook couldn't figure it out. At least I have the small images and the links to Picasa Web Album saved.

I used a depth of 0 to only capture my blog content, but I may do another backup with a depth of 1 to backup not only my blog but all the webpages I've linked to - this would also capture the Picasa Web Albums images that I did not capture as noted above. I include a lot of links in my blog posts so a depth 1 backup would take some time. If you select a depth greater than 0 you get another dialog where you can choose which webpages (manually or with filters) to backup so you can slim down what you capture.

After backing up each year my archive looks like what you see below. I can click on any of those 3 ScrapBook bookmarks and that year opens in Firefox. Pretty slick.

In the future I'll use both Blogger Backup and ScrapBook to make backups periodically of my new posts. Hopefully this strategy will provide good backups in case something goes wrong.

Maple Hollow Explore

Today at lunch I explored Maple Hollow after noticing stupidbike's route last Saturday. (Here's a map of the out-n-back stub that piqued my curiosity.)

I first checked out a trail I had seen from the road (on my road bike) that went up Maple Hollow. It looked like it was cut in not too long ago, but hadn't been maintained or seen much traffic. Soon it joined an old utility road and went up the bottom which got steep. The trail steeply traversed a minor ridge and I stopped part way up, satisfied that the trail wasn't going to get any better. I went down and took a little shortcut over to, what appears to be, the real Maple Hollow trail (even though it starts in Oak Hollow).

I'd done part of this trail before, up past the water tank and over the ridge out to the flight park. But this time I turned up the ridge to ride this fairly new trail (my guess is it was cut last year). This first part was nice - the grade was fairly consistent and just right for me in 3rd gear. It side -hilled the east side of the ridge until it hit the bottom then started traversing up the side slope of the opposite ridge. The grade was a bit steeper, but still moderate. This section was a bit rougher with a steeper side hill. The trail rounds the ridge and continues climbing on the other side, but only for about 150 yards where the trail ends. The Draper trail builders will probably be working on it this year. The terrain ahead looks challenging - I'll be interested to see how they route the trail.

The ride down was fun. A bit sketchy in places, but mostly smooth rolling. I took pictures on the way down.

End of the line.

Looking back down the trail from the end.

View from the ridge.

View across to the beginning of the Maple Hollow trail.
If you look close you can see a line of people hiking up the trail in yellow shirts, dark pants and white helmets. They were hiking fast. I assumed they were the trail crew coming up to build more trail, but they went down the other trail. My guess is they were forest fire fighters out on a training exercise.

Not bad looking single-track.

Is Spring really here?

BONUS: Chinlone is a game played in Myanmar by kicking a rattan ball (it's like hacky sack). The focus is on fancy shots and I was amazed at the foot skill. Check out these videos.

Got Skills ? sponsored a mountain bike skills clinic for team members this evening. Jolene and I showed up. Ryan gave us some instruction and had us practice track standing, jumping and riding over various obstacles.

Jolene takes on a log.

I roll over a mellow skinny.

Ryan amazes us with a trials-type move over a boulder.

After that we went out in the Lambert Park to practice on the trails. We climbed Zag then took the new Brown Dog trail and came back on High Bench. A good time learning and working on the bike skills.

Seperated At Birth ?

Elden (of Fat Cyclist fame) has always looked familiar to me, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Channel surfing last night I came across an episode of Monk with actor Stanley Tucci and it all became clear.

Elden, this may come as a shock to you, but you have a twin brother! Is it a coincidence that you chose to work with a company called Twin 6, that you're both public figures, that you've both "chosen" to shave your heads? I think you better confront your parents about this.


Group photo atop Murphy Hogback (click for larger image). I'm standing tallest in the back.

Mark Albrecht arrived at my house and we loaded the van and left around 3:30 pm. We had some good conversations on the way down - mostly bike talk, imagine that. We arrived at the RAWROD camp site above Mineral Basin around 7 pm and made camp. Thanks to Kenny, Elden and others, we had incredibly tasty brats for dinner. I passed around some oatmeal scotchy cookies Jolene had made and they seemed to be a hit (if I may be so bold, my wife makes good cookies). The talk around the campfire was entertaining with stories, snide comments and teasing. It was fun to observe and be entertained. It got late so I went to the van to sleep (it took me an hour to get to sleep).

I woke up, ate a banana and pop-tart for breakfast and finished packing up for the ride. I hung around on the road waiting to get started. Brent from Holiday joined me and since we were both getting cold and just wanted to start this leg slow, we got going. We had a good chat as we rode and after 5 miles or more some other riders passed us. It was a calm and cool morning and it felt good to roll along.

After the Horsethief dirt road we rode down to the park entrance where we paid our $5 and turned off onto the dirt to head down the switchbacks of the Shafer Trail. It was loose and rough, just like last October. We regrouped at Mussleman Arch for photos and eating, drinking and resupply from the support truck.

Some of us stopped at Monument Basin for some photos. Here I am with a typical Canyonlands scene behind me that looks like something out of a Roadrunner cartoon.

The next stop was White Crack where we ate lunch and regrouped. I was warm when I arrived, but the nearly constant wind chilled me even with full sun.

Moving on there were scenes like these.

Then all too soon it was time for the climb up Murphy Hogback. On my first time riding the White Rim last year I decided to be conservative and bail out on any strenuous climbing to make sure I could finish. But for this 2nd White Rim ride I decided to try to make it all the way up Murphy. I did OK on the lower part that isn't very steep, but on the first steep pitch I spun out and fell over. Assessing the situation I determined my goal was unrealistic - I'd need to get stronger to do Murphy Hogback in one shot. But after I walked up this steepest section I got back on the bike to see if I could ride the rest. It was still mercilessly steep and I was really suffering on the last 20-25 yards to the top, but I dug deep and gutted it out. At the top I stepped off the bike, flopped down on the ground and panted until I had recovered.

As I was riding up I was passed by Chris Holley on his single speed! I was in my lowest gear spinning the cranks slowly due to the steep pitch and here was Chris doing 1 revolution to my 8-10. He was straining hard with each push of the crank and I marveled at his strength and power output. It cost him his lunch, but he made it - Murphy Hogback on single speed!

Murphy Hogback was another regroup site so we sat around and watched the riders come up.

The next section had quite a bit of downhill and some fun riding. I looked down at my cyclocomputer and was surprised to see 75 miles - 3/4 done!

I was pretty tired when I reached Hardscrabble, but I made an attempt. Elden and Adam encouraged me to keep going (the "Eye of the Tiger" song did help!). At the top of Hardscrabble was another regroup and I filled up on water and CarboRocket. Shortly after starting off again I got a flat. As I was fixing it Kenny stopped and gave me a hand and a shot of C02 then I rode back to the support FJ Cruiser and used the pump to top off the tire with air.

I could tell I was getting pretty tired, but I kept rolling OK. I was pretty slow on any uphills and I walked the long and deep sand pits. Those miles after 90 seemed to pass so slowly. I was dreading the coming climb back up to camp. I had no idea how I'd do. Eventually it arrived and I went right down into my 2nd lowest gear and started chugging up. The pitch got steeper and I went down into granny and that's where I stayed. I made it about half way up then stopped to rest after a steep pitch. I tried to ride again, but made it only a little ways before I was panting again and I stopped and walked. The walking felt nice - less strenuous and using different muscles. But once the grade mellowed a bit after 40 yards or so I got back on the bike and rode it to the top. I opened the van, pulled a chocolate milk from the cooler and savored the refreshment. I also drank some Coke - I'm not much of a cola drinker, but after a big ride it hits the spot like nothing else.

From my cyclocomputer, the wheels were turning for 9 hours and 45 minutes and my average speed was 10.2 mph.

Mark and I loaded up the van and then drove to Green River for a 1/2 lb cheeseburger at Ray's Tavern. It tasted so good! We saw several other RAWRODers there. After dinner I gassed up the van and drove home, arriving around midnight. I took a shower to wash the sunscreen and caked-on dust off (leaving a sandbar in the tub) and fell into bed and didn't wake up until it was light outside.

A great ride! A big thanks to Kenny and all those who helped put on this ride!

P.S. I must mention that Brad, Kenny and Adam rode the White Rim fast (as a time trial) the day before (Friday) and all three of them rode it again today and finished ... on single speeds no less! Amazing.

P.S.S. Not enough? Read about my first White Rim ride in October 2007.

'Twas The Day Before RAWROD

RAWROD (Ride Around White Rim in One Day) is tomorrow and I'm home from work packing up the van. Mark Albrecht will be arriving at my house soon and we'll be on our way.

Elden asked me if I was excited. I answered "mostly". I'm always a little anxious about trips - not forgetting something, the weather, the driving, the riding, will I be a dork - but mostly I'm looking forward to doing this ride again (my first time was last October) and enjoying the company of fellow mountain bikers. For me, it is a rare exception to meet a mountain biker I don't like. Perhaps the qualities of mountain biking draw people with similar traits so we get along (birds of a feather). Whatever the case, nearly every encounter I've had with a fellow mountain biker has been positive.

Roadies are pretty good too, but I have come across a few stuck up road cyclists that are too serious (for my style). But the odds are still very good that I'll get along with my fellow roadies.

So while I enjoy cycling enough that I'd still do it solo, it pleases me that cyclists are predominantly good people that I enjoy riding with and just being around.

Corner Canyon Double

Corner Canyon is in great shape right now - I rode it yesterday and today.

Yesterday I rode solo at lunch and stayed low. Started at the equestrian center and went up the lower Corner Canyon trail to the bottom of Clark's (it's still closed), then took the Silica Pits trail over to the bottom of the Ghost Falls trail and took a left on the new connector trail (over the footbridge) to connect with the northbound BST. I rode the BST all the way out to Bear Creek Canyon and back. I love this section of trail - it's fast and swoopy. On the way back I took the newish trail up on the west side slope of lower Corner Canyon then back to the car. This ride put a smile on my face as I kept the pace up and rolled fast.

A stream crossing I rode through.

The bridge over Bear Creek.

Bear Creek.

Heading back down the BST into Corner Canyon - sweet single-track.

Today I met Brad Keyes and Mark at the equestrian center for another Corner Canyon ride. Brad blogged that he rode the Jacob's Ladder trail yesterday and was ready to ride with only a little mud and one patch of snow. I've heard this is a good trail and expressed interest and Brad offered to show us the way. We took Corner Canyon then a short section of BST to the dirt road which we took to the top. From here Brad led us up the old double tracks to the east which connect into the Jacob's Ladder trail. It was dry with a few spots of mud and good bit of mud puddle dodging. The view from the top of the ride was pretty nice.

The view south into Utah Valley.

The view west out Traverse Ridge.

The view west down the trail.

Brad and Mark ready for the downhill.

After crossing one snow patch, it was all dry dirt down. It's a bit chewy in places, but overall a good downhill romp. Brad had a puncture that, strangely, the Stans wasn't sealing so we kept rolling. Back at the dirt road Brad was working the tire some more and who should ride down? Tasha (Brad's wife). Another rider (Jason?) was coming up. It seems the word is out that Corner Canyon is the place to ride. Brad gave the leaky tire a blast of CO2 and we headed down Ghost Falls - yet another fun romp (I've done this trail a few times). Near the bottom of Corner Canyon Brad's tire went dead flat so he told us to ride while he walked it down.

I need to pause to comment about Brad's riding. He's so smooth on the bike. He was rolling his single speed dork bike like butter. I've been mountain biking for more than 15 years and compared to Brad I ride like a hack - like I'm just grunting and bumbling my way along - sure, I get the job done, but not with finesse. It's like the bike is an extension of his body that responds as naturally as would an arm or leg. Impressive to observe.

Mark and I took the newish trail on the west sidehill for some bonus fun. And we goofed off taking a few runs down the rock stairs.

As we loaded up the bikes another rider rolled in - it was Rick Sunderlage, also drawn to Corner Canyon today. It was nice to meet Rick as we'd been talking about hooking up for a ride for a while.

Too soon it will get hot and Corner Canyon will be a scorcher, but for now it's some of the best local single-track to be had. Big thanks to Brad to the show and tell.

P.S. The next morning Jacob's Ladder had snow on it. That's been par for the course with this crazy Spring.

Song Intros - Part 1

I had this idea. If I collected the intros of all the songs I like and put them together in sequence, what would it sound like? I was so intrigued I went ahead and did it. It was a fun experiment. Here is part 1 with artists B through R at just over 5 minutes in a 6 meg MP3:

Song Intros part 1

Lots of the songs are favorites of mine, some were just for fun. If someone can identify all the songs I'll be very impressed (one song is an old track from an amateur band I grabbed from years ago so it won't count). The artists are generally in alphabetical order, so that should help. I'll post the name of the winner here for all to see and admire.

Favorite Mountain Biking Photos

A selection of my favorite mountain biking photos. You can also see them in an album or a larger slide show.

I had this slide show in the sidebar, but it slowed down the page load and made it unresponsive so I'm moving it to this post.

I also added some info about me and added my 2008 goals to the sidebar.

The Whole U of U BST

Jolene and I met Mark and Warren for a blitz of the BST near the University of Utah. The plan was to ride from Hogle Zoo all the way to City Creek then go back up to the BST (via Terrace Hills Drive) and take the Bobseld down then connect back into the BST to take it back to the zoo.

The ride along the foothills was nice. Somehow I got in the lead going up Dry Canyon so I kept it rolling and, as I like to do, I made it to the top without stopping. We all made it up The Wall. I have not been down the trail into City Creek and was glad to have Mark show me the way. I really liked going down this section of trail. I made the two switchbacks. We took 11th Avenue to Terrace Hills Drive then began the climb back to the BST.

I had drastically misrepresented the length and steepness of this climb to Jolene and she wasn't too happy about that, but she made it up. We rode the short distance south on the BST to the new entrance to the Bobsled. It was in pretty good shape except for a 75-100 yard section of snow-melt water running down the bottom providing some mud. There were a few new stunts. I thought about going off a new, taller ladder drop, but chickened out.

But I did do the shorter ladder drop down lower.

After the Bobsled we connected back to the BST at the mouth of Dry Canyon via the route past Popperton Park. The climbing here showed me how tired I was. My stomach had been feeling queasy since yesterday so I hadn't been eating much and I was feeling like I was running out of gas. This was also the longest strenuous ride Jolene had been on. But we plugged along and made it back to the zoo, albeit at a pretty slow pace.

My computer said 21 miles (but that may be low), and Mark said we did 3400' of climbing. I know there are more spurs and trails in the area, but I'd consider this a pretty complete ride of the major trails. Thanks Mark and Warren for a great ride.

Realistic Racing Advice

I read Bike Snob NYC pretty regularly. His acidic wit combined with his talent for writing produce some quality cycling comedy. But his post on Monday giving advice to cycling racers was exceptional and timely (since I did my first road race and crit two weeks ago). Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

Cycling should be an enjoyable endeavor. However, sometimes despite our best efforts we wind up in situations on the bike that are simply no fun. Such situations include: having accidents; getting caught in severe weather; and, perhaps worst of all, becoming involved in an amateur road race.
There is a fine line between ambition and delusion. The former is the fuel for success, and the latter is the way to ruin.
So you’ve admitted you’re a loser. Congratulations, and welcome to mediocrity! Please come in and make yourself comfortable. Would you like a Shasta? Believe it or not, embracing your inner “meh” is one of the most positive things you can do as a cyclist.
Road racing is all about tactics. Unfortunately, the tactical advice you get from books and magazines is intended for winners or for people who aspire to be winners. As such, it doesn't apply to you. Using that stuff for pass/fail racing is like trying to assemble a piece of Ikea furniture by following Mapquest directions to Chuck E. Cheese. You’re not interested in winning, you’re interested in surviving.
Read the whole post

Rock Climbing The Green Valley Gap

Last Monday we went rock climbing with the Jones over in the Green Valley Gap. The Gap is just east of the start of the Bearclaw Poppy trail. I had no idea there was some good rock climbing in there, now I do.

Here's Jamie working a roof.

Rachel doing some face climbing.

Kara watching her footwork.

Kade gets a grip.

Jolene pulling the roof.

And me going over the roof.

At the end I belayed Jeff Jones as he worked a tough 5.10c that was way tricker than it appeared. Jeff's done a lot of climbing the last few years and it shows - his technique is solid and he has the strength to do hard moves.

After climbing we stopped by Pioneer Park (on the bluff above St. George to the north - map) to squeeze through The Crack and scramble around on the rocks. The Crack is a narrow, vertical, nearly straight crack 50 feet or so long that starts in a small grotto and ends at the top of the rock. The kids navigate it pretty easy, but it's tight for adults. In one spot I have to exhale and squeeze to get through.

There's also a small arch up top that seems to attract a family photo.

It's a fun place to take the kids. You can roam around the rocks for a few hours. I've seen a few mountain bikers roll through the trails even.

We went back to the Jones' hotel and swam in the pool to cool off then packed up and headed home. The end of our Spring Break vacation.

Zion In Spring

After Jolene and I raced the Cholla Challenge Saturday, Sunday was family time in Zion National Park. If I haven't been to Zion for a while I forget how tall it is - towering red sandstone cliffs and white peaks over 1000 feet high.

First up was the Emerald Pools. The kids did fine on the hike and we enjoyed walking under the waterfalls below the lower pools.

Then we hiked to the upper pools. The waterfall is coming out of Heaps Canyon, which I hope to descend (canyoneer) some day.

The kids had fun playing in the sand and wadding.

Jolene and I relaxed, watched the kids play and took in the scenery - especially the magnificent sandstone walls.

Next was Weeping Rock with the short hike up to the mossy cliffs dripping with spring water. Here we encountered our first animal, a Mule Deer. We also saw some turkeys, squirrels and an iridescent green beetle.

Next was the Temple of Sinawava, my favorite place. We went up the river walk to the end where the canyon starts to really narrow. I would have liked to go up further, but the river flow was too high.

We returned to the visitors center and drove out to the east side. The kids loved driving through the 1.1 mile tunnel. The rock on the east side is amazingly varied, with the Checkerboard Mesa the highlight.

We drove out of the park as the sun was setting and slept well that night - exhausted from all the hiking. A really enjoyable day spent together.