Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eight Hours of Cranky Monkey....

....if that was Saturday the day would have rocked....but it was 12 hours, not eight.

After the combination of the five hour drive (an hour plus in traffic) to VA, race pit set up and a crappy night sleep I was ready to get on the bike and just zone out.

The race started like most endurance races do, with a 400 meter Le Mans style start....aka, a run. Even thou I run like a female humpbacked whale I entered the singletrack in about tenth overall, but not knowing may placing among the solo riders.

The first lap flew by as I was following a local thru the trail that knew the lines like the back of his hand. After a quick stop for a bottle I was off for lap two....again with nothing really to speak of. Coming out of the singletrack ending my second lap (a 800-900 meters loop around a school in the open sun) the heat starting getting to me. With this in mind I sat in the pit's for 3-4 minutes and took in a little extra water.

About two miles into my third lap I was past by the solo rider in the pit next to me, having no idea where I was sitting place wise I just let him go....not to mention it was only hour three. I keep him in site for about the next 20 minutes, but then I started to fade. Nutrition was good, it was just the heat....and with that, lap three was 10 minutes slower then laps one and two (about an hour each.) After a 5-10 minute stop in the pits lap four was a little more of the same....heat, heat and more heat.

Lap five was tough, not only because the fading was continuing but I don't think I saw another rider the the whole ten miles. I heat was still killer but other problems were coming in to. I was starting to make mental mistakes, the hands were getting a few blisters and the saddle was.....causing problems lets say.

After the suffering that was lap five and a second 5-10 minute pitstop on to lap six we were. But after five minutes in the trail I knew it was over...the body was starting to get a little worse and I told myself this was the last lap. So I made the call to pull the plug before things went to far downhill. Do I really want to ruin the next couple weeks of the season just to push myself to far over the edge today? No......I've got a couple big races coming in the next few weeks and I was already on the verge of no return.

So six laps it was.

Now fast forward an hour in the pits with the wife. "Did you know you were leading the first two laps" she throws out....ahh, no. "Did you know you're in second place right now?" Again, ahh no. I could have went out for a seventh but I would have buried me for the week, if not worse.

In the end I fell to sixth place, not to bad for only riding for eight hours and no real endurance training in six months. Congrats to Jason for hanging in with the heat too.....I over heard someone in the pits say it was 96.

Now time for a little recovery before Marysville.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cranking the monkey...

...nevermind, forget that.

All the gear is stuffed in the car for the drive down to Quantico this afternoon. Once the Wifey unties herself from her desk we're off.

Cranky Monkey here we come.....just think, this time tomorrow Wifey, Jason and few others will be cranky the monkey...sorry, I hate to.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Birthday, 3000, and a little packing...

and all that in one day.

Today is my Pops birthday, so I guessing he'll be looking a little like this later...
...just the banana my be replaced with a bottle of Tequila....Happy Birthday Pop.

Now that you see where I get my looks from I'll move on. I met up with Gary for an easy three hour spin on the road today (last time my cheeks are touching the saddle till Sat morning) and with that I broke the 3000 mile mark for the year. I don't really have a mileage goal for the year, it just stood out when I was inputting the data into my there, take that.

Other then that I started pulling all the gear together for this weeks trip down to the Monkey. Looks like it's gonna be a good turn out, last time I checked there was already over 30 men in my class (35 plus Solo.) Not knowing any of the names, plus not having done any real endurance training in months I'm not setting a placing goal on myself. My only goal is 100 miles, which will be ten laps and whatever placing that gives me.

So with that in mind I've off to pull more gear and start the last couple of beers till Saturday evening.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cuatro medallas de oro....

, ayer fue ganar el número cuatro.

Ok, I'll stop before I make anybody break out a Spanish to English translater.

Today was the Guy's Classic XC race over in Neshaminy, a course I've come to know very well over the past few weeks. Being my teams race we've spent a lot of our free time getting the trails ready and trying to work in a pre ride here and there.

The start of the course was a 700-800 meter big chainring hammerfest thru some sportsfields before we entered the singletrack where spots to pass were few and far between. Knowing this I jokily asked Nate (one of my main competitors) "how fast you think this starts gonna be?" His return: "as fast as we make it." Not really the answer I was hoping for, but we were off.

Nate and I sprinted thru the field shoulder to shoulder but I got lucky and entered the singletrack in the lead with Nate on my rear. We kept a fast pace for 4-5 minutes when I hear him say "we can just set a nice tempo, nobodies going to pass us in this." The next thing I relize is that Nate is no longer behind me (I fought out later he torn a hole in his sidewall and had to walk out.)

The next hour seamed to just go by in a blur, it was a little strange I found myself riding alone a lot. The plan was simple, keep a quick tempo and ride clean (lots of log overs and other places/things to do something stupid on that would put you out of the race.)

Things again worked in my favor and I stayed out for the win......

In all a pretty good day, with Wifey pulling in a silver in her race.

Now we just need to heal up a couple of things and get everything in order to head down to the Cranky Monkey this weekend.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cranky it is

No, not me.........well yeah me, but that's a different story.

So the wifey and I are on for the Cranky Monkey next weekend down in Quantico, and with the birthday last weekend I get the pleasure of throwing my hat in the 35 plus ring. God help me and my rocky chair pedaling ass.But before I can get my ass handed to me for 12 hours at the Cranky we've got the Guy's XC race this Sunday.....and that's where the Hell I've been the past week. Lots of trail building/repairing and all around getting things ready for the event. I can't believe the amount of work that goes into putting on an event like this.....and I'm only seeing a VERY small part of it.

So with that in for more trail work it is...poof.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm not Stoopid....

and I'm a little pissed about it too.

Sunday is the Stoopid 50 out in State College, and for the past couple weeks I've been debating to do it or not. Debate over, I lose. It's been four weeks in a row now of racing, and after this coming "free" weekend it's FIVE more in a row. So with all that in mind (and my pulled glute) I'm resting my ass this weekend....litterly, my ass needs to heal. Besides, it's both Father's Day and my I'm tapping out.

After seeing my miracle worker yesterday I felt like I was the ruler of the world today and wanted to put in some miles. But wanting to give the "ass" a little break I turned today into December (minus the snow, ice and Polar bear attacks) and did a longer "base mileage" ride.

So 65 miles and three and a half hours I look forward to the weeks ahead. After my Teams race at Neshaminy it's the 12 Hours of Cranky Monkey, which I'm pretty pumped about doing. It's a great course and my first endurance race since Jan...and that was more of a practice run.

Besides I really did the's kind of like me.....Cranky.....and if things go wrong I'll drink Jason's beer and be a cheerleader. I guess that means I'll need to shave first thou....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Tour de Tykes XC...

Things to do during an "Excessive Heat Warning"


Or so says the National Weather Service.....but what do they know.

So what would any good FL born boy do when it's 96 degrees and 95% humidity.....I give you Danville...aka HELL. I think Hell will be a little less humid thou....I'll let you know on that one.

After working Sat on our course for the up coming race and the two hour drive up the last thing my body wanted to do was race....not to mention climb for 3500 feet. But after getting my chops busted by a couple fellow heat lovers (Matty/Dan) over my choice of clothing (they've not bought into the idea that real men were thongs yet) we lined up for our race start.

The race was my first mass start (they started all the Sport riders in one large wave) and with this in mind I rolled my wheelchair toward the front of the 100 person field. Even thou the race started with a 400 plus foot climb on the 3/4 mile dirt road I did not want to get stuck in traffic. Things worked out and I entered the single track in third overall, but with my main competition just in front on me.

But very quickly I realized I had a bigger problem....the bike will not sit in a gear. Over the next 4-5 minutes (after watching my main rival ride away from me) I figure out I pretty much have two gear, the granny in the rear and the middle or large chainring up front. Not the ideal gearing for a course that's a flat as your typical strip club, but I made do.

I spun up some climbs in a much higher cadence then I wanted and muscled up others in a much slower cadence....the whole time waiting to be eaten alive by the wolfs that I knew were somewhere behind.

But other then one rider (not in my class) that passed me as I was first trying to diagnosis the problem the wolfs never came, I guess this little piggie got lucky again. I finished forth overall but still only a second in my class....

So given the course, (I'm not a climber) the weather and my shifting issue I guess I'm fairly happy with the out come....fairly.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


We all know Superman's weakness was Kryptonite, and on the cycling Superhero front I'm far from Superman.....far, far. But we all have our own Kryptonite, but on and off the bike. So what's my mine?

A race course that looks like that.......I got a lot better at climbing over the Winter (thanks to a good number of hours on the road bike.....and out of the kitchen) but it's still a big weakness.

So after seeing the course profile for the Tour de Tykes race this Sunday that not so warm and fuzzy feeling started kicking a little three days early.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Is that bacon I smell......., it's the lightning that just stuck in the trees 100 meters away.....that was lap one of my race yesterday.

Yesterday was the Summer Sizzler, the forth XC race in the MASS series. The course was a super fast five mile loop with lots of rolling hills, burmed corners and no real climbing to speak of. A perfect course for a single speed, or better yet to run in your big chainring.

After a couple of warm up laps and helping a friend get some medical attention my race started at 12:30. Which is the same time the sun decided to go on strike and it started to rain.

With only a 100 meters and a quick short climb till the hole shot into the singletrack things started fast. With a little luck I made it into the woods first, but I had an angry mob breathing down my neck. After 3-4 minutes it was down to two of us, then I was alone....dude had a mechanical, day over.

About the same time the rain got HEAVY.....thunder, lightning the whole nine yards. Toward the end of my first lap lightning struck in the trees close by......I'm glad I was alone because even thou I could hardly breathe I made a sound/scream/cry like a ten year old girl. Yeah, something to be proud of I know. But the lightning hit was so close that you could smell the "burning" of what ever it hit....was pretty a scary way.

Coming in after the first lap they were telling everyone "last lap, last lap.....only a two lap race now." The plan was for us to do three laps, but with the "events" taking place the race promoter made the right call in both getting us off the course and out of the weather.

The course got nasty real fast, what was nice fast turns 30 minutes earlier were now a slimy mess. Thanks to Faticus for the "pep talk" mid way thru the lap, even thou to took me a second to know who it was it the amount of mud in my eyes and his sporty new do.

So with mother nature on my side I stayed out front for the win...maybe I should do a rain dance at the start of each race from now on?