Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Water water....

"Water water everywhere but not a drop to drink"



No, I'm not having a high school English class flash back (besides, I'd need to have gone to have a flash back in the first place.) But that's a different story.



I'm talking about bikes. Between Wifey and I we have 14 bikes in the house right now....yeah, you heard me 14. Granted, two are loner/demo's and one still needs it's cracked frame replaced but they're hanging from hooks all over the place. If these things were meat Rocky would be in here using them as punching bags...

...and, I'm not puttin a picture of the meat locker up.

So where am I'm going with all this? Guess which one of the Army of bikes I want to ride.....yeah, the broken one. Not because I like it any better then the others (but I have spent many a long ride riding it...long, cramping nights filled full of what the Hell am I doing this for thoughts.)

But here I am rambling again.

I feel like I'm speed dating trying these different bikes. Sure it's cool to ride something different once in a while......nevermind, that's just to easy. But it's kinda hard to compare things to something when you can't ride one of them. I'm mean you can close your eyes and make believe you're riding something else, but it's not the same.....yes, I'm still talking about bikes by the way.

But the window shopping needs to come to an end....maybe.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Running

There, I said it....I've been running.
And no, it was not from blue flashing lights or to a buy one get one free sale at the beer store....but I would for that second one.

I ran more then I care to remember back in the military and the wife and I ran alot back when we first met (well, it was more like her trying to run from me and me chasing after her) but we wised up and focused more on cycling.

But for some reason a month or so ago I started again, not even sure why. But what the Hell, I thought it'd be good cross training for a week or two. Then two weeks ago I saw a sign advertising a 5k less then a mile from the house....how can I not do that I thought. Ok, so I can cross train a couple more weeks....do the race, then back away the running shoes again for a decade.

The race was last Saturday and I dug it. Sub 22 minutes (not stellar, but ok) and third in my name group. So now when I should be pack/hiding my running shoes again something weird happened. I found myself surfing the web for other races in the area.....and sadly I found some.

So much for hanging up the shoes again....we'll see what happens after this weekend. Hopefully I can kick this habit.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stop the madness.....

and no, I'm not talkin about Susan Powter given one of her waked out weight loss infomercials from back in the day....

....but speaken of her. Has anybody seen a picture of her lately? I like the new punkish look....tat's, nose ring and hair....

Now we're takin, game on.

But before I say to many things that the wife will beat me for...I'm talking about the beatings I've been taken for no blog updates. I mean I'm not living the life of a Rockstar or anything....but the groupies could be cool.

Riding seams to be something from a prior life, and I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. Broke the mountain bike frame 5-6 weeks and have not road on dirt since...mostly because I have no big wheeled bike to ride yet. Just can't see myself on a 26er again.

Have taken the road bike out 4-5 times in the past six weeks, but have not went more then 25 miles each time. But it's getting to be fixie season again....and a strange as it sounds I'm looking forward to riding it again.

Besides the Wife is gonna drag me kicking and screaming back down to Miami again the first of the year for a 12 hour....I'm mean who wants to leave PA in the dead of winter to go to Miami?

And to ride a bike for 12 hours at that....I think she really needs a sit down.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The attack dog left...

ok, fine.....he fell asleep. Plus the cat's out of the bag, so it's out of the box for the new toy...



What can I say, it's that time of year to play off road on the skinny tire bikes.

Top Secret...

It's under non armed, fuzzy guard....but what we got?

He takes bribes if you want to see....or just wait the 30 seconds till he's bored/distracted by his brothers.

Or if you're wearing a skirt I'll show you myself...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mt Washington Hillclimb

So back in Feb the BikeWrench calls at 11:45 on a Sunday morning, saying we need to do the Mt Washington Hillclimb. All I really remember hearing thru my hungover haze (remember I said it was Feb.....ok, any Sunday......fine, it was any morning of the year) "registration opens at noon and it'll close out in a couple hours at best."

Six months later here we are:

With traffic the eight hour trip turned into ten hours, but we did have a few sight along the way:


No freaking idea.....


But you've gotta love the rest areas in NH......nothing like a state that sells liquor on the side on the turnpike.

We roll into town with just enough time to grap our race packs and thru down some food but hittin the sheets at eleven.....so five AM came REAL EARLY.

Just before 8:30 we line up to watch the Pro class head out, and my herd rolled out five minutes later. It was nice and flat for about the first 40-50 yards then it started to kick up...and by kick up I mean straight to 12-13%.

The Wrench and I were riding side by side when we heard the next wave being started (they use a freakin cannon as a starting gun.) Next thing I hear is him saying "that's one mile down....eight minutes." Sweet.

Then I start thinking "when the Hell is this gonna flatten out"......at the top dumbass, at the top.
A few short kickers of 16-17% grade later I hear "mile two...18 minutes." Nice, I still felt good and all's well.

That changed at about mile 2.0000001. Started to fade a little and lost Wrench's wheel, I slowly fell back to about 15-20 yards back for awhile. After what I thought was 25-30 minutes I started to feel a little better. I decide to burn one of the few matches I had left and caught back up to my little rabbit. I ask him how we're lookin (fully knowing we were around 5 to 5.5 miles in) "4 miles.....well, 3.9 to be right now."

One word....fuck! Hearing that it felt little someone pulled a parachute and I was off the back, riding on flat tires....mentally shot, crushed and everything else. I fell back about 40-50 yards behind the Wrench and just stayed there.

Mile four to five was the steepest overall (other then the short kicker at the top) but I started to come around once we lost or treecover....about mile 4.5. Once I started to feel better it all came back, and the next thing I knew I was looking at the mile six marker....but the Wrench was still sitting about 50 yards up.

I start to push a little harder and to by disbelief to started to pull him back. Right I we pass the seven mile marker I pull up next and he gave me a where'd the Hell you come from look. Seeing the road leveled out a little (from 13-14% down to about 12%) over the next 100 or so yards and knowing the top was less then half a mile away I burnt my last match.

I jumped the best I could (which ain't much) for 5-8 seconds on the "flat" knowing the Wrench would follow. I looked under my arm as I sat back on the saddle for the up coming grade change (13-14% changed to 18% for 50-60 yards and then to 22-23% for the last 50 yards) and I was somewhat alone.

And then the finish line:




This is my thank God that's done face...

The FJ and I front row seat thou.

This 10 year old dude rocked the last 50-60 yards.

Reasons to climb...

The easy way down...

And Hell Yeah we had to stop on the way home.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Movement

And no I'm not talking about Women's Lib, Save the Planet or bring back the dinosaurs (thou that would be kickass.) Maybe if we had a pet velociraptor the lady across the street would stop bring her little shit dog to crap in our yard every day instead of her own.

You'd think the three 100lb Shepherds trying to go thru the front window/glass door would give her a clue...no, she just smiles and waves.

But onto the movement, and lack there of.

The hand is healing at the speed of glacial movement (and don't believe of those global warming nuts...glaciers are a bad thing, we need to get rid of them.) The only thing ice is good for is keeping beer cold....and Slurpees.

Weird to say, but break bones kids...don't do soft tissue damage. It takes FOREVER to heal, and it's never the same again even once it "does."

But the thing that is moving at the speed of light is our race date for this weekend...which I'm both glad and pissy about. It'll be great to get this thing done and over with (it's been like slowly pulling off a band aid with things starting and stopping over the past months.) But I'd love to be heading with the Wifey up to Mt Snow for the Kenda Cup weekend too.

But I'll be here circling the wagons and rallying the troops to get the course ready for Sunday, and working out this velociraptor thing.



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When bike's attack...

That's my new movie coming out this Summer, only bad thing is I'm not the star of the film. I guess if you put it in the terms of a Friday the 13th movie the bike would be Jason, and I'd be the guy/chic that just had sex (they always get killed right then....WTH?) But I guess better after then before right.

So what the Hell am I talking about?




I guess the whole world (besides myself) knew about the Look Keo's having a recall on them.

"Hazard: The steel axle inside the pedal can break, posing a fall hazard to cyclists."

"Incidents/Injuries: Look Cycle has received 14 reports of incidents with broken pedals, including 7 injuries which resulted in scrapes, cuts, contusions, elbow pain, and a knee injury."

Any guess on what pedals I had on the skinny tired thing?

I guess I was lucky that it happened on a standing climb with my buddies nice soft chain rings to break my fall next to me. Driving my elbow into the pavement may have been worse. Not sure what I hit with my back, that nice straight line is a little strange. But the matching one on my chest is from my top tube I know.

But all's well. The bike should be ready to roll again today, even if I'm not.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

XX

No, I did not leave off an X there.....but I am talking Bike Porn.

I should have spent the last day plus getting all the gear ready to head South for a race this weekend. But reality hit yesterday when I stopped to help a chic with a flat tire on my road ride. My thumb is/was so weak I could hardly even use the tire level, so I don't think riding a bike for 12 hours would be the right call for the weekend.

So after the pissyness slowly wore off (I've found that beer helps greatly) I started surfing bike porn (BP). So what does two days of surfing BP give you (other then a sore hand?) Info.

I've read more about the new SRAM XX group then anyone should in and day (and I still know nothing about bikes...including how to ride them most the time.) Also found that that Scott is releasing a 29er this year and that Cannondale is coming out with a carbon 29er. I needed a minute alone after reading that. What, why do you think it's called bike porn?

So I'm penciling in my anniversary/Christmas/birthday/and groundhog day wish lists. Yes, I said pencil.....nothing is in ink yet. For one you never know what opportunities have/or will come your way (how's that for cryptic?) And two I change my mind more then a woman....a cryptic secretive one at that.

But back on the birthday note, today's my Pops' birthday. Happy Birthday Pops', hope to see you guys in Vegas.


Secret Squirrel out


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A week...

Another week goes by and I'm older, grayer and balder. Well I guess two out of the three is true.

I'm now in what I call "my last year of mid thirties" and luckly it came and went with no fan fair. Wifey and I hung out and I sent her on a bike ride....that's when the balder part came in, Happy Birthday to me. No details to follow on that one.

But I did get one of the best birthday presents ever (well I guess a little short of Wifey dropping a new road back on me a couple years back) Team Utah (aka mom and pops) had a calender made up for me. No just any calender thou, this one got my mug on it for each month. Each month has different shots from races form the past year now so, it really freakin cool.

I had no idea you could do something like that....well, I am a little slow on the uptake of most things.

I paw is about 75% and have been on the road bike the past four days straight with only light pain/soreness. The thumb is still really weak, but all in all it's getting there.

And that's where the problem is. It feels just good enough and it's been a few weeks since a race....so I see very stupid things happening. Watching the weather/heatwave to our South right now....if it lightness up I feel stupid human tricks are in store for this weekend.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Glass hands...

So today I went to see the orthopedic (Super Doc) for the follow up on my knee/second look at the hand.

First the knee: After the normal how does this/that feel and alot of bla, bla, bla. He gave me the "official ok to ride." And he added, "since I saw you riding over the weekend this should not be a problem." Whoops, sorry Doc.

Then we moved onto the paw. He took a second (his first) set of x-rays to get a look at things and his first comment was "Jesus!" This can't be good I thought to myself.

But things got better as he laughed and followed this up with "how many times have you broken your fingers?" I replied never (never remember anything.) As he laughed again he threw in "ok, I'm the doctor let me tell you then." He stopped counting at five....on the first two fingers. My favorite was "do you see this bone...it's supposed to look like that."

But everything current (bone wise) is healing pretty well, the biggest thing still hanging on is a damaged ligament in the thumb. So more anti-inflammatories, pain pills, a brace and "try to limit the use."

So it sounds like more easy road rides it is for old glass hands.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pissy...

That's the best I've got.

It's 80 degrees and the damn sun is so bright it hurts your eyes......and I can't RIDE MY FREAKIN BIKE! So yeah, I'm pissy.

I've taken enough pain killers and anti-inflammatories in the past six days to keep things nice and fuzzy, but fuzzy is not what I want. Most of my Team is heading out to State College to do the Stoopid 50 and here I sit, being pissy.
The hand is somewhat getting better thou. The swelling in the hand itself has greatly gone down, but both the joints in what was my thumb (it's more of a kielbasa now) are still pretty jacked up. I also know my memory is fading in my old age, but I don't remember my pinkie having that angle to it either.

That don't look right, but we'll see what Super Doc says about that on Tuesday.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Kenda Cup East #3, Hoo-Ha

Sunday morning started EARLY with Wifey and I rolling out of the casa at five AM (yeah, there is two five o'clocks a day) to get down to Massanutten, VA for the Hoo-Ha.

After check in and all the normal pre race I lined up with the other 13 bodies in my age class to head out for the first of our two 12.5 laps of joy on two wheels. Two minutes after the Pro field went out they unleashed the 100 plus Cat 1 field in a mass start (I love this idea) of dust and flying rocks.

We had a nice 10-15 minute dirt/gravel to grass double track slight climb until we singled up on some of the nicest single track I'm been on in awhile. Another rider and I kept trading places for 4-5th in our class as we started to pass some of the Pro women. As we started the tight switchbacks for a 12-15 minute climb midway thru the lap my partner got around one rider that I did not and away he went.

I guess the best way to put it is to steal a roadie term, I just "sat up." I found myself following this women's line and being happy with it (not to mention she was picking a line better then most men I know.) I could have gone faster, she gave me the line more then once but I just never took it. I was mentally zoned out of the race, it felt like I was just on a training ride and I have no idea why.

Once we started the downhill switchbacks girl was GONE, she dropped me like a bad habit. No joke, girl was flying and had no fear. She flat out stripped me of my man card, and by doing so I think she saved my race. I snapped out of whatever funk I was and got bad in the groove. I wanted to thank her once I finally caught and passed her, but I'm sure she would have thought I was a freak...which we all know is true anyways.

After a bottle change I rolled into lap two with little to speak of for the first 6-7 miles, that all changed on a creek crossing. As I dropped into the creek my foot wheel came to a dead stop and the bike went vertical, and over the bars I went. It hurt, it really freaking hurt.

Long story short I found the bike, found the trail and rolled on knowing I'd really jacked my right hand. I could hold it on the bars but ever rock, twig or piece of dust I hit made me want to scream like a 10 old girl (and I did more then once.) Shifting let's just say was a pleasure, and obscenity filled.

The last five miles or so could not end fast enough and Wifey took these as I rolled in.


Wifey pulled off my glove to find what we thought was a broken hand...don't need to be a doctor to tell this one. I looked at the finishing board to see I ended 5th as the boss got ice and a medic.

Wifey was a champ and did most of the car loading (even thou she placed well in her race) so I may never get my man card back. And after a shorted talk with an old friend we headed out for the long drive to the hospital.

Bones will heal and I'll live, but I'll be getting a few weeks of rest...which I needed anyways. You're heard me say it before but everything happens for a reason, just let's not it be so freakin painful next time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Two races in two days...

One problem thou, only one finish.

So after a seven hour drive out to Ohio for the Mohican 100, a crappy night sleep and an early wake up call my race ended WAY to early (less then 20 miles in) when some nice young lady decided to take out the rear half on my drivechain. Derailleur hanger snapped, damaged derailleur and whacked rear wheel.

I guess the plus was that it happened right at a check point, and a couple bystanders offered to drive me back to the finish. So my Mohican day ended in a little under 10 hours, to bad seven of those was the drive home.

After an emergency late night repair by the Bikewrench, Wifey and I headed down to Iron Hill for the four hour endurance race yesterday.

After an early morning shower the 50 or so enduro riders (23 in the Open I think) headed into a slimly, slippery mess that was the trail. I went into the trail in forth and held that until I sled out on a wooden bridge toward the end of the 5.5 mile lap. Hiting the brakes on a wet wooden bridge any ten year old can tell you is a bad idea. Braking to change lines and miss the huge root coming up would be a good idea, unless your rear wheel is still on said wooden bridge.

The good thing is my two Teamates that passed me as I was countin fingers and toes did not see my jackass move.

On the third lap the trail started to dry out and things were moving nice. As I rolled thru to start my forth lap friends yell to "go get the wife, she just went into the trail" (the Sport class started two hours after the enduros did.) So after a quick howdy with Wifey (I think it boiled down to me yellin "give me a line") and her throwing an elbow my way I was off. Really, I'm pretty sure she was elbowing me out.

So lap five ran into lap six and then into seven with no changes. I finished the day in 6th with a little over 35 miles in the saddle. The body was a little sore from the "short race" the day before and the knee by no means felt right, but I was happy with how things ended up.

The next Kenda Cup XC is this weekend, but we'll see what the Doc's says tomorrow before making a call on that one.

Huge congrat's to Jason and Rich B on the sub ten hour times they threw down Saturday, nice work guys.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rollin West

So I can't walk up/down stairs and pretty much can hardly walk at all for that matter. I foresee white rooms with people in doctors smocks in my future but until then, it's time for more stupid human tricks.

The Mohican 100 it is.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Five minutes

Give five minutes today:
It's the least you can do for them.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dirty and Wrong

No, that's not my new porn movie title. That was how this mornings MTB ride felt.

With back to back races called off (and a broken spoke a mile in on my last attempt) there's been little off road riding, until today. Wifey and I headed down to Wissa for a couple laps this morning and all I can say it everything felt wrong. Not the bike or the body just riding off road.

Downhills that I've done a thousand times I was nervous to do, and a couple technical climbs that I've not dapped on in years I screwed up on. It took over an hour but I started to remember how to ride a bike (not that I every really was any good at it.)

Tomorrow is another MTB with the Team and some friends. If things go well with that maybe the next step is to diside that to do next weekend. Either the four hour endurance at Iron Hill or to man up and head out to the Mohican 100.

Friday, May 22, 2009

We're gonna need a bigger boat

Or a boat period for that fact.

Even thou Wifey and I have been in PA for five years now I still keep an eye on the happens in Daytona Beach. I knew it's been raining down there for the past week but hell, it's the Summer in Florida....it rains everyday.

I had no idea how bad it was till I saw these pictures this morning. These are a couple shot from the Speedway.....and yeah, that is the track itself that's under water.
There is a lake in the in field, but this ain't it.

Now I'm about as far as you can get from a Nascar fan. The only time I ever went to a race was when my Dad broke my brother and I out of elementry school to see one. (Now how I can remember things like that from 30 years ago but I can't remember things from last week I have no idea.) But damn that's ALOT of water.
For once I'm glad to be in PA other then sitting on a beach in FL....just don't tell anyone that.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

10 Years to life...

No I'm not talking about prison terms here (thou some may call it that,) talking Wifey and I.

Today's our ten year anniversary. Not being married, but our first meeting/date/set up which starting this whole ball rolling in the first place.

We lived roughly in the same area and went to all the same places for 15 years before we ever met (luckily.) We've both said numerous times that if we had met at any other time we would not be sitting here now.

Let's just leave it at we both changed ALOT in that time frame, one of us more then the other....everything happens for a reason.

So here's to you Wifey:


So plans for the day. On the record an afternoon movie and dinner, off the record.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Squirrel

We've all seen "suicidal squirrels," you know the ones I mean. Those little blurry balls of fur that fly in front of your car/motorcycle/bike/walker or whatever. I swear I think it's just them and their and play chicken their buddies.

I was on the road bike heading back toward the house enjoying my favorite mile long downhill when I saw a first for squirrels. I was rolling along in the mid 30's when a squirrel came darting out in front of me, and the only thought I had was "this is gonna hurt"......little did I know this was not your ordinary squirrel.

I knew I had him dead to rights with my front wheel and I was already mentally calling 9-1-1 then this little bastard took flight....I kid you not, he jumped and cleared my wheel.

I went from being fat dumb and happy to thinking I was going to the hospital, back to fat dumb and kind of happy in less then five seconds. I looked back and saw Super Squirrel heading up a tree, probably to change his shorts...which was the first thing I did when I got home.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Stella "The Race"

This could be the greatest commercial ever....well, that did not involve a bikini.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mmq9UHX0IEs&feature=related

Stan's or no Stan's, from now on there will be a nail taped to my bike.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kenda Cup East #1: Ducktown, TN

Friday had Wifey, Janel and I heading back to TN for the first of the new Kenda Cup Series here on the east coast.

After being stuck in traffic for an hour we decided to grap some food and call it a night midway thru the 12 hour drive. We knew we were in luck with our Mexican food choice (and our only choice of food) when we saw a handmade sign on the door walking into the restaurant that read "no pubic restroom." And with the limited scan I did they were true to their word.

When we checked into our hotel I found this sitting on the shower ledge:
At the time I did not think much of it, but with an hour it came it me. The race was in DUCKtown, TN and I have a rubber duckie (my new bath toy) at a random stop midway down. It's gonna freakin rain, I know it.
At the time they were calling for some light rain Sat that would clear out by race time Sunday. That all changed by the time we woke up Saturday morning. Flood warnings, heavy rains and just all around happiness was in order.
After packet pick up we were off for an easy scouting of the course. After a half mile of paved to gravel to concrete the climbing started with a mix of singletrack and doubletrack over the next three miles. Then a mile or so of rolling singletrack led us the a mile long bombing packed gravel downhill that put your high speed BMX cornering skills to the test. Once again on singletrack we keep the downhill thing going on one of the best downhills I've rode on the east coast.
After a night of heavy rains once again Wifey had lots of these to see in route to the race start:
Even with the rains we were a go, and after some prep time...and lots of trying to stay dry I found myself at the starting line up. But the only thought I had as I stood with the other Cat 1 men was "what the Hell am I doing here?" I'm standing in a sea of 24 Trek, Cannondale, Gary Fisher, Independent Fabrication and other riders that most were "Semi Pros" last year before the USA cycling class change.
As the moto took us out on our "neutral" start to the base of the climb I was sitting in sixth and feeling good...even with a HR in the upper 180's. 1st-3rd place were gone in a blur but five of us were bouncing positions the whole first lap and into the second. Midway thru the second lap on the bombing gravel downhill I rolled my rear tire sliding thru a corner and broke the seal on the tubeless tire. A 30 second CO2 repair and I was off, but without my prior riding partners.
My repair job did not last as long as I wanted, and I had to stop once more on the final lap for a second CO2 repair. Guessing the Stan's could not get a good seal with all the water/mud on the rim and I saw a few more places drop away. Coming out of the last singletrack I was caught by a rider and I looked under my arm to see my class series of numbers on his number plate...crap.
With only a paved somewhat flat mile to the finish I locked out the Lefty threw it in the large chainring and gave it Hell. I put over 40 seconds on the guy, but it was still only good enough for an 11th overall. A little out classed right now maybe, but nothing makes me want to train harder then things like this.
Once again a huge thanks to the Berger's of:
and all those that helped them put on a great race in less then great conditions.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Photo's are up from last weekend Epic melt down.

My fav, I kind of have the scared ten year old girl look to me....minus the 10 year old girl part. It'd only rocks and water, not a freakin polar bear....wimp.

Working on three hours of sleep right now, so this may make less sense then normal. Got home at three this morning after the 12 hour drive home from TN (same local as last weekend) for the first of the east coast Kenda Cup races.

More on that after I break the dogs out of doggie prison, and start laundry...and clean some of the mud out of the car and myself. No more details to come on that part.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cohutta 100 Miler

Yesterday was the highlights, so I guess it's time for a little more detail.

After my super secret breakfast and pre race rep I rolled down to the starting line just in time to hear all the call ups. I know it's sounds kind on lame but it was really cool to see all these great riders lining up. I've seen most all of them before at races here and there, but this was the first time I'd seen this many at one line up.

It's also funny to see what everyone has done to themselves/bike for the race. You have the normal things like gels taped to your top tube, people playing with I-Pods and even a person or two just trying to mentally zone out. But I saw a first, it was a female rider (come to find out it was the female winner Carey Lowery) that wrote "eat" on her inner forearm. It's a great idea for a personal reminder during endurance races, but at the time it just made me smile...but it did not last.

The race started with a two mile leg on a paved road to thin out the ranks a little before we headed into the singletrack. This first 5-6 miles of singletrack was super fast and very little pedaling was needed, it was a little like being on a roller coaster...just flowy up and downs with sweeping corners thrown in here and there.

After a fast paved downhill we headed into a couple miles of double track that ended with the only thing I'd call technical at all on the course...

It was very ridable for most but a couple riders did have a problem on it. After a few more miles of rolling uphill singletrack we hit the fireroads.

At the first rest stop (18 miles) I topped off my HEED bottle, graped a couple cookies and was on my way. This is also where the climbing started, nothing major just a little teaser for what was to come. About ten miles later is where the main climb for the race started. Again nothing major just a nice steady climb the next 8-9 miles to rest stop number two (36 miles.)

I felt great, so other then popping a couple Endurolytes I repeated the same as stop one. But a few more uphill miles after leaving the stop I learned the day was not gonna turn out as well as I wanted. A group on four of us were working well together in a pace line for a few miles, until a rider dropped off...and then a second. The two of us tried to keep it going but the short rest break in between pulls brought out what I knew was coming. I was not recovered from the past two weekend, I guess doing a 6 hour and a 13 hour the two weekends before a 100 miler were not good planning...go figure.

So with the legs starting to feel a little sluggish I backed off and rode my own pace, but overall still felt pretty good when I hit the third stop (49 miles.) Leaving the stop is where I started to feel the heat, and the last 7-8 miles of this never ending climb we starting to get to me. But help in the from of 15 plus miles of downhill to the forth rest stop was on the way.

I tried to eat what I could (which was not much/to little) as a wrench lubed my chain before I was off again. After 5-8 miles of flatish rolling climbs the incline grade kicked back upward for the first of the last three climbs. These last climbs were much shorter (maybe a mile or so each) but a little steeper and totally exposed to the sun. This is where the wheels really fell off, not on the bike...but on me.

The 15 miles from rest stop 4 to 5 felt like I was a hot dog on the grill. At the stop one of the volunteers had rags in a cooler of ice water. Dude treated me like a turkey being basted for Thanksgiving and I could still now hug him for it. During my ice bath I looked around with my fuzzy vision and saw two riders laying on the ground all but paws up, both were being attended to...but they were not looking good.

After the bath I felt a little better and rolled out for the last two climbs. I knew it was hot and getting hotter (I'd stopped sweating sometime before) so I forced myself to drink the two bottles I had knowing it was only ten miles to the last rest stop.

With the last two climbs (and both bottles) I hunted for the last rest stop....and missed it. I remember where it must have been, but at the time I thought it was volunteers warning/giving directions into a hard corner heading back into the singletrack. Needless to say that last 10 miles of what should have been fun singletrack was Hell.

I could not focus, I was light headed to say it mildly and found it harder and harder to hold a line. Knowing I was in a bad place physically and getting worse fast I backed off even more. This last few miles probably took me twice as long as it should have but I made it to the last mile of pavement without the bike or myself meeting a tree or worse beforehand.

As I came across the finishline the timing clock was great to see, but not the numbers that were on it. I came in 30 plus minutes over my targeted time of nine hours, but all I wanted to do was get to the FJ and get cold fluids in me and sit in the AC.


I found results posted lastnight and seeing them did not help my mood at all....62nd of 101 finishers in my class. I have a mixed feels right now, half of me wants to get my ass on the bike (not that it's gonna fix anything) and the other half wants to just forget about it and enjoy an beer....or five.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cohutta 100 Miler Minor

The weekend in a nutshell.

I did the 11 plus hour drive down to eastern TN on Friday for the Cohutta 100. Got there just in time to pick up my race packet and find a place to crash for the night.

The race started nice and early at 7AM (luckily) and the first couple hours things went well. Then came the first real climbs, and I knew it was not gonna be the day I wanted...no where near recovered from the last two weeks of racing. But little did I know the worst was yet to come.

Things rolled along and I made it to the top of the major climb a little passed the 50 mile area (pretty much uphill from mile 25 to 55) that led into 20ish miles of rolling sometimes flying downhills. Then IT happened......

That's the best way to put it, I had the epic of all epic melt downs. I knew it was getting hotter, we had zero cloud cover and alot of this part of the course we were exposed.

The three climbs from the 75 to the 90 mile area were a little steeper then the ones earlier but very ridable. But they KILLED me, I never got off the bike but I was hurtin. Not from the grade of the climbs (done far worse), but the heat. I was very close to bad things happening heatwise (but I others at aid stataions that were worse.)

I wanted to marry the chick that had the iced towels at the last aid station (ok, it was a dude, but it sounds better being a chic) it kind of brought me back.

Even thou the iced water shower I took helped a ton, it was to little way to late. I finished at the 9:32 mark, just outside my hard target of nine and a half hours and way off my true target of a sub nine...and about 1.35 days behind the leaders.

A full report to come later today/tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Leesburg Baker's Dozen

Another weekend just means one more shot at doing stupid human tricks. With that Wifey, Jason, Matty, Dan K, F'ing Gary,and others headed down to Leesburg for the Baker's Dozen.

Wifey and I had rode the course when we did the XC race earlier this year, but we wanted to do a pre ride without 3-4 inches of snow on the ground just to check thing out a little better. The course was perfect, just damp enough to keep the dust down and not wet enough to....bring the cow patties to life we'll say.

The course was great, seven and a half mile laps of flat (even thou someone did start adding hills about midway thru the race...not sure how that worked) none technical just balls out fun.

So after the pre ride and way to little BS'ing with friends Wifey and I hit the hotel for some dinner and an earlyish night.

The opening gun went off at nine and we were off on our 13 hour tour. I started out a little quicker then I want to, but I wanted less to be stuck in traffic...so all was good. My lap times started right at the 30 minute mark and slowly moved up into the lows 30's, then into the mid to upper 30's at around the 7-8 hour mark.

But body felt pretty good for the most part, did get a little nauseous around the 2-3 hour area but luckily it never came of it.....never eat one of those muffins from a Jiffy store, nothing good will come from it. Sorry to say some of the others in our group were not so lucky, Matty went down way to early....but like a champ he made a comeback after some time in the pits.

Wifey was in the pits a few times when I came rollin thru and got these:
yes, the kid's sport sideburns

and I love the salt areas on my shoulders and stomach
the face has nothing to do with the Endurolytes i was eating like candy

And while we're on the strange looking what the Hell faces....

But I've got nothing on this....I guess what happens in the pits does not always stay in the pits.

Not in pain, just turning off the Ipod to talk to Wifey



Other then riding a lap plus with Gary midway thru it was a pretty lonely day....but I kind of prefer it that way.

Nice shot below from Gary Ryan, you can check out all his race photos here.

Around the nine hour area the body was starting to not be happy with me. No one real thing, just little this and that. Did not want to drink more, no food sounded good, I'd stopped sweating and just overall was becoming a not so happy camper.

With this I got off the bike for the first time and hung out it the pit for 15-20 minutes to try to eat something. After a handful of potato chips eaten as slowly as a person could I rolled back out.

After a couple more laps in the pit I sat again. Dan K and Matty were giving me the how's things going questions as we saw Vegan Rob roll in and out once more on his way of beat us mear mortals down (dude is a freakin machine.) So the questioning turned more into BS'ing as I took off my helmet ands shoes.....the next thing I know I see Rob pitting again. I yelled over to his wife "Rob just left, what's up?" "He left 35 minutes ago" she replied laughing.....son of a....

Shoes and helmet back on I start to roll out when Dan K asks me "aren't you gonna put you lights on?" I've got 45 minutes till dusk I reply, "do you really think you're gonna do a sub 45 minute lap right now" he gives me. I know he was trying to look out for me and a smarter man would have listened to him, but we are talking about me here.

Everything went well and I got back in while it was still light. Lights on this time I rolled out on lap 16 and then straight into lap 17 as I was doing the lap timing math in my fuzzy head. I knew I'd make it in before the cutoff time but had no clue on my or others placing around me. So with a little under 11 and a half hours and 128 miles I was calling it a day....even with 25 minutes on the clock.

So what does calling it a day 25 minutes early cost you....two places. I feel from 7th to ninth overall in the 61 person field. I was as high as 4th before my 40 plus minute whatever the hell pitstop, but it is what it is. Should have would have, I firmly believe everything happens for a reason (even thou you may never know why.)

So with all that we have a couple of days to recover at home before the Wifey and I start doing our apart weekends. She's heading somewhat locally to a XC to qualify for Nationals and I'm from some reason driving to TN to do a 100 miler in the mountains.

I'm starting to think that everyone is right.....something may be wrong with me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

6 Hour Grind on the "Greenway"

Wifey and I rolled down to the Charlotte, NC area last weekend to visit some friends and do the 6 Hour Grind on the Greenway as a little tune up for this coming weekends play time at the Leesburg Baker's Dozen.

With my wounded wing far from healed (don't want to talk about it) I knew the smart thing to do was stay off the bike to let things heal and be a cheerleader for Wifey. That was the smart thing to do, so yes....I raced.

Even with the heavy rains the area got the afternoon/night before the course was in great shape, other then 3-4 small muddy spots the trail was perfect.

The race started out quick and I entered the single track in about 10th of the 150ish rider pack. Within the first five minutes the 10-12 of us were alone, with me being the anchor....but I'm cool with being the anchor in a group of Pro's and local top guns. Even being in this elite group something was wrong, not really the collarbone just everything. Best way to put is I did not feel smooth on the bike.

Midway thru the second lap my race turned into a ride as I knew it was not my day and I lost site of the last on my riding herd. I'm still not sure what the problem was, just nothing seam to be right. Everything I ate did not sit well, this hurt, that hurt and I was pretty much pissin about being on the bike.

So lap two rolled into three, four and five....then something happened. What it was I have no idea, but it happened. Everything felt right, I felt in the groove and all my this hurts/that hurts went away. To little to late for my placing, but I was just happy to be feeling in the groove again.

I ended the day with a 5th place out of the 11 in the Solo Men's Open, and with atleast one pro rider behind me I guess I can say it was an ok day.....guessing his bad day must have been worse then mine.

So now it's time for some bike love and hopefully a little body healing before the packing starts for the Friday trip down to Leesburg.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St Patty's Day

Hell yeah, St Patty's Day. The day everyone's Irish....or atleast drunk.

And with that in mind...


I know, it's not Guinness or Murphy's...but the bottle is green. And the Wifey and I did see the DropKick Murphy's last weeks too.

Great show and even better people watching.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Things you don't see everyday.

I saw this driving home from a ride last weekend....and about crashed trying to take this picture on the cell phone.

Still not sure what to say......so therefore.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back in gear...

or back on gears that is.

Saturday morning before I met up with BikeWrench and F'in Gary (and once again no BBB) I took a trip down to the Bike Bat Cave. After the secret password and retina scan were done I entered the room like I have a thousand times over the Winter, but something was different about this trip.....I was walking passed the beer frig. That's was my first mistake of the day.

Even thou a tear came to my eye as I longing looked at the empty beer cases I knew true love in bottled form was only a pull on the frig handle away....and still I walked.

Then I saw it, hanging just where I'd put her four long months ago...the geared bike was coming off the hook. After the dust was cleaned off, tires topped off and my buns lubed up (yeah, I went there) I rolled out.

The 15 mile roll to the Wrench's house was odd, I felt both like Superman and Clark Kent at times. The flats and climbs was where Superman was rocking (felt great) but the couple of times I had to start from a stop or a long slight climb I felt like I was dragging a lead weight behind me...of then my ass that is.

After trying a few different gear ratios I was lost, and therefore my first question to the Wrench was a WTF? His reply? "Yeah, that's how it should feel." After he saw the lost look on my face his next words jumped started my lost/slow brain. "Remember, the fixie is a direct drive"...and with that the light came on.

I loved riding the fixie over the Winter, but it took me about half the ride to get over the flat spots in my pedal stroke that losing the direct drive brought on.

But with all that said it was a great ride, just under 70 miles with a couple really nice climbs throw in. Nutrition was a slight problem thou, nearly had to call the Wifey to come get me as I started to melt down in the last three miles before home. But I knew I'd never live it down......guess the night of drinking was not the pretty thing to do before a four hour ride?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

This ain't FL

...remember, I'm from the South. Ain't is a word down there...ain't it?

Well the trip to FL for the Santos 12 hour did not happen for a few reasons, but pretty much no reason.....kind of a sore spot right now.

But today was a great three and a half hour tour of French Creek with about ten other Guy's (and a couple gals too) riders in the snow. Trails were starting to get a little nasty the last 15-20 min's, but a great ride over all.

Still, was not FL...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Here's a question...

What's rises 4727 feet in 7.6 miles, has nearly a 12% average grade that then turns into a 22% grade section at the top?

Need more...."it's the biggest climb in the NE, and often dubbed the toughest hillclimb in North America."
You still drawing a blank?
I give you my next stupid trick.