Monday, December 26, 2011

The return of the Blog

Inside jokes may be used here at and where I see fit...and only those on the "inside" know of the "at and where"

Beep.......................beep.................beep....beep, beep, beep.

IT'S ALIVE!!!!

Rumor has it that this's the time of year that blogs bog down and or died all together. I say NO blog world.... let the blog world be reborn.

I give you my Monday..


three of the best people I know.....why I'm here I have no idea.....if they only knew.

Today could have been a great day of riding...first time on a trail that was perfect, I was riding great, looking great, and did not have a flask of vodka on the bike.

So why was today not great......Bacon.

The ride started out heated so I tried for the hole shot and was cut off at the last second.....by Bacon.

Then Bacon spent the next 90 minutes slowing me down, cutting me off when I tried to attack and over all being a newb to the cycling world.


I believe Bacon's problem and overall disregard to cycling etiquette was that I was covering all of his attacks even thou I was on a SS....and he knowing he could never ride such a bike.

Two hours later (and as I was just getting warmed up) we returned to the cars....Bacon was destroyed, the blistering pace that I was pushing him to go just crushed his weak body. He made some lame excuse about needing to get to an underwater basket weaving class, quickly loaded his car and left.

.....weak.

Afterwards the rest of us celebrated at Deer Park over popcorn, a few beers....and one Hell of a humus sandwich.

Plus some how I came home with extra beer in the car....win.

Some, little or none of this story may be true.....also names may or may not been changed. So to take one thing from this waste of your time? The blog's back baby....and for playing along I leave you with a parting gift...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Iron Hill Enduro

After being "blamed" by a friend for "planting the seed" to do the endurance race over the XC, I knew the Iron Hill Challenge was gonna be a little more painful then normal.

Having ridden the course a few laps the week before I knew five laps was my target.....with timing for a sixth to be very close. The course was a little over seven miles long, 90% single track with three main climbs, lots of roots/rocks and a couple of "bowl" drop-ins........fast, dry and fun.

With 75ish riders lined up for the endurance race I knew I wanted to get into the single track in the lead group.....little did I know we'd be chasing a little white rabbit up the road once the starting gun went off.....
Most who read this blog know this man already, and just how many riders legs his have ripped off (whether on a mountain, cross or road bike.) Now he was here to take out the "blame" on us helpless little enduro riders. If you're the one person in the world that may not know this destroyer of legs we'll call him the other, other "White Meat" to protect the innocent...and just because I'm hungry.

Once the gun went off White Meat drilled it up the gravel road.....crap! A few of us very unhappily gave chase knowing he'd back off in a minute....except he didn't. A minute later we headed into the pit area "tent city" as a group of 6-7 riders before heading out on our first lap. After a couple of tight corners boxed us back up White Meat gave up the lead just before we entered the single track. Luckily the twists and turns slowed things down a little before I started to count the stars that were already forming in the corners of my eyes.

By the time we peaked the second climb I was riding 7th (anchor) along with Ben A. and White Meat, with 2 thru 4 in a pack just ahead....1st was never to be seen by us again. The three of us rode well together for the next 10-15 minutes, but shortly after we topped the third climb Ben came around White Meat and then it happened.

Just after dropping into "slime hill" (a short steep descent) Ben went down in what sounded like a train wreck. When I came over the top Ben was wrapped inside his bike still sliding down the hill. As we stopped White Meat told Ben not to move, and then again. As White Meat helped Ben out of his bike I started to run back up the trail to find the course marshal we'd just seen and warn oncoming riders. After finding someone to walk Ben out we headed back to our bikes, losing maybe fifteen minutes or so.

Now being at the tail end of the field we knew we had our work cut out for us. To steal a line from White Meat "you gotta dance with the lady you bring to the dance" and I was the fat girl in the corner with the painted toes nails....yes, really.

As we came into the pit, Lady White Meat yelled at him "what are doing back here, stop screwing around".....as laughter ensued we rolled on. The second lap we made up alot of time, with WM leading the pace we were like a hot knife cutting thru bacon fat (yes, I used the term bacon fat....now let's move along.) At an intersection just before the end of our second lap WM yelled over to his wife for a Swedish Fish "hand up" as we came in the pit....that didn't happen. As we rolled up/and on right by she was calmly snacking away on the beloved fish, WM yelled back "how do those fish taste" as out for lap three we went....fishless and mildly heartbroken.

Lap three was more of the same, me being a tick on WM's wheel as he set the pace and cleared the seas in front of us. As we ended the third lap we saw the first waves of Sport racers being launched....not where we wanted to be, but we both knew we need to pit. After a quick refuel and a short pause to let a thundering herd of Sport riders charge by out we headed again.

The next lap was less than pleasurable making our way thru the waves of riders, but I was shocked at how calmly WM took it.....even after a couple of near misses. At the end of our forth lap I was starting to fade a little and WM yelled ahead as we entered the pit to hand me a Coke. It definitely helped, or atleast delayed my wheels from totally coming off. But as we headed back out WM says "you know we've got two more laps in us right?" I'm not even sure if I replied anything at that point, but I knew he was right.....and all I could think was crap.

WM started giving me a countdown of the number of hills we had to climb, "6" I heard as we started the first...midway up I started to feel slight cramping in my left hamstring. A few passed riders later (and spots picked up) I hear "5" and then "4" with a little more cramping. At this point I start finding climbs that did not seem to be there on the first few laps and I start counting 3.9, 3.8 in my head....equally mixed on if that was the number of climbs we had left or the minutes until I detonated.

As we started our sixth lap I finally started to feel a little better. "Three" I heard, then "two." Then WM spots another enduro racer ahead, "see that guy... we can catch him." I'd already mentally flipped from what was left of my pursuit mode and into survival mode....changing back hurt, it really hurt. But on hill 1.5 we got by and passed him, then finally I hear "one." As great as it was to peak the "last climb" seeing yet another enduro rider just ahead of us was bitter sweet. I knew we had to surge again but was not sure if I could. We never had to find out, he caught a pedal on a short rocky climb and we got by without a fight.

Minutes later we headed into the tent city for the last couple of hundred yards to the finish. After a little gamesmanship I went.......

I was fueled by the smell of hotdogs and beer in the air...and knowing I was about to eat Swedish Fish and drink cold beer...not to mention I knew the last rider we past was a main competitor of mine in the endurance series (he too sadly was having a bad day....four flats.) Somehow I came across the line ahead of WM, but without a doubt I'd never have made it there without him. A HUGE thanks to both He and His wife.

In the end we ended up being 12th and 13th and we both more then happy with the result. What we thought was gonna be a five lap day turned into six, and we only missed the cut off for a seventh by minutes......not that I would have lived thru it.

Also want to say thanks to Dennis Smith....
for the best Iron Hill course in years and to everyone that helped but on the race itself, was a horribly great time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Granogue

This past weekend was Andrew Mein's Excellent Adventure at Granogue, which is just a long way of saying fun. It's one of two racing weekends (the other being a pair of Cross races in the fall) held on private grounds at the DuPont estate. The weekend has changed formats over the years (and rumor has it will again next year) but this year the party included a 10k trail run and 3 mile time trail on Saturday...then Sunday came the normal gambit of XC races and a four hour endurance race. For the truly sick at heart they created the Iron Monkey, which is there version of a "triathlon" for the lack of a better word. The IM competitors did both the run and TT on Sunday, then had to do the endro on Sunday.

FatMarc, L-Webb, Tom and Buddy put on some of the best events in the area and put in more time doing so then must people will ever know. With that said, then I was offered the opportunity to help out I jumped at it. With this my weekend started Friday helping out with the course marking.....Wifey showed up a few hours later and helped me knock out our area before heading home to repack the car for Saturday.

Saturday morning came early, but lets face it.....if you shove donut holes in my face at 6AM I'll be there. An hour before the 10k start time (9AM) multiple people were saying "where the Hell is everyone." We all have the mindset of mountain bikers, if the race starts at nine you need to be there two hours before (lots earlier for some) between setting up a pit area, getting your race number, warming up, maybe preriding the course, etc....not to mention riders start staging at the start line 15-20 minutes before there race.

About half an hour before start time runners started walking up in small groups, and within 15-20 minutes we had 150 runners ready to go. But something just seemed wrong, the race was starting in 2-3 minutes and 95% of the runners were standing 15 yards back from the starting line in small groups quietly talking......some were even laughing. What was wrong with these people, there was no trying to push and squeeze your way into the gridlocked first five rows of riders...it's like they were civilized or something.

But the race started and we all headed out....yes, I said we...myself included...really, I have proof.

The run went well for someone that's not a runner, just kept a mild pace the whole time (been having calf problems when I have been running) and tried not to hurt anything. Somehow I ended up in the top 25%.

After the race the runners disbursed just as fast as they came, in/out in less then two hours...still weirds me out. But next was the TT, Marc joking (in a way) called it the " DE, MD, PA, NJ Mountain Bike Time Trial State Championships." And what's a championship without a photo:

The TT was fun....fun in the way as I should have stayed home and just kicked myself in the nuts kind of fun. The last thing my legs wanted to do was sprint for 20 minutes only a couple hours after the run, but it was over before I knew it.....and the course record was destroyed by over two minutes in the mean time.

Wifey and I headed out in time to get dinner and home for an early night with the furry kids before what would be again an early ass morning.....have donut holes, will travel.

Driving down Sunday morning Wifey asked how my body felt, "like we're driving home from an endurance race not to one" I told her. So after doing a little helping out and alot of sitting on my ass:
I started to get warmed up for the race. From looking at last years race I knew the leaders did six laps, so that was my goal.....I would have been ok with five given my body was shot, but I still wanted six.

I ended up rolling down to the starting line a little late (10 minutes before kinda late) and was far from upset having to line up mid pack......little did I know Marc was gonna give Jeff, Buddy and myself a call up for the work "we" did....and by we I mean they did, Buddy has put more work into others trails then anyone and should have been given a five minute head start.
The lap starts with a 300-400 meter sprint down a paved road, so needless to say with the way my legs felt and Buddy being on a single speed being front and center was both awesome and horrible. The horn sounded and Buddy and I huddled together as close as we could as we rolled down the road as not to be ran over by the thundering her the filed by us on both sides. About midway down the road we finally got more then what felt like an inch apart and started the single track about mid pack. I followed Buddy thru the first few areas so I could watch his lines, but he had to pull over to fix a small mechanical problem....the next time I saw him was a few hours later with a beer in his hands.
So like any endurance race you just find your grove and roll with it...and even thou it took a hour my body started to come around, one of the few times I've felt better the longer I rode.
By the time I finished my third lap I was working on the math for the fifth and sixth....was gonna be close on time to head out for a sixth.
Lap four ran into five and I made the cut off to go out for a sixth lap by about 3-4 minutes. I did little more then slow down in the pits as Wifey did a bottle hand off to me.....it took me a few minutes of riding to run thru in my head Buddy calling my name and well as seeing Jeff standing there. A quarter of the way thru the lap I heard L-Webb saying that Jeff was not very happy with me, seeing me go out for another lap made him think he also needed to in order to stay first in the IM results (not so, but we did not really know at the time.) I yelled back to tell'em I'm sorry and that this would be the slowest lap in Granogue history.

Wifey met me at the finish line with my recovery drink and everything else under the sun. A few minutes later I was changed, somewhat cleaned up and had beer in hand...I wanted to do it as fast as I could before my body shutdown. Which happened about 20 minutes later as I started falling asleep in a chair in the registration area as Wifey helped with results. Tom walks up and says "go lay down of the couch in the trailer." I said thanks, but I'm ok......he replies with "I'm telling you not asking." I next thing I know is I hear "he's sleeping in the trailer" over off the microphone and Jake D. opens the door..."they're calling you to the podium, they're calling you to the podium."

Out the door I stumble with my eyes hardly even open, 8th of the 60ish Solo men:
and 4th in the IM....it's not that I could not stand up, I just felt like a tool standing in a spot that was not mine.
After I was awake a little it was time to clean up my course marking mess....still half asleep.
Looks kind of like Arnold Schwarzenegger meets the Pillsbury doughboy.

I what to say thanks to Marc, L-Webb, Buddy and Tom for once again a great weekend, hope we made things a little bit easy for you.

Monday, February 28, 2011

12 Hours of Santos

Last weekend Wifey and I headed back down to FL for the second time in a month for a twelve hour race. After my less then ideal showing at the first one (Oleta) I had mixed feelings heading down again....but the way I look at these couple of races is a little different then most racers/riders doing them.

I guess the best way of putting it is I treat this races as training rides, a way to test out new things on the nutrition/equipment front and to kickoff changing gears on the training front. Since our racing season does not really get kicking until Aprilish I'm not looking to get into a knife fight and/or burn one of the few matches I have this early in the year....besides, with these guys coming into their peaks right now (not that they ever really aren't) at best I'm bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Ok, enough of me running my mouth. The week before the race I was debating on signing up for the singlespeed class....let's say the debate was over once I pulled the geared bike of the hook to clean it up for the race.....singlespeed it is.

So after a short trip to meet some news friends:
I wanted to get in a preride of the course to check out the bike/and gearing. Sadly that did not happen, let's say that Wifey is no Magellan and leave it at that...cuz if not I may get smothered with a pillow tonight. So off to the hotel and dinner we went, which was cool because I got to meet Sebastian for the first time (other then watching him ride circles around me.)

After setting up our ghetto pit we heading down to the lemans start, and for some reason I convinced myself it would be best if I did not kill it on the run (figured since I'd be on a SS I did not want to be "that guy" holding up the geared racers at the start.) Not my greatest idea ever, even with the couple hundred meter run and dirt road start it took half a lap to get thin things out. But once I got to keep the cadence I wanted to thou I was like a fat kid eating cake...the 32x18 I was running was perfect. It's always cool to be on a SS and pass riders on geared bikes on climbs....or better yet, make climbs they even can't.

As normal the first few hours were a blur, but around the four hour mark the lack of riding the SS was beating on me...the upper body was getting worked alot more the normal with the short power climbs. An hour later I pulled/threw my chain off and thought it'd be cool to try and remove a fingertip putting it back on. But thanks to full fingered gloves and the fingernail it was just a sweet cut and blood, not that I knew at the time thou.

An hour later I ran into Wifey in the ghetto pit, she was having far from a good day. She had gone down a couple times and was just mentally out of it, not that's she's right mentally right in the first place....I mean she did marry me. So with that being said I told her to go finish her lap and I'd back up the fort.....after all, six hours on the bike is still six hours on the bike (and this time of year I'm happy with that.....besides, we had a cooler full of beer that was not gonna drink itself.)

Sunday morning we went over to Ormond Beach and did part of my old road loop for a recovery ride:
and I did get yelled at a couple of times for trying to chase down roadies that came by. But with a midway point like this how could it not be a good ride:

Want to say thanks to the Goneriding crew for as always putting on a great event, and maybe next year I'll bring more then a B game....or maybe I'll just take up basket weaving.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

12 Hours of Oleta

After Wifey and I shoveled 6-8 inches of snow last Wednesday we made our annual trip down to North Miami for the 12 Hours of Oleta.

Going in I knew Oleta was not gonna be an "A" race for me giving it's the middle of the off season up here and I'm no where near any kind of racing shape.....unless we're talking about a donut eating race, then hold onto your pants....cuz there's gonna be a throw down. But Wifey and I use it as an excuse to get the Hell out of the cold/snow and head back to our home state of Florida. Not to mention the people....and no, I'm not talking about

.........sadly, that picture took up an hour of my time. Funny the amount of time it takes to find just the right picture...yeah, that's it.

But back to where I was....we both miss the people down South, call it southern hospitality if you want but I just think people seem happier down there....most people up here outside the cycling world are just gruff at best.

But to the damn point......for those of you that have not done this race before I highly recommend it. It's a great location right on the river less then a mile from the beach, the course is fun/fast and the Berger's of Goneriding know how to run a race/series.

As always the race started with a lemans start to thin out the herd, and as always I ran like a wounded hipo:

But once I got on the bike things were going well, not great I give you but well. The course was in perfect shape, dry but not dusty and really fast. The course was changed up a little from prior years (for the better I think personally) with a couple of the "climbs" taken out and the first part of "Gilligan's Island" added back in.

It took half a lap for riders to get placed right (anyone that's done a lapped endurance race knows what I mean) lap one ran straight into laps two and three with no problems....aside from nearly choking myself with a Kind bar (note to self, don't ram a whole damn bar in your mug at once....it can be done sure, you just won't be able to breathe for a minute...which is always great when you HR is upwords of 165.)

Even thou I was giving up 3-4 min's a lap on the two leaders and I felt great, on lap three I knew I had a couple small problems I needed worked out. First being a newish pair of Sole insoles that were killing the outside edge of my feet and second....lets just call worn out bibs and say things were not sitting/staying in place right. That would explain my face in this last picture atleast...



So after lap four I ran out to the FJ got the thinner insoles for my shoes and started lap five with all things right in the world......for about 10 min's.....then I had a brain fart.

I was on a bridge that I've ridden 100 times (about 16-18 inches wide, 50 yards long with a couple small twists and about 18 inches off the ground) and then it happened. No idea what happened but I put two and two together and got the normal three of what I must have done.

My front wheel slipped off the right side of the bridge just enough to drop me down onto the rotor which bent 90 degrees under the weight of my awesomeness......(yeah, that's it) and I dropped straight down on the bridge itself left elbow and knee first before falling down to the ground to the left and pulling the bike with me....and still clipped in. Needless to say I hit like a ton of bricks and it hurt like Hell (so if any seismic activity happened Saturday in the area around one...that was just me....sorry.

It did not take long to figure out my day was over, the rotor and handlebars were easily fixiable, the body not so much. I knew the knee was not broken, but I could hardly move it. Luckily I was a short walk to a dirt road that led to the pit area, so onto the shoulder the bike went and off I hobbled.

As normal at races I had more then a few people ask if I needed help in any way, including the local Cannondale rep that sat with me asking questions I now know he already knew the answers to just to make sure I knew who/where the Hell I was.

I want to say congrats to Sebastian for a great race thou, the man was killing it. And I look forward to trying not to make an ass out of myself next month at Santos.