Sunday, July 31, 2005
A Day of Thanks
Today was a day to finally get up to pre-ride the 18 hour course up in Goochland County. It's on private property and thus the times to ride are limited. The alarm went off and I was up, but one thing led to another and I got a late start. I made it through the bridge tunnel fine but ran into rain of truly biblical proportions on the other side.
I knew it was going to clear up before Richmond but it would have probably taken 4 hours to get there as the idiot drivers trying to go 65 in zero visability caused accidents that had traffic slowed to a stop before Newport News. So I turned around and went home. :-(O . It just wasn't meant to be.
The TriPower racing team was down at the TT in Chesapeake, hopefully the weather was holding out for them.
Sunday is a designated ride day so I moped around miffed that I didn't get to ride the MTB course. The two-wheeled monkey on my shoulder was getting hungry. So after screwing around with little stuff around the house I hatched a plan to feed him! Put a 13 tooth sprocket on the 29'er SS and ride down to the ocean front to grab a bite and a respite. Then rain was now pretty steady so it would be a good mud soaked passage through Sea Shore. I donned baggies to avoid the lycra-haters.
Watching the "tourons" at the ocean front really is fun - I forget after living here for a while that people actually save thier hard earned cash so they can journey to my hometown and spend it on vacation.
I had to hurry to get through the 64th St gate before dusk and couldn't resist going down to the boat ramp to check out the sunset. I got there just in time to get the above picture. It was a great week after all. One of the best on a bike in a long time.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Another Buck and Change
Six + 13 > 20!!
The sporadic rain all but stopped by the time I checked in and I readied my stead for the ride. I studied the cue sheet (all too) briefly and rolled out of the school parking lot in search of orange lollipops, and promptly missed the very first left hand turn. A u-turn and retracement got me back on track where I hooked upwith Bob from Richmond. We settled into a nice pace and gathered up Janice, a Tripower gal from the Beach. She was coming back from a dislocated shoulder and getting ready to ride cross country with her husband. Bob and I designated her navigator as we both have trouble with route sheets.
We rolled through 100 miles and a few thousand feet of climbing almost effortlessly. Aside for a few minutes of rain in the early miles it was a perfect day to ride. It was one of those magical days that happen WAY too infrequently. I had the right gear for every climb, my legs NEVER felt tired or cramped, and always had more power when I needed it. Thats the buck, now the change!
I had a quick pasta dinner and with BigD and his brother who I knew from the CCVA board, then rode my bike back to the car and drove to nearby York River State Park for a few mountain bike laps. The lot was crowded as I pulled in. Rain was threatening but nothing yet. At the start of lap 2 of the Ravine ominous thunder was heard and lightening seen. It got close but I finished just as the rain started. As I left there was no one else there. Of course I ran into a familiar sight on the way back:
Dam that dam tunnell! It was a great day nontheless.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
TT Training - Heat Index 120
and practice on their TT bikes for this weekends TT. Heck I ride out there every Wednesday anyway, so I put the clipons on the Six13 and rode down there to meet 'em. I'm no time trialist but I need miles in that position for my next ultra races.
A group of 5 of us went out and did a nice 25-30 miles on the uncrowded roads of rural Pungo. During the 18 miles back the I really started to feel the heat, especially when stopped at red-lights. Turns out the heat index was the high of the year at 120. Got back home just in time to cool off and shower. 65-70 miles in before 11AM, it was a good day!!
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Group Riding is Fun
I got a better feel for the rhythm and dynamics of the ride this time around but still almost F'd it up. After the first regroup we rolled out onto Shore Dr. and someone was already way off the front. The group was getting going a bit slowly (groups are just that way) so I went to the front and said "Can we go out and catch that guy?" I got the reply "Go ahead if you want!" Woooops, put my foot in my mouth there. What was I to say then? "Nah, I'll just sit back here...".....Sooooo there I go again..... off the front on the path to sure self destruction, just WHAT was I thinking? I got within maybe 20-30 yards of the guy and was total redlined. I looked back and could barely see the group. I think I got a lucky redlight gap on 'em. SO now the goal was to just ease up enough to get it back and see how long I could stay away. Just before Atlantic the group came up and by me with a FULL head of steam (groups are just that way!) 24 mph felt like reverse. I did manage to grab the last wheel without too much of a problem this time and finished the ride comfortably.
Group riding is FUN!
Sunday, July 24, 2005
A Buck and some (small) Change
I got up a bit late for the PowhatenTour de Vin Century and underestimated the time it took to get there from Chester. A few miles from the High School and I saw a large group of riders leaving on the 7:00 mass start.
The R3000 was the vehicle of choice today
After sign-up set-up etc. I rolled out at 7:35 or so. The legs were very lethargic from the last 2 days of hard riding, but after the first 20 miles they really livened up. I met up with Paulo (no not this Paulo - although they look like they could be related!) and his friend Dan who were both at the crit yesterday shortly after the 2o mile rest stop, seems they splept in a bit too, and we decided to ride together. It was MUCH cooler than Saturday - what a relief. Miles 30-80 were great then the heat kicked up and some hamstring cramps started, but I peddled through them and we made it in as a group. We had to battle some enraged bike hating motorists on the last 5 miles but aside from that the ride was great. Traffic at a minimum and some healthy hills to keep it interesting. My Polar was disfunctional but I'd guess about 3500 to 4000 feet of climbing. Our odometers came up 3 miles short of 100 so we went back out for a few more miles to hit triple digits officially.
The (small) Change
After a post ride sit down and chat with the boys as we watched the girls come in, I packed up and headed for Pochohontas State Park. I admit it I was whipped, but it was something I just had to do. I never made it to the Red Trails but the others were nice and a convienient call from by ol' pal Andy in Chesta' gave me a reason to rest my weary (no not this wherry) legs and have some lunch before the drive home.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Another hummer bites the dust
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
It was bound to happen and it finally did
I've enjoyed reading many good bicycle blogs for a while now. Hopefully some of ya'll out there will enjoy this one a bit. Does the world lead another cycling blog? Probably not, but its here anyway. This blog will go BOTH ways (get your mind out of the gutter). I'll try and post the current as WELL as the past. Although I subscribe to too many, it seems Cycling magazines just dont have any thing worth reading these days. I find it FAR more enjoyable, refreshing and entertaining reading about the adventures, struggles, trials, tribulations and joy of cycling written by everyday riders like those in the blogs I've read almost daily for a while.
Two - I finally got in with the Tuesday morning group road ride.
I've seen them spinnin' away for years around here, but never got the nerve to join up. This morning I saw the crew heading the other way, so I did a U'ey and sprinted back. Luckily we were in a residential neighborhood and I could catch them.
Jimmy from the LBS takes an impromtu self appointed yellow sign sprint complete with the no handed victory salute. I saw his inked up legs flynig by and thought I recognized him. Then he pulled back and said hi. He's rollin' on the new C'Dale team Lampre frame all Campied out. Man if you're gonna ride like that its time to shelf that Saeco kit and throw on the right colors!
After a brief regroup as we started back. I'd ridden with allot of these folks at local centuries and recognized many faces. I'm sure I wouldn't know them if they were standing right next to me with their helmets off in street clothes. I tried to make a bunch of excuses as to why I've never made it to the Saturday group ride (its the long standing classic and almost a right of passsage for a Va Bch roadie), but the truth is I figured I was just too slow!
Baaaaad move. I get there and last all of 30 seconds till I pop like a hot kernal of oiled corn. I roll off again, this time too blown to even grab last wheel! Grrrr----ate, first time in the ride and I'm OTB already! Live and learn.
Monday, July 11, 2005
24 Hours of Saratoga
The 8:00 start came and went without a hitch. Bacon Hill was just after the 2 mile mark and split the field up. One of the reasons I like these events is the no-drafting rule. Just you and yourself. Finishing the first loop down Bacon (45-50 mph while on the brakes around a turn in the rain yeeeeeee-haaaaaaaaaaa), I saw the leaders starting the climb back up. I flew through the start/finish area with no stop only to flat about a mile down the road. Then I remembered what else was in the box I'd left home ---- CO2 cartridges!!!! I only had 1 in the seat bag. The nice thing was that tires are easy to change in a steady rain, they just slide off the rim. Everyone was real thoughtful as they sped past, asking if I needed anything or any help. Not yet I thought, but since this is my last cartridge, but I will if I puncture again!
I went out again after about an hour and 45 minutes to find the rained had stopped! I switched to my C'Dale Six13 which was setup with a compact crankset. I hoped this gearing would make Bacon hill a bit easier. The next 10 hours were a bit of a blur. I did 3 more laps or 96 miles. Climbing wasn't too bad except Bacon Hill and a short wall on the way back in. These two were just stand up and stomp. I reallt dont think having a 35 tooth small chainring made much of a difference, except that it actually took longer to get up the hills! Prolonged suffering. My speed dropped way off and I was struggling to get around in 2 hrs. I had trouble shifting onto the small ring and lost my chain 3 odr 4 times. Since this normally happened at the beginning up a significant hill (in the dark) it became VERY frustrating. I dawdled around in the "pits" after each lap far too long, my mind making up excuses to stay off the bike a bit longer.......