Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Parts is Parts, but Tools is Better
Performance never disappoints with quick service and shipping :
Day off from the bike.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Congrats where they're due - Everywhere!
The NORBA season is over and rookie "Martini" (that should should be a drink - "I'll have a Rookie Martini please") moved into the top twenty in STXC and 23rd in XC. A great first year showing against a field just stacked with a bunch of 0% body fat powerhouses. He can't wheelie and I can't wheelie either. Sad thing is I used to be able to. I don't know Nick personally but his blog is a regular read, funny and inspirational. He's out there keepin' the dream alive. Here's to next year!
TriPower Women ROCK.........and ROLL ..............fast
So BJ wrapped up the Cat 4 State BAR with a third at the State TT this weekend. Actually it was wrapped up even before this, but now it's official. I was going to write something about it, but Liz beat me to it and did a much better job anyway.
So what does BJ do after her fantastic year is over? Take a day off? Take it easy for a week? Nope. She sends out an email saying she's getting up at 5:40 to add another early loop. Now she was the one that added the loop before the ride, before the return loop. So now we can go out and get really LOOPY and do 4 loops! This isn't your average ride through the park. Much of these loops (for me anyway) are at or over lactate threshold sufferfests that peak at speeds at or over 30. When you decide to ride the "whole package" you get close to 80 miles of some serious pace. You have to hang on through the one loop sprinters, the fresh legs that hop on in the middle, and some monster pulls my some powerful people. These rides are GUAR-ON-TEED to satisfy anyone's appetite for speed and suffering, so if you haven't done 'em come on out! The amazing thing is at the end and even during we find ourselves as Liz said "deliriously happy"!
Monday, August 29, 2005
Don't have the Balls? Buy your pet some!
SO.............There's now a company, CTI Corporation, which manufactures artificial testicles for pets. Appropriately enough called Neuticles tm . They come in an assortment of sizes and three different firmness selections. The purported benefits include:
Increased self esteem for your pet.
Less traumatic adjustment to neutering.
Makes the owner feel better.
AND, Rush Limbaugh says - Neuticles are just plain neat!
Nice rest day today. Making my list, checking it twice, ridin' 7Springs will sure be nice.
Hope you had a good day!
Sunday, August 28, 2005
It's missing a tooth - the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth, so help me mail order.
Had to rush order the replacement and the crank tool to put it on.
Did a nice 40+ on the road with a small group - Jim, Barb, Blaine, Wild Bill and Dan too. Jim was strong as an Ox, and pulling like a diesel as usual! Great folks and a great day to ride.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
A Great Ride
After 60+ miles with three consecutive groups my legs felt better at the end than the beginning. Yeaaaaaa baby.
Many Team riders were up in Richmond for the State Time Trail but there was still plenty of power in the peloton.
I Thought I was Pissed
It turns out Jeff Kerkove has been BOOTED from the solo World Championships and banned for one year from any event run by 24HoA (24 Hours of adrenaline). Why? Was it a bad blood test? Unsportsmanlike conduct in a race? Was he guilty of cheating?
Nope. The organizer booted and banned him because of comments Jeff made in an online forum at MTBR.com. It turns out that 24HoA changed the date for a race in Conyers 6 weeks before the event. The thread was started by Namrita (a 24hr solo racer from Ga.) with a simple question - Is the fee 24HoA is charging worth it? This is America and this is a forum, so everyone had (and HAS) their chance to be heard. I was following the thread regularly because it's dealing with an issue very important to me and all other solo riders - the cost we pay and the value we receive.
Then it turns out that 24HoA will not give refunds to those that have paid the $400 solo entry fee and can't make it. They even refused giving a refund to Heather Mosely who couldn't make it because she came down with mono. The race organizer (24HoA owner) Stuart's last reply to her email was "Leave me alone". This is after Heather apologized publicly to Stuart for comments she felt were "hurtful" (IMO they weren't) in a previous post.
Jeff's comments in the thread were totally within reason, without malice or aggression, and for this Stuart boots him from the race. Now I don't know Jeff aside from regularly reading his blog. I know he was targeting this event and planning his training to peak for it. He even called it "The Best Event in the World" the day before he got the news. He has what must be the most popular endurance racing blog out there, and for good reason(s). Its honest, entertaining, and written by someone who obviously rides with a passion, and rides well. The blog provides us riders with good reading and provides his sponsors with tons of exposure. I bought my ERGON mountain bike grips because of info from his site.....AND they work! I HAVE had the opportunity to meet and talk to Heather and its readily apparent that she too has an extreme passion for endurance riding. These are the very people that keep the sport, and these events alive! WTF was Stuart thinking? He banned Jeff for 1 year, I doubt his business will survive much longer than that.
I thought I was pissed, but I'm really just astounded and amazed. Amazed that Stuart could be SO stupid, so ignorant of his business, so blind to the riders, to pull such an inane stunt. Jeff will find other events to ride, and he won't have to drive 2 days to get there. I for one impose a LIFETIME ban on myself from any and all 24HoA event. This IS America and we vote with our wallet.
Thanks for reading this.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Passion and the Joy of Cycling - Do You Have IT?
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Want a New BIke?
Eddie O and Rae Gandolf were chosen to ride with 2 mountain bike pros from Santa Cruz Bicycles. If they could keep up, they got to keep the new (well, now slightly used) bikes.
Rae had to ride with downhill legend, now xc racer and recently crowned single speed world champ Marla Streb. You can read her report here.
Eddie had to ride with Santa Cruz pro Mark Wier. From what I hear Mark is as masochistic as he is sadistic. One of his goals this year is to climb 1 million vertical feet on his MTB. Eddie O is an accomplished (heck almost veteran) 12/24 hour racer, but he'd have his hands more than full here. He has a great report on his new site.
Great reading, great pictures, great riding. They don't call it HELL RIDE for nuthin'.
Another day of recovery for me, a short easy single speed spin through the park.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Word for the day ---- FLAT
As I was sitting there fixing it a nice lady pulled up in her car and said she saw me there and turned around to offer her assistance. Man thats a first! The world is a beautiful place with beautiful people! Two CO2's later I'm rollin again and the rain is falling harder. I spin around the neaighborhood to see if the next group is coming, then see Jim pedalling back on his own. I bet they all pulled into Panera's for coffee.
Heading home on wet roads I slow into a red light and her this pfft...pfft...pfft...pfft like something's rubbing on my front wheel. Check the brakes, no rub, hmmmm. Then as I start off again I realize I'm hearing the air leaking out in bubbles through the puddles. Another FLAT
Getting home I look at the driver side rear tire of my car...................you guessed it - another FLAT!
Three flats before 9AM, its a beautiful day. Maybe some sort of devine intervention?
Monday, August 22, 2005
SSWC and a Day of Rest
- Marla Streb was the fastest on the SS AND the Go-Cart!?!?
- A dude from Wisconsin, Jesse LaLonde was first finisher on a RIG followed by Travis Brown
- Some other guy gets the headbadge with a better go-cart performance.
- Fun was had by ALL, so by just being there ya'll are winners.
- The INK got DONE!
- Adult beverages were non- existant.
- RickyD was and is a rockstar.
- There were so many purple RIGs that more than one person grabbed the wrong bike during the LeMans start, and Gary Fisher himself couldn't find his own ride. HA!
- There was NO cross-dressing
Now remember you can't always believe what you read.
My RIG was all dressed up and ready to go, but too late for the show. Maybe next year.
For those unfamiliar with the madness:
People from around the WORLD gathered in State College Pa. to ride SS bikes in a non-race race. The online registration filled up the 400 spots in 2 hours.
About "Winning" from the SSWC site:
Speaking of winning (and whining), lets hit this one last time. The top placing will be determined on the go-cart track. If you're one of the few whining 'cause you're super fast and you've been training all year and what does go-cart racing have to do with real mountain biking anyway-hit the NORBA nationals. Top 20 men racers and 10 random riders will do battle in 3 heats advancing to the final heat of chaos (and driving). The same for thee women with the top 10 doing battle on the track in one fabulous heat!
Sounds like my kind-a fun.
NO NO NO NO NO ridin' today................... NONE NOT 1 BIT
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Let me preface this report with a few facts :
When it comes to mountain biking I'm a slug with little or no "skeeels". I see the fast folks floating over the obstacles and clearing tough technical sections with ease, and wonder how they got that good. It seems like EVERYONE is faster than me. I guess that's why I enjoy it so much, 'cause its a challenge and kicks my butt. It's also why I enter the solo division. That way at least I have a chance at outlasting people.
The run to the bikes on the LeMans start is short. I like that since my ankles cant handle much running in bike shoes.
Lap 1 - I get settled in behind a small group and try to establish my HR and pace. The single track in the first part of the course is wet from the humidity and some of the root covered uphills are tough and technical. The slimy uphills are a real challenge on my Kenda Kharismas. More knobs would've been nice, but I would've given up rolling resitance on the hardpack later in the course. I eat it on a slimy uphill log pile. I miss a turn by not paying attention. During the first lap I realize that in my haste I forgot to apply the most essential preparation in an endurance race.---------------------------->
Lap 2 - Trying to establish a rhythm. I go down on the same slimy log pile. On a climb at about mile 2.5 my OTHER pedal self-destructs leaving me the option of going back to the pits (maybe a mile back) or ride out the next 6 miles on the spindle :
That's pretty much a no-brainer - RideON! The flats weren't bad, uphills a bit tougher, but downhills and log hops a test of my nerve and balance.
Lap 3-5 - Still not finding a rhythm, and my speed, concentration and energy level steadily decline. I dismount for that F'n logpile everytime but still fall at least once every lap, with a few high speed root induced wipe outs. The root covered slimy sections are really tough. Note to self : Don't try to brake when going fast over wet slimy, muddy roots. Lap 5 is terrible, I feel like sin dipped in misery, my gatorade is luke warm, I have no focus, its dark, I'm hallucinating, and have to walk many a climb. I even stop to sit on a picnic table bench at the top of a climb for a while. Another (team) rider stops and is about to join me, when I tell him I'm solo he says "I better keep going".
I pit after lap 5 and see an empty bag of ice next to the cooler! Phil has helped me out tremendously by icing down my fluids, AND he put an oscillating fan in the cabin.
"Midnight at the oasis".
Note professional race number mounting like I said - no skeeels.More to come........................
Race Time Part Deux
I really felt like I bonked on the last lap, but something was different. I drank a bunch of cold gatorade, 30 ounces of Endurox, ate a banana, an orange, a handfull of chips (the salt does wonders for cramps), then took an impromptu shower by dumping bottle after bottle of water over my head. I toweled off, went into the cabin to change, and laid back on the cot with the fan blowing on me. WOW did that feel good. I decided to take an hour break to try and recharge my engine. Excuses were beginning to develop in my mind.
By the time I got the drive train lubed, batteries changed and hit the road up to the staging area it was past 2AM.
Lap 6 - Unbelievable. I've NEVER been able to "get it back" after a rest during an endurance event. This time I did. My legs felt even better than when I started. I rode almost the entire course. That dam logpile was no problem, even slime hill. I dismounted to get around a few steps built into an uphill, that was it. Did almost the entire course on the middle or big chainring. WOW! I didn't fall once! I'm sure this was my fastest lap, no doubt about it. I was actually passing people! Man this is fun.
Lap 7 - A continuation of 6, really had some flow going, I tried not to push too hard with still 5 hours left on the clock. I stopped briefly to get my camera as the sun would be coming up on the next lap. Slammed some more Endurox.
Lap 8 -
The scoring/staging area. I think this is at about just after 5AM . All the volunteers were absolutely outstanding. The girl with the helmet on, waiting for the baton in the background is on the Cobblestone/Natures Path Team. They were ALL fast. She'd pass me later in the lap.
I simply LOVE2ride during dawn, it's an awesome time to be on a bike. I was motoring down one of the fast sections of the course around the lake and slammed on the brakes to get a few photos:
While I'm standing across the trail camera in hand, the Nature's Path chic comes flying by.
"Are you OK?" she asks.
"Yup, thanks, just enjoying the sunrise" I answer.
"Good luck!" she yells as she disappears on down the trail.
Now usually the "Are you OK" thing applies to potential physical or mechanical ailments. Maybe this time it had a bit of a psychological angle? Who would stop in the middle of a lap at a race to take pictures!?
The heat is rising as the sun comes up. It was over 80 all night, and now getting close to 90. As the lap continues I start to fade, then on an uphill about 1/2 way through the course I slam a shift with "I've been on my bike for 14 hours" lead hands, and hear that nasty crunch/grind sound we all dread. I look down to see this :
No problem, I have a master link. With tired hands arms and brain I 'm up and running in about 15-20 minutes. It's still getting hotter. The excuse factory is now working overtime. I know I'll have time for one more lap. If I was a real glutton I could probably start lap 10 just before 10 AM.
- My butt is raw and sore
- My legs are tired
- I want to be able to race 7Springs in 2 weeks
- My legs are tired
- I don't have another master link, what if I break another chain?
- Its very hot
- My butt is sore
- My legs are tired
Over and over these go around in my head. I had a few other good ones but forgot what they were. I got to ride a bit with (solo winner) Bob Anderson toward the end of the lap. We chatted for a while before he left me in the dust. Great guy and STRONG rider. I really need some of this stuff---------------->
Down the last road I stop at the cabin before checking in. Fully resolved that 8 was my last lap. I sit my sore a$$ down and dump some water over my head. Its just before 8AM. Phil comes by and tells me that 9 laps might be "up there", the heats been getting to allot of folks. Hmmmm
I go relax by the fan in the cabin, taking some fresh clothes with me and hoping I don't find a reason to put them on and go back out.
Phil comes back and tells me I'm in a tie for 3rd with 3 or 4 other guys. It takes me about 2 seconds to jump up and throw on some new duds. I surely can survive another lap.
The last lap - As I started there was actually a breeze coming across the field. I felt good. I just wanted to survive this lap with NO mechanicals. This first time I shift onto the granny gear my chain gets sucked up and stuck. Looks like I bent a tooth or link on the last lap and the chain was getting caught on the small ring. Arrrrrgh. Now I'll have to ride the entire last lap on the middle ring. Single speeders will be saying - Shut up and ride you wimp! So that's exactly what I did. The breeze I felt at the start was either an illusion or very short lived. Half way through the lap the heat REALLY starts to hit me. Especially when you come out of the woods.
I rode for a while with Scott who I'd met from CCVA and a group ride at Powhite. He was a lap ahead of me, and STILL looking strong......great job man!
As I went up the last hill to the finish my head and arms felt had this this weird "tingling" feeling, like my whole body was about to fall asleep. I checked in just after 10AM to a round of applause. I sat down and felt like I was going to pass out. For the first time I noticed it was Mike at the scoring table, I think he was there all night. Unofficial results 5th place. I didn't want to get up for fear of keeling over. The experience was priceless, the 5th place was way more than this fat ol' flatlander could've imagined.
Blurry photo of Loretta and the guys in the AIR CONDITIONED dining hall
I eventually made it to the air conditioned dining hall where there was a HUGE spread of food. Everything from tater tots to venison. WOW. Once cooled down I felt better.
I fell asleep while packing up camp and missed the awards. I wanted to go just to give everyone applause and cheers. I get home and am surprised with an email from CyclesEd the RD saying he was sorry to miss me at the awards, he'll mail me the prize money! Turns out they paid down to 5th!! So is winning cash like making the podium?
The whole night I was looking for Snow White, but never found her. Now I hear tell of wandering nymphs from Red Bull! Man I missed them too!
Thanks to all involved at the event. A truly awesome venue and great folks.
I leave at 11:30 (3 hours later than planned) for the race which is a 2.5 hour drive if the roads are clear.
What's a guy to do if the tools he has don't get the job done? Buy MORE BIGGER tools! I stop at Sears on the way out get the biggest ratchet they have with a set of metric hex sockets.
Of course traffic is backed up 5 miles going into the tunnel, and an accident in Newport News adds more delay.
On the way there I stop at the closest convenience store to get more ice.
"Do ya'll have any ice?" I ask the dude.
"Umm....... no it all melted" he says.
Arrival at the awesome venue 90 minutes before race time. Barely enough time to set up and register, let alone fix my pedal. The BIGGER better tools work great and I get the pedal changed 10 minutes before race time. Its VERY hot and HUMID.
A view down "cabin row" :
Team "Arsenal" is next door, eventual mens expert/pro winners
Craig is on the other side riding with Team "3 Mules and an Ass", last I heard they still weren't sure who the ass was.The course finishes down, then up this gravel road. At most races it's hard enough to get a pit area near the course. Here you can get a cabin directly on the course!
The pop-up is popped up next to the cabin
My pit area is in typical disarray. I'd like to blame this on lack of time, but those that know, know it would look this way even if I was there a day early.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Shake Down Spin
- I have a not so slow leak in the rear tubeless tire, needed to fill it twice from CO2 to make it home.
- My front wheel is WAY out of true. I don't even have a spoke wrench for the Mavic Crossmax SL's
- My left pedal is seized up and wont spin. My fault for never lubing the thing.
Here's the map for the course this weekend. 8.5-9 miles 800 feet of climbing per lap. A great mix of single track double track some gravel road too. A pirate ship, a fort or 2, some TeePees, 8 bridges, 3 lakes, 7 dwarfs and rumor has it Snow White herself will be out there looking for a date!
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Maybe I'm NOT Crazy?
EH! Legs? where'd you go?
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Sea Shore State Park and Harvey Keitel
Today was an easy 90 minute spin through SeaShore State Park on the MTB. Now I didn't say I went MTBing, just that I was ON my MTB.
Sea Shore is a nice place to ride but hardly MTBing
"Just because you're ON a MTB doesn't mean you ARE a MTBer."
Something I'm painfully reminded of when I'm getting my butt kicked by a new trail or difficult section somewhere.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Check it out, the Specialized Scorpion:
"The Scorpion is our lightweight entry bike in the new Specialized Venom line, but it's still an aggressive bike with lots of bite. The secret behind the design is the sleek symmetrical frame surrounding the powerful crankset. As with all our new bikes, all cables and drive train components are housed inside the frame. But the main feature of the Scorpion is the huge bi-directional multi-ring super-drive in the center of the bike, which converts pedalling power to speed so efficiently it increases performance by at least 15% more than traditional drive trains. Simple, sleek, and super-fast, the Scorpion is set to nip those flat and fast trails like never before. "
HA! You probably think it's a joke .....but it isn't. Keep in mind that it is a mountain bike!
Nice ride today, two loops w/three groups. Nothing too strenuous, one good pull and some wheel suckin'. I actually used self control - didn't chase a break, never fought to bridge, just behaved myself. My legs are my friends......... my legs are my friends.........my legs are my friends.
Orange and Yellow? hmmmmmm
Monday, August 15, 2005
Trans Rockies Funnies
Here's an example of a crash from their point of view :
"And then a regretful incident: just as we close in on the leaders, one of them drops his drinking bottle, brakes hard and skids transverse across the road to a stop to pick it up again. I can just avoid the drinking bottle, but unfortunately not the Canadian owner. With 35km/h I hit the guy, and crash with my left side on the gravel. Domie, sticking to my rear wheel, can barely avoid my Orbea and crashes over me. In total we are with 4 riders on the ground after only 16km and this on a completely straight gravel road: how the f**k is this possible?
After a cursing serenade of which I'm not proud and that , so it appears later, has been filmed, we take a look at the damage: Domie's back, only just recovered, has been hit hard and hurts again. His right arm and upper leg are grazed. I have especially a left elbow, where in between the gravel stones, there is too much blood running to give a good feeling. Also my left knee and fingers take some damage. Cursing and yelling doesn't change a thing and Domie encourages me to get quickly back on the bike. The bike seems fine, only a twisted handlebar. Not so our Canadian Rockie-colleague, whoms back wheel we have waisted professionally. Luckily he gets quickly onather wheel so the leader team can continue as well."
So now that you have read the description click here to see the slow motion video. That is NOT what you should do while leading a pace line! Or with one close behind you and closing in!
Sunday, August 14, 2005
A Legend is Lost
Today is the last day the Duck-In is open. After more than 50 years it's closing the doors to be bull-dozed and replaced by more expensive luxury condos.
It's sad to see, but I guess that's progress? Although it's right down the street I seldom go there, but I'll still miss it. I wont miss the Beach Parties that consumed 50 kegs of beer and all the local parking spots. I sure wont miss the drunken partiers stumbling down the street to all hours of the morning. I'll miss the landmark, the history, the volleyball games and the views. They also had a great bowl of fishermans chowder and the stuffed flounder was none too bad!
A view from the gazebo, maybe they wont knock this down too..
A bunch of folks went out south to Pungo to get in 50-100 miles this AM but I had to honor the promise I made to my legs - they're due a day or two of rest. So just some easy spinnin' around the neighborhood and Sea Shore today. It was low tide so (after carrying my bike over the deep sand) I actually was able to ride down the beach for a while - FUN.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Group Rides and the Land of the Gooch
Started with a double whammy group ride. It's a classic at the beach and this was my first time in attendance. Many of the same folks as the smaller Tuesday rides with many new (to me) faces. The crowd for the 7:15 was well over 20 riders. Thankfully my legs felt great. The 1st regroup was quick then we're off again. The group split into two, one fast and one VERY fast. I got shelled OTB of the VERY fast folks with about 5 miles to go and rode in with the rest.
We gathered to pick up the 8:30 ride at Conte's and the group swelled to 30 or more. For some reason I thought this would be a slower more even tempoed ride.................wrong! Once on the main roads it felt like an all out sprint to the next regroup. I tried to work on my position in the group. We'd gotten so big that if you were on the wrong side of a split, forget about reconnecting. Man I love going fast! Granted fast is a relative thing, but I'm going faster riding with these folks than I ever have on 2 wheels. Many went for a "full reverse" third loop, like on Tuesday, but I had to make it up to the land of the Gooch. 40 miles trying to balance on (and falling off) the knife edge of lactate threshold was enough for the morning.
45-60 minute delay reported on the radio at the HRBT so I took the southern route up through Chester. The boy Scout camp was easy to find and an impressive piece of property.
Thanks to the 3 hour ride I was late but Phil was still there and Craig was finishing up a lap. It was HOT, and HUMID. Someone came in saying they drank the contents of an entire 100 oz. Camelback in one 8.5 mile lap. Duane and his brother Dave where there with the other guys on their team and luckily they were going out for another lap, so I joined them.
The course offers a great mix of single track. double track with some gravel roads and nice scenery. In a few places it was tough to follow, but I'm sure it will be marked better before the race. The facilities are absolutely incredible and will make for an awesome venue.
Nice single track:
Thats D and D in the ST!
and some gravel roads to stretch your legs:
Gotta love those Tee-Pees ------------>
Just what does a Scout do in there?
Friday, August 12, 2005
Call in Sick? Nah.
On the way there I see bumper sticker :
With some group road rides and a MTB preride tomorrow, I'll have to renegotiate the contract with my legs to see if I can get 'em working again.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
"I Dream of EPICs"
Nope its going to have to be this kind of EPIC:
The USPostal loco's had a great EPIC earlier this year.
JK started his own EPIC, and its on the must do list but that's not till next year.
HM has got an awesome EPIC planned.........2 rolled into 1! I'm jealous.
I guess for now I'll just have to dream of the next EPIC, while focusing on the matters at hand:
2 weeks later its up to Pa. for 7Springs.
Then off to upstate NY . The 540 has EPIC potential but I'm only planning on 2 loops so I can get the 1 JMC point I need to get the medal. You'd have to be crazy to drive 20 total hours to ride 270 miles with 14000 feet of climbing just to get a 5 dollar medal that will get lost in the back of a drawer somewhere. Yep. huzzzaaaaah!