Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Goals for the Year - Have Fun
My goals are pretty basic, keep on riding and having fun. Sure I want to ride better and faster, but most are my performance goals will be measured against myself and no one else. I know that if I keep on peddling for the joy of it, fitness, riding skills and performance will continue to improve. Not that I'm out there logging miles with no structure, quite the contrary. But at this point I just choose to use only my (rather meager) performance of the past year as a yardstick for what to expect next year. I'm both excited and anxious about road racing for the first time of my life, but it's something I've always wanted to try and only time will tell what the outcome will be. I'll certainly have plenty of support or good advice from the team.
So the bottom line is I want to do better at the events I've done in the past, and do the best I possibly can in the ones I haven't!
All the while having fun,
and exploring new levels of agony,
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Back in the 'Hood
So on the way back cruisin' up I95 in NC I run over some small inantimate object. At 75 it was impossible to swerve and miss. Ba-bum, ba-bump, following by a a bunch of rapid thumps and I get a flat. The third time for this same tire this year. I can't remember 3 flats in the last 15 years of driving. Heck, I've had enough practice now I can change the car tire faster than my bike tube (almost). In to the shop and it turns out not just my tire is punctured, but my WHEEL too!
Cha-Ching. Special order wheel time.
Hope this warm weather holds out.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Back to Razorback
NOPE! Sure I cleaned things I hadn't before, and I definately made it around quicker, but it still cooked my goose. Its hard to describe Razorback to those that havn't been, but I gotta believe its the most technical 10+ miles of trails I think I've ever ridden. Not ALL the ten miles are tough, there's plenty of time to cruise at high speed through the tree slalom, and the sweet sweeper, with many nicely bermed flatout turns. But at least for me the rest of the trail is just brutal. I'm here to admit - I've never made it around the whole darn thing without a dab. Nope. Probably have over 15 laps there, never cleaned it once. Shucks, I feel like a punk. Heck, that one part coming out of the very bottom of Grannie's (--->) I don't think I EVER made. (<---) Looking back from the first ledge out of Grannie's. That green stuff is Grannie's special soup, great to replenish lost carbs. It also has many other beneficial and as yet unamed nutrients, so be sure to stop and fill your water bottles when you're down there!
Today I was smart and did the warmup loop up to the clay climb then finished the last section of the course. Grannie's Revenge is in the first 2 miles and I know all to well what that'll do to me if I tackle it cold. Everytime I finally reach the end of the climb out of Grannie's I find myself thinking "What did I ever do to Grannie that she needs to take this revenge? I always TRIED to be nice...." Dave even added another climb (--->) at the bottom of Grannie's just to get your legs warmed up for the regular exit. Sure there are lots of places that have many longer climbs that grind you into lactate dust, but Razorback's climbs are STEEP and technical with roots and phosphate crags to scrape metal (or skin) off anything that hits them. I got 27 miles in there this morning and after the road ride yesterday I feel like a whipped dog.
Anyway, Razorback has more thrills than Disneyland. Too many vertical drops and G-outs into vertical walls to count. Earlier this year I busted both seat rails at the bottom of Big Gulp when my lazy tired legs let my butt down onto the seat at the G-out of the 25 foot drop.
And of course there is the infamous Triple Dipper downhill. This year it's a little less rutted but still WICKED fast :
Now you probaly looked at that and said......."Ahhhh, just another hill what's the big deal". Well you know the old photographic disclaimer - "Hills in pictures are steeper than they appear!"
Lets add a rider for scale and perspective - keep in mind this doesn't show the entire downhill.
YEAAAAAAA BABY! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA
That'll tighten your....................................
grip on the bars!
So if you are ever anywhere near Ocala, give the Razorback a ride, you won't regret it! Just be sure to sign the disclaimer and health waiver on the way in! I'm kicking myself for not buying the new shirt Dave has for sale :
I'll be back in 3 weeks.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Met a guy from Alpharetta on the way who was a newbie here also. Turns out they send out A B and C groups separately, as well as 2 groups of other distances. That's 5 rides from the same location! Lots of riders gathered,
including Carlos (I hope I got your name right) blingin' a nice new P3 complete with 606's, man that's my dream bike.
The A's rolled out at an easy pace but that didn't last too long.
At a red light I turned around and saw probably 30-40 riders behind me,
+ the ten in front.
That's a nice group - 50 or more and it's just the A's. I didn't hold that position long, we FLEW through some neighborhoods taking turns at Crit speed. By the time we got back to Tuskawilla where I started, the train was rollin with a full head of steam. I barely hung on, then the last third of the lead group got red-lighted and we fought hard to bridge back, reconnecting at another light. A fantastic ride and I won't miss it when I'm down here again.
Early in the ride I met Cori who told me about the BOBbies. BOB is short for Babes On Bikes. Their website is awesome and they even have nice maps of the group rides, which are EVERY day except Monday. Can't wait to ride w/these folks again at Christmas.
Tomorrow it's up to Razorback for some incredible MTBing, then back to the great cold north.
Thanks everyone for the ride!!
Friday, November 25, 2005
Snow Hill Road
Even more baffling is how they apparently expect you to ride the tight, twisty, sandy trails sitting totally upright with no hands, and apparently no crank arms :
Its a very nice network of tight :
When you get lost, and you will if you've never ridden there before, stay off the wide sandy roads, they're impossible to pedal through when it's this dry.
Eventually you'll find your way back to the section along the Econlockhatchee River :
Do us all a favor and DON'T ride a river bank like this. The Florida Ecosystem is fragile enough without MTBer's causing more erosion. When in doubt- back it out.
You might see many more folks enjoying the 78 degree day :
It was soooo warm today I'd of rode sleeveless if I'd of had one. Actually got sunburn! HAH. Jealous yet? Good. A few minor technicalities
and it's back to the trailhead.
All in all about 3 hours of cycling fun in the Florida sun! Did I say I got sunburn?........and it was almost 80?...............Jealous yet?..... Good.
Tomorrow throw down w/the Florida roadies in a big group ride. Should be fun.
Time to Think About Going LONG
I brought my UMCA mag with me as I hadn't had a chance to even open it at home. I was pleasantly surprised to find a little sticky note from John Hughes on the cover. They put my article about the ADK in there. Nice. John helped me with editing the article so he should get some credit too. He should also get a much BIGGER thanks for all the time and effort he puts into the UMCA and UltraCycling in general. He's been doing double centuries since the '70s and the list of his ultracycling contributions and accomplishments is virtually endless :
In 1979 he rode his first Paris to Brest to Paris, and has ridden P-B-P four times. John has crossed the U.S.A. three times with Lon Haldeman's Pacific - Atlantic - Cycling Tours (PAC Tours). He rode the Southern PAC Tour in 1988, the Ridge of the Rockies in 1991, and the Northern PAC Tour in 1993. He has won Boston-Montreal-Boston and won Furnace Creek 508 twice. When not riding John coaches many many riders in their cycling efforts. He is a USCF certified Sport Coach and a National Strength and Conditioning Association certified Personal Trainer. John has been executive director of the UMCA since 1998.
He is also the first person registered for the 2006 Fireweed 400, an epic quad up in Alaska. Definitely on the must do list. The man obviously has endless energy and never stops giving back to the ulracycling community.
If you aren't a member of the UMCA - JOIN NOW! If you think a century is "going long" it's time to stretch the envelope and try a JMC event. Virtually EVERYONE you meet at these events is an inspiration. It's a small community of friendly, fun people that enjoy finding, testing and redefining their limits. Remember - the first 100 miles is just a pleasant wakeup, the second 100 is a warmup, THEN the fun begins!
RideOn and RideLong
Thursday, November 24, 2005
I got the thing full but it kept putting it's leg inside to push the "stuff" out...
A little mild Turkey bondage kept that in line...
The birds in the oven so it's time to go ride.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
12 Hour Training Drive.
Hope no one was hurt. Those things appear to crush like cheap aluminum cans when they're upside down.
After a quick visit with the family I hopped on my road bike to spin out the driving legs. I was warned of the "cold front" that hit Florida. "HAH" It was 68 degrees!!! AFter riding for a while I met Robert, a local triathlete (he was bundled up in arm warmers) who was out rollin' some easy miles while his family came into town. We rode for 30-40 minutes together as he filled me in on the local bicycling scene. He hooked me up with the big group ride on Saturday. I'd seen them flying around here for the last few years but could never find out where they started. Now I'm really looking forward to the ride Saturday. Funny that 4 months ago I'd never done a group ride, now I get withdrawal if miss one for a week. Thanks Robert.
Been editing the video from the Cross race, should be good stuff. I just need a few songs for the background audio. Probably 8-10 minutes in length. The best quote of the day after all the"Go Go Gos", "yea, yea, yeahs", and bell ringin' yells goes to Brenna after the race when she said:
Monday, November 21, 2005
I've Seen the Future!
But really - I went to my first cross race on Sunday and now understand why everyone's all worked up about this stuff. I practiced my bell-ringin' on the way . Virtually everyone I know that's ever experienced it is MAD Crazy about Cross. After Sunday I can see why. It's great for spectators - at this race you could see probably 75% of the course and when the lower half is cleared (they have permission to do it) you'll be able to see even more. Lap times are quick, 6-8 minutes, so the racers come by often.
Although short, the course was no pushover with a few barriers and one "run-up" which was a flight of old cobblestone steps (see below). There was one more short "up" (--->) at the end of the single track that was 1/2 loose dirt and 1/2 busted up cobbles. Many rode this, and many ran it. Once to the top of the steps you had to hop back on your bike to do the grind (<---) the last climb up to the top of the course, which started on loose dirt then finished on a paved road. Virtually EVERYONE that I talked to or overheard said it was the best course and venue they'd ridden. It has it all - singletrack, ups, downs, paved sections, cobbles and grass. Someone stacked it on the tight cobble turns in virtually every race I saw, they WERE slippery and this was on a beautiful dry sunny day. I could just imagine the carnage if it were rainy and wet.
K-Dogg gets the cover shot for Buffallo2Step, Sweeeeeeeet! Stylin' and profilin'.
I'll get more photos up later and a report of a race or 2.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Stack WHAT? Thursday Part Deux
Down for the Thursday nighter at All About Bikes. The temps dropped 35 degrees from last night, down to the low 40's. I'm sure that kept a few in. Still a good group. Seems like Roberio is ALWAYs working on bikes, even when he's not working.
In a nutshell :
It wasn't that cold as long as you kept movin'.
Crazy was singin' some old 80's hairband song that I STILL can't get out of my head.
Kevin couldn't stack it here so he figured he'd stack it in the parking lot.
Art however is a much better stacker.
Just when Roberio and I got warmed up everyone quit, so we stayed out another 30 minutes to get more miles in.
During the ride I wondered why my legs felt dead then remembered the hill repeats yesterday and the fact that this was my 7th day in a row on the bike. More to follow.
Cross Race This Weekend
I first met Phil at Lodi Farms shortly after I started mountain biking. He and Craig set up pits next to us for the 12 hour race. We had a generator but decided it wasn't really necessary as our lights would last the 7 hours of darkness. When Phil heard we had the genny, he quickly produced an expresso machine and we fired it up for an 11PM pre-race caffeine fix. Fresh expresso deep in the woods before mountain biking at midnight. How great is THAT!!? That's when Jason named Phil the Java-Meister.
Chimborazo Park was destroyed by the hurricane last year and a bunch of hard work was spent restoring it to a usable, rideable area. The Park marks the site of the largest Confederate Hospital of the Cival War. So if you get a chance and are near the area stop by and check out the crazy vibe. If you see Phil out there give him handshake, wave, or high 5 in thanks for all the time and effort he put into this thing. He's out there spreading the joy of it all just for the love of the ride. And he Loves2Ride as much as anyone I know.
I'll also get to ride the James River Park System mountain bike trails that run right through downtown Richmond Virginy. You can now do a loop that's crosses the James Riva' twice. The Nisson Extera Off-Road Triathlon series uses these trails. The Forest Hills section is supposed to be tight, twisty, steep, and technical. Jeremiah Bishop gives his review of the ride here.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
We ARE having some really nice weather with a high of 80 today. This will end soon, so it's time to enjoy it while we can.
I was a bit disappointed when I saw the road to "the hill" was closed at both ends this morning. Then I thought "Hey, those cones must be just for cars, my bike can easily fit right between them," and onward I went. Only here at the beach can you ride for 37 minutes and only climb 20 feet. I think it felt more like 25 but what the heck. Then it was up/down and repeat. It was sorta like swimming laps in that after about 5 I lost track of how many I did. Unfortunately once in the "climbing groove" the hill was over and it was back down to the bottom to do it again. Did some standing, some seated, tried different gears all the while concentrating on efficient pedal strokes. There's a climber in me somewhere just dying to get out. It was a great day and nice to be out there. Tomorrow the front comes through and the temps will drop.
After 6 months without I started using the HRM/bike computer thing again. I find I get too wrapped up in the #'s if I use it year round. It'll be interesting to sit down and compare some stuff to last year. It does give you bunches and bunches of data to dwell on:
Hope everyone is having a great day