Friday, September 29, 2006
In the meantime I got almost 4 hours in today. Felt really comfortable on the Six13. Till I got to about 90% of maxHR anyway. First ride of the year with arm warmers. Like it. Where did the year go?
On the way back I stopped off for a few hours to finish a little project I started yesterday on the beach.
I missed our first CX practice yesterday...... wonder how it went?
ps - Actual credit for record sandcastlle goes to Team Sandtastic, I just stopped by to grab some of the glory. 37' 9" high.Well done
Friday, September 22, 2006
The ADK 540
Those words filled the air at every checkpoint. Brett Walker added to the stigma by never stopping. His crew checked him in as he rode on.
The conditions for this years 540 were nothing short of ideal. Riders gathered outside the host Super 8 Motel then lined up for the start as a slight fog tried to lift. After the first 3 hours the misty, drizzly rain gave way to intermittent sunshine and mild temperatures. Overnight lows in the mountains dropped into the high 40s, with daytime high temperatures approaching 80. The 10 mile rough stretch of Route 9 through North Hudson was still rough, but drastically improved from last year. The uneven road at the top of the steep climb into Wilmington was paved.
Even in the best of conditions the 135 mile loop provides more than enough challenge. Only 5 of the 10 that attempted the full 4 loops were able to finish. John Fuoco was forced to pull out near the end of the first loop due to a nagging IT band. Bernie Comeau withdrew after 333 miles with stomach problems.
Brett Walker went through the first 136 mile lap within 10 minutes of the one lap course record. His pace at each successive lap was below the respective course records. 2 laps in 15 hours. 3 laps (408.3 miles) in 23 hours and 33 minutes. 540 miles finished in 32:16, 42 minutes faster than the old record.
The course record at the ADK had held up for 6 years since it was set in 2000 by Rainer Klaus of Germany. Klaus also held the course record for the Furnace Creek 508, and went on to finish 5th in RAAM 2001 as a rookie.
So who was this Walker guy? Brett Walker is from nearby New Hampshire and had been training for this event exclusively for the last 10 months. He even had the password of his email account set to ADK540 followed by the old course record. He rode supported by a crew of 4, with no bicycle mechanicals. His primary support vehicle did have a tire problem that required switching to the spare. This left Walker out on the course alone for 40 minutes, without an idea as to what had happened. Walker was heard on the phone after the race arranging for time off next June. Seems he has a date with RAAM. Seen at right with race director John Ceceri, trying to hide his big Turkey sammich.
Doug Levy, after narrowly missing RAAM qualification at Fireweed this year, was on a mission. He took over 2.5 hours off the over 50 course record finishing 1st in 37:40 and earning the RQ.
He was supported by "Team Fireweed" which included ultra racing legend Lew Meyer.
Jennifer Krebs, in her debut as an ultra road racer, bested to women's course record to finish in 49:23. With the help of Steve Born from Hammer, she was able to arrange an experienced crew of Rich Kondzielaski, and John Kinnicutt. The 3 first met in person just 2 days before the event. Rich had finished the ADK twice, winning once. He also finished 9th in RAAM 2000. John is an experienced ultra runner. Jennifer rode a strong, smart, well paced race.
Kevin Kaiser came up from Georgia to finish second in 36:05. He's had a very busy and successful ultracycling year and previously qualified for RAAM.
The ADK 540 continues to provide ultracyclists a formidable event at which to test there skills. Complete results can be seen here. Some photo stuff here.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Watched this movie last night.
Hadn't seen it in a long long time. I actually used to be able to run back in those days. Brought back many many memories.
Some classic Pre-isms ...........
"There may be men out there who can beat me, but they're going to have to bleed to do it."
"I can endure more pain than anyone you'll ever meet. That's why I can beat anyone you'll ever meet."
He was a dam icon, a superstar, a cult figure, and a phenom all rolled into one. Possibly one of the best runners of all time................?!?
When I was running in high school,Pre held the American record in EVERY distance from 2 miles to 10,000 meters.
He raced from his heart, hated tactics, and thought each race was a work of art. He died tragically at the age of 24. I couldn't watch that part of the movie.
His coach made him some running shoes, then went on to start a little sports shoe company. You may have heard of it.
"I don't want to win unless I know I've done my best, and the only way I know how to do that is to run out front, flat out until I have nothing left. Winning any other way is chicken-shit. "
Go Go Hop-o
People out blingin' pink lids,
and even pink bikes.
Here's to Chris Hopkinson from England for kickin' it up just a notch (or 4) at the UMCA National 24 hour Championships this year. He knocked out 450 miles. Good for 2nd place to Mike Trevino who did 480.
I've gotten some pretty strange reactions from people when they saw me on a bike at 3-4AM during a 24 hour road race. What the heck did people think when they saw him?
Photo credits to bigdogcycle Paul Pierce
Monday, September 11, 2006
Spin for 30-40 minutes on a trainer, then assume the position for an hour? Or go out to hit some berms, rail some turns, grind some hills, and get some thrills?
No brainer, time to get dirty.
Saw many bikes with skinny tires and funny handlebars on cars going east on rt 64 as I drove west at 6:30AM.
Ever since just before the 18 Hour I've had elusive shifting problems on the Epic. Downshifting under power. Every gear, every ring - frustrating as hell. Finally figured it out. Cable housing under the bottom bracket was too short. You can see where the cable end was wearing on the frame stop. Had the cables/housings replaced before the 18 hour. Next time I'll do it myself. If I rode my MTB more than once every 1-2 weeks I'd of probably been forced to figure it out earlier.
Went out to preride a lap and realized the 1.8 Houflle's, which worked so nice on dry hard trails just wouldn't cut it in the soft wet areas. Especially on the climb after the bridge. Just couldn't get traction. Funny that Specialized touts them as a mud tire. So it was back to the car to switch out the rear tire 20 minutes before start time. Shouldn't be a big deal - unless I pinch the tube the first time - I did. Slap another one in and off to the start 3 minutes early.
Haven't been feeling really great on the bike lately. And so the race went. Still was a good workout. Hilbert is an awesome place to race.
Team Lummox rocked the house knocking us out of 1st place in the race for the Team Cup. Best three places score and you can't their beat 3 firsts. WTG. We didn't have enough entered to score as a team. There IS one more race. We'd better BRING IT!
Was showered and packed up ready to head back when I see Schup and Dan-O heading out of the pits together. Turns out Scott caught Dan and they left for the last lap together with 10 minutes left on the clock in the 5 hour enduro. Dam, have to wait to see the finish of this. Dan flatted out and Scott got it! Nice ridin' guys. Now Scott has good reason to practice his shakey victory salute, and maybe he'll remember to remove the body jewelry next time?
Big props to Susan who stopped her racing to help a downed rider, then turned around to ride out and get him help. Dude messed up his ankle bad and had to be carried out. Heal quick.
Blogger not letting me add photos .......... AGAIN! waaaaaaah
Thursday, September 07, 2006
OKAY - They're Here!
It was really quite an experience "covering" the race. Thanks to all you riders for given'r hell out there. Truly an epic event. I'd a been out there with ya' but have a big race in a little over a week. Click slideshow and sit back if you want to just chill and watch the photos.
Keep in mind that the photos in the galleries are low res. ALL of these photos were shot at full resolution with an 8.1 megapixel camera, and saved at maximum file size in JPEG. Over 5 GIGS of photos. The prints are made of course with the full High-Resolution file. EVERY shot was edited, cropped, corrected, filtered etc. by me. I went through the files 3 times. Didn't do ANY batch processing.
You'll find a lot more scenery around the riders in my shots than elsewhere, the terrain is what makes it mountain biking. If you just want a picture of yourself on your bike, get it out on the driveway.
I enjoyed going back through the photos. There's some classic facial expressions in there. Real heart and soul. Made me smile. A lot. All you racers out there deserve a big round of applause.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
7Springs Photos Are Coming
Slowly getting them loaded up.
Till them some artsy stuff to wet your whistle.
Monday, September 04, 2006
7Springs Subaro 24hr Champion Challenge
TOUGH AS NAILS
As is usual it's hard to put 24 hours of mountain bike insanity into words but I'll give it a go.
There's a lot of things that this race IS. Fun, challenging, technical, a bunch of climbing, a chance to see old friends and make new ones...
This year there was a few things it wasn't:
DRY and DUSTY
The conditions were at best difficult. If you came to have fun, you would, that's just a matter of attitude. If you came to race, you'd better have brought your WHOLE game, and be ready to lay it all down, 'cause that was just what it would take.
At the start it seems like one racer knows what is in store.
The first lap was led by a Dirty Harry's Team rider (TJ Platt?), who turned the fastest lap at 1:07 on a single speed. Tinker Juarez (solo of course) was close behind in second. They had already opened up a 3-4 minute gap on the field.
Mike Schultz was not far behind in second place solo. He would stay on the same lap as Tinker for more than half the race.
As the "sun" went down a thick fog descended upon the mountain that made riding like driving while blind. Even with the best lights money can buy visibility was about 4 feet. Many just packed it in, to get up and ride again at daylight, or not ride again at all.
Somewhere just after midnight Tinker lapped Mike. Fast solo laps were now in the 1:35-1:50 range, add in 5-10 minutes for bike and clothes changes, a bite to eat, and logged lap times were around 2 hours.
After the "sun" came up it was cruise control for most solo riders that remained. Between 9 and 10AM the whole math game comes into play. The Cannondale/Juarez crew was checking the board and figuring things out to help their rider. It looked like Tinker quite possibly could finish his lap just before 10AM and not have to go back out.
After a quick pit Mike went back on the course at 8:15 and said "I have 2 more laps in me, and that's it, I'm DONE". If he could turn those laps in 3:45 and finish before noon, Tinker would have to go again, and it would be a race for the last lap. Rose and Terry Juarez, having seen Tinker suffer enough in RAAM for 3 lifetimes, were all for him stopping and waiting it out. 2 laps in 3:45 on this course, at this stage of the game, would be possible but almost superhuman.
As Tinker reached the end of the last climb at ~9:50, his crew was there and ready to tell him to pull off and wait, he shouldn't have to go out again. Tinker just looked up through tired but determined eyes and said - "I'm going on, it's too early to quit". During the 23rd hour, I was over by the Juarez/Cannondale camp. Terry looks up and says , "You know this is a tough as nails event. You have to be tough as nails to ride this course for 24 hours." Yup, you sure got that right. Tough as nails.
An hour and 45 minutes later Tinker came by the same spot near the top of the last climb. I told him he didn't have to go out again. With a slight smile he said "I'm stopping now, I have no power left". He knew the race was over, the deal closed. He won it like the pro he is, not by sitting around and waiting, but by going out and gettin' 'er done.
Mike went on to get those 2 laps, finishing after 12 noon. He put in an absolutely heroic effort out there for second place. After some digestive problems held him back at Nationals, he came to this race ready and got some well deserved redemption.
Huge round of applause to everyone out there that took part in this epic event.
I tried to illustrate this a bit more, but once again, blogger shut down the image posting.
I have MANY MANY MANY pictures to put up. I have to say it's some of the best stuff I've done with a camera. Still learning though. The lighting conditions left a lot to be desired, but it helps when you have a bunch of crazies out their getting dirty and having fun. Over 850 shots have been through the cropping, correcting and editing stream once. I'll go through them again tonight and have a link up here on Wednesday morning. It was quite an experience being out there as a full time spectator/photog and not racing. There was only 1 or 2 times I wanted to trade places with you all.
It's a warm sunny day here in western PA, think I'll get out on my bike and play....
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Half Way Home - 12 Hours to Go
Friday, September 01, 2006
Yunz Have a Good Day
The rain never stopped the whole way up to 7Springs, but it did slow to a steady drizzle. Set up a pit area w/ JM in preparation for his solo ride in the 24 hr. It got colder and colder as the day went on. Temps barely above 50 with a brisk mountaintop "breeze" of 20-30mph. If it wasn't bolted down it wasn't stayin' put.
I knew it would be cold here at night, it was last year. I thought I'd packed appropriately, but realized that 3 pairs of shorts and one pair of jeans just aint gonna cut it through the midnight hours tomorrow. Somerset, the closest town, has no clothing stores...............BUT... they DO have a Harley Shop. Soooooo I picked up a nice warm hoodie.
At the check out, this nice looking biker babe rings me up and says:
"So what kind of bike do you have?" She obviously didn't look at the ones on my roof rack when I pulled into the lot.
"A Specialiazed" I answered.
"Hmmm. is that a custom?" she asked.
"Well, I've done some things to it, like change the bars, the seat and grips."
The 7Springs course is a bit different this year. The last climb has been changed, "in an effort to make it easier!?". But no matter how you dress it up 1000 feet of vertical in 3/4 mile is just that ...... 1000 feet of vertical. At least you don't have to slide sideways on a traverse through waist deep grass like last year.
Been trying to get the Audio Blogger thing working but for some reason my posts aren't going up. I'd like to do some live updates if the thing gets to working right.
Oh yeah, had the pleasure and honor of meeting Tinker and Rose Juarez today. A couple of truly special people. Tinker is flying on the new all Carbon Rush magic carpet. He makes it look so easy.