Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Another Day

Sunrise beside the Blue Moon this AM for the 7:15er.
Wet foggy air early gave way to a beautiful day.
Crit canceled Sunday due to rain.
AtD (Art the Dart), is progressing day by day at Va Bch Sentara Country Club. His head wants out of there, but his body (and his docs) may keep him a day or 2 longer. He's gotten lots of visitors, lots on love, but not nurse Lindsey's phone number. Come on Art, bust a move! In his defense he's been trying to bust a move(ment), but you know what that pain medicine does to your system .....
It was the first carnage in over 2 years of group rides, and just shows us all what a fine delicate line we balance on. Happened on the 3rd saturday loop and I hate to say I'm quite glad I missed it. May everyone recover quickly.
RideOn (rubber side down).

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Cold? ....... nah

Pretty impressive turnout for the 7:15 group ride this AM. Considering this IS Virginia BEach and the temps were high 20s with a 15+ mph gusty north wind.

Looking at the photo I had to wonder - Who's the mystery rider with the belly ache?.......

A closer look reveals nothing

Rumor spread it was Jan, here for some early training to drop those winter pounds he's so fond of collecting. The diet of hummas and Heffeweisen has made his tummy a bit uneasy.
Was a nice day to get a

Friday, February 23, 2007


Going's On

Pretty true :

How To Shower - Men & Women - Watch a funny movie here

Nice thing about winding down from a big race is getting caught up on all the racing action that's been blogged about everywhere. Season's are beginning everywhere. Rather than redo his great job I'll refer you to UltraRob who has put up links to great reports.

Don't forget to read about the 24 hours of Old Pueblo by Tinker, Adam, Dave, and Lynda - heal quickly Lynda.

6/12 hours of Razorback - the first of the NORBA marathon series. Reports by Namrita, and Eddie O. and the solo Goat.



Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Sebring 24 Hour

The Short Version :

It was cold. It got warmer, it got windier, it got colder, it got windier, the wind let up for a while. It started raining. I was asleep.

Did the first century in sub 5 hours. No-drafting. Sort of a "new" PR.

216 miles in less than 12 hours
Fell asleep on (and fell off) my bike at 21 hours. Pulled the plug with 350+ miles.
If you want the rest of the sordid details,

ReadOn my friend,

The Long Version :

The Century Loop

Start at 6:30AM, temp had "warmed up" to 35 or so. WHAT? This is southern Florida isn't it?

I had plenty of layers on. Thick tights, heavy winter gloves, balaclava too. Looked like many had decided not to start because of the cold weather. Expected a big group of drafters to take off at warp speed like last year but that never happened. I went out smooth and steady and was actually too warm early on. D-Bo was riding around w/Andy's crew so I was able to switch to some thinner gloves. That helped.

It was nice to talk to Tim Bol and Kevin Kaiser for a while as we leap frogged through the century. Shed the balaclava at mile 65. I was getting hot and needed to loose the tights, but was feeling too good too stop.

Ran out of fluids at mile 75. The sun was out in full force and I guess the temp was approaching 50. I was definately getting over heated. The last 10 miles were a bit miserable - directly into a freshening 10-15 mph wind. My mouth felt like a desert. Tried to choke down Gu's but they just stuck to everything in my dry mouth like glue. Still managed a sub 5 hour (no-drafting) century. I guess that's sort of a PR. Last time I'd broke 5 hours was maybe 25 years ago ........... yeesh I'm getting old. Seems to be a right of passage every year at Sebring to get leg cramps in the first century. Was prepared with Endurolytes and they did the trick. Took 4-6 every hour, while I had fluids anyway. Was pretty dry and bonked by the end of the century.

Back at the pits I slammed some water, shed layers, took more ECaps, filled another bladder and off on the short loops. 20 minutes stop time. Saw Hoppo roll by 1 lap ahead. That guy is awesome. I'd first met him at the Texas 24. He's always offering encouraging words. I got back ahead of the energy/hydration curve after 4-5 12 mile laps.

The wind seemed to be increasing (I was probably just getting tired) and felt like it was directly into our face on the first leg of the 12 mile loop. The last 3-4 mile straight was dead downwind and WICKED fast. Drop it onto the 12 tooth and crank it up. Started every short loop with a frown, and finished it with a smile.

After about 6 12 mile loops the wind was starting to get to my head. I'd really planned on getting in 10 short loops, but that first beat into the wind on Rt 98 was relentless, and seemed to get worse every lap. I had to put my head down and stare at the pavement for 3-4 miles, not looking up until near the end. When I saw a Powerbar someone had dropped on the shoulder, I knew that stretch of road was almost finished.

Went to the track at 11:15 into the race or so, and was really excited about not having to climb those pesky little whoop-de-doos and ride into the wind anymore. Was so thrilled I almost sprinted onto the track. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, releaf is here ............... or so I thought.

The wind was even worse on the open exposed track. DEAD into our face on the long straight toward the hotel. 14 mph was almost impossible. On the first lap I think 45 recumbents passed me. OK maybe that's a stretch.

I did another lap and the wind was really getting me down.

I saw the pit was set up so I pulled off and started having the first of many conversations with myself.

In the pits I put some layers back on, and lights. Cried to anyone who would listen about the wind. Andy was there ready to make the transition into the night. Couldn't get my back up light to stay on the mount. Wasted a ton of time. Went back out.
A few laps more as the darkness fell I realized my main light had some kind of short. Every bump would make it flicker and sometimes go off for a second or two. Was annoying. Realized my iPod was in my backback. I needed the music. Stopped again to check the light and put headphones on. Messed more with the backup light. It fell off by the end of pit row. Stopped on the next lap to pick it up.

My iPod played one song then stopped. I turned it on again and the Stephen Hawkings audio book "A Brief History of Time" was playing. That was bizzare.

"If a star were a grain of salt, you could fit all the stars visable to the nakid eye in a teaspoon, but all the stars in the universe would fill a bowl more than 8 miles wide ............... "

Thank you Stephen. I think.

What I really needed to know was,

"How many blinkies does it take to fill a support van?"

I stopped once more, fixed the iPod to play like it should, messed with the lights to no avail, then went out again. Decided to memorize the blinking lights marking the course in case I had to finish with no headlight.

Then things finally started to feel right. The tunes were playing (thanks Jason for the mix #16 that got me through a good 1 hour+). My legs felt strong, I was keeping a nice pace, and life was grand. Just the way it should be. Laps were going by quickly. Took the Camelback off and felt like I was flying. New bottle of fuel every 5 laps. For an all too short period of time I felt like I was driving one of those open wheeled cars around the course, BOY was that fun!!!

Then my light finally went out. Rode a lap or 2 in the dark. It would blink on occasionally, but for the most part it was cooked. I went to the pits to try to find a cure. Jim and Kyle worked hard to figure something out. We eventually found the problem with the main light (the spare was fried from bouncing down the road).

I was off again.
Jim had checked the sheet and told me I had 320 miles in with just over 5 hours left. I knew RQing was impossible with all the time off the bike, so I set my goal at 400 miles. Did the math and figured I'd need 23 more laps. Didn't seem to be a stretch. Figured on doing three sets - 8, then 8, then 7. Rest stops in between.

During the first 8, I noticed I was having a little trouble focusing. I was riding the entire night without clear glasses (won't do that again) and I think the wind combined with the high contrast was making my eyes tired. Stopped for a quick refuel.

My first lap out in the next set was really bizarre. Everything was going fine until ........

I woke up with a start to find myself rolling through the grass off the track. PHEEEEW.

Got back on the track and tried to figure out what had just happened. I'd never fallen asleep while riding. Before I could figure things out, it happened again toward the end of the lap. This time I actually fell off the bike at a low speed into some sand/grass. Strange.

Cruised into the pits in a confused state and decided to pull the plug with a bit less than 3 hours to go. I'll have a whole year to ponder whether or not it was the right decision. I guess I could've rested for a while, then tried to go back out, but with the temperature dropping, it was harder and harder to get back on the bike after cooling down.

I pulled the car over to the hotel, took a nice hot shower and crawled into bed. As I did D-Bo went out and collected up all my stuff from the pit area, and turned in my timing chip. Much thanks. He said it started raining at 4:45 AM, so I guess I'm quite glad that I didn't ride through it. (That's abject rationalization powered by 20/20 hindsight and disappointment).

Bryce came up to the room to get a shower after riding the whole time. He started out not feeling to well and finished strong. Well done. He said they had a medal for my 3rd place. Oh well, slept through another one. Kudos to Andrea Tosalini (1st finisher at BMB this year) who won my age group.
The pits, once bustling with activity, were quite empty during the wee hours of the morning.

BIG PROPS to all of you that raced, crewed, yelled, volunteered, and supported. As Lou said, there was a whole lot of love out there. Made me proud to be part of the ultra community. Especially to all that actually rode the entire time. Looks like the worse conditions (temps in the 40s and rain) were at the end. You folks are tougher than nails.
A great big thank you to Kyle, Jim, and yes, D-B0 too. Was great having you all out there.

The good thing - I feel better than I ever have after a 24 (okay just 21 hour) event. Actually got back on my bike 10 hours later in Dade City with thoughts of doing a Crit with D-Bo. Rode for 20-30 minutes and realized racing was out of the question, but it still felt better riding than sitting down or walking, and I've ridden comfortably every day since.

Thanks for reading, and





Active Recovery

Went for a recovery ride.

The bike has nice balance .......

You can read some nice Sebring reports by :

Team Sorella
Pete and Wendy have some photos up here.

Stay tuned and



Monday, February 19, 2007



You can rate races any number of ways, total miles, finishing place, average speed blah blah blah

But when it comes down to it the thing that sticks with me most is the value and richness of the overall experience. Seeing the sights, smelling the smells, feeling the pain, making the memories.

This whole weekend has been one of the best.

D-Bo doing

some prerace wrenching for me.

Ace mountain biker Andy got to try his first Ultra Road Race, he won his age group.

Andy brought his crew which I adopted, or did they adopt me? Between them and D-Bo I had more help than ever at one of these.

JohnJ at the start - he won the 12 hour. That's Bryce in the background.

Bryce has some crazy skills I didn't even know about. 65 miles in. Didn't realize it was him til I looked at the photo this AM.

Had a lot of fun cranking out some of fast laps with Brett during the night shift. He won the 24 hour RAAM division.

Warming up with D-Bo for the Sunday Crit in Dade City .
More later,
Check Dans site for some more.

Friday, February 16, 2007


On the Move

12 hours on Thursday cramped up in a car

are immediately releaved by a nice spin

Before the cold weather comes in,

Dan trying hard to stop his teeth from chatterin' this AM. 46 degrees, light drizzle. On the way to a nice group ride.

But remember, this is Florida, and :

The sun - it WILL set you free.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007



Seems you can find inspiration anywhere you look, as long as you have your eyes open for it. Other times it just hits you really hard right in the nose.

From the person that is just trying to hang on at their first group ride, to some of the fastest guys (AND girls) on our team trying to find a way to increase their performance while juggling the day to day demands of life and family. Sure it's inspirational to see all the go-fast pros knocking out new PRs and standing on boxes everywhere, but I get more from the middle and back of the packers - maybe because that's what I am. Those that are out there slugging and slogging amidst the everyday trials and tribulations of our human condition.

Today I got on the rollers again. Still finding it quite fun (yes Andy it will grow old, but I'm enjoying it while I can). Even in the biggest gear rollers aren't too intensive, and they sure get you to smooth out your pedal stroke. I'm sort of wishing I'd of started on 'em earlier.

Before the workout I was scanning the DVD drawer to find suitable inspiration, and stumbled upon the RAAM 2003 DVD. Forgot I even had it. Probably because it was in the wrong DVD case. Somehow it got in there with the Collective.

Watching the thing was fascinating. 2003 was Allen Larsen's second year, the year he came in first place ahead of a rookie named Jure' Robic. The coverage was by OLN and a compilation of the 4 episodes they broadcast on TV. The adventure and drama that unfolded both in the front and at the back of the pack made an hour go buy in the blink of an eye. The stories really put a lot of things in perspective. On one hand it made my upcoming little 24 hour race seem insignificant. But on the other hand it made it the most important thing in the world. What it didn't do is trivialize the struggles we all go through, both on and off the bike. I was about to reluctantly hop off the bike at the end of the DVD when a little tribute came on. I'm really sure I never saw this before, and was totally unaware that it was there on the DVD.

It was a speech at the finish line by Zach Bingham of Team Vail/Go Fast. After watching it the first time I rewound it and played it again, then again. Then I had to get off the bike and watch it a few more times. It really hit home. I'll paraphrase it :

Zach finishing his description of the RAAM 2001 race :
"Most of all we learned a lot about the race and about each other.

During the race across america personalities get stripped down, and you can see what's inside. Like an onion, peeled to the core, and it's not always for the best. In RAAM there's no chance to hide your flaws, every crew member and every racer knows what I mean. But there is a chance to see your personality in a new way and improve yourself...........

The experience of RAAM changed all of our lives, we gave RAAM a check and some sweat and got something we did not expect in return."

Then he goes on to describe the 2003 race :
"But I do know that this experience in RAAM let him see and feel things that most people will never get to see or feel...............................

We all must continue down the road, to see the sights, and smell the smells .......................

RAAM must continue so the richness of the experience can be enjoyed by more people. The intensity .......... the highs........... and yes the lows. It's all a part of life, we just cram a decade of it into a week and call it a race.....

The only way to see what it is we left out there is to race again. Team Vail will be back, to race the 4 man division for Brett, again next year."

Team Vail-GoFast (now Vail/Beaver Creek) has been there every year since, seeing the sights, smelling the smells, experiencing the highs ................. and yes the lows.

They finished every year except 2003, when Zach made that speech. That year they lost a close friend and racer Brett Malin, who was struck by a semi and killed during the race.

I edited out some of the speech, to focus mainly on the joy and not to revisit any sadness.

Team Vail/Beaver Creek will ride again this year.

I thank them all for the inspiration. It's not often that I am (or will admit to being) moved to tears, but this was one of those moments.



note - I struggled with this post. Not the actual writing of it, but putting it up. The last thing I wanted to do was reopen anyone's sadness or sorrow. From what I've seen and heard of those involved, I really don't believe it will. If it did, I'm truly sorry.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Say It Aint So.........

February 12th:
Dear Diary,
This morning I rode inside for the first time of the year. Wasn't too bad actually, might even do it again tonight.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Mythbusters Part 1

Even though I think I have a pretty good basic understanding about bike geometry, I still get hung up somewhere between the columns of numbers and the feeling in the seat of my pants. Seems almost impossible for me to make "riding" sense out of all that data. Even when you can find different manufacturers that actually quote the same measurements, you can't be really sure they're done the same way. No matter how hard they try to explain it to you.(scroll down on that link)

Case in point - Just try to compare numbers on frame geometry between the Gary Fisher RIG and the C'Dale Caffeine :


Absolutely impossible. Only 1 or 2 of the metrics are the same.

The proof of the puddin' is always in the ridin'.

It'd be nice to line up the bikes you're comparing or considering to buy next to each other live and in person, but that isn't practical for the most part. Heck, I wanted to line them up next to each other in my own home since I've had them, but couldn't seem to make the time. It's always more fun getting your RideOn than thinking about all this jibberish anyway.

Then I got a brainstorm!!!!!!! Well........................ Maybe not a full on storm, but more like a graupel laden thundershower :

Take pictures! Yeaaaaaa. That's the ticket.

Now I know a whole lot more about photography than I do about frame geometry, and I know the photo technique on these shots sucked. Better lighting and a longer focal length would be a big improvement. But bear with me, it's something I whipped up in a flurry last night.

The camera was on a tripod 30 inches high, and 92 inches away from the bikes. Those #'s are totally insignificant, but they were consistant and hence reproducible.

Throw up a green screen behind the bike and voila' :

The green screen just makes it easier to clean up the background :

No, that isn't some fancy new double spoke pattern. It's just shadows, silly. I already told you my lighting was rushed and haphazard.

Then you (or me as the case may be) can draw lines, doodles, and other funny faces all over the image.

Which can then be stripped, observed, and pondered. I'm overwhelmed by all the deep, intellectual, mind-numbing, thought processes that could be inspired.

All pretty cool stuff.

But not as cool as being able to overlay the metrics/geometry of your many bikes(s) on top of each other!

We'll do just that in part 2.

Now imagine, if you will, a standardized and AVAILABLE database of ALL two wheeled vehicles that you could (with a click or two of a mouse) - overlay, compare, and ANALyze ad nauseum.

My goodness - a veritable orgy of stripped down bicycle graphics and dimensions. Here I sit beside myself in awe of the potential ramifications.



Sunday, February 11, 2007



Hit up the Swich w/ D-Bo Friday.

I think Lon Haldeman said :
"You can train too much, but you can't ride too much."
Friday was a GREAT ride.

Dan was dressed like a Ninja, (Ninjas are often lurking in shadows, even when fixing a flat on a frigid sunny day)

and he rode like one too.

Ninjas don't carry extra tubes, or CO2.

They make them magically appear (out of their riding partners pockets) when they flat.

Lots of stunts, skinnies, teeters, and what not at the Swich since I was there last. Fun stuff.

Made plans for the Florida road trip.

Fixed gear lust - soon to be sated .



Thursday, February 08, 2007


Going LONG

With the first ultra road race just over a week away I've (finally) redone some linkage over to the left. Put some RAAM stuff on the top as the event is rapidly approaching. 2 folks that are entered this year and 2 that finished last year. And one that, well, he basically started the madness, and he still rides, and rides, and rides, and rides.

If you didn't follow Bryce's blog during last years event, it's worth going back through to read the archives if you have time to burn. Go here to start reading from the beginning of the race. There are some incredible times shared by the crew, as well as some inspiring comments. Good reading. I particularly like the following which is quoted from his blog :

"Imagine being one thousand times more exhausted than you’ve ever been in
your life. Your body started making outright demands for real sleep over 6 days
and 2000 miles ago. Finally, when your legs absolutely refuse to pedal one mile
further without a break, you are told that you are allowed to rest — for 3
hours. Then you are expected to get up, feel rejuvenated, and race well once

Good stuff. Looking forward to seeing Bryce again at Sebring and shaking his hand.

I posted the link to Shanna's new blog which has been pretty active with her preparing for this year's Swiss Gigathlon. The GIG is a 9 day race on foot, inline skates, mountain bike, swimming, road bike, and I don't know what else - 'cause my German isn't as good as it once was.

Here is a link to Shanna's RAAM 2006 blog from the beginning.

The UMCA seems to have run amuk. If you want to read about it go here or here. I would rather just



Wednesday, February 07, 2007


cOld News

Lots of Locals went up to H'burg for the Epic Superbowl Sunday Ride. Wes has a nice report here. Danbo and Kevin and Liz too.

The Richmond crew got their own tradition started at Sherando on Sunday.

I had a hundred excuses, (and a few of them good ones), to stay in bed a bit later on Sunday then hit Freedom Park again for an easy recovery ride. This time on the Epic, which was dialed in with new pedal style. If they only made a 29er Epic. Really appreciated the auto lockout terralogic Fox Forks after dealing with locking out the bobbing Lefty. If only FOX made a 29er fork....... maybe someday.

Lots of history in the area. Looks like they're recreating some of it on the property.

Had 1-2 inches of snow forecast for this morning. Got excited about possibly riding in it. It never came. Still a nice cool morning to get out and get a good



Saturday, February 03, 2007



Gettin a little chilly out.

Got 4+ hours of sleddin' in on Friday.

no no no. Not that sled.............................................

This one:

With over 10 hours of single track now on the C'Dale Caffiene 29er,

Some universal truthes can be revealed.

It feels a bit more like this sled :

Than this one :

But it still is fun to ride. (So is a moped)

Hit up Freedom Park in the drizzly 40 degree rain in an attempt to further develop my relationship with the Caffiene.

Lots of love-hate going on. Well........ hate's a strong word.

Let's say love-dislike?

Nah, more like love-confusion. Yea, that's it.

Love-confusion. I guess Love and Confusion go hand in hand most of the time anyway. (Universal truth #1)

Like many relationships. Sometimes you just have to stop trying to figure things out, and go with the flow. (Universal truth #2)

Unfortunately Blindly going with the flow can lead to some dangerous, and potentially painful situations. (Universal Truth #3). Everytime the flow got going, the front end would wash out. Lots of understeer in fast corners. Still feels like the head tube angle is too steep. Whatever. Just embrace it and ride.

I really enjoyed the trails. Lots of tight twisties. Sort of like Lodi Farms, with less climbing, roots, and squeeze plays.

With average temps stuck in the 30s the group rides were a bit chilly today, but fun nontheless. With Wild Bill up at the D20 officials clinic, Wayno volunteered Dag to be our leader. And lead he did. If that doesn't instill the fear of road rash in ya' - nothin' will.. Everyone behaved and the rides went smooth as silk. Rough silk maybe, but still smooth. Nice rides.



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