Saturday, June 30, 2007


MTB Saturday

Plan was to get to the Ravine by 8AM. Plans can and do run amuk. On the trail by 10AM. Saw some good advice at the trailhead. A few loops in by noon. Had a tough race with this dude. He was strong on the uphills, dropped him on a downhill.

Saw Susan and Duane in the parking lot, where I met a friend who made it around the Ravine on just the 2nd time on a MTB ever. Well done. Out at 3PM to the NY deli for a quick snack then off to round 2 :

Site of the 18 hour race. Where the first group was already finishing a muddy sloppy sliding lap.

An-Twan was there, and many of the Richmond crew, miss seein' those folks. CyclesEd and the militia did an awesome job reworking the course which is 70% backwared from last year and %30 brand new trail. Today, after 3 inches of rain, it was %110 slime, but still amazingly ridable. That place holds humidity like a sauna. The air is so thick you could cut it.

Sloppy stuff

What's with all the bad karma?

We're falling like dominos. Laura, then Wild Bill, who ended up in surgery, now the dawg. Freakin' weird stuff.

RideOn and RideSafe.


tomorrow Southside Speedway.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Spanked and Cranked

Thanks to Jim Harman at EX2 and Bike Lane for putting on a spectabulous event. Looks like it'll be an annual thing. I won't wanna miss it.

Thanks also to our Marines for the use of the fine trails, AND for their service to our country. Ooh-Rah.

The course was 9+ miles of awesome trails with loads of climbing, many a log obstacle, 3 aid stations and a set of some sweet whoops too.

Another cool thing was on course marshalls riding around. Since I spent so much time sitting trailside fixing 3 flats and a seat that just wouldn't sit, I got to see those marshalls more than once.
A few highlights:

Hadn't seen Ant-Won and crew since the Sebring24 in Feb. Great to see them all again. Andy won the solo SS class in a battle that went off at the gun and right down to the wire. Never much more than 20 minutes separating the first 3 for the whole 12 hours. After running 2nd the entire race he passed the leader on the last lap and ended up with enough laps to win solo outright. Even though he's puchased a few bikes since then, Andy is still rockin' the same ButtUgly Bianchi that he was riding when I first met him a few years back. He eats fast and rides fast.
I rode in with him on his 9th lap and he was way deep in the hurt locker, but still managed to crank out 2 more laps.

I have to give props to all those that were out there, but especially the ones (and there's just a few) that are my senior and still out there giv'n 'er. Met AndrewM breifly at Lodi a few years back and was in awe of the lap times he was knocking out. He rolls with the whole whole DCCOD/FZK/SpotBrand crew and all of those guys are wicked fast. AndrewM is a true inspiration.

Blair also found a team and made it up there to burn out some hot laps in preparation for TransRockies. Us old guys can still get dirty.

In the pit area at these races you see all manner of support mechanism. From small pop-ups, to big pop-ups, to whole cities of pop-ups ........ but ya gotta give lottsa love to the guy that comes with a chair, a few jugs of water, and an umbrella.

Gotta give thanks and appreciation to CONTE's our loyal team sponsor, and thanks to ace mechanic Clovis for stayin' late to get the recall work on my bike done in time.

Rode another preride lap w/Jase and Blair Saturday. No falls. They waited for me. Knee was pretty sore when climbing. Didn't go all the way up there to watch sooooo to the races :

LAY-MANS start - an absolute joy to do in running shoes.

Lap 1 -Drop into single track and POP seat rotates straight up. Some guys help out trail side as all those (few) behind me pass. 15-20 minutes jerkin around with the thing. At least the trail is open and uncrowded when you're DFL.

Lap 2 - seat pops again, twice. WTF. Attempted trail side fixes, ended up going into pits.

Lap 3 and on - succesion of flats. Was running too low pressure, getting sloppy on the log/tree hops. Thanks to all that offered help on the trail. Had to ride back to the car to scrounge for get more tubes/CO2's.
Also started wicked forearm cramps that made it hard/impossible to brake on bumpy downhills. In a way it was good, 'cause I brake too much anyway. Result was me going faster than ever in many sections. Brakes are a drug. I am a junkie. I'm trying to quit. By the end of each lap I could hardly hold the handlebars. Ended up having to stop after each lap to try to stretch the cramps out of my arms. Figured this would be a problem. Haven't done much MTBing this year. Gonna work on that. Shabby performance overall, but was still a great day in the dirt, and my legs felt good. Can't wait to do it again.

One downhill I passed some guy and was going WAY faster than my wimpy comfort level normally allows. Hit the turns at the end barely in control, but rode 'em out. A few minutes later the rider comes up along side and says "Dude, you RIPPED that section." I wanted to tell him I was trying as hard as I could to stop (I WAS), but I think I was still paralyzed with fear and awe.

Laura saw my wreck pictures and tried to out-do me. She had a tough fall on Sunday. Heal quickly.

Now there's 2 of a kind that'll beat a full house. ---->

Credit team Welch for most of the above pictures. I owe you a few, and some DietCoke .......

RideOn and RideSafe


Saturday, June 23, 2007


Course 1, JB 0

WARNING - This post might not be suitable for work. It contains mildly offensive language, links, and certainly offensive photos. Scroll down at your own risk.

Remember THAT scene in True Romance?

NO not THE phone booth scene.

The trailer scene. Where Don Vincenzo Coccotti, special counsel to Blue Lou Boyle (Chris Walken) is interrogating Clifford Worley (Dennis Hopper). Or as he says "a little Q & A".

Don Vincenzo smacks Mr Worley right on the nose. It goes something like :

"You see that?
That smarts doesn't it. Gettin' slammed in the nose. Eff's you all up.
You get that pain shootin' all through your brain ............ your eyes fill up with water.

That aint any kind of fun. But what I have to offer you ................ that's as good as it's gonna get. And it won't EVER get that good again. "

Today at the pre-ride the course was Don Vincenzo, and I, for a brief few seconds, was Clifford Worley. A momentary lapse of focus on a marble sized gravel downhill ---- and SMACK.
That smarted.
Had that pain shootin' all through my body, my eyes filled up with water, yelled a few expletives, and it wasn't any kind of fun.
I was just wondering why they'd put all those


signs up. Luckily my butt (with more than ample natural padding) took the brunt of it, but so did my shorts, which had a nice (well, not so nice - depending on your viewpoint) trap door ripped out of 'em. Didn't really like those shorts anyway. Riding in the last few miles I was hoping no one would be in the parking lot, and also wondering if I could get a ticket on the military base for indecent exposure. 'Cause there's certainly nothing decent about the any part of my a$$ hanging out of some lycra shorts. Oh well.
Today I'm going to teach that course a lesson on history because

"Ya know, I read a lot. Especially about things... about history. I find that shit fascinating"
RideOn, and RideSafe

I think I'm " in a vendetta kind of mood ......"


Here's the YouTube of THAT scene.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Out a Here

Loaded for bear (but will settle for bull-hamster or tired monkey) and ready to hunt.

BIG PROPS to JohnJ and Brett who finished RAAM today. And to their crews who got them across without a single time penalty. And to everyone that was entered in the event, finish or not, you are all heroes. Our minds can't comprehend the depth of fortitude it took to lay it all on the line out there.

Out a here til Monday

Best of luck to all the skinny tires at the Reston Crit. Ther'll be NO restin' in Reston.,

RideOn and RideSafe


Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Was That an Earthquake?

For some as yet to be explained unknown reason (fear of the LEMans start?) I got the ridiculous urge to go for a run last night. WHAT? The idea popped into my head, and just wouldn't go away until I did it, so I did. Many, many, many, moons ago (say 270 or 290) I really got off on running (---->), and used to crank out some decent times in races from 5k to 26 miles. I was even pretty flexible back then. But that was then, and this is now .............

So off I went, got about 3 miles in on the trails. Really felt sort of good. OK maybe running is a stretch. Jogging, shuffling, sauntering, whatever. When I used to be a "runner" I think I drew the line between running and jogging at the 8 minute/mile pace. I'm SURE I was going slower than that, but it brought back some great memories. SO if you felt some tremors between 8 and 8:30 last night, no need to worry. It wasn't an earthquake, just my thunderous hoofs trying to pound the earth into submission.

Woke up this morning and felt fine. Threw the Caffeine up on the car and got to the NN trails by 6:30AM. Did a couple loops and was back by 9. Sweet. Made me very happy to have a nice film of dirt on my legs by 8:30. Wish I could do that more often. Hmmmmmm, maybe I will. Still sucks having to drive 30-40 minutes to MTB. Oh well. Now its almost 20 hours since my "run" and my legs are sore everywhere. Still its the "good" kind of soreness (I'm trying to convince myself). Hope it's gone by the weekend .

Tried out some different rubber. The choice of the day was Jones XR 1.8s. They rolled fast and felt light, but might not have the volume to provide enough cushion for 12 hours ....... We'll see, said the blind man.

Cannondale recalled many a lefty shock, including mine. Seems they want them torn down, the main nut Loctited, and the unit reassembled. So the steed is in the shop in the expert hands of the experts.


My legs are getting more sore by the minute. What the eff was I thinking?


Tuesday, June 19, 2007


RAAM 'n it

This morning at 8:03 AM, the iron Slovenian Jure' Robic won his third RAAM in the last four years. This will be his last and he certainly went out in style. As his crew commented during the race :

"No one can beat Jure' but Jure'"

He averaged over 300 miles a day, and was on Pete Penseyeres record pace of 15.4 mph for more than 1/2 the race.

At 61 years old Pete completed another RAAM, this time as part of a team.

Jure' finished with close to a 4 hour lead over 2nd place ........

Which looks like it will be Wolfgang Fasching who has 1 hour lead over Gerhard Gulewicz with "just" 70 miles to go. Both riders went through some very tough times (now isn't that an understatement?) toward the end. Fasching has been riding the last 2 days with a neck brace. Rough translation from his website :

"In the last night Wolfgang caravan inserted an two-hour break. In the past six days he slept altogether approximately five hours. By the last two days with continuous rains it cooled the neck. Yesterday he had large problems to keep his head upright. Thus he naturally lost at speed. Today get's better, but not yet optimally. Wolfgang did not have such a problem so far ever, but the Race Across America writes its own laws", describes Doris.…"

Fasching held off a hard charging Gerhard Gulewicz (--->). Who himself was in the depths of battle with last years winner Dani Wyss. They leap frogged repeatedly over the last 400 miles. With just 65 miles to go Gulewicz leads Wyss by about 2 hours. From the Gulewicz site, written on Friday :

"Gerhard had today a break-down. It works completely exhausted, can hardly more at the saddle sit and torments himselves from mile to mile - which hardly helps. The distance to Wyss grew therefore on 3 hours. Between the two physicians therefore a controversy broke out. The one wants it medically worked up, which other one wants times to let it sleep , in order to be able to then attack with something recovered again. The arrears to Wyss do not mean under any circumstances that it is impossible to catch up. On the remaining miles still much can happen… "

Read this on course report by Perry Stone. Gulewicz is riding with a left knee bandaged which he hurt on a fall.

From the Dani Wyss crew on Monday :

"Monday, 18. June, 17,50 o'clock, it reminds you - we have the clothes wash now are we again on the way and we had rather far to drive again caught up.
Before it however we have, and which becomes also the team and the fans about gulewicz to understand, would go in reverse it them also so, to have we been pleased first gerhard to catch up itself. it is a large fight the two supplies themselves and both earns our all respect here.
The projection/lead at estimated 50-60 minutes. dani looks still sensational and nothing interprets daruaf which it its combat spirit would have lost. on the contrary. if one sees this ramp as steep here now it looks at the whole very loosely. "

(Photo by Martin Walser)

Further back in the field even more drama is unfolding, so stay tuned, 'cause these guys are really getting a SERIOUS


(and I hope you are too)


side note - Got some early AM fat tire miles in this AM, then hit the 7:15er with the (huge)skinny tire crowd. Like bringing a knife to a gun fight. One tug and back on to the dirt I went.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Local Junk

While many the crew were spread out around the Commonwealth at the State TT, Bryan Park Road race or doing the Knott's Island Century (JDiesel made it a double+ -----> 213 miles on a fixey!), I needed to get my fat tire junk together before my Monkey gets Cranked next weekend. Odds are my Monkey will get spanked before it's Cranked, but it's still better to be prepared. Especially for a GOOD SPANKIN'.

Numerous hours this weekend wrenchin' 3 bikes that've seen less time on the trail than Paris has in jail.

New pads for the RIG

Many mods for the PIG :

Off with the old, on with the new,

New shoes to replace the old boots.

If your X-Country MTB tires stand up on their own when they're off the rim, they probably :

a.) Weigh too much
b.) Have really strong sidewalls (and weigh too much)
c.) Are ready for your Pugsley and the Iditarod (and weigh too much)
d.) Would be better of used as boat bumpers
e.) All of the above (and they weigh, weigh, weigh ... WAY WAY WAY too much.)

A chop chop here,

A hack hack there,

some cushy new handles.

A few on-trail pressure checks,

and the CDale was rollin' like never before. DIALED in like a bad AM Station. Was REALLY impressed with the cornering. All the front end washout (that I'd grown to despise) was gone. At the traction boundries the rear would slide out in a nice controllable manner. Even had the 2 wheel Tokyo Drift goin' a few times. SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET.

Was tryin' CD's count to 3 thing, When you want to brake, count to 3 before you do ........... then you won't need to anymore.

Can't help but give HUGE kudos to whoever is workin the Maury trails. Numerous reroutes with some fresh benchcuts since a month ago, and many a new TTF. So whoever you are, I owe you an ice cold one (or 6).

Eternally indebted ............... thank you.

Even stumbled upon a hidden Bamboo forest, made me think I was in TIE-Land.

Off to prep my Monkey .............. so he's ready for a good


Wednesday, June 13, 2007



As RAAM enters its 4th day for solo riders I find myself incessently clicking refresh on the results page, staring at the Time Station data and trying to percieve the drama, effort and emotion that is associated with the ordeal. Unfortunately very few teams have been able to come through with regular updates. Understandable. Rider care and comfort is tantamount. For most crews and rookie riders this is the culmination of many years of logistical planning and training. Now it's all on the line, with literally thousands of mile to go.

I've added links to the left to all the teams that have planned on updating and will continue to do so as I find the info.

UltraRob is really doing a splendid job following the race and and spicing it up with pictures and experiences from his own RAAM last year. Check it out.

Here's the latest video from RAAM HQ. Great clips of Larry Optis (Larry is hangin' upside down with me on the Love2Ride banner above)
Nice clips of the New Hampshire guys JohnJ and Brett.

NOTE - As you can hear in the video Brett sounds like he is loosing his voice. He's been battling upper respiratory problems since passing through the dry desert air. During the night he was taken to the emergency room, checked out, and is resting before re-evaluating.

This is a common problem for RAAM racers. It took out Jure' Robic last year, and severly slowed down Kenny Souza. Our thoughts and best wishes are with Brett and Team Walker.

Over night Fabio Biasiolo withdrew for medical reasons, and Hana Ebertova dnf'ed due to exhaustion.

As I find stuff about whats going on I'll try to leave summaries here, so check back when you can.

The race as I see it going into Day 4 :

Jure' Robic returned from last years DNF with a vengence and tried to run and hide from the field while riding 825 miles in the first 48 hours. Robic's crew was hit with multiple penalties that included going riding the wrong way in the highway, and not notifying a Time Station. The rules say too many penalties and you are DQ'd. He was only 2 away, then one was removed after eveidence showed his crew HAD tried to notify the time station, but no one was there. Jure' is really reaching his stride and averaged almost 20 mph between the last 2 Mileage Stations. He is still ahead of the average speed record set by Pete Penseyres in 1986. Photo from

Wolfgang Fasching (at right leaving TS 1) is keeping Jure' in sight. The "smiling Wolf" who won the race 3 times back in the nineties.
He claims this is his last ultra event - "It began with RAAM and it will end with RAAM".
Wolfgang has summited Everest and considers completing RAAM a far greater challenge.

(Very) Roughly translated from his site
Sleeping break inlaid, after 41 hours of permanent journey! ' All together he did two hours of break. Of it he slept after a shower in the Homecar one hour actually. We have also carried out medical tests: The blood analysis was OK, the sodium salary a little bit low. Since then there is egg dish with a lot of salt and also two big inhabitants of Hamburg he has already consumed ', describes manager Doris Fasching. After the break Wolfgang found fast his Rhythm.
ED -I really don't think he was hungry enough to eat 2 whole people. Gotta love those online translators.

Last years rookie winner Dani Wyss have been very close behind, in his quest to defend the title. He is currently third within 4 hours of the lead.
From Dani's crew at TS 23 : agian loosely translated :
"-in few minutes should announce itself schnari from pace car with it heidrun the stick with the newest mail's by you handed over can. thus pace car the crew gets a sensational aid into the hand over dani with mood and thus to keep awake.
-dani in letzen the two to meet for your energy thirsted, but it was to be down-loaded with difficulty mails and into pace car brought. therefore Patrick, furnished its brother, at home a new “energy for dani” address on the website.
-now it is not thus only appropriate for us still with dani and, but also with you, dani strotzt only in such a way before energy.
-these it needs even if it further so strongly to drive is and sometime to carnival and robic wants to attack.
-thus give gas and strike purely in grope which things holds - we and above all dani give finally also everything…"
hasta la Vista of the TS 23

JohnJ is looking good at TS 1

So stay tuned, I'll be searching the web tirelessly to gather the RAAM info.

TS 1 pics courtesy the San Diego Century Riders
Check out Bretts site for a recent update.


Quick Weekend Recap

Amphibious Assault Crit on Saturday. Our team's 2nd "big" race of the year.

As usual my teammates banded together to put on an awesome event at a truly unique venue.

Quick race report : Was 3rd wheel with ChrisD in tow at 1.5 miles to go. Feeling good, waiting and watching for "THE" move. AJ (FatFrogs) made it on the inside and took the group with him. Heard Chris say "lets go", and before I knew it everyone had. I was looking outside and had outside overlap on the guy in front of me. Made the turn onto the penultimate finishing straight dead last in the lead group. From third wheel to 30th in the blink of an eye. Caught totally flatfooted. Shoulda hit the last lap harder but still managed to pass back about 1/2 the field. Props to teammates CD and Fireman John for pulling down top 5 placings, with Chris pulling into 1st place in the State Crit standings. I'll learn ..... eventually. Tough to teach an old dog new tricks so they say. At least it feels like my legs are coming back for the first time in 2 months. Chris's write up here.

Sunday the first PLT (23 mile) TT. I'm not normally too good at putting short hard efforts in consecutive days. Took 6 miles to get my HR up to Time Trial speed. Then my left elbow pad (which had been flexing a bit too much a while) cracked going over a bump. Frustratingly uncomfortable trying to hold my elbow in over the bar. That led to shoulder cramps, which crept into my back and left hamstring, and eventually effected the earth's rotation. OK maybe that's a stretch ......

Power output was good for 30 minutes but legs went dead after that. Eased up till the final 6 mile leg back in, then tried to hammer it. I'm glad TTs aren't usually over an hour, that's enough of that kind of solo suffering for me. As the 3rd rider off the line in my category, targets to shoot for were few and far between. At just over 58 minutes I beat my best time last year by a 1 min 15 sec so I guess that's good. Still major room for improvement.

props to Laura for setting a new course record with the help of her strong engine and my old wheel. Glad that wheel is working for someone.

? What a difference a year makes ?
- Same race, Same turn, Same ArttheDart? You be the judge ... he IS smiling this year .......



Monday, June 11, 2007


Here's Johnny!

Long break, many reasons/excuses. Mainly technology related. Hard drive failures on not one but two computers. Missed (well sort of, maybe, not really) email for 3-5 weeks.

Felt pretty liberated in some ways not to feel the need to sit in front of a monitor and keyboard, checking stuff and doing whatever. Well, at the end it was liberating, at the beginning it was pangs of guilt for loosing touch with some folks who I only had access to through the NET, then it was like kicking a bad habit. Even lost my password/sigon to many blogs, which is a bear to recover when you don't have email. Back in the swing of things again with new iron, better back up schemes etc., etc.

For al lthose that left messages of concern, and the great # of phone calls of concern,


All is well as it can be, no changes in riding habits, still goin out at tryin' to git 'er done. Fitness improvements have been coming in many baby steps forward, some large ones backwards, but the outlook is good.

So if you still are a victim of bad habit and click on this blog after all this time of darkness, keep on keepin' on. Good things are coming back.

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