The 7:15er was changed to the 7:10er to avoid the dreaded school buses that stop at every block near the end of Shore Dr. I think to ride was fast enough to hit the earlier bus. Lots of strong engines pullin' the train on Thursday, just not enough train track.
Out in the park for an early recovery ride Friday, got a chance to ride with this young man:
Thought I was takin' a pic, got a video instead.
Practicing the step through dismount.
Requires balance, total commitment .......
and oh yeah ----- it helps to unclip before that first step or you'll fall hard with your bike on top of you and get covered in sand. My back was bothering me before the fall, now it's not. Voila! Instant spine adjustment.
This'd be a "ride in the park" on a MTB .............
But on a CX bike you must focus and concentrate ........
CX practice was well attended with close to 20 folks from a CXsection of all local teams.
But before we get to that be sure to check out Biker BJ's slideshow HERE. Really an awesome thing. She did a great job. Really captured the emotion and FUN of the season. You don't see many people smilin' at a road race (one of the reasons I like MTBin' more), but it's still ridin', and I love 2 do that. The slideshow makes me think about how much fun we had this year amidst all the pain, and how much I love bein' on this team and all the people on it!!!!!! WooooHoooo!
YOU ALL ARE THE BEST!!!! Vive le TriPower
Soooo Anyway ........
Got out to the rubbish pile early enough to get 30 minutes of running (wooops - I should say jogging) in.
Then we went and practiced starts for a while. 4 person groups, 100 yards out in thegrass, 180 turn, 100 yards back. Got things goin' with a good burn. Everyone got 4-5 reps in. Kicked my a$$.
Then some laps, some barriers, and some hills. Finished watchin' the moon rise as the sun goes down. Great way to end the day.
You have to check out Silly Super Sally's Sexy Salsa CX bike.
Up at 0-dark-hundred. Outside putting my shoes one. Stand up take one step :
I stepped on my blinky. Won't blink anymore, won't even turn on. Oh well.
Hustlin' down to the 7:15er, which is now the 7:10er, solo TT style. Decide to go straight down Atlantic to be on time, hit a big kaaaaaa-rack in the pavement in the "Bike-Lane".
ffffffftttt .......ffffttttttt...... ffffttt...fftt EF! EF! Rear flat. Coast on up to Holly Rd. to at least SEE the group.
Changing the tube and realize I have no valve extension. EF! EF! EF! Look up as they roll by and beg for an extension. Luckily JDiesel has one. Fixed and rollin' in a jiffy. Looked like lots of folks were a bit late today. We still missed the Shore Drive school buses.
The rest of the ride uneventful : A flat false alarm, my legs felt dead, AtD wheezed a bit. Crazy's back on the bike after a week off.
Exciting day on Sunday as the Virginia Beach Soccer Crit Course opened for the first race. Just a paved road with no cars would seem simple enough, but with the City government negotiations and endless bureaucratic red tape it really represents far more than that. It's a victory for everyone that rides a bike.
The course is just under 3/4 of a mile, with enough smooth turns and wind to make it fun.
Literally a decade or more of persistent hard work and planning went into getting this thing done, and those involved deserve not just a round of applause, but a standing ovation.
Even more exciting is the possibility in the future of extending the course into the woods on the top right to make a circuit of well over a mile. All we have to do is show our support by using the thing.
The initial plan was to race 45+ in the B race then try to hang on with the A race (Cat 1234) till I exploded in a burst of quickly dying flames. But alas my upgrade didn't come through in time, sooooooo ............. it was just one scorchin' race for the day.
With Masters, Juniors, Cat5, and Ladies all included the B race was bound to split up early, and it was obvious the wheels to watch were the dynamic junior duo of Lucas and Elliot (Fat Frogs) as well as their teammate and BAR Champ, the always strong and powerful AJ, (no we're not brothers, and YES you should've upgraded already AJ! ;-) ).
At the start the 2 young (Cat 3) guns took off and were looking over their shoulder at the pack by the first turn. I resisted the urge to chase, as that would've been sure self destruction that early on. A lap or 2 later 4 of us went off to try and catch them with only 2 making it, AJ and a teammate. Dan (East Coast Bikes) and I were left in no-mans land. One of the front four cracked and dropped back with the main pack. Pretty much the way it finished with Dan and I trading pulls to stay ahead of the group. Not really much of a chance of us catching those 3 strong guys out front, so it was just damage control to the finish. He got stuck with the last pull, which made it easier for me to nose him out in a sprint to the line.
The A race was wicked fast and spewed riders off the back from early on. K-Dogghas some of Bob D's photos up. Josh was out there too.
The course is really a bunch of fun to race on. None of the turns are too tight, and each one is different enough to keep it interesting. The next races are next Sunday, so get out there, have some fun, and show the City how much we'll support this thing!
Much needed rain was drizzling all day so official Cross practice was canceled. More out of respect for the property and relationship with the City than anything else.
But I had the bike loaded up, and the running shoes (I thought) with the gear in the car ....... and it IS on the way home ........
So I went out to The Rubbish Pile anyway to get a few laps of running and some steps in.
Got there and saw the normal lot closed and all kinds of media there, Including a hovering News helicopter. WHAT? Maybe they were there to cover our practice? and didn't hear it was canceled? Cross IS getting more popular .........
Went to put on running shoes and found that in the semi-awake delirium of the morning I'd grabbed 1 road shoe and 1 running shoe. Both for the same foot. EF.
They both WERE grey, easy mistake ..... I guess.
Luckily I had some MTB shoes in the trunk. With 2 blown out ankles and 1/2 a blown out knee I HATE (that's a strong word) running in MTB shoes, even for short distances. No choice. Rode a few easy warm up laps around the whole park, then hit the steps for repeats. Got plenty of practice with mounts and dismounts. Have almost totally eliminated the stupid extra little hop I seem to want to take on remounting.
The whole while the helicopter was hovering and people were congregating, followed by crews with cameras. Then they took over part of the trail including the cross course. As I was packing it in and KJ rides up on his CX bike. He didn't get the memo .......
Keith DID know what the whole march/media thing was about. It was all about this Jena 6 thing. Excuse my social ignorance, but I hadn't even heard of it. So if the march was to raise awareness, it did, by 1. I'm not going to further display my ignorance by making any comments or opinions on the whole thing ......... other than to say ,
HATE is a strong word.
But I already said that.
and ignorance, while it may be bliss, is just plain stupid, and when combined with hate can be downright dangerous.
Is it just my imagination, or are car drivers getting more and more reckless and thoughtless?
Whatever happened to Share the Road?
At the shop there was a sign of things to come.
Later that evening was a private showing of the new Specialized Transition. Only 10 of these rides exist and we were all very excited to see one. Afterwards the bike was boxed up and sent to Las Vegas to make an appearance at Interbike. Believe me when I tell you - this bike is drop dead gorgeous. Bike porn at it's finest.
Catered food and (adult) refreshments made the viewing even more palatable.
The Specialized rep was on hand to answer all questions, and to take orders. Expected completion of first production run - end of November.
I'm soooo not worthy.......................
All in all a good time was had by all. Only a few puddles of lustful drool were found. It was great to see everyone out there not wrapped up in lycra.
Thanks to our hosts for their hospitality and service. There was many a drawing for many a door prize.
Getting a handle on this course, and can pretty much get around it (almost) with nary a wrong turn. Trying to figure why this is so tough (and it is) ...... I'll let you know when I do. hah
One thing for sure, that dam (blankity-blank, insert your favorite expletives (or ask Liz for some) here) walk/crawl/shuffle up is just nasty. It was harder today than yesterday. It's definitely one of those "you have to be there" sort of things. Words, descriptions, and photos do it no justice at all.
And after the first crawl you're greated with a quick descent, another short run up. a shorter ride, then the last shuffle up. So it's really like 3 slogs in a row. Really nice to hit Ridge "Road" after that is done.
After the big crawl , looking at the next 2(--->)
Today I somehow got off track in the road section after the steep descent of Thompson Hollow "Road". Figured I could make it through without consulting the map. Wrong. Went around in circles.
It was probably just a subconscious attempt to delay the evil pain of Hogshead Rd., which wasn't too bad yesterday. A good bit tougher today. One thing for certain - the last double humper up Woodrow Rd. will make or break you. Today I was broken. I always want to get a picture of that evil beast, but cameras just aren't allowed that deep in the pain cave.
and so ends another long, hot, dry, parched, day in the big Mic. Bonked, dehydrated, cramped up at the end, but well worth it. Today I figured out why I'm up here ---
Cause I just can't GET this good of an ass whoopin' down on the island.
Tomorrow, tomorrow, we'll start the day tomorrow, with a ride, or two. ONE TWO.
Many thoughts about the 7Springs event, not a lot of time to write 'em down, been busy w/the pics. Really love that place, and the trails, and takin' the photos. Lots of heart and soul out there.
Got plenty of riding in too.
The day after the race, it was like we were never there.
Rode with the gang on Thursday AM. Good to see ChrisD out on the bike.
Planned on some top secret "cross-training" this weekend, but after talking to Chris it looks like the cats out of the bag ....... ,
So I got some maps together, and went out in search of the IronCross course. Michaux is big place. After awhile all the gravel roads look the same, the only difference is whether they go up, or go down ......
That "crawl" up however, is something you'll never confuse with anything else. Somewhere about 1/2 way up that thing, I was really wondering "Now exactly why the hell am I doing this?"
Still don't have that answer.
It looked a good bit overgrown compared to last year.
Then I hear this Bra-a-a-ap, Bra-a-ap. Couldn't really get a fix on where it was coming from. I know no one could ride a moto up that thing. I look up and sure as heck here they come. 1, 2, 3 ...... 4 of 'em. Rear wheels locked up, sliding around, rocks and boulders cascading down the hill ahead of 'em.
Gotta think they were a bit more surprised at seeing me than I was at them. One of 'em ate it on the lower (steeper) half, and they all stopped. Turns out they were pre-riding also. Moto rider #4 tells me there's an enduro race there next weekend, says they ride down this thing. I tell 'im about a bicycle race out there next month, say we go up this thing. He's says "How do you do that?"
I say "One step at a time.", and keep goin'.
That "run-up" won't be over grown after they're done with it.
I stumbled around, fumbled with the maps, missed many turns, still got to ride most of the course. At the end of 6+ hours I had a bone dry bottle, and bladder (mine and my camelback's), and 3 ticks on my leg ....... It was in the low 90's, dry and dusty out there. More abuse tomorrow.
Gotta let K-Dog borrow the bike again to get it cleaned ........
Just another guy on a bike, trying to develop the potential he never had, and enjoying every minute of it. This blog is about the experiences of the journey and dedicated to the amazing and inspirational people I meet along the way.