Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Get out and ride!

I been catching all kinda hell for not wanting to go ride in the cold weather the last two weeks. So tonight I sucked it up and did some hot lap. Oh did I mention that we got our first snow here in Davis? Thank goodness I got new cold weather gear today from Cannondale! Here are a few photos! I am so ready for this weekend. The only thing that can stop me now is a Philly cheese steak and fries..
The snow plows made a great track!

Do you see my rubber duckie

The Single Speed gets great traction

Monday, October 27, 2008

Headed to Morgantown..

I am happy to say that I am headed home to Morgantown this weekend to race in Marilla Cross. Ahha nothing like going as hard as you can for forty minutes to the point that your legs just want to fall off. I'am sure that's how I am going to feel this weekend cause the amount of hours on the bike has been limited as of late. It has gotten pretty damn cold here in Davis and I am missing my motivation to ride in the cold. Ohh and the weather says it's going to snow a little for the next few days. Time to break out the trainer... This weekend will also be my first official race as member of Team Bi-atch. That means the director, Bunny and Chrissy will be evaluating my performance to see if I make the team for the world tour in 2009.. Shit guess there is no time to get lazy on them... Got to ride!! Well if Saturday in Morgantown works out ok I'll headed on over to Elkridge, MD for the Kelly Benefit Strategies Cyclocross at Rockburn. Gunnar says it a pretty cool event and I am in the need of a kick in the ass, so a double race weekend should take care of things.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Iron Cross a Weekend of First!

Saturday at 5:30 am it was damn cold out and I was just getting on the road for Carlise, PA to take part in the Iron Cross race weekend. My first race was at 10am so that's why I set out so early. The race was going to be my first cyclocross race ever. You are probably asking whats the big deal? Yes I have done many bike races in the past but cyclocross takes place in a small area and most of the time the entire course can been seen by the spectators. If that's not enough you have to dismount and remount your bike many times as there are barriers on the course that you can't ride over. Here is short video if you want to see an example. It's a great video so watch it even if you know what cross is. I could just envision myself falling on my face when trying to get on or off the bike at the barriers, but thankfully I went over to the Shogren's and got some expert tips out behind their house.

Of course we are talking about me here so I showed up at the race about 20 minutes before the start. By the time I signed in, put on my race kit and got the bike of the top of the car it was time to start. My field (Cat 4/5) was made up of 30 racers, who were all riding some pretty cool cross bikes which look much like road bike but with a little wider tires. I however rolled to the line on my 29er with some 700x40 tire on it. I didn't have time to feel out of place because it was time to race. I wasn't prepared for how fast riders start in cross. My legs were on fire with in one minute of racing but my only concern was the first barrier. Please don't fuck up, I thought to myself.. I am happy to say some how I made it over and it felt good. From then on I was good. I there was no way I could hold the pace but damn I was having fun. The course had a ton of tight turns which I love. Gunnar and Betsy got there just in time to cheer me on the last few laps. Thanks guys. In the end I was 24th out of 30 that started the race. I was happy for my first cross race. I am also total addicted to the sport. I had soooo much fun. I am hoping to follow Team Bi-atch east for DC Cross in two weeks.

After my race Gunnar, Betsy and Chris each took part in their own races. Check out the Team Bi-atch website for there recap. After everyone was done racing it was time to pick out our house for the evening. At the event they had bunk house for the racers to stay in. They where pretty sweet if you ask me after spending most of my weekends camping this summer. The bunk houses had power but not windows and not heat. I was wishing that the houses had windows half way though the night because it was starting to get cold, but then Gunnar kept farting and ventilation was key. Sleep was definitely not easy to come by that night. I should have brought my sleeping bag but instead I just had my regular blankets and I was cold as hell.

Sleep would have been nice because Sunday's event was the reason I came. The Iron Cross was a 63 miles mountain/cross/road race though the hills of eastern PA. Around 300 riders from other countries and all over the US showed up to try their hand at the ultra event. I start the morning with a really needed cup of coffee and a whole lot of complaining about my snoring throughout the night. Sorry! The coffee was good about waking me up after little sleep but it did nothing to claim the butterflies. Thankfully once again the there was tons to do before the race and it left little time to worry, plus Chris, Gunnar and Betsy keep telling me I could do it.

At 9am it was race time. The goal for the day was to finish and to do so I had to make it to Check Point 4 by 3:00 or I would be pulled from the race and not allowed to finish. Again the start was fast but it was it only took me five miles before I told myself to slowdown and ride my own race. Once I settled down I start to get into a rhythm and was feeling great all the way to CP 1. I still had a bottle and a half of water so I kept on cruising and didn't stop at the first check point. From CP 1 to there was a pretty nice section of single track where I passed six or seven people which made me feel even stronger. Things were going great and then I can to the hike-a-bike like none I have ever seen before. It was straight up hill for what felt like a 1/4 of a mile. I could only take 10 to 20 steps before I would have to stop. It was unbelievably hard. Once finally to the top it was another tough mile to CP 2. I made it to CP 2 just in time because I was out of water and needed some food. However CP 2 had other plans. They were out of water! WTF!!! They sent someone off the mountain to get it and he should be back soon they said. It took 10 to 15 minutes before the arrived. In that time I would guess about 10 people passed me because they had on Camelpacks (I cant stand them). I was also loosing time that I needed to get to CP 4 before. I was a little edgy. When it finally came I filled up quickly and was out of there. The course between CP 2 and CP 3 had some really long gravel road downhills. Thank fully I was able to pass a few folks bad on the them. Even though I was getting pretty damn tired it was a pretty ez ride to CP 3.

Once there I asked how far it was to CP 4and they said 5 mile. I could believe them. Most of the time it atleast 14 miles between CP's. Even though it was only 5 miles it was all up hill and pretty darn steep in sections. Then I asked what time it was. It was 1:30, so I had 1 hour and a half to get there so I was off like a shot but my legs hated the climb. It made my brain start to go wacky as my legs. I started to wonder if I could really finish even if I did make it to CP on time and I wasn't even sure I could do that. Even time the course started to go down it was only for a minute before it started climbing again. I was starting to think it was never going to end when I saw a few folks standing in the road. IT WAS CP 4!!! I had made it.. First thing I askedwas what time is it? The older women said it's 2:30. SWEET! I knew no one could make me stop rcaing now so I took my time and filled up on water and ate a ton of crap.

The trail out of CP 4 was a sweet trail section that I would really like to ride again but with a little more energy left in my legs. Then it happen at mile 53. I hit the wall. I was out of energy and there was nothing I could do but try to keep going. THe last ten mile were the hardest miles I have ever done on a bike, but I am happy to say I made it!!!! I finished the 63 mile course in 6 hours and 51 minutes. As I came across the finish line Chris and Betsy were there to cheer me on.. Thanks guys... Here is a link to my GPS info if ya want to see. Saturday was my first cross, Sunday was the longest race I have ever done and it was the first time I have ever done two races in one weekend.. So I am now tried and you can understand why! I going to bed!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend of Bad Luck, but Good Friends!

At Saturdays Tour De Lilly around 40 folks showed up to take part in the ride. The weather was kinda cool but the sun was shining and everyone was ready to go. The tour started out by going up Son of Plantation which was kinda weird considering every time I have ever ridden that trail I was going the opposite direction. Half way up the trail the ride claimed it's first victim in the form of a broken derailleur only five miles into the ride. From there it was a right turn onto Plantation. With a pretty dry second half of the summer and some major trail clearing by the forest service the trail conditions were perfect. By the time we got to Davis Loop road everyone was starting to have a really great time, but we did loose two more riders who found the trails to be a little above what they were looking for.

The ride then took us up Pendleton Point trail which I had never ridden before. It was pretty darn technical even for Davis standards but was still fun. It was almost like a game when we rode up on hard sections to see who could do it with fewest or no dabs. About 3 miles into the trail I found myself following Matt Marcus when I saw him dab on one of the sections. I smiled and thought to myself "I can right that clean". I put a little extra pressure on the pedals and went for it. As I made it over the first few rock I knew I had it and then all of a sudden my back wheel stopped turning. I knew what was wrong even before I looked down. I had hit a rock a ripped my rear derailleur right off the bike.. I was pretty bummed to say the least. As I pushed my bike to an open part of the trail up ahead Ashland was standing there with looking at his bike. Turns out he hit the same rock I did. Lucky for him he only bent the derailleur a bit and was able to put it back into place. So for me to get back home I took a few links out of the chain to run it as a single speed. It worked well for about half a mile but then I noticed the cranks where starting to become hard to turn. Well it turned out that the chain hand jumped up one gear and caused the drive train to become really hard to turn. I tried everything to get the chain off but Ashland had the chain tool and all the others had taken off. I was in the middle of no where and had no clue which direction would be shorter to walk. I kept going in the direction we were traveling. Boy was that a wrong choice. After about 4 miles of pushing my back I made it to the road.. The rest of the day was spent in the shop putting my bike back together.. Maybe I get to finish the ride next year.

The next day I found myself in Charleston for the Creek to Peek race. Right after registration Steve Thorne came up to me and said Gina had just called and said there was a fire in the house. "Shit", I thought to myself. I didn't have my phone so I grabbed the first one I could find. I got Gina on the phone and she explained the house was full of smoke and had called Roger at the bike shop for help. Turns out the hot water heater had caught on fire in the basement. Thanks to Roger and Mikey for taking care of it since I was away. I decided at that point I better not race just in case Gina needed to talk on the phone again. Gina did call back and said everything was fine now, so I figured I could race again.

The start was fast and when we it the trails they were awesome! Things were going pretty well when all of a sudden I heard a snap. I had broken the rail of my seat. This was the second one I have broken this summer but unlike the first one this one was not ridible. Thankfully it was a short petal back to the start/finish area and didn't have a long haul like the day before. However it was the second day in a row that I could finish. I did get to spent time with the guys that make up the Charleston Crew (Larry, Steve, James), so that made up for a lot. I must say the Creek to Peek was a killer event and the guys went above and beyond.

Well I am back home now and the house smells like smoke but thankfully everyone is ok.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lapse in judgment #2

Them damn Bi-atches! Well the folks over at Team Bi-atch have talked me into doing the Iron Cross race on Oct. 11 and 12. The race on the 11th is just your average old cross race. That no big deal, I'll just get pulled after a while. The race on the 12th is a 63 mile slobber knocker and features nearly 6,300 feet of elevation gain. My fat ass better learn to climb.. I must admit it really didn't take anything for me to be talked into the race. I guess I just like to make an ass out of myself and be in pain for 8 hours.

Until then I got a full weekend planned starting in the morning. Tomorrow is the 11th annual Tour De Lilly. The tour is a all day ride on the hardest trails that Canaan Valley has to offer. Roger at Blackwater Bikes leads the ride and out of his own pocket provides lunch to anyone who comes out for the ride.. Nice move for a grump! Love ya Roger! LOL! Right after the tour it is off to the Charleston area for the Creek to Peek race. Larry and the folks down there have out done themselves from what I here and I am super excited to see what they have planned.

Sunday night I am headed to Ohio to hang with the Athens Crew for a few days. Meredith and I have already talked about riding Monday afternoon and of course polo Monday Night. Exciting stuff!!! Wish me luck and if anyone wants to ride the Iron Cross I looking for a someone. So go register at Bikereg... Come on, if I can do it you can to...