Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Weekend on the Farms

Friday I got a call from my mother that one of my sister's goats (she has five) had two babies that afternoon. The whole situation was made really funny because my Dad had been working his butt of for the past week building stalls for the goats because he thought one of them was pregnant. Why is that funny you ask? Because the one he thought was pregnant wasn't and out of no where a different one had a litter of two. I was planning on coming to the Morgantown area for the cross race but with the new babies at my parents house I had to swing by and check them out.

This one is a climber

I was at my parent's house for a few hours and couldn't stop playing with the new ones. I was shocked at how well they got around for only being 24 hours old. One of them kept trying to climb my head. It wasn't all fun and games though. From some reason that I don't know goat babies are not great at going to their mother for milk when they are new born. For the first few days they need a little help pointing them in the right direction. This isn't the easiest task to complete when the mother wants to run around and the little ones don't know what to do. However we did finally get the job done! I can't wait to go back for Thanksgiving and play with them again.

What can I say, I have a way with the animals

The following day it of was of to another farm. This time I was headed to the Park's Farm in Bruceton Mills for the 5th annual Bruceton Mills Cyclocross. This event had a little bit of a special meaning for me. It was one year ago at this race when I decided to really start riding again. What a great idea that was. I have had so much fun in the last 12 months. I wonder what I would have been doing if I never made that decision.

Is it just me or do I look cold

Just like last year the weather was pretty darn cold on top the mountain but unlike last year there was a good bit of snow on the ground. Considering the conditions I wondered if anyone would show up for the race. Guess I am not the crazy one out there because the number of racers doubled this year from last.

Believe it or not I was pretty warm in my tights

With my other Bi-atch Teammates racing again at the MABRA race in Maryland it was up to me to represent for the team. Right before the race started I decided to change bikes. The course had been snow plowed that morning and the sun was starting to melt what was left on the course, so I thought a fatter tire would do me better. However my pit bike was my single speed mountain bike.

After the start I was really happy to have picked the wider tires and was felling pretty good. I was also staying pretty close to a few guys that I know were faster then I was. However each lap became tougher and tougher trying to push the single gear around the course. My buddy Tim Bishop was cheering for my on the sidelines and every time I went by him I would howler out a WOOT! About the fourth lap he yelled back that my Woot was starting to become weak. He was right, it was. I was in the pain box. That was a good thing. May times I find myself not racing as hard as I possible could but I was giving it 100% on the old single speed. At the finish my overall standing were not that great but it was a good race for me.

Greatest help you coulf ever find

With it being a WVMBA race in all I was there to clean up afterward. I was thinking it was going to take me forever, but thanks to some great folks from Morgantown I was done in an hour. Thanks you guys for all your help.

The day was capped off with a great sunset. I had my junky camera with my and no tripod. I wish I had my gear or I would have really put some effort into the above photo. Atleast one more race left this year, will see after that.

Friday, November 21, 2008

From Thursday Night Ride to Thursday Night Ski

Below is what it looked like here in Davis last night at 4:00pm. So the World Famous Thursday Night Ride turned into the Thursday Night Ski at White Grass because of a second dumping of snow this week.

This was going to be my first XC ski of 2008/2009 and only like the 3rd in my life. I was super excited to have a group of friends to spend the evening with but I was a little worried about holding everyone up because I am new to the sport. When I arrived at White Grass I was quickly greeted by the always super nice Chip Chase. Chip was really excited when I told him that everyone was coming out for a night ski. A few minutes later Rob Stull, the three Sarah's, Darren and Macky showed up to join us and almost on cue the snow started falling again.
Just as we were ready to head out Mandy showed up. Mandy didn't have her own gear so Chip quickly found her a pair of new retails and we were off. You can ski out of WG lodge in any direction but of course the group wanted to go straight up the mountain. I really had never done any climbing before and it was a challenge at first but after a few minute I started make small improvements. We ended up climbing up to round top which is a mile of climbing from the lodge. I was really shocked at how good I felt going up the mountain. It was really step in sections and figured I be toast at the top but I wasn't.
Chip giving Mandy hell for being late

Then it was a nice long section of kick and glide on top of the ridge. It was freaking sweet! I was as happy as can be and loving it. The snow was also continuing to fall all around me. Things then changed. It was time to head back down the mountain. First let me say that I have been a downhill skier since I was 5 years old and will ski any trail on downhill ski. With that being said I was getting worked on the way down the hill on XC skis. I couldn't even snow plow! I still don't get it. I have no problems doing it before, but it was almost impossible for me last night. I hit the ground four times total and one of those times was pretty darn hard.
Time for a photo at the top of round top

It took some time but I did make it back to the lodge. I still had a blast even with my troubles coming back in. I think going to head back to WG today and try some shorter skis and a few other ideas to try and fix my problems. My snow falling out side right now! Sweet! If you are interested here is the GPS information from our ski and thanks to Chip for all the tips.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Snow & Cross Fit.

This week Davis got hit with it's second snow storm. When it was all said and done we ended up with around 10" - 12". The way things seem to be going we are going to be seeing a good bit of the white stuff this year.
Anni loves the snow

Tonight I was invited by Sarah Deacon to take part in Cross Fit over in Thomas. I knew the majority of the folks that took part in the workout so I was game. However I was not ready for how hard the workout was going to be. I did bike races this fall that took 7 hours to finish but cross fit made me really feel out of shape. Here is what we did.

The Workout
You are to do the following exercises as fast as you can.
30 Sit ups
30 Push ups
30 Jumping jacks
30 Box jumps
30 Leg raises
30 Squats
30 Weighted Squats
30 Squat thrusts
30 Medicine ball tosses

It was hard! The girls total kicked my ass, but I am glad I went. I had no clue my strength was gone. On the way home I was even light headed. Damn. The workout even though it's very hard, is kinda weird cause it is so short. Around 20 - 30 minutes depending on how quickly you can do everything. They make these Tucker county girls hard. Well, most of them aren't from here like me, but it sounds good. If your in the mood for a good ass kicking come to town on Monday or Wednesday nights at 5:00.
Deacon getting cross fit

Lampo showing off the new cut at cross fit

Speaking of workouts and snow this week the cross race is super nearby in Bruceton Mills, WV. However it's going to be interesting with the snow and all. Sunday the weather man's calling for a high of 37. That is just high enough to make the snow start to melt and if that happens it going to be one hell of a cold muddy mess. I CAN'T WAIT. Should make for some really interesting photos and blogging. Check back...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cross'ed Into Virginia

:::Fade to dream scene:::

The year was 2002 and the place was Charlotte, N.C.. It was halftime of the Continental Tire Bowl and WVU was losing pretty badly to Virginia. Just as I tried to relax and enjoy my halftime beer the University of Virginia "Pep Band" took the field. They then preceded to do a imitation of what they thought folks from WV were like. Oh course the women had no shoes and were pregnant and you know the rest. The WVU fans at the game where shocked by the display. There actions where so offencive the U of VA "pep band" was disbanded by the school a few weeks later.

:::Flash forward to this past weekend:::

Saturday I found myself at a Super 8 hotel just off campus of the University of Virginia and needless to say I wanted to give the finger to every student I saw at first. What can I say.. I grew up in Morgantown and that silly school was a big part of my life growing up. However I was not in Virginia for revenge. I was in Charlottesville for round #5 of the MABRA series. The race was called Urban cross because unlike most event it pretty much took place right downtown.

Team Bi-atch HQ for the weekend

My first race was at 9am so the wake up call at the hotel came pretty damn early, 7 am to be exact. After a bite to eat it was over to the race course. I jumped on my new cross bike for a few warm up laps. I got a kick in the nuts from the course right away. The uphills were pretty darn steep and I had all kinds of trouble riding them. I was also amazed by all the concrete pipes and metal scaffolding that lined the starting straight away. The course also went off a few side walks and on a ridged cross bike that really hurt the joints.

Betsy!! Don't run into the concrete!

I still would have thought it would have been cool to go through that building

At 9 I found myself on the start line along with some sunshine and warming temperature. The grass however was still a little slick from the morning dew and could be trouble on thin cross tires. The start was fast and I was kinda unprepared and I quickly found myself near the back of the field. I was working hard trying to keep up and pushing a little faster then I should have on the downhills. Bad idea, I paid for it in the wet grass. I found myself falling on the ground and my knee went straight into the ground with 250 pounds behind it. The pain went shooting up my leg but I jumped back on the bike to continue. After a few turns of the cranks however I lost the will. My knee hurt the field was gone and I was not happy.

I pulled off the course and Gina asked if I was OK. I was fine but the knee was a little tender. I had also signed up for the Master race which was in an hour an still was unsure if I could do it. I grabbed my jacket and some water and went out for a short ride to check out the knee. After about twenty minute I decided I could do it. The Masters class is much faster then the Cat 4 race even though I was more prepared for the fast start I however once again quickly found myself near the back. After the first race disaster I was going to try and make a better show of things. However I total had issues with the climbs and the race became a suffer fest for me. I did however finish the second race and even made the news in Charlottesville in the process. Don't blink or you will miss me! I was happy to have made up for the first race even if I didn't finish all that well. On a side not the first thing I did today was to change the gearing on my cross bike. NO MORE HILL ISSUES!

Kids beware, cycling makes you look like this

After my race the rest of the team was ready to do battle. Gunnar, Chris and Betsy all crushed, but if you want to know more of what happen then your have to go to the Team Bi-atch Blog. After the race we headed into town searching for cougars for Chris, burritos for me, and Poe's dorm room for gunnar. Betsy and Gina where just happy with what ever we did. Thanks ladies. We found my burrito and we even found Poe's dorm room. While we peeked through the glass into the room a student walked by. I am not sure how the conversion start but she stopped to give us some history about the school, the campus and Poe's room. My mental imagine of Virgina students started to change some what. The conversion lasted a few minutes and I even learned a few thing myself. Wish I had gotten her name, cause I would have made her world famous in my blog. Not everything was perfect that evening however. NO cougars we found for Chris. Next time!

Gunnar on the way to victory

Chris licking his lips thinking about them college girls

Poe's Dormroom. FYI kids still get to stay in these rooms

After all the excitement It was time for the long drive home. Three and a half hours later I found myself pulling into Davis and was welcomed by snow flurries.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


At the being of 2008 I was fat, smoking and not riding anymore. In March I started really riding again after two years of letting my bikes collect dust. It was REALLY hard in the beginning but now I have gotten some of the fitness back from the old days. Then in August after ten years I was finally able to quit smoking. It was a huge improvement in my overall health and I can still tell a difference everyday. So now that leaves me with one last thing. Got to cut out the fat! So as of Monday of this week it been a whole lot of soup. Campbell's makes these Healthy Request soups that are only 240 calories for a whole can, so that been lunch and dinner since this all started. I have also been eating 1 apple, 1 orange and 1 banana throughout the day. To snack at night it hard pretzels and mustard. In total I am eating around 1500 calories per day and no more coke's. There would be days when I would have four coke's and that alone is 1000 calories. Wish me luck... I am at 253 right now and really would like to see at least 180lbs. Some much for the Clydesdale series next year but I rather be lighter and faster then win a series where you have to weight 200lbs. I have always been big except for one year when I was a river guide and couldn't afford to eat, so I don't really expect this to work but I give it 100%.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

What a Shoe In.

This weekend was once again a double race weekend with everything getting under way Saturday morning in Morgantown at the Marilla Cyclocross - *Raza De Los Muertos*. It sure was nice to head off the mountain to the low lands after dealing with over six inches of snow all week. Along with the better weather it was great to see a lot of faces that I hadn't seen for a while. Because of being on my old home turf during the race I felt like a rock star. I have never had that many people cheering for me at a race. Every few seconds I would hear "go J.R.!" or something to that effect all around the course.
Coming down off the mountain

The race itself started at 10am and the turn out was more than anyone would have guessed for this first year race. At the start I was off like a bullet. I was running pretty good but was still getting pasted, so I turned the pace up even higher. The fact that everyone was cheering for me helped me ride even harder. One problem though, I was riding way to hard. After two laps of a pace way above my fitness level the wheels started to come off. I went out so hard and my body was on fire. I couldn't do anything but slow down and try to keep a decent pace. I didn't and couldn't... Oh well lesson learned. Here are the results.
Looking good before I blow up!

After the race it was fun to hang out with all my old friends and new ones. Some beer was drunk, pasta was eaten, roped was jumped and manly raking took place (don't ask). I would have loved to hung out all day but sense joining team Bi-atch it's the Pro life style from here on out, so I had to hit the road for a race in Washington D.C. the following day.
Betsy thinking, "is it my turn?"

Gunnar being nice and grooming Marc's chest hair

Bi-atch teammate McGill was nice enough to put me up at his D.C. bachelor pad for the night. Yes that right ladies he's single and willing. Chris is a school teacher plus a ultra mountain biking specialist, so act now!
Want to date a Super Star? Chris is waiting for you!

I'd love to say that I made it to his place with no problems, but that would be a total lie. I spent an hour driving around D.C. looking for Chris's place. I once even found myself drive loops in a traffic circle which made me think about National Lampoon's European Vacation. "Look kids, Big Ben Parliament!"After a few phone calls to Chris I finally found the place. My mood improved really quick because right after getting my car unpacked we headed out for some sushi and the night life of D.C. OK that's a lie also, we had the sushi but came home right afterwards to watch Saturday night live. I was ready to wingman for my teammate but we had to rest for the morning.
OMG this is the four time I drove past this sign! I am lost!

The next morning we headed out the door well rested and ready. I was some what nervous do to the fact that I was racing on a brand new bike (thanks to Cannondale) that I picked up at the factory just two days before. More about the new bike tomorrow. The Kelly Benefit Strategies Cyclocross at Rockburn was also a pretty large race so that didn't help the butterflies as well. Chris and I did some laps around the course right after the C race was over. It was not a super long time to warm up but it was at least a good chance to see the course. As they were calling for the racers at the starting line I was ready to make my way to the starting area, but there was a problem. My shoe broke. I rushed back to the car to fix them, but it was unrepairable. Lucky I had my winter riding boots in the car so I throw them on.

I made it to my spot at the line just in time before we started. The start was wicked fast but at least three different crashes at the front with in the first quarter of a lap helped hold things together for a while. However I started to notice really quickly that the boots were really hurting my feet. I kinda figured the pain would go away soon once I settled into the race. However this never happened. The pain just kept getting worse. As I passed Chris he would cheer for me but all I wanted to do was quit. The pain grew to the point were I just wanted to quit. I was also getting my ass kicked in the race and my motivation was dead. However I sucked it up and told myself I had to finish. Which I did, but after the race as Gunnar and Chris warmed up I found my self laying on the ground in pain. After around 20 minutes or so I was back to normal and ready to watch the rest of the team race. Here are the results.
Thanks to me, Chris was final on time

Gunnar already knows his on the way to victory

The event itself was kick ass and I plan to come back next year to try again. Even with all my issues I am already on board to travel to Virginia for Urban Cross. Hopefully this weekend will go a little better to plan. Gunnar crushed, Chris is riding better and better on that broken wrist and Betsy race was SUPER exciting and she won in a sprint finish. Make sure to check out Team Bi-atch's Blog for the details.