Monday, February 23, 2009

A Weekend Back Home!

The snow is still deep in Davis, but that was ok because Saturday and Sunday all the riding was going on in Morgantown. Most off you already know but us here at Team Bi-atch started are own USAC club. The Backyard Bike Club as it is known held it first ever group ride on Saturday. The ride was 50 mile mild pace ride around the up coming Morgantown Road Race course, which is being host by the BYBC.

The group of around 16 gathered at Mason-Dixon Park outside of Mount Morris and everyone was excited to get going. I have three road rides under my belt for 2009 but honestly it has been years sense I've done much on the roads. It's been all mountain biking for as long as I can remember. Drafting to stay out of the wind and save energy is something that brain is having trouble with after all this time. Gunnar has been in my ear about that but to this point it hasn't set in.

As we started out I was out front while the stonger rider tucked in behind me as we headed out Rt.7 towards Blacksville. DUMB DUMB DUMB... As we arrived in B-ville we did however make a quick stop to get a picture or two of the old fighter jet. While photos were taken someone noticed the stuffed dog in a window of a nearby park camper. Not stuffed like a toy, stuffed liked was once alive. I should have taken a photo but I was afraid of someone coming out and stuffing me.

So once we were back on the road I was out front again and Gunnar pulled up behind me. "Slow down boy", he said. Yup I was at it again going way about what I should be. I relaxed a little and let him take over at the front and finally started to chill out. Jeremy R & Josh C must have not felt like hanging out with us and took off up the road. After they already were 50 to 75 yards up the road I got up on the pedals and took off after them.. DUMB.. DUMB.. DUMB.. I put in a good effort for me for a few minutes but couldn't bridge the gap. Just as I turned off the gas Kean pulled up beside me and we road a while togeather because we had dropped the pack. About 2 or 3 miles the group all can back togeather again but not for long. Gunnar and Chris took off. Once again I wanted till they were 50 yards ahead to try and bridge up.. I guess I like doing things the hard way. I did however make it acrossed this time. The boys were pacelining and decided to show me the ropes.. For the next few miles up to Waynesburg we pacelined. DUMB.... DUMB... DUMB... My legs were on fire!!! I need to work on my technique cause I had to work really hard to get on the back after my turn at the front of the line.. Oh well..

At Waynesburg we regroup for the turn onto Sugar Run Road and the ride back. I was around 20 miles at this point and the ride had be pretty flat, but that was all about to change. The next 30 miles had 5 pretty mean climbs instore for us. Of course I am always a pretty poor climber because of my size but the fact that I wasted so much energy at the beginning of the ride didn't help. THE CLIMBS HURT AND HURT BAD! Thanks goodness Chris had gotten a flat on the second climb and it gave my legs a chance to recover..

The Morgantown Race course does have some big climbs but it does have some really nice long flats sections between the climbs which really made a difference for me. I must say I am a very popluar guy when we would come to the flat. I made a very effective hole in the wind with my sexy body.. lol!

The rest of the ride back was full of chit chat which made the ride a lot of fun. As we pulled buck into the parking lot we were just short of 50 miles. Here is the GPS info if ya want to see. The first BYBC ride was a huge success if you ask me. Thanks to everyone for showing up and to Nars for putting it togeather.

Sunday was a whole different story however. The weather had turned over night and dropped an inch or so of snow on the ground. That goodness it was a mountain bike ride and not a road ride on Sunday. For this ride it was at Bakers Ridge and the Dan Cas ride. It was a good 20 degress colder, windy and still snowing. I was super pumped to hit the trails after how well I rode the day before and even with the poo weather around 12 other showed up to ride.

The trails were really really muddy and the going was a little rough at first. I could fell some fatigue in my legs from the day before but it wasn't to bad. I settled in and was ride ok even though I am not the best mud rider in the world. I really think my weight makes it much harder for my then everyone else because I sink in more, but that is just me whining.

I was having fun and that was all that really matter until we drop down the mountain side. At the bottom the conditions we unreal! The warm weather the day before had made the ground soft but with it being 20 degress on Sunday the muddy soup would freeze to your frame. It was everything I could do to keep the pedals turning. The mud/ice mess packed in my frame and at times wouldn't turn at all. Matter because even worse when you tried to get back on the bike and clip in to your pedals. The ice had frozen to the bottom of your shoes and to your pedals and clipping in was impossible.

I must admit at that point the fun ended. I spent more time clean ice off and tring to get my feet in the pedals then I did riding. I did however not say anything cause I didn't want to be the big baby.. Once we got back on top of the mountain five or six people said they had enough and headed home. I really wanted to ride more even with the issues so I was staying. Things went back to "ok" for a while. At the very top of the ridge the ground was much harder and the issues were at a minium. However I think it must have started to get colder out cause it just seemed like everything started to stick to the bike and pedals all of a sudden.. Now irt really wasn't fun.. Betsy made me feel tens times better when she looked at me and said, "I am not having very much fun". THANKS BUNNY!

We rode for around 2 hour but only covered seven miles.. WOW! That was rough.. I hope things are better for next Sunday cause I am planing to make the trip back to Morgantown for Dan's ride.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mother Nature Must Read My Blog.

Just two days ago I was saying in a post how much I wanted to get outside and ride. Well good ol' mother nature must have been reading my little blog 'cause the weather took a turn for better the past two days.

Sunday it was partly sunny and around 50F in Morgantown so I hopped in the car to take a scouting ride for the Morgantown Road Race course. Klara Hitchcock came over from Ohio to do the ride and some how I even talked Gunnar into going. I am guessing he wanted to make sure I didn't have some screwed up race course planned for the April event. I bet I am right. Anyways it sure was nice to be outside and have some friends along. Meanwhile in another part of Morgantown, around the same time, Gina was trying to get some wedding stuff done at the expo at Morgantown Mall. It's getting closer!

We started the ride at what we think is going to be the start/finish area up in Mount Morris. It was liberating to feel the wind and sun on my face. The first climb on Fort Martin road woke me real quick. Those hills just aren't that big when you are riding the trainer. Even though it was a little tough I could tell all the work the last few months had paid off. The rest of the ride went off with pretty much no issues. Gunnar and I talked about a hundred different options for the race and it's pretty settled at this point. For the people out there that want to know Gunnar's secret is frozen burritos. Most of get gels, power bars, etc. on rides but not the old man. He was literially eating a frozen burrito out on the ride. "It's thawed out now!", he said. Weird.. Betsy please come home..

Three hours later we found our selves back at the start with the sun still shining. Here is the GPS info from the ride.

The following day I had planned another road ride with Roger Lilly of Blackwater Bikes fame. I was super surprized that I had no sorness in my legs after my first real outside ride in 2009. Damn that sounds bad. Once again we headed off the mountain for warmer temps down in the valley. I have heard from others about these great farm country road rides towards Mount Storm, but had never gotten to experience them myself until now.

We parked next to a beautiful mountain trout stream with steep rock out cropings. KILLER! As we headed out the weather was once again perfect. 50 degrees and sunny is the best if you ask me. The first 12 miles of the ride was like one long hill repeat workout. Tall roller after tall roller.. The legs that didn't have any sorness in them really started to hurt towards the last few repeats.. Thank goodness the back to back to back rollers were over after the 12 miles.. After a lttle spinning my legs were back to normal and go to go..

Great ride, thanks Roger! In all it was a 2 1/2 hour ride at 37 miles. The roads were everything that I had heard about. No traffic, great surface and it was beautiful!! Anyone who wants to head out there and see for themselves just give me a shout. Here is the GPS info for this ride if ya want to peak.

Today it was back to the trainer and I really really missed the roads.. Tomorrow they are calling for 60F and rain.. I think I will deal with the rain and ride outside!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Getting ready for 2009..

It's been a bit since my last post, but things just have not been that interesting around here. It's not that I've been sitting at home, but who wants to hear about me skiing or riding the trainer everyday? Anyone? That's want I thought... However progress is being made for the 2009 season. As of right now I weigh in at 229.0 and that is down from 253.4 in mid November. Still work needs to be done to get down to my goal weight but it's looking good.

The skiing as been killer up here in the mountains lately, and just yesterday Mandy Starr, Nicole Siri and I skied up to Bald Knob. What a blast that was. The weather was clear and around 35F, perfect if you ask me. I have heard people talk about xc skiing for years, but never really had many chances to go living in Morgantown my whole life. That all changed when I moved to Davis. I now see why all the mountain bikers love it so much. It reminds me a ton of riding and the workout is unbeatable. I just wish the snow was a little more consistent this winter and could ski everyday. I couldn't image what kinda shape I would be in if that was true. Just like cycling you get to see things that are off the beaten path. Check out these photos from Bald Knob.

Skiing has not been the only thing going on around here. Spin class at BWB is still going strong. Every Tuesday and Friday Carrie Hawkins, Mandy Starr, Sara Lampo, Jason Cyr and I jump on the trainers and spin out the old legs. It is so much more enjoyable riding the trainer in a group like that. Team Bi-atch is always giving me crap about riding the trainer. They say GET OUTSIDE AND RIDE. However winter riding is pretty tough up this way. Slush on the roads most of the time make road riding sketchy and mountain biking is possible but can be extremely muddy in the "high wet lands" of the area. That's why the trainer is really the only way to go up here on a regular basis durning winter.

Well that's it for today but I'll try to update more often in the next few weeks. When April gets here things when be back to normal with regular update because of the start of the WVMBA racing season... Later.