Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Must get more rides!

With the new arrival of baby nelson any day now, I've been trying to squeeze in as many rides as possible since they will be few and far between once Brynna shows up. This weekend I went on two nice mountain bike rides for a total of almost 5 hours. Saturday morning was spent riding with the pooch on the trails around the house. We started from a differnts spot so that the knuckelhead wouldn't spend the whole time in the beaver pond. It cuts out the best part of the single track but it was a nice change to have him stay with me the whole ride. We got in 2:15 of nice easy riding but mr. pants was dead tired. I don't think that he had stayed with me on a run in over two months so this was probably the first time that he ran continuously for more than an hour since then. Good boy.

Sunday I met up with Kevin, Bill, Casey and Scott at Bradbury State Park. I haven't been down there since the race this spring and apparently they have been hard at work. There was a new section of single track that was about 2 miles long and perfect for my chosen steed for the day, the single speed. With no real climbs but lots of spongy new trail the 32x18 was the perfect ratio. It was one of those days that you find yourself with a big goofy grin on your face because the riding is so sweet and the trail has such great flow. I know that the park is planning to keep adding new trails like these and have plans to expand far enough to connect to the Pineland Center over the next 5 or so years. I would guess that they have a solid 10-15 miles of trials now and by then it will most likely be closer to 30-50 miles. We may finally have a mountain biking mecca in our back yards.

I've got my next race this Sunday. I'm not sure if I'll be able to attend. Definitely not if Brynna shows up between now and then. I'm currently in the series points lead by a very slim margin over Al. I believe that if I finish in second or better in either of the last two races that I'll wrap it up. If I'm able to do both I should also be able to make a run for the master of mud award as well. The awaring of the master of mud is a bit more subjective but it would be nice to finish my serious racing (for a few years at least) with the distinction.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

24 hrs of Great Glenn

Well, the 24 hour race at Great Glenn is over and not soon enough I might add. Rus and I finished fairly well with an easy second place in the two man division but since we won last year it was a bit of a let down. We both were suffering from intestinal distress during the overnight hours and pretty much mailed it in after about 4 am. We had a comfortable lead over third place and no chance of catching the leaders so we switched into damage control. I sort of regret that move now that I'm well rested and feel better but at the time we were both miserable and couldn't wait to be done.

Like we did last year, we have sworn to never do this race again as a two man, maybe a four or five person team but no chance of a two man again.

Well, last week I started thinking about maybe doing it solo next year. I must be retarded.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Well, this past weekend I finally got the elusive first win of the season in the Expert class. I had previously won a single speed race and a couple of small local races but that was it and I was starting to get frustrated. I've been finishing second to Big Gay Al for the last few races.

This weekend at Sugarloaf I felt that I had a shot at my first senior 2 win since Al would be at pedros and my legs were feeling good. For the last few races there has been a 16 yr old that has been getting screamingly fast and has managed to whup me in the last two races so my plan going into the race was to mark him, stay on his heels and make my move near the finish.

The race started well with me sitting in fourth right behind boy wonder and with a couple of pros off the front. I stayed on boy wonder's wheel for the first two laps feeling really strong and trying to decide at what point I was going to make my move. He seemed to suffer on the long opening climb so my updated plan was to let him pull me up the climb and 3/4 of the way up make my move before the single track and try to hold him off til the end. By the end of the second lap, we had passed the two pros because one had a flat and the other had his chain come off a couple of times so we began the final lap 1,2. As we hit the rollers that come before the main climb I notice that I'm not even working to stay with boy wonder now so I decide to make my move early. I shift up a couple of gears and power past him on one of the rollers. I decided to hump it until I was out of sight and then settle into a more reasonable tempo.

The move worked perfectly and I was off on my own at the front of the pack. 10 minutes later while I was working my way up the main climb I hear grunting behind me. I look back to see one of the pros on his single speed gaining on me. I know that I can't increase my tempo without blowing so I keep my pace and he soon passes me. Damn! I guess I can kiss the overall win goodbye. A few minutes later the pro that flatted comes up from behind and passes me like I'm sitting still! I'm still not too worried. These guys are not my real competition and there is no way that I can hang with them anyway so I let them go and concentrate on wining the overall in the expert class instead.

I crest the climb with nobody else in sight and start to hammer through all of the downhill singletrack and fireroad power sections. About a mile from the finish I catch up to single speed just before the last couple sections of single track. I hammer to bridge the final gap in hopes that I'll be able to pass him on one of the fast fireroad sections that he is unable to spin fast enough on to match my speed.

Apparently, I must have lit my last match crossing that final gap because once on I was on his wheel and we entered the singletrack I could only hold on for a minute or so and then he was gone. I finished 20 seconds behind him and I think about 2 minutes behind the winner and a solid 3 minutes ahead of the second place finishing expert. Probably my best finish of the year.

This should give me a good lead in points for the season but with our baby due in a couple of weeks I may miss the final two races. Hopefully I'll be able to do one or both in a sleep deprived state to at least pick up some points but we'll see.

Rest In Peace oh faithful one.

RIP Posted by Picasa

While preparing my 8500 for the 24 hr race this weekend I noticed a crack at the base of the seat tube. Trek will warranty it but there is no way that I'll get a replacement trek frame back in time to race on so my good friends at Bikeman are hooking me up with a sweet Salsa Moto Rapido frame instead. Salsa is a sponsor of ours so I'll finally be riding on a team rig.