Wednesday, May 31, 2006
With that in mind, I took him out on the DAMNelsons ride on Saturday. It was the warmest it has been in some time and by 30 minutes, the pooch was cooked despite us waiting for him constantly and letting him rest so I ended up calling Marcy to pick him up in the mom wagon. The sorry s.o.b. couldn't wait to climb into the car. Thankfully we had come out to a road but it would have taken forever and a day if we had to backtrack through the trails with him.
To keep things going, yesterday I brought him to work with me for a post work ride at the Schmid Preserve. He ended up doing very well for our first 40 min loop. I briefly contemplated taking him out for another but he was looking a bit peekid and I didn't want to push him too hard so I called it quits there. Hopefully if we can keep this up, he'll get back into good enough shape to go on real rides with me again. Now if I could just keep him from wandering off sniffing and pissing on shit constantly...
One bummer from yesterday's ride was that my Sidi's seem to finally be giving up the ghost. I've had them for four years I believe and the soles are now starting to pull away. I guess I'm in the market for a new pair of shoes. I'll probably end up with the Sidi Narrows this time since all of my shoes seem to fit too wide. Hopefully the narrows will be the answer so I can finally have some shoes that fit properly.
I've added two new links to the side bar. The first is to teammate Tom Lambert's blog (thanks to Jason for that one) and the second is to Gwadzilla's blog. Happy reading.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
In other un-interesting news, we had a pretty good Memorial Day weekend. Saturday we went up to the rents place so Marcy could go to a baby shower so I got to go for a ride with the rest of the family. Practically the whole damn gang was there including my mom, dad and brother. It wasn’t the fastest ride ever but it was fun. Gotta spread the fat tire love.
Sunday was spent roasting in the sun while we painted the house. We managed to get two sides done before heat stroke set in and we called it a day. To reward ourselves for the hard work, we loaded B-Girl into the trailer and rode our bikes over to the ice cream place and then over to the grocery store for some salads for later. It wasn’t the longest ride ever but its always nice to get out for a spin with Marcy. Brynna seems to really like the trailer now too. She quickly falls asleep and isn’t bothered as much by the rough areas. Hopefully by this summer, she’ll be ready to go up to Acadia to hit up some of the carriage roads.
I had planned a ride yesterday but I ended up giving blood instead so I didn’t think suffering in the 80+ deg. weather was the wisest choice so I ended up laying low for most of the day yesterday puttering around the house. How I love to putter.
Friday, May 26, 2006
I wonder if there is any way I can bill that time??? Hmmm, maybe marketing or client relations? I've gotta figure out a way to get paid to ride damnit!
I’m not sure whats on tap for the weekend. I hope to get in a quick mtb ride at my parents tomorrow while Marcy is at a baby shower but its looking like rain so I may end up helping my dad do some demo for their kitchen. That’ll be fun too. Destruction is good. Sunday, we’ll be painting the house so no saddle time then. Monday though, I may be hitting up a road race in southern Maine. Hopefully, that’ll work out because it’s a very fun race and I could use the intensity.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I ended up rolling into the office at 6:15 precisely giving me just enough time to shit, shower and shave (ok, actually I only showered) and still be into work by 6:30. I don’t need to be in so early but I hate to stay at work after 4 in the afternoons so my early arrival allows me to sneak out early as well.
Average-16.5 mph (kind of slow but cut me some slack, it was 3 in the morning!)
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
Because of the pre-ride, I was a bit late getting to the start line but was still able to nose my way into the front row almost dead center. Perfect position. My plan of attack for the day was simple. Since I knew the course so well, I decided to try to get out to an early lead so that I could ride my own pace and not get bogged down behind others getting used to the tight, twisty nature of the course. I also knew that because of the constant accelerations that the course demanded, my 29’er would be a disadvantage if I were to be stuck behind people riding 26’ers.
The starting line.
As the gun went off, or should I say “the marshal said go”, myself and another 29’er rider (riding a single speed fisher rig) got the 1,2 spots across the first, soft lawn section added to separate the field. I honestly think the 29” wheels helped us here because we were able to roll a bit easier across the grass. Maybe it was just a coincidence but I don’t think so. We dove into the woods with Tom first and myself right on his heels.
Upon entering the woods, we were immediately in the first of several mud holes. I knew from the pre-ride that trying to ride this section would be slow and hard on the bikes so I immediately picked up the bike and ran through. On the other side we remounted and started up a short incline. Knowing there were very few places to pass, I took this opportunity to pass Tom and make a sprint for the top of the hill. When I crested the hill and switched back, I could see that the field was already getting bottle-necked a ways behind me so I poured it on to try to distance myself from the pro-expert field.
Over the course of the first lap, I was able to open up a one+ minute advantage over the rest of the field. An advantage I knew I would need since there were some very good pros in the field. As mentioned, my teammate Andrew was back there, Seven super stud Skip Brown and New England honch Matt Boobar.
Halfway into the second lap the inevitable happened, Andrew and Skip caught and passed me. No problems though because I knew that I could never match their pace for the whole race. I could still see Boobar about a minute back so my game plan was to try to hold him off for as long as possible knowing that the first experts couldn’t be far behind. The next three laps consisted of my trying to ride nice clean lines which turned out to be extremely easy on the Dos. The layout of the course turned out to be perfect for a 29’er despite the constant acceleration because most of the rockiest, rootiest areas were in the turns so I was able to maintain my momentum much better than the 26’ers. If they had been smooth, tight turns I probably would have been at a disadvantage but thankfully that wasn’t the case. By the start of the final lap, I was beginning to feel the first twinges of cramps on all of the climbs and hike-a-bikes so when Boobar finally caught me with ½ lap to go, I let him go by so that I could nurse myself in and not completely implode. Thankfully I had put enough of a gap on the rest of the field in the first lap that I was never in danger of being passed after that and rode in 10-15 secs behind Boobs and maybe a minute before the next rider.
Since EFTA lumps pros and experts together, I didn’t get the win but I did manage 2nd in my age group behind Boobar. Overall, I was very happy with the result since I had only been hoping for a top 10 overall.
Skip Brown looking on in awe as I explain to him how I'll beat him a little bit more next time.
As mentioned earlier, the Dos was sweet and I am now confident in my pre-season choice to jump head first into the 29’er world. I am also very happy with how my drivetrain performed. Despite some of the nastiest, stickiest mud I have raced in, the SRAM XO rear derailleur didn’t miss a shift in the entire race despite the fact that it was complete jammed full of trail debris. Truly impressive. The Avid BB7 brakes were stellar as well. This was my first race on disc brakes and I now know what I was missing. It was nice to be able to come out of a muddy section and be confident that my brakes would still be there when I needed them.
Friday, May 19, 2006
This morning’s ride in was good, not stellar, but at least I was in the saddle. I did have one cool sighting though. About 15 minutes into the ride, as I crested a small hill, I saw a dead baby fox on the side of the road. It really bummed me out because Marcy has turned me into a complete weenie when it comes to such things. Just a bit further down the road I saw, what I presumed to be the mother, hunting on the side of the road. She immediately ran off when she saw me. Then, another five seconds down the road I see another juvenile fox cruising up the road towards me (and in the direction of its mother) with a chipmunk in its mouth. He looked so proud to be carrying that trophy back to mom. I quickly turned around, grabbed the camera and tried to get a picture but the little guy had already ducked into the tall grass. So, no pic but it was still cool to see.
FYI: today's title comes from the movie My Cousin Vinnie but instead of meaning "two youths" it refers to my two commutes.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Since its National Bike to Work Week I’ve decided to ride home tonight and in tomorrow morning. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to do a butt-crack-of-dawn ride again to get some time in that I missed earlier in the week or just do a more direct route in. I know that I need the extra mileage but with the race on Sunday, I may not want to tax the system. I guess I’ll wait until the ride home tonight before I make the decision.
This morning, on our way to daycare, Brynna realized she could reach the bike that was in the back with her. She proceeded to fondle the seat post and saddle for about 10 minutes before drifting off into a blissful slumber while clutching the post. This, by the way, is something that daddy would do too if only mommy would allow me to bring the bikes to bed.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Friday, May 12, 2006
In other news, the Dos will officially be in the house this afternoon. I have to take the car in for service and the garage just so happens to be across the road from Bath Cycle so I’ll be able to pick that bad boy up while the car gets wrenched. That is of course if I can make it across route 1. That specific stretch has three very fast moving lanes to deal with, its sort of like that episode of Seinfeld when George had to get the Frogger machine across the street, without the sound effects of course.
In other, other news, somebody on MTBR has expressed interest in buying my Van Dessel so that got me thinking, if I sell the Van D. and Moto Rapido, that would probably give me enough jing to pick up the production version of the El Mariachi! I’m not sure if I’ll actually do it but its an interesting thought.
May the Schwartz be with you!
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
Friday, May 05, 2006
The white building on the point is Marcy's office. She shares a sweet corner office looking right onto the harbor. I don't know how she gets any work done.
All said and done, I put in 2:25 and 42.5 miles this morning, all before most people were out of bed.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I got my first tick of the season riding home Monday afternoon. Yippee! I just love them cute little suckers. I guess this cements my decision to shave the legs this summer. I had been undecided whether to do it or not but if the ticks are going to be out in force this summer (as I've heard they are going to be), the legs need to be shaved. I've found that when I do shave it decreases my tick catch significantly. Plus it makes it easier to apply the bug dope if I don't have a rain forest on my legs. Looks super sexy too, I know the redneck chicks around here dig it...
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
In other news, I’m finally seeing the weight slowly start to come off. I’m hovering around 5-7 lbs higher than I want to be by race season right now but with slightly more riding and much better eating I’m finally seeing the pounds come off and with another three weeks before the first race, I stand a chance of hitting the goal. This time last year I had no trouble dropping the winter weight but this year has been tough. I guess having a baby will do that to you. Of course I didn’t have the baby, Marcy did, but you know what I mean. Soon enough this guy will really know what I mean.
Monday, May 01, 2006
Sunday turned out to be even nicer weather wise than Saturday. We woke to 45 deg and sunny weather that quickly climbed into the mid 60’s. My plan for the day was to mow the lawn in the early am and then wait for my buddies to call and say that they were ready to head to Bradbury State Park. Plans changed quickly though because when I got the mower out to the front yard, I noticed our mailbox laying against the neighbors fence. I thought wtf??? and immediately assumed that some jackass was playing mailbox baseball but upon further investigation found that wasn’t the case. It seems that a (presumeably) drunk driver swerved off the road Saturday night and took out my mailbox and as well as a street sign. Thankfully the post and bracket are made of heavy gauge aluminum because despite finding pieces of it as far away as 300 ft (into the neighbor’s yard) I was able to put it back together again. A little worse for wear but ready to take whatever this winters snow plows can dish out! The driver also managed to shear off a street sign and flung that sucker a few hundred feet as well. The f’er must have been drunk because any sane person would stop and call the cops after something like that happened. I can only imagine what their car looked like afterwards. I sincerely hope that it was completely f’ed up, rat bastard. The good news in all of this is that the cop that I talked to said that they’ve gotten money to buy an undercover car for nabbing drunks and speeders on our road. There are only two roads leading down onto the peninsula and even though we live in a very residential area, people fly down our road. Hopefully with a little more presence from the fuzz they’ll be forced to slow down.
Anyway, after dealing with the mailbox, I scooted down to Bradbury where I met up with Kevin and Casey. We hit up some of the best trails on the non-mountain side of the road. The park has been doing a damn good job of adding sweet single track on this side of the road, basically adding a few more miles or trail each year. For this year’s race in July, they have changed the format of the race from being multiple laps to being one 30 mile loop for expert and sport riders. I’m so excited about this change that I can barely contain myself. I typically do best in the longer races so this should suit me perfectly. Anyway, the trails were freakin beautiful. The trail ranges from super buff swoopy single track in the hardwoods to tight, twisty, turny stuff to lumpy/rocky areas but the beautiful thing is that they are all in separate sections so the riding experience changes every 10-15 mins. To top it off, the mountain side of the road is completely different again. That side is filled with steep climbs/descents, rock outcroppings, you name it, its got it. Super fun.