Thursday, June 28, 2007

official results

The official results are up from this weekend's race, 8th out of 46 experts/elites. I'm fairly content with that considering I pushed it as hard as I could on a super tech course against lots of fast guys. Unfortunately I also found out that I did not, in fact, beat Matt Boobar. I forgot he started in a wave 1 minute behind mine so he actually beat me by about 45 seconds. Frig! Damn you Boobar, damn you!

In other sport news, our new tandem kayak is being delivered today. We're totally geeked (Marcy especially) since it will give us something to do on these hot as stank days. With its pending arrival I've been considering ways of transport. The obvious and probably most used method will of course be throwing it on top of one of the dinosaur burners but for days when we take it down to the river (little over 1/4 mile away) or to the town landing (1 mile) I'd really like to have a more environmentally friendly way of hauling it. This got me thinking about hauling it behind a bike and I wondered if that was possible. Turns out it is, while blog surfing I found a link to this site called Tony's Trailers where you can buy multiple types of bike trailers including kayak haulers.

Of course, at $600 I won't be buying one anytime soon but at least I know it can be done and it might make a fun winter project for me to complete sometime around 2020.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

edgy stuff

Last week after complaining that my Garmin Edge 305 wasn’t getting very good battery life I decided to call Garmin and see what could be done. Well, it turns out the main problem was that it was running on outdated programming so after some noodling around on their site I found the necessary updates, downloaded them and voila! all is better. Well, not totally but my run times now seem to be up in the 7-ish hour range as opposed to the 4-ish range from before. This is a step in the right direction but ideally I’d still prefer to be getting 10-12 hrs since that is what they advertise it as plus it would have been really nice of them to tell you somewhere in the manual that periodic updates would be available on-line. Oh well, we’ll see what’s happening.

This afternoon was supposed to be the weekly road death march but with the 90 degree swass (sweaty ass) conditions predicted it looks like the group will be pretty slim, maybe even just me. As a result I’ve decided to scuttle the road plans, stop home, grab the Dos-n-dog and head to the Camden Snow Bowl to get in multiple laps on next weekends race course. It’s a brutal one with a 20 minute opening climb followed by some nasty cross eyed descending on some sweet technical single track. After this past weekend’s race the snow bowl’s trails, while technical in their own rite, will probably now feel like groomed cart paths. The added bonus of a snow bowl ride is that there is a sweet swimming spot right where the car will be parked so the pooch and I will be able to take a post ride dip.

Wheels, when are you pre-riding the course? Maybe we can hook up and you can pass on some of your good ju-ju so next weekend I can hold your wheel!

one in shoe is worth two in the flush

Being the parent of a toddler is a very fulfilling experience. Sure there is the love and adoration , the firsts that you’ll never forget yada yada yada but the story I’m about to tell you is the stuff of legend. This story will DEFINITELY be brought up the first time Brynna brings a boy home. She’ll be mortified and we’ll be happy.

Anyway, on to the story. The other day while I was out mowing the lawn, Marcy was putting things away in our bedroom and Brynna was enjoying some naked time while she was playing with Marcy’s mountain biking shoes. Putting them on, taking them off, shuffling around in them etc. Generally being content in her own little world. Of course it’s when B is quiet and content that you really have to worry. That’s when Marcy heard the tell tale utterings we’ve grown accustomed to when B is having naked time. "Uh-oh". Marcy turned around to discover that B had somehow, while wearing the shoes, managed to pinch a nice steaming loaf into the back of Marcy’s shoes.

Its times like these that I’m glad I’m a father, oh, and that for once MY SHOES were put away.

See pic below. I warn you, its disturbing, gross and absolutely hilarious all at the same time.

I sort of wonder if this was Brynna's way of telling mommy that she rides like shit.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What did YOU do the morning?

My early morning was very productive. Up at 3:30 (with 3-ish hours of sleep -ick-), eat breakfast, ride 1:05 into Boothbay Harbor to help set up for a charity breakfast which takes 2 hours, ride to the office, shower and sit down to work by 7:30. Beat that!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Clifford Park short version

Race number two is complete. No time for a full recount now so here’s a brief rundown.

Hella stacked field with a bunch of supa fast regional pros. Finished fourth in age group, 2nd non-pro (3rd non-pro overall I think). For once I felt like I had a handle on the course so that was VERY nice. Probably the best racing I’ve ever been in. Traded spots back and forth with several people including three teammates, MattyD, Big Gay Al, and Kirk Turner. We’d go back and forth on the super technical course each trying to gap the others when they’d bone it in a touch section (of which there were very many). Wheels blew by me on the third lap on his way to wining Vet 1. In the end, MattyD would win that battle with me a few seconds behind. In the final stretch, in sight of the finish line, I also passed Matt Boobar (he who I never beat). I guess he had some sort of pedal issue but he seemed fine as I passed him and I’ll take any victory I can get.

Finished the race strong but toasted, definitely the hardest I’ve gone in a race in a while. This was, no doubt, a result of the jockeying of positions.

In god’s way of punishing me for being me, Boobar got a prize for finishing third in his age group while I got squat for finishing fourth despite finally beating him. Next time Boobar, next time! (This is all in good fun, Boobar seems like a nice guy I’m just tired of getting spanked by him, he beats me sometimes racing too. ha ha)

Oh yeah, did I mention that Matt Boobar is the reigning age group nationional champion in Xterra.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Racin Rick goes international.

Yesterday's post has ended up on a South American message board (with my permission). It seems like whenever I do something stupid and document it I get way more hits than usual. Maybe I need to get all Jerry Springer on a daily basis.

On tomorrow's episode:
"My bike is sleeping with my sister's daughter's bike while I'm taking care of two little tubes."

Here we go!

Well, another work week just about wrapped up. Race number two is on Sunday and I’m determined to do well at this one this year. The last two seasons this race has chewed me up and spit me out. I’m not exactly sure why I don’t do well there but I think its because I can never get into a good flow and if you aint got flow its hard to go fast. To try to combat my anti-flow I pre-rode the course last weekend or should I say I tried to pre-ride the course. My buddy Kev and I went down to ride but since it hadn’t been marked out yet we spent an hour noodling around trying in vain to find the right route but simply couldn’t put all of the meandering trails together. Despite that though, I felt like I was starting to understand the course a bit more and actually enjoyed riding it. It looks like I might be able to get a couple of pre-ride laps in again tomorrow so hopefully I’ll be as dialed in as I can. I may even take both the dos and the el with me to see which one is right for the course. I know the El Mariachi was perfect for the last race but I'm guessing the extra cush of the Dos Niner will be right this weekend but you never know until you try.

I guess I can’t do much worse than the last couple of years anyway so I’ve got little to lose and hopefully late Sunday morning I won’t be on the ground suckling on the course’s sweaty, hairy nipple. Plus, this is the first of five races for me in the next two months and it would be really nice to get off to a good start.

In not so good starts, last night I pulled last year’s Hope P2 rear hub apart because of some weird clicking I had been hearing while free-wheeling recently. I had expected the problem to be a sticky pawl that wasn’t engaging properly but I was wrong. After taking the hub apart (which is amazingly, almost scarily easy to do) I noticed some teeny, tiny half spheres falling out which upon further inspection we ball bearings sheared in half. Nice, the entire bearing was ripped to shreds and there were pieces of plastic and metal all through the hub.

All those little black dots are actually sheared ball bearings!

Hopefully once I get it all cleaned up it will be an easy repair. Since I was apparently born without opposable thumbs I have a hard time doing most bike repairs but hopefully this is one I can actually tackle. I’ll know more after I give Big Gay Al over at Bikeman a jingle.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

How to wax like a man.

Last year I posted the highly informative and not at all inappropriate article titled "How to shave like a man!". It was a great success and brought me worldwide renown. I think 4 or 5 people actually read it based on the hate mail.

Anyway, over the course of the summer it became apparent that shaving just wasn't the way for me. It takes forever to do, I always miss spots and to be quite honest I'm too lazy to commit to the regimen involved. I ended up walking around all summer looking like a stubbly haired goat (scrawny legs and all) with the mange. Its not a look that's popular with the ladies.

This season after letting the fur regain its territory I decided to try waxing. How hard could it be I thought. Hoo-boy was I in for it.

Below is a step by step account of the process.

1. Buy waxing strips at store. I decided to also pick up some tampons at the same time so the clerk would assume I was simply being a good husband and not some sort of perverted, leg waxing freak. I decided on a product called "Nads" simply because I liked the name and thought it would be fitting for a dude to use.

Note: despite its name, you are NOT supposed to use the strips on your nads. See photo below. I feel gypped.

2. Get photo of yourself licking your nads. Just because.

3. Get yourself drunk. This is very important so that it doesn't hurt so much. I tried to man things up a bit here and went with a white wine spritzer over my normal zinfandel. Very manly, I feel better now.

4. Apply strips to leg as directed.

5. Take several deep breaths.

6. Pull strip off quickly.

7. Wake up finding yourself in the fetal position on the floor.

8. Look at shiny patch of bare skin. Only 20-ish more to go...per leg.

9. Complete job.

10. Marvel at how many scars that were once covered by hair are now clearly and painfully visible.
Yikes, thems some ugly legs!

11. Gain new respect for women.

12. Wait several days for missed hairs to grow long enough to try again. Yippee!

Its too soon to tell how long the hair will be gone for, from what I've heard, the more you do it, the less often you need to. Time will tell, I'll keep you posted.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Getting creative.

How do you work riding into your schedule when your wife is heading off for work for a couple of days and you're left with all childcare responsibilities? You get creative and very flexible. Yesterday I drove to work (needed to logistically) but got the greenlight to ride home (a very nice close to 2hr mtn/road ride) but that meant my car would be left at work but I had to drop B off at daycare this morning. What to do? Thankfully, Marcy's car was still at the house so I had that at my disposal. In order to get some riding in I left the car at daycare and tt'd it from there to my office, a 15 min. mostly uphill jaunt. Short by anybody's standards but still a good effort and enough to remind the body whats up. Of course, there will also be the downhill ride back this afternoon. If the weather permits I'll do the same tomorrow. Of course I'll have to ride back in from home Wednesday evening or Thursday morning to get my car which will still be at the office but you don't hear me complaining about that! Mix in my morning jog/stretching/pilates/abs sessions and things don't look so bad.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Purty ride

Here are a couple of pics from one of my favorite places to ride, the Camden Snow Bowl. Currently they have anough trails to keep one happy for 2-3 hours but are in the process of working with adjoining landowners to expand and improve the trail system. They even have the IMBA trail crew coming in September to help them meet their goals. Good times are a-comin.

Anyway, no matter how you approach it, the only way to get to the trails is to go up, right from the gun. The initial climb takes about 20'ish minutes to complete, is super steep, technical and downright brutal, especially since you aren't yet warmed up. After suffering in an oh-so-good way for 20 mins you are rewarded with sweeping views of Penopscot bay to the south and the other "mountains" around. It's nice enough that you almost forget you're coughing up blood.

That is until you look down and see the profile of that initial climb.
The total elevation gain isn't all that great (I did one climb while in NC that was 1300 ft in 30 minutes) but the technical aspect really takes it out of you. In the picture below you see that my average speed was only 4.68mph for that first climb, barely fast enough to stay upright.

In the end though, it's great training and you are rewarded to a sweet descent and miles of beautiful, technical singletrack.

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Friday, June 15, 2007


This am after jogging with the pooch I chose to bring the mountain bike into work and wander around the trails behind the office for a while to try to find a way to connect directly to the parking lot. I came close, after getting back and uploading to and Google Earth I can see that I was within 500' of connecting in three different spots but of course I had no way of telling that in the woods at the time and since the trails ended I decided to turn around as opposed to becoming mosquito and coyote food.
So close!
Armed with my new information though, I'm certain that very soon I'll have a good way to get directly from our parking lot into the trails so I can bring Mr. Pants along with me once in a while.
During the wandering session I fell victim to a pretty serious blunt force trauma incident to the groinage region. Not a direct hit to the Ballagio but right next door (speaking of Ballagio, have you seen the new tower they have erected next door? Quite popular with female and San Franciscan tourists I hear.) leaving me with some nice bruising and scraping. I was forced to walk my bike for about five minutes because it hurt so bad. After about a half hour though it wasn't so bad and I was only left with a dull ache that worked as a gentle, throbbing reminder that handlebar end to groin encounters aren't for everyone.
Thats all for today, have a great weekend and I apologize for the potty humor but Jason likes it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fork, me, done.

Did the group ride with a 24 mile warm up and cool down tonight.
Here are the stats:

85 miles (39 miles with the group)
18.3 mph average
~6000 ft climbing
number of times above 180 bpm: 4 (on group ride alone)
number of times above 170 bpm: 21 (on group ride alone)
2 bottles HEED
1 bottle Perpetuem
1 sugar free red-bull
1 flask Hammer Gel
1 Cliff Bar
2 sore ass cheeks
1 sore neck
1 excellent ride

Its now 10 pm and just for fun I'm back at the office to work for another hour or so. Sleep, who needs it?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Don't you hate it when...

1. You ride in to work only to find you left your underwear and belt at home? Just call me "commando saggy drawers" today.

2. The fifteen times you checked to be sure you road tires were still aired up during the day they were fine right up until you leave at the end of the day and sure enough, rubber pancake. Frig, this happens to me so much it doesn't even suprise me anymore. I think one of the construction guys may be playing a prank on the skinny, pasty white, shaved leg, lycra wearing pansy. Just a thought.

There is good news though if you're a bike commuter. Check it here. Up to $110/month to ride your bike to work. Works for me especially if you consider all of the coin you'll save on gas and wear-n-tear on your car. Of course, as much as I love cycling I could never do it every day with family and work obligations but if this prompts even a modest number of people to get off their asses and onto bikes it'll have done its job. Lets hope it passes this time.

Monday, June 11, 2007

This is how ricky rolls

This weekend I gave Brynna her first lesson on how to roll down a grassy hill (you remember those days don't you?) and what t-shirt did I just so happen to be sporting? You got it, Twin-Six's "This is how I roll" tee. Fitting I think and thankfully its green so no grass stains showed up.

Friday, June 08, 2007

spank you very much

Wednesday night I made it out on the group road ride for the first time in about a month and boy did it show. I got out of work a bit late (or should I say, I wasn't able to sneak out as early as I had hoped) so I had to drive part way there. I parked in the ghetto of Waldoboro, mounted up and spun the 18 miles in at a comfortable pace and rolling into the Maine Sport parking lot with 5 minutes to spare for the 5:30 start time. After a very short neutral roll out I stupidly (I would find out later at least) went to the front and started to push the pace taking several hard pulls and playing around by shooting off the front on occasion, dropping back and then going again. In short, I was feeling great.

The start. Check out the guy in the yellow jersey. He had his jersey tucked into his shorts (on purpose). I wanted to smack him up side the head but I didn't cause I'm a pus.

Before long, though, I started to notice some cramping signs in my calves. Uh-oh. So I dialed it back a bit and hoped to come out of it. Unfortunately, when the next gradual climb came (I did 4000 feet of climbing total during the ride) the calf cramped and I shot out the back as I watched the lead group disappear over the hill.

Off the back.

I wanted to cry but I figured I couldn't afford to lose the electrolytes. I figured my best course of action was to guzzle some heed and perpetuem and hope it would pass. After about 30 mins (felt more like 90) of sheer suffering in the land of bonk I noticed my head beginning to clear and my legs starting to turn over more quickly. Together, myself and another co-bonker worked our way back to the front and regained contact with the lead group.

Once with the lead group I told myself not to do anything stupid like take a pull, make an attack etc, just sit in for a bit and wait for the strength to really come back. Unfortunately, as always happens when I ride in a group, I couldn't stick it and before long I was feeling anxious and heading to the front. After a few pulls and a couple of attacks I was feeling great again.

Soon after, we were pulling back into Maine Sport's parking lot at the end of the ride. I now had a choice to make, ride the 18 miles back to Waldoboro and potentially suffer like a dog or take a ride from Mad Mike and hang my head in shame. I chose to suck it up and ride back to the car. After heading out I realized the energy levels were getting low again so I had some more heed and perpetuem and settled into a nice easy pace-one that could get me back even within the worst of bonks. An hour fifteen later I suffered up the final climb and descended to the car with 3:47 and 68 miles in. It wasn't my best ride of the season but I figure it was very good training for the longer races coming up over the next couple of months.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

photo blog

Dupont State Forest. Talk about some gorgeous singletrack!

Up and up...

...and up.

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how not to take video

Every once in a while (usually when riding with Marcy) I'll get the bright idea to take a video with my point and shoot camera while riding. I always figure its only a matter of time before I eat it hard and get a pine cone shoved up my ass. Well, while on vaca down in North Caroliner' I decided to take some move video. Here is one of the gems. Somehow I managed to stop the recording and get the bike to stop before I ate it (talk about multi-tasking!) but just barely. My time is coming.

damn video doesn't seem to be working. Check it out here.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I may or may not have caused this little, itty-bitty bruise on Marcy's arm while we were mountain biking inNorth Carolina.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Ergon short term report

Last Saturday as we were making final preps for our trip south to Brevard North Carolina I was suprised to find that the care package from Ergon consisting of one set of team green (Marcy thinks its more like team vomit but what does she know??? :) ) P1 grips for my El Mariachi, just in time for me to mount them up before hitting the primo southern single track. My initial shake down ride at my parent's place was positive but at only about 45 minutes it could hardly be considered a true test. I was hoping to get in enough time on the grips while in NC to get a true feel for what they had to offer.

It turns out that my initial thoughts still hold true. After a very quick 'get to know ya' phase of about 5 minutes I found myself forgetting that I was even using new grips until later in the ride when I realized my hands didn't hurt as much as usual. The standard grips on the El Mariachi (salsa something or others) did not work well with my hands and the hard rubber nubs just seemed to iritate them. Other Salsa grips have worked better for me but these just weren't cutting it. Anyway, the Ergon's have a nice soft-ish but still firm feel with a very light grippy texture. The platform is padded just enough to take the harshness out without being too squishy and gives a nice place to rest the hands.

After about 10 hours on them this past week on some sweet flowy singletrack I can now safely say that I love them, neon green and all. Now its just a matter of getting a set to put on the dos niner.

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we're back

phew, we're back finally. After 23-ish hours driving back including one major construction area and one nasty traffic jamb go-around gone awry we finally arrived back in Damariscotta at 3:40 am this morning. To say the least we're tired. There is lots to talk about but like I said, I'm tired and don't feel like writing. Instead, I'll point you to a website that did coverage of Maine's first mountainbike race of the season. You get to see yours truly in print and pics. Like I've always said, I just like to see myself on the internet.

Read more here, and check out the pic titled " was out in full force" or just look at it below. Your choice. :)