Sunday, September 30, 2007

pretty good weekend

Wrapping up a pretty good weekend up here in lobstaville usa. After some end-of-week-gods-wrath-downpours it was nice to see some nice weather roll in for the weekend. The pooch and I started it off nicely with a Saturday morning mountain bike ride. We got it close to 2 hrs on the local snowmobile doubletrack. Last year I rode those trails so much I couldn't stand to ride them anymore but this year my rides here were so infrequent that it was kinda nice to roll there twice this week. It also helps that there isn't a trace of mud anywhere despite the end of week rains.

Damariscotta USA's finist doubletrack

Saturday afternoon we got our fair on and headed down to the Cumberland County Fair. It was really small and kind of lame but still fun since it was the first real fair that B has been to. She refused to go on any rides but she did like seeing all of the animals and the maracas I bought for her from the kind mexican fella.

Pic just prior to the gut wrenching wailing.

B seems intimidated by the KKK sheep.


Today was supposed to see myself and B hitting the road together (by her request yesterday) but the little scamp slept so damn long during her afternoon nap that by the time she was consious again it as pretty much dinner time. Oh well, at least she wanted to ride at one point this weekend. Maybe next time. At least I was able to get some bike maintenance in the form of replacing a broken spoke on the dos while she was napping.

Friday, September 28, 2007

bueller? bueller?

Where the heck is everyone today? 6 hits? Seriously? Did you all start to actually work or something? Come on, help a guy out.

I know what will increase my hit count again. Whenever I type butt floss or torpedo titties I get a few hits from those pervs and somehow, someone also found me by doing a google search for "man wears loaded wet diaper". Sniff, so proud.

broken piggie

Seems like its been a while since I last posted. Maybe because it has been but things are really ramping up here at work over the last month or so and it looks like its going to be balls to the wall over the winter. I guess if it's going to happen anytime, I'm happy to have it ramp up after the summer but still, you can only put in so many 11+ hr days before it starts to get to you.

Despite the hours (and the rain the last couple of days) I've managed to get in a few good rides this week in the form of commuting and some mountain bike time on the now single speed el mariachi (cha cha cha). I need to become one with the El because next weekend I'm making my first trek over to the Kingdom Trails in Vermont and it will be the bike I'll take. Some multi-hour rides on it should be the ticket to melt away some of my work related stress.

Withe the El coming out pretty much full time now it's got me thinking about the Dos and what changes NEED to be made for next year. I won't be making any cosmetic or lust changes but I do have a couple of things I think I need to do. First and formost, I need to change my handlebars and grips. As mentioned about a hundred times, I plan on running Ergon's next season (every ride on my Ergon gripped El confirms that) but I've also decided that I need slightly wider bars as well. My Salsa Moto Ace bar is a bit on the narrow side which has worked well for shorter, XC style races but is less than ideal in the longer, enduro style races I've been trying to focus on. The narrow width means that I either end up hanging the edge of my hands over the end of the bars causing me to blister and develop a deep muscle bruise in the meaty part of my palm or I end up keeping my hands jambed up against the XO twisties so tight that I rub the base of my thumb raw. Usually, during a long race, I do both and end up with very sore hands for days afterwards. As a result, I plan to get some slightly wider bars to open things up a bit. Combine that with the extra comfort of the Ergon grips and I should be stylin next year.

Other than that, the steed is pretty much good to go other than basic maintenance type stuff. I never thought I'd say this but I don't think I'll be wanting a new bike next year. There is still time to change my mind though! :)

Oh, and the broken piggie part, I think I broke one of my toes last night by stubbing it on a chair leg. Lame-o. I think I'll tell people I did it while rock climbing instead.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

another use

Since I almost never drink beer anymore (ok, thats a lie) and when I do its usually straight from the bottle so my Wilderness 101 pilsner glass (2 actually since someone left one in my camp chair the night after the race. bonus)gets very little use. B, being the offspring of such a clever and talented guy has come up with an alternate use.
fashion footwear
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Monday, September 24, 2007

In like a lion...

out like a puss.

The Bradbury 12, a sorry tale.

Here's how it went:

Mad Mike and I ended up getting to the race venue less than 45 minutes to start time. Not ideal when you need to set up, pick up reg. pack, change, do final bike prep etc but we were basically ready by the time the race started. The one major thing I didn't have ready was that my support crew didn't get there in time for me to fill them in on my nutrition plan so they'd be ready when I came through each lap. Uh oh.

The race started with a le mans start. I did well and was about 10th to my bike, probably second solo. We quickly cranked across the field, crossed the road and hit the first section of VERY fast double track. While in the stampede on the slight downhill doing a little over 20mph I clipped a mid size, morning dew slimed rock which sent me directly towards a huge (3 ft wide, 6 ft tall) stump. It was at this point, less than 1 minute into the race that I thought my day was over, if I didn't break myself, my bike would surely be done. I quickly grabbed as much brake as I could, slid a bit sideways and thumped the stump pretty hard but managed to keep from dying or breaking the bike and my brother narrowly managed to go around my front wheel which ended up partially in the trail. I'm sure that if I was still running v brakes that my day certainly would have been done. Thank god for disc brakes. Unfortunately, by the time there was an opening in the stampede I was about 40 or so positions back. The rest of the lap I worked to pass everybody I felt I should be ahead of and tried to keep my head in check knowing I still had almost 12 hours to go. By the end of the lap I had caught back up to Mad Mike and fellow expert racer Chris Laflamme. They were setting a fast but comfortable pace so I settled in with them. Soon after catching them we finished the first lap. Unfortunately, since I hadn't had time to lay out my nutrition and hadn't filled the crew in on what was up they were not readay for my return and here is where I made my pivotal mistake. Instead of taking the minute or two it would have taken to get things sorted out for the rest of the race, I instead just grabbed a new bottle of heed and headed back out so I could stay with Mike and Chris.

Lap two was the same. We stayed together the whole lap until the very end where I bobbled a bit and they got to their pits about a minute ahead of me. I was having so much fun though and we were riding so well together that I once again only grabbed a bottle. I did have the common sense to ask my brother to mix a bottle of Perpetum for the next lap though.

Lap three all was merry as well but it was on this lap that I realized that I was almost three hours into the race and I hadn't eaten anything. ANYTHING! As I lapped through I had a about 1/3 of a p&b sandwich and the bottle of perpetum. A little better but in hind sight still not enough.

After lap four I was starting to feel the effects of not eating early enough. I lost touch with Mike and Chris and finished by myself. I had more to eat, got another bottle and set out again. During this lap I stopped passing anyone. By the end of the lap I had no power in the legs, my stomache was starting to bother and my will to ride was dwindling rapidly.

After finishing lap five, I decided to sit and eat and drink for 10 minutes hoping some energy would be regained. I wanted to stop but knew I had to give it one more shot. Within five minutes of heading back out I was sure I wasn't doing another lap. I could barely push the pedals, my stomach hurt enough that I knew I wouldn't be able to eat much more and most importantly, I wasn't having fun. What point is a race like that if you're not having fun? So, I struggled (and I do mean struggled) through the last lap and called it a day with six laps and about 60 miles in 6:18. I felt a bit down but at the same time I was relieved because I knew at that point things weren't getting any better.

Chris went on to finish second with 12 laps, Mike was fourth with 11 and my brother Rus finished soon after me with 6 as well beforing pulling the plug. Interestingly, the wining solo rider had 12 laps and the winning team (three man I think) had 13 laps so the solo's were really holding their own out there.

Friday, September 21, 2007

getting psyched

Ooooooh boy, the pre-race butterflies are finally flying. It's 18 hours from go time and I'm definitely feeling it especially since I haven't done my shopping or gotten any of my gear together yet. Ever the procrastinator I guess. Maybe I'll remember to check my tire pressure this time at least...

Registration is starting to look better now. As of yesterday we were up to about 70 people pre-registered. That's a pretty good number considering this is a first year event and it's held so late in the season. Also important is that it surpassed the promoter's 50 person break even point so we can be assured that they'll have a go at it again next year.

pre-ride

Wednesday evening saw me and some of my buds hooking up at Bradbury for a pre-ride of this weekend's 12hr race course. Kevin (in the SMCC jersey) and I were able to grab a half lap before meeting up with the rest of the group. We ended up hitting most of the course in various directions and had a chance to check out our lighting set-ups. Three of these guys are part of the only 4-man team signed up at this point and I think they may have a chance of winning that category. Call it a hunch :)



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Now I'm going to test the new blogger video option. Sorry if the video is lame.

video

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A few more race day pics

Courtesy of my mom.


My final race of the season, The Bradbury 12, is this coming Saturday. I'm pretty psyched about it right now, the weather looks to be perfect in the low 70's, its on awesome trails, one of my brother's will be duking it out with me in the solo class, a group of riding buddies are in the four man class, Marcy and B are going to be able to come by and my parents and other brother will be crewing for us. It should be a really good time. Right now, the only downside I see is that currently there are fewer than 40 people total signed up. I'm hoping this is just a case of people waiting until the last minute to register but if not it will be a pretty disappointing turnout. With the type of trails, low entry cost (only $50 for solo) and this being a perfect time of year to ride there really isn't any reason why we wouldn't have a huge turnout. Hopefully we'll at least get enough riders to encourage the promoters to run it again next year because I'm sure that once word of mouth gets around this will turn into a must race. Fingers crossed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

At least one of us got a prize.

Yesterday was the series finale for the Maine Mountain Bike Series. Before going into it I knew I had the expert s2 wrapped up for the year and had toyed with the idea of racing the single speed race for shits and giggles but over the weekend I had a change of heart. It turns out I was only about 30pts off of Wheels for the Master of Mud and it seemed like a shame to roll over and give it to him so by Saturday evening I had decided to race in the expert race. I knew if Wheels was on form I would have nothing for him but if he faltered at all I might, just might have a chance.

One lap into the race I was feeling great (seems like the first time in a long time) and within striking distance so I settled in for a battle on the super technical course. The most technical section of the course known as the pipeline was giving almost everyone problems but my familiarity with it allowed me to make up chunks of time on this mile long section and I figured if I kept my witts about me and slowly picked away I could claw my way up to and past Wheels. That worked for the first lap and a half but then my idiocy finally showed through. Prior to the race I pre-rode the course on my El Mariachi to avoid ripping my derailleur off right before the race like last year. Before setting out I was sure to check my tire pressure so I wouldn't have a pinch flat on one of the thousands of sharp rocks/boulders strewn on the course. Sure enough, no problems. Unfortunately while waiting for the race to start I didn't check the dos' air pressure and I ended up starting the race on too little air in both the front and rear tires feeling the rim bottom out on several occasions. By the start of the pipeline on the second lap my luck ran out and I burped my front tire after a near endo. I quickly grabbed my CO2 to top the front and rear tires off when disaster struck. Instead of the CO2 going into the tire, it shot out of the back of the nozzle and froze my finger instead (frost bite in september, sweet!). With no more CO2's or a functioning pump it was game over. Oh well, yet one more lesson in a lesson filled season. I'm not sure why I bother to show up to races two hours early if I'm not at least going to make sure the bike is in working order. Bonehead.

On a good note though, B took part in her first ever mountain bike (tricycle) race. When she saw the kids race getting ready to go and I asked her if she wanted to race she gave an emphatic "yeth" (that's yes in B speak) so we quickly made our way to the start line and got her situated with a race number. When the starter yelled "go" the rest of the kids (who were all at least 1 1/2-2 yrs older) took off and despite the fact that I was pushing her B got very upset that the other kids got away and I was forced to carry her for most of the first lap. She came out of it though and ended up completing 3 or so laps (even though it was a one lap race) and got her first ever medal and race schwag (a bell). Its enough to make a daddy proud.

The start line.


The game face. Feel intimidated?



Mid race Gatorade break.


The awards ceremony.




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Friday, September 14, 2007

Lunchtime romp

After a 6hr afternoon meeting/ride cock block on Wednesday that left me rideless and frustrated I decided to partially make up for it yesterday during my lunchbreak. I was able to grab a 45 minute ride and still be showered and changed before the hour was up. It was my second ride on the El Mariachi since I (finally) converted it to single speed. As much as I enjoyed riding it as a 1x9, it really can't compare to it as a single. It was meant to be and I don't think it will ever go back unless I'm using it for a back-up bike in a 24 hour race.

The 300 yd pavement section to the trails.

Near the end in the Zak Preserves sweet single track. The El looks nice and clean without the gears and derailleur don't you think?



I've had so much fun on this bike over the last two rides that I'm seriously considering racing it this weekend in the Maine series finale on Sunday. I'm not sure if I'll still do the expert race on it or just jump in with the other singles. We'll see.
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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Acadia

bike content is pretty scarce these days so I'll instead try to bore you with some pics of our trip to Acadia National Park last weekend. While there we hiked, biked, went to the beach AND experienced Brynna's first two nights sleeping in a tent. Thankfully, for everyone involved (including people camped near us) things went off very well. Now for the pics.


The toaster almost loaded. The middle pile gets a bit bigger.


hiking is so ho-hum



B was getting cranky so we gave her a bit of a balance bar for her to destroy and then smear on my hat.




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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fall is coming.

I know this for several reasons.

1. I feel like shooting something, anything really.

2. I'm tired of "training" and just want to ride. I still have two races left but I'm going to rely on residual fitness at this point. Who needs real fitness to ride for 12 hours straight anyway? Sissies.
Why am I smiling? Because I'm riding, plain and simple.



3. I find it increasingly hard to find the time to ride. This has little to do with the season and more to do with the fact that by this time of year we realize just how little we had time for over the summer so we try to cram a bunch of stuff in before the snow flies. I'm going to try to do better at this next year. It would probably help to keep the "training" fresh through the summer as well.

4. Trail/road side snacks are often available. I'm talking apples here. No, I'm not talking about road apples, I'm talking about real apples. Around here, the tart little suckers are aplenty and just waiting to satiate your hunger and suck all moisture out of your mouth in the process. Friday, on my ride home, I was so hungry that I stopped at a roadside apple tree, picked four of those bad boys and nibbled all of the way home.

Which would you rather eat? These...

or these?

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Monday, September 10, 2007

When exactly do you have time???

As usual, there isn't much time to blog recently so I'll leave you with a few items of interest.



1. Adam "Dick Broom" Craig schooled them all daisy duke style in the 2007 Single Speed World Championships. Makes a Mainer proud. Read about it HERE.


Craig pairing the porn stache and daisy dukes with some Luke Skywalker kimono.


2. Rick "Big Dick" Nelson is poised to take expert senior II in the Maine series. Not much of an accomplishment though considering the lack of competition this year. Not talent wise but in sheer numbers. Across the entire expert field there were always a few heavy hitters but some races (like last weekend's) there were less than 20 riders total in expert. Sucky.


3. I'm also in second place for Master of Mud (overall fastest dude in the series) behind Wheels. Wheels deserves it more though so I think I'll coast this weekend so as to not steal his thunder. ;) I missed MoM last year by a few points though so it will suck to come so close again.


4. Marathon "energy" bars kinda suck. I got these in the Hampshire 100 schwag bag. Their motto should be "We took the worst of an energy bar and combined it with the worst of a candy bar and made a totally new, inedible product."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Don't you hate it when...

you ride to work, get showered and realize you have no shoes, underwear or pants in the building you shower in? Thankfully for me, I get in really early so my dash across the parking lot in nothing but a towel went unnoticed (to my knowledge). Of course once to the office I realized I still didn't have underwear or a belt. Damn me and my lack of planning. Marcy is a saint though and dropped both off for me BEFORE my client meeting this a.m. at 8.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hampshire 100, the aftermath

Here is the final installment of the thrilling Hampshire 100 trilogy.


Shortly after the race I started to get a knot in my stomach. Not knowing what to do but remembering how great soup has settled my stomach in the past I decided to have a can of chicken and stars. So I plopped my ass in a camp chair, grabbed a can of soup, popped the top and drank half of it straight from the can. Before you vomit on your computer you should try it sometime after a long race/ride, it actually tastes pretty good. I wouldn't recommend it on a daily basis because of the amount of sodium ingested in a span of 30 sec. though.


After a bit of sitting the stomach started to feel better to I got up and started to pack up camp. Bad move as the stomach cramps came roaring back quickly so it was back in the chair for me.


Over the course of the next few hours while I waited for the awards ceremony I would repeat this many times since I needed to get my shit together so I could roll out as soon as the awards were handed out. At some point I decide to try to be more social and made my way over to where Andy and his buds were hanging out need the free feed the promoter was providing (which I was to sick to take advantage of damnit!). Unfortunately, once there about all I could do was put my head down on the picnic table and will the stomach pains to go away. Eventually, after many announced delays, the awards were handed out and I hopped in the element and made tracks home.
Pic stolen from Andy's blog. Don't I look psyched?
Once on the road I hoped to make the three hour drive in one big chunck figuring that since I was siting I would be able to suffer through. Nice theory. Within an hour I was forced to pull over so I parked in the shade in a McD's and took a nap with the radio on to drown out the car and people noise. An hour and a half later I awoke to complete silence. F! It turns out I had my lights on so my battery was as dead as it gets. Could life possibly get any worse? At the moment, for me, it couldn't. Mercifully, the McDonald's manager had booster cables in her car and I was soon on my way and finally feeling much better.
By the time I got home I thought I had figured out what happened to cause the misery. During the race, because I wanted to keep my drafting partner, Adam Bradley, I skipped several of the feed stations where I planned on taking in more water than I was carrying and what was in my drop bags. At the time I didn't feel thirsty so I thought I was ok but since the race took me 5 3/4 hours and I only drank MAYBE 4 bottles worth of fluids I would guess I was mildly dehydrated. Just a hunch.
One more race, one more lesson.