Wednesday, April 30, 2008

ouch that hurt

Before this morning's commute the planned 20 30 second intervals with 30 second recoveries seemed like an easy enough workout to get through. I mean, really, 30 seconds is pretty short. Anybody can do a 30 second sprint right? As I rolled out this morning at 5:30 am though, it occured to me that while a 30 second sprint isn't all that hard, to only get 30 seconds of rest before the next would be the tough part. Umm, I was right. Damn, was that a hard workout for that early in the morning. I finished the workout but not before wanting to cry like a little girl. My first real race of the year is in less than a month though so I'm sure these workouts will pay huge dividends if I can keep them up.

I've also been daydreaming a bit recently about a future project and sending e-mails back and forth with the grand poobah over at I don't want to let the cat completely out of the bag yet but here are some hints.

have a beautiful, sunny day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

my world is crumbling

not my world exactly but my bikes for sure. When you combine a bitchy work schedule, prepping a house for sale, designing a new house, family time and trying to squeeze in bit of riding the first thing that is going to suffer (besides sleep) is the welfare of your bikes. My bikes are quickly going down the crapper.

Here was the rundown as of Saturday:
El Mariachi - busted up eccentric bb. looks like she's bikeman bound
Dos Niner - no real problems if you ignore the fact that it doesn't have wheels, handlebars, needs new cables/housing and a whole lot of tlc
Trek 2300 - until Saturday it was fine, right up until I was begining my monthly testing to gauge fitness at which point the shifting went kabloie. Throw that test in the freakin trash since it's pretty hard to go all-out when you're waiting for the next miss-shift.

Three bikes in the quiver, three bikes down. There was only one option for me at that point. That, of course, was to buy a new bike. I pondered that and the ensuing kick to the junk wifey would give me and decided it might be best to work on the bikes I already have. After 40 minutes of unsuccessfully frigging with the Trek on Saturday night I decided to step away and hope for better luck Sunday morning. Good move on my part because I had it up and running in less than 5 minutes Sunday morning. Weird. Over the weekend I also got working on the Dos finally getting the "new" (old bars from my Fuel) handlebars and Ergon grips mounted on the bike. Baby steps, baby steps. Hopefully I'll have her up and running for a southern maine single track expedition this weekend.

Monday, April 28, 2008

try this

because today's post was turning out crappy I'll give you this article that I found today at lunch about the crit race I won a couple of weeks ago. Article stolen from the Catalize Events website

Nelson, Schwab claim victories at SIPCrit

Written by Jack Beaudoin
Monday, 14 April 2008
Bruce Schwab put the emphasis in a four-man breakaway in the B Race, Part Deux, at the April 13 edition of the 2008 SIPCrit -- and for his hard work, Schwab claimed his first victory of the season. In the A race, Rick Nelson put himself into virtually every move, including the one that counted most, taking a sprint win ahead of John Esposito and Jurgen Nebelung.
As with last week, the racers enjoyed bright sunshine to start but had to contend with chilly temperatures and a strong west-to-east win. Blowing in that direction, the wind is at the racers' back for the home stretch, but can make it hell on racers when they ride alongside the Scarborough Marsh. Perhaps the wind was to blame for keeping the B race -- for the most part -- in a peleton complet, with nobody able to make any serious inroads on short-lived breaks. Finally, Schwab (after winning to primes) put his head down and broke up the group. Only SMCC's Jirah Providencia, Intermountain's John Esposito and Esposito's 16-year-old nephew, Chris, were able to hold Schwab's pace.

When it came time for the sprint, Schwab was able to hold off the younger Esposito to grab first place, while Providencia came home third and John Esposito finished fourth, not contesting the sprint. "I was only in there to coach my nephew," the Falmouth resident said later.

A third Esposito, Chris' father Tony, won the chase sprint for fifth while Liam Sommers finished sixth.

In the A race, Rick Nelson of Damariscotta found himself in several breaks and would have won the day's most aggressive rider trophy except for the fact that the race winner NEVER gets that one. Nelson was clearly the rider on best form, never missing a pull at the front. "I didn't really plan to get into the last break," he said after the race, but he and Jurgen Nebelung found themselves with a serviceable gap with four laps to go and decided to work together. In an amazing display of guts and determination, John Esposito (yes, formally of the B race), crossed the gap solo and join the break with little over a lap to go. Now a trio, the break managed to hold off a hard charging pack, with Nelson, Esposito and Nebelung finsihing 1-2-3.

In the field sprint, the irrepressible Mike Hartley nipped Chris Karam for fourth place, while Ben Forbes claimed sixth.

I always enjoy reading about how awesome I am, especially when I didn't have to write it myself! :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

pop quiz

Time for a quiz boys and girls.

Is it:

A: the world's biggest contraceptive device capable of capturing man-size bearded sperm.
B: one of the various reasons that I've had trouble getting consistant riding time in.


B, of course and not just because option A is far too scary to comprehend.

That is actually a trap for fish that Marcy is using for a fish study that she's involved with. The worst part is that the timing is all based on tides which means, right now at least, she has to be there at around 7 am and 7 pm. Smack dab in the middle of my riding opportunities. Thankfully this was supposed to be a rest week anyway and the next few weeks looks to work better schedule wise.

Yesterday I finally pulled the trigger on ordering up some much needed biking stuff from Bikeman. All little stuff since we don't have money for big stuff right now but important stuff all the same like new road tubes, a new blinkie taillight, heed, hammer gel etc. I've blown through road tubes like crazy recently for some reason so the new tubes are key. Usually I patch my tubes but I have a strict "if the total weight of patches exceedes the original weight of the tube" rule and since all of my spare tubes exceed that requirement it was time for some freshies. The taillight is also pretty important (and much more boring to write about) too because somebody nipped my nearly new blinkie the other day while I was at a board meeting and it is still pretty dark when I ride in in the morning. I should be thankful though because they left the bike.
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

why atv'ers will never rule the world

Option A: short stream crossing that can easily be avoided with the construction of a short bridge.

Option B: 100'+ crossing running upstream forcing the user to wade through the muck.

Another shot of option B.

As you can tell by the rope across the trail in option A, they chose to send the user upstream, a trail location that could never be maintained. Rhodes Scholars, the whole lot.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

can your hydration pack carry this?

My BD1 can. Comfortably too I might add. My bro is getting a BD2, when he gets that I suspect he'll be able to carry the sump pump this connects to as well.

Yesterday afternoon, hours after "finishing" yesterday's meager post I realized that I didn't follow through on the title where I mentioned "rock chucking losers". Here is the follow through:

Saturday I was participating in a Green Build Expo at the local Y. Afterwards, on my ride home, I came upon a group of utes loitering on the side of the road opposite what is easily the crappiest trailer/property within a 5 mile radius of town. One of the utes, when he noticed me coming, bend down picked up what I assume was a rock and ducked behind the group waiting for me to approach. I did some quick mental calculations and determined the best course of action was to roll up slowly and see what happens. So I slowed down and started in the punk's direction. When he came into view and he saw me giving him the death look he quickly dropped the rock and pretended to be involved in the group's conversation. I continued to give him the stink eye as I passed and then continued on my way. Stupid f'ing punk. If I hadn't seen what he was up to I likely would have had an apple sized rock chucked at my head (the ditch they were standing in was filled with large crushed stone similar to what you see on the sides of highways). What the f is wrong with people?
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

more trail time and rock chucking losers

Got some more time in on the dirt on this morning's commute. Wish I could say it went well. When I rolled out the door this a.m. the legs were feeling pretty sluggish, mostly from yesterday's interval session but I also think it's time to take a few easy days to let the legs rest. This week was supposed to be a low intensity/rest week but because of last weeks mess and lack of riding I figured it would work as my rest week. Guess I was wrong. Tomorrow will be a day off and Thursday will be a very easy commute. Huh, I wrote that as if you might care. Sorry.

Anyway, back to the story at hand. By the time I made it to the first trail head my legs had started to snap out of it and were feeling a touch better but when I went to adjust my bb to change to a more trail friendly gear on the ss my ride pretty much went to hell in a handbasket. Apparently, over course of this winters copious commute hours in crap ass weather, the bolt that secured the bb in place has essentially siezed up. I torqued it enough to loosen it a bit but couldn't get it loose enough to change gears so I simply tried to tighten it back up. Denied again so I was left with a bolt too tight to move but not tight enough to keep everything in place when riding. Long story short, finished the ride swearing after multiple dropped chains etc. Son of a bitch. If I had the tools to pull the bb out it would probably be easy enough to fix but I don't so I guess it's bikeman bound. Better get the Dos up and running quick.

Monday, April 21, 2008

no sleeves, no lights, no problem

Friday, glorious Friday marked two firsts for me this spring season. First day this season hitting the trails and first day without arm or leg warmers. Yippee!!! The weather was fan-freakin-tastic at about 70 and sunny, the trails were almost entirely dry (a near miracle given the time of year). The trails I was on weren't the greatest but I'll take it. To add to the firsts, this morning on my commute I didn't need lights despite heading out at 5:30 am. First time this year baby! No more lighting monkey on my back for a few months.

Look ma, no sleeves (but some VERY pasty skin!)

First tracks

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Friday, April 18, 2008

can you believe it?

I'm in the midst of yet another week from hell up here in the great white north. Actually, the weather has been b-e-a-u-tiful but I haven't had much opportunity to enjoy it. Oh well.

Since I've had no time for riding I've also had no time for writing (or anything remotely interesting to write about) so I thought I'd dig up some classic Racin Rick posts from a couple years ago when I did have time and a modest amount of creativity and put together my own little "Best Of" series for occasions like this. Well, after a few minutes of browsing the old stuff I have come to the conclusion that my stuff sucked just as much back then as it does now. Revisionists memory I guess. Back in the old days I used to blog uphill both ways in driving snow in bare feet...

Big-ish mountain bike commute home planned for today so maybe tomorrow I'll have something interesting to write. Hang in there.

Monday, April 14, 2008

race day pics

The starting line.

Here is a pic I stole from the SMCC message board. It shows Jorge and I early on in the winning break. You can see the field a couple hundred yards back.

The route around the ever so exciting industrial park. 20 fun filled laps.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

yeah baby

Today wrapped up a very good week. Somehow, despite B being sick part of the week and having rain for a couple of days, I was able to get in some very good time on the bike this week. Not huge hours but lots of intensity. There is nothing like lots of intervals (both long and short) to remind you that the race season is just around the corner. Saturday I had pretty tired legs so I was pretty happy that it rained most of the day so I wasn't tempted to go for a ride. Instead, I went for a jog with the pooch, worked around the house, priced out some new kitchen cabs with the family and did a bit of lazing about. Good stuff.

Today (Sunday) found myself and Mad Mike heading down to Scarborough for week #2 of the 8 week crit training series. There was a real road race in NH today so some of the hot shot roadies weren't there but we still had a decent group of 15-20 riders with a couple of fairly heavy hitters. Before the race Mike and I decided we'd give a two man break a try if the opportunity arose. Otherwise we'd try to help the other out if they made a break by trying to slow the field.

When the race started a four man break quickly made it's way off the front. Nobody else seemed too interested in reeling them in so I took to the front and pulled them most of the way back and thankfully got a bit of help for the final distance because my legs weren't warmed up yet. Once re-grouped, it wasn't long before Mike made a break with two or three others. As planned, I went to the front and sat up to try to slow the field a bit. My tactic worked for a while but eventually a cat 3 racer (I think his name was Jorge ) got tired of my silliness and organized a few others and pulled Mike's crew back after a few laps but not until after Mike had won two premes (a dozen organic eggs and $5).

Soon after a guy I chat with while racing quietly told me stick close to him. I dutifully obliged and on the backside of the course Bob launched an attack that me and one other dude latched onto. Before long we had a sizable gap on the field. For the next 5-6 laps, the three of us worked to try to maintain our gap over the field. Bob and John (the other dude in the break) spent a couple of races cluing me in on how to make a breakaway work. Stuff like, don't blow up on the front, take short pulls etc. Good advice for me since I usually turn myself inside out when I hit the front of the field. About four laps into our flyer we got the cow bell indicator that there was a SMCC baseball cap preme coming up on the next lap. Bob and John were gracious enough to let me have it uncontested the next lap since John had won one the previous week and Bob is the supplier of the hats and thus didn't need yet another.

In the next couple of laps the pack reeled us in so I moved to the back to try to recover. As we lapped through the next lap we got another cowbell for a $5 preme. Before the race I had loaned Mike $10 to pay for his entry fee and with one preme in his hands already I decided to help him get this one as well so that he could pay me back at the end of the race. Shortly after forming my plan Jorge jumped off the front and quickly gaped the field by a couple hundred feet. I slid up next to Mike and told him to come with me and I'd tow him up to Jorge. Unfortunately, Mike was boxed in and unable to respond so I went alone hoping to nab the preme for myself instead.

Once I caught Jorge and realized that we already had a big gap on the field we formed a hasty alliance and decided to split any premes we got while off the front so we wouldn't be tempted to sprint and muck up our chances of the win. Jorge and I worked well together over the next 5 laps and picked up $15 worth of premes. On the last lap, John (from the previous break) bridged up to us. It was clear that the field wasn't going to catch us at this point so we decided to cruise until the final sprint.

When the sprint started with about 300 yds to go I was sitting third wheel. Pretty much perfect. When Jorge and John kicked it in, I geared up, swung to the left and dug deep to edge the other two out for the win by about two or three bike lengths. Soon after, Mike took the field sprint for 4th place and I later found out that he had worked to keep the pack from bringing us in. Thanks Mike!

I realize the the fastest riders weren't here today but it sure was nice to notch my first ever road win. It was also very good experience learning how to function like a human being in a breakaway.

Friday, April 11, 2008

taint whore

My taint is the whoringest taint in the whole universe. It is VERY indiscriminate in it's chamois-mates. Dirty little tramp. In the last two weeks my taint has been caught canoodling with six different lubricating creams including (but probably not limited to) Bag Balm, Assos, Greyhound Juice Anti-Friction Cream, Greyhound Juice Aftershave Balm, Aquaphor and most recently Vaseline (really slumming it these days I guess). I swear, I half expect to come home one evening and catch my taint standing out by the corner of the property wearing fishnets, smoking a cigarette and yelling "hey baby, want to party?" to every schmo that rolls by.

daddy duty

I'm home this a.m. on daddy duty. The spud came down with a fever and some super sweet explosive diarrhea overnight so I'm attempting to do the work from home thing today. I've managed a couple of hours so far but not sure how much more I'll get in before Marcy gets home to spell me. The weather is pretty sweet right now so maybe I'll ride the bike into work for the afternoon work thing. Weather is iffy for the commute back BUT it will definitely stank all weekend with rains predicted so I'm not going to look this gift ride in the mouth (whatever the freak that means!).

I'm really behind work hours wise so far this week, both because of today and also because of yesterday. I made the mistake of going outside a little after noon and saw how freakin sweet it was outside. Sunny and 60-ish. PUUUUURECT spring riding weather. When I plopped my ass back down in my chair I sooooo knew that I wasn't finishing out the afternoon so I quickly dialed up Marcy and an off the cuff plan was formulated. I'd skip out from work an hour early, haul serious ass home (I rode in yesterday) and get the pooch and gear ready for a hike while Marcy picked up B. I was pretty geeked to ride AND hike in these awesome conditions and the legs showed it. I gave myself a very short warm up (about 5 minutes) and then put the hammer down and took full advantage of some spring day induced magic legs. I was on tap for a near record commute time when I hit a small rock and pinch flatted my rear tire. I ended up stopping on the Damariscotta/Newcastle bridge so I was being very careful to not drop anything into the river below. I got the tube replace, the wheel remounted and was standing the bike back up when a gust of wind blew through and blew my gloves right off the bridge and into the river and I was forced to watch them float slowly upriver (incoming tide) FFFFFFFF!!!!!! Total bummer because those were my favorite do-it-all gloves for spring riding, driving, hiking etc etc.

I waved my gloves goodbye and headed home.

Unfortunately, by the time Marcy and B got home B had decided she didn't want to hike so we settled on riding over to the grocery store for sushi and ice cream. For all you sushi snobs out there, our store actually has very good and most importantly, fresh sushi so suck it!

I'm hoping to get the dos all fixed up over the weekend (new cables, bars, grips etc etc) for some dirt next week. Fingers crossed.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

itchin for singletrack

Now that we've had a couple days of sun and 50 degree temps I find myself seriously jonesing for some singletrack. Unfortunately, I know that even though the open areas are finally clear of snow (and appear to be clear of most mud) that the woods will be a totally different, hub deep, story. I'm getting so antsy that I put out an APB to all my Bikeman peeps to see if anyone out there knows of a dry stash of S.T. to hit up. If I don't hear something soon I may be forced to mount the fatties back on the El and go exploring myself, better wear the hip waders.

In some very good news, I found out this past weekend that this year's Metric Mash (and here, here, here, and here) is going to be held in the Camden area which means that instead of 100k of double track it will be 100k of sweet, technical single track. It also means that the completion time just went from around 8 hrs to 10+. Bring it on I say! If you've never ridden in that area before and want to see what it's about or if you just want a severe beating, let me know and I'll keep you posted.

Monday, April 07, 2008

where the magic happens

Thankfully it doesn't happen in the basement often for me but Saturday I found myself with very little time and in need of a bit of intensity to sharpen the legs for Sunday's road crit. Instead of getting kitted and layerd up to do a sub 1-hr road ride I headed to the basement, popped the 2001 Paris Roubaix in the VCR (remember those?) and a CTS climbing DVD into the laptop and hit the pain machine in the basement. If you've ever done a CTS video workout before you know that you can get a good sweat on but they are easily the most boring vids ever! You're forced to listen to Chris ramble on in a monotone voice the entire time you're trying to do a 20 minute interval. Not for me, hense the PR video supplement. Put the two together and you have a tolerable 50 minute (so I quit a bit early, whatcha gonna do about it???) workout.

Sunday saw Mike and I head down to Scarborough to an industrial park wonderland to do the first in an eight week series of training crits put on by a local bike shop. They are a great workout where you can get one hour of race pace effort in and you get to hone your group riding skills. There is nothing quite as fun or scary as being dead center of a 40 person pack literally rubbing shoulders, hands, legs etc as you try to not cause a monumental pile up.

Both Mike and I went in with low expectations for the finish but wanted to get good workouts and try our hand at a break or two. Mike and I tried both tried on several occasions to break from the field only to be realed in in short order. Next time we may try to plan a two person attack that has a better chance of sticking. In the end, nobody crashed, I hit my highest heart rate I've seen in three years (on an attack off the front) and I finished mid-pack in the final sprint. check, check and check.
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Friday, April 04, 2008

say it with comics

this is a common occurance in the spring...

and I get this a lot in the winter.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

keeping the taint on it's toes

It is my theory that you need to keep the taint on it's toes. Similar to a weight lifter hitting a muscle group from a slightly different angle to maximize growth and strength gains you need to change things up on your scrotal region to keep it from getting apathetic. For this reason, I like to keep multiple chamois creams on hand to shake things up. On any given day I can typically reach for Greyhound Juice, Assos or Bag Balm.

That was, at least, until recently when I drained the Juice and Assos tubs dry and am now left with the Bag Balm which I keep at the office. Yesterday, before my commute I was forced to scavenge for another substance to use to keep the ass happy. Jelly is too sticky, we only have chunky peanut butter (which seems wrong in many, many ways) and the KY is reserved for special occasions :) but I finally remembered I had this:

It's not exactly chamois cream per se but I did keep the taint happy for my sub 1 hr commute. As an extra bonus, it smells so good, the ladies will want to nuzzle your cheeks!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

wash it!

What purpose do kids serve? Sure, they make your life complete, continue your legacy yada, yada, yada but more importantly, if properly trained, they can function as perfectly good pit crews. I figure that at 2 1/2 years old, B is well on her way to being my full time mechanic. She already loves to wash my bike and she can identify many key components including: pedals, wheels, handlebars, seat & chain. By the time she's three, I expect her to be able to totally strip and rebuild the frame.

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Yesterday's training plan called for a pant load of intervals. Ironic since on my way over to change I had to make an emergency potty run for a major evacuation. Considering the intestinal distress I was unsure how the session would go but I would soon find out.

When I went inside to change we had overcast skies (as we had all day but no rain) but, of course, when I emerged all kitted up it had started to rain lightly. F! Of course, I wasn't going to let a bit 'o rain dampen my ride (ouch, bad joke) so I headed out for my warm-up. Thankfully, things initially seemed to be ok and I felt fairly spanky. My first 3 min interval went well with me hitting my highest HR so far this pre-season but from there it all kind of went downhill. Through the next 6 or 7 intervals, my stomach started to cramp and I occasionally felt like I might vomit (from some extreme heartburn). The cramping was bad enough that I started running the scenarios through my head of what the emergency procedure might be if I had to answer the call. Making an emergency stop in the summer when you have leaves around is bad but tolerable but the prospect of using a pine cone didn't seem appealing. After some soul searching I realized it was probably better to take a quicker route home since all other options involved a very uncomfortable ride home in a less that sanitary chamois.

Somehow, I made it through the workout without turning into a double ended party favor and made it home without downloading in my pants. Oh and I found time to change the cable and housing on the road steed to that I won't have to worry about endoing every time the chain skips. Yay for me.

In less disgusting news, I am confirmed to race in this weekend's crit training race down in Portland. It'll be a good test of the early season fitness.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

yeah baby

Even though ma nature has been giving us north eastern folks the high hard one so far this spring it looks like we've got a couple of decent days ahead of us. Today we may even see temps reach into the low 60's! To celebrate I plan on heading out for a nice ride after work this afternoon. We may get a little rain this afternoon but if the temps hold near 60 I'll still by happy. Hopefully my legs will be ready for the onslaught of intervals waiting for them tonight. They've been feeling a bit peekid the last couple of days after the slow week last week. Maybe the warm temps will help them too.

With the race season just around the corner I'm feeling a bit unprepared. Training is going fine so physically I should be ok but I'm not sure if I've made the mental switch necessary to get really fired up and ready to rip. Maybe, just maybe, if some of this warm weather sticks around and I get to actually ride on dirt that will change. The way things look now I may only get a few real mountain bike rides in before my first race of the season in May. Then again, everybody else here in Maine is in the same boat (and maybe even less likely to get our and train in this crappy weather) so I'm probably ok there. The bikes are another matter.

Last weekend I pulled the Dos down from the garage rafter hooks to get it prepped for the early season. The bike was still sporting the Bradbury 12 number plate (and some of the mud) from last September, the last time I rode the bike. I had meant to get it to the shop this winter but my cheapness and procrastination won out and now I'm left with a bike in desperate need of some tlc. Of course, this is the worst time of year to bring a bike to your local shop since every other meathead is having the same thoughts so I'll probably just hack away myself. I only really new cables and grips installed so it's obviously doable but if I were to do everything that should be done, the list would be much longer (like overhauling the fork, bottom bracket, headset etc). Maybe I'll wait until after the muddy races to get that stuff done since the first muddy race will probably toast a new bottom bracket anyway. Long story short, it's time to start utcing around with the bike again.

In other ride/racing news, I heard from Mad Mike today and he told me that the weekly crit series down in Portland starts this Sunday. I'm not a huge fan of crits but they are a good way to get in some serious training early in the season to get the legs firing on all cylinders. I guess I'll have to see if I can carve out a few Sundays to get down there so I can almost screw up Mike's breakaways again, just like last year. FYI, you can talk me into doing just about anything in a road race because I am such a newb. Tell me to go to the front and chase down my friend's breakaway and I'm your man. I'm a douche and road racers have a fine tuned ability for psychological warfare.