Friday, October 31, 2008

Like I've been saying, we've been busy at the property lately. I'm busy pretending to know what I'm doing and trying to stay out of the way and Marcy's dad has been busy actually knowing what he's doing and trying pretty hard not to treat me like the complete idiot that I am. Thanks Steve!

Me pretending to move some crushed stone around.

Brynna not buying it...

Steve actually doing something useful.

Brynna apparently still not buying it.

The ICF foundation going up.

Men at work (not me of course)

What does all this have to do with riding? Absolutely nothing really but I haven't been riding at all and this is what I have been doing instead so this is what I'll write about. Hopefully I'll get out for a ride or two this weekend. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whatcha lookin at?

I found this pic tonight from the Maine Sport Run Off earlier in the summer. At first I thought he was smirking at me since he beat me off the line (I think I messed up getting into my pedal, that happens to me a lot) but then I realized he was looking at the two catepillers on the left side of the picture. Don't see them?

How 'bout I blow it up for you.

I think someone could use a wax job.

In case you're keeping track, it was less than 12 hours ago that I said I'd be posting only weekly and then I go ahead a do a post anyway. Just like last year... the irony isn't lost on me.
Semi retirement

As is usually the case, I find it hard to post almost daily this time of year. With racing over and other things taking over my life it can be hard to produce on a daily basis. I think of blogging like racing, if you try to race all year long you're sure to burn out and quit the whole thing. So why should I try to blog all year when I obviously need a break? In addition to my typical late season blogging meh, I'm also dealing with building our house right now which is quickly becoming all consuming so time is even more prescious. With that being said, I will post occasionally (probably weekly) for the next couple of months and hopefully resume regular posting come the new year.

Best to you all.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Embracing my inner weekend warrior

When life presents you with lemons you make lemonade, when your spousal unit presents you with a free pass, you go riding and that is exactly what I did Friday after work. The plan was to ride through the Zak Preserve hit the short road section to the Schmid Preserve, pass through our property, hit the DRA trails across the street and then try to find a connector back to our road. All was going according to plan until I was riding through the Schmid Preserve and I noticed some new flagging. I knew that it could be for one thing and one thing only, the River Link trail so my plans immediately changed and I decided to find out where the new trail led. The new river link section of trail promises to be pretty nice. It's soft and untracked right now (and kind of tough to follow) but seems to have some nice flow so with a bit of time it'll be nice.
Popping out of the Zak Preserve

Eventually, I came to the end of the obvious trail and was dumped into some pretty nice double track which I explored for a bit more and made a nice discovery. At one point I dumped out onto a road which is about a mile closer to my office than my normal entry point so in the future I'll be able to avoid about a mile of pavement and more importantly avoid the new england ghetto that I've also been forced to ride through previously.

A cool old stone foundation in the Schmid Preserve.

I swear this pic looked good before uploading it!

Eventually I exhausted all of the double track exploring opportunities so I decided to finish my typical Schmid loop and head home. Until my plans changed again. This time it was for a bit of trail that dead-ended on the trail map but I was in an adventurous mood so I figured I'd find out where it led. A couple minutes in, the rideable trail ended but I was still intrigued by the frontier track I was following. It was hard to see but with a tiny bit of work could be cleared enough to be rideable so I figured I'd see where it lead. Soon, it was dark enough that lights were necessary so I mounted up my stupid, likes to shut off in rough sections, Marwi Titan and continued to hoof it. I sensed that I was getting close to a road so wanted to continue on but started to get worried that I wouldn't be able to follow the "trail" back once it got dark so I turned around and headed out. After looking at the gps track today I'm definitely glad I did turn around because I was at least a mile in any direction from a road. My spidey sense is strong.

my anti-rick nelson
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Friday, October 24, 2008

It's on

I've been given a free pass by Wifey to go for an extended mountain bike ride this evening and I am seizing the opportunity to hit all of the trails in our immediate vicinity plus a few sections that I hope will allow me to loop some things together.

I'll be hitting everything you see here and then some...

I've got the Ergon pack ready to go, the lights charged up, tires aired up, all that is left is to get through this endless day. Why do Friday's have to be so long anyway???

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's dream time!

With my current schedule, ride time has been prescious and minimal. As a matter of fact, other than some sweet weekend rides, riding time has been near zero. I am now, officially, a weekend warrior. SHUDDER! I haven't considered myself a weekend warrior since my first year riding and to be honest, I never expected to be that again. That being said, I'll take being a weekend warrior anyday over not riding at all.

The good thing about not riding much (there is a good thing?) is that I have time to day dream about riding more. As a result, I've been thinking a bit about what bike I want for next year. My Salsa El Mariachi would definitely make a good race bike, especially if I get a Reba fork to soften things up front a bit. Of course, there's also the super sweet new Salsa Selma which I've got a serious mean-on for.

With those two bikes rattling around in my noggin recently, I caught a glimpse of the Carver frame I won last month. My initial hope was to trade it towards a Carver snow bike but when I e-mailed Davis the other day Taber ( employee/bike whore) e-mailed me back (davis is at a bike show) and told me that not only could I get a snow bike but a ti 29'er was also an option. Holy frick. Also, as I was checking out their website I saw that the ti 29'ers are available with custom geometry at NO ADDITIONAL COST! Now the wheels are turning. I could get myself a custom ti 29'er singlespeed for a very reasonable price. I've never been a real ti freak but the prospect of a silky smooth single speed ti 29'er is a pretty tough image to shake... Hmmm, times are tough.

This is accually a 69'er so try to imagine it as a 29'er.

Davis with a monster bike.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Big Bang Theory

I don't have any riding to write about today but I do have some cool house stuff to discuss. First, we blasted for our foundation on Friday and Marcy was able to get there in time to see it happen:

Second, our footings were poured today. It doesn't look exciting but this is a big step in getting the house under construction. Once the foudation is in we'll really be able to his this sucker hard and HOPEFULLY get most work done before next summer. Keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Frosty Niblets

Never, ever, leave your bike outside the night before an early morning ride! Just imagine perching on this sucker. Your taint won't be happy...
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What did you do this weekend?

While others were sleeping in, sipping coffee and enjoying the crisp fall weather, this dumbass was getting up early, braving the sub-freezing temps, mounting up the road steed and riding to my parents place to try and get a jump start on the framing of our house. It was cold when I left (28 degrees) and I kind of wanted to bag the ride but I haven't touched a bike since last weekend's 10hrs in Camden so I wasn't going to miss a ride no matter what. It was a nice ride and I just rode a chill pace and enjoyed being on two wheels again. The leaves were nice too...

The recipe for a perfect Maine shotgun wedding.

A little over three hours after leaving, Marcy and B caught me in and car so we could make quicker time and get to framing. The foundation is going in this week (hopefully!) but we're working on framing the walls at Rancho de Nelson so that when the foundation is ready, we'll have a bunch of walls to put up. My father and I worked with two of his friends for about 5 hours on Saturday and got four walls framed and ready to head to Edgecomb.

Pa Nelson and one of the walls

Sunday, I was to head from Marcy's mom's place to the property to meet Marcy's dad to finish the prep for the foundation. On my ride down I spotted movement on the side of the road, pulled over and snapped this pic.

After playing stare down for a minute I decided to try riding along with the moose while taking a video. I'm full of good ideas.

After stopping the video (because I felt too vulnerable holding on with just one hand (which also held two winter gloves) , I put the camera away and rode up close to the knock kneed beast getting within 5-6 feet of it's ass. If I wanted to, I could have ridden up and slapped it's ass but thought better of it not wanting an 800lb hoof up my ass.

After the moose encounter, the rest of the ride was pretty subdued. I finished up in 2:20, changed in our ghetto site trailer and went about prepping our foundation hole with Marcy's dad (easy there big fella) and threw in some solid chain-sawing for good measure.

So, there you have it, I rode 5 1/2 hours, framed four walls, chased a moose and worked on our new property. Sooooo, what did you do suckah?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why I need a helmet cam

I didn't actually fall as you would think based on the vid but it's clear that if I want to keep shooting video on rides, I really need a helmet cam...

Also, overheard in Apartment de Nelson this evening while watching the dvr'd Paris Tour race:

"You've ruined me."

"What do you mean?"

"I no longer find football players, baseball players, your typical manly man attractive anymore. Instead I find emaciated men in spandex hot. They're probably impotent and sterile"

Nuff said.

Thank You Garmin

I'm still in the no time mode right now. Something about working 50+ hrs/wk plus scrambling to design and manage the begining of construction of our house leaves me with precious little time to write. With that said, here's a tidbit of good info. As I've blogged about over the course of the summer, my Garmin 305, while being super cool and useful had become so frickin persnickedy (did I use that word???) that using it was nearly impossible since it shut off roughly every 2 seconds. I finally got around to contacting Garmin about getting it fixed. Unfortunately, as is my style, I waited way to long to contact them so the 1 year warranty was almost 9 months passed so I expected to have to pay for any service that I got. To my suprise, I explained my problem, sent my unit (yeah, I did it, I said unit) in and within 2 weeks I had a new-ish 305. To give it the ultimate test of it's internal fortitude I strapped it to the El (and all it's rigidosity) and rode 10 hours of extremely rough trails and it passed with flying colors. Thanks for the shiny new unit Garmin.

Also, please remember to vote for who gets the new bike next year in the right hand sidebar.


Monday, October 13, 2008

The Mash

I had hoped to do a proper report of this year's metric mash but that aint happening. Thankfully, I took a few semi decent pics so those with captions will have to do.

The group. 9 showed to test their wills.
Morgan was on the only other single speed. He had the good sense to put a suspension fork on. All others were on full boingy bikes.

continued in the next post below.
Mash 2

We started off the ride, which we expected to be in the 9-10 hour range with the biggest climb of the day, a 25 minute grunt up the Camden Snow Bowl directly from the parking lot. I had a 32/19 gear on my 29'er and I was uncertain how well I would do. I managed to ride most of the climb (much to my suprise) but I think I left part of my spleen on switchback #20 and I think I may have killed a squirrel with a shard of my kneecap that shot out on a short 20% grunt.

Cycling by the sea.

going down

Shortly after leaving summit #1 of the day, we rode up Pleasant Mountain for summit #2. I lost a kidney on this one. Wisely, with all of the big climbs of the day done, this is when I decided to change my gear to 32/20. Brilliant!

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Mash 3

Mike takes a lichen nap. Looked comfy.

At about 4.5 hours we stopped for lunch. A couple of guys had been dreaming of whoopie pies so they each grabbed one intent on eating it themselves. These things were huge, easily 1 pound of crisco and 3 1/2 bags of sugar. Somebody should do a eating contest with one of these sometime.

good luck Nick.

It's as big as your head.

After lunch, three guys bailed, one because of bike problems and two because of family responsibilities. Shortly AFTER lunch, two more guys peeled off. They put in a good hard day on those 5" travel bikes. Hopefully they'll be back next year on slightly better climbing bikes!

The final four. Mike, Nick and Todd.

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Mash 4
gummy dinosaurs rock! I think I'm getting delerious.

With nightfall quickly approaching, we hit the road back. Mike, Todd and Nick cruising comfortably, me spinning about 200,000 rpms while trying to take pictures. My pupils haven't stopped jiggling yet.

This could have been a nice pic if it wasn't blurry.

Nick after giving me a push. Thanks man.

The final four enjoying a frosty cold Miller High Life. Yeah, we're rock stars.

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Metric Mash in the bag

Well, the 2008 Metric Mash is in the bag. I'm happy to say that I made it through. It definitely was what I would consider a ss friendly route but I had a good time regardless. I got about a bazillion pics but, of course, I don't have any with me at the moment so, for now, you'll have to do with a brief numbers recap.

Time: 9:58 (including stops, 6:36 moving time)
Mileage: 52 (yeah, 52 miles in 10 hours, that would be 5.2 mph. rippin!)
Elevation gain: 7500'

More to come...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Elmo Style

I just put B down for her afternoon nap and as I'm sitting here working, I glance over to the couch and see this:

I'm not exactly sure what Elmo is doing to that dog but he sure seems psyched about it!