Fat Tire Festival festivities and such happening this weekend. Keep the rubber side down.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Fat Tire Festival festivities and such happening this weekend. Keep the rubber side down.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Yesterday, through some cosmic alignment, Marcy and I were blessed with a small window of opportunity to go for a mountain bike ride together. The first time in 2-3 months. We jumped at the chance, loaded up the gear and sprinted for the Camden Snow Bowl. I'm pre-riding it as much as possible so that I know this weekend's race course by heart and Marcy's considering racing for the first time in, I don't know 7? (except, of course for last year's bradbury 12. thanks Rus) years so it would be good for me to get to know the course better and good for her to help settle her nervous stomach.
We had a great ride in near perfect conditions (dry and 75 non humid degrees). The opening climb was mostly uneventful other than me realizing that the full loop is crazy for the novice class this weekend. Way too much walking on the up AND down. They're schedule to do a full loop plus one short loop. In my, and Marcy's opinion, three short loops would be much better since they are totally rideable by an experienced novice and would make things much more fun for people thinking of getting into the sport. I'll have to get Mike, the race promoter, on the horn.
**note** all photos are a bit grainy since I'm still shooting without the benefit of knowing what I'm getting, what I may or may not be zooming into, if the shot came out etc. **
the genius of rick is! at 7:05 AM
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Imagine if you will, it's a gloomy night. It's been raining like crazy with occasional claps of thunder. The rain came after dusk so I assumed that the chickens had already retreated to their coop. Before bed, I glance out the front door and see the six chickens huddled against the side of the house, terrified and trying to stay dry. I'm only in my boxers and it's raining like a mother but I decide to forgo a coat and just slip on some well worn crocs instead and run outside to bring them in. I catch the first chicken, clutching her carefully so I don't harm her and head down the gravel hill towards the back of the house and the coop. Before I know it, my gripless crocs were sliding in the mud. My actions couldn't have been more perfect if they were in a movie. Both feet went out from under me as I tossed the chicken in the air and landed squarely on my right ass cheek in the mud. There was no time to waste though and I completed my task and got inside to survey the damage:
the genius of rick is! at 8:12 AM
Monday, July 26, 2010
You know how some weeks start out really well, you get a good ride in early on and you expect great things for the week? Well, that was me last week. Tuesday I hit the Brunswick road ride, suffered like a dog for three hours and felt content knowing that I'd be hitting another three hours at the Camden Snow Bowl on Thursady and then another ride or two on the weekend bringing me to a solid 8-10 hours for the week. That WOULD be good if it actually happened that way. Because of one thing or another my Camden ride got pushed back until, finally, on Friday I made it over. In the lot I ran into Trevor, a blog lurker and almost never commenter, who had strategically timed his ride to avoid running into me not knowing that the sunny day and Friday-ness of the day had me sneaking out of the office early to get my riding fix.
I conned Trevor into riding with me which was a good thing because I was riding on my newly mounted Racing Ralphs and had forgotten my pump. In the lot, the front tire was perfect but the rear tire was a bit slack so I added more with the floor pump I always carry in the car. Immediately onto the trail, the front tire started to get slack and I was forced to bum a pump off trevor to fill it up twice before the top of the climb. I topped off again at the top and hoped, hoped that the tire would be fine for the long downhill. I was already a bit "off" because I was riding new tires and had forgotten my gloves but I tried to put those things out of my head during the plunge down the front side of the mountain. Immediately, things felt weird so I told Trevor that my ride plan had just changed from four race loops to a single loop since things didn't feel right and it's never smart to ride like that. Not two minutes later, as I was taking a tight hairpin downhill turn, I burped the front tire and supermanned it onto the trail ahead of me. Did I mention that I wasn't wearing gloves? Well, the two reasons I like gloves is that they keep my grip on the bars secure (no sweat to grease things up) and for over the bar falls when your hands hit first. To add insult to injury, my left hand was already sporting two abrasions from an episode of chicken/thunder storm rescue the night before (story tomorrow) and, AND I smashed my camera that was residing in my new baggy shorts, got my new shorts dirty and stove up my leg. Drat.
Note: all photos in this post were taken without the luxury of a camera screen. They are all taken blind and, somehow, look no worse (possibly better) than my usual pics. maybe things aren't all bad...
the genius of rick is! at 7:37 AM
Friday, July 23, 2010
After much hemming and hawing, I've decided to make the switch from my beloved Panaracer Rampages to Schwalbe Racin Ralphs as my race treads for the remainder of the season. If my calculations are correct (Hill Junkie, can you confirm these?) by losing roughly 200 grams of weight per tire I'll be 14.3% faster over the course of a 1.5-2 hour race making my finish times 8-12 percent faster. By those numbers, I would have mopped up the entire expert field at the Horron on Harding Hill and made the elite winner, Matt Okeefe, drink from my saturated chamois. Why didn't I do this sooner?
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
After my less than stellar showing at the Horror (how is is that I was only 3 spots back overall from my last race but I feel shitty when I was stoked about the last race? stupid competitiveness) and my lack of power I decided the best thing I could do would be to hit up the Tuesday Brunswick ride and get two hours of power work in. Mission accomplished. KillBill (damn him) and I made our pre-ride over just in time to catch a good size group rolling out. We had both decided to take it easy for the first half of the ride. Me? I was licking my ego wounds from Sunday while KillBill was licking his actual puncture wounds from Sunday so taking it easy seemed like a good idea. But, of course, group rides are where good ideas go to die. First, KillBill took a couple of massive pulls at the front then I took a couple of not quite so massive pulls at 32 mph and BAM! I was hurtin. I was smart enough to take it easy on the hills though. For once I hit the hills slow and finished strong as opposed to my typical hill approach of going ballz out and then dieing a thousand deaths trying to finish first at the top. This would pay dividends towards the end of the ride when I (for once) wouldn't get shelled out the back. Meanwhile, KillBill was also having a good day and managed to snag the final sprint at over 40 mph (I barely held onto the 37mph lead out). All in all, a good day.
Oh yeah, I don't think I've mentioned it but when the registration opened for the VT50, I tried to register just for a lark knowing full well that most seasons the 650 spots fill up within hours. I signed in to register a bit late but was amazed to actually get a spot so I guess this is the year. I'll finally be doing the 50. It's a race that I've always wanted to do but never thought of registering in time. I guess I need to thank fomer teammate Andrew Freye and his well timed e-mail for prompting me to give resistration a try. Now, if I can just figure out how to race fast for more than 1:15. Hmmm, this may be tough.
the genius of rick is! at 8:22 PM
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sorry, no time for a proper race report today from The Horror at Harding Hill. That'll come tomorrow but I will give you a quick rundown. The weekend was awesome. The fam and I headed over to New Hampster Saturday morning, got a campsite and Marcy and B went to the pool while I hit up two laps on the race course. Lap one left me despising the course but I actually somewhat enjoyed it on the second lap. A good warm-up is key to experience I guess. This is not a course that I'd ever go to just to ride but for a race it seemed ok. There was, however, lots of smooth-ish, long power sections followed by climbs. Uh oh, that's really not my thing this year.
the genius of rick is! at 9:56 AM
Friday, July 16, 2010
I can't remember if I've mentioned this before, but we've gone all Green Acres and gotten us some chickens. They're surprisingly cool to have actually, but they are a total pain in the ass when you have a nice entry porch that wasn't really designed for chicken shit. Or the chickens eating all of Marcy's fabulously designed english garden plants. Those little bastards get up on the deck every morning with a newspaper and cut some weight. If they weren't so cute and friendly I'd be temped to do a little kick the baby with them.
Ok, nuff nonsense. I've actually got a race this weekend so I'll have something real to blog about come Monday. Yay me!
the genius of rick is! at 12:17 PM
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Gary 1, Kevin 2.
My semi thought out plan seemed to work with Gary suggesting we get a few guys out for a trail day. At first I suggested next summer but rethought that since I don't wan't to look gift trail help in the mouth (does that make any sense? what am I talking about? Looking a gift horse in the mouth makes no sense either) and offered to buy a bunch of beer for anybody who I can coax out.
I also saw something that I'd never seen before. The deer flies are at their max capacity right now so we were all doused in bug spray which did a reasonable job of keeping them at bay but towards the end of the ride, the flotilla of flies finally began to defeat our outer defences and made skin contact but, to their dismay, many met an untimely demise by drowning in the arm sweat on both Gary and Kevin. Unbelievable. Sweaty bastards.
the genius of rick is! at 7:52 AM
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Things a changin'
This season has been totally different from what I expected. Last summer was crazy with house building, lots of work and little riding but I still managed to do OK in the maine xc series and in a couple of endurance races. This summer was supposed to see a slight change in focus from xc to endurance but that hasn't happened thus far but I'm ok with that. Somehow, despite abysmal riding hours I've still done pretty well in the xc races I've toed the line at thus far. Sadly, though, I've had to bag some races that I had originally hoped to do. The Wilderness 101 just isn't doable this year because of time and expense, I bailed on the Pat's Peak 6hr race this past weekend because I had to prep the house for a contractor coming on Monday and I've decided to do an off road tri instead of the upcoming Hampshire 100 just because I want to try something new to shake things up.
Am I griping? Nope. Actually, I'm pretty happy with how the season has shaped up. Am I bummed that I missed Pat's Peak and Thom's meteoric rise to enduro fame and fortune? Sure, but I can't complain. I've done some new, fun races, met some folks I've been bloggie with for a few years and generally milked my tepid fitness to it's fullest.
This weekend, we're back in New Hampster for the next installment in the EFTA series, Horror at Harding Hill. We're not saying that we're camping yet because every time we do that it rains like a mofo so we'll just say we're going to New Hampster this weekend. Maybe we'll have a tent and sleeping bags, maybe not.
the genius of rick is! at 8:20 AM
Monday, July 12, 2010
Too little riding is making Ricky a fat ass boy. Not as fat as mr b.r. but fat-non-the-less. I had super duper grand plans for lots-o riding over the weekend. Unfortunately (fortunately) our foundation contractor agreed to show up on monday to parge our icf's so instead of mucho riding I did mucho preping on the house so that Monday would go off without a hitch. Money in the bank.
Morning edit: I just did my first bike commute in something like three weeks. Where does the time go? Apparently, it goes into driving to rides recently to try to get fast and not live my life as a friendless hermit. Thankfully, I now feel like I have more than enough friends so maybe some more commuting and less driving to ride are in order. Maybe.
the genius of rick is! at 8:46 PM
As I was laying awake at 3:15 this morning, my mind somehow drifted into the world of single speed vs. geared racing. In reality, I shouldn't be surprised that my mind drifted there. Ever since putting gears on my Selma for the Big Ring Rumpus I've been trying to decide when to take them back off. To be honest, if I were still racing in the Maine EFTA series, the gears would be off now since that series didn't rely on ski resort type races so while every race had climbing, it typically wasn't super steep and long ski slope climbs. The real EFTA series, though, seems to have more ski area races and thus, lots of nasty climbing. Maybe I'm getting old and soft but I just don't feel like fighting a single speed up most of those climbs. So I've been hemming and hawing about taking the gears off. I want them off but I think that I'm faster (this year at least) with gears than not. So, I guess for now at least, I'll be leaving the gears on and just take them off for the Bradbury 12 in September.
Actually, after perusing the EFTA site just now, I guess they don't have all that many ski area races, it's just my perception that has changed and I'm a big weenie boy.
the genius of rick is! at 9:11 AM
Friday, July 09, 2010
the genius of rick is! at 10:49 AM
Thursday, July 08, 2010
There is something about that ride. I hate it with a passion and don't look forward to doing it but when it's done, I'm happy that I made the effort. Kind of like racing. I have very few actual enjoyable moments while racing but the satisfaction afterwards makes it all worth while. How many of us have done a 6, 12 or 24 hour race, suffered like a dog and swore to never do it again only to find themselves toeing the line again shortly later. The human brain is an amazing thing.
The ride this week lacked a couple of the heavy hitters but it was still strong enough that I occasionally had to take short pulls to keep from getting shit out the back of the group. By the time KillBill and I got back to the shop (we did a 10 mile warm-up and cool-down) we clocked 3 solid hours and my legs felt like complete jell-o. Perfect.
So, whats the photo at the top you might ask? It's a cool little nest I found at a house we're building and I was checking out as part of my new job. Actually, new job isn't entirely accurate but I have received a promotion of sorts at the ole mill stone with lots more responsibility, a bit more authority and, so far at least, no increase in pay! Yay for me! Negotiations are under way... (see there? I snuck a little work into the blog, the trifecta is complete)
the genius of rick is! at 7:07 AM
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
3 hours of some beautiful and fun trails and approximately 15 gps checks later we made it back to the cars and beer while hitting the exact loop that they were shooting for. Victory! I guess...
the genius of rick is! at 8:35 AM
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
There are going to be big, big changes around these parts. I've made the bold decision to merge my two blogs (that, by the way would be a great 50's sitcom. If they knew what blogs or the internet was.) into one gloriously, riveting and dashingly handsome super blog. My thinking goes like this. DamNelsons really no longer makes any sense since we no longer live in Damariscotta. The name is no longer clever and it's a tinsy bit vulgar. To top it off, facebook has become Marcy's go to place for posting photos of Brynna while chumming for compliments so it's use was a bit redundant anyway. Over in these here parts, I often lament that work and family (and being a good dad) get in the way of being a super hero mountain bike racer and blogging superstar so I figured it was high time to include them over here to some extent. Don't worry, this won't be all about diaper changes (Brynna is, thankfully, out of diapers but my parents are retiring so maybe they'll soon be back IN them) and runny noses but if something interesting happens in other aspects of my life than you'll hear about it here. I'm not too worried about losing readers as a result of these format changes because, let's face it, it's mostly family that reads this crap anyway.
the genius of rick is! at 7:13 AM