Thursday, February 24, 2011

Where Am I?

Sorry for going dark there for a few days.  With this being a school vacation and having work up the wazoo, I haven't had much time to even think about blogging.  That's too bad (I guess?) too because I've actually been doing some riding recently, had a crank arm fall off mid commute on an 11 degree evening and done a good amount of jogging etc etc.  Basically all good stuff, except for my crank arm falling off of course.  That was a little life lesson right there for ya.  Imagine a guy on the side of a very busy road just before dark fiddling with a bike when it's 11 degrees out.  One would think that in a rural area like this that all sorts of people would stop and see if I was all set but I was there for a solid 15 minutes while I waited for Marcy (I didn't have the right tools with me to fix it) to pick me up and only one car stopped and she only stopped because she is my boss' wife and she probably wanted to save my boss the effort of having to find a new architect after I froze to death on the side of the road.

All seems to be good though.  I didn't suffer from hypothermia and I've successfully reinstalled the crank arm (and it didn't fall of during this morning's commute).

I also did an awesome ride on Sunday morning.  The snomo trails around here are unreal right now and I got out for a killer 2:15 ride before heading down Boston way with the family.  My favorite part of the ride was on the home stretch as I was getting into a fun "s" turny section.  I decided to pull out the camera a make a video and I'm glad I did.  Hang in there until the end.

I love the fact that instead of yelling out "oh, shit! oh, shit!" like any normal person would, I instead yell out "oh, nellie! oh, nellie!".  That right there my friends is what having a five year old in the house will do for you.  Sometimes I say "awe shucks" as well.  I'm also impressed that I was able to put my own well being behind getting good video.  At least good video for me.

Earlier in the ride I got the opportunity to test the Mukluk's ice riding abilities and I'm glad to report that she performed admirably.  I had two long sections of pond riding (10 minutes and 40 minutes) in wind gusts of up to 40 mph and I didn't fall once despite most of the ice being of the glare variety.  Witness:

And one section of particularly icy road was not match for the mukluk and my ninja like skillz.

Oh, and the picture at the top of the post?  That poor fellow was sitting in the middle of Pemaquid Pond after being the meals of many critters.


X-train time:1:15
Ride time: 3:20
Ride distance: 38 miles

Total x-train time: 15:55
Total ride time: 22:40
Total distance: 184 miles
Weight: 189.4 (woops)

Friday, February 18, 2011


Last night's ride was an epic fail.  Temps climbed into (or near at least) 50 during the day but quickly dropped to the mid thirties after dark.  I knew that the real snowmobile trails would be in great shape for the mukluk but thought I'd take a chance and check out the trails right near the house instead.  Boy was that stupid.  My snowshoe trails were packed enough to ride but a little too narrow to navigate well.  One wrong move and I'd auger into the unpacked snow on the side of the trail to the tune of 12".  There were many near snow naps.

snowshoe trails
There was also a fair share of post holing to be had.  Mostly on infrequently used snowmobile trails that just hadn't been packed enough.  I'm so damn enamored with the mukluk that sometimes I forget that it can't actually ride EVERYTHING.  While I was slogging and life hating, a small Bather contingent went out for a ride on the snowmobile trails in Bath.  I had poo-poo'd the idea of them going out on their regular mtbs after a day well above freezing but it turns out their trails were primo and everybody had a great time.  The Bathers can suck it!


X-train time: :20
Ride time: 1:30
Ride distance: 11 miles

Total run time: 14:40
Total ride time: 19:20
Total distance: 145 miles
Weight: 187.2

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Back On Track?

For the last few weeks things have felt weird "training" wise.  I was getting out for some rides and some snowshoeing but rarely for any length or intensity because I just wasn't feeling "it".  I'm not sure what happened last night but after an extremely stressful 11 hour work day involving a 6 hour client meeting and scrambling to do all of my other work before and after I just didn't have the energy to do my planned mukluk ride.  I was too mentally drained to even consider it.  Instead, I somewhat shamefully decided to hang in for the night.  Of course some snuggle and play time with B brought me around so I decided at 8pm to head out for a jog with the pooch.  I haven't run in at least a couple of months at this point because the trails haven't been firm enough and I'd rather sit through a double dong-ectomy than run on the road.  Thankfully, I discovered on Tuesday that my snowshoe trails are finally ready since we haven't had snow in a couple of weeks and have had a couple of nice warm days to pack things down.  Once on the trail I instantly felt alive again.  The cobwebs in my brain cleared and I felt invigorated.  Rejoice.

I decided to harness this newfound (and possibly very short lived) vigor to do another run with the pooch this morning, a commute by bike and if all goes well a mukluk ride tonight.  That'll set the right tone for the upcoming weekend for sure.  It's only three months before my first race so I'd better figure out the recipe and quick!


X-train time: 1:25
Ride time: :25
Ride distance: 7 miles

Total run time: 14:20
Total ride time: 17:50
Total distance: 134 mil

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Prime Time

It seems we're hitting prime time snow bike season in Maine right now. The trails are P-E-R-F-E-C-T for the fat tires. On the right day, the snowmow trails are good for a regular xc bike. Last Thursday, for example, I was able to ride with the Bathers and the Mukluk wasn't needed but it sure would have been nice to have. For some reason I took the El Mariachi because I felt I didn't want a competitive disadvantage if the conditions were super fast. Stupid me. The El was fine but the Muk would have been better and since when am I afraid of a little extra work? Shit, KillBill carries 40 lbs in his pack on most rides for a little extra workout.

Sunday morning I snuck out for close to two hours on the local snowmobile trails. I needed to scope out a go-around for a large logging operation which had me and the Bathers a bit baffled (and slightly concerned for our safety) Thursday night. I had spied a trail that looked promising on Thursday night so I set out Sunday to see if I could connect point A to point B.
After a few false starts (and ending up in several people's front yards) I finally found what I thought was my ticket. An old road which appeared to be the logging operation's access road. I knew of a trail off of that road that skirted the operation but never knew how to get on the road before. A quick chat with a local trail groomer and I was on my way to success. It was so successful that I had extra time on my hands so I set out to see what other trails had to offer and was rewarded with single track like (at least as close as you can get with a 3.5' wide machine) trails and another option to extend the loop by 1/2-3/4 hrs.
Afterwards, B and I headed to see Disney's Princess' on Ice. Daddy and B needed some alone time so Marcy was able to stay home and enjoy her new IPad (romantic enough for valentines day? I think so) and some much deserved peace and quiet.  Good times were had, B ingested enough sugar to keep her going for 48 hours and she was able to work on her "look how cute and pathetic I am, buy me something" look that I've been teaching her.  It's much less annoying than whining and at least 1000% more successful.  In fact, it cracks me up so much when she does it that I want to buy her shit.


I realized this morning that I haven't been updated my log recently so today's totals are semi educated guesses from the last couple of weeks.  Also, I've changed "run time" to "x-train time" since I'm not doing much running right now but am doing other shit.

X-train time: :4:30
Ride time: 6:15
Ride distance: 32 miles

Total run time: 12:55
Total ride time: 17:25
Total distance: 127 mil

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Love is in the air. Or is it the results of last night's dinner wafting through the air? I'm not sure which and I don't really care because they are both satisfying in totally different ways.  Pictured is one of Marcy's cake pop thingies.  I'm not exactly sure what Marcy put in those things but by the time you get 1/2 way through the first one, all you can imagine is eating 14 more.  I'm tempted to make a crack metaphor here but chopping one of these up, cooking it down and injecting it would be an abomination against nature.

Anyway, Marcy made these little sugar wonders for a PTC fundraiser and there was a tear in my eye when we had to leave them at B's first school dance.

So give your loved one a hug, a pinch and maybe a little tickle for me.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sneak Peak

Right here boys and girls is a sneak peak at Carver's new carbon 96'er.  KB was riding the prototype last night for our Bathers in Damariscotta ride.  Good looking bike but it still needs work in the lateral stiffness department I guess.  That's what prototypes are for!

can't see crap?  well that's because my point and shoot now, officially, takes worse pictures than 99% of camera phones out there these days.  it's less than 2 years old and it sucks a d**k.

The Damariscotta snowmobile trails were in pretty good shape last night allowing the five of us to rip it up for over two hours.  Things could have been a bit firmer (and probably were before the groomer came out and churned things up) but it was good fun and nice to get out with the boys.  Me thinks I'll be hitting the trails again sometime this weekend on the mukluk.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Out With the New

For somewhere between 1 & 4 years (I'm too lazy to find out) my buddy Jason has been putting out an e-rag called XXC.  I've purchased or received digital copies for a good percentage of the issues but, until just recently, hadn't picked up one of the print versions.  I'm almost never on the computer at home and reading an e-mag like XXC requires the type of full screen viewing which isn't conducive to in office reading.  So, until now, I've only been able to skim most copies.  I've only read the first article of the printed rag so far but I must say, it's nice to browse the mag at your leisure while sitting on the throne.  Somebody should have thought of this whole paper magazine concept a long time ago.  It seems so obvious to me now.  Jason, you're a genius of infantile proportions.

it goes really well with some minced garlic

I've got a snowmobile trail ride with the Bathers tonight and I psyched.  I checked the trails yesterday on my way home and they look P-R-I-M-O!  We'll be railing on actual xc bikes tonight instead of the snow bikes.  I've also made the (apparently based on comments from the others) bold proclamation that I will be running my regular xc tires vs the studded snows.  Call me crazy but I'd rather have the comfort and control of the regular tires for the 95% of the ride that is ice free and take my chances in the icy spots.  Of course, you might want to check back in tomorrow to see if I have a broken wrist or not...

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Fak It

I thought I had a blog post in me today but I don't seem to.  Maybe I'm lacking inspiration because I haven't been on my bike for about a week at this point?  For tonight, I had planned on hitting up a free clinic at Allspeed in Portland to learn how to rebuild my fork and bleed my brakes but I am seriously jonesing for a ride.  Conditions are crap right now with a light snow and warm-ish temps but if it cools off a bit by this afternoon I may have to say f-it to the clinic and attend a snow bike clinic instead.  Attendance of one.

Above is my fancy schmancy 2010 men's overall champion trophy.  Something that I'm very proud to have but very embarrassed to see.  It sort of looks like a cross between Superman's crystal man cave thingy and something else that looks like a superman crystal man cave thingy.  I am thankful though that it wasn't a cheesy plastic trophy with a gold wheelie popping bike on top.  I can tell you two things for sure.  One, it will be kept down in the basement with all of the other bike paraphernalia and two, it will be on a high shelf because, god forbid, I have a couple of beers while working on the bike, stumble and land poop shoot first on the business end of that sucker. Try explaining that in the emergency room.

Ellen and I getting our trophies and me representing for xxc.  you're welcome jason... 
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Monday, February 07, 2011

Hope It's Not a Sign

This past Saturday night was EFTA's 2010 season's award ceremony. Despite the dismal showing in the "Win a Date With Racin Rick" contest (if I had asked marcy before attempting the whole dealio she probably would have warned me that even she doesn't want a date with me) I did have one solid entry from Ellen Noble who just so happened to be the women's overall winner for the season so I'll call it a success.  Sure, she's underage and she brought her boyfriend with her but a date is a date is a date.  Success!

I did manage to convince Ellen to be my teammate for the tryke race.  Something she is definitely regretting this morning.  Since we were both overall winners for 2010 we called our relay team "The Champs" when "The Chumps" would have been more appropriate.  My long legs and big feet weren't the winning recipe for the night but I grew up in a racing family (stock cars) and wasn't going to let a little ole thing like the woman I'm racing against being faster than me slow me down and ran over (quite literally) my round one competitor when she made a mistake in one of the four tight corners allowing Ellen to deliver us to round two.  In round two, I got the initial hole shot but got outsprinted to the first turn giving Ellen no chance to salvage a victory.  Oh well, early February fitness doesn't lead to summer success...

Ellen practicing before the big event.

Ellen's dad getting his butt kicked too.

and finally, Alby King representing Bikeman well with the final victory.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Win a Date With Racin Rick

You heard that right folks.  All of your wildest dreams can come true (if you dream about mediocre conversation and uncomfortable innuendo that is).  How and why you ask?  Well, let's start with the why.  The EFTA series banquet is happening this Saturday (yep, tomorrow) and I pre-paid for two (myself and Marcy) to go.  Unfortunately, Marcy has come down with a nasty respiratory infection (funny, I can not go to any of her stuff all year long yet the very first of my 20-30 events this year and she's conveniently sick.  highly suspect me thinks) and won't be able to make it.  That leaves me with a highly coveted and unclaimed And 1 valued at almost $24 for tomorrow's banquet.  If the thought of several thrilling hours in a car with me and a free meal aren't enough to get you moist in the loins, let me tell you more about the banquet.  There will be cocktails galore, a tryke race, and, um, other stuff.  Or so I hear.  Oh, and did I mention, the banquet is located in historic and fabulous Milford New Hampster?  I can't believe I almost forgot that!

who wouldn't want some of this?

So, right about now you're probably asking yourself what you, a lowly plebe, must do to nab yourself such a coveted and otherwise unattainable treat?  Well, it's simple really.  Wow me.  Leave me a thrilling comment below and then shoot me an e-mail at chiddong -at- with your contact info.  Given the massive traffic this blog receives, I expect you'll need to turn your effort up to 11 in order to snag the spot (or just leave a "how about me?" comment when I inevitably only get one response).  And, in case you're worried that during the trip I'll expect something in return for the lavish treatment you'll receive (did you know I have heat AND a radio in my car???), you need not worry.  I'll expect no sexual favors.  Unless I get drunk and then all bets are off...

See the end of the post for the actual boring details.

So act now and secure yourself an evening you'll not soon forget (even if you want to).  You have until the end of the business day today (or later if I forget) to give it your all and, if this isn't a massive failure, I'll be contacting the lucky winner this evening.

Good luck.

Now the boring stuff.  The banquet is at 5:30 in Milford NH which has me leaving Edgecomb at 2:30-ish in order to get there roughly on time.  I'll meet you somewhere en-route at a pre-determined location.  We'll yuk it up until 9-10 (or whenever the party stops) and then head on home.  Sounds fun huh?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

What a Winter

Holy cripes, has this been a winter and a half.  Yesterday saw us getting dumped on yet again.  Not as much as they initially called for but still close to a foot of fresh powder and definitely enough to keep any riding tonight off the agenda.  Of course, both Marcy and B are sick now anyway so I guess it doesn't matter how much snow we get.

So, despite thinking about this coming race season (which races I'll compete in, what bike I'll ride etc) bike shyte is still at a minimum and shoveling and snowshoeing are at a maximum.  My low back hurts as we speak actually...

Currently, looking at this season's tentative schedule, I have 19 races jotted down and I know for a fact that I won't be able to pull that many off.  At the end of last season I had hoped to expand beyond the EFTA series and do some of the Root 66 series as well but when I look at all those stinking races and all that traveling I've got to reconsider.  I'll probably stick with EFTA this season, see how bad I get my ass handed to me in the Elite class (assuming I move up) and maybe throw some NORBA action my way next year.  Who knows, there's still plenty of time for me to change my mind.

And now, some snowshoeing pics.  As if you haven't hat enough...

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Sorry, forgot this yesterday.  I bet you missed it like a case of explosive diarrhea.


Run time: :30
Ride time: 2:00
Ride distance: 24 miles

Total run time: 8:25
Total ride time: 11:10
Total distance: 95 mil

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons

You make guacamole (assuming life also gave you avocados, onion, garlic, tomatillos,  tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper as well.  and, of course, assuming that you're using lemon juice instead of lime juice (which does work in a pinch)) because making lemonade this time of year would be stupid. 

This week I'm served up some lemons in the form of Marcy and her friend Leslie heading to Boston for two days and a night to see Linkin Park in concert (damn her having a life of her own!), putting the kibosh on my typical Tuesday commute/night ride.  To make my guacamole, I decided to say the hell with the frigid temps (in all honesty I didn't know it was going to be so cold when I hatched my plan) and rode to work Monday, rode to the board meeting after work and then rode home after that giving me roughly 2 hours of ride time.  All seemed good until the ride to the board meeting when I noticed on the bank next to the Children's Center that the temp had dropped to 10 degrees already from the high of mid 20's.  When I left the meeting 1.5 hours later the temp was a frigid 3 degrees and here I was with a 1 hour commute ahead of me and no bar mitts (those are on the mukluk).  Thankfully, with copious pinwheeling of the arms to restore circulation I was able to make it home without any permanent damage to the fingers.  Yay for me!

Some non lemons that were served up was the news that the town of Carrabassett Maine will be hosting a single loop 50 mile xc race this summer.  The Carrabassett XC center used to be the home of one of the most fun mountain bike race courses around before they shuttered the race a few years back so I'm super stoked to be able to race there again this summer.

In fact, this summer's New England endurance race season is looking pretty sweet with at least 5 races happening within easy driving distance of da crib.

Pats peak 6/12/24 (NH) June 11

carrabasset 50 (ME) July 24
12 hours of millstone (VT) July 31
hampshire 100 (NH)Aug 21
bradbury 12 (ME) Sep 17

Yay for New England endurance racers!