Thursday, August 31, 2006
Best of luck to all SM100 riders. Liz, Turbo Tim, Speedy Bill, K-Dog from the team and Andy making the long road trip. Should be far enough west to avoid the majority of the storm. Be careful pitchin' them tents.
The 24 hour road National Champs are going on in Illinois for the first time and will really shake up the JMC points standings. Lots of JMC competiters entered. Could John J take the 12 hour, 24 hour, and the overall JMC titles all in one year? Time will tell. Rick R has the 24 hr lead and needs to pick up one more 24 hour race to get the three necessary for the final total, John J needs 2. We'll see.
Tinker will lead the charge at the 24 hr Subaru Challenge at 7Springs. I myself will be headed up there to visit some old friends, gets lots of RideOn, take some photos and watch JM soil his chamois'es. With the ADK only a few weeks away, I'm in need of some good long rides, but not a 24 hour arse whipping.
Another photo from the archives (---->) Unknown rider in the depths of Lodi '06.
So whatever you're goin's on, be sure and get a good
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
BEWARE - Roadie Content
Always liked the sounds of cycling. In a fast group on the road you can hear the power tearing from the the tires into the pavement. Tried to capture that at the CSC Invitational up in Arlington earlier this year. WARNING - Objects in the video are much closer than they appear. Laying on my side behind a barrel, I wasn't more than 12 inches from a screaming pace line of 100 pro cyclists going 30+.
So if you need a roadie fix, here it is.
Snapped some pics of the CSC team while walking through the pits. Just what was Matti Breschel trying to say to me here? Sorry, I don't go that way. He did have a great ride, the only CSC rider to finish a Crit that saw over 80 pros drop out, leaving only 20 or so that finished. I think Matti got 5th just behind Tony Cruz. Seated to his right is Andria Perone and Lars Michaelsen .
The effort at the B.R.Extreme on Sunday didn't FEEL that hard - probably 'cause I started off pacing myself for the full century. No soreness after. BUT - my legs just weren't there yesterday morning. Go uncerimoniously dropped on not just 1, but 2 group rides. bleh. All before 8AM. Wonderful. Gotta love it.
Looks like Ernesto is trying to muck up many a riding plan for the weekend. Fingers crossed.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Blue Ridge Extreme - ly fun
Lots of fog around the Afton Inn as the sun comes up. It would prove to be an absolutely beautiful day for a ride in the mountains.
My first time up for this classic. From the map it looks like your "normal" century with 2 BRUTAL climbs thrown in -Vesuvious and Reed's Gap. Each 6+ miles at 10-12% with pitches up to 20%. As a FOF (fat old flatlander) I'm constantly amazed when riding in the mountains. Not by what they CALL hills, but what they don't. There were countless hills on the route that are way bigger than anything we get to train on and don't even show up in the elevation profile. Rollers that roll, and rollers that don't. Man I wish I could train on these hills.
First thing I notice when I put my helmet on - it REEKS. Smelled like a family of skunk slept in there overnight, AND they had dirty feet. pheeeeeeeew. Need to wash that thang.
Crazy pulled the Floyd "I'll notice my flat tire 4 minutes before the start" Landis thing and missed the rollout by 10-15 minutes. Later he'd try to transfer his guilt by attempting to make us feel bad for not waiting, HAH. As I'm pulling a small group through the valley I hear "Excuse me Sir, Do you have any Grey Poupon?" and turn left to see him taking a picture. By the time I can get my camera out he's rolled on by (along with the group I was towing). He finished strong and was one of the few out there without a compact crankset or triple.
Turbo Tim and Speedy Bill (andele' andele') would finish in the first 5 or so completing the 102+ miles with over 8,000 feet of climbing in well under 5:30. Robert was happy to be done. Super Sally battled mechanicals right from the start and still perservered through the end. Mike rode the 40 pound bike (okay maybe it was only 38) and got 'er done.
After stopping for a nature break at the 2nd rest area, I followed a rider out and ended up going about 2 miles off the century route. They were also running a metric and half metric centuries. We realize our mistake and turn around.
On the way back I hear the noise of something rubbing. Look down and see I have a broken spoke - EFF. What to do now? Ride back to the rest area and SAG in? That would really suck. I asked myself what I would do if I were riding alone? Heck - I'd try to make it back. So that's what I did. Loosen the rear brake. Tire still rubbing on frame. Oh well. RideOn.
Ended up staying on the metric route and doing the Vesuvious climb with my tire rubbing. Was surprised at the number of people walking up. Just kept on pedaling. The end came quicker than I figured. It was a serious grunt, but once on the Blue Ridge the views were outstanding. Still plenty of climbing left. But also PLENTY of descending. The rub rub rub was getting old. Pulled over to totally disconnect the rear brake, then manipulated my quick release enough to keep the tire off the frame, it was already rubbing a spot through the sidewall. Shakey video but you get the idea.
Legs felt GREAT, The views were AWESOME. The descents, even at my cautious speed with only 1 brake and a wobblin' wheel had me grinning ear to ear. Kept thinkin', "This is almost as much fun as mountain biking".
So I had to settle for the metric century. 62 miles, 6600 feet of climbing. At least I got in early enough to shower, clean up and watch the rest of the crew finish.
And you thought you were tough - Check out this kid who rode the metric century with a cast on up over his elbow. How the HECK did he climb like that?
Can't wait till next year to do this one again.
Mad props to the fast JB for his top ten at the world's in New Zealand. WTG!!!!!! Think of what he woulda done with a good position on the starting grid. Fell-EPO Merhagger. HAHAHA.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
A Good Saturday
Wes was there, blingin' his BMB kit. 750 miles and all he got was a jersey? Oh, a water bottle too! The rewards for that accomplishment go far deeper than anything you can wear. WTG. Well done.
Wild Bill announces the new format - 2 rides, one wicked fast with NO regroups. Another one wicked fast with regroups. JLaw leads out a group of 10-12 of us the first ride.
Good decision on breaking the rides up. Getting 50+ people through the town at race pace was getting a wee bit sketchy at times. Heck, getting 50 people through a red light without a split was all but impossible.
The crowd swells for the 2nd ride(s). All was well. Rolled out with the masses in group 2b.
Pace was smooth and steadily ramped up by the end of Shore Drive. I didn't have my 'puter on so have no clue what the speed was. I did hear someone behind me say "30mph and we're in the B group." Who knows. Then at the end someone says we were going 17 the whole way. (What ride was he on?)
You can please some of the people some of the time, but ya can't please all of the people all of the time. Was a good morning on the bike. Hope I have some climbing left in the legs, gonna be needed tomorrow.
You'll be astounded by the incredible panoramic views from atop the Blue Ridge Parkway. However, before enjoying those delights, you'll be paying your dues: first, by conquering the 6.3 mile Category 2 climb from Vesuvius to Round Mountain and later, by enduring the unforgiving 8.6 mile Category 1 climb up Reed's Gap and on to Raven's Roost! Each climb offers a 2.3 mile 11% grade section of tantalizing joy..... and that kind of joy is what I'm all about!
Thursday, August 24, 2006
So, Imagine if You Will.......
Your wife offers her nice Cannondale Rush as a loaner substitute, and its delivered up to his hotel room, where he is about to place new tires on it for the race, so hers don't get anymore worn.
You get home, hear about it, throw a fit, and say that it was a stupid thing to do. "We just paid good money for that bike honey, he's going to trash it out. I'm not going to let this happen!"
Like a flaming idiot you go up to his hotel room and snatch the bike back, telling the pro he should just get your wife a new bike if he wants to use this one, after all, he IS sponsered.
Yes this did happen. To Tinker Juarez at the Jay Peak this year. Only 2 people really know the true scenario behind it. Who backed down? The husband? The wife? Is it grounds for divorce? The above is just a imagionary postulation from the Twilight Zone.
Heck, if they'd of just let him ride the race, win it, and sign the frame, the bike would've been worth more afterward than before. Even if he did manage to put a few dings or scratches on it. Which I'm sure he wouldn't of, since he rides his mountain bikes as if on a magic carpet.
If you've seen him float over some gnarly single track you know it's true.
Read Tinker's account here. Thanks to Andy at Single Track Mind for the link.
Mr. Juarez will be up at the 7Springs 24 hour doing a group ride on Friday. If I go, I'll BEG HIM to please ride my bike. Go ahead, scratch it up too!
Looking to get a bit Extreme this weekend.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
18 Hours of Fun
Local Team Lummox ("We're Serious About not Being Serious") was there in force minus some of the the downhill squad. They were off doin' the gravity thing.
Complete with the hula girls.
Head Lummox Shup rode strong to 4th solo (same finish, but 3 more laps than last year) with 13 laps. Well done. He accepted the award stylin' in the fresh off the press Team Lummox downhill jersey. When he's not riding or working, he can still be found out slammin' the skins for punk band Beex
Hadn't seen Charles since the TMBC. He's living in NC now and riding for Ellsworth. He had a great ride to finish 3rd solo with 13 laps. He's smiling here to make us think he's feeling fine. In fact he's totally spent and just happy it's his last lap. He overcame some night time flats, and a shorted out lighting system.
Far and away the best story of the race was Amazing Andy. I got an email from him early in the week sayin' he was looking for a good workout that weekend and wanted to come and join us for the TriPower group rides. I told him I wouldn't be doing them as I'd be up his way at the 18 hour.
Andy did his first group road ride with us about 8-10 months ago. He tried it on a cross bike with one chain ring and was mercilessly dropped. He said this ride, at ~58 miles was the longest he'd ever ridden on a bike. Earlier this year I was at his first century, then his second. He's gone on to do at least one more.
Before the 18 hour I was riding up to the racers meeting and saw Andy tooling around on his Bianchi B.U.S.S. (that's one Butt Ugly Single Speed). Exchange went something like this.
Me "Wow, good to see you decided to do the race, you get a team together?'
Andy "No, I'm doing it solo."
Me "Fantastic, you doing it on the single speed?" (a stupid question which was more a reaction of awe, as I've never seen him on a geared mountain bike.)
Andy "Well, yep, ........... it's all I know"
Then he went on to show us all just how well he knew it by taking first place solo over all the geared riders with 15 laps. His lights failed on a night lap with 3 miles to go and got some help in by Bonnie from the Beach with the Puss-n-Boots team. That over 130 miles with 16k of climbing. Un- effin-believable. Fantastic ride buddy! Oh yeah, after the awards he went to work.
Andy had never entered a mountain bike race - or ANY bicycle race, before this. Of any distance. Remarkable.
Great race, great people, great rides, great memories
Blog Server on Photo Strike
So until I can, you can browse these of the race. Most are from the last 90 minutes or so. Also some of the rewards.
Answers to the what is wrong with picture below :
1. Its only 6 hours into the race and I'm sitting on my a$$ instead of sitting on my bike and riding ..... this is because :
2. My seat is pointed skyward. Seems the seat bolt loosened (twice - then cracked) ..... even after installing the spare bolt, the splines were too stripped to hold the seat in position.
3. The wheels don't match .... not a biggy, waiting on a front warranty CrossMax replacement as the old one had a cracked hub.
OTHER problems with the picture :
4. The bike has at least 17 too many speeds.
5. and doesn't have 29" wheels.
Nothing against the Epic - I love the ride, but once you see the light, it just doesn't compare.
Lots of great stories out there, mine is not one of them. But I'll have some up once Blogger let's me.
Till then check fatmarc, and his teammate Buddy . IFJeff has a report up also.
Monday, August 21, 2006
The course was dry, dusty and fast.
We had a rolling start! No LeMans. YEAH. CyclesEd led us around on a parade then a cannon went off and so did we. Seemed to work well. We should do more of these.
I was glad to see my pit neighbors from CRC got the memo about the Christmas lights.
Its 6 hours into the race, there are at least 3, and maybe 5 or 6 things wrong with this picture.
There was some great racin' and some great stories..........
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Signs on road
Thursday, August 17, 2006
"An 18 hour endurance race. Nine mile course of SWEET tight technical single track, sweeping climbs, descents and fire roads with 1320 feet of elevation gain oer lap. Hot showers and flush toilets on sight. Cabins and Bunk housing available for teams. Huge post race breakfast included for all entries."
Just in case you couldn't read the poster. :-)
An awesome event in it's 2nd year (at this location). Great course, great venue, and great people. It will be a great weekend regardless of outcome. Bummed my friend and pitmate JM has to WD, but ya got do what's best and keep your eye on the big picture.
Big props and appreciation to RD Cycles Ed (CED) for putting in immeasurable effort to get us on this private property. Not to mention all the trail work, planning and execution that goes with an event like this. This is sort of like the 12 hours of Lodi + 6(x10) on a venue that can't be surpassed. The breakfast is in an AIR-CONDITIONED dining hall - WITH wireless internet hookup! Heck if I wasnt going to be busy riding I'd do live updates. Ranger John will be cooking up everything from wild boar (all the tame ones got away) to eggs benedict. They even made a wading pool open to us .......... and there will be an ice-cream truck there all night.
A few snippits from Ranger Tim:
"We are really pumped and excited to see the race this year. Now that we have had one under the belt already, we (the camp) are looking forward to a great time. .............
Please DO have a great time and enjoy the spectacle. I couldn't believe what I saw last year. You folks are crazed! I know that CED has put in days and days of work all year long to bring this race to you, so be sure to thank him personally. He shows his love of the sport in his fantastic attitude out here throughout the year."
And then there's the legend of the Red-Bull girls. I never saw them last year as they made their rounds delivering cold go-juice, but heard about them everytime I came through the pits. The event has even inspired at least one ballad (and I'm sure more than a few crazy dreams):
The Ballad of 18 Hours
I was hot and tired, just finished lap three
Had blood on my arm, from hitting a tree
My headlight was dimming, my spirits were low
I was sweaty and dirty from my head to my toe
I needed some fluids, I needed a spark
I saw 3 angels from out of the dark.
There was a redhead, a blonde and one with dark skin
They must have sensed the bad shape I was in
They were such beautys, I could only stammer
Blood rushed to my head, like a ball peen hammer
I didn't know whether to push or to pull
For they were the angels sent from Red Bull
They gave me a can that was icey and cold
And a smile and a wink, that was ever so bold
Their style and their scent was that of some flowers
I looked at my watch and said "Damn 10 more hours"
Reprinted with permission from AC
Couldn't think of a better place to be gettin' our
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Speed is Relative........
Our group rides have reached another dimension. They seem to be approaching the sound barrier. Was back reading old archives and realized that last Saturday was the one year anniversary of my first Saturday morning TriPower group ride(s). I was having trouble hanging on with the leaders back then, and it seems like nothings changed in that regard. I'd like to think I've gotten faster, but since I don't ride with a bike computer turned on, I really don't have a solid clue. But the numbers I'm hearing bantered about from the others that have the data sure seem to bear me out. Fact is with almost 3 months off the bike early this year due to surgery, recovery, illness, and crashes, I really havn't done too many group rides this year. Being slow as a slug, I need the speed work. Now's the time.
The Tuesday morning 7:15er is still pretty much a staple, but even that has gotten fast enough to cause splits in the group. If you aren't ready with some snap to jump off the redlights, you'll be OTB faster than you can say give'R. Nothing like busting a$$ to bridge up to the front group, then getting there totally crosseyed, redlined, and gasping, only to have all those you drug up fly by as you crack into pieces. I LOVE IT! Gimmee more.
Trying to work out the taper thing with the upcoming 18 Hour race this weekend, so I went out early avoiding the 7:15er to do a few hours smooth pedaling with a few spin drills thrown in. Of course I couldn't resist catching the 8AMer at the shop. From what I was seeing and hearing the 7:15 was once again vicious. Art the Dart led us up Great Neck after a small group had already gotten away at a red light.
I kept looking down at my legs thinking .......WARP SPEED SCOTTY.................... The only response I got was "but I'm given 'r all I got Captain!" I was a total tapering slacker and cut out after a 1/2 of a warp speed loop.
There's no Crying in Baseball,
and there's no taper in our group rides.
While up racing at the Tour de Christiana in Lancaster Pa, JohnM got to see and briefly talk to Floyd's Mom and Dad.
Like JeffW, I'm quite over postulating, defending, theorizing, and even thinking about that whole situation. Better to just go out and get our
Monday, August 14, 2006
The field would not be denied, reeling in
A bold move with one lap to go.......
Was caught on the final straight by winner and past Olympian Nima Ebrahimnejad
An article was published in the local newspaper which focused more on doping than the race itself. But hey, I guess any publicity is better than none at all ....... I guess.
Kudos to Laura - After placing high in the Women's race, she jumped back in with the Mens Cat4 and finished with the pack.
After the whipping I took at the group rides yesterday, it was time to turn the other "cheek" and get spanked again at the Fat Frogs ride. Just how many times can I go OTB in one weekend?
Sunday, August 13, 2006
The Epic was off getting the professional 18 hour race prep a total tear down and re-build. Was much needed. So I worked on the car and road bikes.
Cleaning drive trains is never fun, but always worth it.
Why just clean one set of cogs............
when you can clean them all.
Post-op Epic report ........... freehub was a nasty mess and needed it bad. Front CrossMax wheel was cracked from disc tab through bearing socket. Ouch. Loaner wheel installed. Warrenty unit on the way. Better find out now than when I'm on my face. Finally had the rear der replaced with a new unit. The old one was trashed over a year ago, Hongified and reborn. Still was working well but I figured ...... Why push my luck? lol. Thanks Tom.
That's exactly what I got at the group rides this AM. I deserved it. A great workout. Then off to the Chesapeake Crit to turn light beams into 1's and 0's.
Report to follow.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Weekend in review
Duration - 3 days
Total hours driven - 7
Total hours in the saddle - 9+ , all in the dirt. the dude abides.
Pounds of cold ice turned turned to water in coolers - 48
Liquids consumed in an effort to hydrate - 9 liters or more
Times I smiled - once..... from beginning to end.
It was a great weekend. Capped off at Hilbert ridin', racin', and picture takin'. Hilbert photos are up here.
Found these pictures I took at the CSC classic in DC earlier this year. Thought they were pretty cool. All kinds of kids, all kinds of bikes, all kinds of smiles.
We have our traditional trike ........
Some trikes with little open trunks and push handles, check the nice bunny rabbit helmet .....
A nice low rider pink trike, cool drop bars, note the matching pants, shoes, and helmet. Is she a bit young to be so style conscious? I'm thinkin' ........high maintainance in the making?
A nice 2 wheeler with a Freddie Flintstone drive train. After we're done beating our selves up with the whole single speed, rigid, fixed gear thing.......could this be the next logical step?
The kid on left setup up this move like a pro, timed the sprint perfectly, and was all power right to the line. Any coincidence he's on a Trek and wearing yellow?
This kid, on the other hand, pulled an awesome hole shot, but spun out his single speed way before the line. He was pedaling so hard and fast he lost his balance, tipped over and got swallowed up by the pack. An A+ for effort, just have to fine tune the ambition a bit.
Something about riding my bike, especially in the dirt,
makes me smile like a kid.
Thanks to Jay and Crazy for the photos.
Now Go out and get your