Monday, April 23, 2007

riding, the grizzly, being silly

since my last post i've raced in athens, georgia, ridden a few really good training days, gone to a fit clinic, and did a huge climbing day with the boone bike boys. oh, and i sat in the yard with darcy and stared at beautiful skies and relaxed. its been great.

Check it out: Athens SERC GPS Info

the weather here has been interesting. i raced in athens, placing 11th of 25 or something in sport men's xc 19-29. i was happy with that finish. here's a couple pictures. you can't really tell, but its cold and windy.

Frank handing off a bottle:

Darcy and Ryan waiting for me to come around:

Making sure i still had the gap on 12th place guy:

so driving back from athens, darcy and i found snow still falling in boone. now, a week later, its 70's and clear skies every direction. a perfect day to scout a route for "the grizzly." a ride to be featured in the highland games this summer. so the boone bike crew met at linville post office. we rolled through eceola resort area and then down 221 to crossnore. we did a loop on a road with 'squirrel' in the name. followed US-19E north to elk park and then right on 194. turned left onto old beech mtn rd. we climbed for the next 17 hours. okay maybe just two hours, but it felt like 17. we did 3.5 miles of gravel at 3500' elevation, then proceeded to climb over 1500 feet in the next 3 or 4 miles. beech mountain. fred's store. potato chips. diet coke. more water. heaven. the decent down beech was quite incredible. it was my first time on beech mountain so i didn't push it, plus my legs were torn up. we rolled past lee's mcrae, newton posed for a great picture... passed chris, robin, dave and beth. hickory nut gap road, legs barely holding on, donovan off the front, crack. easy gear spinning, no now its easy gear mashing. am i really barely turning a 34-26?!? crest the hill and start the descent. fat guys go fast here. stuck behind a pickup. sharp curves, not stuck behind the pickup anymore. find the group. ride with them for a few feet, crack. both legs cramp. keep pedaling. there's the cars. laying on hot concret.e

paceline, we are so pro:

more paceline(sort of):

ray (of sunshine):

our special guest, MAX:

off the front, briefly:

for danny:

roan mtn:

a stop on buckeye rd:

fred's mercantile:

more fred's mercantile:

newton (is newton really in this picture??):

thats all folks. the ride was probably 62 miles. 6000 feet of climbing. the real ride this summer will finish in mcrae meadows at elevation 4600 feet or so. thats another 1000 feet in 2 or 3 miles. yep. pain. we don't call it the grizzly for nothing!!

darcy and i in the yard:

thanks for reading this.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Racing and stuff

As the weeks have gone by i've put in my fair share of structured training on the bike and this weekend, it seemed to show. I raced at Tsali near Bryson City, NC and saw my buddy Paul Hein for the first time in a few months. We were there with his son Noah representing our Columbus Bike Racing team. So... for the race report:

Tsali was great. It was raining off and on all morning during the beginner rides and as Paul and I were warming up. My race was good. To put it shortly, I was in the top 5 or 10, moving along, and flatted. I repaired it and got back in it, I ran a lot, as I've learned to do from watching CycleCross and general NC riding, and passed some people on muddy climbs. I climbed my way all the way up the 2nd muddiest steepest hill and passed a few more people. Coming through the feed-zone I did the smartest thing of the race... got off my bike, stopped totally, and lubed my chain. I'd put grease and wet lube on it to start the day, but it was all gone and metal on metal squeaky. Then the 2nd smartest thing was dumping water from my bottles onto my forehead to wash away some dirt/mud from my eyes. My gloves were too dirty to do that task!! The last four miles or so, I could see, and I had a nicely lubed chain. I passed every rider except one that I could get my eyes on, regardless of their age group. I felt good near the end. I finished 16th out of 25, which wasn't so bad. My goal was to get a top 15 and I was really hoping for a top 10, but with the flat I am happy with 16th.

I survived the course for the most part. It was really tough. Anyone who was at Dauset trails last May should know full well how muddy this event was. It may even have been worse!! I basically made away with dirt in my eyes and a few little scrapes on my arms from thorns and the like. One older fellow went down on a muddy switchback and though I don't actually know what he suffered, it looked and sounded like a broken collarbone. Anyways, I felt good. My KENDA tires suited me well, karma 2.0's... The tires really did work well though, a lot of people were going soooooo slow through corners and I was hitting most with no brakes. It was a good time. I'm happy with my placing, I've corresponded with my "coach," a CTS guy that is friends with Boone Bike, and I'm looking forward to Athens, GA.

Proof that i was there... on the line, in the rain

Post ride, mud-fest. Still cleaning dirt out of my ears.

My roommate Matt and our buddy Evan:

Paul Hein, early, before the carnage:

I've been living it really, in Boone and loving it. My girlie is winding down her school year and traveling a lot still, so we miss each other, but its all good. She did a 10-k in Charleston, SC this past weekend and will be heading to the beach for spring break next week. :( Oh well...

I'll try to edit this post and get my garmin info posted a.s.a.p. It will be funny to see my HR and where i flatted and got to take a break. Alrighty... more later. thanks for reading.