Tuesday, December 26, 2006

No Granny Gears Harmed In the Making of this Gravel Grind

Longest ride since Jay on the mtn bike. Here was the route, over Davis to Gulf, over gulf to Leavitt, down to Grealey, to Potter, Potter up to rte. 153. Down through Eaton Village, then straight up Glines Hill. Drop to Modock Hill and up, then onto Town Line Road (class 6 road) to Allaird Hill, Up to the top of Rock House Mtn., then back down after some searching for the trail. Doloff Hill to 153 to Potter back to Mill Street and home.

Legs felt good all day. To clear up one of Sven's points however, when he looked up and saw me on Glines I was still in the middle ring, NO GRANNY GEAR USED THE ENTIRE RIDE. Altough I did drop to my biggest ring in the back so I did have an advantage. Next time we ride the loop I'll break out the SS 29er Santa brought me for Christmas.

End of week loop again anyone? Pictures of the ride up soon.

A Middle Ring Ridin' A1

Monday, December 25, 2006

TWAF Christmas Gravel Grinder completed

Merry Christmas!

A1 and I redeemed ourselves on Sunday, by hitting the gravel at 6am and completing the route that had been planned the day before. It was quite the ride with a lot of climbing, it was like a mini Jay- perfect for a Christmas Eve ride!

With the warmer temps the gravel on Davis and Gulf was a bit mushy, and at times it felt like you were pushing through peanut butter. A1 had the magic legs and I spent a lot of time looking as his backside as it rolled off into the distance. The Moonie climb just about killed me and I ended up off and pushing twice. The 32x20 just wasn't low enough. I knew I was in trouble when I could see A1 in his granny and struggling. However he cleared the climb in good form and was up at the top taking pictures as I approached all cross eyed.

You'll have to wait for the report from A1 with all the road names, as I can't seem to remember them all, but it was good. The climb to the top of rockhouse was killer, I walked a fair amount. We never found the trail we were looking for so we'll go back and connect it from the end that we know exists.

In all we were out for 3 hours and 20 minutes. I'm estimating about 30 miles and I'd like to think there was between 4000 and 5000 feet of climbing. I'm guessing on the climb but knowing we get 1600 on the Davis/Gulf/Potter loop I think I might be close.

Anyway Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 23, 2006


Friday nights before a big ride are always a bit stressful. Finding all your gear, checking the bike, trying to decide if you should make that repair or leave well enough alone- you know the drill.

My night went like this, cram at work because I've procrastinated for a month and now we'll be on break for a week, leave late and need to do a quick hit of Christmas shopping and K has called an requested a bottle of wine (the in-laws are up for dinner), jam home, hang with the family, eat a good meal, chat politics with my father in-law, say good-bye, clean the kitchen, read the kids stories, and now it's time to get my crap together.

I go down and find all my snivel gear, and sooner then I think my clothes, pack, helmet, lights, food are all ready to go. Now time to tweak the bike just a bit. Really the only thing I need to do is tightend the chain via the EBB. To make a long story short in the tightening of the ebb I manage to snap the tension bolt, but for some stroke of genius I think it'll be ok (?????) Finish cleaning the bike, work on the rear break, clean drive train, go to bed before 11pm.

4:55am, I'm up and soon eating and having coffee. Take care of all the morning rituals, look outside to see the downpour with a 35 degree temp. Should be good. Roll out with no HID, instead the tiki mounted to the bar (for some reason this also seemed like a good idea). To be honest I couldn't see squat, but we'd be on road or dirt road and we'd have real light in about an hour so no worries. Roll to A1's house. Guess what it's him and I and that is it.

From his house we cut through about 50 feet of "trail", I roll up to a downed tree, but can't see that well so choose to just run into it with my front wheel thinking my BIG wheels will roll over it. Did I mention it's 6am, low 30's and rain/freezing rain? Anyway I hit the ground hard and unexpected, smash my elbow, hip and hand. Good, we've been at this for all of 90 seconds and I'm in paid.

Pick myself up and on we go, both with very little light. Get on Old Mill Road and realize that the road has slush on it, no worries. Head up to Davis and start climbing. Half way up my bottom bracket falls out.

Ponder that for a moment because it's sort of a strange feeling. I've broken a crank before, I've broken pedals before, but I've never had a BB fall out. It can only happen with the wonderfully annoying contraption called an eccentric bottom bracket. Now mines not the one you can see at that link (that's the one that will soon replace the stock one in my bike)- but while it's very useful in tensioning a chain on a singlespeed it can also be a pain in the ass and also impacts your for aft positioning (but that is a whole other story). Anyway I turn around and glide down and A1 then tows me home. So we rode for 15 minutes. I considered grabbing another bike, but something was telling me that my hitting the ground and my bike falling apart were good indicators that maybe it wasn't to be.

Instead I grabbed the keys to my wife's truck, picked up A1 and we went and bough coffee and donuts at Leavitts and drove the route. The good news- the route is very doable and both A1 and I are fired up to ride it (planning to go tomorrow morning- same time as today- 6am). We did a bit of four wheel'in in the recon and at one point A1 had to get out and walk beside the truck as I was backing down off of a pretty steep hill that was covered in ice- he guided the rear wheels to the only spot that there was any traction- right on the cusp of the ditch. I've gotta say that wasn't my favorite part of the ride.

So there you have it. Fate said no for today, but thanks to Aubucaun (sp?) I've got a bolt that works and I think my bike will hold together (I'll take duct tape just in case). Any takers for Christmas eve?


Friday, December 22, 2006

TWAF Christmas Gravel Grinder

morning commute

Rode in this morning via the frozen (sorta) tundra. Losts of frost, some ice, mud, water and slop. Quite a mix. Looking at the weather that is fast approaching I figured I might as well be honest and say that the probability of me riding tomorrow morning after a couple hours of sleet and freezing rain that is supposed to turn into rain (calling for an inch or rain) is very low. I'm not going to make any lame excuses other than it just don't sound fun. Were it to be like this morning I would be in, but 30 miles of eating dirt and mud while riding up and down frozen/sloppy dirt roads isn't that appealing. Oh well. Guess I'll have to stay in my warm bed instead.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Update to Death March

So I've figured a few changes to the route with the help of a few land knowin' folk. Instead of riding Mooney to 113 we'll now drop off Mooney at the top to Town Line Road and down to Eidelweiss, takes out any pavement and adds few miles of double track descent. Also at the top of Rock House we'll drop off the backside again on double track for a few mile descent, should be nice. From what I've heard it's definately ridable and pretty intense.

Sounds like weather is shady and ANG is already talking about bagging out. Something about not wanting to be out in 30 degree weather in the rain, what's that about?

A1 Saucy Steak

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

1st Annual Weak and Feeble December Death March

Here's the plan, Saturday 6am leave from Lincoln Estates.

Proposed route: Up Davis over to Gulf Road, Up Gulf to Leavitt to Greeley to Potter. Potter to Rte. 153 to Eaton Village. Up (and over) Mooney Hill to Madison Village. Rte. 113 to Eidelweiss (sp?) up Eidelweiss to Rock House Mtn. (to the top). Drop down to 153 back to Potter, to Greeley, to Leavitt to Gulf to Davis, home.

Est. ride time: 3 hours

It's not that long distance wise, but pretty substantial climbing as we're going over every hill/mtn. we can include.

So it looks like it's gonna happen. We've talked about a Death March for a while, although this may be a little shorter than initially talked about, it's also going to be Dec. 23 so not bad for the offseason. If interested meet at A1's at 5:45am Saturday morning. Lights will be needed for the first hour or so.

Confirmed Rider List: DEA, ANG, A1 (I'm sure we won't get any offers to join us)


Monday, December 18, 2006

Screw skiing it's cycling season

Bah snowbug. A1 and I got out for a painful hour long ride doing the Gulf Road loop at about 9pm on Saturday. Even on the weekend we can't get out during daylight. Of course I make that statement and the next day I snuck out for just shy of an hour cruising around pine tree and then heading into the top of Davis just for fun. It was good but I'm telling myself that my brakes were dragging cuz my legs were killing me!

Maybe I'll be able to talk A1 and ANG into a ride tonight- hmmmmm.

Rumor has it I'll be racing in Team Bikeman.com colors next year- I'm pretty psyched about that. No I'm not leaving TWAF, despite what A1 is going to say. I'm TWAF forever, especially as I get weaker and feebler.

Now hope for snow so we can get out on skis.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Since I'm Far To Cheap To Buy One Myself

I'll try this route to get my single speed.

The "Hannaford Brand" Steak Sauce

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What the....

Somebody put Getch on this...


It won't be long before we count down to the new year. I have been taking it pretty easy for the last month since the end of the cross series up at Great Glen. No real organized training or guilt when I didn't get out on the bike. The funny part is that instead of feeling rested and refreshed I feel bogged down and sluggish- unlike those guys who train real hard I don't have "overtraining" issues so a break from the bike is just a period of laziness and going backwards. I guess that means it's time to ramp things up, set some goals for 2007 and start using the T word.

Steak Sauce has been lifting and seems to have a glimmer in his eyes about the 2007 season, it could get interesting. Army National Guard just got back from Florida and we'll have to see if that little break has him fired up to ride- NK, he's in love so we won't be seeing him for at least another couple of months. PowderJew is in full bore ski season mode, so his bike won't see daylight for a few months. That basically leaves A1, ANG, and myself to pick up the training and goal setting torch for 2007- any thoughts?

Night ride anyone?


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nope fooled yah

It's not really winter, just fall dressed up in a fancy dress pretending to be winter. Damn Transfallite. Anywho, rode in this morning. Little chilly on the road until I hit the trails at Sears up the powerlines and in. Powerlines were fairly dry. Not sure what route I'll take home in the dark, whether I dodge water holes again or just hit the road. Plus the big bear tracks I saw on the way in may sway that decision.

On the sponsor front, 2007 is really shaping up and should have some news in the next few days. Can't tell the full details but looks like I'll get support again from my wife and kids and working on a blockbuster sponsorship from my parents. Milk and cookies for everybody.

A-to-the-1 Steak-to-the-Sauce

Friday, December 08, 2006

It looks like winter

So last night I get back from the store around 8:30, mix of snow and rain. Look out the window few minutes later and its changed to snow. Call up Svendo (he's out being some good dad or something). Waited for about 45 minutes and decided to go around 9:30. It was snowing pretty good. Cut through the development to Old Mil, up Davis to the top, down to Overlook to see if Korea Slime was there, he's babysitting JJ's house while he's in FLA, no Korea to be found. Down around Hiram Philbrook back to Old Mill, cut through the woods to Svendo's. Shined the light into his windows but thought he was asleep so continued back home. Go figure he was up, although at that point I'd been out for a while and he would've wanted to go out. Good ride, first storm of the year, maybe 2 inches to play in. Visibility was pretty bad and the car that past me on Davis on the way up probably thought I was crazy, well maybe their right. Actually brought the camera, it was snowing a lot harder than the photo looks but check out my helmet, that shows a bit of snow.

The Original Steak Sauce

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Yup it's winter

The commute into work was a little chilly this morning, but not terrible. The biggest issue was the freezing eyeballs. It made me think of the old Oakley Eyeshades, I'm going to have to see if I can find a pair of those. I think the pair I had is still at my folks house but if I remeber correctly both temples are busted- hmmmmmm.

It's December 6th and I feel like it's late October. I haven't started any holiday shopping, haven't skied, haven't started freaking out about the lack of snow, haven't even gotten in touch with Atomic for my new XC skis- damn if I don't hurry up I'm gonna miss out!

I guess the upside is that I'm not freaking about skiing, the bad news is that it hasn't felt enough like winter for me to even think about freaking, does that make any sense?

Today was the first really cold day, and it wasn't even really that cold, lower 20's I think. This time of year my co-workers talk about being "crazy" to ride in, yet in January I'll be a wimp if I don't ride in on those days when temps are in the 20's- amazing how we get used to the cold!

Anyone looking for a gift idea for me- a pair of winter riding shoes, such as these Lake winter shoes size 43 will work just fine!

Now I need to find my Swix lobster claw gloves so I can chuck the duct tape monsters I'm using right now. A1 is looking at pogies- scroll through this page

That's it on my end. I hope everyone is finding reasons to get out and ride. TWAF needs to come up with our next big race! Oh and anyone looking for the original TWAF t-shirt as the ultimate holiday gift just drop us a line! $15 for one or $25 for 2- how can you go wrong!


Friday, December 01, 2006

bring him on

i scared that punk tinker away from jay, so don't think i can't make lance "the drug-taking-cheater weasel" armstrong out of this, too... mark my words. we won't see lance.

he'll be too busy banging some starlet and making france his bitch yet again.


by the way, if you think i'm serious about lance being a cheater, then you can hang me by my livestrong bracelet.

Another Race and Reason to go

hmmmmmmm, snaked from Velonews:

Armstrong will ride in Leadville Trail 100
Leadville Chronicle
The rumors are true: Lance Armstrong is scheduled to ride in the Leadville Trail 100's mountain bike race in August 2007. Yes, that Lance Armstrong,, the seven-time winner of the Tour de France. Leadville Trail 100 race director Ken Chlouber confirmed, after speaking with Armstrong's coach, that the race was on Armstrong's schedule.

hmmmmmm, DEA

Thursday, November 30, 2006

new race and old race video

Here's a link to a clip from Porky Gulch this year, thank you to Chris Proulx at RSN for putting this up for us: Vid Clip

A1 is thinking of fun gravel grind race- so stay tuned for that. Most likely it'll be A1, JJ, and myself but maybe we can talk a few others into joining into the mayhem!

That's it for now.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Night Gulf Ride

So we did what DEA wanted. I missed the Gulf Road ride on Sunday so I was conned into doing the ride last night. Apparently A1 didn't want to do it again as he bagged out on us. DEA and I headed out at 9ish and rode for about an hour. Not sure if we did it faster than they did it in the daylight, but DEA and I kept a pretty good pace, at least for me anyhow. It was a good ride. Here's the numbers from the Garmin Edge 305:

Time: 55:08 mins
Distance: 10.85 mi
Ave. Speed: 11.8 mph
Elev. gain: 1,523 feet


Monday, November 27, 2006

Turkey ride

A1 and I got out for a good loop on Sunday that had both of us flashing back to the various times during the Jay race. We weren't out there that long, just over an hour, but I took him up Gulf Road which is a gravel road that just climbs and climbs for a couple of miles. It's not that a couple of miles is a really long climb- around here you can find lots of climbs that are five miles or more long, it was the way this climbed- steep and false horizon lines that you would get to only to see another huge pitch. But it was worth it, the view from the top is one of the best in the Valley- looking down on Conway Lake, the Rockpile is right there, the Moats, and every other mountain you can think of. Good ride. We then cruised down and connected into Poter Road and both were amazed at the old farms and amazing stone walls out off the beaten path. Beautiful country out there and only a few minutes from the craziness of North Conway.

Now let's do that same loop in the dark!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Almost like riding the North/South Road

So yes, I'm seriously considering the Jay Winter race. So I check out www.icebike.org and sign up for their email newsletter/forum. Can't say I'm a huge fan of it as you get emailed all the strings in the forum. But at least the image here was sent in. Good times, not sure I'd be riding my bike past this guys house. Maybe he is related to the guy who wanted JJ as a hood ornament.



Not much of cycling excitement has been going on. A1 is all fired up to race the new winter Jay race: oh winter joy

I'm thinking I'll stick with racing my XC skis during February. Not that racing on snowmobile trails wouldn't be fun, but it might not be fun, in fact it might really suck. Besides that very same day there is an all day XC ski race taking place at JSTF.

This week the world has been a bit better aligned as I've been able to start commuting by bike again, which makes me happy. The temps are starting to get there, this morning it was in the 30's, but no ice on the road. No need to pull out the studded tires as of yet- but soon.

That Cross race that I was talking about in Portland has been cancelled- oh well. So the racing season might really be over- bummer. Hopefully we'll get in a good couple of rides this weekend. Reading Kerkove's blog makes me think that it's time to come up with a winter training gameplan. I think this year (2007) I should have a training plan, I was a little bummed how much riding I'd done and how it never resulted in speed- so that's the goal- keep the endurance where it's at or even better and then crank up the speed. I've even chatted with a buddy of mine who is a coach and uses a Powertap for himself and that has gotten me to think about power numbers. That new iBike might be the trick- but who the heck knows!

There had been a conversation about going and racing Trans Rockies with my buddy Ward, which could have been rather entertaining. Who knows it could still happen but we would need to get finacial support and the race is just about sold out- so I'm not banking on it. Besides it would have meant that I would miss the 24 hour race this upcoming year, which we had been planning on all racing as solos. Only time will tell.

In the mean time I've been trying to be Builder Bob and blowing out the space above my current home office/playroom. In reality I've been kicked out of my space so I had to go find a new place to put my computer. It's amazing the power a 7 year old and 3 year old can have!

Turkey Day is just a short 48 hours away!

Get out and ride.


Friday, November 17, 2006


It's been a pretty low key week in terms of riding. For the past two weeks I haven't been able to commute to work by bike as I've had to take my oldest to school each day and the time frame then isn't condusive to the ride- which has been a bummer. I've seen Peter out every night on my way home from work with his crazy lowrider light system- I've got to find out what that thing is!

Aside from not commuting it has also been raining all week- not a little bit of rain but a lot of rain. Not sure what my point is about the rain but I'm ready for it to stop. I'd love to think what this would be like if it were all snow, but last night it was almost 70 degrees out- so snow is a ways off!

JJ and I did get in a night ride the other night (wed) but haven't pulled another one off- so slug season is officially here.

There was a bit of excitement when Ward and I started to talk about racing Trans Rockies as a team, but the expense may put it out of reach, well that and the fact that if we don't register soon then we may miss out. I'm thinking we could call ourselves something like- a pro and an average joe. Yeah I've only had a half cup of coffee and it's not even 8am so I'm sure I'll read that later and just shake my head.

Hopefully TWAF will get out for a ride this weekend. It'll have to be around construction projects at my house but I'm sure we'll make something work. Still looking for details on the CX race on the Eastern Prom in Portland, I found the directors email but so far no response. I'll keep you posted.

Get out and ride.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Final Race of the GGTOC CX Series

How's that for alphebet soup? Yesterday was race four of the Great Glen Cross Series, it was fun and the weather held off making for a pretty good day.

I woke up and descided that I'd take Tom G's advice and swap up my break levers on my cross bike- of course his complete advice was to do that to all my bikes so I'd never get confussed but I only had a bit of time so I just stuck to working on the Kona. I had toyed with making the switch on the Surly but Saturday night didn't pan out and I never went down to work on bikes. I'd put a longer stem on the Kona and had descided to ride that and see if gears would help me go faster- so that was the bike that was getting the reversal.

Everthing was going fine untill I went to re-run the rear cable through the housing- it had started to fray and I didn't have enough extra to cut it and still make it through- so I chucked it and looked around for another piece of cable. I found plenty that would have worked for the front but nothing that wasn't already on a bike for the rear- however I did find a piece of deraileur cable so I figured I'd give that a shot. Now I know deraileur cable is much thinner and stretchier then a brake cable- but how much of a difference can their be!

So the bike was ready to go and I got the car all loaded up and we headed on up. We park and the girls head in and I'm unloaded the bikes and getting ready to go out and warm up. Some crazy dude comes over and tells me he's a friend of Huubs from Craft, he tests thier product and that he was going to do security for tyler and floyd- but that fell through with thier suspensions so it's a good thing that he kept his job as a cop- OK. this dude was nuts, a good nuts, but nuts none the less- so if you're ever pulled over in Marblehead by a crazed guy just tell him Craft stuff rules and maybe he'll let you off.

By the time he let me get back to getting ready I had about 20 minutes to warm up. So far things weren't going according to plan- but that's just fine. I get the surly down to the pit and head out to warm up. The break switch doesn't take long to get used to and makes a HUGE difference heading in the barriers. What I do notice but don't seem to think much of is that by the end of warm up lap two there doesn't seem to be too much rear brake left. Not sure why this didn't register with me as at that point I had enought time to go and pull a bit more cable- oh well.

To the start line and Mark and I chat a bit, Carl looks a bit hung over, Steve looks like he's ready to rip everyone apart, Craig looks bored, Dan- well Dan's just Dan and the dude just keeps getting faster, and Nate looked serious. Amy said go and we heading towards the first pitch. I rode second wheel for a bit had a good run through the barriers and was feeling pretty good on lap one, lap two I realized I was having a tough time slowing down for the hard transition that was getting mucked up and that if you screwed it up you were going to hit the pavement pretty hard, hmmm brake issues already? Roll into the first barrier and the brake lever is on the bar and I slide out almost going down- but I manage to stay upright and get through the barriers pretty well. At this point I'm still in front of Dan but behind Carl, Craig, and Nate. Nothing exciting for the most of the rest of that lap except on the climb up the practice slope Steve goes by me like I'm sitting still (was I?) and he starts moving up to catch Carl and Nate with Craig having a bit of a gap. At this point it's Dan, Mark and I having out own little battle. The next lap Dan goes by me and I can't respond so now it's just Marc and I. I've got a bit of a gap on Mark but manage to deck it on the run up on the North side of the tunnel. Mike Larecy is there and he's yelling for me to pick my carcuss up off the grass and get going- I do but my rear wheel isn't spinning. I assume I've knocked it out of the dropouts but after resetting the wheel still nothing, Marc goes by and now I'm getting frustrated. I see that the cablehousing is stuck on the guide and I pop it back and I'm in business. I chase and catch Marc just as we go into the barriers where I drop a chain and jam it. Off the bike yanking on the chain and then off and running. I catch Marc again and yell for him to get on my wheel as I can now see Steve has taken the lead and is only 30 seconds or so from catching and lapping us. So I drag Marc around to the bell lap, making sure Steve doesn't get the catch. Marc and I pretty much take it easy until the final climb where I give it a bit of gas and open up a gap to the finish. A good and fun battle. Hopefully next year we'll see a few more riders out there on course!

In front of Dan, this didn't last long!

Rumor has it that there is cross race that either PVC or Gorham is putting on sometime in early December in Portland. I'll post a link once I know more.

On other fronts we have a new dog to add to the mix- Jake. He's a yellow lab mix who is still a puppy but hopefully will end up being a good trail dog for both Karen and I. Molly is coping well- hasn't tried to eat him yet!

Night ride tonight?


Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Weekend is Coming

It's about 70 degrees outside and beautiful. I just went for a run and it actually felt good, better then I did riding rollers last night. It's been a couple days since I've been riding my bike outside, and I'm getting a bit ansy. This weekend, Sunday to be exact, will be the last CX race of the series up at Great Glen. It's been a fun season up there and I hope that we see more racers participate next year. I'm going to guess we will as a number of folks have now seen CX and seem fired up to give it a try.

After that I'm not sure what the game plan will be. I've pretty much called it a season in my mind, not for a lack of desire, but more for the simple reason that my wife and kids wouldn't mind me home for a complete weekend. If a good race pops up that's not to far away I'll see if we can make it go.

Onto other topics. Basso do Disco? Hmmmmm. Wonder where Tyler and Jan are going to end up signing. Here's an interesting take on WADA from NBA commissioner David Stern:

I wish cycling had somebody that stood up for the riders like this. Forever this period of time in cycling will have a big question mark over it, and it's too damn bad.

Time to grab some food. Who's up for a night ride?


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

A case of the Monday's

My legs are shot. The Rockpile Rampage portion of Porky Gulch was yesterday and it cleaned me out. I felt ok for the first half hour and then my back started to lock up and I plum ran out of gas. Oh well. It was fun anyway and I'll be back next year.

Today I'm dragging and nothing seems to be working for me at work. My word docs won't print, the PDF files are SLOW and I managed to jam up the copier about three times while scrambling to get out the door to a meeting. LOL- I'm glad it's only another few days till the weekend!

Kudos to Tom Gosslin for riding super strong at PG, I met him a few years ago at the original Rockpile Rampage- now he rides for IF and is a hell of a nice guy.

Ward and Rebecca raced down at Verge this weekend with Rebecca placing third on Saturday and second on Sunday. According to Ward she took a major digger on Sunday and Ward was getting ready to run onto the course to drag her to the hospital when she jumped up and yelled at him to get to the pit for a bike exchange- she ripped through the field and was closing in on the win but just ran out of course. I wonder what that's like to be chasing for the real deal win in the elite class. Ward rode ok on Saturday, but Sunday had back issues. I still think he needs to look at back replacements.

I hope to have a few pics from PG, my folks were there helping with timing and when Dad wasn't timing he was shooting. Plus I saw Howie shooting all over the place so I hope to see something cool.

One more local cross race on Sunday, then it may be time to call it a racing season. Let's get the xc skis out for racing purposes.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

day one done

This morning the Toughest Two got rolled back to the toughest one and a half. But no matter how short you make it it's still painful cuz the mount washington auto road is STEEP!

They had to shorted the stage due to snow on the road. Up to about 1.25 miles up the road the pavement was nice and clean- but then the snow started to creep onto the course. Traction was never really and issue, but I was a bit nervous about what the trip down would be like- but my worries were for not as the finish line was shortly after the snow line.

I had planned to grab JJ's cassette that has a 26T on it, but I had planned to run the cross bike in the hill climb and then it would be moot. Well I was feeling rugged and ran my road bike with my standard gearing- the low being 39x23. It actually wasn't too bad. The 26T would have been nice, and I think next year that will be the way I go.

I have no idea what my time was or how I did, maybe that will get posted later tonight. Of course the highlight of the day was the Crit down in Storyland. Roughly 27 real corners and a few other sweepers that you could pedal through- all in a lap that takes about 3.5 minutes! Pretty crazy, gas on, brake, sprint, break, sprint, break, hold the corner- argh! It's the toughest 45 minutes of my year- I think it's harder then the CX races because you are ALWAYS accelerating. The course ran the opposite way as last year- so we rode up the polar coaster side of the hill- and yes that stung each lap. I had a rough start and worked my way up through the field, finally sitting in the front third to front quarter of the race (I think) I had hooked on with a group of four that were riding good tempo. Actually the guy on the front was, nobody else (self include) was doing squat. At one point the guy in front of me let a gap open and within a lap we had some work to do. I went to the front and we closed it down. In the park the three of them were killing me in the corners (I used to think I could corner a road bike- guess not!) but I could get a bit of a gap on the long straight into the headwind. So on the bell lap I attacked from the back and opened up enough of a gap that they had to work really hard to catch on and that pretty much gave me what I needed to finish ahead of them. It may have been that I was the only one who was looking at it like I was racing for a win- but we couldn't see anyone else ahead of us (there were plenty) so for me it was like a mini win.

My legs are now cooked, hopefully I can recover for tomorrow and we'll see who I have to mark (if I'm in a good position in points) and let it rip. Tomorrow I may go back to the SS as that seems to work a touch better for me- but we'll see.

Time for food then sleep.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Final big race

Porky Gulch starts tomorrow morning, my final major bike race of the season. Rumor has it that they are PLOWING the lowers section of the Auto Road- yikes! So it'll be a last minute decision on what bike to run.

Also a new race to consider (I'd love to ride) Seven Bike Race

Well that's it for now. Gotta change out my rear tire before the ride home.


it's not just about biking...


well, it's been two months since i've been in the saddle (and to the mailbox for some reason), but it hasn't been completely uneventful: i've been busy falling for an amazing gal, playing some not-so-amazing rugby and generally licking my chops for the upcoming ski season. i even bought a cell phone!

what's been on my mind, however, is the diligence of one Dr. Asspistol Sphincter, AKA Dr. Evil Ass-sphincter, AKA the svenster. virtually every day, i see one of his steeds sitting in the office, sometimes muddy, sometimes dripping from the rain, but always ticking down from a morning ride into work, never mind the weather. call the boy jelly, cuz he been on a roll!

i know that A1 and JJ have been keeping on their bikes as well, but i just have had other priorities at the moment... but that won't last forever, you see, i just saw JJ's pics from the disposable from jay and i'm getting excited...


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Porky Gulch

The weekend is almost here and one of my favorite races is this weekend- Porky Gulch Classic Stage Race. This will be the second year of this race, but to say it's only been around for two years would be a bit of a misnomer. A bunch of years ago I was working with Miah who used to own the Red Jersey Cyclery, we would brainstorm events and then go put them on. One of the first we did was the original Story Land Crit, which turned out to be one of those events where there weren't a ton of people but the legend of the race spread and a lot more people talk about having raced in the original then were actually there- it was pretty cool. To get a feel for the course go take a look at Story Land- imagine racing your road bike through these paths at speed (and without Mom's with strollers)- pretty fun!
Story Land Here's a shot from the last years crit, the guy in the back is me 20lbs ago hoping to catch back on to enjoy a bit of draft on the front straight:

That same year we put on the original RockPile Rampage v1.0. This was our first take at putting on a cross race and we thought the more barriers the better. We built up what became known as the barriers of consequence- as if you fell on one your were going to get hurt! Wide oak planks with the edges sharp as a pair of skis fresh off a Miah tune. We had barriers everywhere, I think we used like 15 or so- pretty funny.
Jason from Hurricane Mt Sport clearing the famed barriers of consequence:

So over the course of a few years I wanted to get out of the organizing side and I wanted to focus on the racing part. GGTOC took over the events and last year we came up with the idea of doing a stage race and starting things off with a TT up the first two miles of the famed Mt. Washington Auto Road. Hence the birth of the Porky Gulch Classic Stage Race. Ok we don't ride to the top of Washington but it still feels like this:

I'm hoping this weekend we'll see at least one other TWAF jersey starting on Saturday morning, but we'll see. NK hasn't been on a bike in months so racing may not be the best idea for him. JJ and A1 both have been working on excuses so we'll see where that all goes! Oh well.

Here's a cool shot- why you don't throw beer on a CX racer early in the race- they may remember it and give you a nice "thank you" later in the race:

That's it for this morning, now go out and ride.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

almost run down

DEA and I met up to ride in this morning. We were cruising along into a pretty vicious headwind and going slower than usual but working as ahrd or harder that it seemed fair. At least for me anyhow. About half way in we cam upon an intersection where 2 large 18 wheelers pulled out in front of us as we approached, sort of making it kinda close to us. Right behind them was a white Dodge pickup who apparently only saw DEA as he began to pull out. Dea had to take evasive action to avoid having he hind end taken out. Unfortunately I was behind him and the old coot never looked for a second bike. He was still moving as I come towards him. It wasnt until I was about to hit his hood that he locked up his wheels and started to skid. I was starting to see things in slo-mo and saw myself going ass over tea-kettle as I was about to t-bone the driver side door of this truck. Luckily the C-dale was up for the challenge and I was able to stay upright as I swerved hard left and then right to get around and past the blind driver. I was within inches of kissing some pickup hard. My heart was either beating really hard or had stopped, not really sure. Not really the way I like to find my max heart rate. Needless to say, the ride in was a good reminder to never take for granted that the drivers in motor vehicles see you or will do what you think they should. Be on your toes and ready to react cause cars hurt.


Well Hello There

It's been a while, but I think I remember how to use this. Couple good short rides this week to and from work. Time for the headlights. Here's a couple of shots, a picture of NK from a ride back in April. Yup April, I think that may be the last time he was on his bike? I finally downloaded pictures off my camera.

The first picture is how I trained this year, DEA and JJ logged a lot of miles, I set a lot of these.


Monday, October 30, 2006

A wet saturday

All this fall week we planned on an epic ride for saturday morning. A nice 30+ miles. WEll about wednesay the weather man was telling us the remnants of a huricane were going to arrive on saturday. THe group ride of maybe 20 people was down to 2, DEA and me. I guess conditions were not ideal, high 30's and steady hard rain. DEA and I did about a 60 minute ride and I got to test out the new Reba Race fork and I also threw on an Avid BB7 disc brake up front. Wow what an upgrade. I had handling and stopping power. I felt somewhat like a sellout for not staying with the rigid fork, but not after the first descent when I looked back and did not see DEA. If I was a sellout, I was a smiling sellout. After that the ride was wet, and got progressively colder. Neither of us were feeling very peppy, for me cause I have not been riding the same amounts, for DEA, not sure his excuse. Hope for a night ride this week and maybe a commute on Wednesday. We'll see.


Weekend of riding

Got out on the bike a bit this weekend, and both days were in some very interesting weather.

A1, JJ and I had planned to ride on Saturday morning. We had planned to go real early and try to beat out the strom that was slated to roll in. JJ was on weatherman duty and called on Friday night to say don't worry about going early as we were going to get wet no matter what. This pushed back the planned start time to 8:30am. Originally we had planned to do a couple of hours that would take us to the top of Cranmore and eventually down Redtail, but with major rain in the forcast we chose to ride trails that can handle wet weather riding.

Saturday morning came and it was downright miserable conditions. I called A1 and he opted to be smart and stay in. So I headed up to meet JJ and we launched ourselved into Davis. JJ had a new Reba Race on the Mono 29'r and once the trail went downhill he was gone. So much for being able to keep up with him on the descents!

We headed out and did a good hour long route with some epic water crossings. It was cold and neither of us seemed to have much pep in our legs. We dragged ourselves out of the woods and JJ headed to the warmth of his house and headed down to Pine Tree to get in a bit more riding. I figured I was finally warmed up mine as well take advantage of it! Did just one lap and then started to loose feeling in my hands, so I headed back to the house to dry off. Pretty much layed low the rest of the day and the girls and I just sacked out and watched way too much TV.

Sunday rolled around and K descided to skip the cross race, so I was flying solo. I tossed the Belugas in the car for a potential post race hike and ski at Wildcat, loaded up both the Surly and the Kona on the car and headed up. The wind was nuking and it was raining and about 39 to 42 degrees out- perfect!

As I got up into Pinkham it switched from rain to snow and temps dropped just a touch to about 38. Got to GGTOC and there was blue ski for one minute then major snow the next- back and forth for the next couple of hours. My hat goes off to the beginner field as they all went out and braved the elements- and when Eli gave them the option of coming off a lap early they said no and kept on trucking- that was cool to see. Our race was up next and we were all hudled in the alcove not wanting to go out. I opted for warmth and had on thermal tights and a fleece jacket, hat and warm gloves. I chose to race on the Kona, so I was enjoying gears- but there are some shifting issues that need to be addressed. I found that I was able to hang with the big boys for a bit but once I got gapped the major wind made it tough to be out on my own. About half way through my back started to bother me and I slowed considerably. On the last lap Marc and I were battling a bit, I put in an effort going downhill into the second set of barriers and then proceeded to run into the barrier full speed and smash the inside of my right thigh on the back of my saddle. All I can say is it did hurt a lot and it still hurts a lot! Needless to say I was not moving very well after that- spending more time walking then riding and Marc caught, passed, and never looked back- oh well. DFL for me! Needless to say I wasn't up for hiking Wildcat after the race.

All this means I drove in today as my leg still really hurts. I hope I can work it out and get feeling good for Porky Gulch this weekend!

November is almost here!


Friday, October 27, 2006

Switching Gears

I woke up a 4:30 am with the intention of heading up to Wildcat to hike up the snowline and make a few turns on the Belugas. The issue was I would be going up solo on a bum ankle for the first turns of the year on gear that would force me to ski smooth, hmmm ten years ago it would have been a no brainer- but now I'm getting older and maybe wiser? Who knows- anyway I choose to not put myself into a situation where if I got hurt I'd be on my own and deserved of ridicule. Instead I went back to sleep and then had a very tough time waking up at 7am.

Here's a look over at Washington from Wildcat this AM:

Tomorrow we have plans to go out for a good ride in the AM before the weather gets really nasty. Of course if we wait for the nasty weather then we can claim Epic status. Of course we all know JJ doens't like to get his Yeti wet!

A1 is now talking about skipping buying a bike this fall and trying to talk TWAF into racing RAAM as a team- LOL, now that is funny. Good luck with that A1.

Third race of the GGTOC CX series is Sunday, then next week we've got Porky Gulch- should be fun! GGTOC- host of Porky Gulch

That does it this morning- get out and ride!


Monday, October 23, 2006

Damn I love bikes!

I just saw this, this will have to make its way into the quiver soon! What a cool concept, I can snag the groceries on my commute home- K will be psyched. Lillo and Emmazilla can snag rides as well. To get the whole story you'll have to check out one of the two following links:
the trailer
Surly- scroll down on this one

Now I want to get one of these and load up a couple CX bikes and spare wheels and roll up to one of the Verge races and ask which way to the pits! That would be classic. Could do that at Great Glen but then I'd have to ride up Pinkham first- ouch.

Anyway this stuff is cool and opens up some interesting ideas. Hmmmmmmmmm



It's here. Had the first ride of the fall season where the conditions just sucked- and it was great. K calls me around 7:55, "it's snowing, and I just saw town trucks with plows and they are sanding- don't ride in"- Ok I said.

Told Lillo to grab her bag and we headed out the door to the neighbors. She went inside and Sammy looked at me like I was nuts, "you two have a good day at school"

Off I went. It was raining pretty hard in ctr conway and the temps were cool, but I had on the snivel gear and was very comfortable. As I got closer to town the water drops switched over to snowflakes and the wet slop had built up a touch on the road. I was getting good splash and spray from the cars and knew that a few of the folks driving the other way (that I recognized) were shaking their heads wondering what I was thinking.

Ahhh the fun you can have commuting. Really no story here, just the reminder that getting out on your bike no matter what the weather is a good thing.

By the way I picked up a pair of those Knog single LED lights from Bikeman, someone I work with drove up behind me and was impressed my the light, even more so when he saw it in person. It's that time of year people- make sure your visible out there.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Race 2 at GGTOC

Nutty weekend up here in the Valley, can't wait to see if A1 has any stories about the two huge tents he had up on Friday night. Winds gusts over 60mph and a huge tent (something like 60x40 or something like that) just can't be good. Needless to say everytime I drove by his house this weekend his truck and trailer were gone, hmmm.

I took Saturday off from the bike, not cuz I wanted to but I had to finish the Ghetto Cross and also get the Kona ready for sale (more on that in a second). Plus we went down to K's folks house so it didn't leave anytime for any riding.

The Ghetto Cross came out great, I'm already thinking of how we could improve it, my first thought is to try and find a non-suspension corrected fork, It would lower the front end by a couple inches and in effect increase the headtube and seat tube angles, giving the handling a bit more snap- we'll have to see how that plays out!

The Kona came out great, finally got it all back together on Sunday morning just seconds before we left. I have to say now that it's all clean and the Spynergy's are mounted up with CX rubber it looks great and I'm not as anxious to get ride of it, which was good- cuz the guy who wanted to buy it had hurt his back and couldn't make the race- so now we'll have to see what I finally descide to do!

We rolled out of the house at 8am, Mount Washington had snow and it was in the lower 30's. Here's a shot of the mountain from this morning (MWWO cam pic):

We got up into Pinkham and there was snow on the ground, my skier senses started to tingle! We pulled into GGTOC and got the kids and bikes unloads, K got her number and went out to warm up. She came back in and realized how hard cross can be. See K is a runner, she used to be a biker but hasn't really ridden her bike much since we've had kids. I'm gonna guess that in the past year she's gotten as many miles as I get on a good day of training with JJ. Needless to say she had a number and was going to race. The beginner field was pretty good sized (by GGTOC standards) and they headed out for a good race. Sean Doherty (all of age 11) had won the early race last week and was anxious to do it again, he chased from the start to catch Steven Godby (who was on a super sweet carbon bike with carbon wheels- I'm guessing getting passed by an 11 year old on a borrowed mt bike didn't do much for his ego!) Needless to say Sean went to the front and stayed there. K did a good ride to place second in the womens division behind another first time crosser- Sandra Iacozili. Sandra's husband Carl is one of the owners of the Red Jersey in town.

K did a good ride but realized how hard, but how fun cross can be- looks like she's ready for next week!

The intermediate/elite race lined up at 11am, temps had moved up to about 40. I opted to rock the Surly SS again and quickly found myself working with a group of about five off the back after the first downhill. I did, however, make a positive improvement over last week where after the first set of barriers I would run to the top of the rise before remounting. I was surprised how much ground I would gain even over the guys who had geared down for that grade. It's slight but it's just tough to get rolling.

Pretty soon the groups had been set and I had Dan (Sean's dad) on my wheel for a lap or two. I was just about to suggest he take a turn in the wind when he put in an effort and dropped me in about 100 yards. So much for my shot at getting my nose out of the wind! Oh well. From that point on I wanted to stay ahead of Marc and a couple of other guys that were behind me, and try to stay on the lead lap. On lap 6 of 8 I started to have doubts that I would stay on the lead lap as at the two spots where there is two way traffic I saw the leader and he was gaining fast. Then on lap 7 I knew he was behind me and saw him catch Marc and the guy with him. I half was ready to let him catch me so that I could just finish, but then I realized that he would catch me right in the "stadium" where everyone was cheering if I did that- so I poured it on and basically sprinted the last kilometer to the start finish line- he got to within 50 meters but I went hard to hit the line to make sure I got out for my 8th lap. I was rather proud of myself until I realized I had really hit my limit to not get lapped and still had a lap to go. Of course I also realized that the guys that had been behind me had finished a lap down so no one was going to catch me. Put it in cruise and just get it done.

I ended up third in my group (intermediate) which made me happy. Now the question comes up- do I go with the Kona next week now that it's all decked out again? See what happens if I run a geared rig- can I stay with anyone that has been dropping me. Hmmmmmm we'll have to think on that one this week.

I'm hoping next week to see at least one other TWAF jersey out on course- hint, hint.....


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Better late than never...

Finally got some pics developed from a disposable camera I planned to use during Jay. It only got used prior to the start. Sorta got distracted during the race not being able to think anymore.

Last shot is DEA's A$$ on a road ride.


Friday, October 20, 2006

The Ghetto-Cross project

Last night I had planned to go for a night ride, I'd been lazy and driven to work and didn't run- so I had pretty much bagged the whole day- so knowing a new episode of Smallville was on at 8 and that the Ghetto-Cross was in need of building, and the fact a big box had showed up from Bikeman- I skipped the ride and got greasy.

Here are the basics- K owns an older S-Works M2 mountain bike and a Cannondale R600 Compact (650c wheels) road bike- those would be the source of most of the parts. I had converted my old S-Works M2 over to a ridgid SS so that was where I stole the fork from. Plus I had a Kona Jake the Snake that I had stripped clean and am getting ready to rebuild so there was a good pile of parts.

So the bars and cranks got pulled from the Cannondale, the fork from my 26"SS, new tires from Bikeman, and I pulled out an old 42T chainring I spent a half hour on the grinding wheel.

Here are the pics:

The Cannondale striped

My SS with no fork

The super swank custom chainring gaurd

Side view of the Ghetto-cross

Front view of the Ghetto-cross

That is where the project stands, now I need to find a sub 100mm stem as the one on there is too long and I don't have anything any shorter, so a lunch time run around time today should solve that. I also picked up the Cyclocross Solutions DVD- I learned a bunch, I could really get into this foolish cross thing!

Legs felt great on the ride in. Raining but still pretty good temps. I picked up a set of those Knog lights- pretty cool. Their tiny but put out some good light. Also got new tires for my cross bike, those will go on tonight.

That's the skinny. Let's go for a ride!


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Calling all Crossers

This Sunday will be week #2 for the Great Glen CX series. My wife is going to jump into the Beginer race sporting a soon to be cobbed together Ghetto-cross bike and hopefully she'll sport her TWAF jersey. Rumor has it A1 has snagged an old hard tail mtb for Sunday and I'm guessing JJ will race on his Monocog- so it's looking like TWAF will have good representation.

Then coming up in a few weeks (Nov 4th and 5th) the Porky Gulch Classic Stage Race will kick off with a two mile TT up the lower slopes of the Mount Washington Auto Road. The best part of that- you get to ride back down! Then we head to Story Land for a road crit inside the park- this is the best crit in the country- here's a link to Story Land- envision ripping around in here at 25+mph!
Story Land

Then Sunday is the cross race, it used to be my race but now it's park of the weekend and now I'm just a racer (which was my original goal). It's a kick ass weekend of racing and on the fun scale is right up there with the 24 HOGG.

If you want to sign up go here: Bike Reg

In other news an old friend of mine has hit the blogosphere, check out Hansi's blog (that's right PJ- Hansi has resurfaced): Hansi's Blog
Hansi is a sick puppy who had done a lot of crazy adventures and I'm sure he'll be putting up some interesting posts.

Night ride tonight anyone?


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

TWAF 2006 Season Race Results (updated)

Crank the Kanc

• Sven 13th place in Senior Division

• Dennis 33rd place in Veteran Division

• Abe 23rd place in Senior Division

Newton’s Revenge Hill Climb up Mt. Washington

• Josh 129/216

Importech Mountain Bike Summer Race Series

• Sven Bear Notch Race #1 - 2nd place
Cranmore Mountain Race #2 - 1st place
Thorne Pond Race #3 - 1st place
Fat Tire Fest at Bear Notch #4 - 4th place (Singlespeed)
1st Place Overall in Division for Series

• Dennis Thorne Pond Race #3 - 1st place
Fat Tire Fest at Bear Notch #4 - 2nd place
3rd Place Overall in Division for Series

• Nick Bear Notch Race #1 - 3rd place

• Abe Thorne Pond Race #3 - 2nd place

Dakine Mountain Bike Series at Great Glen Trails

• TWAF 1st Place Overall in Team Division for Series
4 - 1st Place finishes during Series

• Sven 2nd Place Overall in Mens Expert Division for Series
Week #1 - 1st place in Mens Expert Division
Week #2 - 1st place in Mens Expert Division
Week #3 - 2nd place in Mens Expert Division
Week #4 - 3rd place in Mens Expert Division
Week #5 - 2nd place in Mens Expert Division
Week #6 - 4th place in Mens Expert Division

• Dennis 2nd Place Overall in Mens Sport Division for Series
Week #1 - 2nd place in Mens Sport Division
Week #2 - 2nd place in Mens Sport Division
Week #3 - 1st place in Mens Sport Division
Week #4 - 3rd place in Mens Sport Division
Week #5 - 1st place in Mens Sport Division
Week #6 - 3rd place in Mens Sport Division

• Nick Week #1 - 4th place in Mens Sport Division
Week #3 - 4th place in Mens Sport Division
Week #4 - 4th place in Mens Sport Division
Week #5 - 8th place in Mens Sport Division

Jay Challenge MTB (72.4 miles with 14,000+ feet of climbing)

• Abe, Sven & Dennis all finished event in top 2/3 of racers (161 male racers)

• Abe - 11th in Male 30-34, 75th place overall

• Sven - 13th in Male 30-34- 82nd place overall

• Dennis - 25th in Male 35-39- 86th place overall

24 Hours of Great Glen

• TWAF (Sven, Nick, Abe & Josh) posted a 9th place finish in Mens Sport with
25 laps.
• TWAF 2 (Dennis & 4 others) placed 8th in the 5 Person Adult Co-Ed division
with 20 laps


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

snake bite karma

It’s Tuesday. Not sure why I’m pointing that out, but I am. On the commute home last night I got a rear flat, not that getting a flat is news but it was comical (at least in my mind) how it all came about. I was on the cross bike riding the powerline, there is a section about fifty yards long that has a lot of roots. I’ve been trying to ride my cross tires at fairly low PSI- 38psi to 40psi- so I know snake bites are possible- but I wanted to hammer through this section of roots- just cuz. About half way through I bunny hop a section of roots land nice and smooth and am very proud of myself and laughing at my fear of snake bites. Fifty yards later there is a single root, a small root, I ride over it but didn’t really unweight the way I should have, I feel the rear wheel slam into the root and then the familiar lub-lub-lub of a rear wheel going soft and then flat. I pulled off and just started laughing. Looking back at the rough section I had cleaned and the lone root that had me now pulling out my 15mm wrench and tube and pump. Freakin karma- always keeps you in check.

Ordered the new tires for what will become K’s Ghetto-cross bike (a term ripped from this site: Ghetto Cross

Hopefully the parts will be in mid week so I’ve got time to tweak everything and strip all the bikes that need to be cannibalized. I also ordered a couple things for the Kona so that it can be put back together and ready for it’s (hopefully) new owner.

This weekend is the Catamount Cyclo-Cross weekend, which I’d love to head over for but it isn’t going to happen. We’ll race up at Great Glen on Sunday which should be fun.

Hopefully TWAF will get out for a few night rides this week- in the rain- just like all our training for Jay!


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Cross season underway

The CX season is off to a bang, and my legs are feeling it! I raced over at Pineland in New Glouster Maine on Saturday for the first race of the Verge Series. It is an awsome venue and they host two days of cross each fall- it's worth checking out.

My race started at 9am, and it takes about an hour and a half to get there, so to ensure I had about an hour to warm up we left the house at 6:30am. The whole family went, so it was quite impressive to see all the girls up and adam and getting ready so early to go watch dad race his bike. The promise of course was a little vitamin G for the ride, little did they know they would have to wait almost an hour before we hit McD's. As much as I wanted a hashbrown and egg and sausage biscut I chose to pass and just went with a coffee and about two bites of sticky bun. But the girls dug in so the truck smelled like quality breakfast and I didn't get to eat any of it!

We got to Pinelands, the temp was about 38 and it was crystal clear. I walked into registration and somebody asked if I was Sven Cole, I said yes trying to figure out how the heck they knew that and came to find out her husband has raced the Rockpile Rampage and Porky Gulch in the past and is all fired up to race this year (good luck Marc!) Then once the conversation turns to Porky Gulch two other people started talking about it- looks like the word is getting out there this year- should be fun!

Anyway I finally get changed and grab the bike to head out on course, it was really nice, great flow and very single speed friendly. I ran a 38x17 and it worked quite well. There were only two spots- the paved downhill (spun out very fast) and one short pitch on a climb where I was having a tough time turning the gear. The warm up went pretty well and I quickly realized I really need to work on my cornering and or course dismount/remount. After the warm up I met up with K and the girls near the finish where the PA was, I was thinking it was a small field as I really didn't see anyone and figured that they should be staging already- finally I got nervous and asked and the guy yelled that they're staging the C's right now- final call up the hill and to get my butt moving. I stripped off my jacket and rushed to the start. The C's field had less then 50 racers, but they were starting the B Masters 30 seconds behind us and the B Masters 55+ 30 seconds behind them. I remember thinking that seemed strange to have the C's go out first with such a little gap- but hey these are top notch race organizors- what do I know!

We were off and the pace was fast and since we were going downhill on pavement I quickly started sliding back through the field. We transitioned onto grass and headed into the first barrier. I figure the best time to try and new technique is in a mass start race when you're going full speed- so I had heard that you should unclip your left foot first, then your right and scissor through- ok- I'll try that. Well all went well until my left foot slipped off as I was gliding at speed to the barrier- down I went onto my knees. Lucky for me the grass was still frosty and wet and I slid on my knees, bike still upright and was able to jump up on the fly- clear the barriers and remount without really losing to much ground- not bad I thought. Quickly we were off the bike again on this nasty off camber 90 degree turn that took you uphill for a steep grunt. Everyone was jumping off to run and then I hear someone say "here come the B's"- great. I jump back on my bike for a downhill on a jeep type road and all of the sudden I get swarmed by the fast B's and there yellin to get the hell out of the way, I trying to hold my line into a fast turn and I'm getting bumped on the right and having my line choped on the left- this isn't good. Fifteen years ago when I raced a lot of crits this type of crap would have gotten me juiced- but racing in the C's on a freezing Saturday morning, knowing my two girls and wife are waiting for me on the other side of the course I choose to play it safe- throw the eldows out to deflect and not try to force the choppers into the ditch. The rest of the first lap was pretty much like this the whole way as they sent over 100 riders out on the course in less then a minute, so it took some time for things to string out. Once it did I started to have some fun and get into the flow. At one point a girl in white sunglasses (that's all I could see as I was cross-eyed from a run-up) yelled- Go Sven Cole! I yelled back- "who is that?"- she said something but all I could hear was my heart pounding- so thanks for the cheering whoever you were! At another section of the course I was catching a guy who I'd been trading places with for two laps and a buddy of his who was watching started yelling at him that he had to catch back on cuz I only had one gear- that made me laugh and I gassed it a bit and opened a good gap that he never closed again.

I saw my girls on each lap, Lillo had a clipboard and was marking off my laps, every time by she'd say very nonchalantly "hi dad"- it cracked me up and I'd try to respond in the same tone saying "hi kiddo"- I got a couple looks for other racers each time. Lillo is in the red hat- about to say "hi dad":

On the last lap I really went hard on the last climb and caught quite a few people, of course I think I was the only one who was still sprinting for the line- buy hey if it's a race I'm going to snag every place I can!

In all it was a good race. I cleaned up and we headed to Freeport to kill some time before the men's elite race which was in the afternoon. When we got back we ran into Ward and chatted with him for awhile. We then headed to the barriers to watch. It blows my mind how fast and how smooth those guys are through the barriers. We also got to watch Jeremy Powers do his bunny hop through- which while very cool doesn't look to be any faster. Tim Johnson put on a show and won, so did his wife Lynn Bessette. Here's a shot of Jesse Anthony with Tim Johnson right behind him through the barriers on the third or fourth lap:

Sunday saw the first race of the Great Glen series. Really cool course, but much harder for me on a SS then Saturday. The downhills that you could make good time were steep enough that I was spun out fast and two of the climbs were close to max for me with the gear. The biggest issue I had was trying to get back up to speed once over the climbs. Ugg. The intermediate/elite field was huge- me, Jason P, Carl, Craig, and Dan (on a rigid mtn bike). We were off and I took up the fourth spot, blew the first remount (fell off the back of the bike) and then took up last place. I chased for the remainder of the first lap and eventually got back in front of Dan on the third lap. The course offered about 25 seconds of rest per lap (6:30ish laps)- so I was pretty cross eyed the entire time. Craig pretty much took off, Carl not to far off, Jason was about 30 seconds ahead of Dan and I and we were just seconds apart. As we came in for the bell lap Dan got in front of me, I jumped on his wheel and took advantage of some draft- but then my legs just cracked. I tried to go fast to keep Dan in site but it was all over. The last lap just hurt and I took up the rear of the group. Dan put in a big effort with half a lap to go and I thought for a moment he was going to catch Jason, but not quite. At the finish K asked me if it was time to consider gears- I don't think she liked seeing me DFL! It was super fun and K is going to start racing cross next week (so I've got a good project this week to build her a bike). Hopefully more TWAF reps will be on course!

See you on the trail.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

First race of 07

Get your booties out, gloves on and insulated gear ready. Sweet!

From Dan, Director of Jay:

The web site will be updated in the next few weeks about the First winter MTB race on the East Coast.The date has been set for February 10th 2007

The course will take place on snowmobile trail. The distance will approximately be 30 miles
Registration should open Mid November
More details to follow

Hope to see you next February

The Jay Challenge

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Let the upgrades begin....

As I said eariler, I wussed out and purchased a Reba Race fork. Well it arrived in the mail today. Looking forward to installing it and getting the feel od the 29er SS with a little squishyness on the front end. Maybe I'll be able to keep up with DEA now. Guess we will see. Doubt it as he still has better legs than I, not prettier, but definately smoother.

Monday, October 09, 2006

RJC/Importech Summer Series Final Results

So the results are finally in for the season. Due to schedules and what not, DEA was the only one of us able to make all 4 events. I was able to make the final two and A1 and NK one each. Here's the breakdown:

Sven took first place in his division for the series overall. Nice job DEA. Looks like a move up is in order for next year.

JJ tied for third in his division with only 2 of 4 events and missed second place by only one point. Really wish I had made at least one more of the races. Oh well, there's always next year.

Add these results to the Summer Series at Great Glen, the Jay Challenge, the 24Hrs of Great Glen and TWAF had a pretty nice inaugural season so far.


TWAF Rides Again

As DEA said, TWAF (less NK) got out for a night ride saturday night. It was a pretty late ride as we didn't get rolling til about 9:45PM. We did a longer ride that normal, but it wasn't a school night. We got in a good bit o climbing as we rode most of the hills we could find it seemed. Only issue was Karen's stew and the effect it was having on PJ. He was better off, as were we, if he was bringing up the rear. DEA and I rode it on our SS niners and PJ and A1 rode their geared kids bikes. It was prety chilly and as it was approaching 11:20PM we called it a night and headed in. It was nice to have the crew together.

The numbers:
Total time: 2hr, 28 mins
Moving time: 1hr 32 mins
Distance: 12.42 miles
Moving speed: 8.0
Elev. gain: 1,507 feet

Thanks to the Garmin Edge 305.


Good weekend

Columbus Day is here and soon to be gone, it won't be long before skiing starts to take over the minds of TWAF, but we still have a good six plus weeks of riding before we can really start to jones to get on the hill.

This weekend saw PJ come over to do a bit of riding. We did a night ride on Saturday, in attendance: PJ, A1, JJ, and myself. We road out in Davis and reversed the Beaver Loop. We only lost PJ once and for the most part everyone stayed in one piece. It got cold at the end, and with the clock nearing 11pm we chose to ride back the last couple of miles on the road and skip the three water crossings that would have made already cold feet extremely cold. I think PJ may have been the only one who was warm, I wonder why:

On Saturday A1, PJ, my family and A1's family all hit the Red Fox Pub for a bit of brunch- good stuff. PJ and I then snuck out for a bit of a road ride. Beautiful weather but no matter where we went we ran into major traffic.

In other news we finally got new front steps. I tore off our old front steps in May, yup May. So instead of a shiney new IF frame coming on UPS I had this show up this morning instead:

That does if for now, gotta go feed the kids. Who's up for a night ride?


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wednesday Night Ride

We had hopes of putting a group together for a ride last night. As it turned out we had myself, DEA and A1. A smallish group I guess. We headed out and up Davis Hill Rd. to the trailhead and as we were climbing the hill I noticed the pace was a little more brisk than normal. As we dropped in DEA and A1 put some distance on me. Cheaters they are, riding bikes with suspension and all. After I made it down the descent I was able to catch back on. We decided to show A1 the Beaver Damn trail and headed out to do basically the same loop as we had on Monday night.

We continued our not so quiet riding hoping to spook any wildlife that might have been out there. Everyone made it across the beaver damn dry. My legs were suffering and so were my lungs. I checked my HR and I was pegged a couple times at 189. Not far of my max. I was in difficulty as we were not slowing down nor were we stopping to catch our breath. The trail after the beaver damn is pretty much just an uphill rock garden. I was grinding along but it was painful for sure. After that section we headed back to the ridge trail and then took the Minora trail which was a nice change and a while since we had ridden it that direction. After climbing back out and heading home we headed to my place for a couple post ride PBR's. Overall the ride had the feel of a training ride and not a fun night ride with friends.

The numbers:
Total time: 1hr, 1 mins
Moving time: 58 mins
Distance: 8.44 miles
Moving speed: 8.6
Elev. gain: 934 feet

Thanks to the Garmin Edge 305.

Looks like another night ride this Saturday for those of us without a social life, guess that is our social life. PJ is supposed to be coming to town. See ya on the trails.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Night ride tonight (I hope) should be fun. I wonder if A1 will make it? Sounds like Nk is out- oh well.

Saw a cool sequence in Velonews by Chris Milliman with Jeremy Powers bunnyhopping. We're hoping the Chris can get over this way for a ride with TWAF. Check out his new 29er SS- holy s&^t that is nice looking! Chris's blog and Seven

I've got some weird bruises on my legs- not sure if I stacked it harder then I thought last week or if K has been beating me in my sleep with a golf club. Who knows.

I'm getting anxious to race CX soon. The GGTOC series starts soon their site there's a chance PJ may come over to race. I still have a Kona Jake the Snake available if someone wants a cross bike- let me know.

That's it at the moment.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Interesting Stats comparing rides

So DEA and I rode a good loop on Saturday with a group of other guys. Then last night we went out and did basically the same loop.

Saturday stats:
Total time: 1hr, 54 mins
Moving time: 1hr, 9 mins
Distance: 9.43 miles
Moving speed: 8.2
Elev. gain: 1,159 feet

Monday stats:
Total time: 1hr, 5 mins
Moving time: 1hr, 0 mins
Distance: 8.37 miles
Moving speed: 8.2
Elev. gain: 1,048 feet

Basically we went as fast at night as during the day. Didn't stand around much at night though. Sorta shows how different rides can be depending on the crew you ride with. When we were rolling it was basically the same pace, day or night.

Who's up for another night ride, tis the season? Get your lights on the chargers and come on out.


Night Ride

JJ and I saddled up last night a bit after 9pm for a spin in the woods. We had hoped to drag A1 out but he was heading to bed early- must have been tired from all the tents (total side note but you can head over to Oktoberfest at Attitash this weekend and enjoy beer and hang out under one of A1's fine tents)

We dropped into the top of Davis Hill and rode the loop we spun this weekend. It was good, a slightly faster pace with fewer stops so the ride took about an hour less then our weekend rip. Neither of us went for a swim in the pond- which was a very good thing. Neither of us even tried the upper rock garden. Both of us made stupid noises trying to make sure that if a bear, moose, or skunk that might also be enjoying the trail knew we were coming. I think I need to find a small bell that I can just hang from my seat and see if that works (any suggestions out there?) When JJ and I used to ride geared bikes all the chain slap and shifting made plenty of noise- now that we're both on SS bikes they run damn quiet.

It was a great ride, can't wait to do it again. Any readers out there who are up for night rides in the Conway area drop us a comment and we'll try to connect.

ride on


Monday, October 02, 2006

Did I wuss out?

So for the past month I have been riding a fully rigid 29er singlespeed. It is a blast , but there are times when I feel like my teeth are rattling out of my mouth and my arms are going numb. I have been toying with the idea of throwing a suspension fork on the bike. Part of me wants to keep the bike rigid. Well I broke down and have a Rock Shox Reba Race fork coming. We'll have to see how that works.

Here's a shot from the last race, the Fat Tire Festival at Bear Notch. Not sure why I look like a blowfish. Maybe I was holding my breath the whole time. Could explain my performance.

Got out for an early morning ride on Saturday with DEA and some other local fellas. Got to ride some new singletrack that neither DEA or I had ever been on before but had been right under our noses for the last few years. It was pretty nice and was called the Beaver Damn trail. Aptly so as you have to ride across the top of a beaver damn as part of the trail. As we came upon the damn it was a very beautiful sight with fog across the water with the sun burning through and fall colors in the trees. All of the sudden, one of the guys, Tim, was in the water. His front wheel had slipped and he went in. Up to his neck. He tried to get out and fell back in again. He was still clipped in. DEA and I were helpless, we stood and laughed as Tim got out of the water, standing there dripping. Knowing that as we started the ride it was only 36 degrees out. Basically glad it was not us that was now soaked to the bone. Amazingly enough Tim toughed it out and finished the ride. Not sure if I would have been able to do that. Aside from that it was a good ride and nice to find some new stuff in our back yard to ride.


Friday, September 29, 2006


Rode the Rig in this morning in the rain- seem to track well and is riding great- thanks Carl!

Saw this this morning and just about pissed my pants- good stuff



by the way- what's the weekend plan for a ride? I'm good for tonight, tomorrow am or tomorrow night

Thursday, September 28, 2006


The Rig is in working order once again. Big shout out to Carl at the Red Jersey the shop as he took goo care of me. It's always fun to see your frame locked into a bench vise with a guy putting a foot up on the bench and pulling with all his might. But he got the damn this straight- I was impressed.

While I was there I picked up a 38t chain ring for the cross bike- so I'll try running a 38x17 and see how that works. I've been running a 34x17 and was spinning it out. Had intended to go with a 40 but Carl didn't have one in stock- time will tell!

On the random side of things- found this rant while cruising a couple blogs and it cracked me up! rant

Played golf last night with my grandmother- had a ball, I even hit par on two holes! We'll have to see if I go another 12 or so years before playing again. Tonight is the finals of the fall trail running series- A1 should be up there to wipe me off the course again.

Let's go for a ride!


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

DEA's Fat Tire Fest wrap up

The mountain bike race season is wrapped up and now it’s on to CX season. The last race was at Bear Notch Ski Touring, and for some reason I just don’t have good luck there. I love the course, the terrain is great- but for some reason I just have bad mojo there. This was to be my first race on the new Rig, and it may have been its last. On the warm up lap with JJ I managed to go over the bars in a rather aggressive manner and slam the bike into a big piece of granite.

I picked myself up and went to remount and realized the rear wheel wasn’t moving. I figured I had either knocked the wheel out of true or it had slid in the dropout. Neither of which was true, I had bent the rear triangle. Super.

I remounted the wheel a bit cockeyed and got back to the start finish area and began trying to bend the frame back to a usable place. I still had some wheel rub but I could live with it, I got the rear brake to work and not drag too much and headed to the start. The race went fine but I was bummed about the bike and was sure that my slowness had to do with the bike not rolling well (which wasn’t the case). This was a TT format so it was good for moral to catch a few folks on each lap. I knew JJ was a minute and a half ahead of me so he was my target. I finally caught him before the final lap and we rode together for a bit and then he took a digger and I got a touch ahead of him. I was quite sure he was on my wheel up the second climb and I started to punch it a bit as he sounded like we wanted to go faster, finally when I was tapped out “he” passed me- it ended up it was Murph who had been on my wheel pushing me and JJ had dropped off the pace a touch. I tried to jump on Murph’s wheel and I was able to hang with him for about the next minute before I blew a line on a corner and did a bit of bushwhacking. Murph was now gone and I picked up on my own pace. All was good, only about a quarter mile left and I managed to drop my chain. Ok, I’m on a SS, that’s not supposed to happen! Total brain cramp, what do I do! Can’t get it back on, getting passed, there goes JJ- now I’m really mad. Finally I took off the rear wheel to reset the chain and then struggle to get the damn wheel back it due to the bent rear triangle. Of course this all took about a minute but at the time I was pretty sure I had messed with this thing for about 10. Jump back on and crossed the finish line with a not so hot time.

For the series I placed 2nd, 1st, 1st, 4th in the sport division. I had hoped to place at the top of the podium in the last race but it just wasn’t in the legs- I would have had to go significantly faster. Either way it looks like I’ll move to expert in this series next season- time to really get it handed to me!

Today is most likely a bike free day, unless there is interest in a night ride????- but I’m going to go play golf with my Grandmother- should be interesting as I haven’t played a round of golf in well over 12 years.

DEA out

ps- saw JJ riding in this morning, felt envy as I was stuck driving. For further humor- today it's golf tomorrow is the final race for the fall trail running series where A1 will kick my ass once again- he truly is a freak!

Chilly mornings

Decided to ride in this morning. Checked the temp before getting dressed and it was 34 degrees. Wow, fall is definately here. Leaving my house there is a pretty good hill you roll down and you generally hit mid thirties. Sorta forgot what windchill was. I was frozen inside of 5 minutes of riding. Was a nice clear and crisp ride once I warmed up. Won't be long before there is ice on the puddles. No one was able to join me so it was a solo trip. Legs felt much better than saturday. Maybe I need to find wednesday morning race circuit.


Monday, September 25, 2006

MTB Race Season comes to a close, Cross is up next

Saturday was the last race on my schedule for the season on my Mt Bike. The Fat Tire Festival at Bear Notch put on by The Red Jersey. What can you say, they always put on nice events, unfortunately they can't control the weather. It rained, and rained and then it was wet.

The night before I went to bed after checking the radar thinking that the rain was going to hold off until after 1pm. It had been dry most of the week so conditions were dry and so I figured I would continue my Singlespeed experiment and race it on Saturday. One issue I have is the tire I am running are Kenda Kahn's which are basically heavy duty slicks. Not too much good in the slop. So when I woke up and the rain had already started the SS was back on the shelf and the Yeti was back in the game.

It was a bit odd getting back on a 26 inch bike after riding the SS 29er for a couple weeks. I got used to it soon enough and was happy to have the better traction the tires it has. We had the random bib draw and I was about the 18th ride to start the TT format. Due to the weather the crown was not as large as I had expected, but of course all the better riders showed.

I began my first of my 4 laps at what I felt was a descent pace. I quickly picked off a couple of riders and was feeling pretty good. After my first lap I tried to push a little harder and found that while I was not red lining I didn't feel much power in the legs. That continued to be the story for my race. It was OK but I was not really hammering. Maybe staying out drinking later than NK is not such a good thing the night before a race??? About half way through the third lap, DEA caught me. I knew at that moment that my suspicions about my legs was confirmed. He had made up the 90 secs I had on him from the start. I was pretty bummed at that point but didn't have the ability to do anything about it. I basically went to damage control hoping not to let too many others pass me. We rode the rest of the lap and about half the last lap together. (DEA was riding his SS on its maiden race)

The race has 2 water crossings on each lap. Right before the first there was this little spot that was rocky and rooty and just off camber enough that I had been running it the entire race. Each time I came to it I was looking for a line as I ran up it. Finally on the last lap, with DEA behind me, I tell him I have not ridden it the entire race and he says ditto for him. For some reason I decide to give it a go. My front wheel hit where I thought it should and instantly turned 90 degrees. The bike went right over the bars came up and I got a very nice Ergon tattoo in my ribs. That did not feel so good. I couldn't breath, but I did manage to tell DEA that what I just did was pretty stupid. I don't think he disagreed.

After getting my wind back I continued on and DEA promptly started to put some distance on me. At this point I had no legs nor any lungs, except a partially collapsed one, at least it felt that way. I was almost done with the lap when a really fast dude went past me. I tried to get on his wheel but soon realized I was not steering so good and it was better to finish at my own pace. A few seconds later I came upon DEA working on his Rig. He'd thrown a chain. Time for a new BB??? I made it across the last water crossing and to the finish. I was wet, a little bloody, pretty spent and very sore.

As results were posted I ended up taking second place in my division. Not as bad as I had figured, but not happy with it either. Computer difficulties prevented the compilation of the series overall points so we'll have to wait and see how they come out. Considering I only was able to make 2 of the 4 events it will be interesting.

Now that the MTB season is coming to a close its time for some great night riding and some good weekend rides. Still putting the Conway/TWAF Death March together, anyone up for a little 50-60 miler???


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Where were my legs?

JJ and I rode in to work today via the redstone trail and the powerline. We spun our legs off getting to Sears on the pavement- which was entertaining, but once on the dirt it got to be a touch more fun.

JJ is now the powerhouse of the group. I was killing myself trying to stay on his wheel and the bastard was talking while I was sucking O2 from as far away as Berlin (I could tell 'cuz it tasted funny)- oh well. As much as I want to say his tire/wheel set up is faster (it is) it's not fast enough to be kickly my ass the way he was this morning. Oh well.

So did my usual cruz around the world of cycling blogs this morning- good stuff out there. It's almost like a good riding loop- you learn a little something every time out and at the same time it's relaxing and reminds you of why you love this sport. So who do I read? here you go:
Team Dicky
fat marc
Jeff Kerkove

Of course I usually also check velo and cyclingnews for any racing updates, but lately all it's been is about doping. Dopers Suck- gotta love those socks, I need to pick up a pair.

This weeked we have the finals for the Importech Summer Race Series. Looks like I've got a shot at taking the series in the Sport division, which is cool- but also means I'm moving to Expert next year- say good bye to the podium!

After that it'll be cross season with the highlight being Porky Gulch in November, hope to see you there!