Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Anyone doing anything July 29th?

There's a race that day, over at Jay Peak in Vermont that day I hear. Wondered if anyone was up for a little ride? I seem to recall at least a couple people talking about doing it again (or finishing it) after last year's race. Registration opens tomorrow, March 1, 2007 for the Jay Challenge. Who's in?


a new view of peaked

our go-to ride during the early season seems to be a small climb up peaked, followed by a nice up-and-down traverse, to the middle mountain trail. it's a great lap that you can do a couple of times in a morning and it's a pretty trip, followed by the roller coaster bumps of sticks & stones.

but i've never done it in two feet of snow, which i did last saturday on snowshoes. allow me to report.

climing up the peaked mountain trail was more of as stroll on the boardwalk, really. the trail was packed down, and i took to breaking my own trail on the sides in order to get my blood flowing, which it had started to when i hit the fork in the trail. i also noticed phantom ski tracks in the woods, suggesting that maybe peaked does have some treasures hidden among the trees during the wintertime.

when i reached the traillead for the traverse, the first thing you notice is that it was untracked, so i laid down the first tracks of 2007 on the trail, reaching the first right-hand dogleg hill, and glissaded quite nicely down to the now-frozen riverbed.

everything was going great until i reached the top of the steep, short, nasty climb (on a bike, on snowshoes it's really not much): everywhere i looked seemed like it could be the trail. looking at an unbroken field of snow amidst lots of trees just looks like hundreds of potential trails leading somewhere.

so, i started bushwhacking, creating mini crevasses with my snowshoes and checking out small and (scarily) large animal tracks. eventually i came upon a set of snowshoe tracks and, thinking i'd stumbled on what possibly resembled the proper traverse to the middle mountain trail, started following them. i also couldn't help but notice that the tracks followed trees with blazes on them - something i probably should have thought of sooner...

it turned into a pretty dramatic climb, with the tracks leading from the relatively mellow pitch of the lower section of peaked, into a boulder-strewn scramble up an increasingly steep face, which was great for the lungs, heart, legs and arms. i was obviously way above the buried mountain bike trail now, but knowing that by heading east i was going to get to the middle mountain trail kept me from getting nervous - there was no need for panic.

i did finally hit the middle mountain trail, and then tromped back down to the car, with a new respect for peaked (i can't get those ski tracks out of my head), and a new excitement to get back out there on my bike...

...that's not to say i'm ready for winter to go away - far from it - but, i am looking forward to riding this summer for fun, instead of riding out of fear of quite literally dying whilst trying to finish the Jay Challenge. which has become, to me, something of a curse word in the past months.


North Conway Derby

My first official race of 2007- the North Conway Derby- anyone want to joing me?
The Race



Tuesday, February 27, 2007

a chilly one

I talked with DEA last night about riding in to work together this AM, but we didn't meet up and each came in on our own. One thing we did agree on was that it was cold. I saw the temp at 14 when I set out. I was dressed ok, but not great. My new Pearl Izumi Gavia plus tights were good, but I think I was below the temp rating for them. Could have used some knee warmers as well. Hands were kinda chilly too in the lobster claws. I skipped the Am-fib booties and went for the thicker ones but after about 40 mins at these temps they are pretty much past their ability to keep your toes warm. To make it even tougher, I have decided to try to get a good base in before I do any intense trainig and am trying to keep my heart rate below 140 until I have that base in. I am finding it much more difficult keeping wark if I am not working that hard. Life is rough, but at least at these temps there is still the good freak factor as lots of people see you and shake tehir heads at you for being out there at all.

See ya on the roads


random bits of cycling thoughts

Got my second day of commuting in this month- that makes a full year of at least two days commuting on the bike. While most of the time that is no big deal, and in the good weather I wouldn't consider two days a month commuting, but in January and February if I can get my two days I'm happy.

What I'm not happy about- my legs felt junky- oh well.

K told me that George crashed and broke his wrist during TOC- but then I read that he got up and ended up doing good work for Levi before dropping out- that man is tough! I'll never forget this image of GH on the ground during PRB- busted fork at full speed in cobbles- no thank you!

Got word from the team that the Salsa frame order should be on it's way in just a couple weeks- that's getting me pretty psyched! Here is a look at the new Salsa Primero road frame (of course I won't have those juicy Zipp wheels or dura ace crank- but you get the idea):

And here will be the new 29er to the stable, the Salsa El Mariachi:

I'm pretty excited for these to get here so I can start building them up, of course then that means I have to part with some more cash for a few parts- hopefully RSN will need me to grace their set a fair amount in the coming month- or maybe I'll get A1 to hand me a sledge and I'll help set tents

Ok time to get back to work. Looking forward to the ride home, JJ rode in as well so maybe I'll have a drafting partner!



Monday, February 26, 2007

Good weekend

Got a chance to get out on the XC skis a bit this weekend, which was good. Took the girls up to GGTOC on Saturday and braved the wind to go for a ski out to the cabin with Emma in the backpack and Lillo cruising along on her own. When we were in the woods the wind wasn't too bad, but in the field it was a bit rugged. The girls had a good time, but Lillo started to grumble a bit in the last K. I was sort of laughing thinking of all the trips my parents took me on when I was a kid and that sense of "we're never going to get back" and just collapsing in the snow. I may feel that way this coming Sunday if I end up being foolish and skiing the GG to BW 50km. We'll have to see what the weather is doing as we get closer before I pull the trigger.

Yesterday I got out and tested out my new rockship skis from Atomic. A pair of their World Cup classic's- they are awfully nice. To bad my skiing is in such rough shape. I think if my technique was a bit more "on" I could make those skis go really fast. Yesterday afternoon the whole fam-damly went up to Cranmore for a bit of lift serve skiing, it was good. I only took two runs off the top, including a first run that saw me go over the bars and land square on my keys, my leg is still killing me! The rest of the time I hung out with Emma over on the magic carpet spinning laps. We pulled the plug at the right time and then hit Zebs for some penny candy before heading home where she zonked out well in advance of pulling into the driveway. K and Lillo skied for a few more hours before they made the trip home.

This morning I got my February commuting day in the books, it felt good to be back out with the AM traffic. Temps were comfortable- in the 20's no wind. I'm looking forward to the spin home.

On other news. Jan has called it quits. Landis might get cleared. Levi has his first win with Disco.

All is good in the world. In TWAF racing news 24 Hrs of GGTOC has a new solo/ss class- just got word from Mary. She's also trying to recruit a few riders from a list that I'd sent her- including Fatmark, Dicky, and Kerkove. We'll have to see if she has any luck.



Friday, February 23, 2007

I think I made a mistake

Over the past month or so I have been listening to DEA and A1 talking about their early morning weight lifting sessions and since I broke myself I could not partake. I was beginning to get very concerned I was going to be way behind the curve with these guys getting all buff, well at least A1, and primed for the upcoming season. As a result I went over Wed. morning and met the fellas at 6 a damn clock in the AM. I still cannot do squats because of my shoulder, but I did a few exercises and felt like I had done something for the first time in a while. Well yesterday I was pretty sore, walking funny and having trouble on stairs. I thought I would be better off after a little easy spinning so I did that for 30 minutes yesterday and hoped I could get some of the poison out of my legs. Oh how that didn't work. I got up this morning and I feel ever more sore than yesterday. People watching me walk think and have commented on something being wrong with me. I'm beginning to think I may have done some permanent damage. (That would be a first) sad thing is I didn't lift near what DEA or A1 did. I need a wheelchair.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

i love ebay

so, for about a year and a half now, i've been sitting on a pair of fresh, new fritschi freeride touring bindings, but noooo skis to slap them on. and, to be honest, no money to go out and spend on them. i actually considered selling them, since i didn't think i'd find the pair of skis i wanted for an affordable enough price...

but that's all changed now, and i was finally able to grab a pair of last year's salmon scrambler limiteds - brandy new, never drilled - off of ebay for a quarter of what you'd normally pay. i love the interwebs! i don't think i could think of a better way to prepare for another summer in the saddle than some backcountry touring.

now, anyone know where i can get a cheap pair of skins?


Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I just read that Dave Z crashed out of TOC- that's to bad, he was the guy that I was hoping would go on to a good finish. Of course they said he was released from the hospital to go home with his wife- and I'm not sure if you saw the last issue of Velonews- but damn his wife is hot so I don't feel quite so bad.

Not sure if this is the crash that took out Dave Z- but this is just not a fun thing to be riding into. Nice form on the guy already fully on the deck trying to keep his arms from losing skin!

Big doings going on in the ski world. My old employ- Attitash got sold out of ASC along with Mount Snow, and then today they announced that Killington and Pico have also been sold. Add to the fact that they sold Steamboat this past fall and the once large ASC is now just a shadow of its former self. Now the rumor mill is that Les Otten, the founder of ASC, is looking to maybe buy back his first resort- Sunday River. Hmmmmm, we'll have to see how this all plays out.

Bonus question- Black Mountain in Jackson has a pub named LOSTBO Pub- anyone know what LOSTBO stands for? NK- you can't guess!

That's it from here.



Monday, February 19, 2007

A day off

Lucky for me I had the day off from work. I got up and sat on the spinning bike for 45 minutes and watched DEA on TV. He's damn sexy on the tube. After reading his last post I decided to try to get out on the xc gear. I scored a short hall pass and headed out to Davis Hill to see if I could find some of the trail that DEA had been kind enough to break.

The snow was great. Plugged in the mp3 and cruised around for a bit. It was nice to get back out. It was about 15 and a little breeze but it didn't take long to get warmed up. Maybe a little night skiing is on the table shortly.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

A bit of February Pedal Pushing

I've been trying to take advantage of this good snow we've got on the ground, so yesterday the whole fam-dam-ly (minus the cats) headed up to Davis Hill for a bit of XC skiing. I had Emmazilla in the pack and Lillo and K following letting me break trail. Even the dogs gave up trying to lead the way as for them pushing through almost two feet of snow was a bit much. It was a good ski, explored some spots that I hadn't seen before and we ended up skiing out on the beaver pond that is always a stopping point during our rides out there. Got in a solid two hours, and the last two K's I ended up pulling Lillo as well as carrying Emmazilla. We ended up skiing by another family and I think they thought we were nuts- but it was fun and a good burn on the legs.

After we got home I watched a bit of the NASCAR Busch race and then grabbed the Surly and headed out for a spin on the road. Within a few minutes I passed (going the other way) two different people out on their bikes- one was the guy with the crazy light setup that we always see out on 302 in the dark- I wanted to spin around to catch up with him to find out what the lights were- but by the time I got spun around after waiting for a couple cars to go by he was well up the road. I wasn't quite in the mood for a chase- so I just went on my merry way. Ended up riding up the backside of Davis and the road had begun to soften just a touch making for quite the grind. I wasn't feeling all that strong- so after the climb I spent the rest of the ride enjoying flat terrain. But I got in an hour on the bike and it felt good to get out.

Today I grabed the xc skate gear and headed over to Whitaker Woods. It's good to see so much snow in there and that they are actuall putting in some effort with the groomer. For those Conway residents, it's worth swinging by Ragged to get you pass- they're free (there's a set up charge if you don't have last years- but it's like 5 or 10 bucks)- but the skiing is really good in there right now.

That's it from here. It won't be long now before we start getting out on the roads pretty regularly to build up those base miles. I know we should be doing it now but I'm calling my XC skiing my base work.

As a side note my two new frames are on order- both from Salsa- I'll update with pics soon.



Thursday, February 15, 2007

tagging on an "amen"

i read through DEA and JJ's posts, and have to throw in a hearty "hear hear." i mean, the first legit powder day in two years, and we all got to sample the goods.

unfortunately, TWAF wasn't able to connect for any runs together, but i did have the chance to see DEA dropping his knees to the powder gods a few times on the lift - i'm not sure if he heard my hoots and hollars, though. what can i say? the boy makes pretty turns.

a day of powder skiing will definitely recharge your skiing batteries, and i'm filled with juice right now! how about some more! it's an addiction.

yes, it was a glorious powder day for all lucky enough to sample it, followed by absolutely brutal winds last night, which gave us some very creamy whipped stuff for this morning. well, i'm hitting wildcat tomorrow, so hopefully the snow gods decided to throw some piles of the goods deep into the trees for me...


Ahhhh so good

Yesterday was a great day. Our boss had given us the morning off, nobody needed to report in until noon my wife had already planned to "work from home" and we knew that the littlest one would be good with hanging with the peguins at Cranmore while K, Lillo, and I hit the hill.

I have to be honest, I am usually a very selfish individual on a powder day and the phrase- "there are no friends on a powder day" is a phrase that I have lived by for a long time. For those unfamilier with that saying what it conveys is that while skiing is usually a very social sport where you wait for your buddies and don't worry about how many runs you get, that on a powder day that all changes. In the east we get very few of these days and when we do you want to get out and get to it- no dilly dallying. Which is all well and good except for when you have your wife and daughter with you- can't really bail on them! But to my surprise Lillo was really going for it and having a ball in the deep snow. I knew K would be in seventh heaven as these are the conditions she lives for and I usually struggle to keep up with her. But after a few runs (including meeting up with JJ and witnessing his fall- which freaked me out) Lillo was ready to call it quits so she hung out in the lodge with JJ and D3.

K and I went out and had a ball. She then needed to bail and I snagged a couple more runs before getting ready to head to work. At which time my boss called me and said lets just call it a day- can you let everyone know. Talk about good news! I ran into NK and told him (I'm not sure he believed me) and then went our for another few runs- at which time my legs began to say it was time to call it a day.

What a great day. Post skiing I ended up snowblowing the driveway a total of three times, and now there is a good pile for the kids to hollow out and build their first good snow fort of the year.

That's it on this front. Nothing bike related (other then I need to order my frames by tomorrow).

I hope everyone can get out and play- the skiing should be really good for quite a while now.



Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I couldn't resist the first Powder Day in a long time

It seems as though we are actualy getting what they forcasters said we would. After so many broken promises, we finally have an epic powder day happening. With the schools closed and many places of employment closing early I was able to head to Cranmore Mountain to take my first ski run since I broke myself. I sold the pair of skis I usually ski on the wek after my crash and was limited to my GS race skis. Too long and too narrow for a powder day, but I was not cleared to ride my snowboard yet. The snow was faling hard and was piling up pretty fast throughout the morning. It was nice to be back on snow, but I felt like an old lady (no offense to the old ladies). There was no confidence and I was very tentative. Not a great combonation when you add the wrong skis to the snow conditions. On my second run I got buied and tipped over. It was one of those slo-mo falls that you know is going to happen, but there i nothing you can do about it. Lucky for me I fall down a fair bit so I am pretty good at it. I kept my arms in and rolled onto my back and lucky for me me head took the brunt of the fall. I didn't feel any shooting pains and was very happy. I got up and gave DEA the thumbs up that I was OK. At the bottom of the run I decided that it was best for me to head to the lodge. Not a great resumption of my ski season, but at least I didn't do any more damage. I want to ride my snowboard!!! It was made for pow!!! We've fotten a foot so far and its still falling.

Thats it for now, be safe.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

whew, i'm back

well, i have to apologize. to A1, to DEA, to JJ. even to PJ. i've been an absentee member of the team, and i'm sorry for it. but, one apology makes up for months of neglect, right?

i suppose getting engaged, moving and building a life with the wifey-poo-to-be is an excuse enough, too.

good to hear that A1 has put DEA in the gym... he's got the biker legs, but he's got the arms of an olsen twin - i can't tell if it's mary kate or ashley, and old chief broken wing got the OK to get back in the saddle as long as he doesn't fall, huh? we'll see how long it is before that bird's back in the nest.

but, who am i kidding? i haven't been in the saddle since fall. so i can just eat it, i guess. but i have been training heavy on foot and on skis, as this little nugget below from wildcat last weekend will attest - as you can see, i graduated from the sven cole school of self promotion...

but i digress! there's potential for the first official p_____r day of the year (which i will NOT jinx by referring to by name), which has my molecules all aflutter, so here's to the white stuff, and here's to kicking off 2007 (albeit belatedly) for all of us on the snow... and bikes... and feet.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Good news

I talked with the Orthopedic last night and got clearance to get back on my bike, assuming I don't fall off. That's the hard part, not crashing. I was also told I can ski, but have to take it very easy and not be at risk of falling. That sorta takes all the fun out of it for me. He said I was about 50% healed as far as the fracture goes and am still at risk for displacing the fracture if I were to crash the right way. Since it is entirely within my capabilities to reinjure myself I should probably take it slow for a couple more weeks. At lease he did not mention going under the knife. That's it for now, time to get back to the bike, just in time for some sort of epic storm. I'll believe that when I see it.



As DEA mentioned he met me at 6am for a leg workout. DEA is getting stronger and it'll be interesting to see what it does for his speed and power, he was alreadly fast so we'll see. Kind of a funny workout, both of us felt like we weren't into it but I think we're just getting into a good routine so it's easier.

Decided to head out for a ride around 9:45, since the temps are slightly warmer. Up over Davis to Gulf. To the top of Gulf and turned around and came down Gulf to Mill Street to Old Mill and home. Davis was fine but when I hit Gulf road the legs from the morning lifting and the fact that I haven't ridden in a few weeks was kicking my ass. First few pitches and I knew I would struggle on the long climb. Got to the top and was glad the climbing, except for a few rollers out, was over.

This was the 3rd or 4th ride on the SS and first real climbing. I gotta say I'm liking it. Forces you to keep going hard and not opt for an easier gear, the only easier gear would be to walk. Liking the 29 inch wheels too, seems to roll decent.

That's it for now, time for a coffee.



A1 and I hit the weights again this morning. The good news is my stregth is improving, the bad news is as you add more weight it just keeps hurting. I'm looking forward to feeling the difference out on the bike. This has been the longest stretch off the bike in about a year- it's been a solid two weeks off the bike. Ugh. Of course I've been on my xc skis and skates a bunch so that is good for the cardio- now I just need to make sure my ass doesn't go soft with the time off (pleasant image).

JJ's shoulder is coming along (I think- we'll let him explain that). PowderJew got up and skiied Left Gully up in Tuckerman's yesterday, I couldn't make the trip but soon I'll get up there.

That's my story at the moment. Supposed to be about -30 with windchill tonight and we have the potential for a huge storm on Wednesday (I just jinxed it).



Friday, February 09, 2007


Quick post today cuz since A1 has abandoned me at work and I have to pick up all of his former clients I have WAY less time to read all my favorite blogs! Ok enough complaining. The weekend is almost here- so hopefully some skiing and a good lifting session with A1. Who knows if it warms up maybe we'll get out for a quick ride.

TWAF will be looking to put together a good Feb ride- so stay tuned.



Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hamilton back in the Peloton

Wow, it's been awhile since I've seen Tyler's name on a start list (other then our local romp up the big hill). I'm not sure how I feel. Tyler was at one point my favorite pro rider. I've met him on numerous occasions and worked a bit with him after he broke the long standing Mount Washington Hill Climb record ten years ago. He hadn't made it big yet, and Lance hadn't started his tear through the Tour record books and Tyler was this strong rider from New England who was our local rider and a great skier to boot. I cheered hard every time he was in a race and was estatic when he left USPS to go to CSC where he should have stayed. His move to Phonak never felt like it was the right thing to do- maybe it was the colors of those kits that made me feel like I was about to go into convulsion. Either way it all went downhill from there.

I so want to believe he was clean, but as we all know pro cycling is anything but clean and if you look at the leader board not many of those top names are untainted in someway. The issue I struggle with is that if he doped so be it- where I struggle is with that if he did dope and put up this super defence with the "I believe" thing- then it really hurts his credibility as a human. I just don't know what to think.

Tyler- ride well and put that new bumble bee kit on the map, I just hope my admiration isn't misplaced.

Onto other notes, XC skied last night in the dark for about 40 minutes. It was chilly but not to bad. It was a good skiing by braile experience and by the end I felt like my balance was coming around. This is good as now that the XC skiing is getting better I'm not as jonesed to get on the bike. Of course I need to make sure I keep some saddle time so that my bum doesn't get out of shape! I can always shoot for riding the two hour episode of 24 next Monday.

That's it from here.


Monday, February 05, 2007

finally getting out on skis

I took advantage of the new snow yesterday to get in a good hour plus of good skate skiing in Whitaker Woods in town. It felt a bit odd to be back on nordic race gear and the warm up loop reminded me how important balance is! I ended up running into (not literally) Cort who was out in the Bully grooming and we shot the bull for a bit- I found out that two weeks prior they had moved 500+ cubic yards of snow onto the trails for a local HS xc race. 500 yards- that's a lot of freakin snow! Cort had bladded it up at Storyland in their two parking lots that don't get used in the winter so the snow was clean. Then he and Nat Lucy started moving it with a bobcat and pick-up trucks and then LA Drew donated two 14 yard trucks and drivers for two days of non-stop hauling. My hat goes off to those guys for putting in that type of effort. The end result was a 5km race loop 12 feet wide and about 8 inches deep after grooming. They do stuff like that in Europe all the time fore World Cup races- but a HS race in the US? I guess that is why our local ski team has won the state title for the last four years straight.

Anyway that base meant that the new snow was just bonus and the skiing was/is excellent. After I got done chatting with Cort I headed out for an hour plus of uninterupted skiing- good stuff- it felt great to do that type of aerobic workout.

Then this morning A1 and I hit the weights this morning for a good leg and lower back workout. The good news is the range of motion is improving for me already, I'm finding that the real weak spots are getting better but that just means now I'm putting on a bit more weight- but that's the point isn't it?

It's going to be cold out this way this week- but not as cold as out in Blue Colnago country! Stay warm out there man!

That's it on this end.



Sunday, February 04, 2007

A new Hundie in our backyard???

Test your skills and stamina at the inaugural edition of this premier mountain bike race, sanctioned by Eastern Fat Tire Association. The 100 kilometer course will wind through the beautiful and varied terrain of Southern New Hampshire.
Fees: $85 until June 30th; $95 after June 30th, if any entry slots are available

The single loop, 100 kilometer course will give participants a good mountain bike workout, while not being so extremely challenging the entire way that one never wants to return for a second year. The first 8 miles are open and fast, allowing lung and leg warm-up, and a stretching out of the field. Ample technicals and climbing follow in later miles.

Go to for more info and to sign up:
Hampshire 100


Friday, February 02, 2007

DEA in Action

August 06, Red Jersey/Importech Summer Series Race

Thursday, February 01, 2007

On the mend

So I talked with the Dr. this afternoon. He said the x-rays looked good. Bone is healing and he did not see any diplacment of the fracture. So that is good news. I can begin passive range of motion of the shoulder but cannot do anything actively with the shoulder for another week or two. Still need the sling for another week or so as well when I'm out and about just in case I fall down and would try to use it to catch my fall and reinjure it. Bottom line at the moment is that it doesn't look like surgery will be necessary. Regardless, still no action on a bike for at least a few more weeks.


Rabbit Rabbit

Feb 1st- wow this "winter" is flying by. Today is A1's last day working in the world of advertising- next up he takes on his tent business full time. Crazy bastard. Anyone needs a tent or table and chairs for an event- give A1 a shout!

We (Steak Sauce and I) lifted again this morning. This time we worked the back- not sure what the hell we did but my neck is killing me now. I'm jonesing to get out and ride my bike, so for the time being this weight lifting thing will have to be my release. It's not that riding won't be happening but the temps and road conditions are a bit game changing (but still fun).

It's snowing now so we might have some good skiing for the weekend, hopefully we can get out and do a bit of track skiing. We'll have to see.

We should hear the status of JJ's shoulder at some point today- hope for good news so we can get him riding soon!

that's it from here.