Friday, June 29, 2007


K just got in from a road ride with A1's wife, and I'm realizing she's been out riding more this week then I have- not good! At least today I'll get a commute in- that's a start- then tomorrow I need to get in a good three plus hours at the very least.

Here are a couple shots of the Salsa built up:
Salsa Primero

Close up of the new Race Face Cadence Crank

So the fleet is built, if anyone is intereted in a Cannondale CAAD 7 56cm frame with Time carbon fork (SI with Record headset made for c-dale) and their SI BB and crank give me a shout- I'm in a deal making mood! I still also have the GF Rig frame, BB and headset in a size 19"- that can go for $120. I'm also thinking the Santa Cruz Blur should find a new home since I have no desire to ride it since going to big wheels- so that's out there as wheel (size LG, XT drive traine, Hayes disc, Mavic Cross-Max ust wheels, Fox suspension all the way around).

The tour starts in a fairly short period of time and we still don't know who "won" last year (or in 96 for that matter)- I'm just not jazzed for it this year. I've let my subscription to Velonews lapse and we haven't added VS to the cable line up for July for the first time since OLN started covering the tour. Oh well. I'll need to track down 24 (Eathough's DVD not the Fox show) and get my racing fix that way.

That's all I've got at the moment. Hopefully I'll be able to give a good ride report after the weekend!



Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Slow week

It hasn't been the best riding conditions for me as of late. Last Thursday was the last really good ride I've done (the RJC race- which A1 won the Senior Sport catagory and I was DFL in the Senior Export catagory- oh well). This past weekend I built up bikes, rebuilt K's mountain bike, new crank, new bars, new cables. I then reworked my S-works SS (26") and then stripped the Cannondale to FINALLY build up the Salsa- nice ride- still needs some dialing in. That and I finally put the Surly Cross check all back together (had stolen some crank parts) as well as the Blur so I now have five fully functional rides and two others that are just moments from being ridable.

Today is supposed to be another hot one- upper 90's and since my only running race is a week away and I haven't run in six months or so I think I'll go for a run under the hot sun around noon. That'll be smart.

That's it from here.



Friday, June 22, 2007

First Summer Series Race

Last night was the first race for the Red Jersey Summer Race Series, which is in it's 12th year. The venue was Whitaker Woods and it was a good course, fairly SS friendly. It was my first mountain bike race on a fully rigid SS- and it was a good eyeopener. I signed up in the expert class as I won the overall in Sport Senior last year- so I figured I'd be sandbagging if I continued in Sport- so up to expert I went. Of course this year racing on the SS, so that just adds to the fun. That being said I was glad I raced expert as we did three laps where sport only did two- and I felt I got my moneys worth!

A1 was there as well, as was fellow 29er SS rider Derek Griggs (who is damn fast). When we lined up I chose to not put myself to close to the front as I don't like going that hard right out of the blocks- that being said it was a mistake as the course was flat for 200 meters then went uphill- that meant I was fighting a lot of elbows on the climb . It was hard to climb in a big group when you're tendency is to climb much faster, I think it was harder to go a bit slower and I was rapidly loosing ground to the lead group, what was amazing to me was that when the trail opened up and you could pass how quickly you could accelerate past other riders- that was a good feeling!

The descents were fun but keeping up with all the guys on the dual suspension bikes on the rooty descents was entertaining. I didn't loose to much ground there, but there were a couple of sections you could see the geared guys grabbing their big ring and then they'd start to roll away. There was one descent where you came down a fairly smooth trail and then launched over the train tracks- there was a crowd on the tracks and that made it fun to rip through. I had pre-ridden the course a couple times before the race so I knew I could just like the bike roll- and hitting those tracks at top speed and doing a small manual over them was a pretty cool feeling and got the crowd pumped. I wanted to fully jump the tracks but I'm not that good with the whole air thing- and hitting the ground at that speed didn't seem like such a good idea!

Any the long and short- lap one was pretty good, lap two- not so good, lap three got a whole lot better. I haven't seen my final placement but I know it wasn't top three! A1 did well as well, but again I don't know his final placement.

It was fun, and a good way to kick off the dirt racing season. I hope I did my Team Bikemancolors right.

The Great Glen series starts in a couple weeks, will need to look at gearing for that series!



Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Summer Vacation time

Just as the summer racing season is getting under way I am going on vacation for 11 days to the wonderful island of St. Martin.

I am sort of concerned about being off the bike for that long of a period, but I have ridden the last 8 consecutive days and am feeling like I am in need of a bit of rest.

I took a shot at riding up the Red Tail trail yesterday afternoon. Wow that was killer. It was mid 80's and I rode til the guy I was with didn't want to go up anymore. It was tough relentless climbing and we ended up with about 1,000 feet of climbing.

This afternoon I hit the road for a little over an hour and did another 1,000 feet of climbing over about 20 miles or so. It was a nice ride that I took easy in sections and pushed in others. Might try to get out real early tomorrow morning before work for one last spin before we leave for the islands and much needed R & R.

Have a good one all and I'll see ya in a couple weeks. Good luck to TWAF at the first Red Jersey race as well. Wish I was going to be there.


Night ride

A1 called me to see if a night ride was in the works last night and how could I say no. I had gotten in a bike of time on the bike already in the day but a night ride seemed to be a good idea. We snuck out around nine and it quickly became apparent that niether of us had a whole lot of snap in our legs so we took a nice mellow cruz through pine tree and then did some gravel grinding to round things out.

It was a good spin, we chatted about 24HOGG strategy and also about the Summer Race Series which is tommorrow (Thursday) night here in North Conway. I'm getting fired up to see how my legs respond to an attempt to go fast!

That's it at the moment.



Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day Part Deux

JJ described the father's day ride quite well, but I had a couple of shots of JJ and A1 that I wanted to post, plus a cool shot of a snapping turtle that we came across. The ride itself was good, except for the end when I had to walk a hill that the other two cleaned with no apparent issue.

Finally- a shot of Dennis off his bike!

My attempt at action photography- cutting off Dennis's head

Abe holding up his bike and looking sexy in camo

When I got home I made the girls pancakes- I thought on father's day we were supposed to have breakfast made for us? Oh well. Then the game plan was to get out for a family ride. I had hoped to get up to Great Glen but there was a threat of a thunderstorm so we went to Whitaker Woods instead for a good hour cruz. Emma is really starting to dig riding the trail-a-bike and I had raised Lillo's seat and made a few other tweaks to her bike that made her feel much more comfortable. Now I just need to finish working on K's mountain bike and I'll have all the other bike projects out of the way so I can finish building my new road bike (the last of the parts arrived today from Team Bikeman World HQ so I'm hoping be be on the new road ride this week). The family ride was good, had some lunch at the playground, spun around in the woods for an hour (a good shake down of the legs after the morning effort) and then it was home. K then met up with A1's wife for a road ride and I mowed the lawn. How domestic!

The Red Jersey Summer Series kicks off on Thursday, it should be good! Looking forward to seeing how I fair on a SS. Sounds like JJ will miss this one as he's off for a bit of non-training fun. I'll let him explain.

I heard from PJ today, he's been riding a ton but work has be beating him down. Anyone over in Rutland with their CDL- he's looking for a driver to deliver steel.

Oh, and NK had me put air in his shocks so look out we may see him out on the trails real soon.

That's it from here.



Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day TWAF outing

My alarm went off at 6:30 on Father's Day. No breakfast in bed for the dads of TWAF. Instead we all got out for about 3 hours of fun in the woods. DEA, A1 and I headed out at 7AM, a bit too early for another bunch that was going to roll out at 9ish. We figured we catch them on the trails and by that point we'd be tired enough that we'd be a better matched group.

My legs started out feeling like they still had some junk in them from the good ride DEA and I did on friday. After the first climb they started to wake up and I felt pretty good all morning. I think by the end of the ride we covered most of the trail we have on Davis Hill, well probably about 85% of them anyhow.

We ended up riding about 17.64 miles and climbing about 1600 feet during the ride with some very good climbing. The weather was perfect, I think the only complaint I had was the deer flies and mosquitoes. After a couple hours the bug spray has lost its effect and we were constantly being chased by a flockof flying insects that were driving me nuts.

I tried to shoot some action shots and they were not as sharp as I would have liked. I was trying to get a sequence of pics in the continuous mode, but got a few blurred shots instead. Oh well.

DEA in his bug proof arm warmers

A1 in his Camo shorts

Garmin Edge Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 2:55:42 9:57 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 2:26:25 8:18 pace
Distance (mi ) 17.64
Moving Speed (mph) 7.2 avg. 26.5 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +1,673 / -1,680

Avg. Heart Rate 139 bpm Zone 3.4

After the ride we headed to Portland and caught the Sea Dogs baseball game and had a nice Fathers Day. Hope everyone else's was just as great.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturday Spin

I got out for a short spin this afternoon with my son D3 who's 8. We had a good time riding some singletrack and climbing the hill back up to our house. Legs felt pretty good after yesterday's effort with DEA.

Looks like TWAF is getting out for a Father's Day early AM ride. We're looking to put in a good 3 hours on the dirt. It should be good.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday After Work

DEA and I got out for a couple hours after work today. The weather was perfect and the conditions were pretty nice. I picked him up at work and we drove over to Cedar Creek.

We did a lap around Energizer and then some more singletrack before we began the long climb up the fire road to the Mineral Site trail and the fun descent there.

Once we hit the bottom we did some more single track and then it was time to hit the road as the ladies were going out for dinner and some drinks once we got home. It was a great way to start the Father's Day weekend.

Here's the numbers:

Garmin Edge Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 1:39:30 7:36 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 1:28:13 6:44 pace
Distance (mi ) 13.09
Moving Speed (mph) 8.9 avg. 22.3 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +898 / -898

Avg. Heart Rate 149 bpm Zone 3.9


Thursday, June 14, 2007

From the JRA Files...

Last night DEA called me to see if I was up for a night ride. We headed out at about 9PM and began our usual ride. About 3.5 miles into it DEA was riding in front of me when I saw his left leg all of the sudden look as if it pulled off his peddle. He came to a stop and upon closer inspection, the peddle was still attached to his foot, but so was the crank arm. Problem was the crank arm was not connected to the bike anymore.

We both had a laugh and then began a futile search for the 10mm bolt that had fallen out somewhere along the trail. Needless to say we did not find it. So DEA took the crank arm/peddle assembly and put it in his pack and we decided it was time to head home. We figured out what we figured would be the flattest route back. DEA was forced to ride with only one peddle and his right leg doing all the work. His left leg was sort of just flailing in the air as he rode along. I was riding behind him and could not help but laugh as we made our way back. It was pretty funny watching him.

We came upon a water bar that has a little incline coming out of it. I was following him trying to keep my distance and as DEA rolled out from the water bar he came to a stop and I was not really aware that he had stopped and now was beginning to roll backwards into the water bar. He rolled back into me and onto a big stump. It was a pretty sad site. Where's the camera when you needed it???

We made it back and got about an hour in for the unique ride. Definitely one of those "Just Riding Along" stories to laugh about. Don't get into a one legged ass kicking contest with DEA, he's da man. Hoping to get out this weekend for some long Father's Day riding. See ya on the trails.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Family ride

Got out on Sunday morning with the girls, Emma was in tow on the trail-a-bike (her maiden voyage) and K and Lillo leading the way. It was great to get everyone out for a spin, especially now that Emma was able to ride the trail-a-bike.
Lillo and K

Emma and I out for a cruz

We rode a bit of singletrack and a few of the camp roads that lead down to the lake. We got out for about an hour. Lillo was trying to jump every big bump in the road and Emma was encouraging me to hit all the bumps that her big sister hit. Good times.

Later in the day I snuck out with JJ for a good spin with the dogs. He posted a pic of the new trail dog, but here is the original trail dog with her new knee all healed up (granted this is a winter shot but it's my favorite of her)
Molly Dog
JJ the dogs and I rode the beaver damn loop and, as shown by JJ's photos, I had to push part of the climb- I've never cleaned that thing and I don't know if I'll ever find the line. That wasn't the only pushing I did- the Nasty took me out as well. We rode a couple of sections multiple times, but then I tried to clean the rock step and it took me out. I ripped up my ankle a little bit, but after seeing the images from Jim's wreck (scroll down to JJ's post) my bodily damage didn't even get a score from the bribed Russian judge.

So that's it from here. Get out and ride.

later- DEA

Monday, June 11, 2007

Good weekend

Didn't get out riding this weekend as much as I had hoped. Was planning on riding from N. Conway to Concord Saturday morning but a little league game got rescheduled and since I am the coach I was told I couldn't go for the ride and had to go to the game. Oh well. On Friday night my cell phone went off and it was about 12:30 in the AM, guess that makes it real early Saturday morning. But I get up and answer it and its a picture that I can really make out. Looks like a lot of skin, but I was a bit bleary eyed and couldn't make it out very well. Either way I figured it was just a friend sending me some sort of dirty pic. I went back to bed and forgot about it until I got to work this morning and Jennifer asked me if I got her pic. Turns out Jim, one of the guys I rode the 24 Hours of Great Glen with last summer was riding Friday night and had a run in with a tree, and we thought BP had a problem with trees.

Union Leader Article

As it turned out, Jim impaled his lower leg on a pretty good sized tree the punched a big hole in his leg, right between his tibia and fibula. Guess it was pushing to come out the other side, ouch. Jim's out of the hospital and recovering. Damn that's nasty.

Well DEA and I did get out for a ride last evening and it was not too bad, except I fell in a nasty bog and seemed to find anything that was wet and muddy. Looking at the two of us you'd think we were on different rides as DEA was clean and I was not at all.

DEA did have a mishap in a rock garden and smashed his ankle into some granite. It looked nasty and very hurtful. I know that particular granite well as it has left its mark on my legs permanently as well.

This is Jake, DEA's newest addition to the family and a new trail dog. He was the only one who wasn't winded.

Looks like a nice day for a ride.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Test Ride results.....

As DEA puts it, we did the test ride of the 24 Hr course to see if the idea of doing a Solo SS effort was a bad idea or a really bad idea. I think the concensus was that it is simply a bad idea and as a result I anticipate we will be riding in the Solo SS class, most likely without suspension.

I did have the Garmin GPS with me and here's the eleveation.
After running the tracks throug Garmin's sotfware, a lap came in at a bit over 1,300 feet of climbing. Wow, that's going to add up fast.

Garmin Edge Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 1:18:41 9:32 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 1:01:01 7:23 pace
Distance (mi ) 8.25
Moving Speed (mph) 8.1 avg. 23.2 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +1,338 / -1,338
Avg. Heart Rate 155 bpm Zone 4.2
Temperature (°F) 38.6°F avg. 41°F high
Wind Speed ( mph) NNW 36.4 avg. NNW 41.4 max.

Since DEA said most of waht happened it doesn't make sense stating it all over again.

We had a good group of riders and the trails were in suprisingly fine shape. I think we all rode well but very differently than if this had been the actual race. There would have been much more walking in that case as we knew this was a one lap affair. Needless to say that I'm feeling very comfortable on the bike on this course at this point and hope that over the next 10 weeks I can get some better fitness to allow me to be on my bike at the end of the race.

I can't think of goals for laps at this point as I think its too far off. All I know is that if we did 10, that would be 82.5 miles and over 13K feet of vert. Thats a bunch. Guess time will tell as to whether we get there.

Ride on.


Course recon complete

We got out (JJ, A1, MM and new to the blog- Bug Picker or BP for short- I'll explain that later) to do some early season re-con on the 24 hour course up at great glen. I've never ridden the course this early but with the idea of solo SS becoming a reality I wanted to see how it would feel.

We got up to GGTOC and met up with Eli, Ryan, Howie- and all the players that make GGTOC go round and round. They had their spring trail running series taking place so we cheered for a few runners before we had the all clear to head out on the trail. JJ brought the Garmin so that we could get some new numbers (I'm sure he'll be posting those soon) and so we could give Howie an elevation chart for the course. We rode down to the start finish area and began our journey.

I've put in a lot of laps on this course, but this would be the firt trip on the SS. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit nervous as this would be the reality check as we head towards August. The first obsticle that had been giving me fits at night was the switchback climb that come in the first mile of the course- it wasn't all that bad- but it made me realize that at the start we either have to hammer to try and be near the front or lay up and let a gap open at the bottom of the climb- cuz if you ride it your moving right along. I'll let you guess what my tactic will be- yup no Tin Cup move coming from this guy.

Then the next piece I didn't even try- the new climb that shoots you up this little bridge and up towards honeymoon. I never rode it last year successfully so I didn't even try- only to watch JJ and A1 shoot up and stomp the climb- damn. I knew I'd have to go back at the end and give it another go. So that was my first push. Then I made it up to the pond but the roots took me out on the last steep pitch heading up Aquaduct. the rest of that loop- which I call Honeymoon loop (not sure it that's what anyone else calls it) was good. Only MM blew a chain so he had a bit of hike-a-bike and coasting to deal with. We rebuilt his chain and connected with BP (again more on that later). Once MM's links were all linked up we continued on our mary way. The SS's were working well and hte carriage road- which in the past have been big ring hammer sections, became relaxing and good recovery. The singletrack flowed nicely and in some places the SS seems down right silly fast.

We finally got to Whiplash the major technical challege of the course- I rode most of it well- but once I got bucked off it took me a while to get my groove back. I think a couple laps in there and I can have that section fairly dialed. The next pig effort came on Dugway. It sucked. Litterally- sucking our wheels down into the mud. I did a fair amount of pushing. If dry it shouldn't be to bad. At the top Patrick- I mean BP took the lead and quickly earned his nickname. A1, JJ and I let the fully suspended duo go first as we didn't want to slow them down. This section is very wide but there are waterbars and rocks so I knew I wasn't going to go super fast. We come around a corner and there is a large hemlock tree that has fallen partly into the trail, the broken end of the tree is a good four feet up in the air- kinda a bad thing to run into- but of course there was a good 10 feet of open trail to the right of the tree. Anyway Patrick had a bug in his nose, chose to let go of the handle bars with one hand, look down, adn then dig the bug out of his nose. In so doing he somewhat lost control and slammed into the down tree with his arm (hence the nickname- Bug Picker). I'm quite sure it hurt as it looked nasty and thinking of how fast he was likely going and how big the tree is- it just couldn't have been good.

Back to the trail, we continued on our way. It wasn't to long before I blasted into a section of SS and manage to toss my chain. Then about 1/4 mile later I managed to go over my bars going uphill. But other then that it was a good ride. I think everyone enjoyed the course and I know I have a much better feel for how many laps I can do. That number 20 that I threw out a couple weeks ago now brings laughter to the air. Here are my new numbers- goal- 15, safe 10, likely 12-13. I'd like to cover at least a 100 miles (12 laps). The scary number was the elevation- over 1000 ft per lap so we'll be looking at Jay type of climbing if we do 12-15 laps- but hey we have an extra 12 hours to do it!

That's it at the moment.



Wednesday, June 06, 2007

24 hour course tour??

Spoke with JJ last night and there are the rumblings of a course inspection up at Great Glen tomorrow night. Now upon writing that I wonder why on earth I need to inspect a course that I have close to 80 race laps on and almost as many laps when just out riding or doing course work. Well this year the TWAF crew (A1, JJ and I) are racing on SS's in the solo catagory- so a totally different animal then in years past. We need to get a feel for gearing, and I need to get a feel for running rigid vs running the Reba.

I'm hoping the course gets a chance to dry out a bit as today is looking pretty good and so is tomorrow. Yesterday and the past few days have seen their share of precipitation- I'll keep my fingers crossed.

I didn't get out on the bike at all yesterday, but was able to commute on Monday and again today. Monday, as JJ pointed out, was VERY wet- but I was pleased to see how many other foolish people were out pedaling in the rain. Of course now that it's nice out I looked at the road bike and felt anguish at how dirty it is. Oh well. That reminds me- I've got a very nice new road frame that has the headset pressed, fork installed and cut, new BB and cranks installed- hanging in the basement. I think I've had the frame for close to two months now and nothing- haven't finished the build- what's wrong with me? I got the other Salsa, the mountain bike- built in about a day- but the road bike has just not taken priority. Part of the issue is that I need to buy a new front derailleur for it as the one on the Cannondale is a 31.8mm clamp- toooooo big for steel. Excuses, excuses.

I did see that Mike has his new 29er SS built and ready to go- so we need to get out on the trails with him soon!

That's it for me.



Monday, June 04, 2007

A wet one

For some reason, maybe the few drinks we had, but DEA and I decided that today would be a good day to ride to work. AS you can see from the Radar Map. We were wrong. It was basically a monsoon. Guess that's dedication for ya. Maybe its not. Oh well, got my June commute taken care of early.

The end of the week looks to be a bit drier. DEA and I are planning to go do some 24 Hr recon and test run the couse on our SS rigs. We'll find out if its a good idea real soon.

Ride on...


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Landis and I co-workers?

I hosted the Live Mountain Report this morning on RSN tv16, where I've had the chance to inverview Tyler Hamilton, Ned Overend and my favorite, Jeanie Longo- over the years but never have I had a chance to call one of them a co-worker. So when I checked velonews after the show to see how the final stage of the Giro was going I was surprised to see this image:

Notice the mic flag on the mic Landis is holding. Hmmmmm.

Ok so he won't be working the show with me anytime soon, but you never know. We have the hillclimb coming up, a race that Tyler competed in during his ban (non-uci) maybe Floyd will come and give it a go- if so we'll have to get him on the set at RSN here in North Conway.

On the riding front JJ and I got out for a spin yesterday, I felt terrible. I'm hoping to sneak out on the road bike for a ride in a bit and hopefully feel more human, but you never know.

Ok so that's about all I've got at the moment. Oh- hopefully our mid west readers are enjoying the Cavs going to the finals! Of courst that just means a bunch more nights where I won't get the right amount of sleep. Any for you non NBA fans- you need to be a Cavs fan now as there star (LeBron) is a major player in Cannondale. I bit with him on board you'll see some interesting 29'ers coming out!

Time to ride.