Tuesday, July 31, 2007

NK back in the saddle

We finally got NK back out on his bike the other day for a good spin after work, that was joined by Michelin Mike and Sam (can't remember his last name). We rode out and did a spin of Sticks and Stones, Peaked Traverse, the lower section of the Cranmore access road and a few other odds and ends. I think we got close to an hour and a half of actual ride time.

My legs felt pretty good, I tried my hardest to stay on Sam's wheel on the climbs and on Sticks and Stones- but I'll be honest- I didn't stay there long! To be 17 again with skills and lungs- the kid has talent- we'll have to see where he goes. The worst part was after each section I'd roll up next to him completely winded and he looked like he hadn't even broken a sweat. Oh well.

I'd be lying if I didn't say I was nervous about 24HOGG- but not much we can do now!

A1 got a new road bike, and one for his lady friend- I'll hopefully check the new machines out today.

Oh yeah- Mayo had a little special sauce in his blood stream- he has no idea how it got there.... I have to give the t-Mobile guy a bit of credit- he cheated, got caught, admitted it and is taking his lumps (2 year suspension, 2 more not UCI Div 1, and pay back a years salary- pretty hefy price to pay!). I think if we can get to a point where the cheats get caught and don't go to court EVERY time then we will feel like things are cleaning up, and maybe they are. If the controls are catching people then the system is at least working somewhat.

That's it from here.



Thursday, July 26, 2007

DEA goes on a Rant

In a recent msnbc.com article by Michael Venture he said that the Tour should close up shop and put the jersey in the closet until it is a clean sport, making reference to our USA stick and ball sports as being minor in their infractions. Which may appear to be true, simply due to how poor the testing is in the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB- put them up against the WADA code and then let’s sit back and watch.

I’m not trying to make the case that cycling is clean, it has an issue and needs to clean itself up and fast. Riders that are doping should be tossed completely. Before I was feeling like two years and two years off a Pro Tour team (four total) was an awfully long time- maybe it isn’t- assuming the tests are truly bullet proof.

But to say cycling is in a tougher moral spot then Football, which is trying to figure out how to incorporate ankle bracelets into the uniform code, Baseball which has a drug issue that is obvious based solely on the growth of players had sizes, Hockey which has to find ways to keep the ice from staining red after vicious fights that have nothing to do with hockey, and Basketball that has a bit of a betting problem. What’s my point? Athletes and the organizations have become big business and have long left the job of role model to other segments of the population (like maybe parents?). Funny how ahead of the curve Charles Barkley was when he famously said “I’m not a role model”

Any time sport or anything becomes business and there are big dollars on the line then cheating is going to take place. This is where sponsorships have hurt the world of sports, the teams need to pull in the sponsors for the cash so they have to win- doing your “best” just doesn’t cut it anymore. I have no idea what the answer is and I can’t imagine being faced with actually figuring out the “right way” to approach the issue at hand.

In a very sad way I liked the sport more when the cheating via doping was hidden and was just innuendo instead of knowing for sure. Call it naïve but then it was more just about the racing, now I spend more time wondering how long until the days winner gets tossed.

I wish there was a rider, currently doping- that would come out and say- yes I’m still doping and this is why. I want to know how many are getting away with it. The issue I have is doping used to be this cloud off in the distance, but the rationalization was that “everyone was doping so it’s fair”- but now some are caught and we don’t know if some are just better at beating the system while others aren’t. It makes my brain hurt. Or have we really turned a corner and the ones that are getting caught are the only ones left doping? That would be a nice thought- time will tell. I wish in the T-Mobile case that it had been their internal controls that had caught their rider and that they had tossed him. When one of those teams (CSC, T-Mobile, Sliptream) catches one of their own before the UCI/WADA catches the rider then I think we’ll be heading in the right direction and people will realize it isn’t just lip service.

I just don’t know, I need to go out for a ride.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Here we go again

The T-Mobile guy, then Vino, then a Cofidis rider then Rass"got dope up my ass"mussen- WTF- I think it's time TWAF really fields a UCI level team- although between beer and coffee who knows maybe we'd fail too.

Oh well, at least to VS credit they didn't dwell on it too much- which at first I thought was strange but then I started thinking about other sports- you get tossed adn that's it- the game goes on- so chuck them out and keep racing. Maybe in some ways this is progress????

Either way I still love riding a bike!



Tuesday, July 24, 2007


WTF- just when it seemed like we were coming out of the dark on all this crap...

Vino crushes us all!

I need a beer to go and cry into....



Ok, I've had a moment to have my temper tantrum. What are these guys thinking? Either the testing is so poor that they only catch them 5% of the time so they are willing to roll the dice or these guys are dumb as sticks! Vino knows you get tested after a win- so do you dope and then win and think you're going to get away with it? These guys are messing with so much more then their own livlihoods- they're messing with the entire economy of cycling- they've just got to stop- or the UCI has to say screw WADA we are ok with doping and that's that. Arghhhhhhhhh.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Cram time

Three weeks until the 24HOGG and it's now cram time to try and get ready.

With JJ having gone out of commission during our test I still don't really know how I'm going at the moment. I haven't done an effort for more the four hours yet this year (yikes!) but that's ok- just have fun right?

Got out and road Hurricane Mountain Road yesterday in the afternoon and then got out for a mountain bike ride at around 7pm with the dogs. My legs felt ok, but HMR beat me up on the way up- but the recovery wasn't to bad. The worst part was going down- I don't know how the tour guys race downhill so damn fast (well knowing there isn't any upbound traffic has to help!)

Speaking of the tour- damn it's getting interesting! I'm a Vino fan as he is always racing, attacking and leaving it all out there. That guy is tough and it was hard watching him get shelled yesterday- but boy did he put on a show Saturday and again today- I hope he can have form again next year and stay upright! Time will tell.

As a long time fan of cycling it certainly feels like there is a changing of the guard. I need to learn a lot of new names in the coming years and I feel like there are other names that are starting to run out of time. Vino for the TDF, Hincapie for RPB, Miller for a legit WC in the TT, Hamilton to just ride again with a number, Horner for a WC in the road race. But with that said there are some new riders coming up who are exciting.

Back to 24HOGG, I've adjusted my plan and will run a 32x22 for the race. We ran those at Pats Peak and it made a difference. Yes it'll spin out easily but it will also mean much more time in the saddle and will force recovery on some of the flat terrain. It should be interesting! My revised goal is to ride 100 miles, so I think that is 12 laps. I know I had said 20 laps about a month ago- but that was prior to reality setting in!

That's it at the moment.

Ride on.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

And the Doctor Says....

So after reviewing my x-rays the DR diagnosed me with a 3rd degree AC Joint Seraration which is a rupture of the AC ligament and the coracoclavicular ligaments, with displacement of the distal clavicle more than its full width.

The other problem is I was also diagnosed with an elbow dislocation with a resulting Radial Head Fracture.

Trying to break a fall by putting your hand out in front of you seems almost instinctive. But the force of the fall could travel up your lower forearm bones and dislocate your elbow. It also could break the smaller bone (radius) in the forearm. The breaks can occur at the wrist (Colles fracture), or near the elbow at the radial "head." As the upper arm bone slides back into its appropriate place after the dislocation, it can chip off a piece of the radial head, resulting in a fracture.

So the bottom line is that I am in a sling for a min. of 2 weeks with another set of x-rays to follow to see when I can get to rehabbing the arm and back riding. Anyone need an entry to the 24hrs of Great Glen as a SS solo?

Where did I put that percocet?


Monday, July 16, 2007

Tough weekend

If you haven't already make sure you read JJ's post below- as it goes into the medical details.

JJ and I headed down to Pats Peak early on Saturday morning ready to ride, or at least a little bit ready to ride. I'll be honest I didn't feel fully ready mentally or physically, but this was really just a test so I wasn't to stressed.

We rolled into Pats with plenty of time to hit registration, think about where to leave our coolers for our feeds and then chat with other riders about the course. We both were running 32x20's but that was because we had been to lazy to put on the 22's- but both of us knew that hte 22's would be making there way to our rear wheels.

The pre-race meeting was interesting, "NO RIDING ON THE LAWN" screamed through the PA, insults to the downhill riders and a complete slam of EFTA. Can't say I was super impressed with the way they present themselves (Pats Peak)- oh that and "I give up $20,000 in wedding revenue to put on this race..."- WTF? I just dropped $80 to ride my bike on a course that you just admitted was built with free labor and I'm supposed to feel like me riding there is out of charity? Not sure I get their MO. I can understand that not having a huge field means you don't make as much money- but I can also understand why they havn't grown the field by leaps and bounds- but that's another story. Don't get me wrong the people were nice, it's just there was a lot of dirty laundry being aired that just put a weird funk in the air (or that just could have been my bike shoes).

Ok back to the race- 3.2.1- GO! we run get on the bikes and start to ride. It was a pretty good course- ok flow and some fun singletrack. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was thinking suspension would have been nice- time will tell what I do with that opinion. We rode the fist lap and then dumped down to the car to swap gears. Then we were off again like a herd of turtles. Lap two was where things went south. About half way through the lap on a downhill that had a nast waterbar I hear a yell from Charles (another SS'er that was racing with us) and turn around to see dust and a body on the ground in a position that I have seen to many times. The first thing through my head- "You've got to be F*&%ing kidding me! How could he not have seen that frickin waterbar- idiot!!!" (more on that in a minute)- so I hike back up and pretty soon I can see him and I know that JJ is all done for the weekend.

He's a pretty tough dude and doesn't usally show pain- but he looked like hell and you could tell he was hurting- oh yeah and his arm looked all f'ed up and his shoulder looked like he had a boil the size of a ping pong ball growing on it. Then I looked at where his bike as laying and asked Charles if he had move it- he said no- then it dawned on me that JJ hadn't even made it to the waterbar. I felt a moment of shame for having thought so poorly of my teammate a few minutes earlier when I had silently thought him an idiot of having slammed into the waterbar. Then I looked at what he must have hit... oh wait there wasn't anything. The best I can guess he was cooking a long and the loose gravel (billard ball size) took his front wheel for a ride and he went down- hard, fast and violently.

We sent Charles off to snag a bit of help, I pulled some old Gary Fisher course ribbon out of the woods and made a bit of a sling and we sat and commiserated about his newest injury. You have to keep in mind he has done this almost more times then I have fingers on one hand, and on a selfish note everytime it happens I get nervous that he's going to drop the sport- and then I'm out my best riding partner (I admit I'm being selfish).

The cart came up and took JJ away and I continued to finish out my lap, pushing pretty hard as I KNEW that I was heading home after the lap. I came through the timing tent, let them know that JJ was all done and so was I and headed down to first aid. There they told me JJ had left so I headed back to the building and no sign of him, then I headed back up to the tent where I found him and he told me to get my ass back on my bike. I don't think I expressed joy at that thought, although in hindsight it was awfully gentleman like for him to sit in pain for another couple of hours so I could put up enough laps to at least offically "finish"- but at the time I had mentally checked out and had ridden the rest of the lap pretty hard. But I grabbed my bike and Charles and I headed out for another spin.

The next two laps we went pretty easy (Charles was doing the full 24 so there was no need to hammer) and I went VERY easy over the JJ Spot of Carnage. By the fourth lap I was getting grooved in on the course and my legs felt pretty good. It gave me confidence that 10 laps would have been very doable if not more. But I knew that JJ would be getting pretty uncomfortable by now so it was time to call it a weekend.

We tossed back a beer and then loaded the van and headed north (well south first and then north).

Am I bummed, yeah I'm pretty down to see JJ in a sling again, as I don't know what that means for 24HOGG. He and I (and A1) have been sort of on this quest now for over a year and a half and I'm feeling a bit isolated at the moment (A1 works 300 hours a week and JJ is now broken again). It makes me realize that while I dig racing for the racing aspect I dig it way more to hang out with good friends and have good stories to share of future rides. Looks like for at least a little while I'll have to wait to share those stories- but JJ will rise again and hopefully soon!

Heal well JJ and let's find you some DH armor to start riding in!



ps- anyone watch the tour yesterday to Tignes? I usually don't care for Moreau- but I actually felt bad for him yesterday- what was Cadel and Alejandro waiting for? They had a huge chance to put in some gains for just a little more work and blew it. I thought Moreau rode well- who knows the French may have a horse in this race.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

What a weekend

First I wanted to followup on Thursay nights race. I ended up taking 2nd in my class and I was pretty happy about that and was therefore feeling pretty good going into the 12 hr race on saturday even though I had not been on my bike as much as I would have liked prior to my first endurance event on a SS.

DEA and I headed down to the race at 7AM and arrived at 9. The race is set at the Pats Peak Ski Area in Henniker, NH. The set up was nice for the size of the event. Besides the 6, 12 & 24 hr races, there was also a DH race and an XC race set for the weekend.

We hung out until the riders meeting then proceeded to get suited up for the start. At noon the horn blew and we were off. The race starter with a Le Mans start/sprint across a lawn to our bikes. Our sprint was more of a walk with purpose. We figured we'd let the guys who were all full of it get out in front. Neither of us had pre-ridden the course so all we had to go by was a topo map. That only tells you so much though.

We started out on a gravel road that led to a trail around a snowmaking pond. This turned out to be the only flat part of the course. We then ducked into the woods for some singletrack and began to climb. Over the next mile and a half we zig zaged across the ski trails as we climbed the mountain. You then descend a bit and start another climb to the highest point on the course. A good chunk of the climb is up a ski trail and then when we thought we were done it headed back into the weeds for some more climbing on some "fresh" singletrack. It was loamy and soft and I wondered how it was going to hold up as the race went on. We then began to descend and it was some technical twisty "fresh" singletrack. After a bit we came out on a washed out access road that took us to the bottom of the ski area and back to the start/finish area. We completed the first lap in about 40 minutes which was pretty good considering the amount of waiting we did as riders stacked up in certain sections of the course.

DEA and I atrarted the race out running a 32X20 gear but decided after the first lap to head to the pits and swap out the 20 tooth cog for 22's just to make the climbing a bit easier. Basically if you are not going up you were going down faster than you could peddle so the gearing was for the ups and not the downs.

After the pit stop we were back on course. The pit stop actually worked out nice as we were now spaced nicely from the rest of the other racers and had pretty clear sailing. At about 1/3 of the way through the second lap we had just finished the first of the two long climbs and strated to descend a ski trail known as " lovers Lane". DEA was in front of me and after only about 50 yards of descending something went terribly wrong. In an instant I was over the bars. I have no idea what caused it but the bike stopped and I didn't. I was doing my superman impression, but have not mastered the landings so good. I hit the groung hard. Really hard. My left shoulder blew up as did my left elbow. I knew the pain all too well. DEA hiked back up to me and another friend we were riding with went for help. I was feeling pretty bad, dizzy and thirsty. I found some snowmaking equipment to sit on as I did a damage assessment. Since I have dislocated both my elbows in the past Iknew that my left elbow was out. I was able to get it reduced and back in place. My shoulder has also had some history but this felt a bit diffeent than previous dislocations and fractures.

There was some tape along side the trail used to mark race courses and DEA fashioned up a nice sling. I was starting to not feel as dizzy but decided walking dwn the mountain was not a good idea. At that time a John Deed 4-wheeler cart came up with two first aid folks. I got a ride down in the cart to first aid, my race was over. DEA continued on to meet me at the bottom. I got to first aid and got checked out. After getting inspected it looked like I had an AC joint seperation. Basically the end of the clavical or collarbone had pulled away from the shoulder joint and was sticking up causing a deformity or a nice lump.

I was given a new sling and an ice-pack. DEA had not arrived yet so I walked over to the main base lodge where we had set up all our stuff and grabbed a seat. A few minutes later DEA came in suprised I was not still in first aid. He was ready to head home. I told him no way. I wasn't going to be an excuse for him to end his day early. I think he was half disappointed as I think he was already mentally thinking we were going home then.

I told him to get back on his bike and I would hang out and see how it went. DEA took two more laps to make a total of 4 which made him official and we called it a day. We packed up our gear and got in the van and headed home.

What a shitty day. We got home about 7PM, a little over half way through the race and ate some chinese food. I was feeling a bit depressed as we are now in the heat of the race season and had been feeling pretty good so far this year. I spent the rest of the evening watching the day's stage of the Tour while munching ibuprofin.

This morning I talked with my orthopedic surgeon and sent him some pictures of my shoulder. He said it looks like a classic AC joint seperation, probably a grade III. Looks like I have some more time off the bike and another visit to rehab. That is getting old. The 24Hrs of Great Glen is 4 weeks away and I have already paid the entry fee. My hope is to be back for that race, Not sure yet how realistic that hope is as my shoulder and elbow hurt like a SOB right now. Hopefully I can get on a bike and at least peddle some in a week or so to not completely get fat. Don't really want to spend the rest of the summer riding the spinning bike in the basement.

Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 1:33:52 15:19 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 1:02:11 10:09 pace
Distance (mi ) 6.13
Moving Speed (mph) 5.9 avg. 17.4 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +1,414 / -1,149

Avg. Heart Rate 153 bpm Zone 4.1

Temperature (°F) 75.8°F avg. 78.8°F high
Wind Speed ( mph) SSW 6.9 avg. SSW 9.2 max.

Thats it for now.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Great Glen Series Race #2 and this weekend

Last night was the second race of the Great Glen series. I missed the first race as we were on vacation last week so this was my first race on this course on my SS. The weather was pretty nice and the course was pretty good. A little mud here and there from the rain of the past few days. The course has a fair amount of wide open carriage trails that I found myself spun out on quite a bit, but that wasn't all bad as it allowed me to coast some. I was able to ride it pretty clean and felt like my lungs were about to burst or maybe implode, not sure which. At some point I think I was hallucinating as I was sure I could smell cotton candy too.

All in all it was pretty good and I think I will be swapping the 20 tooth cog for an 18 for next week. Not sure how the results came down so I can update when they arrive.

Tomorrow is Pats Peak MTB Festival which DEA and I are riding in the 12 HR race on our SS's. Course has about 850 feet of climbing in each 5 mile lap. Looks like you are either going up or down on the course. I have a 22 tooth cog and have not put it on yet and am not sure if/when I will swap it.

This will be the first endurance race either of us have done on SS's so it should be interesting or frightening, maybe both. Hopefully we'll get some pics and be able to post some results.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Remember Me?

It's been quite a while. I finally got a break this afternoon and snuck out for a ride and left the boys to cleaning tents and chairs for the afternoon. Good to get out again, I haven't been on my bike since the Whitaker Woods Race two weeks ago. Rode out Old Mill to Mill Street to 302, down to Conway Village then up West Side to the village and then down North South back to 302 and then up Mill Street to Potter road and back home. Decided to see how I felt and went hard for the first hour, averaged 18.7 mph, then at an hour slowed up and spun for another half hour. Somewhere around 25 miles in total.

JJ and DEA are racing this weekend and I'm considering it now. Ruled it out but thinking I may try to sneak in last minute, we'll see. Planning on racing Thursday up at GG in the weekly series. Legs felt good today, I guess 2 weeks break will do that for them, although I need to start lifting as the power didn't seem to be there. Sold my road bike, but I have it until my new one comes in. That is when I decide what I'm buying and get it. If it's a decision like my other bikes it will take months.

That's it for now, good to be back. Going to try to get out tomorrow am if anyone is interested, DEA/JJ?


Monday, July 09, 2007

I spoke with JJ and he had already pulled the trigger to race at Pats Peak this weekend, so I followed suit. We're both racing the 12 hour version solo, so that should be fun. A good chance to get a bit of a shake down prior to the 24HOGG.

Then this Thursday we haver our little race up at Great Glen for the weekly series- I'll looking forward to getting a bit closer to the fast boys. I think if I can stay upright and have a bit better legs then a 23 is possible, I'd love to get into the high 22's but I think that may be a touch out of my reach.

The tour is on and I have to say I'm getting into it. A crazy sprint by Robbie yesterday and a 1-2 for Quickstep today- yup I do love watching bike racing. I had thought about not watching it because I've been so sick of the doping stories- but watching the racing I remembered just how beautiful it is to watch.

Time to start stock piling on sleep.



Friday, July 06, 2007

Back in the saddle

How did July sneak up on us like that? Now that it is post Fourth of July I'm feeling way off the back in terms of my fitness. Not much I can really do about it now, other then pile on some quality miles and use the local racing as a good way to do speed workouts.

Last night was the first night of the Importech Summer Series up at Great Glen, this is an eight week series that is a lot of fun. Run in a sorth of TT format (start when you want between 3:30 and 7pm. It's a quick course (fast guys low 20's) with a good mix of gravel roads and single track. The cool part for me is that I can race then attache the trail-a-bike and Emma and I can ride with Lillo while she does her race. Which is exactly what we did last night. Lillo did great, she wasn't too excited to ride a couple sections of single track solo as I couldn't take the trail-a-bike on them without a very real chance of launching Emma into the weeds. Lillo even had a great wreck on a downhill when she got the speed wobbles and ended up crashing into the tall grass (she was fine- embarrassed but fine).

I am pretty proud as she ran the Four on the Fourth two days ago (four mile running race) and then did the bike race last night. Not bad for eight years old!

Me on the other hand? Still barely able to walk after that foolish running race. But I had a good time last night. Two off the bike issues where I tried to find a new line during the race that didn't quite work. That and I think this course will be a good one to run the 32x18 as I was spun out a fair amount and could have pushed a taller gear over the climbs if I had to. It'll be good to see what A1 and JJ run next week!

That's it from me. Hopefully some good riding this weekend.



Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Back in the USA

We got back late last night from 10 days in the Caribbean on St. Martin. We had a blast.

As you can see we kept the fridge well stocked with all the staples.

Life on the beach is not so bad.

I finally got back on a bike this mornign for the first time in 11 days. Nice and easy was the ticket.

Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 2:24:07 6:12 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 1:42:12 4:24 pace
Distance (mi ) 23.20
Moving Speed (mph) 13.6 avg. 38.9 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +1,523 / -1,517

Avg. Heart Rate 114 bpm Zone 2.1