Friday, August 31, 2007

Ride Report for Wed.

I snuck out of work a little early with the hope of getting out a nice long ride. I didn't get started as soon as I hoped but DEA and I did get out for over an hour and a half of riding. We rode some new stuff, not really a trail though, rode some old stuff and had a good ride. One thing I am certain of is that I have lost any real fitness I thought I might have had 2 months ago. I just have no reserves, nothing in the gas tank. I sorta laughed reading DEA's post prior to this one as he is dealing with being 35. Guess that explains why I am such a mess, 35 was years ago for me, so far I cant see it in the rear view mirror, even with my reading glasses or bi-focals.

Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 1:30:59 8:53 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 1:18:14 7:38 pace
Distance (mi ) 10.23
Moving Speed (mph) 7.8 avg. 17.8 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +747 / -757

Avg. Heart Rate 152 bpm Zone 4.1

Temperature (°F) 83.3°F avg. 87.8°F high
Wind Speed ( mph) S 5.2 avg. S 9.2 max.

DEA does pose some interesting questions about next year. I entered this season with some goals, but really only met one, to race on a fully ridged SS and be competetive with geared racers. Other than that ther rest is history due to my inability to stay upright and not damage myself. As a result my main goal for 2008 will be to stay healthy and see where that takes me. Probaly not too far considering I'll be 40 next year and at my advanced age unable to be competative with the kids out racing, not that I ever was. Oh well, its all good.

Sold a couple of bikes for DEA and now I have a new to me road frame that I need to build up and maybe even a cros bike for the fall. Anyone want to buy a Yeti 575? I need some room in the garage.


vacation messing with my mind

It's been a good week away from the office. I've gotten out on my bike a few times, took the kids to Boston to go look at big and small fish, went up to GGTOC so Lillo could do the running race, sold a bunch of bikes (or I should say I bartered with JJ to sell the bikes for me because I'm to lazy), and have had a bunch of time to think.

Next summer I'll be 35, and according to the good people in the science world I'll be looking at my athletic peak in the rear view never to see it again. Of course that is assuming I had an athletic peak at any time in my life. But I'm having a hard time buying that I'll be in slowdown mode. It got me to thinking, what would I really like to accomplish next year? Well I'd like to make the podium in the Solo SS category at Great Glen. That's what I'd like to do. The only issue is that this past year was the year to go for it- JJ was on the sideline and A1 wasn't in kill mode at the race- so while 18 laps would have given me a shot at third this year- next year I'll have both JJ and A1 going for it as well. And that is a good thing.

This year I have yet to ride a century on the road. I haven't gotten up for a 5am ride in a LONG time. I haven't gone out and ridden in the woods for 6 plus hours finding new trails along the way. Last summer I did that and it was great. I learned a lot last year and this year and I think I can take that knowledge and do something with it.

Plus I'll start listening to Tony Robbins "Unleash Your Personal Power in 30 Days" again! Call this man Coach

Yes I bought this off an infomercial- along with my Total Gym and Little Giant ladder. Just you wait- I'll have one of those Magic Bullet blender things in no time. Tony will be my coach, the Total Gym will be my core workout, the ladder- not sure, but it weights a ton so moving it around could be a work out, and that handy dandy blender thing will help me with nutrition. Now I just need to call the psychic hotline and find out how I'll do next year and then skip all the training and call it good!

So there you go, I have a goal, no plan yet- but at least now I know what I need to plan for! I'll be interested to see what A1 and JJ think.

Back to this season, Porky Gulch is just a couple months away- I'd like to do well at that race. Here's a cool video from last years race:

That does it for me- time to work on my plan (that and do some laundry and take the kids to their doctors appointment, and do some grocery shopping and..... damn I love vacation!)



Thursday, August 30, 2007

Weekend ride?

A1 stopped by yesterday to get his BB tightened (that just sounds wrong) as he was heading out with his wife for a road ride. I tried to convince him to go out on a dirt ride with JJ and I, but he was set in his ways. Before he headed off he threw out the idea of a long gravel grinder this weekend- basically doing the ride he and I did last Christmas Eve- so that's the plan this weekend- I think Saturday (late edit- make that SUNDAY) AM- leaving 5:30ish. Not sure of the distance but I'd guess it'll be a good four to five hour ride with lots of climbing- any takers? If you want in let me know and we'll get you the details.



Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bike for sale

The 29er thing has bit me full on and I have a few 26" wheel bikes that I just haven't ridden. One being a Santa Cruz Blur that I haven't ridden in one year. It's a shame that such a fine bike not be ridden- so it is time for it to have a new owner.

So here are the pics- if you have any questions let me know. The price is $1500 plus shipping. And the buyer gets a limited edition, highly collectibles TWAF t-shirt!

It's a size large frame (19"), it's been ridden but well taken care of.

It needs a good home!



Thursday, August 23, 2007

Great Glen/Importech Race #8

Tonight was the last race for the season in the Importech Summer Mountain Bike Series . The race is a weekly series that runs in a Time Trial format where you race against the clock. It can be real tough since you are not really racing anyone head-to-head and just try to go as fast as you can.

I missed the last 5 weeks due to my damaged body parts. So tonight I figured I had healed enough to give it a try. My goal was to ride a clean lap and to see if I could place in the top 3 in my catagory. I was the only one running a SS so it can be a disadvantage on this course due to the layout. I warmed up by riding the first half of the course and inspecting the most difficult section that I had not been on in over a month and wanted to see what shape it was in since the 24 HR race a couple weeks ago. Overall the course was in nice shape as we have not had any real rain in about 3 weeks. The only problem from that was it was so dry that it was getting sandy in places and traction was becoming an issue in places, particularly on some climbs andin some of the faster corners. Oh well.

My race started out OK and I felt like I had descent legs. Once I came into the Whiplash section of the course I was determined to ride it clear, which I did. Problem is I think I basically burned every match in the book doing it. Once I came out of there I cought a few other riders which is always fun doing on a SS as you go past them and they shake their head at you.

By the time I was about 2/3 of the way through I just didn't have a lot of gas left in the tank to keep the cadence up as high as I needed or wanted. THe final stretch is an uphill climb across a grassy hill whihc always sucks and it did even more tonight. As I rolled across the finish I was quite pleased that I completed my first race since the crash at Pats Peak. 5 weeks of no racing has definately taken its toll on my fitness and race legs.

Once the results were posted I felt worse about my effort. I placed secong, but I missed first by a single second. Guess thats one thing about the TT format as you have no idea how other riders have riden, but with a margin that close its easy to second guess your ride and think of places where you could have made up a couple seconds here or there. I should just be happy to be back in a race, but I was bummed to be so close to first. Next race is the 2007 Red Jersey Summer Race Series
on 9/15 at the Bear Notch Ski Touring in Bartlett, NH. Come on out, its a great event and another race in a TT format of a fun course with a few river crossings just to make it interesting. See ya in the woods. Finally


Crap like this scares me

I hate reading stuff like this It freaks me out to realize how vulnerable we are when we are out on the roads, and that no matter how careful you are there are others who are in a much better position to kill you that aren't always that careful. I know we ride at night a lot and we try to be as visible as possible (not sure what type of lights he had on if any)- and I'm sure if he didn't have lights that will become a major bone of contention.

I don't know any of the people in this story, but I'm in Concord a fair amount and it just seems to hit home. I hope this guy pulls through, my thoughts and prayers go out to him.

Stay safe out there.

ride on,


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

First real action on a MTB in 5 weeks

Got out today after work for an hour. It was the first real test of the shoulder and elbow since my last crash/mishap. Felt pretty good but arm is sore. Still not comfortable descending for some reason. It will come, I hope. It was good to just get out in the woods and try to knock some rust off.

Not sure that putting the 18 tooth cog on the rear end was a good idea considering how little riding I have been doing. It was a lot of work and the climbing that we did was really difficult. Time to go back to the 20 or even 22 maybe. Ordered up some 700x40 cross tires to atempt to run on the 29er for cross season. We shall see how that experiment goes. I have gotten mixed reactions about doing this with this tire on the Salsa Delgado 29er rims.

Garmin Edge Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 1:27:49 11:25 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 0:59:02 7:40 pace
Distance (mi ) 7.69
Moving Speed (mph) 7.8 avg. 17.7 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +686 / -688

Avg. Heart Rate 146 bpm Zone 3.8

Hopefully I will feel well enough to give the last race of the Importech Summer Mountain Bike Series a go on Thursday night. It would be nice just to ride it let alone try to get on the podium.



Nice weekend in Canada, eh

Well the wife and I took our road bikes up to Mont Tremblant for a nice weekend getaway. Spent Friday night in Montreal and did some walking around, eating and drinking. It was nice to get to a real city for a change.

Saturday we headed up to Mont Tremblant. Got there around 4PM and checked in. We ended up at a pretty nice place. Much nicer than we expected. If you have not been to Tremblant before, its worth a trip, even if not in the winter to ski.

Sunday morning we headed out for a spin on the bikes in the morning to get the blood flowing. There are quite a few roads around that have a few hills and it looks like there are quite a few trails for the MTB. That will be the next trip if not in winteBike ride

Later on Sunday we went to the Acrobrance Ropes/Zip Line Course. It was really cool. Definately a great workout.
Ropes Course

Zip Line

Got up Monday and went for another bike ride. THen took the GOndola up to the top of Tremblant. Some great views I must say. Overall a nice escape with much Canadian Ale consumed.


This is cool

I wish I had been in the initial design concept meetings for this!

The new Bontrager InForm saddle fitting system. : Step One: sit on the InForm fitting bench.



Monday, August 20, 2007

Weekend off the bike

I'm trying to rember what my bikes look like, actually that's not true, I know what they look like as I walked by them on a regular basis over the past few days.

With K being over in France and me playing the role of single parent it's been tough to get out for rides. I'm not sure how the single parents out there do it! In some ways it's been nice to be off the bike as I'm really itching to get out and ride. I've been looking at the Surly and thinking about cross season, and then I got an email from Team HQ about ordering cold weather team clothing for Cross season. Hmmm, should I scare the world and put by beer gut into a skin suit? I know the answer to that, but the possible comedy is tempting!

This past weekend I traded in my trusty (LOL) SAAB and picked up a brandy new Honda Fit

I like it, it reminds me a lot of the way the old Honda CRX used to drive, but with more room. Now I'm anxious for the next fill up to see how the mileage is actually stacking up. I've read anywhere between 35 to 45 mpg- so we'll see. Of course the way it works in my world is that we got a new car so that's goes to K and I get her car- so I'm going to be driving the Ridgeline- which is a great truck but gets crappy mileage- so my gas bill just went up- time to up the amount of commuting!

This past weekend was the Mount Washington Bicycle Hillclimb- which got cancelled due to weather. This summer the Mountain just hasn't wanted to be ridden as Newtons got cancelled as did the weather date, and now the big race got nuked due to nasty weather. I know it's known as a tough race with rugged weather- but 80+mph wind, sleet, ice, poor visibility etc is just way to dangerous. According the Howie they had volunteers at teh summit just gettting slammed to the ground by wind so being on a bike would have been impossilbe. I remeber one year in 35-50 mph winds getting blown off my bike more then once. Nothing like going up hill at 3-5mph and getting body slammed to the ground. They made the right call for sure, you can always tell the first time racers as they piss and moan about the organizors being wimps- anyone who has spent any time up on the Mountain knows you don't mess with it when the weather gets nasty- there's a reason over 180 people have lost their lives up there.

Onto happy news- Team Weak and Feeble will be applying for a ProTour slot next year with the UCI, we're in a tight race with Slipstream but I think we'll beat them out- they may have the whole argyle thing going but we've got a monkey drinking PBR!

Anyone up for a good ride this weekend?



Thursday, August 16, 2007

View from the course

Big thanks to JJ for working the pit for me, it really does help to see someone at the timing tent asking you want you need. Of course that being said I wasn't really riding in such a way that I was completely spent, but none the less it was nice! That and he brought a large pepperoni pizza up on Saturday night, that and a beer was quite a nice dinner.

As I had posted earlier I had three goals- I hit two- riding every part of the course clean at least once and getting in at least 12 laps, the third goal of riding the full 24 hours wasn't even close. I'd guess I only had close to 14 hours on the bike, and I really slept well from about midnight to 5am.

So now I sit here a day later thinking about what do I want to do from here and if I looked a full 12 months ahead what would I like to do at next years 24hogg. I have come up with a couple of thoughts- one is to race HARD for 3 or 4 laps, and then party like a rock star with other like minded individuals and then wake up in the mid morning and go back out to finish the last lap. Another is to go back to a team and race hard, then there is this thought in the back of my head of (I know I shouldn't write the) what would it take to make the podium in Solo SS? Or, the kicker- what would it take to win solo SS? Of course the issue with this is even though 20 laps won this year (I think) I know that Jason could have gone harder and longer and put in 21 maybe 22- but who knows. The thing with this is (as JJ and I discussed while hanging out eating pizza) is it's really hard to train the crazy hours without a major goal. Jay was a major goal because it just seemed so damn hard (the effort I put out at Jay was 3 times the effort I put out at 24HOGG) and just riding Solo SS isn't enough to really drive me to put in the long hours.

The flip to all of this- why do I care about a possible podium? Isn't this supposed to be about just going out and riding and having fun? Ahhhh, there is the $100,000 question! I think this is one of those places where you start wondering what you've got and how hard can you push, knowing full well you didn't push hard but also realizing that that fact will leave you asking the what if's for some time to come. The tough part about setting a lofty goal is that you hanging it out there there and you may fail. Goals like 12 laps and clean every part of the course allow me to feel good about my effort, but have risked very little.

Then again this would also mean rededicating myself to the bike not just for the simple love of riding a bike (which is why I ride to start with) but to dedicate to the actual training, diet, stretching, core strength, nutrition- etc. That could be a tall task.

Anyway what a great event yet again. Kudos to the organizors and all the riders and supporters. Can't wait for next year!

ride on,


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

a salute to DEA and the abenator

yeah, it's been a while, but i wanted to give a major tribute to these two maniacs who decided that rigid, single-speed 29'ers were a viable mode of transportation for a solo assault on the 24 hours of GG. that, and this is also a good time to acknowledge the unsung hero of that whole endeavor (namely dennis). even though a litany of injuries kept him from competing, that didn't stop him from being a constant presence throughout the event, acting as pit crew and drinking free, fine moat beer.

personally, i was fat and miserable throughout the whole thing. i would have loved being fit and miserable, but impending marriage and a lack of motivation has kept me away. i shall return, less fat and more motivated...

can't wait to hear DEA and A1's comments about their laps... i'm guessing there'll be curse words, gibberish and sorrow, and that's the kind of stuff that keeps me going.

mahalo to you two crazy bastards, and JJ, i know you'll be there next year.


My take on 24 HOGG

Overall it was a good weekend at the 24 HOGG. Good weather, good food (Moat Mtn. Smokehouse and Brewery) and good people. I haven't been out on my bike a whole lot this summer so it was good to get out on a nice long ride. I had no game plan or goals going in since as I mentioned I really haven't had a chance to ride. At the start Sven and I let the field get way ahead as we new it gets clogged up on the first climb. First few laps were good and ended up riding 8 laps before calling it a night at 10:30. Course was getting slippery and I was fading. Went to the camper to rest with the thought of meeting up with Sven around 5:00 am. At 5:00 I rolled past his tent with no signs of life so off I went. Felt really good in the morning and ended up riding another 6 laps. Probably would have done less except I timed the laps wrong and with having to be on course at noon would have had to sit for a considerable amount of time. I also had Nikki pitting for me telling me to keep going. When I had 10 laps in at 7:00 am she was telling me I could get 4 more. It was good having her push me though as I'm pretty lazy and was already happy with 10 laps.

As always the people there were great, and there were only 3 of us on rigid singlespeeds. (Charles, DEA and I).
My favorite was the guy on the last steep descent (the chute) who yelled "Go crazy solo-singlespeed-rigid-guy" every time we'd ride by. Next year I might just drink beers and sit with him, cheering everybody on.

It was good to get out and ride, and I got to ride 6 laps with DEA on Saturday which was good company as always. We got to ride with Dave from Hooksett who follows the blog, and Sunday morning I rode some laps with Tom from VT. who was a fellow SSer, although not rigid. At one point he mentioned he was 49, and he ended up with 15 laps.

Next year JJ will be back but it was good to see him up there pitting for DEA. Not sure about riding it again on a rigid, but since I'm to cheap to buy a fork I probably will. My wrists are certainly sore.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

24 Hours of Great Glen from the Pits

Since I was on the sidelines for this year's race due to a few physical problems I suffered at the Pats Peak 12 Hr race last month, I was working the pits for DEA. A1 had his whole family up at the race keeping him going. The Race started at noon with the firing of the cannon. A1 and DEA decided that this race was a marathon and not a sprint and took it easy on the Le Mans start/run to begin the race.
DEA & A1 "Sprinting" at the start
Since both of them were riding their fully rigid, 29er, singlespeeds they were definately in a class by themselves.
DEA & A1

Unbeleivably there was actually a NK sighting at the race as Nick made his way around the course racing on a cruiser class squad for the Moat Mountain Bewery.

There was one other rider at the race, Jason Achilich. Jason also rode
as a solo singlespeeder and rode great.
Jason from
I have to say that I was pretty bummed to be at this race and not be able to participate, but it was nice to see everyone else suffering a bit.

DEA had set a pre-race goal of 12 laps figuring that it would put him just ver 100 miles of riding for the race. At about 10:30PM on Saturday he took a long break and had 8 laps completed. I think he ended up sleeping longer than he wanted but when he woke up he didn't need lights anymore and headed out while being saranadd by someone playing the bagpipes. That was pretty cool. I made my way around the course snapping pics and making sure that DEA had what he needed for food and drink. At about 10:30AM Sunday moring, he had 11 laps in the bank as he went out for one more to get his 12 and be on course at noon so he could roll in and call it a race.

All in all, the weather was great, the crowds were as big as they have ever been and there was a signifiicantly higher nuber of female racers which was very cool to see. Hopefully this is the last big event I'll be on the DL for and can get back to racing in a few weeks. We shall see.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Countdown and rain

24HOGG is rapidly approaching and with it our drought has ended abrouptly and we've been getting a good chunck of rain this week and it looks like that will continue through the week. The good news is that the weekend (at least at this point) is looking ok.

My legs are feeling a bit sluggish at the moment, I had hoped to spin them out this morning but K needed to leave a bit early so I played school bus. I'll have to spin them out after work.

I started to make a list of what I need for the race and began to think about strategy and my eating game plan. It'll be good to have JJ in the pits making sure we (A1 and I) are eating and taking on bottles each lap. Hopefully he can also help keep our heads screwed on straight (that may be a tough task).

I'm hoping tonight to tear the bike down and clean it up and get the EBB and BB dialed in- right now it's creaking like an old farm house floor. The good news other then that I think the bike is in pretty good shape, I should pick up an extra set of brake pads and then I think we're good to go.

That's it at the moment-



Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Back on the bike

After 23 days on the couch I was finally able to get back on my bike. Damn that was nice. I have been trying to heal as fast as possible, but I'm not 19 like A1 anymore. I saw the Dr. friday and he said I could ride despite the fracture in my arm still being displaced. My shoulder is still pretty f'ed up and it sounds liek it will always look pretty nasty.

So tonight was the first opportunity to ride with the work/family/weather considerations. I got out for about an hour and decided to just peddle and not kill myself. It was very nice but I have to say that I was a bit nervous on the bike, sort of favoring my left arm and not wanting to lean on it too much. I opted to take as flat a route as possible to avoid getting out of the saddle and just spin. It worked and I got a good sweat on. My left shoulder was fine but my left elbow was definately feeling it where the fracture is. The worst thing was my forearm as it is so atrophied that I was fatigued very easily. That will come back, but having a weak arm definately affects your handling and more importantly tyour confidence. My goal for the ride was to keep the HR under 150 as much as possible and I was able to do that for the most part and still was rolling along at about 17mph which I guess is OK considering everything.

Garmin Edge Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 1:04:22 3:34 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 1:04:01 3:32 pace
Distance (mi ) 18.04
Moving Speed (mph) 16.9 avg. 36.8 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +793 / -790

Avg. Heart Rate 146 bpm Zone 3.7

Back on the bike and happy.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Good news, bad news

I met with the Orthopedic Surgeon on Friday and got another set of X-Rays. Its never good to see the x-ray tech looking at the x-rays and grimacing and then asking you, "doesn't that hurt?" before she hands them to the Doc. So the fractured radius has not healed, the fractured bone is still 3mm displaced. I'm supposed to get another set of x-rays in 3 more weeks to hopefully see some bone growth there, if not I might have to go under the knife and get the bone removed.

The good news is that despite the bad news I was cleared to begin riding again, so long as I don't crash. That's a tall order. Unfortunately its too close to the 24 Hrs of GG to get ready so I will still be in the pits, but it will be nice to be able to get back on the bike and peddle some. I am beginning to feel a bit mushy after not riding in 3 weeks. I was hoping to get on the roads this afternoon but as luck would have it we are having a major rain storm. Didn't think riding in the rain in my condition would be too smart. There's always tomorrow.


Less then a week to go

A week from today I'll be still laying in bed wondering what it was that I did to my body and why does it hurt so much. My two kids will be jumping on the bed wanting breakfast and I'll be wishing my wife could have waited at least five more days before she headed over to Europe so that I could still by lying in bed.

This weekend was in many ways a bust. I almost didn't touch my bike at all, and wouldn't have except for the fact that A1 called last night and dragged me out for a quick 45 minutes in the fast approaching darkness. It was a very easy ride just to shake out the legs and chat about the coming weekend. In that chat I realized I have three goals, and here they are:
1) ride a minimum of 100 miles- so 12 laps. I'd like to get to 15 but if I hit 12 then I'll be ok with that.
2) I'd like to clean every part of the course at least once, I don't have to do it in one run, but over the course of the race I'd like to make it happen.
3) I'd like to ride for the full 24 hours. I realize this one is a major reach, but the good news is that if I pull it off then goal number 1 will have been reached in spades.

So there it is- what will the final result be- who knows. I'll be honest I haven't done nearly the prep that I would have liked to have done, but that is the culmination in a lot of choices over the past few months- a lot of 4am's that a rolled back over and went back to bed. It's amazing how Jay gave me a foolish confidence and that combined with the fact that I have better then 65 laps on this course over the past decade my fear of the race is lacking (and it shouldn't be). So we'll see.

Either way it should be fun. My biggest concern is my shoulders and arms, I think my legs can go the distance but the rest of my body may cause me some issues. I've got some Grayhound juice in the stick form that I'll use on my arms and shoulders to try and keep them loose and I'm going to put a couple of reminders on my stem, such as- slow and steady, don't chase above your pace, stay loose, walking is ok- I may add a few others but I need to remind myself (when I get to that point when I forget who I am) that there are some "rules" to this race.

Rain today, we may see some more all week- hmmmmm.