Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fall Riding

Fall is here and in my mind the best riding is before us. The tough thing is we now have to share the woods with hunters, but I can't complain as we get the bulk of the season free of flying arrows and chunks of lead, time to start pulling out the bright colors.

JJ and I (maybe A1???) are heading up to the Kingdom Trails for a weekend of riding with a good crew from the area. I'm pretty excited as I've never been there before and have always heard great things. So look for pics, maps, and write up from JJ and I next week.

Cross season is coming and I've been working on my dismount and remount, I'm getting there, but still have a lot of work to do. I'm pretty stoked to run geared this year and I think I've got the bike pretty comfy, although I think I'm going to ditch the front gearing and run 1x- but before I do that I need to order a new cassette. I'm thinking a 42x 11-28 would be prime- we'll see!

Going down to the Gloucseter Cross weekend in October- anyone else going? Should be fun!

That's it for now.



Monday, September 24, 2007

Great Weekend

This weekend had some great weather, mid 70's and lots of sun. I have had a good string of day riding going back to riding Sticks & Stones at lunch on Friday. Saturday morning I got out with DEA and a few other guys for a ride on Davis Hill. It was a good hour plus but I had to bolt early as I had to get home so the family could head up to Cranmore Mountain for a cancer benefit called Jens Friends Climb Against Cancer. They added a new MTB class to the event this year so I headed out for that with my oldest son D3 for a good ride though some fun terrain.

D3 on Sticks & Stones

Sunday we were planning on riding over in Cedar Creek, but thos plans got shelved and DEA, A1 and I hit the trail at 7AM for some more riding on Davis Hill. We ended up riding for close to 2 hours which was nice. Trails were in nice shape and the air was cool.

Garmin Edge Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 1:51:18 9:29 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 1:37:05 8:17 pace
Distance (mi ) 11.72
Moving Speed (mph) 7.2 avg. 15.7 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +765 / -762

Avg. Heart Rate 138 bpm Zone 3.3

Temperature (°F) 55.4°F avg. 60.8°F high
Wind Speed ( mph) SE 1.7 avg. SE 3.5 max.

Got a ride in to work this morning and the legs were definately letting me know they are not used to this abuse. This weekend is a trip up to Kingdom Trails for a little camping, beer drinking and a whole lot of riding. Can't wait. KT is supposed to be one of the best places to ride anywhere. We shall see.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Floyd is a loser, as are all athletes

So the decision came down from the arbitration panel hearing the Landis doping case. 2-1 against Landis finding him a doper and imposing a 2 year ban. I must say I am not surprised at the decision. Not because I think Floyd doped but because I think the arbitration process is fatally flawed, at least from an American legal point of view. USADA is now 35-0 in these cases. What bothers me is the process more than the result. The WADA system basically says that once an allegation of doping has been made against any athlete, they are presumed guilty of doping. It is the burden of the athlete to now prove not simply that the allegation lacks merit but hat they are innocent of the charge. This is completely opposite from what one would expect in an American Court, even in a civil suit, let alone a criminal charge. To place the burden on the accused is unfair to begin with, then to make them prove their innocence at their own expense is unjust. There are times when I think the Euro way of doing some things may be better or make more sense but this is plain backwards.

I do not want to sound like I have been drinking the Landis Koolaid but these charges would never have stood the test in an American Court of law. The Government did not appear to be able to show scientific reliability of the test, that the testing lab followed generally accepted laboratory practices or that the results that were obtained were in fact reliable.

It just seems to me that if we are going to impose a ban on an athlete that can effectively end a career that they deserve more than a kangaroo court and a process that is set up in favor of the Government from the get go.

I suppose the reason that it is this way is because the whole anti-doping agenda has developed in response to a perceived epidemic in sports. While I in no way condone doping or believe that that it is good for sports, I never like making policy decisions in times of crisis. It seems to me that we have a very poor track record of making good decisions in times of crisis and generally overreact or over legislate a perceived crisis and not the reality that exists.

Regardless of this rant, Landis is done for 2 years at a minimum, 4 years is the actual reality. He'll be 35 at that point and with a fake hip, he'll be done riding competitively most likely. If this is a fair result for Landis, I just think he should have gotten a fair trial to impose such a sentence.

JJ, Esq.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Safety First!

I know someone who has these on their bike for winter/dark riding- pretty sweet- gotta get me some! Rock the Bike

Gotta go do a running race- well gotta go to a running race and push the jogger with little E while big E runs. Should see JJ up there.

Tomorrow will be a bike day- TGIF



Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cross Season

It's that time. Now before I start talking about cross racing it's important to note that I really suck at cross racing- I love it but I've got a lot to learn. I've been giving it a go for three seasons, so this will be the fourth- and I'm hoping to have at least one clean race this year where I don't find myself looking up at the sky wondering how I got onto the ground, or totally blowing a remount and singing a few octives to high.

But I really do love cross racing and the reason is it's so much damn fun that the amazing amount of pain that you feel while you are racing doesn't seem so bad. It's anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour of all out pedalling and seat of your pant bike handling, with a bit of jumping on and off your bike at speed thrown in for good measure. You get to race the course a number of times so despite the fact you get tired you actually get better/faster as the race goes on as you find the sweet lines.

Plus you get to go and race and then after you get cleaned up and grab a coffee or beer you get to watch the best in the country do their thing- and try to figure out how the heck they don't fall on their face when they get off their bike when they are going that fast.

This year I'm running gears again for cross season, which I'm pretty psyched about. SS is great for mountain biking or crazy strong cross racers- but not for me. I'm hoping to be able to hang a bit more this year.

I've rebuilt my Jake the Snake and am trying to make it fit a bit better. I had planned to work with JJ to have it become part of his quiver but I got cold feet- I think the idea of four bikes leaving me at once was to much for me to handle so I spent a pile of money to try and make it fit better- so far so good (sorry JJ!) In hindsight (if this works) it'll be worth while as it weighs a GREAT DEAL less then the Surly Cross Check. I set it up with bar end shifters and while it's taken awhile to get used to them I kinda dig them! A wider bar and a layback seatpost and it's feeling pretty good. I think I do still need to go to my long 120mm stem, I'm running a 100mm right now but once I do that I think I'm golden. Now I just need to learn how to ride the damn thing!

On another note I saw a cool article by Lenord Zinn about getting kids into cycling and they had this picture:

Makes me realize that when I use Mountain Meisters (our weekly downhill ski race) as an excuses to not ride into work on a nice day that I'm just being soft!

That's the story at the moment.

Get out and ride.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Its about the benjamins

In reading DEA's rant, there are a couple big differences I see in comparing American Pro sports to those in Europe. The first is labor unions. The sports in this country have well organized labor unions which collectively bargain with owners for specific contract rights that cover everything from product licensing to health insurance. As far as I know the pro cyclist has only his agent to work on his behalf. The unions in some US sports have become so powerful they bassically run the league, take the NBA for example. Secondly, pro sports here have for the most part ownership that is into making serious money and understands that in order to put buts in the seats or sell TV ads they need a product that people want to watch. The prime example is the NFL. Another even better example is Major League baseball. If you look a baseball in the 80's & 90's they had significant problems with labor relations and as a result there were strikes and lockouts. This hurt the marketability of the sport. At about the same time, steroids and other performance enhancing drugs were becoming more available and more widely used in baseball. Baseball at that time had no testing policy or were most of these substances even banned. What happened was home run rcord began to fall and the fans came back. Who doesn't want to see a monster home run when the go to a game. Well baseball ownership profitted and began to market the home run and bsaeball returned from the grave, many think largely due to the benefit of steroids and the like. Now that the steroid issue has become politicized baseball and other professional sports leagues have had to deal with it because of the bad pr it has brought with it. They have, with the aquiescence of the labor unions instituted drug testing and suspensions for violations, but they pale in comparisson to the number of banned substances or suspensions handed down for violations when you view them against their international counterparts. Why? Because the US sports owners know that if they ban the product that the people want to see, they won't watch. DEA will still watch the Patriots even without Rodney Harrison for 4 games, but if they started banning big name players for years or careers it would potentially become a serious problem. Many folks consider steroids as cheating, I would submit that the sports leagues here do not. At least not is the same vein as point shaving or fixing a game or gambling on your team as a player or coach. If there was a concern that performance enhancing drugs were affecting the outomes of games here, there would be much more of an outcry as Vegas would not be able to make the $$ they do. The validity of an outcome of a game would be compromised and that would or could mean the death of a sport. Until the cyclists organize or there is strong ownership in the sport I do not see there being any real progress on this issue. What the progress would be I don't know. Maybe more reasonable suspension and more relaible testing at a minimum. Guess the bottom line is as long as there is money in the sport there will be people looking for whatever edge they can get to win, even if it may cost them their career.


a new site is born

A good friend of mine recently launched a new business, so for those industry types looking for someone to work with them on sponorships you should check her out: Align Partnerships

Her husband is also a great action photographer and he covers a lot of ski and cycling events in the area, his site: Keeler Photo

Beautiful day out there- can't wait for the ride home!




I'm a fan of the New England Patriots and have long enjoyed watching the Pats defense put up impressive showings year after year. One of my favorite defensive players has been Rodney Harrison, I just love the way he plays 100% all the time. In a twisted way I've found that his recent admission to using HGH as almost enlightening in the wake of the way cyclists deny, deny, deny. But then I started thinking about it and there is a reason that the cyclists deny, deny, deny- the penalty in the NFL is laughable in comparison to what happens in cycling. Harrison used HGH, got a four game suspension. Bernucci from T-Mobile used a baned appetite supressant and has been fired, and will now face a FOUR year ban from a Pro Tour team (granted he can come back after two years to a Continental Team).

I guess what burns me most about this is you read the mainstream sports reporters and if a cyclist tests positive it is the lead of the story about cycling, in the NFL you almost had to search out the Harrison story- it's as Coach Belichick said "an unfortuante incedent". You want an unfortunate incedent- Tom Danielson's season.

Do I have a point- no (there's a surprise) it's just something that ticks me off about how cycling is percieved. Oh well time to get over it!

Onto other thoughts- I was glad to see Tyler Hamilton's name in the results of both the TT and Road Race at Nationals. I'd like to see him back in the pro ranks. It bums me out to not know what the story is with him and his on going struggle. If he did dope I wish he would just come out and say- yup I did it- I did my time- I'm sorry, I was stupid- now I'm going to go back to racing and putting on a show. It's good to wish.

Well that's it from here.

ride on,


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Labor Day laboring

DEA and I got our for a nice ride in Cedar Creek and neighboring areas Monday morning thanks to the holiday. It was a nice dry, sunny, but chilly one.

Google Earth Map

A good chunk of the ride is twisty singletrack with very little elevation cahnge through paine barrons and nicely wooded areas. After a bit we decided to head up to the Mineral Site trail and then takes you ona fun descent through Sherwood Forest. As you can see ofrm the elevation below, the climb is basically up and up and up some more. We were both running our SS's and I was wishing I had gears. A few months agoe we did this climb and I was the first to the top, not this day, DEA cleaned my clock as I was suffering or should I say laboring.


Once at the top we stripped off the vests as we were plenty warm at that point so we snapped a couple pics.



Overall it was a great cap to the long weekend and we topped it off with a stop for coffee and donuts whcih were well earned, not that we needed them.

Garmin Edge Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 1:37:28 8:48 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 1:19:11 7:09 pace
Distance (mi ) 11.07
Moving Speed (mph) 8.4 avg. 24.7 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +834 / -831

Avg. Heart Rate 145 bpm Zone 3.7

Temperature (°F) 62.6°F avg. 68°F high
Wind Speed ( mph) N 2.3 avg. N 4.6 max

If anyone is interested in a 2005 Yeti 575, medium in Team Yeti Tirquoise, let me know. I have one for sale.


Monday, September 03, 2007

A good three days- now back to work

My vacation is about to come to a close, but I've got to say the last few days have been pretty good. On Saturday I got out for an hour spin on the fixie- road a loop that I do somewhat regularly and just about tore my legs off- it a good way! Then I took the girls over to Ham arena for some time on the ice- which was a lot of fun. We need to take advantage of that more often! Then yesterday A1 and I went out for our gravel grinder which ended up only taking us 2.5 hours, which was a lot less then it did last time! I managed to clean Moonie hill- admittedly in ugly fashion and A1 spent a good few minutes waiting for me at the top- but at least I cleaned it- now the next goal can be doing it with a bit more style.

Then this morning JJ and I got out to Cedar Creek for a bit over an hour, hopefully he'll post his data on the ride. It was good to get out and ride some singletrack that I don't know that well. We'll have to try and get JJ and A1 over there all at the same time after work one day this week.

Time to go mow the lawn and listen to Coach!



Saturday, September 01, 2007

Bugging Out

Wednesday I got out for a road ride with Nikki. We did the East COnway loop, 15 or so miles. Riding East Conway Road is quite rough and I forgot how bad it is down past JJ and my old neighborhood. What was worse was the bugs about a 1/2 mile before Shermans Farm. At first it started with a few hitting me, then more and by the time we turned and headed towards the Maine line it was a black cloud of little bugs. So thick I had my head down and couldn't stand it. Nikki stayed right on my wheel to keep from being pelted. At Weston's bridge we stopped and had to clean my eyes out. Nasty. Knee felt better, although the stitches were pulling a little. Took them out last night so hopefully it feels better for tomorrow's gravel grind.

Next year? Not sure, I'd like to do a 100 mile ride like Cohutta 100. Maybe go to Michigan and do the Ice Man Cometh. We'll see, Porky Gulch is in a few months so maybe I'll ride my bike a few times before that and get in some some sort of shape for that. Cross season starts soon, and the Great Glen series. Nikki's excited to do that so maybe I'll give it a go on the SS. We'll see, time for another Coffee, maybe I'll make it in my magic bullet.