Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Busy times

It's been a crazy couple of weeks and still a crazy couple to go. My family and I are in the middle of a move over to campus at Bridgton Academy where I've taken a new job and will be starting next Monday. Needless to say moving out of a home that you aren't selling right away actually makes things a bit slower in the move as you keep saying to your self- I'll get that later I don't really need it now- so I'm guessing I'll be spread across two houses for awhile- that should be interesting!

On the riding front I've been trying to ramp up for 24HOGG, which of course is only less then two weeks away. Got out for a good couple hours with JJ this past weekend and have been logging some time on the road bike. I'm still in rough shape for a solo shot- but I'm hoping the years of riding a bike and years on the 24 hour course will help me be very efficient and maybe sneak in a few extra laps that my fitness might otherwise not allow.

Tonight is the GGTOC summer race series race. I think I'll run gears tonight but am planning on running SS next week just to get at least one race in on the SS before 24. I had originally wanted to run gears thinking it would make me more competitive in the expert field- nope- sitting in 6th without much of a chance to move up unless I look for 18th generation EPO.

I have to say I'm glad the tour is over- it always sucks up WAY to much of my life! I was glad Carlos won, he's sort of the last of the Armstrong era GC guys that had never won- and he seems like a good guy. So far no doping scandal with him so that is good! I don't know what it is but Cadel just bugs me. I remember when he raced on dirt for Cannondale he always had an attitude that I just didn't understand. I think it is that he just doesn't seem Aussie tough- if that makes any sense. You look at Stuey or Robbie and they seem like the guys that you grab a beer with and then if someone mouths off then deck the SOB and get back to the beer- Cadel seems like he'd get into a slap fight and then call for his bald headed body guard to finish off the fight. I don't know but when you're from Australia I just expect more. Cadel seems more like he's French, like a Christoph Moreau.

Ok that's enough out of me- back to packing. Speaking of packing- anyone want any Team Weak and Feeble T-shirts- I'll make you a screaming deal.



Friday, July 25, 2008

Pinhoti Trail, N. Georgia

While on vacation in the South I got out for a ride in the mountains of North Georgia. I found some maps online for what looked like a nice looking trail called the Pinhoti Trail. It runds for some 25+ miles point to point.

I had an hour or so of free time one morning so I decided to go out and ride a bit of the trail. It started off and went directly up for a good bit. No warm up this morning, instant suffering.

After about 3/4 a mile of going straight up it leveled off and stared to be a little more hospitable to my cooked legs. I must say that being a rider from New England does not prepare you for riding in the heat and humidity of Georgia in July. It was killing me and I was going through water like I was in the desert.

I almost crashed when I was heading down one of the fun descents when I saw something that looked like a babyhead in the trail and it was actually a turtle. I had to stop and take a picture. Never expected to see a turtle mid trail on top of a mountain in Georgia.

Garmin Edge Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 0:56:25
10:38 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 0:46:39
8:47 pace
Distance (mi ) 5.30
Moving Speed (mph) 6.8 avg.
25.0 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +1,194 / -1,191

Temperature (°F) 77.3°F avg.
80.6°F high
Wind Speed ( mph)
N 0.0 avg.
N 0.0 max.

As you can see there was not much besides up and down.

This was my attempt at shooting some video while riding.

Sorry if you watched it. I rode through a big spiderweb and almost crashed while doing that. That'll teach me to keep both hands on the bars.

I wish I had more tome to explore the trails in this area as it is close to where the Cohutta 100 is held. Good thing they run that in April.

Someday I'll make it back with more time to ride.

Ride on.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Mainstream press

Article over at MSNBC.com. Looks like the education issue will need to happen for both those out on two wheels as well as on four.


Red Jersey Summer Race Series

Stop two in the Red Jersey Summer Race series took place on the Thorne Pond trails at Attitash on Thursday, July 17th.

A field of close to 70 riders showed up for the 6pm start on a course that is about as pancake flat as you can get up in the White Mountains. Each lap maybe had 25 feet of total elevation gain and loss- maybe. A bit different then what many of my Team Bikeman.com teammates were getting ready to tackle over at Mount Snow for nationals!

I raced in the expert vets so we had four laps of the two-mile course. To describe the course, it’s very flat, very twisty, full of roots and baby heads and in may places very narrow. Passing in the first half mile is next to impossible, then you have a short window of opportunity before you dunk back into very tight single track, then you pop back out onto a long straight with great passing opportunity before heading back into the darkest section of single track I think you can ride on a day with plenty of sunshine. After that you get onto another wide-open dragway good for passing before hitting another 1/8th of mile stretch of twisty single track followed by fairly open terrain back to the start finish.

It’s a fun course and you can ride as fast as you dare. I always find it’s not my legs but my nerves and shoulders that get beat up as I’m not the best bike handler at times! I raced my Salsa Mamasita with the Mavic C29’s and X9 drive train and a Rock Shock Reba up front. The bike ran great and I was pleased with how the bike as a hard tail dealt with the roots. I do think I’ll kick down for a Moots Ti post (which is what I run on my Salsa El Mariachi SS and I love it!) at some point in the near future to “soften” that back end of the bike even a touch more.

It was pretty warm out and I was enjoying the summer weight Team Bikeman.com jersey. Add all the vents in the Lazer helmet and I was pretty comfortable despite the mid July heat.

The race kicked off and I had made a determination to try and hit the first single track at the tail end of the fast group. I managed to do that but then heard my name getting called followed by on your left- which normally is fine- but there wasn’t any room on my left- nor my right for that matter- but Sam bulled his way by and then promptly had to jump on his breaks as I was right on the wheel of the guy in front of me. I eased up a bit to let Sam in, then he dumped it on a hard left hander in the sand- so I passed him again but KNEW he’d be trying to get by me again- which made me a bit nervous. Sam is a great kid and strong as an ox, someday he’ll be a good racer, but right now he’s still a bull in a china shop and I knew I was likely to be the china. I could hear him coming up behind me again passing people and likely putting them into the trees as he did- and when he got up behind I told him to hang on for a second as we were about to hit the first open space and I’d let him by. We came out into the open I pulled to the right to give him a clear shot but he had already made up his mind he was going before I moved meaning that he was farther left then he needed to be- we’ll I wasn’t the china but the small pine tree that he completely ran over (he stayed upright somehow) didn’t fair so well. Needless to say I was glad he was in front of me as now I could relax a bit and just ride my race.

At this point I hooked in with another rider and we had a good rythem going, I was faster in the open and he was faster in the woods so a bit of a gap would open and then I’d close it down. Soon we were joined and then we were hauling around the course.

I was really enjoying the race and my handling started to improve as I got to know all the corners and roots. I actually wouldn’t have minded if the race ran a few more laps as my legs and lungs felt great. As we came into the final lap I put in a bit of an effort and got by a handful of people and rolled in with a place yet to be posted (off the podium, that I do know). The race was won by Austin Orth who also took third this past weekend at Newton’s Revenge- nice ride Austin!

A good time and a good workout to develop a bit of leg speed and handling skills as we get closer and closer to the 24 Hours of Great Glen in less then a month.

Next race in the series will be at Cranmore in August.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ricco out

So my wife hasn't been able to stomach Ricco since the Giro, I was never sure why- but she just said she didn't like him- something fishy. So when he started stomping people in the mountains I said- "see he's just a super climber" she said- nope he's a doper. I laughed- he wouldn't be that dumb to be winning and doping with the way things are today.

Ok so I'm stupid-

Ricco test positive- out of tour, team goes with him.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A bit faster

Raced up at Great Glen last night and felt pretty good 80% of the time, then 10% of the time I felt dead and the other 10% felt like it was my first time trying to ride a bike!

Went faster then last week so that was good, cleaned a section at race pace that I wanted to and then completely blew a line on Whiplash that caused me to run for a bit. But got back on and rode well after that.

I'm having a weird vibration coming out the ass end of the Mamasita (that just sound funny) under heavy braking. Need to figure that out as it is load and annoying. At first I thought it was the QR touching the chain stay but I changed the orientation and that didn't solve the issue. Bolts all seem tight- and it's a metalic vibration so I'm at a bit of a loss. It must have something to do with the pads and then the vibration is being resonated through the frame- hmmmm, any thoughts?

Anyway, after the race Howie and I headed up the switchbacks and then out a new section of single track (that could be really sweet- but needs a bit of work right now so stay tuned on that), a girl that works up at GGTOC came with us- Megan (a super strong rider) so we made our way along the trail- some walking, some riding and lots of bugs. We let Megan ride through as I wanted to see Howie tackle a particular section of trail, after which we hear this awful crashing sound followed by a "I'm stuck!"- we run up the trail and find Megan completely upside down in a small ravine- her foot stuck under her seat post and seat- not sure how to explain but the seat, seat post and log created a "hole" that her foot was in. I got her unstuck while Howie took a picture! (I'll try to get a copy of the picture). Amazingly she was ok- I think it freaked her out a bit- as it should have as she fell a long way! She's a tough kid and riding strong so keep you're eyes peeled for Meghan Skidmore's name in results!

Needless to say this piece of single track will not be in the 24 hour race this year- but may be in the future with some work- there is some great terrain out there just needs some massaging.

That's it for now.



ok- late edit- here is the photo from "Operation Meghan Rescue"

We're just doing a test...

We're just doing a test for Jott. listen

Powered by Jott

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

24 Hours

I keep looking at the calendar and realizing that the 24hours of great glen is closing in fast. I have to admit I'm not as nervous as I'd like to be, I almost feel a need to be scared a bit to try and get me into a bit more of a training mode. Although I can't really complain as I am getting out on the bike pretty much daily now, just no crazy long rides (maybe Sunday).

Of course there has been a bit of a reason for me being a bit off my game. This coming Friday will be my last day at Glen Group, I am leaving to take on a new challenge over at Bridgton Academy- pretty much same job title, but very different environments and challenges. This has been a long process to get this deal done (several months) but it has been a good process. We (my family and I) will be actually living on campus in a house that sits right on top of the hill with the athletic fields as our back yard- pretty sweet. So we'll be renting our house in Center Conway (anyone interested let me know!). Big changes and something I'm really excited about but it has made the past couple of months a bit tough to stay focused on the bike. That being said I raced bikes for BA back in the late 80's early 90's (cycling used to be a school sport with a school boy league in Maine) and my old cycling coach still works there- so maybe I can get him to lean on me a bit and whip me back into shape!

That's it for today. Racing tonight up at GGTOC for the Importech Summer Series, so that should be fun (high amount of pain for a short amount of time).

That's my story- rest day at the Tour- time to catch our breath and start dreams of CVV standing on the podium in Paris!



Monday, July 14, 2008

What the.....

Chris Horner is strong.

Good Gravel Grind

Got out on the road bike for a good cruise on Saturday and then yesterday jumped out on the El Mariachi for a bit of singlespeed gravel grinding. Rolled out from my house, up and over Davis, Gulf all the way to the Thorne's then rolled back to Leavitt to Greely, Potter, down to the single track that connects Mill Street to Mudget, then rolled Mudget to Morrison, then 302 back to the Pine Tree single track back to Mill Street, up Old Mill, up Davis and down the creepy side (that I had never ridden- have to ask A1 or JJ what the name of that is) then up the back of Davis and then cruised the new Royal View development and then finally went home- basically about two hours.

Had moments where I felt great and moments where I didn't feel so good. I was grooving to music the whole time and enjoyed the ride.

It did make me think about the fact that I need to do that same ride about 8 or 9 more times to pull about 15 laps at 24HOGG. Ughhh. So that's the game plan safe number- 12 laps (want my 100 miles) and my goal number is 15. Not sure where 15 came from other then A1 rode 14 last year!

Today dealing with some showers and maybe even a few bolts of lightning. Now I need to go check Velo to see who's winning.



Friday, July 11, 2008

Doping at the tour

So Triki got busted for EPO on day on- yikes, not such a good way to start things.

On a positive note- CVV is riding strong- that is cool. I hope he can ride a top five tour- that would be fantastic for him and Garmin.

Wow, I'm actually watching the Tour, and digging it- that's a good sign.



Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pissed off by this story

Read this story. Here is a another link with photos (be warned). I'll admit there may be other factors involved- but looks like this is the second time he's pulled this stunt- fortunately the first time people weren't seriously hurt (but the officials still did nothing)- then I see this comment from some real estate agent (good thing she's easy to track down and post comments and scores on real estate agent score cards- that can keep you entertained for awhile)- any way, the ever caring Nina Guerini had this to say:

----- Original Message -----

From: Nina Guerini

To: web.master@lawheelm en.org

Cc: Nina Guerini

Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2008 1:29 PM

Subject: Mandeville accident

HOORAY FOR THE DOCTOR. It's about time you lawless bunch of crayolas get what you deserve! There are several of us current and former La Habra Heights residents ready, willing and able to testify on behalf of the doctor. YOU DON'T OWN THE STREETS, don't follow the law and are a blight on society. You have no care for any living being even yourselves! What I saw before I moved on my own street should make you ashamed of yourselves but you're not because you are all lawless, arrogant idiots...... .......Just like the bike racer I saw one day flying down my street, downhill, on a 660' blind corner WITH A BABY IN A BABY SEAT ON THE BACK OF HIS BIKE! I hope you all get hit by cars!!!

This makes me sick. I understand there are stupid cyclists out there, in fact I almost took out a kid on a BMX today when I was driving to the bank- came out of a drive way never looking and launching the curb- just about nailed him. It was his fault, he was stupid- but I'm still damn glad I didn't hit him! The idea that some nut job is cheering that two riders got FUBAR'd and is hoping all riders get hit makes me want to puke. I just don't get it.

This rant isn't even close to being over- and I really hope the Dr. spends some time in jail.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Vacation Ride in DC

The family and I are on a 2+ week vacation and spent the 4th of July in Washington DC. It was pretty cool to be on the National Mall for the 4th with a gazillion people (that's just an estimate and not the actual head count). We saw the fireworks which were amazing. Our tax dollars at work. We took our bikes but with all the people it was not a place to ride on the 4th so we decided that we would get up early on the 5th and go for a ride and see all the monuments we couldn't get close too the day before.

So at 5:45AM on the 5th, my oldest kid, D3 and I got up and went for a cool ride. We left from our hotel and rode up Capital Hill to the US Capital building.

From there we cruised down towards the Mall and headed towards the Washington Monument.

After rolling around the Washington Monument we rolled up to the WWII Memorial which was impressive.

From there we rode to the Korean War Memorial which was haunting.

My kid was really wanting to see the Lincoln Memorial so that was the next stop.

After the Lincoln Memorial we spun over to the Jefferson Memorial, one of my favorites. After that it was down along the Potomac River and back to our hotel.

I have been to DC a bunch of times but seeing all of the memorials and monuments is very moving. This was my first time riding my bike in DC and it is definitely a great way to see the city.

GARMIN EGDE Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 1:16:09
12:06 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 0:52:24
8:19 pace
Distance (mi ) 6.29
Moving Speed (mph) 7.2 avg.
14.7 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +952 / -939

Our next stop is/was Atlanta,GA. We are there til Thursday morning and then we're heading to Rome, GA which is in North West Georgia. Supposed to be some good riding there so I have a couple of local shops to stop into and see what they have on tap.


Reality setting in

Raced last night up at Great Glen, it was fun but I was a hurting unit. Did an OK time, but would like to be 2 minutes faster (on a time in the 24's that's a fair amount of time to cut). Felt good on 75% of the course but didn't climb with much power and was a bit ragged on the single track. Raced with gears, and liked it!

Got up this morning for a little 5:30am shake out of the legs, spun for just over an hour. It felt good to get the junk out of the legs, although there were a few times I was upping the pace beyond a good relaxing pace, oh well. I guess A1 had called me last night to see if I wanted to go this AM- so we were on the same page, but I never got the message (I guess I should go listen now). I think A1 is under the same thinking that I am- time to get off our asses and start riding for real with 24 less then a month away!



Tuesday, July 08, 2008

a leg shake down

Went out for a solo spin on the El Mariachi, Davis to Gulf to Leavitt to Greely to Potter, a spin in Pine Tree and then home. It felt good to get out and do a bit of climbing. Today (Tue) we have the first race up at Great Glen for the Summer Series, should be good. Even shorn the legs for the occasion- should make me MUCH faster (at least in picking off the ticks that had been hiding in the hair).

The TT is going on right now- hmmm, wonder who will pull it off. I would have a hard time betting against the big swiss TT machine, but you just never know. I did see that someone what topping out over 50mph on a false flat- WTF!!! That's fast.

Racing tonight on the Mamasita, I think I've gotten that a bit more dialed- we shall see.

Flying the Bikeman colors tonight- hopefully I'll do them proud.



Monday, July 07, 2008

80's flashback

I'm not sure what it was, maybe it was left over from PowderJew's birthday party- but I had a jones to listen to Michael Jackson yesterday. I didn't have any in my collection and my copy of Thriller that I had on tape I'm sure got tossed out years ago.

I actually remember buying that tape. Bought it at the Maine Mall, I think the store was called Deorseys (spelling??) I remember coming back to the car and wanting so badly to listed to it but my Dad told me that he wouldn't play that crap in his car. Oh well. Needless to say that was a day or two ago.

So last night I was on my machine when the urge came over me again, so I went to iTunes and bought Thriller once again, this time for $7.99. Ahhhh, yes what quality music. Now I need to weave it into a playlist that I ride to and then I will dominate the world.



ps- Great Glen series starts tomorrow night- see you up there

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What is it about this season?

I can't get my head around it, but something is amiss with this season. A1 and I talked about it last night over many beers at the Moat- he was feeling the same way, but neither of us could put a finger on it. So I spent many a sleepless minute last night thinking about it- this is what I came up with:

1) no major goal for the season. I've been into cycling for a great many years- and in reality this year I'm riding a fair amount- just not the levels that we had ridden the past few years. Jay really changed me as a rider in terms of my expectations for myself. Last year I had my first attempt as a 24 hour solo rider, and while not nearly the level of motivation that I had for Jay, it was still enough to get me out of bed early.

2) pro-cycling has lost its luster. The Tour starts this weekend and I don't really care. I have to say that the last time I felt that way was before LeMond started appearing on the podium in France- so that's well over 20 years of loving the Tour and having a sense of excitement every July. Between Floyd getting tossed, Astana not getting invited and the UCI and ASO acting like kids fighting over a toy I've just lost my appetite. The sad part was I wasn't even that motivated to enjoy the Classics this year. Part of that may also be the fact that all my favorite riders are either retired, at the end of their careers or on the sidelines due to doping charges. Maybe I need to get excited about some of the young guns out there.

3) I bought a new TV last winter. That's right, I'll actually admit this in a public forum. I have become a bonafide TV junkie, if it's in HD I'll plant my ass and watch it. I need to change that, and quick!

4) Not sure- but I'm sure I'll come up with something else soon!

There is my line of thinking. That being said had a great ride with JJ and Chris on Sunday that ended with an impressive downpour. I've sold two bikes, meaning I'll be ordering a new Kona Jake the Snake cross frame to build up for the fall season (now 'cross season is something I'm fired up for!)

That's about it. Ride on.