Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Didn't race on Sunday--dealing with job issues.

However, I feel ready for Trans Iowa. My legs, and the rest of my body, feel great. My gear is 90% ready to go. I have been doing short rides, about 17 miles, each day after work. Decent speeds have been attained at minimal effort.

What are my goals for TI?

1. Finish. I've never quite an endurance race, and I don't plan to start now.

2. Finish in around 27 hours. That was my time from last year, and even though the race is longer, I think I can match or beat that time.

3. Top 3 singlespeed. There are some very fast SS rides this year, but I am hoping that my experience with this race gives me something of an edge.

4. Stay for the awards ceremony. I will REALLY want to get home after this race, and I have like an eight-hour drive to get there. But I want some swag as well.

That's about it. Will it hurt? Yep. Am I worried about the weather? Nope. It will be what it will be. After TI v1 and Worlds 2005, I just don't care that much about the weather anymore.

I am looking forward to meeting the other racers on Friday. It is a 13-hour drive from GR to Hawarden, so I may be a little late getting to the pizza place. Except for Paddy. Riding a fixie for this race makes me wonder about that guy. Gotta keep an eye on him...

Saturday, April 22, 2006

It must be Spring...

Because people are busy riding and not blogging.

I had a good week on the bike. The team ride on Tuesday was fast. I think we were on track to have the fastest average speed that I can recall, but then a series of mechanicals slowed us down. However, I still had a good ride.

The rest of the week was easy riding. Tomorrow I will do the Yankee Springs TT. That is the last hard riding before Transiowa. The rest of the week is very easy spinning, drinking lots of water, sleeping and packing. Oh, and watching the weather!

Unfortunately, I was a bit distracted from my training this week. On Thursday I found out that my position at work will be eliminated due to budget cuts! As it stands, my last day will be June 30. Many things can happen between then and now, but it still creates a substantial distraction from my training. Without a job, many of my races will be in jeopardy. I am on for TI and Dirty Kanza, but Big Bear is a question-mark at this point.

Anyway, I need to keep my focus on Iowa right now. That is not a race that forgives mistakes!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Last Big Training Ride

I did 7 hours yesterday on the singlespeed. That was about 90 miles. The pace was slow, but that was the objective. I rode on a course that was 4 hours of soft trail and 3 hours of pavement. Not too hilly, but more hills than most of TI. All in all, a good preperation ride.

I will get in a few good rides this week, and the Yankee Springs TT this weekend. Then it is a week of easy spinning until Iowa.

The day of Reckoning approaches!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Secret Weapon

My TI secret weapon arrived today. The package was held up in customs, but it arrived in one piece. I guess Homeland Security must have wanted to take a look at it. I will give it a test run on Saturday, but I am very confident that it will work exactly as I anticipate.

Be afraid.

Be very afraid...

On a lighter note, I got in a couple hours of easy riding today with four nice climbing intervals thrown in for fun. I ran the bike with TI gearing and TI pressure in the tires. It is very tempting to put a harder gear on the bike, but I will resist. I *must* resist. I remember those hills at the end of the course. I was cursing Jeff Kerkove for the last 30 miles last year. Seriously, I was out-loud, all-the-world-can-hear swearing at that guy. This year, I will curse Guitar Ted. I don't want to play favorites.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Quick Update

I did a nice recovery ride with the wife on Sunday. I was out for the team ride tonight. It was a small group; only five of us all together. The weather was great! It was 73F at the start and 69F at the finish! My first sweaty Michigan ride of the season... :)

My only real accomplishment on this ride was hitting 38.5 mph in one of the sprints. Granted, we had a tailwind and the road was a bit downhill at that point, but 38.5 mph is still 38.5 mph. I'll take it any way I can get it.

Planning a long, easy ride on Saturday on the Iowa bike and a short, harder ride on the road on Sunday.

TI is right around the corner. Then Dirty Kanza is just a bit after that. Got to keep the wheels turning.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Poto

Dan, Scott, and I did three laps out at the Poto yesterday. That's 56 miles of rail riding in about 4.5 hours. Dan wanted to do another lap, even though he hadn't slept the night before and his bike was falling apart. Scott wanted to get home to his wife. I was pretty darn tired and was having some wrist soreness issues. We packed it in after three laps and had some recovery drink.

My bike worked great! I ran my TI gear, which is 38x17. The rear hub stayed tight, the chainring bolts didn't budge. The new stem did what it was supposed to do: stayed put. I ran a 2.0 Blue Groove tire on the front. Not going to do that again! It worked well: good directional stability in the sand, hooked up on the mud and on the loose and didn't flat. However, it sent way too much trail chatter into my wrists. Looks like I will be remounting the WTB Mutanoraptor 2.4. I just keep coming back to that tire for longer trail rides. The Kenda Karma 2.0 in the rear worked great.

Forgot the pack the camera, so no pictures. I don't think pictures of Dan's and Scott's backsides would be all the interesting anyway... :)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Good and Bad

Got in a nice recovery ride yesterday, in anticipation of a couple of hard hours on the trail tonight.

I got to the trail a bit late, as I had to install a new stem and fix a flat. Anyway, I cranked out one lap on the trail and managed to get a new personal best for that course! That is the good.

The bad is that I got a flat at the start of my second lap. For the first time all season I left my tube and co2 at home. Bummer.

Anyway, I am looking forward to Saturday. Should be six hours of biking fun. Maybe some pictures? We'll see.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

First Team Ride of 2006

A nice group turned out for a cool, er, *cold* two-hour ride to kick off the Tuesday Night Ride for 2006. We got in just under two hours. There were some decent climbs, where I got to look at everyone's backside. There were some sprints, where I got to show my backside to a few people. Of course, Dan rocked the hiz-ouse, even though he had put in six hours before the team ride started. And he was riding a singlespeed. That guy is sick.

The legs felt good. The heart and lungs were good. I think my form is coming around. I'll be at the Poto this weekend, and that will be a good test as well.

The Magura brakes came in today! I'm looking forward to getting them installed. Might be awhile, since I plan to be riding the bikes and not messing with them.

So things are coming together. If only it would get a little warmer...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

What does a half-season of tires look like?

Why, it looks like this:

I've got a pair of Karma DTC's, a pair of Nevegal DTC's, a pair of Blue Groove's and a pair of Kaliente's for the road bike.

A special thanks to Kenda who is back as a team sponsor this year.

I was only able to get a couple of hours in today. The weather was a bit cold, and I just wasn't super-motivated. In fact, after riding for two hours, I just got a bit bored. Looks like a long day of riding tomorrow.

If you happen to look at the current issue of Bike Magazine, they have an article on the Sylamo trial system in Arkansas. The lead photo for the story is the stone staircase featured in my posts below! I thought that was pretty cool.

Lots of riding this week. The weekly team road ride restarts on Tuesday, and a big riding day over on the Poto is planned for Saturday. The clock is ticking for TI, so I gots to keep the wheels rolling...