Saturday, December 30, 2006


The warm weather continued yesterday, so Dan and I went out to Ionia State Game Area. I had not been to that trail in years, so it was a nice change of pace. We rode for about two hours, which is about all of that trail that I needed to ride. It is fun for a while, but it is short and not all that interesting or challenging in the long run.

I borrowed a Maxxis Ignitor from Dan and used it in front. Once I got the pressure low enough, it was a great tire for that trail. It packed up with mud a bit, but the sturdy construction and grippy tread were the right answer for the roots and rocks in Ionia.

It's been fun riding the Quiring 29er in the dirt. I expected to be spending all winter riding it on the road. There is a learning curve with 29er, and I am glad I can get some of it out of the way now. I'm still learning to trust the tires and the larger contact patch to get me through corners, but the climbing traction and roll-over ability continue to impress.

I washed the Quiring today. It is a fine looking bike, if I do say so myself. It has spend most of the winter covered with mud and road grime, so it was nice to see it all shiny.

My new Garmin Edge 305 has been fun to play with as well. I changed out the batter in the HR Monitor strap, and now everything is working great. I'm a little nervous about using it during a race, as I'd hate to smack it into a rock during a crash. But for training, I really like it. It collects a ton of useful (and not-so-useful, but interesting) data. Most of that data is displayed in real-time, but some is accessed back on my computer at home. I'm looking forward to comparing times at various course during the season.

I got my YMCA membership today. That means I will be hitting the gym and spin class for the first time. I've seen what these things have done for some of my team mates, so I am looking forward to improvement in my performance.

Family events will keep me off the bike today, but I hope to get some saddle time tomorrow and/or New Years Day.

Friday, December 29, 2006


I snuck out of work yesterday afternoon for a ride. The weather was excellent, with some sun and temps in the 40's. The route was mostly road with a bit of trail thrown in, and I was out for about three hours.

I tweaked my back again, in the same way that I did before Iceman. At least this time I knew what to expect, and was able to ease off my pedal stroke when I felt the 'slipping/tearing' feeling start. It's a bit sore today, but not too bad. I'm trying to decide if I should see a doctor about this; maybe some kind of physical therapist? What do you think, Danielle?

More riding might be on tap for this afternoon. (The office is mostly empty, and I do have a bit of vacation saved up...) If the sun comes out, I don't know if I'll be able to resist. Some family and friends activity to round out the holiday weekend, but there should be time for some riding as well, although no formal ride is planned. (Marty, I deleted your message and phone number by accident; sorry for not returning the call!)

Bought a set of used Jones H-Bars this week for the 2nd bike. Also got to hold one of the new White Brother's carbon rigid forks at the shop...very nice! A small pile of parts is forming in anticipation of the NNB (Next New Bike), details should be available some time after the first of the year.

Check out the schedule for 2007 over on the right hand side of the page. I'd like to add one more 24-hour race. Any suggestions that fit in the schedule and don't involve a multi-day drive would be welcome!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Day Ride

I got in a nice 4.5 hour ride on Christmas Day. Most of the family stuff was completed on Saturday and Sunday, so I was able to fit this ride in. I used my fancy new Garmin Edge 305 for the first time; it's pretty slick. It turns out that all the little hill on my route add up to...not as much climbing as I would have thought.

Back to work tomorrow, but with warm weather in the forcast, I suspect that I will put in one or two short days and perhaps make my way down to Yankee. Best to make use of the warm weather while it lasts.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The week in review

Took Saturday off to let the mouth heal. Got a call from Scott around 8:30 PM. Seems he, Dan and Danielle went out and rode the Poto. As usual, things get a little crazy and Dan ended up riding the second lap WITHOUT A SEAT OR SEATPOST! That man is an animal. Scott was calling to invite me over to drink a beer and hear about the ride. I went, beer was drunk (see bottom of the post...) and stories were told.

Got up and rode cross bikes with Dan on Sunday. We got 3 hours in; the weather was mild and the ride was pretty gentle.

Rode my cross bike on Monday; one hour easy ride. Ran 3 miles on Tuesday.

Rode for 2.5 hours last night. Dan, Nate and Me down at Yankee. Did a short loop backwards, long loop backwards, so 'off-trail' riding and the first section of the long loop backwards again. I was running 34x15 on the 29er, so you know I was working hard. Dan was on 2x1 and Nate was running his Iceman gear on the 26er. Then we went out for Mexican food; mmmm, burrito!

I registered for the Ouachitta yesterday. I hear that the race is full already. A bunch of the Founder's people will be there; should be a good time. Anyone with advice on what gearing to go with on the 29er should feel free to post a comment to that effect.

Look for an update to the site around January 1. Updated schedule, some new links, etc.

**Adults-only Section**

I generally keep the blog rated 'G', but the following 'beer review' from Dan just has to be posted somewhere. The beer-drinking at Scott's on Saturday got a bit crazy, and we (Dan, Scott, and I) all blame the beer that is reviewed below. By the way, this beer was sold in an un-labled brown plastic jug. Read on, but you have been warned:

Michigan Brewing Hop Head Switch Double IPA

Warning: Do not drink this beer if you are required to take a urinalysis in the next 30 days. Consumption of this ale can cause you to go insane. I doubt the FDA knows much about this product as I am sure it contains some unknown ingredients that I can only guess would include psychotropic agents, crack, meth, weed, raccoon sperm and healthy B vitamins.

A mere one quart of this extremely hoppy drink will FUCK YOU UP!!! One minute it's all fun and before you know it your running around with your pants down, underwear on your head, repeatedly banging your head on house hold objects and trying to fit your self into a clothing basket.

You may find your self motivated to drunk call your non-present buddies pregnant wife and discuss such topics as who will be the father of her next child and then give her toc much information of your sex life which includes only your hand.

Lastly, you will wake up with the worst hangover you have had all year and then proceed to puke out last nights pizza. As you stare at the undigested olives and onions you will ask yourself one question... What the hell was in that shit?

All in all it is a good ale for the hops lover. Or if you just want some liquid crack.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Oral Surgeon

Man, that is never a good blog title.

I got a tooth pulled yesterday. Everything went well, but I am going to take the weekend off and let the wound heal a bit before I get back on the bike. I'm a bit pissed at the timing, since it is supposed to be trail-riding weather tomorrow. Dan, Scott, and Danielle (at least) are heading to the Poto tomorrow. I hate to miss it, but I'd rather heal up now so I don't have issues when the training rides get real long.

Now it's off to find some soft food...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Did a nice recover ride on Sunday; one hour on the cross bike around downtown.

I was on the trainer last night. Only an hour, but it was pretty intense. Some high cadence work, but some big gear work as well. It seems like my leg strengh is way ahead of last year. It's too early to comment on endurance, but it doesn't seem any worse than last year. Time will tell.

More riding this weekend. There is talk about a trip to the Poto. With the warm weather, a trail ride is not out of the question.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

4 Hours, 22 Minutes

The ride today ended up being 22 minutes longer than I had planned. Somehow I missed the road I wanted to turn on, so my loop turned into an out-and-back. Not bad, but I was looking forward to some new roads, and my planned route included some gravel. Oh, well. Maybe next time.

This is my second 3+ hour ride on the new Quiring. I have to say, it is a great bike to ride. I traded in my ti seatpost for a Thomson, and my back refuses to give me any trouble. Ditto my hands, neck and knees. I guess all the hype of steel+full custom is true, at least in this case. The bike fits and absorbs more than its share of road and trail chatter.

I mounted tires on the Velocity wheels I won at the last Kisscross race. They look pretty sweet, all stealth black. I need to get another set of disk rotors so I can swap wheels without hunting for a torx wrench.

More standard winter training on tap next week; short rides on Tuesday and Thursday, long ride on Saturday (4.5-5 hours) and short ride on Sunday. The weather is supposed to be quite warm, which is great for not freezing but bad for salt-impregnated road spray on my fancy steel frame...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Outside in the Cold

Rode outside tonight. It was dark, about 26F with a decent wind. I was only out for an hour, so the cold wasn't really an issue. I switched from a 34x17 to a 34x15 gear ratio. That's a difference you can feel, I'm here to tell ya.

Looking at 4 hours on Saturday, and 1 hour on Sunday. The weather is supposed to warm up, so I'm not too concerned about either ride. It could get a little sloppy.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Remember: Take the right gloves!

So, I went to the crazy bastard ride yesterday. I got to the parking lot, and realized that one of my gloves was all messed up by having been in the washer. You know what I mean, you put the gloves in the wash, and when you take them out the liner is all twisted inside out. Anyway, this is usually not a problem, you just stuff your fingers in there and it works itself out. Not this time. Try as I might, I could not get the glove liner squared away. I grabbed my spare (thin) glove and set out on the ride.

It was cold. Within ten minutes, I could tell that my under-gloved hand was gonna get cold. Fifteen minutes into the ride my right (rear) shifter stopped working. First the chain started skipping. They the shifter just plain stopped working. Of course, I was in my easiest gear. I bagged it and headed back to the car. So I was out for a total of 30 minutes, and my hand was completely numb. So, I did what I had to do: I called Scott and we went to the bar.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Winter Ride

Got out for a three hour ride this afternoon. It was cold, right around 32F. I had a nice tailwind on the way out and fought the headwind on the way back. This was the longest ride to date for the new Quiring. I didn't take the time to put a harder gear on, so I had to spin my brains out with 2x1. I'll fix that before next week.

No trip to Detriot for CX racing tomorrow. Family committments will keep me in town. No big deal--I plan to get plenty of use out of the DDX on Tuesdays with the Crazy Bastards this winter.

Typical training week on tap: Cross ride on Tuesday, trainer on Thursday, longish ride on Saturday and short ride Sunday. Maybe some running in between. We got some snow this week, but not enough to get the skis out.