Friday, June 29, 2007

Easy Week

Did the team ride on Tuesday. There was some pain, mostly due to the heat. A few mechanicals caused us to run a bit late, so no pizza after. I made two small changes to the road bike; I raised the seat about 5 mm and lowered the bars about 10 mm. It was a good change. I think I'll tweak the MTB this weekend along the same lines.

Should be a good weekend for riding. I'm looking at a few hours tomorrow and 100 miles or so on Sunday. My fitness is coming around after the long layoff in Europe. Which is good, since there is a little 24 hour race right around the corner.

Next week should be another good week for riding, at least as long as the weather holds. I have a 40-mile marathon race on the schedule for next Saturday; we'll see how I feel and make a last-minute call on that one. Otherwise all the normal rides will be in full effect. Sometimes dull can be exciting.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Say "Yes!" to 9 Mile

The decision is in: I will be doing 24 Hours of 9 Mile. I have a support person lined up, and I have located a back-up bike. Now I have to handle the logistics: I'm registered, but that's it. I need to figure out where to stay, how to get there, what to bring, etc. It's been a while since I did a 24-hour lap race.

This means Wilderness is out. My performance at back-to-back weekends of racing means the E100 is out. That in turn means I won't qualify for the overall in the National Endurance Series. (By the way, it looks like their site has been hacked...)

With that set of decisions out of the way, I can focus on training for the rest of this seasons' events. I'll still be at Shenandoah; I have at least one marathon race on the calendar, and a series of XC races leading up to Iceman. The 200-miler in Minnesota looks interesting. On second thought, it looks like there are still a few more decisions to be made.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Did Cannonsburg 8 hour. It was like the mirror image of Lumberjack: Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Bad prep the week before the race, bad nutrition and bad bike set-up.

In the end, it was more like the 4 hours of Cannonsburg. Other people had good rides: Dan was on fire and beat all the solo riders and teams; Shawn put the hut on folks and pulled off 9 laps; Nate and Sheri pulled out a 2nd Place in the 2 Person category. Good times.

With no back-up bike in sight, I am having second thoughts about 9 mile. If I skip it, I can do Wilderness and not mess around with the E100.

Decisions, Decisions...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Team Ride

Did the team ride on Tuesday. There was a large group, but folks held together pretty well. I was a bit tired from the Lumberjack. In the end I hung in pretty well, although JoeFro put in some efforts that I thought were going to rupture my spleen. That boy can put the hammer down.

I'm in Cincinnati today and tomorrow. I'll get home just in time to swap gears on the bike and head over to Cannonsburg Saturday morning for the 8 Hour race. Should be fun, as lots of teammates and friends will be there as well. This is part of the E100/Shenandoah 100 testing process. It I can do well at Cannonsburg, I will give serious consideration to doing two hundies on back-to-back weekends. If I feel like crap at Cannonsburg, then two undies on consecutive weekends might be a bad idea.

Props to Rick for puting on a good race at Lumberjack.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lumberjack 100 Report

Lumberjack 100 2007

Bike Setup

Quiring 29er Steel Singlespeed, 36x19
Reba Fork
Industry Nine wheels
Kenda Small Block front tire
Kenda Karma rear tire

The word that best describes my experience at this race is “smooth”. This is the first race in a long time where I felt mostly comfortable leading up to the event. My bike was in good shape, I slept and ate well leading up to the event, and I knew the course. I had the normal pre-race jitters, but they were minor compared to Ouachita or Cohutta.

The first lap was pretty easy. I had to deal with traffic, including making some passes that were less than ideal. There were a couple of instances where I had to pass four riders at once, for example. Next year I think I will try to start closer to the front of the pack.

The only rough spot was my eating/hydration plan. Because the weather was cool and I started the race well-hydrated, I decided to use one 1.5 liter bladder for the first two laps. I thought I could get away with this because I have done several rides over four hours with that size bladder and I was drinking 24 ounces of perpetum/sustained energy every lap. This turned out to be a mistake; by the end of lap 2 I was feeling pretty dehydrated. I also need to re-check my calculations on the food bottle. After drinking one bottle during each of the first two laps, I felt bloated and gassy. During lap three I drank an entire 1.5 liters of Gu2O and only half a food bottle. During lap four I drank another 1.5 liter bladder and only ¼ of a food bottle. I never felt hungry during the ride.

Lap 2 and 3 were slower than I would have liked. I could tell by the middle of lap 2 that I wasn’t drinking enough. The good thing is that I never panicked. I knew I had enough food and fluid in the pits to get me through the race, so I suffered out the rest of that lap and drank as much as I could on lap 3. By the end of lap 3 I was really starting to feel good. I felt great on lap 4; I was hammering the hills and railing the descents. I could have done another lap.

The bike was fabulous! It was a pleasure to ride the entire race without worrying about losing the chain. The Reba suspension fork was great; I had almost no arm/neck soreness after the race or the next morning. The new Industry Nine wheels lived up to the hype-they were stiff, had lightning-fast engagement and were noticeably lighter than my other wheels. Even the Garmin Edge GPS unit came through for me; it lasted the entire 9 hours on one charge! I couldn’t ask for anything more from the bike.

I knew that I would not have a great result; suffering for one and a half laps means no podium in a race like this. I was pleasantly surprised to finish in the top 10. Because I took so much time off the bike before this race, I didn’t put too much pressure on myself.

The after-party was a hoot! Snob, Cory, Brett, Paula, Anne, Danielle, the Doctor…the whole crew was there. Lots of tired faces, but lots of smiles as well. Not like last year…

It was nice to get in a long ride, and to feel calm even though the food/fluid situation was sub-optimal. It was also good to complete this race with minimal outside assistance—staying focused and motivated has been a problem in the past when Becky couldn’t do support for me.

Now I have a decision to make. With a 5th place and an 8th place finish to my credit, do I want to add the E100 to my schedule and try to place in the top 5 for the series? I plan to do the Shenandoah 100 either way, so if I want to qualify I need to add the 4th race. The E100 is the only one that fits. Decisions, decisions…

This looks interesting...

Anyone in? Thinking about it?

Speak up.

Quick Lumberjack Update

Not a bad race for me. 8th Place in a little over 9 hours. Lap 1 had traffic, Lap 2 I didn't drink enough, Lap 3 I suffered, and Lap 4 was good.

Teammates and friends did well; Paula won the women's ss, Danielle won the women's open, Dejay won the mens open; our table at the afterparty had a whole mess of axes!

A better post to follow later.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Bike? Check.
Gear? Check.
Bad Attitude? Check.
Street Llama? Check.

Oh, it's on now.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Euro Photo

Becky took this action shot. Gotta love that horizon in the background. This was taken in a small village outside of Dubrovnik, Croatia.

This is me freezing my a$$ off 20 km outside of Florence, Italy. Why am I so cold?

I don't know; maybe it's because I am being pelted with giant (1") hail stones from a freak hail storm. The temps dropped about 20F degrees in 5 minutes. We waited out the storm in a little cafe watching the Giro on the TV.

And the money shot:

This was the view from the balcony of our hotel room in Dubrovnik. Visit if you get the chance.

Team ride tonight, then easy rides to break in the new set of Industry 9 wheels that showed up today. Then Lumberjack...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Lumberjack Pre-ride


It's easy to forget how hard that course can be. Dan, Nate, Barry and I drove up to Big M yesterday. A storm last week left several trees down and much debris on the trail. The promoter asked us (and a bunch of other folks) if we could lend a hand by raking the trail. We were happy to pitch in, and decided to ride a lap when the raking was finished.

The trail is in good condition, by the way.

Anyway, Barry has an injury, so it was just Dan, Nate and I doing the lap. The weather was warm, but not as warm as last years race. The course is being run backwards this year, so that is the direction we followed.

I'm not gonna lie to you; that trail can kick your butt. The race hits a long climb right out of the box. SS'ers will be walking. The rest of the inner loop will be fine. The outer loop has some tricky stuff as well; sandy climbs and Road Monkey will lots of false flats and more speed-sucking sand.

My advice: start hydrating now; put an easier gear on your SS; pack a love of suffering.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Despite TSA's Best Efforts...

... I made it back into the country. Italy and Croatia were great, but I am glad to be back and ready to get on the bike. I rode bikes twice on the trip, and will post pictures soon.

I did the team ride last night. There was a huge group, which kept the pace low. I contested a few sprints, but it was cleat that the legs were not fully functional. I started cramping up almost right from the get-go. I didn't feel terrible, I just didn't feel great. Hopefully, it's nothing that a few hundred miles won't cure.

After the ride, food was grilled and beer was poured. After three weeks of Italian beer, the Founder's really hit the spot.

More riding in store for the rest of the week, with some singlespeed action Thursday and a rode hundie on Saturday. Next race: Lumberjack. I owe that race, and I plan to pay in full.