Monday, April 27, 2009

Mohican Group Ride

Sunday I got to finally go and ride the entirety of the Mohican State Park. 25 miles of pure single track fun. The original group was to consist of Mike (BionicKnee), Scott (Salsaman) Johnny P, Roger, Dirk and myself. Johnny P or Dirk couldn't make it and Roger showed up but because cell phones don't work in Mohican State Park I couldn't tell him that we were running late. Once again sorry about this Roger, though word is he did run into Brian Lennon from the CAMBA race team while he was out there.

I won't bore you with the details of the course but will hit some of the highlights we had. The first of three mechanicals happened to my bike. I had installed my cranks wrong and the cranks shifted to the left. Making my smallest, aka granny gear, out of range of my front derailluer, which left me under geared for most of the climbs. I, however, didn't walk a single one. Another two miles down the trail Scott broke his chain. Nothing broke for the next 15 or so miles.

I must admit that it wasn't my best day of riding. I went down twice mostly due to washing out on fast turns. Nothing serious or anything but I was pushing harder on the ride and took my tires past there grip level.

We reached the second parking lot at the top of the hill and went in search of water. The horse trailer though busy didn't have any water. We got excited when we found a water spicket at a campground which wasn't turned out. So we rode down the road in search of anything. At this point I had drinking the two bottles of water in my camelback plus a water bottle full of gatorade, and we still had ten miles to go! We found two houses, the first didn't answer their door but the second one a kind lady let us grab water from her faucet. The one thing I should have done on this break was eat and that would come back to hurt me later.

At mile 17 my chain started to skip real bad, and I knew that could only be one thing, a broken chain. I had a feeling that I would break one since I had to grind up every 3000 feet of climbing. Lo and Behold, a pin had pulled out. Fixed that and we were on our way again.

Another 3 miles down the road I started to feel hunger pains. Another mile and I was in full on bonk mode. Even though I had eaten earlier and drank the entire ride I was dehydrated and out of fuel. This all happened during a technical downhill rock garden section. My vision started blurring and my legs felt like jelly. It wasn't long before I was down again. Luckily I fell on soft pine needles and no damage was done. I got up and made my way down the trail and hit an uphill and I couldn't go an further. I knew I had to stop and get some food and water. I shoved an entire powerbar into my mouth and chugged as much water as I could. It took me a couple miles but after a while my legs came back and I finished strong.

At the end I could barely walk and I was on empty again. I barely could change out of my sweat stroke riding clothes and slumped into my car. It was a hard tough ride home where I fought wanting to fall asleep. I gotta admit I was proud of myself and enjoyed every second of it. Thanks Mike and Scott for a great ride. It was a big moral booster to look back and see how far I've come over the last year. Last year at this time I didn't own a bike and now I'm doing MSP in under 3 hours. Can't wait to get back and do it again! Now to taper for The Mountwood challenge. I'm hooked on racing and I look forward to more miles this season.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Beautiful Day to Ride

Today was a beautiful day outside. I couldn't believe it truthfully, over the winter I wasn't sure the sun would ever rise again. So I worked my morning shift got my car from the repair shop and heading back to my favorite area to road ride, the Valley. On the way in I stopped into my local LBS to pick up two Camelback podium water bottles. I've only heard good things about them and I've thrown out almost my entire collection of water bottles because they were grungy. While there I grabbed the last Bontrager Race light lux mtb saddle they had for half price. I've been looking all over for this saddle and I couldn't beat the price.

I got out to the Valley later than anticipated but it turned out to be perfect. The sun was starting to set so the temp was perfect, hot enough so I could finally wear my summer jersey with no warmers but not to cold. I did the Bib Boy route from the Century Cycles page and I have to say I felt good the entire time. My Garmin said I did 27 miles with 1350 feet of climbing at an average speed of 17.5 mph. All my averages where right where I wanted them to be.

Tomorrow I will be at Quail Hollow before work to take my Full suspension Gary Fisher Procaliber out for a test ride before Sundays ride at Mohican State Park. Hopefully, all goes well. One last thing, I had planned to do the Races at The Lake Series Saturday but will skip instead to hit up the OMBC Mountwood race next Sunday.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Goals for the next month

I went out and rode Quail Hollow today and even though I was a little tired and sore I did a lap of 18 minutes and 17 seconds on my single speed full rigid bike. So I now I have two training goals set up.

The first is sub 18 minute laps on my rigid single speed. Shouldn't be hard. Once I reach this I'll take another 30 seconds off that and work towards that.

The second is sub 30 minute laps of my house loop time trail on my road bike. The best time so far is 30 minutes and 49 seconds for 9.7 miles.

Well there you go that's my goals for this month and hopefully I can hit those.

I've got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell!

I'm sitting here watching the live dutch feed of the Amstel Gold race on my computer and recovering from yesterday. I got up early and did rode down to the Race at the Lake series race to watch Sara race her race. She put in a good effort and I was really proud of her. The womens category was 8 strong and she was up against a past national crit champion. She got dropped early but gave a great effort. Because of the weather I ended up getting a nasty burn. Watching the race excited me and I'm planning on doing my first crit race next Saturday in cat 5 for the second RATL series.

I got home and cleaned my bike and ate and I was off to the Vultures Knob OMBC race. This year they added a prologue to the start of the race to hopefully thin out the group before we hit single track. Well this didn't really work because they didn't separate the classes with enough time and after about a quarter mile we were dumped off in a pretty technical section. My group immediately cut the group that was started out a minute before. I was caught up and the a couple of the riders got away from me. Luckily there was a climb up a field during the prologue and I was able to get past the slower sport riders and started to make up ground on the other riders. Halfway through the lap at the split I found out I was the 3rd novice to go through. So I started to push harder. Towards the end one rider got by me but I ended up with a nice third place finish.

After the race it was a party atmosphere and it was nice to see everyone from last year. My friend Roger was presented his custom bike from last year. During the awards presentation I was the only rider still present so I was anointed with Wild Turkey and giving my prize, a Vultures Knob cowbell. One or two drops actually made it in my mouth while the rest was splattered over my sunburned face. A pretty fun race!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Race Weekend and the rough roads of Kent

I'm sitting here waiting for tomorrow to come. It looks to be a fun day with watching Sarah at the Races at the Lake Series in the morning and in the evening I'll be doing the Vultures Knob OMBC in the evening. I do want to mention two confidence inspiring rides I had this week. The first was Monday the 13th, I took a trip out to Quails Hollow and did three laps all under 20 minutes on my singles speed full rigid Gary Fisher Advance. It felt good to hammer on my favorite course and full pace. The second was my 10 mile time trail course around my house. I had set up a course on my Garmin and I'm able to race my last time. First lap I did it in 34 minutes and 10 seconds. Second time out I did it in 31 minutes and 10 seconds. Thursday I completed it in 30 minutes and 49 seconds with an average speed of 18.8 mph. Next week I will try and complete it in under 30 minutes. 

I also wanted to post some pics of the rough roads of Kent. The first is the brick section near downtown kent. A short quarter mile section it's a fun road to hammer through in the big ring.

The second is really 200 meters long and is a narrow one lane rough road, reminds me of the roads of Europe and it's ends with a 90 degree turn with a slight downgrade.
Finally is the a half mile gravel road. This one gets a little more techinical because you have to follow the tire tracks to stay out of the big gravel and there's a slight uphill. Still fun to barrell down at 20 mph.

I can't wait till Cyclocross season!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rainy day ride.

Yesterday I wanted to ride. I had missed a group ride on Thursday and hadn't gotten very many miles this week, my longest ride was 11 miles! Snow and time where a major factor in this. So when I was done with work at two I decided hell or high water I'm going riding. 

The problem was it was raining. Well, I built up a rain bike for this reason so I hooked up the Garmin and a blinkie and headed off. Didn't really go anywhere specific nor did I follow any route I had done before. The one thing I wanted to do was to ride past where I usually turn on Lynn Road and ride down the gravel portion. I had a blast, it kept me on my toes and added a little bit of spark to the ride. I had so much fun I decide to hit as many "bad roads". I hit four in total Lynn Rd (Gravel), Crystal st (one lane dirt), Franklin Ave (Brick) and SunnyBrook rd (Potholes). It was a fun ride, going no where in particular but when I got close to something of interest I would head over that way. Spent 2 hours out in the rain for 33 miles and I had a great time. I added a graph of the information from my garmin:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Trek Factory Demo (Reagan Park)

Bob Myers and Trek are bringing the Demo Truck back to Northeast Ohio. Last years was a blast with a full line of bikes to choose from. Try out that 29er that you've been dreaming of, or sick of waiting for the rain to dry, try out a Madone on the road. This is a great oppurtunity to test a wide aray of different bikes. I know I'm looking forward to the Roscoe and theTop Fuel. If it's anything like last year, there will be plenty of swag to go around!

Where: Medina Reagan Park, Tent located at Soccer Fields in Huffman Park of Rt 3
When: May 15th 10-4
Why: I just told you! Read above
Bikes:Madone, Top Fuel, Fuel EX, Roscoe, Superfly, and more! 

Put on with Help From CAMBA!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ride Schedule

If anyone wants to join me for a ride here's when I'll be riding.

Thurs- Summit Freewheeler group ride, Botzum trailhead I'll be there about 5:30 leaves at 6
Friday- Somewhere in the Valley, maybe big boy route, Sometime after 5.
Sunday- Vultures Knob, time TBA
Let me know if you want to come out and ride, I'll make sure to not leave without you.