Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Why We Tuck and Roll.

Christy says I should put more pictures on my blog. Here’s one:

I had a little get off while riding at Boone with Dave yesterday, and, like an idiot, I stuck my hand out. This is the result. I don’t think anything is broken, but my middle two fingers got jammed pretty good, and are pretty swollen (my fingers are not usually this chubby).

Like I tell anyone that will listen, don’t stick you hand out when you fall! Tuck and roll is the way to go down. But it is easier said than done. Practice would help. Yeah, right - I’m gonna go practice falling.

Anyway, I finished the lap, and did another after that. It didn’t bother me too much, except during hard braking. After icing it today at work, I went out tonight for some active recovery with Keaton, and I barely noticed it, except during hard braking. Oh well. Dave says I should spend less time on the brakes anyway.

I'm back on track as far as my training goes. I've ridden for 5 days in a row now, with a nice mix of intensity, but not much endurance. I'll get pleny of that next weekend and at the Boone 24.

Monday, August 21, 2006

24 Hour Training

I did some training for the Boone 24 hour race tonight. It consisted of having a couple of beers on the porch with Christy, and then, when it got good and dark, riding my bike out into the woods. It sounds nuts (try explaining it to the park ranger - which I had to do), but it really is a lot of fun.

I also spent part of then night installing new Thompson Goodies on several of my bikes. The Thompson stuff is some finely crafted aluminum. Sweet!

Another note from yesterday's road race. I was having so much fun after the race hanging out with the guys that I forgot my post race ritual of Endurox and Recover-Ease. Ouch! I could definitely feel a difference today.

My friend and coworker Cory successfully completed Guitar Ted's Death Ride Invitational. From accounts here, here, and here he did really well. I am lucky to be able to train with him.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

First Road Race

I entered in my first road race today. It is a small race in Webster City (The Tour de Webster) put on by the Webster City Parks and Recreation department, and supported by my team. All Nine Yards was also well represented.

Since it was my first road race, my expectations were low. I just wanted to hang with the main group. I was going to give everything I had to not get dropped. I knew nothing of the course, but I figured it was mostly flat, given the terrain in the area. If there were big hills, my race plan was done (since my climbing ability still sucks).

My training has also sucked in the last couple of weeks. Between the visiting of out-of-state family, the Fair, and generally crappy weather my training and nutrition have been all messed up. I went out Saturday to ride some intervals, and felt pretty good, but I tried to not get my hopes up.

I got to the start in WC, and the usual Team 14 suspects were there (Thad, Rob, Matt, Brian, Chris, Nick, Bruce, with Sean and Chris MaHarry on injured reserve). We had a team meeting down the road at the graveyard, then we out on a warm-up/pre-ride.

At the start of the race, I was pretty nervous because it was my first road race, and I didn’t know what to expect. My nerves settled some once we took off. At one point early one, someone in front of me sat up, and I locked my rear wheel avoiding them. That made me (and others around me) a little jumpy.

The race pace was also a little jumpy. We would cruise for a while, then someone would try to go off the front, and we would all jump to keep up. Maybe this is normal. I don’t know because it was my first time.

At the halfway point in the race (the Homer corner), the front of the main group accelerated thru the corner, and I (and several others) struggled stay on. I pegged out the HR doing it, but I caught back on to the main group.

Several guys had been off the front during the race, but the main group had always reeled them in. At the finish, it was no different, and the main group finished with a sprint.

As we were approaching the final sprint, several guys yelled “Car Up”. Apparently this was some idiot’s cue to attack the group to the left of the centerline. I was stunned, and waited for the carnage that would ensue. The only carnage that resulted was him being spit out the back of the main group on the final hill. In addition to being an idiot, I guess he attacked too soon.

Donny Quixote got the win with teammate Jeff finishing in third. I finished in 18th overall, and finished 3rd in my age group (40+). I was suprised by the result. I was oly trying to hang on. The only disappointment I have is that I held back some at the finish line, because I didn’t know what to expect. “First Race Jitters” I guess.

Another thing worth mentioning is that a “Road Race” is another item on my “Life List”. OK, This was a minor road race, but it gives me the confidence to do another one.

Next up is the Boone 24 hour race, (another item on my “Life List” – dang, I’m gonna have to think of some more stuff) where I am teaming up with Thad, Rob, and another rider to be named later. Our stated team goal is to have fun, lots of fun. I plan on achieving that goal. I told them I could drink beer, eat spaghetti, and heckle the leaders, all while riding single track at night. I guess I better start practicing.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Double Header

I went on the usual Thursday night group ride, but my legs felt kind of dead. I got dropped on the Boone hill (we've had my wife's family in town for the past 10 days, so my diet and training schedule has been all messed up). On Saturday I tried to get it all back. I did three hours of gravel early in the day, and did another 1.5 hours at Peterson's after dark. Both rides felt great. I forgot how much fun night riding could be! I might be riding on a Team 14 4 person team for the 24-hour race at Boone on Labor Day weekend. Because of that, I’ll be doing more night riding in the next couple of weeks.

I also had to skip riding today so that I could go to the Fair with my wife’s family, but I’m feeling much better now.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Day Past Ripe

I rode today, even thought I had ridden for the previous 5 days. I didn't have much energy, and my legs felt weak, but I got 1 1/2 hours in. I have family things to tend to the next two days, so something had to give. I'll be back for the group ride on Thursday.

What don't kill you, makes you stronger.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Weekend Recap

Although the weekend was somewhat rainy, it turned out pretty good for me. On Friday night I took a ride on the Rig through Peterson's, just too make sure the 32x16 gearing is still working for me. It was. I cleared the big climbs on the backside of McFarland with it using the slow cadence rocking technique mentioned earlier.

On Saturday I had planned a three-hour gravel grinder with Cory. I wanted to take the 8500, but didn't want to wear out the new Michelin A/Ts, so I swapped the wheels on the 8500 with the Michelin Comp S Light/Mavic 817 on the Fuel. It took a little messing around to get the new combination dialed in (the rear derailleur and both brake calipers had to be adjusted), but it got me where I wanted to be.

Cory had planned to be at my place at 7:30 AM. I got ready in spite of the rain/forecast/radar. When the phone rang at 7:30, I thought it could go either way. I was glad to hear that Cory was on his way. In spite of the rain, we rode east on 170th, and south to where ever, with him leading the way, and me being the blissful tagalong. In the end I'm guessing I did 40-45 miles (my computer was not working in the rain) with Cory doing more like 55-60 by the time he got home (he's training for G-Ted's Death March, so he needs to get in the extra miles). We had a great ride, in spite of the rain, and Cory's near flat. It was long, slow, distance (LSD), so we had plenty of time to solve all of the worlds' problems. I also wore my Jimi Hendrix jersey to commemorate the LSD. There was some bike cleanup afterwards because of the slop, but it was all good.

On Sunday I took care of some neglected tasks that come with living on an acreage (mowed the lawn, weeded the garden, cleaned the gutters, etc.). Later I took the 8500 (still with the Michelin Comp S Light/Mavic 817 wheels) out too Peterson's for a quick spin (1.5 hours). I should ride that bike more often. It's pretty sweet. It's quick, light, and nimble. But I could feel that lack of traction on a few climbs. I don't know whether it was from the lack of full suspension, or the worn out Michelin’s.

For the week I got in 9.5 hours of riding, with a good mix of intensity and endurance. I think I'm on my way to another good build period. I will try to build the next peak for races in September.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Another Thursday Night

I did the Bike World group ride tonight. Cory was also there. We rode north into the wind. I took some pulls, and made a halfhearted attempt at a sprint, but I just didn't have any legs tonight.

I think I'm still feeling the effects of Sunday's suffer fest. I rested Monday, and it rained Tuesday, so I rested even harder. I rode easy at Peterson's yesterday, with a couple of hard efforts thrown in, and felt pretty good.

Today I thought the ride started out OK, but I ran out of gas. The group split at E-18, with some of the guys riding towards Pilot Mound, and Steve and BP turning back towards Ames. Cory and I debated for a second, but with both groups moving away from us, we had to decide. I convinced Cory to take the easy way and we caught back on with Steve and BP. We had fast ride with the wind, until Cory and I got dropped on a hill. That was a good thing, cause that gave us an excuse to stop on my brother-in-law's for a Stella's on the way back into town. Life is good.

The Iowa Games web site sez that the MTB race has been rescheduled for October 7th. Cam sez that "We are working on the possibility of an additional IMBCS event for the weekend of October 7. Stayed tuned for details." Could it be that the final IMBCS event would be in my back yard? That would be cool!