Thursday, August 30, 2007

Here's yet another one from France.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I found the cat playing with his food this morning. WARNING: If you are sensitive to poor defenseless animals please refrain from watching

I logged a big fat 0 for time on the bike this week. I was gong to do a ride Friday or Saturday but with all the rain lately, I was working overtime on mowing lawns. I also logged some upper body work shoveling out muck from the lake. The water was really low so me and my dad started shoveling out an area as far as we could. It is a smelly, sweaty, dirty job but someone has to do it. Sam went up to Seeley for the Pre-Fat race and took 4th behind Jesrin, Jeff, and TJ. I'm looking forward to this weekend up at Maplelag Resort. Its one big party were nobody is in a hurry to make it home after the race. Good time to socialize with the other riders and relax.

I also started school today. A full semester once again taking 15 credits. I get to do a lab in Chemistry which should be fun, and the engineering class should be fun also. I get to work with a CAD program and a prototyping machine which builds prototype models out of powder.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Spirit Mt

Sam and I went up sat morning to Spirit since the cities were so rainy and the North Shore was dry. We did a lap and a half on the revised singletrack and then went downtown and ate at Green Mill. Scott K-J was kind enough to let us stay at his house even on a last min. notice. Thanks Scott. Sarah was doing the Wors cup so we gave him some company. The race was the coldest in a long time. 60 degrees and a strong wind off Superior was cold enough for warmers off the start. I was with the lead group on the first 1/2 lap with the usual riders. Things broke up on the start climb going into the 1st full lap. I was hanging with Ben Moore, Chris Fisher,and Tom Miller. About 10 min into the singletrack I got a flat and Stans sealant was shooting out all over the place. I quick put a tube in only to hear the hiss of air coming out slowly again. I went back to the truck and put a different wheel on and did a lap for the fun of it. Sam did well and took third behind Jeff Hall and Brendan Moore.
This week instead of doing a Ctrl-alt-delete like Brendan did last week I'm doing a complete shutdown. I tried doing easy days after France but didn't feel any better. Its a perfect week to do it though. Its damp, rainy, and my cousin is in from England for the week visiting. Monday we went to the MOA to shop and eat, gathered at my aunts that evening for more eating. Tuesday we went to the Science Museum, saw a video about Greece in the IMAX theatre, went through the new Pompeii exhibit, and looked at some of the other stuff. You could easily spend a full day there with the kids and not see everything. They have so many different exhibits now because of all the room and even miniture golf outside in the backyard. Its a great location overlooking the river. After that, everyone came over to our house to eat some more. Looks rainy today, I guess I can't bike :)

Here's a good one. We climbed this on our "recovery" day along with one other climb. I don't know if you can see them but there were paragliders in the back ground

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Backroads of France

The video from the helmet cam fails during processing but the quicktime video from the still camera uploads fine

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cyclists vs Skiers

The Ride and Glide puts on weekly rides on tuesdays and once a month they host a TT in a small town called Withrow. Yesterday was a special TT that proceeds went to snow making equipment at Wirth park. They had some specail guests like Tim Mulrooney (TT specialist), Chad Gies (US ski Team member),John Munger (from the city of Lakes Loppet, Bill Dosset(from city of lakes Loppet), Piotr Bednarski (didn't show), Kevin Brochman (Former Olympic skier), and Ben Popp (Member of winning RAAM Team). I went over to the Thompsons because I was going to ride over with them. When I got there, John's bike had just been taken out of its box from cross nationals last year, and we were suppost to be out the door in 45 min. I told him to go eat and I'll wrench on it for him. Eric and I were ready and John decided to drive over. So Eric and I pretty much time trialed it over to Withrow in record time and caught the tail end of registration. They had a record 98 people signed up to race. I was 88th to go. The course was only 13.3 miles long but had plenty of rollers in it. Tim Mulrooney was 96th to go and he passed me like 10 min into the course like I was standing still. I was not feeling my best, and I was using muscles like I've never used them before. Towards the end Eric Thompson had me marked and caught me. I kept him within 100 yards to the finish. He ended up with the fastest time w/o TT bars 31:19 and 16th overall- avg speed 25.9mph. I rolled a 32:36 with a 26th overall and a 24.8mph avg speed. This was my first TT other than a Duathlon or a triathlon and my goal is to do a 30:00 even with no aero equipment. Eric said his legs were itching to get a good effort in since he has not raced in a while. He has been getting ready for college in either Colorado or North Carolina. Watch for him in the college standings soon. Oh, and since he got the fastest time w/o aerobars, he will be even faster because he just won an aerobar from HED. I didn't leave empty handed either. I won a nice white Swix beanie, a bag of cookies and some REX base wax. Tim set a new course record, 28:33 with a 28.3mph avg speed.

nothing like riding into the sunset after a hard race.Good times

Monday, August 13, 2007

Race #2-Welch

After racing saturday in Michigan we went down to Welch on Sunday. Sam and I were both feeling tired and not up to racing. That is not to say that we had a bad race because on the contrary, last year Sam did Welch after the Ore-To-Shore and took second. This year Sam spanked everyone and was 5.5min ahead of second place. I was a whole 10.5min back and still ended up getting 5th. I forgot how many climbs were in that course. And the "Wall" was brutal on the legs. I was going so slow up that thing on the last lap that it was faster for me to run it. I figured I ran a hill the day before so why not. After the prologue lap I was riding alone the whole race. I did see Brendan once on the beginning of the 2nd lap a ways up the hill but he put in a surge and was out of sight on the back section. After the 1st lap my legs finally started to come around and I was feeling better. But again, it didn't even seem that a race was going on because I was stuck in the middle of a huge gap. I did say earlier that I needed to start making the top 5 and the $. So I'm happy with the result. Next week is one of the best courses in the state-Spirit MT, Duluth. With Eric Tonkin, Jeff Hall, and who knows what other fast guys present, we are going to have to bring our A game.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Better..Best..Bad..Bagged it.

Thats how it went at the Ore-to-Shore. Bit of Drama for many. The start was hard and the body was in a bit of shock after not doing any race efforts for 3 weeks. I was red lining it up the first big hill and was feeling slow. Then in the flat sandy 4- wheeler trails I could hardly crawl back up to the wheel in front of me which was 10 feet away. I finally told myself to suck it up. After all, a big part of racing is mental toughness too. Everyone else is feeling the same pain.I was doing BETTER then last year as I was in the top 15. About 10-15 miles into the race I see Sam about 50 yards up stop and the Eppens on the tandem coming towards me. I glance right to see a course arrow pointing right. From 3rd place (Doug) back to me had all gone straight instead of right. everyone but Doug came back. I guess Doug didn't realize it until a couple miles out when he came to a house.I was now sitting in my BEST Ore-to-Shore position ever. Once Brian and Kim Eppen came up to me on the tandem, I jumped on for a free ride as were about 6 others. The "Eppen Express" was in full effect..the whistle on the train goes WHOOOOOT,WHOOOOOT.(That one's for Doug). When we hit the deep woodchip and sandy uphills on the 4-wheeler trail 20 miles in 1 guy had a small gap on us and I began to chase with Sam on my wheel. At mile 25, Misery hill appeared before me. Misery hill is about 100yds long and is a difficult hike-a-bike, loose rock filled, sandy hill. When I arrived at the bottom Brian Matter was just hopping back on his bike at the top. A couple boulder strewn rollers latter I was leading a group of about 6 in 4th position with Sam on my wheel. This is where the race turned BAD. I was climbing a hill when my chain snapped on me. Sam stopped and I frantically searched his camelbak for a chain tool but he didn't have one. I told him to just go after about 30 seconds. I was about 2 miles out from an aid station so I began the hike. A rider that passed by dropped me a tool after 5-10 min. of hiking. When I was going to take the broken link out I noticed that where I needed to break it was indeed the master link, which meant I didn't even need the chain tool to fix it. Ok, so I started rolling again just to finish the race and get back home. I made it up the long pavement stair stepper climb and began descending through the 4-wheeler trails. Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, they did.At 14 miles to go, a rock split my tire clean open on the sidewall from tread to bead. I patched it with a GU packet and limped it a couple miles to some aid personnel who had duct tape. After putting some duct tape in the tire I limped it another 2 miles to another aid station and decided to BAG IT. They gave me a 4-wheeler ride to yet another aid station where they wrapped the entire tire and rim to hold it better. I then had to ride the last 8 miles on the road through town into the finish area in Marquette. I was getting tired and feeling a bonk coming on because I was out there for over 3hrs. Sam went on to take 8th. Next time I'm bringing everything I need to get back including some duct tape.

This was going to be my racing rig, until the kid who owned it beat me up and took it back.

I still think Doug Swanson is responsible for this. He was pretty loopy during the preride.

This is how I limped it back for 3 miles before getting a ride on the 4 wheeler

At aid station visit #3 this is the repair that they fixed me up with before riding the remaining 8 miles on the pavement to the finish.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A dusty Ore-to-Shore last year
I'm going to be heading out for Marquette MI in a bit for the Ore-to-Shore. This is the first race in the "Triple Crown" for the midwesterners. 50 mile point to point race with a mass start of around 800-900 riders I believe for last years race. My predictions: Mike Simmonson will win if he has the same form as last year. He went solo for almost the entire race last year to take the win. But I think the lead group will be Mike, Doug Swanson, Brian Matter, and the "Eppen Express" tandem who won 2 years ago. I'll go out on a limb and say Sam might be up there too because he is on fire right now. I know he is climbing like a rocket so we'll see how fast he can push the big ring on the flats. The chase group will Have Jesrin, Sam if he can't hold the pace of the lead and hopefully me. I'm hoping Matt Muyers can be up with us too to have another teammate in the pack. I know there will be some locals and some WI people in there to mix it up as well. Right after the race we will high tail it back home so we can make it to Welch on Sunday. Man, I sound like a pro with all the traveling now. After this weekend things start to settle down a bit. I also start school in another 2 weeks. The summer is going too fast.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Some people take vacations to exotic places to soak up some rays on a beach, read some books, sit in a chair in front of a beautiful view, and just relax. Whats my idea of a vacation?...
8 days
21 Cols
35 hrs of riding
64,000 ft of climbing
= one kick butt vacation.

Excuse me while I now go and relax.
I've got the photos loaded in my Flicker page on the right. I'm working on labeling them. I took a bunch of video on the descents and other things so I'll try to get that up somehow too. I got a sweet shot when I was following Sam down the Col de la Core and he hopped his pedal on a switchback, doing a big fishtail but then recovered it. His tire bead came off the rim and the tube was starting to come out. Luckily it didn't blow out.