Monday, August 25, 2008

Double Header

Photos courtesy of

Boy am I spent. Sam and I did the double header last weekend heading up to Seeley for the Pre-Fat MTb race. It was very cool out. I had to warm up in a vest and base layer. Not used to that yet. Off the start I ended up taking the lead out which I told myself I wasn't going to do because I felt horrible during the warm up. It was a reasonable pace though and I waited until after the first sharp pavement corner before sitting up waiting for someone else to come around which nobody seemed obliged. Finally, before the roller coaster hills someone took off and TJ Woodruff put in an excel on the steepest pavement climb before we hit the dirt. My legs were not cooperating and I was in the middle of the worst start I have felt for a long time. I was getting frustrated with myself riding like a small child and watching as the riders went by me. I have no idea what was wrong with me those first few miles. I struggled and thought it was going to be a long day. Eventually a group formed at the top of a long gradual climb on which I caught up to Todd Mcfadden. I don't remember saying it but he liked my quote when I came up to him, "I shouldn't be feeling this bad". I think that climb kind of cleaned out the carbs and my legs started to come around. I pulled a long time before looking back and seeing about 4 guys on my 6. Todd Mcfadden and Adam Swank were 2 of them. I pretty much pulled all the ski trail, Mcfadden I think came around for a little bit but I was wondering when the single track was going to start. About the time I decided to sit in for a bit and sit 3rd wheel, we hit the single track. This is where Garrot Kuzzy dropped from the front group to us. I just sat in and had a good rest the first single track section as we weren't going too terribly fast. When we got out on another ski trial I was still 3rd wheel and the guy up front(I think Swank) had pulled a great deal and was starting to fade. The person in front of me said he couldn't pull so I made my move and attacked with around 12 or 13 miles to go. My mind was focused and the legs were taking the punishment well. I never looked back and soloed the last half of the race in no mans land. Sam ended up in 3rd and I took 5th. We drove home that afternoon and were back by 6:00pm.
The next day we headed over to the MNSCS vs WORS border battle in River Falls WI. Nice temps and really dusty conditions awaited us. MN won the coin toss (thanks Brendan) so they called up the top 5 from MN first. It was a stacked field for sure with Wisco sporting most of their big guns including single speed phenom Jesse Lelonde, along with Brian Matter ,and Mike Phillips. At the top of the sorting hill I was sitting around 10th or so sucking in all the dust created by the rest of the guys in front of me. I look across the field and see Jesse pulling away from everyone. We were cruising pretty good through the woods but couldn't go ballistic with a big group snaking through the woods. On the second lap Matter and Chris Peariso go flying by. I kept on the gas and went through a couple highs and lows. The hills were more of an effort with the day previous still in them. It felt like there was still some power available but I couldn't really get it out. Odd feeling really, but my single track skills were honed sharp. I eventually caught back up to Chris on the 3rd lap and we switched around a little bit all the way through the final lap when he blew his fork. He let me by but stuck close to my wheel. I tried shaking him in the last single track and to my surprise I caught Jesrin on a tight switchback climb. He saw me coming and turned on the heat through the lower portion of the course before the finish. Jesrin made it around a lapped rider right before a close tree but I had to quick hit the brakes to get around and by that time he had 30 feet on me. We both were running on adrenaline at this point and for the 2nd time he held me off at the line. Sam and I were the first MN finishers. Sam in 5th and me in 7th less than a min behind. It was a great venue. Thanks to all the Wors volunteers for putting it on, and to Tom Gaier and all the lions club volunteers up in Seeley for putting on an exciting race. Next weekend is the epic Laddies Loppet stage race up at Jays place. Should be some good Mtber community mingling. Always a good time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Ride

She wasn't happy but I had to let her go. Last tuesday during the ride and glide group ride, she threw me on the ground for the first time since we met about 5 years ago. She did this when when she heard that I was going to be replacing her. Of course I got all the damage (some road rash on the leg, thigh, and arm). We have a lot of memories together; traveling out west and bombing the descents together, and who could forget about our time in France with all those epic kilometers of pain, climbing the Tour stages and the thrill of railing switchbacks. She is getting old and it is time we part ways. Goodbyes are alway hard but we have to say it sooner or latter and this is the time. Goodbye Giant TCR. I'll miss your shinny nude carbon frame that still looks like the day I picked you up (That diamond shield clear coat is amazing stuff. They use it on BMW cars). Hello Cervelo carbon Soloist. Your streamline body, massive bottom bracket and racy red paint is a perfect rocket for both the TT's and every day riding and racing. I'm looking forward to create some new exciting memories together

Well my first ride on it was the Withrow TT yesterday (I was making all the adjustments during my warm up so it was my first time on it) and I put up a personal best of 31:58. Wait until I get it dialed in and have a good day on the bike and I think I can get a sub 31.
Sam and I are planning on doing the double header this weekend. Pre-Fat on sat and River Falls on Sunday. Hopefully it won't be too wet on sat.
School on Monday. Back to the books and it should be a good tapper to Cheq after Laddies next weekend. Then its all about speed skating after a little break.

I just noticed this on cycling news tech report on the Ardeenes
Everyone says the same thing. As far as the neutral support situation I just set my brakes with the lever for spreading the brake arms open and if I need to put the skinnier rim in I just flip the lever down to bring the arms closer.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Buck Hill

Dusty conditions means burning lungs.


Photos courtesy of

Dry and dusty was the name of the game. The trail was either a sand pit (but nothing compared to the sand boxes of the Ore-to-Shore) or hard packed underneath with dust and loose debris on top to make things feel slippery in the corners. It was a typical start with the lead out riders fading on the first sign of a hill and the selection begins. The first switchback section got everyone breathing hard. Then a big surge up the pavement climb to get that all important spot in the single track. Brendan went first with Jeff "sasquatch legs" Hall on his wheel. I stayed behind Jay Richards because I knew he would be a good wheel to follow through the single track. Sam flew by at the last second to get third spot in the woods. At this point my lungs were burning from the dust and I could start tasting the blood plasma in my throat from breathing hard. At this point I can't remember what happened each lap, everything is pretty much a blur so I will just tell the major events. Sam was feeling ish so he dropped back to me and Jay. All of us pretty much took a pull at some point to see where the weaknesses were. I knew Jay was a Paul Hanson type who can pull off big out of the saddle surges. I'm more of a steady grinder so I just kept calm and collected and I had enough power to stay with him when he did surge or catch back up after the surge was over with. On the 4th or 5th lap Sam was leading in the single track followed by Jay then me. There was a sharp 120 degree downhill corner with a stump right in the path of the perfect line. Jay hit it and put up a yard sale in front of me. He was spry to his feet and I yelled if he was all right. I saw him chasing hard through the single track about 10 seconds behind and Sam was gapping me. Lap traffic was getting bad and I think that was more a factor of the time gaps. I caught Sam in the traverse section and we rode together from then on for the last lap and rolled in 3rd and 4th. Thats twice this year that I let him place in front of me. I was feeling pretty fresh for a sprint too. Next time he might not get so lucky ;) I enjoyed the race and felt pretty good. I can tell it wasn't such a long race just by how I felt afterwards. Recovery time is faster when the race is that short, which is good because tomorrow is the ride and glide ride and the last time we go down into Afton.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

24 hr Nationals

Sam, Brendan Moore, Chris Fisher, and Ben Moore each brought home the ultimate prize.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Lance drops Matthew McConaughey for a new training partner

Eric Thompson calls me up last tuesday and rubs it in that he just got done riding with Lance. Total unexpected ride too. They just happened to recognize him at just the right moment as he cruised through town. Next time you see John or Eric ask for the whole story, its a good one.
Read this article about them down in Iowa at RAGBRAI.