Thursday, August 15, 2013

I'm still here!

Hey all-
This blog isn't dead. It definitely has some weeds growing on it though. Sorry.

Lots of the same old same old. Riding, training, racing. Blah blah.

Some new stuff too though. I absolutely went to the Monroe County Fair since I've written on here. And I probably ate fried pickles, amongst other fair delicacies I may have also consumed.  

Yep.
 Since this isn't a food blog, it's worth mention that CX season is approaching real quick-like. I have been caught up in a whirl-wind of positive things. My training is solid and moving along as it should, but I am slacking ~a bit~ on equipment prep. Actually it only feels that way. Fact is I have one set of wheels/tires left to glue, a few minor things to do to the "A" bike, and I'm RTR. And it's only mid August. So when I break it down like that, I'm still probably ahead of schedule. Boo ya!
Our race, BloomingX, is the OVCX series opener this year. So those of us in charge of course design, amongst some other logistics, have a little more stress than in year's past (our race is normally in October, so we have plenty of time to get things together), but we're on track. We've made a few minor tweaks to our already super dope course. So it's going to be awesome this year!!! Sept 15!

But first things first, we still have n MTB series to finish. MTB racing is going okay. I had my first DNF since forever ago this past weekend in Logansport. Flat tire. And pre-punctured Co2 inflator. Bummer. Had to walk it in. But whatever. MTB is just training for CX, right?        

Till next time y'all. Thanks for reading/checking in w/ me!

Monday, July 08, 2013

4th of July, BCSP Reduex

What a week. I say that with the best possible tone; it was a great week. 


My little hoodrat friends and I

I got in all the training I needed to do, but had to rearrange the schedule a bit to accommodate taking Thursday off of riding to go to my brother's in-law's house to see my nieces on the 4th. Spent some great QT w/ all of them. We went swimming in the lake and hung out on their deck overlooking the lake. It was proper.

Weather has forced the cancellation of 2 BCSP MTB races this year. The rescheduled DINO event was Sunday. I woke up feeling RTR (ready to race). The way DINO runs the BCSP course it features what is probably the most difficult start in all of cycling. It's a short (~20yd?) sprint in thick grass, then a right hand turn off of the grass and onto a paved ~2mile climb w/ some nasty grades. Although this start is super difficult, it suits me well.
I took off expecting to "have to" ride the pace I typically do on this climb, which is, like, 100%. But when when we got up the first pitch I had a sizable gap on the field.   


After initial steep pitch, still climbing

I decided to meter it back a few %'s, but still go hard to maintain this gap into the woods and try to grow it on lap 1.
I went into the woods w/ probably 10-20sec on the field. About 3/4 into lap 1, a group of 3 was gaining on me. This didn't really worry me; I was feeling good and having a few fast guys around would hopefully grow the gap behind. I continued to lead through lap 1 and through most of lap 2. At some point another rider showed up out of nowhere, passed our group and was gone. No idea who he was, but he motoring. I was thinking about a win until then. Now I was thinking about a 2nd. Going into lap 3 I knew I was getting tired, but thought I could maintain high output for the 35or so minutes. But with about 3/4 of the lap remaining, I started coming unglued. I could tell my sugar reserves were depleted, even though I was eating gel and drinking mix. I was fading fast and started to make technical mistakes. This caused me to slow quite a bit on downhill sections and I got caught by a few more people. I was pretty much in survival mode and no real fight left in me, so I just had to let them by and watch them ride off.
Bummer, but these things happen.



"podium"


I ended up 6th in my race, but 2nd for 35 men. So I got my hardware!

Overall it was great day and great weekend both on and off the bike. Life's good.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Double Race!

Nothing too exciting happened last week. So I skipped a post. No biggie, just normal training week. I jumped into the Sunday fast group ride to Martinsville and had a great ride. I felt pretty good and rode the front a lot. Pretty good ride.

This past weekend was a double race weekend though. I also took in two killer rainbows this week. So the Double Rainbow link isn't totally out of context, just kinda sorta out of context. Whatever; it's funny.

The weekend was the Muscatatuck Park double in North Vernon, IN. Saturday was the short track cross country (STXC) and Sunday was the XC.   
The weather for the STXC was great. Not super hot, dry, sunny. STXC racing is always super intense. I usually think of it as the first 'cross race of the year. This year wasn't an exception. The course was slightly lengthened this year, but I think we were still turning ~1:20 laps or so. It's only a 30min race, but it's full gas from gun to tape. I was in a group of three that was essentially racing for 4th and I ended up 5th. I made a last lap gamble that didn't pay off. That's racing.

For all the great weather earlier in the day Saturday, mother nature evened herself out in the afternoon: it rained a ton. Sunday's XC race was going to be a muddy one.
I switched my wheels to my mud tires Saturday night knowing that Muscatatuck is almost always kind of damp anyway, so after raining hard it would be a day for mud tires. I've been in muddier conditions, but it was definitely a good call.   
 
Gittin'r at the start
I haven't ridden mud for a while. Probably 6-8 months. It took me a while to get the feel of letting the bike do what it will and having to react to it rather than the other way around. Despite the baller looking picture above, I didn't get a very good start. I got pushed out of a couple of spots and entered the woods a bit further back than I would have liked to. But once things got sorted out I rode most of the first lap in 3rd place and moved into first for the final part of the lap. But in the feed zone I got re-passed and was back in third. I stayed there until the last lap when I got passed by two other guys. I was riding well, but fading. Another day another 5th. Not a bad weekend of racing.  

This coming weekend is the rescheduled BCSP race. It has rained a lot and the forecast has some more in it. Should (hopefully) be fine by mid-week and the weekend will hopefully be okay and we can get this race in. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the course has been changed for this year and the big climb is removed. So it probably doesn't suit me quite as well as in the past, but it's still a fun race.
4th of July this week!!!!!     Wheeeewwww!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bar-to-bar...Finally

I finally went bar to bar; and I'm not talking about a pub crawl. I'm talkin' racin'!

Finally a MTB race happened and wasn't cancelled by weather. And it's a good one too: the DINO at French Lick resort. I missed this race last year when I woke up with a blown back. And the year before that (which I think was the first year at this venue) it poured rain all day. So it was awesome to race this venue in very good conditions.
This course is pretty climb-heavy and as such suits me pretty well. As with most racing, the start here is crucial. It starts on a flat cyclocross-esque course, but as soon as it enters the woods, you're climbing. So I wanted to be in a good position into the woods. I got a pretty decent start and entered the woods second. The dude who was ahead of me was flying and basically checked out immediately. Rather than try to chase him and kill myself, I decided to ride good and hard on the climbs and try to keep a gap over everyone behind.  This race is 3 really hard laps, so I figured I smash lap 1, still go pretty hard lap 2 ans survive lap 3. That's pretty much how it played out. I eventually got passed by two people, so I ended up 4th in my race. But there's an age group race within that race and I was third in that. So it was a pretty good day. I felt good and rode hard.


Collecting my hardware





 



Sunday it rained most of the day. I went out for a couple hours on the bike with a friend from Indy and we got rained on for a good solid 2hrs. Whatever, it's summer rain and isn't too bad.
Then I skyped with my nieces in the evening. That's always nice, they're lots of fun.




I keep seeing this cat while out on my evening walks. He's pretty nice and sometimes lets me pet him. But he doesn't like cameras. I've tried a couple times to get a pic of him but he'll run away. Got him this time though! 

There's no racing next weekend, but then there's a few in a row in the coming weeks. So I'll just keep on keepin on and doing what I do. No matter what happens, my toes are still tappin.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Fat, skinny, aero: you name it I rode it

I rode several bikes this week.  Typical road bike training, mixed in some MTBing and I decided kind of last minute to do the local 10mile TT this past Tuesday. I historically have done pretty much every one of these, but this year I hadn't done a single one. These TT's are just for local glory, but I have never won one outright. But I took the glory this week!
So I'm 3/3 on TT's this year (I didn't win overall on the other 2, but I won Cat 3).   




I have been trying to get out on the MTB once a week in anticipation of actually racing it one day. Hopefully we're done with cancelled races for the year. I got out Wednesday for a bit on it and I'm feeling pretty god on it. I need to a little work to it before this weekend, but overall I think things are going well.
I was invited to go up to some friend's Indy for a group ride and pool party. I was kind of on the fence about going because I knew the ride wasn't going to be "hard," and driving up to the north side of Indy kind of sucks in general, but I decided it would be fun to do something different. So I went. It was a super nice day to be out riding and we had a pretty decent sized group. the pace was "conversational," but I rarely do these types of rides. So it was a nice change to be out for a couple hours and not either doing intervals or otherwise smashing pedals.    




When we got back we changed from cycling clothes to swim suits and carted the grill over to the pool. We had some burgers/hotdogs and various other cookout foods and hung out in the pool. It was a pretty good day.
After I left this shi-dig I headed south to a very good friends house that I haven't seen for a few months. We keep in regular contact, but hadn't actually seen each other for while. We sat and talked/hung out for a bit. It was nice. Very good friend.

So as mentioned above there is another MTB race scheduled this coming weekend. I have done this race in horrible stormy, rainy conditions before, so hopefully they hold it. RTR!!!       


Sunday, June 02, 2013

Another week, another year, etc

This past week I turned over another year. I've been around for 35 of them now. My parents came down and we went to eat dinner at The Scenic View restaurant which over looks Lake Monroe. It's a pretty decent place and (obviously) has pretty good views.
The View

Since Monday was Memorial day and a day off of work I was able to change the week's training around to accommodate a Saturday race. But I found out halfway through the week that the race was actually Sunday. Oh well, that's no biggy.


Sitting...waiting...

It rained quite a bit on Friday and rain was forecasted for Saturday. They cancelled Sunday's race on Friday. A few years ago we used to race pretty much no matter what (as long as there wasn't lighting, etc). But the most action my MTB got was getting cleaned and prepped to be raced. Then I hung it back up. It didn't rain much at all Saturday. We totally could have raced. Cancellation so early was a bad call.
 
Since the race was cancelled a few of us went out for a long ride instead. We rode about 3hrs and hit one of my favorite climbs, Bear Wallow, which I haven't ridden yet this year. We rode pretty hard and it was a good ride. I haven't done a good hard 3hr Sunday ride in quite awhile now so I was glad to get this in.
So it looks like my first MTB race will now be June 15. It was supposed to be May 5, but that was also cancelled due to weather. I guess these race cancellations are saving me gas $$, but then again I'm registering and paying for races I'm not doing. I guess all the entry fees will roll over, but all that aside, I just want to race bikes already!       













Monday, May 27, 2013

It may be May, but it may still be Winter

This week was crazy. Some days with highs in the 80's and some nights w/ lows in the (low) 40's. A couple of the morning rides were down-right cold. 


I did, however, wake up with my thermo reading this one morning. 

I didn't feel like $1,000,000 training last week. But these things happen. Eb/flow. Tuesday's intervals were a real struggle. But I got them done.   



I'm clearly more excited about this pic than the girls are

This past weekend was the Indy 500 and my brother and his family were at his in laws, which isn't too far from me. So I went up there and spent the day with my parents and my nieces while the rest if them were at the race.  

Daphne being a little cheese-ball




Ramona and I gathered rocks to throw in the lake

They live on a lake that has an 8-9mile road that goes around it. I took my bike up with me and busted a few laps around the lake while the girls napped.  
Once everyone got back from the race we ate hella pizza. It was a nice day spent with family and getting a ride in was nice too. 

This coming weekend is the second race of the DINO MTB series, but the first for me. I skipped the first one because it's pretty far away in northern IN. This one is at BCSP in Nashville, IN. I always like this race. The course has been changed and the "big" climb on the lap has been removed, which is a bummer for me, but it'll still be good I'm sure. I have been training well and the TT races I've done have gone well. So I'm excited to get racing "bar-to-bar."