Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Sick-mas

These are two sweet books I got for Christmas: Mom, Have You Seen My Leather Pants?: The Tale of a Teen Rock Wannabe Who Almost Was

This dude was in a band in the early 90's that played the Sunset Strip clubs and they were only 16. He has no hesitations at poking fun of himself and his aspirations. It's a good read so far.

This one is the history of Campagnolo, both the company and the man. Good so far as well, w/ a lot of pictures.

Yeah, I spent most of Christmas on my parent's bathroom floor. As John Smith put it "sounds like a great New Years Day, but a bad Christmas."
Not sure what happened. I slept for only about 2hrs Christmas eve, decided around 2am to go to the couch, where I watched Adult Swim cartoons all night (Aqua Teen, Robot Chicken, etc), then fell back asleep from around 6am-7:30am. Then everyone else got up, we did our present routine, I went and ran for ~30min then relaxed for about an hour until food time. Directly after eating, I started not feeling too well and went and laid down. An hour or two later, I was throwing up everything I had eaten. The I laid back down for awhile, and threw up again once we decided to leave. Lindsay had to drive us home and I slept the whole way. I went to bed as soon as we got home, slept about 14hrs, then went to work. I felt really tired, but not sick anymore. I feel normal today. What a drag though. I did loose ~4lbs when most people gain a bunch, so that's something I guess.
I also got a set of T-handle allen wrenches that will make certain jobs on bikes easier and my Dad got me a new Dremel tool. the one I have is old and the battery 1) has no power and 2) lasts ~5minutes; that just won't do.
Oh, I also got the 2003 Ghent-Wevelgem/2003 Het Volk DVD (both races in one package) to watch while on trainer AND the 2007 Giro d'Italia, which saw the peloton on 20% unpaved grades. Nice.
Today is sunny and going to be in the 40's. I'm riding outside.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

X mas eve eve

This is the first thing I came up w/ for "Santa Riding a Bike." It is of course not a bike at all, but a trike (you know, one of them three wheeled bikes, as the Rubes call it).
Lindsay got back from her parents house fine on Monday. She wasn't feeling great and for a minute thought about delaying until Tuesday, which as it turns out would have been a terrible idea w/ yesterday's weather.

So because we're going to my parent's tonight (xmas eve), we had our 'Christmas' last night. Her parents sent me back some local OK goodies, amongst other things and Lindsay got me a couple cans of Jittery Joe's coffee.Not only is JJs good, but it goes directly to supporting the JJ's cycling team. Plus it's expensive enough that I never buy it for myself, so I'm pumped to get it.

Weather looks okay for travel today and I thought I may be able to get out for a couple hours before we leave. It's close to 50*, but it's pouring rain. I guess it'll be inside. Speaking of inside I got my first 3+hr inside day on for the year this past Sunday, you know, the day it was 11* for the high and 1 low.

I had the brilliant idea to break up the day into 3 sessions. I did a 1hr 15min trainer sess while my laundry dried, then stopped and folded it. Then did another (but different) 1hr 15min trainer sess, then jumped right on a 45min roller sess. It went by pretty fast that way.I figure the 20 or so min break I took is probably roughly equal to time spend at stop lights, peeing, general coasting/softing, etc, so it worked out pretty good.

So for my 'monster' training week (yeah right), I put in 12hrs. I also, however, worked 40. I worked out every morning and every evening except Thursday, and that night I made a steak dinner for myself. The beauty of the week, while not a total crusher hour wise, was that I started my lifting and resumed my running regime, and while sore all-to-hell, I grimaced through it for additional sessions, rather than "resting up from being sore."

And I should say that by Friday night's roller ride, which was my 11th session of the week, I cut it short due to mental fry. I think I spun for 20 of the scheduled 42min. Whatever.

In the look ahead, this Sunday is looking to be outside rideable.

Well a Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This one goes to 11

The EXPENSIVE 11 speed chain tool.

The peened chain pin, courtesy of EXPENSIVE chain tool.

Record RD. Ceramic.

The shifter. Looks weird, rides nice.

The new cable routing. This is the 90* bend the cable must make to enter the housing.

Following are my thoughts on Campgnolo's new 11 speed group. It is long and may bore non-tech types:

11 speed:
The most noticeable difference is the lever shape. 11 has a more ergo look and feel to it. Standard hood riding feels the same, but riding "on top of the hoods" is where the 11 shines. It has a support for the part of your hand between the index finger and thumb which offers a more stable and comfy feel when in this position.
Plus the brake lever is 1) longer and 2) has a different pivot point. This requires that the sifter be placed in slightly lower position on the bar than the 10speed lever for the same hand position, but allows for better braking when operating the lever form the "on top of the hoods" position.
It should be noted that I have not ridden this group w/out thick-ass gloves on yet, so I don’t have a totally accurate feel for all of this (I usually ride w/out gloves at all, but it’s been so cold).
Crank and FD are pretty much the same, so far as I can tell. They work great. I think I remember reading the FD and chain rings are all new for quicker shifting, but I can’t tell; Campy always shifts pretty darn fast up front, so whatever.
I subbed out the Chorus rear derailer in favor of a Record to get pulleys that operate on ceramic. It was a ~$60 (wholesale) upgrade, and you can’t buy ceramic pulleys for double that alone, so I figured it’d be worth it. I don’t know if it’s just that the whole drive train is smoother or what, but I ‘think’ I can feel the ceramic smoothness under pedaling. Probably not, but it seems to be noticeable.
On Chorus (this may not be true of Record or Super Record) the shifting action is softer feeling than 10spd. It is not a light as the ’Escape’ shifting introduced a year or two ago on the lower end groups, but still lighter than I’m used to and would prefer. I’ll get used to it once I’m riding that bike all the time, but when I’m riding it sparsely due to crappy weather, it’s a noticeable difference.
I do have two official gripes about the new stuff. 1 the shift cable routing. In order to remove the "bulge" under the bar tape created from the housing meeting the shifter, Campy changed the way the cable routes form the gear mech to the housing. While it does make a seamless transition under the tape (which, for the record, I never really minded the little bulge anyway), the cable has to make an almost 90* bend in the shifter body. There is an insert in the shifter where this bend takes place to smooth the operation, but installing the cable is difficult. I had to use a flat-head jewelers-sized screwdriver to route the cable into place (coax the cable into place may be more appropriate wordage). As far as I can see, there is no other way to route this cable. The days of just pushing it into the gear mech, through the shifter body and into the housing are over for now. My second gripe is w/ the chain installation. While it’s a really cool system, and seems like it will work very effectively, it’s costly. In a nutshell, the chain installs like a Shimano chain w/ the long pin fed through then broken off, but the similarities stop there. The Campy chain is then peened where it was broken off to add strength at the vulnerable "pinned link." Like I said, this is a good system and makes sense, but there exists one tool on the market w/ which to do this. It’s made by Campy and wholesales for $140. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful handmade in Italy tool, but you CANNOT install an 11spd chain w/out it and it’s $140! And it’s not like the old ‘perma-link’ tool they used to have which was a Italian pair of vice grips, this tool is necessary.
All in all I give it high marks. I think it has some better qualities than 10spd, and is evolution. I do think the differences are more subtle though in contrast to Dura Ace 7900, which in my opinion is a major improvement over 7800.
So that’s my take on it. Go w/ the flow, live in the now and change w/ the times. Everyone will be 11 speed soon enough (I predict Sram to ‘make the leap’ first, then Shimano to follow the year after Sram.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

quick little WTF?

Today it's 58* w/ sun. I went out for a run this a.m., in tights, put one foot outside and had to come back in and change into shorts (my pastie legs look wicked in running shorts right now).
The clouds are moving across the sky faster than I can ever remember having seen them move.
There are single digit lows forecasted in the following days.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's no wonder...

It's no wonder fat people don't like riding bikes; it's hard! (photo 'borrowed' from Thomson, maker of the finest [alloy] seat posts available. I guess it's a real guy and Thomson was the only post he couldn't break)(and a side note: Thomson makes a poster of this picture, which they were giving out at Interbike. My roomies got one and hung it over my bed while I was out, thanks guys!)
Anywho, I rode home tonight w/ a 40 pound bag of salt and two 1/2 gallons of liquid (OJ and milk) in the milk crate I have on the rack of my winter commuter. It was tough. If I weighed ~50lbs more, I'd be ~185lbs, and that would not be fun to carry around. I guess I'd probably graduate from having "chicken legs" to maybe "turkey legs," but still. And w/ these icy roads, it's tough getting around. I got the salt to salt my driveway, which I can barely get to the end of w/out crashing.
I have had a week of high quality workouts. I had a really good trainer ride this a.m., and took tonight off. I'll do the am/pm tomorrow and it looks like Sunday will be and insider too. In fact, the 10-day forecast looks like sh!t, so it's going to be inside, inside, inside. Just remember, self, resistance training makes us stronger.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I'm not sure what program is on, but Bloomington NPR (WFIU) just played "A Fifth of Beethoven" in its entirety. This song totally and completely rules. Not that it's my favorite Saturday Night Fever song, (that's "How Deep Is Your Love") but man-o-man is 'A Fifth" good stuff.
It's only Tuesday and I'm tired and sore enough for it to be Thursday or Friday.
I lifted weights yesterday morning then rode roller yesterday night.
Today I rode rollers, ran outside, then rode rollers again this morning, then did a hard hour on trainer tonight.
It's two days into the week and I'm feeling it. I'm motivated to have a hard week though, so bring it!
The roads were sheets of ice tonight on my ride home form work and I as worried about getting run onto by a car. I don't normally worry about this kind of stuff, but I was having problem keeping my wheels under me, and I saw cars sliding. I made it, but I was tense the whole way and went very slow.
Wish me luck for the rest of this week...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Belgium Sunday

...maybe Cannondale didn't invent the Lefty fork after all...

Today was #1 in the Bloomington Underground Cross Series. It was a very Belgium day, from what I hear of Belgium. It was forecasted to be in the mid 50's, sunny and windy. It was in the high 30's, super cloudy and super windy. With a little rain spitting here and there for good measure. The course was pretty good and pretty hard. I rode well for having not ridden for a whole week. There was a very big turnout too. I didn't count how many, but I think there was more than I've ever seen show up for one of these. The course had two playground run throughs, which meant running through 4" deep pea gravel. It was like running through quick sand, and it clogged up my cleats on almost every lap, forcing me to have to bang my shoes on my bike to get the gravel out to clip back in; kind of a pain, whatever.
Josh came down and he, Ryan/Sara and I all hung out afterwards. It was a pretty good day.
Lindsay is out of town for the week so I'm planning to train non stop. It's time to start in w/ lifting/core and more running/riding and basically, I figured that if I'm not training I'll just get bored, so I might as well train in the mornings and evenings both until she gets back. I'm planning a big week and hope to feel totally destroyed by Saturday.
I had a good week off, but as always it went fast. I fell somewhat refreshed, and I made sure and ate plenty during the week to restore/rebuild.
So here goes: lifting 2x/week, run 2x/week, ride 5x/week and core everyday except Saturday.
I'll keeps you's updated!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


This is a pic of some of the course at Brookside. You can see the icy road on the far left and the crappy conditions. It's funny, people think of cross as 'mud, wet, cold, etc,' but around here anyway, all the racers I know would rather have it dry and moderate. I guess it makes for less fun spectating, you know like NASCAR, which drivers want to get in crashes? Probably none, but the fans love it!

Somewhere on course. Looks to be pre-crash because my leg warmers were all dirty post.

I believe this was a run up w/ a "natural barrier" (a down tree). This was difficult because the ground was mostly ice where you had to dismount making footing very poor.
So, year-to-date (YTD).
Since this is my official week off training, it's really the end of my year. Here are some numbers (all from 1/1/08-12/8/08):
mileage: 5,975.4.
hours training: 418hr 20min.
kcal burned training: 62,121
My magic number for hours trained is 520. That's av 10hrs/week for 52 weeks. I was short, but better than last year (which was closer to 400).
My mileage comes to 127av/week. I'd like to see that closer to 160, but again, close.
Loosing 1 pound requires 3,000 calories burned. So if I'd not eaten this year I would have lost around 21lbs training (not including base metabolism).
Factoring in 2500/day bmr added to 62,121 training, I burned ~974,621 kcals. So if I'd not eaten and factoring in bmr, I'd have lost ~324 lbs, which would be at ~-189lbs. Man I could float up hills at negative 190lbs!
Anywho, 6,000 miles for the year is pretty good for a working stiff like me. I'll take it.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

IN State CX Champion!

Josh, that is. Not me. Josh killed it and brought the 'W.'
I had what I'm pretty sure was the worst bike race I've ever had.
I made mistake after mistake. Sure it was sub 20* and slick due to ice turning to mud (it snowed 2-3" last night), but everyone was riding the same course, so that's no excuse. I just rode like sh!t. I was having all kinds of trouble finding my pedals on re-mounts (true, my feet felt like blocks of ice w/ little to no feeling, but I'm sure everyones did) and my technical riding was for crap.
Plus I crashed. Huge. On pavement. We were transitioning from pavement to grass (mud) via a left hander. I had the inside and a dude rolled up on my right (outside). I think, 'no biggy, I have the inside, I'll be in the turn first.' Well, homeboy had a different plan for himself and cut inside taking out my bars/front wheel w/ his hip/rear wheel. I hit pavement as hard as I ever have and felt hurt. After getting up (and making any spectating sailors blush [I was super mad]) I sucked it up and got back in it. Nothing too severe, just big patch of road rash were the sun only shines on the French Riviera.
Whatever, can't win em all; it wasn't my day. I ended up 14th, which is much better than I tought I did, though not as good as I would have liked to have done.
I'm taking next week off of training to recover and heal up.
P.S. I hate it when people go into too much detail about a crash they had, so sorry. And big thanks to all who stood out in the tundra and cheered (Toby H, Messer, Knapp, Issac, Fred [the ultimate motivator], Lindsay, etc)
Curtains on OVCX 2008. Thanks.
Oh, and I may be short on posts w/no training this week. Watch porn on youtube or something, I''ll be back.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Yesterday and today have been busts weather wise.
Yesterday i suited up to head out for 1.5-2hrs. It was cold (22-24*), but dry w/ the sun peaking out. I got over the hill across from our house and noticed along the 3minute trek that there was that real thin "black ice" everywhere. I decided this would a dangerous ride and turned around. It was a killer ~5min workout! I did some things around the house I've been putting off, and went to work early; I don't want to get on the trainer for another week.
Today I knew it was gong to be too cold, so I planned a roller ride. It was 14.7* (but sunny??) so i got on the rollers for 47min and spun out.
So much stuff: tonight is the Detroit Cobras show in Indy. Then Sunday is the finale' of the OVCX Series in Indy. It's going to be cold for that one.
Then I'm taking next week off training, and starting in w/ strength work and two-a-days twice a week the following week (or I may not start two-a's till Jan. we'll see).
And the Bloomington Underground Cross Schedule was announced this week, so I have that to do too.
Oh well, one day at a time. Though, the first B-town UG CX is technically the last day of my week off, so I'll have 6 days off instead of the full seven. Whatever.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Humbled by the hill

Another post Storm the Greens pic.

Monday I stayed inside and rode rollers rather than spin the legs out in the windy cold. Plus I had some serious bike cleaning to do form the weekend's mud fest, so I spun for ~45mn, then got to it. I opted for dish gloves over work gloves to hose (wash) the bike so my hands would stay dry, but they did nothing for warmth and my thumbs ended up numb. Whatever, they came back, I got my cx bike all cleaned, lubed and adjusted.
So Tuesday's ride brings the title of the post. I decided to go out and ride the infamous (among those who ride it) McGowan Loop. This is a ~30mile loop, mostly on gravel roads, but with the nastiest climb around here, paved or un (for the record, McGowan is un[paved]). I have never made it up the climb on the bike. Actually, only two people I know have, and one was on a MTB, and the other had a 34tooth front ring. I have a 39, but I have been riding fairly well and was confident I could power over this wall, which gains almost 300' in just 2/10 of a mile. When I hit it, I just held a line w/out too much loose gravel and focused. I was off walking in about the same place I always have been, but this time I felt defeated. In past years I never expected to make it, this time I did. I didn't have the proper respect for the hill, it humbled me. Well, all that and I just couldn't turn my 39x26 gear over. Bitch!
Today I rode my new CX practice course at the tailgate field. 3x3's. I did three sets of three laps w/ 1 minute rest between. It was a good workout for both skills and cardio. I wish I had started this before I had just two races left in the season, but oh well. I guess there's next year.
I am planning to ride road tomorrow, but it's raining now (~10pm), so if it drys up enough and is not frozen, that's the plan.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Storm the Greens (lots o pics)

Josh and I post race. (pics didn't load in the order I intended them to).

Midcourse run up.

This is a sharp and super mudded-out right hander, downhill drop in to sand pit #1.

Muddy straight away.

Josh and I pre Race, stripping off the stay-dry warm up clothes.

It was more like Storm the Browns, brown being the color of mud.

My good friend Jake and his wife showed up for support on their way back to TN after T-giving in IN and he took all these pics.
I got 7th. Josh killed it for 4th.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Boltingberg and TURKEY!

This is Boltinghouse hill. The most famed of the Monroe County "bergs." Less than 1 mile, ~225', ~3minutes.

Thanksgiving day I wanted to get out for quick ride before heading home. I planned to go out via Griffey Lake, go up to the 'fire station,' turn around and come back in. Somewhere along the route i realized i haven't ridden Boltinghouse all year, so i decided to make that my route. And so it was. Actually, they have paved Boltinghouse Rd. since I'd been on it and it was ~a million times easier to negotiate when you don't have to watch/switch your line constantly; kudos.

Then came the feast. Thanksgiving was great. Time w/ the fam, and good eats. We spent the day hanging out and chatting. My brother and his wife were absent (out of country I think), but we still had a good day. I came home with what seems to be fewer left overs than years past, but that's probably good.

Tomorrow is Storm The Greens CX race in Louisville, KY on the same grounds (different course though) as the USGP there. It's looking like rain, so we'll see how this one turns out.

Oh and 2 more things:

1) as I type I'm making turkey stock out of the carcase from our feast. I'm planning to make some turkey/rice/veggie soup with it.

2) one of my fav bands, The Detroit Cobras are coming to Indy this Friday (12/5). Best of all, the show is free! I've never seen them, but I guess they kick ass live.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I have had my eye on this field for a long time for CX practice. I think it's overspill parking/tailgating for IU football (it's right across from the stadium).
I made myself a little 7 or so minute loop w/ a run up and two natural barriers ( a stream bed and a tree stump). It also has a grind uphill grass section and a faster dirt down. It is a pretty good cross training ground.

On the way over I kind of told myself to ride hard, but knowing I can't really do race simulation for CX because it's just too hard of racing. It's been a few weeks since I've raced and I guess I forgot how f*****g hard it is to ride a bike in grass. My HR was definitely in "race sim" mode, and the loop was short enough that there was no recovery.
Plus, temps were low-mid 20's, and I had to stop and strip off some clothing because I was sweating way too much for as cold as it was. I guess all that means it was a pretty good workout.
Oh, but to reinforce my amature status, it should be noted I bothced a re-mount after the run up and slammed the back of seat into my leg...hard. It hurt(s). But hey, i guess even Sven nyes fell into a barrier and got a black eye earlier in the year. And last week Lars Boom crashed himself into serious injury in his warmup laps, or was that Niels Albert, whatever, maybe I'm not as D* as I think!
Yesterday (Tues) I got out to Panynetown for a ride-run-ride. It was cold, and the trail was covered in leaves making footing a little difficult, but I had an okay run. Actually, I fell on one of the downhil switchback because it was so leafy my feet just slipped right out from under me. No hurts or anything, just a spill. Oh, and there was a hunter on the trial as well. I hate guns and they make me nervous. Especially when it's some hillbilly out in a woods in rural Southern IN. I got my run in, but was a little uneasy knowing that some dude was out there listening for russling.
T-giving tomorrow! One of my fav's!
happy T-G'ing!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Indoor gym (dungeon?)

This is my basement/indoor workout facility/dungeon. I am trying, and have been trying since last year, to not view it as a dungeon, or torture chamber and last year I was able change my outlook on indoor training. I need and want to see it as a necessary part of getting fast, not mindless torture.
Anywho, I was down there today due to rain. rain I can handle, 40's I can handle, but rain and 40's? Not gonna happen.
Yesterday I woke up feeling stiff and unbalanced. I had a 3hr MTB ride planned, and got it in (2hr 44min, 28.8miles), but my technical riding was off. I rode fine overall, good pedalling, etc, but I was kind of all over technically. Oh well, it happens. It was sunny and in the high 40's; killer day to be out. There were, however, a ton of people out, all which were going the opposite direction we were, and being a proper gentleman, I tend to yield to other riders. So I was stopping and getting off the side of the trail every minute or so through some sections.
Thanksgiving is this week which is awesome. Going to the 'rents for Turkey, etc.
Guns-n-Roses new album, Chinese Democracy, 15 years in the making came out yesterday. It is a Best Buy exclusive, which totally blows, but I got it anyway. It's pretty good. Axl's voice is still fully intact and he has lost none of his range. I theorize this is due to, while other rock singers that are still around (say, James Hetfield of Metallica) have been on the road or in the studio belting it out 300 days a year for the last 15 years, Axl has been doing nothing, so his chords are where he left them after the Use Your Illusions tour (which was w/ Meatllica). I don't know, but the album sounds pretty good.
Happy Thanksgiving all.
I hope to get out this week for some solid workouts, I am racing the next 2 weekends, then a week off.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday. 20*

I don't have a relevant pic, so I pulled out this gem from the files.
Tom Green came to Muncie several years ago for a show or something and he organized his own "Tom Green Day Parade." It went right in front of the bike shop so I went out to check it out and I had to get my picture taken w/ the "talent" from the local Muncie strip club, Jokers Wild.
Anywho, it snowed yesterday. Enough to coat the sidewalks; not a problem in-and-of-itself, but this morning it's 20. I just don't have the mojo to get out in 20 yet. Plus today is scheduled as a ride-run-ride day, and 1) stopping to change into running shoes, etc is bad when it's real cold and 2) riding after running is bad when it's real cold too because I get sweaty running, then jump into a 20mph bike ride while wet. F that S.
I decided to bag it all, wash my cycling laundry and do some house cleaning.
I didn't fee l real good all week training wise anyway. I got all my workouts in (except today), but didn't feel strong at all. I guess I have to get used to wearing so much clothing my movement is restricted (unlike the skanks in the picture) and it being cold. Those things just slow you down.(period)
I had a good ride yesterday and actually did feel pretty good. I think because I was riding w/ someone (RS) and he was slow(er) too. When I'm alone I push way hard, not willing accept that circumstance is slowing me. When I'm w/ someone else who is victim of the same circumstances, we can match pace w/out bull-headedly pushing against the circumstances the season dictates.
Whatever. We may go ride MTB's Sunday @ BCSP.
Then it's CX races the following 2 Sundays (11/20, 12/7), then a week off of training. Then 2009 training begins. So I have to plow through two more weeks of training, albeit relatively unstructured, then we'll get things going.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cold, wind, November!

Bean Blossom hill up into Morgan Monroe St. Forest (which they appear to be logging now too).

One of my favorite distributors, Ochsner, had these sweet Assos winter hats on blow out for $12. Anything Assos for $12 is a bargain, and this hat is awesome!

I got out for ~40miles today and felt really good. After seeing how windy it was, I changed my plan from ~50-60miles to ~30. But I felt good enough I turned on some unplanned roads to get some more time in.
I rode my 11speed Giant, so I got a good longer ride in on it w/ some good hills, etc. I have a good feel for it now.
I also got all of our patio furniture in the basement and our hoses in for the winter.
Plus I got some things done to my CX bike I've been needing to do. Amongst other things, I have been meaning to check my wheels, since they are newly built, to make sure they're still good-n-true. They are perfect as the day they wee built; and I have ridden them hard. My wheel guy is an ace. He's a reader, so that's a well deserved ego booster for him!

I also forgot to mention that I took Lindsay to The Irish Lion for her birthday dinner Friday night (though her b-day was Wednesday). We had a good dinner and good time.

Temps are looking COLD for the coming week's mornings. Yippy Yeah!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What a week

I made salsa. A few friends gave me a bunch of hot peppers. This is carrot, onion, garlic, some tomato and an ass load of super hot peppers. I only recognized the habenaros, but there is some serious fire in this jar!

Man, I think it has rained every day this week. And been pretty cold to boot.I had to make some seat-the-pants changes to training plans this week, but I made it through. I got out for the standard short recovery ride Monday and took out the 11 speed bike for trip #2. I like the stuff, but, still later for review.

Tuesday was looking grim on the radar, so rather than the ride-run-ride @ Paynetown trails, I ran from home to the Y gravel trail, then rode rollers. It was different, but worked.

Wed and Thurs were rainy/cold so I rode the CX bike both days. Wed I rode out the secret single track to the east side of the county, but it was so leaf covered and wet I crashed over bars once and was dabbing feet constantly; no fun at all.

Thursday I went out Bottom road to a gravel road called Williams that Tim Cote, RS and I used to go bust hill repeats on (thanks to Ren-Jay for reminding of this gem). I did 2 repeats of the "loop" we used to do and it was a really good ride. Tough as nails though.

Friday I rode-ran-rode at Griffey Lake trails. I felt like a million bucks on the run and fine on the bike, but I have been really sore in both of my (current) problem areas the past two days. My lower back (upper butt) and upper back (between shoulders) have been especially bothersome.

Anywho, hope to get in about 3hrs tomorrow. I really want to go to the CX race in Lexington, KY, but it's just farther than I want to drive (drive 3hrs to race for 45min??).

I planned my week off for Dec. 8-13. After this week I'll start in w/ weights and indoor interval riding. This is the plan.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

F*****g Winter!

I got my mountain bike stripped, cleaned and overhauled over the last week or so. Finished product has blue shift housing to match fork and frame accents.
Plus I got my (Giant) road bike fitted w/ a new Campagnolo Chorus 11speed grouppo. I've ridden it just once, so report/pics to follow some time (I need to ride it more).

Man, I'd say winter's here. I guess this weekend (and the 10 day) are below av, but it's cold. I finished out a solid training week w/ a ~3hr ride today. Combine temps that didn't make into the 40's w/ a blistering headwind all the way back from Nashville, and it make s a nasty ride. I was totally dying on the way back. On the positive, one of the roads I planned on taking had a "road closed" sign, so I took a different route and rode a road I've never been on, but heard was cool called Grandma Barnes Road that runs between hwy135 in Nashville and Helmsberg Rd. It's a cool narrow road that is mostly downhill from 135 (of course you have to climb up 135 to get to it). I'm going to put this road/ride in the rotation.
Friday I had to take Lindsay to Indy to catch her ride to Michigan to race the Iceman Cometh MTB race there. I took my road bike (Giant/11speed) and Josh and I rode road up there. It's crazy to me that we rode ~25miles and never really got out of town. I'm used to being out of town for rides in ~10minutes. It was a good ride, but I wouldn't want to have to ride like that all the time.
This weather is going to take some getting used to. Hopefully the wind associated w/ the front dies down because man, today was like Muncie windy, but w/ hills and COLD!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Computer back, Obama, pics

Sand pit at Gun Club CX.
Barriers at Gun Club.

More Sand.

USGP (I'm #84 back there)

USGP (far left, #84).

I got my computer back. All data is accounted for except Itunes. I can't get it to open and I can''t get it reinstalled. I'll continue to work on it as if feel like it; it's not crucial.

W/ Indiana narrowly going to Obama, my vote might have actually made a difference. That's kind of cool.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Still no computer, quick update #2

I still don't have our primary PC back from repair yet. The hardrive was fried and it has to be replaced. The dude sounded hopeful data can be reassigned okay, but won't know till he's done which should be today.

Despite sub freezing a.m. temps, I had a solid training week last week. I got in all my workouts (I skipped Tuesday's run in favour of a ride though, my left calf or shin or something was bugging me). I raced the OVCX cross race at the Cincinnati Gun Club yesterday. It was a good MTB style course, but had tons of broken clay pigeon things everywhere and shotgun shells littered around too. I finally got a decent start position (4th row, not great, but better than last row) and I ended up 8th/35 or so. The course had 2 long straight stretches that were 25+ MPH, a double sand pit. then lots of tight tech stuff w/ lots of up and down on the back side. It was a lung/leg burner for sure; I was worked straight up afterwards.
Well, now that we made it through last week's cold spell and summer is back, this should be a good week too. I am not planning to race for a few weeks, as the races the next 2 weeks are farther away then I care to drive (Yellow Springs, OH and Lexington, KY). So I likely won't race until after thanksgiving, and I may weigh so much by then that I'll have to enter the Clydesdale division!
I have some pics from the USGP, but they're on the other computer, so I'll post them when I get it back (assuming they're able to be saved).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Quick update- USGP, etc

A rainy Friday saw a forced day off of training, and despite being a little sick earlier in the week (and getting up at 4am to get people to their respective starts), I went into the USGP feeling pretty fresh. What gave me that not-so-fresh feeling as my start position. I was in the last row of 89 people; I started dead last. I rode really well, but was totally gassed the whole time.I rode as hard as I could throughout. I rode myself into 37th, which isn't bad considering I had to ride through the entire field to get there.
Second note: my computer isn't booting up, so I may be post-less for a while. We have a second PC, which I am on now, but it has problems too and doesn't work too well. It may be time for a new main system, ugh. I need to talk to the good people at Computer Repair Now here in b-town and see what they think. They've done work for me in the past and are very good and very honest. Last time I was in (about a year ago) they were talking about starting to build/sell comps instead of only fixing them. Options to be explored...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's official...

It's cold in the mornings. These are my seasonal best friends, the Merino Sheep. That's right, I've busted out the wool already.
I actually was sick this week. It hit me Monday afternoon, a feverish, stuffy head feeling. I left work early and went straight to bed.
I skipped working out Tuesday to sleep in, worked all day, but went straight to bed after work again.
By Wed I felt much better, so I rode the cross bike a little over an hour; nothing crazy hard or anything, just riding.
Then today (thurs) I felt good enough to resume training. We rode a hard local route (North Shore Dr.) and our current local pro, John Myers went with. This dude is a faaast cat 1 and this was hard ride. just what I needed after being sick for a couple of days. I couldn't have pushed that hard otherwise. I actually felt pretty good and never really felt in danger of being dropped. It was a good, hard ride. I hope he joins us somewhat often to make it interesting.
This weekend is the USGP cross race in Louisville, KY. It is supposed to rain there today and Friday, then be sunny and in the 60's for the weekend. Should make it fun!
I re-geared my cross bike from a standard road 39x53 set up, which the 53 is completely useless in cross, to a 46x39, which may be useful. 53 is way too big of a gear to push on any cx course, but since I ride the bike on training rides in the winter, I wanted to keep a bigger gear on it. But 53 is just too much to be practical, so I got a 46t. I can still race completely in the 39 if the course calls for it, but I have more option now.
So I'm still trying to go to bed early just to give my immune system full recovery. It's 9:15pm, getting close for me...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hilly weekend

Photo is the misty fog and fall colours over Griffey lake. Taken Friday am (cell pic) after my run at Griffey and prior to ride back in.

Then the weekend was the religious weekend to Southern IN cyclist, the Hilly 100. Per usual I worked it Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Josh and I had a good hilly money wise and stayed very busy and very tired. I'm still tired from the weekend. we were busy enough Sunday that i didn't get to ride like I usually do, but that's okay. We go 50/50 on the weekend's earnings, so it's only fair that I stay so he doesn't get bogged down.
Not riding made my week a little short on training hours, but I'm not too worried about that. This weekend is the USGP cross race in Louisville. It was good last year; kind of overwhelming to be at such a huge race. Cool though.
Speaking of cool, mornings are down right cold now. The past two have been in the 30's. My toes froze this morning and hurt real bad thawing when I got in (I was out for only ~45min, but didn't wear shoe covers).
It was another good Hilly weekend and good to catch up w/ some Muncie folks I don't see too often like Keelo and Jimmy Leffler especially.
Good times.
I hatched a plan to ~try to~ get a new Campy Chorus 11 speed group for my road bike w/ my hilly earnings and the selling of my current group. Hopefully it works out, that'd be sweet!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm ready to vote

John McCain scares me.
He's trying too hard; I don't think I trust a word this old guy says.
And Palin? WTF???

Monday, October 13, 2008

CX pics

This is the start from two weeks ago in Louisville. I am in the blue w/ the big arrow pointing toward me.

I am pretty sure this is my start from this past weekend. I am in there somehwere. Gives you an idea of how many we started with and I was toward the back of it.


I went to Muncie Saturday for my friend, Brian Myrick's wedding. Pic above is from the reception; pretty extravagant(by my [low] standards). It was a nice wedding, as far as that goes and I got to see some folks I haven't seen for a while. I didn't know nearly as many people as I expected I would, but a few. Plus I went to a couple Muncie spots of interest to me: Blue Bottle Coffee Shop, my old fav for coffee/pastries, Heorot Pub, my old fav place for hard to find beers (and they'll have it on tap none-the-less) and Kirk's Bike Shop, my old shop. I hung out at the bike shop for a while and talked to the guys there because I know them otherwise (FYI, it's totally annoying when some dude you've never met/seen/heard of... comes in and lays the "I used to work here" drab on you and wants to talk about it all day. Point being, if I hadn't known these guys, I wouldn't have tried to chat them up about my having run the shop for 5 years). The place looked pretty much the same, but was far messier than we ever let it get.
Sunday was the Harbin Park UCI CX race in Cinci, OH. This was the first "big" cx race I'd ever done a couple years ago, and I skipped it last year. It has grown a ton since I've been there and the course was changed quite a bit too. It was very hard overall. It had lots of mil, gradual climbing, but on rough grass ground. It made it very difficult. I felt great though (read: I felt fast, I actually felt like I was going to die at any moment). Being a bigger UCI race they called up riders by points and I have none. So my race had ~60 starters and I started probably !40 or so back I'd guess. I passed tons of people and was passed by only 1 person, and I finished 15th. So I passed over half the field and felt pretty good about it (if I'd have started 15th, I'd have won, right?)
The course had 2 sand pits, one on slight downhill and one on a slight uphill. The dh one was easy and even fast, but the up hill one was difficult. It was ridable (I rode it during pre race laps), but I carried the bike through it every race lap. It just wasn't worth the risk of falling off for me, plus I entered it every lap w/ people, and traffic made it even more difficult. I latched onto two or three groups of 3-5 people at different times in the race, but I was feeling strong, so I rode through and clear of all of them.
Another solid CX race.
Hilly 100 this weekend. BUSY BUSY BUSY for me. 20+ hours of work in two days, really. Fun though, and the weather is looking good.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Oktober Fest

Wed was dreary, damp and grey. I rode the CX on some dirt/gravel roads and got filthy. (shortly after the 1-2mile stretch of gravel here is a big nasty gravel climb) and (notice my orange shift cable housing, pretty trick eh?)

October in Indiana; my last post highlighted the nice sunny day and great weather. Then the photo above made me think I spoke too soon. Then today it's sunny, but was really chilly. Craziness.
I was really cold this a.m. I needed to take gloves w/ me, but didn't. Live/learn (but to remember is key). I have ridden very well the past two days and felt good. This is good because i was afraid having a cold the past week or so had killed my top-end fitness. I think it's still mostly in tact.
Tuesday we rode to Paynetown (more like pain-town) to run the trail. I planned on running the whole 6 again, but didn't feel up to it on the way out, so stuck to the 3mile. I felt like total crap and had no form at all on the hills out there. I was clamouring up them @ ~my lactic/aerobic threshold and recovering to too high an HR. I ended up PR'ing the 3miles by ~1 1/2 min though. I would not have guess that at any point during the run.
So all in all it's been a pretty good week.
CX in Cinci the Sunday!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Amber Waves

Beautiful time of year to be a cyclist in Indiana.

I ended up with a cold the past few days. I deemed not bad enough to miss training over, but a slight cough, runny nose, general stuffiness and fatigue got me down for sure.
I rounded out my week well and on schedule. I rode CX to/at Wapahani MTB park wed and tried to be on/off (dismount/mount) as much as reasonably possible. It was a good ride that was probably beneficial.
Thursday we went and rode MTB at BCSP. It was a really good ride. i was riding on rails; super fast and w/ really good lines. I turned in a solid time for the lap we do (starting at north tower, clockwise loop of beg/aimes trail, up HP and back down, finish loop, I turned in a 1hr5min). The trail was in perfect condition and we saw probably 6 deer.
Friday I rode/ran/rode at Griffey.
Thursday aft noon, Friday all day, and Saturday all day (and still, to a lesser degree) I have been w/ this cold. I have been doubling up on the multi vitamins and chugging echinacia herbal tea and it's much better.
Today RS and I did a ~55mile ride up to Martinsville, then into the Morgan-Monroe St Forest via a back route. We busted it out at a good clip, which hopefully won't end up being a bad move and make me sicker.
I also mowed the yard, which hadn't been done for over two weeks. Hopefully it's the last of that for 2008.
This weekend is my good buddy Brian Myrick's wedding in Muncie Saturday, then a big UCI race in Cinci Sunday. I usually only get to Muncie once a year for the Endurathon (which Myrick is the director of), so it'll be cool to be here for a few hours.
Gotta make it through this week first though (and Tuesday's 6mile run!)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weekend/early week

This is what my cat, Sixx, used to look like. She's bigger now, but still pink.
(I don't have any race photo's from the weekend, so this is what you get)

Sunday was the Ohio Valley Cross race, the Tour De Louisville, at a metro park in LV, KY. I rode really good and got 8th. I think there was an error (some confusion) on the start line and some of the people in my race started 1 minute ahead of the rest of us. I may have gotten better than 8th. I rode better than 8th (or everyone else is really fast this year). It was a very technically demanding course, w/ lots of short uphills, off camber switchback turns and a semi gnarly downhill; well suited for a MTBer. Plus the barriers were followed by a short steep run up, which I felt great on. I in no way endorse running as a necessary part of cx training, as a lot people think it ought to be, but the running I've been doing came in handy on this course. True, it wasn't much running, but I glided up the run up.
Today i ran the full 6mile loop at Paynetown trails. I ran a high 48min, which I guess is pretty respectable. I felt like I could have keeled over at any given time, but I recovered well on the ride back in. If I keep up running harder and faster, like I am, I think I'll see some real gains in fitness next season. Who knows, maybe I'll jump into an x-terra off road triathlon (I'm only trail running right now).
Rest of the week to come, I'm feeling really good right now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Vegas was overwhelming. Interbike was overwhelming in a good way, so much cool stuff to see; Vegas was overwhelming in a bad way. too much of everything. Excess.
I rode electronic Dura-Ace. I didn't like it. It had an incredibly fake feel to it. It's like clicking a mouse to shift. I turned around and rode new DA 7900, which is cable actuated, and preferred it (as much as I can prefer Shimano [which means if Campy went out of business, I'd rather have 7900 than electronic]).
We went to Cross Vegas Wed night to watch the race. It was an awesome course an awesome field and an awesome evening. Lance Armstrong showed up to race adn was boo-ed at the call up, which was cool. The race was the coolest I've been to, being under lights, etc, and really gave the CX bug. I race tomorrow, first CX of the year. I feel ready.
There is so much more to say about interbike. As I said, it was overwhelming. I was stoked on the Campy booth to see and touch new 11speed groups and new Super Record. This is an ~$,4000 group. It was dope.
Thursday night we went to the US Criterium Championships at Mandalay Bay, which was at the complete other end of the strip. The race was cool (not as cool as x-vegas), and we walked back. It is probably 4-5 linear miles, but we detoured through nearly every casino, and it took us over 3hrs to get back. We were out late, and raging.
Here are some interbike pics for you's:

Me and an 11spd shifter.

11spd RD.

Count em. 11.

~$10,000 german made Lightweigth wheels made famous by Der Jan Ullrich.

Me and endurance MTB superstar (and Lindsay's 'hero') Daniel Musto.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Solid week

I leave for Interbike tomorrow. We get to our hotel ~4am our time (~12:00am Vegas time, but I'm told there are no clocks anyway).

I had a very solid and very good training week last week. I got in ~11hrs, and they were all pretty quality. That's excellent because I'll probably gain 20-60lbs in front of various Vegas buffets, and I just may start smoking too to better fit in at the casinos! I also hear they give free drinks to gamers, so I may pick up that habit as well. Sin City baby!

Yesterday (Sunday) RS and I went out for a hard 50 or so mile ride, but didn't ride it exceptionally hard. Just good solid tempo. I told Lindsay I would take her out a CX ride to show her some places she wouldn't know of any other way. Apparently we have an annual ride together around this time of year that usually ends up w/ her upset for slowing me down so much, although I know what I'm getting into and am okay w/ it. She rode good and we finished together for I think the first time. weird thing is, I felt like I had been run over by a truck afterwards. I was sore all over. Sure, I had ridden 50 or so prior, but I think going slower made me sorer. I am used to going over the rough terrain fast(er) and I think going over it slow(er) caused my muscles/bones (body) to absorb more shock than it is accustomed to and it really took a toll on me.
So Lindsay can say she worked me over on a ride. It's true.

I'll probably have way to much to post after Interbike, so expect a short report and a few pics.
I am going to race CX in Louisville Sunday (9/28) after we get back Friday, then I have to work all day Saturday.
I'm going to try to ride to the Paynetown trails tomorrow, run the 6mile trail, and ride in to get in one last workout before heading to Vice-Vegas.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Smells like fresh pavement

Fresh new pavement on Hwy 45 between Nashville and B-town. This road wasn't bad anyway, but this is sweetness!

The fog lifting off of Lake Lemon (taken from South Shore Drive, looking north). It looked way cooler in person than a crappy cell pic delivers.

Good workouts so far this week. Tuesday we rode to Paynetown, ran the trails and rode in, like last week. What differed was I got mixed up on turns in the trail and basically ended up running the 6miles instead of 3. This was a 54min run, which if not the longest run I've ever done, is right up there. I felt really good though, so I wasn't to worried about it.
Wed I rode a cross ride i love doing. There is a trail through a woods system on the est side of town that dumps you out a kind of crappy road that you would never really be on for any reason unless you lived out there. Then you can hook up to some gravel roads and work your way back into town. One of these gravel roads is a killer limb though, loose, rough gravel and ~250' of elevation in ~1mile. The total rides ~18miles. It's a good one.
Then today I just road a 35mile road ride.
I want to get in some quality workouts before going to Vegas next week. As I mentioned, I plan to take running stuff, but not knowing where you are, etc makes working out difficult. Plus I could see it being hard to run in the Vegas strip area. We shall see.