Sunday, June 28, 2009

What a day

Riding, painting, grilling, ice cream...and Tom Boonen wins the Belgian National title.

We got out early for ~3hrs of riding w/ a few good climbs. We started w/ 5 and finished very strong w/ 3. We kind of dorked around for the first hour or so, but "started riding" eventually and it turned into a good hard ride; just how we like em.
I had to get home to meet my parents at our house. My trip to Michigan last weekend cost me a rain cheque on a Father's Day project w/ my Dad. We were going to paint the garage on our house, but being out of town last weekend, we did it today. We had to get it scrapped and put two coats on it. It came out very nice, though I ~should have~ gotten satin finish paint, but got flat. I'm a rookie.
Here's a few pics:
The before pic (taken a couple years ago). We painted the cinder block "foundation" around the garage.

It's kind of a sea green, but the light's low and it's hard to tell.
Closer shot of the color. You still can't really make out the color too well.
After we got the first coat on, I grilled us all some burgers and corn. Then after the second coat we went to The Chocolate Moose for some ice cream. It was a very nice day spent w/ the fam, and I got in a good ride!
Next weekend, I'm planning a double weekend. I'm going to race short-track (MTB racing doing multiple laps on a short [less than 1mile] track) Saturday, then regular XC Sunday.
I've never raced short track xc. I have a feeling it won't play to my strengths as a racer, but we'll see; I'm decent at cyclocross and that's not really endurance/recovery style racing. But Sunday's XC is a course that usually treats me pretty well...later!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


That's how this week's been for me on the training front. Solid. Other than my left shoulder being sore from crashing last Friday in Michigan, I have felt great.
Here's a quick breakdown:
Monday: E-Z ride on the rollers due to hella rain/storm rolling through. After sitting in the car all weekend, I wasn't too terribly upset about this tough. Rollers in nice and easy and easy to control things.
Tuesday: evening 10mile Time Trial. PR'd yet again (22.42, av 26.7 mph). Then on the way home John Myers, fresh off a clavicle break, was wanting to spice things up, so he was attacking relentlessly. I was doing my damnedest to cover and was doing quite well I must say...then I flatted (okay, I was getting gapped at the time, but I had covered his moves twice! and he's no slouch [he's a cat 1]). Having a super tight fitting 700x20 tyre+ dripping w/ sweat=super dumpster flat change. But I got it (eventually) and made it in.
Wednesday: I did a hill attack workout and felt pretty good. This is an every-other-Wednesday ride, but I've done it just 4 times this season (out of a possible 7, so I've missed 3 and that's not too bad considering that goes back to early April).
Then today (Thurs.) I strung together a good ~40mile ride w/ some good climbing (for the locs: old 37-anderson-shilo-tunnel-south shore-shuffle creek-45-brummets creek-fleener-gettys creek-mt gilead-45-in). This is 36miles that gains ~2,000'. If you ride it right, it's a pretty hard ride.
Tomorrow looks good for an easy ~1hr, then Sunday I have to get out early for ~3hrs. My pops is coming down and we're going to do some exterior painting. We didn't get to hang on real Father's Day, so this is the make-up.
In other news, I have a couple new tings to report on briefly. 1) I've am trying First Endurance EFS drink mix. I use most of First Endurance's products and am generally blown away by them. EFS mix seems to work very well, but is a little too sweet tasting for my liking; I'm still in the experimental stages though. I have been using GU2O for while now, but they discontinued it and have relaunched it (or at least a similar product) under the name "Gu Brew" which is such a stupid name i don't want to use it anymore. But if I can't get the EFS mixed to my overall liking, I may be crawling back to "Gu Brew."
I also got a pair of Etxeondo (said: esh-ee-on-doe) bib shorts. This is company from the Basque Region of Spain know for producing some of the workds greatest cycling climbers. Plus Indurain won in Etxeondo clothing. I've been curious to try a pair since Ocshner Imports dropped Assos clothing and picked up Etx. I've wore them just twice, but I think I like them a lot. My senses tell me that nothing can directly compete w/ Assos in overall quality, fit and performance, but Etxeondo is some pretty choice clothing.
Sorry for no pic.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Road Trip (lumberjack 100 MTB race)

Lindsay coming up the start.

Exiting the pits (navigating around the cornhole game).

Chicken head or Sparten dude?

Lindsay working on the gourmet pre-race dinner in our cabin (complimentary coffee maker included, but no coffee!?!).

The mother-ship. Ready to launch.

We took off Friday morning for Lindsay to attempt the Lumberjack 100(mile) MTB race. It's a long drive up to west/central Michigan, and we hit a couple patches of bad weather, but we made pretty good time.
We got to the race venue and while Lindsay got checked in and did a little ride, I rode the "back section" of the course, which is a 17mile loop that is done in conjunction w/ a 8mile "front loop." The course is in a State Forest about 30 or so miles east of Lake Michigan, so the soil is sand. Still not being 100% what happened, I crashed pretty hard ~15minutes into the loop and hit my head (helmet!) pretty hard on the ground. My sunglasses got smashed into my face and blackened the corner of my eye a little and gave me two small cuts, but I was otherwise fine. I got up and finished the loop.
This isn't about me though.
After riding we got to our cabin, ate and went to bed early. Spectating 100mile MTB racing is pretty boring. LJ100 is the only one I've been to, but I'd say it's very spectator friendly course because it's use of the two loops you have a couple of vantage points and after a couple laps there's pretty much always someone coming through one of the loops. Anywho, Lindsay looked good and appeared to be riding well and in good, confident spirits, but missed the cut-off time and bagged it after 50miles. I was (am) still proud of her because (1) she worked really hard, and (2) let's face it, riding even 50 consecutive miles on a mountain bike would not be cake; I've never ridden MTB that long/far.
Overall, despite her falling short of her ultimate goal, me being eaten by mosquitoes (again, for the second year), and me smashing my head into the dirt, we had a pretty nice little trip.
Summer appears to be here. 90's and stuff. I want to have a solid week of training, so let's hope the rain is about done too.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

History Lesson

This is a pic my good friend Josh sent me of the top tube of a bike that was brought into his bike shop in Indianapolis the other day. Andy Hampsten is an American cycling legend and apparently someone in Indy has one of his Eddy Merckx branded Motorola team bikes. This bike would have been circa Lance Armstrong's very early PRO days. When he was a nobody and dropped out of the TDF.
I feel like this week has been mostly a bust for riding. I guess June is the monsoon season around here now. Last year I believe was the wettest on record, and this year it's rained a ton (a ton may be a 'dry' measurement, but whatever). I managed two days of intervals and Monday's EZ ride, but things are not going according to plan. I went out to the flats of Bottom Rd. Wed for a TT interval session, but decided to do it on road bike for two reasons. 1) my TT bike is white and a pain to clean and it was all wet out. it would have gotten nasty and 2) I thought it would be beneficial to some good hard time trial effort, but w/out the aero benefit. The sets were harder than on the TT, which is good and my TT bike is still clean.
Today (thrus) it was thunder/lightning/raining in the morning, so I went to work early to get some things done that I needed to get done hoping to get a p.m. ride in. It turned sunny for most of the day so we were very steadily busy, but i got everything I needed done. The it looked like more rain this eve, but i set out for hill intervals anyway. I went to the hill(s) at Griffey Lake and did 4x up-down-up-down (that's eight climbs total). Intervals are hard. I hope they're worth it.
Tomorrow we take off for Lindsay to tackle the Lumberjack 100 in central Michigan. She crashed on her road bike last night and has some soreness and scraped on her a$$, but I have faith she'll get it done; she's come too far.
Finally, this weekend is Father's day. Unfortunately I won't be able to spend it w/ my Pops because we'll be coming from back MI. But, seeing as he's about the greatest Dad one could have, he understands. We may get to hang out and do some house painting next weekend. We'll see.
I gotta get packed for the weekend, I plan to ride the 25mile loop of the LJ100 course tomorrow evening, then spectate all day Sat. Should be fun!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Cellph pic

I snapped this cellph pic (a self picture taken w/ a cell phone, get it?) on this a.m.'s E-Z ride. I do the same ride pretty much every Monday regardless. I like it because it's short (just under 50min [unless you flat, like I did last week]) and not demanding if ridden easy. Since my Mondays are usually coming off either racing or long/hard trainers, I stick to this ride Monday mornings for a good active recovery ride to get the blood flowing and loosen up the legs. The route is just some back roads south of town that are nice and quiet.
Yesterday (Sunday) we rolled out the Nashville 90. We started w/ a pretty strong group of 6, but a little over 1/2 way, it was whittled down to 3 (myself, Shanny and Fred). One rider had a flat fairly early on (@~mile22), then once we were separated, Ryan's chain/derailer hanger broke on him @ ~mile74. His day was done and we had to call a ride to come get him. So it ended up just Fred and I taking big hard pulls for the final 15 or so miles. On a ride like the 90, you can go through about a million different moods/emotions, but overall I felt really good and our pace showed that. The chip-and-seal job done on SR446 made this ride very different than it ever was. The first 20miles are very rough and very taxing due to the constant low frequency vibration. My whole body felt numb after about 45min of this. INDOT f^cked up pretty bad, from the cyclists perspective. Anywho, even w/ 1 flat, 1 water stop, 1 pee stop and one broken chain stop we av'd just under 21mph and our on-the-road av (w/out the stops added) was just under 23. That's pretty fast for 90miles and exactly what I needed; a long hard day on the FiZik.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Blame it on the Rain

Another choice title. I'm on a roll.

I was recently introduced to a few roads I'd never been on east of town. A couple challenging climbs and very good scenery. It's scapes such as these that explain why they call the area "The Little Smokey Mountains."

And here's a pic snapped of the Tuesday Night TT start. It's ghetto enough that we use a car for a hold up. That's RS starting, G/Parry timing (leaning on car) and me on deck (that's my shoulder and head on the right side). And Fred's forearm/hand.

It has been far to rainy lately. While I can't say for sure, I feel as if I haven't seen the sun for a week or so for more than a few moments between bouts of rain. The Thursday ride that produced the above pic was a ~30mile ride during which I was rained on twice between cloudiness and few short peaks of sun. All w/in ~1.5hrs. It went cloudy/rain/sun/rain/cloudy.
I looked at my mileage for the year so far and I have right at 3,000 (2,998) as my total. That's mileage only, so no trainer time from Jan/Feb added to that. I've really only done one ride over 80miles for that too. I need to ride long. I plan to ride the Nashville 90 this weekend. I have several rides over 60miles, but too few over that.
Lets' hope for a good change in the weather.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oops I did it again...

Sweet title, eh? Not really.
Anywho, I PR'd at the TNT (Tuesday night time trial). Because I can never remember my time(s), and I felt like my legs were filled w/ concrete while TTing, I didn't realized I'd PR'd until I got home and got my data downloaded, but I bested myself by 7 seconds. Meaning if I were a bull rider (from Oklahoma, of course), I'd have gotten that golden buckle, or something like that.
the pic above is what has been occupying my free time for a week or so. See, I got new shoes last week because my others "developed" a big gash in the side of them (long story). So I've had to make ~100,000,000 cleat adjustments to get everything perfect. Curious as it may be, the right cleat was 100% perfect first try. No adjustments nec. But I've made several to the left, hence the pic. I actually broke one of the fixing bolts I messed w/ it so much. And all I had left were the long bolts", which are too long for the thin sole of the 5.5 (which totally rules, the sole that is) so I had to chop a few of the long bolts down so I have spares. Pain. Anyway, I think I've got it dialed. The shoes are the "Vernice" (ver-neetch-a) finish, which translates to "painted" from Italian. They have the "wet paint" look to them. High fashion, that's right.
Today I planned on doing the Wednesday World training race, but the forecast looked like storms all evening, so I decided to do an easy indoor spin in the a.m. Honestly, w/ no races on the immediate horizon, I wasn't too terribly upset about it. of course the weather's fine though and I could have ridden the ride. Whatever.
Looking ahead (and just to throw it out ~early~) next year I'm thinking Schabobele (assuming it happens next year [it didn't this year]), Hillsboro Roubaix again, and the Tour of the Red River Gorge, a three day, three stage race w/ serious climbing and long distances. I'm thinking of these three races as biggies, amongst all the others. Plus another ealry season TN training camp for prep of course. Just some thoughts.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Disappointment; more crashing!

So Ren-Jay Shei put his name on the collar bone list this past week.
And I crashed in the IN State Road Race too! And there's more!!!
The race:
I should have known it would not be a great day. First, when I put in my contacts (at ~5am) it burned as if I'd accidentally stored them in Tabasco. I rinsed them thoroughly and all was fine. Once I got to the race, I was loading up my pockets for the day and realized I'd left my gel flask in the fridge. Not good. I've really been working on my race (and long ride) nutrition this year, so going into a close to 3hr race w/ no food is not a good idea for me. I was able to bum 2 gels from a couple guys (big thanks R. Knapp and B-rad Nelson). Ideally I would have had 1) more food and 2) the EFS gel I'm used to, but these dudes saved my arse. So w/ all this bad luck starting out, I should have sensed crisis awaited...
I rode really smart race. I got in one (unsuccessful) breakaway, then drifted back into the field to recovery for a few laps once it was absorbed. Then w/ two to go I moved toward the front and stayed close to the front for the final lap/finish. Well, as so often is the case in these situations, I really don't know what happened. I guess a dude bumped bars w/ someone or something, but one second I'm jamming in the bunch, sitting really good, ~10th or so probably, and the next second a rider is on the ground in front of me. My options were to plow into him or swerve out one way or the other and take out the remainder of the field myself (and still crash). I chose to plow the guy. I ran my front wheel into his rib cage at what turned out to be 34mph. The good part (for me) was that the speed we were moving caused him to be sliding forward when I hit him. So when I flew forward, he was moving forward too and rather than flying over him and onto the pavement, I landed on top of him and he broke my fall. I quickly was up, asked him if he was okay (he said he was), remounted my bike, which was mostly fine too, and sprinted in. Looking at the Cat III results I see the names of people I was around at the end were in the 3rd to 7th range. That means I was 100% looking at being in the money, and a possible top 10 or better. It wasn't to happen this day though; I crossed 42nd out of 82 starts (there were TONS of flats on the day though, very, very bad course conditions).
So then today myself and two teammates (G. Parry and G. Palmer) were going out for a spin of about 2-2.5hrs. We weren't riding hard, as we had all three raced good and hard yesterday, just sitting up talking and pedalling. At some point in a corner GP and GP hit loose sand and both went down. Both were cut up/scraped up and G.Parry landed on his face and had a blood faucet out his nose; not a pretty sight. Everyone was alright, and I didn't go down, but G.Parry's rr wheel was beyond repair and he had to be picked up. G.Palmer and I continued and rode in once G.Parry was picked up safely. While it's great that no one was hurt (and that I've been in three crashes in the last two weeks and not been hurt), we've all had enough of crashing.
So I don't race again for three weeks or so. I'm accompanying Lindsay to Michigan again this year for her crack at the Lumberjack 100 MTB 100mile race. Why anyone would want to race a MTB 100miles is beyond me, but she's been working really hard and is really focused on it, so I'm excited to go back to support her again.
Other than that, it's just train, train, train (and work, work, work).

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Oh Deer!

I saw this creature in the neighborhood bordering ours on my way in Wed morning. There are often deer in our yard and all over the surrounding 'hoods. The Mountain Dew drinkers must not have done enough "population control" last season; probably anticipating this classic dew sans HFCS in favour of cane sugar. When Mt Dew's your drink of choice, you really ought to be concerned about purity of ingredients.
It's been a crazy week training due to wild weather. Tuesday the boys and I went out for a good hard ~45miles. We did the Catholic Cemetery climb into the MMSF, which is a long climb w/ a few steep pitches. We rode a very solid and pretty hard pace, so it was a good ride.
Then yesterday (Wed) it rained. I wanted to get out for an easy spin of ~1hr, so I rolled out SR446 for ~30min then turned around. IN-DOT chip and sealed 446, so it's a rough mess once you get about 6-8miles out. I rode nice and easy (av'd ~16.5) and my legs felt heavy. I though maybe opening up a few efforts may thwart the sensation, but I wasn't too worried about it really. Then today I wanted to get for ~1.5hr tempo. A cold front came through last night and 1) turned it windy and 2)turned it cold. It was in the low 50's when I took off today. Tuesday it was mid 70's in the a.m. and got up to 90. Crazy town.

2 pieces of other news: 1) when Lindsay and I first moved here I did something I had never done before to get us through for awhile: maxed out a credit card. Well, after how ever many months of paying well more than the "minimum due" I paid it off this week! What a good feeling for me. 2) I'm pretty sure my Ipod is officially dead. It's been giving me sporadic problems and sometimes error messages for a month or so, but it won't turn on at all now, just gives me an error. Bummer; solo rides and yard mowing are going to become more mind numbing. Ah well, w/ that card paid off maybe I can charge myself a kick ass new ipod!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Weekend, etc.

Sunday was the DINO MTB Race at Brown County St Park. W/ low humidity, temps in the high 70s/low 80s and super dry trail conditions, this race was faster than it's ever been. It starts w/ a 3/4mile road climb that gains ~285'. It's a brutal start, and I expected to be in front, w/ maybe a few guys and to have a gap. Man, the cat I MTBers were flying up this road climb. I was in the first group, but several guys back from first into the trail. So my start was not was I was hoping for, but I maintained a good hard solid pace throughout and rode well and consistent. I did clip a tree w/ my left shoulder coming down the trail which serves as the "finishing chute," but just a scrape really. With so many broken collar bones lately, I feel lucky to have just a mere flesh wound. Lindsay crashed semi-hard but is okay too. Results too FOREVER to be tallied, so i left before they were posted, so I'm not sure how I did.

I also noticed on my road bike today that when I skidded to ~try to~ avoid the crash last Wed, I actually skidded through my RR tire. I'll be needing a new one of those. I rode on it for ~an hour today because I put a new chain on this bike this weekend and I want to ride it as much as possible before this weekend's road race to make sure everything's working properly. It's a bad idea to ride on a tire w/ thread showing in general, but when prior to leaving your putting things in your pocket to boot the tire !when! it fails, your basically on borrowed time and maybe an idiot.
So, I'm going to take this week a little easy(er) to try to be fresh for the weekend's State Road Race. I'll probably do a decently moderate-hard ride tomorrow, then stay at tempo for the rest of the week. We'll see.