Thursday, April 28, 2011

Needed Rest

You're body will tell you when it's time to take a step back-IF you're listening.

There's a great scene in the movie Million Dollar Baby where the narrator of all narrators, Morgan Freeman, explains that the boxer's will can allow them to continue, but the body will tell you when to stop. I'm paraphrasing, but he explains, "Turn the neck to far in one way from a punch, and the body will tell you it's time to sleep".

Well, today my body told me to sleep. I went to bed with sore legs, tired body, and fried mind. I work up feeling lightheaded, still with sore legs, and not ready to persue the day the way I usually am. My quads were sore to the touch. Not a day to go ride the bike.

This perdicament I found myself was, of course, due to my own stubborness. I hadn't taken a proper rest day in about two weeks, and took every day out too hard. Even on my "rest" days, I spun not-so-easy in a stupid "non-recovery" ride. Stupid, just stupid.

So I paid for it today, and I had to take a complete rest day. Sure I could have got out on the bike, but it would have dug me into an even deeper hole. And while I'm not expecting anything super-human from my race this weekend, I still would like to go out and race hard. I always go for the win no matter what, and I don't want this to be any different.

In other news, I nailed down my trip to see Anne next month and I can't be happier. I'm a little nervous about the travel, being that I have to fly into Madrid (a city and airport I've never been to), get my bags from bag check-including my bike, trek across the airport, re-check my bags, and then hop on a flight down to Malaga. Technically, with my layover, it seems possible. In reality though, shit happens and I'm prepping myself to have to literally RUN across the airport with my bike in tow. Gonna be interesting to say the least, but in all reality, I'd be more than happy to show up in Malaga with nothing more than the clothes on my back if it meant a chance to be with Anne. Yeah I'm a what, it's MY blog!:)

So that's it. Looking forward to a good weekend with a solid race on Sunday. First race of the season and no butterflies...could be good or bad. We'll see on Sunday.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

If it's nice, ride.

The best day of the season arrived today so I had no choice but to saddle up and get a ride in. *in reality no matter what the weather I probably would have "saddled up" and gotten a ride in-I just like to ride bikes:).

Anyway, got in a dope ride on a completely gorgeous day, with temps in the "hot" category. I was sweating like a pig and loving every second of it. Ended up with a substantial amount of miles, salty, and with some razor sharp tanlines to show for my efforts. I could have fueled a bit better-actually hydrated better is more like it, but I still enjoyed the day completely.

I decided to ride my mtb on the roads again for a bit of time before hitting up the singletrack. I find it amazing how much different it is to ride the dirt after getting in some road miles. The pace is really a shock as you go from pretty fast to what feels like a slog in the dirt. Of course it isn't exactly a "slog", but you get the idea. I reall think it's always a good idae to get used to diffeent things on the bike because you never really know what is going to be thrown at you at any given time.

While riding today I realized something: I've been doing this for a lot longer than I thought I have. Before I got my driver's license, I would ride my mtb on the road, duck through some trails, then back on the road again to wherever I was headed. Pretty much the same thing I'm doing now....infact, EXACTLY the same thing I'm doing now-albeit a lot faster and in lycra:). Interesting how things come full circle like that!

The rest of the week is suppossed to be pretty crappy weather with lots of rain and thunderstorms. I should be racing this weekend, but it'll have to depend on whether or not I have a car to make the journey. The XTERRA I plan on is over 2 hours away by car, and the fact that I don't exactly have a car right now might get in the way of that. Hopefully things work out:). We'll see...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ride Today

I'm just SOOO diesel:)


More Fiiiiiiire!

Absolutely AWESOME ride today. For the first time since I can't remember, it was actually HOT today! That's right, HOT! Before I left the house I was worried that only wearing a jersey and bibs with no armwarmers or knee warmers might be jumping the gun a bit, but once I got out in the good 'ole humidity of Long Island, I was more than good. Actually got tan lines today!

I started out at home-something I don't often do, but now plan on doing much more in the future. I'm not sure exactly why I've never ridden to the trails, being that they're only about 5 or so miles away from my front door, but I usually find myself driving to the trailhead. What an aweful waste of gas!

Anyway, one thing became glaringly clear from the first pedal stroke on pavement: Riding a mountain bike on pavement is HARD damn work! The 5 miles felt more like 20, and the effort was much, much higher (obviously) than it would have been on my road bike. Awesome strength builder in the legs, and 28psi tires on the road feel like you're pedaling in quicksand. Nevertheless, I got to the trails and rode, and rode and rode.

The ride ended several hours later with me being near dehydration. I don't think I'm even close to acclimating to the heat, and today just took it right out of me. I've been drinking fluids since finishing, but still have that dull "hangover" headache... One of these days I'll learn!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Keepin' it movin'

Not much "new" stuff to blog about lately. Just training, working, sleeping, and eating. Pretty much what has become the norm lately.

This past week, like just about every week so far this year, I've put together some solid days. It's amazing to think how much I can train and how effective it is since I've really put a priority on recovery. Now, I don't go crazy or anything, just a little simple self massage ala my 'stick' recovery tool and some foam rolling, as well as solid sleep at night. I eat a lot, but not what I'd consider completely healthy, but the calories come in. It's amazing to think that I used to try and train this much on close to 4 hours of sleep a night!

On the bike I've been killing it. I've reached a whole new level of handling skills (and I always considered myself a good mountain bike handler) and have been putting in laps around my local trails faster than ever. I'd typically been puttng down times around 1:20 for the 13 mile lap with about 3000 feet of climbing (not straight up but cumulative-this is LONG ISLAND!), but this week I was consistantly able to ride in around 1:10. The most suprising thing about this is that I wasn't actually trying to ride fast, just steady. Needless to say, VERY happy with what I'm able to do on the bike right now.

This weekend looks like it's going to be a wash, literally. Rain is forcast tomorrow through Tuesday, so I think I might take the opportunity to rest up a bit and get some 'life' things done. Cleaning NEEDS to happen, and I've got some errands to run.

Again, I'm super excited for this season and I'll post up my race schedule as soon as it's official. What I'm thinking about right now is:

XTERRA Devil Man tri (NJ) May 1
Mohican 100 mtb race June 4
Stoopid 50 mtb race June 12
Wilderness 101 mtb race July 30
Wildcat Epic mtb stage race August 12
Schiff Scout XTERRA tri August 28 (I think)

There are gonna be a few more XTERRA's sprinkled in I think, and maybe some weekend cycling road races as well. Pretty sure the only racing on pavement will be the road races. I'm just not really all that crazy about pavement as it is.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Good Week and the Superfly!

My first mountain bike (I no longer have) in the top photo, and my new Superfly (from the Trek website) in the lower photo. Ok, straight to the meat and potatoes of this blog post...The 2011 Trek Superfly. I don't even know where to start with this. The bike just rocks, plain and simple. Full carbon frame, excellent wheelset, great Sram X9 groupset with Shimano crank, sweeeet Fox fork, and great Avid Elixir R brakeset. There are two levels of Superfly bikes. The one I have, which is the lower model, and the high model, appropriately named the Superfly Elite. Both bikes share the same frame, however the Elite is spec'd with higher level components. For the money though, the regular Superfly is unbelieveable. Fast, stiff, sturdy, durable, this thing has it all. I couldn't be more happy with this bike. Like I told the guys at the shop, this is the first time I've EVER noticed such a big difference in the way a bike allows me to perform. I've been riding a Trek Paragon (the model just below the Superfly in Trek/Fisher's 29er line-up) for a few weeks and loved it. It's everything a good bike should be: comfy, responsive, and fun. The Superfly, though, blew past even my wildest expectations. Right out of the box it was a fistfull of FREAKIN' AWESOME! I still can't get over how light this bike is, and that's with the heavy Shimano crank. With a few minor upgrades, including carbon bars, a carbon seatpost, and swapping out the heavier Shimano crank for an XT Crank I have, This thing would be pretty damn close to 20 lbs. That's almost lighter than my road bike! Ok, not quite, but you get the point:). So far I've got about 7 hours on the bike. I can't say enough good things and I'm excited to find how much more enjoyment I'll get out of this bike once I race it! Ok, so now on to my week... Nothing all that special, just got work done. Training has been going well, and though I'm tired from a bit more intensity, the body is adapting. I'm actually scared of how strong I am on the bike. I've never had so much power and it literally freightens me how fast I can go and how long I can sustain it. It's like a gnarly drug that needs to be regulated. I have so much fun going so fast, particularly on the road, but I really need to have enough discipline to ride easy when I'm meant to, and hard when I'm meant to. There really can't afford to be any "grey" area in there where I just ride hard all the time. It's easy (and fun) to get carried away, so I've gotta train smart. It's just too bad I've never felt this way about swimming!:) Things are also coming together regarding a trip across the pond to Spain to see Anne. It's been waaaaaay too long (hell, 5 minutes is too long!) and I can't wait to see her. Unfortunately it won't be a super long stay (most likely only around 3 weeks), but at least we'll make the most of it I'm certain. With that, I'm also able to finally get around to planning some sort of race schedule. In addition to XTERRA, I'm really eyeing some of the NUE series, as well a a couple other 50 and 100 mile races. There's one that I'd love to get out to Colorado for, but money might prevent that from becoming a reality. Saving is priority numero uno, so some sacrifices might have to be made in that regard. Fortunately, there are some good races close to home I can gun for. I'm hoping to hash things out race-wise in the coming week, and post my races up on this blog soon. I really wanna take advantage of my cycling this season, both in XTERRA and Endurance races.

Friday, April 15, 2011

So much going on...

Once again, I'm slow with a review/pics of a product. I'm not very savy with downloading pics and whatnot, so this might take a few more days. I'll say one thing for sure though, no bike, road or mtb, comes close to how nice the Superfly is. It's amazingly fast, nimble, and stiff as a board, not to mention light as a feather. And all this, riding the bike completely stock! I didn't even convert it to tubeless or the first ride! After spending a couple hours on it the other day, I can say I'm happy with it. I'll most likely make some little tweaks here and there, but for now it is what it is-a ROCKET right out of the box! I've recently been of the mind that most all bikes are the same. Sure there are different companies with different gimmicks, but I got sick of all the suppossed hype that companies put into the marketing of their bikes. Now I definitely have changed my mind. There's no substitute for the money and thought that goes into engineering top bikes. Sure lower end models might not be all that different company to company, but I think what most big companies do well is make their bikes well. The Trek/Fisher Superfly is not just a bike, it's a piece of thoughtfully developed machinery with no other purpose than propelling you the fastest and smoothest way possible. I've never ridden a better bike. Never. Sorry for sounding like an ad for Trek, but I really am that impressed with this bike. It does EVERYTHING well, and I'm excited to ride it more and more. I'll have pics and vid up as soon as I get the chance, though it might be a while before I can take my attention away from riding!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


http:// Just got me a Trek/Gary Fisher Superfly... I'll post up some pics and a review after I get a ride in on it tomorrow!

Monday, April 11, 2011


Wow the last couple weeks have just flown by. Trying to sell bikes, working, training, and sleeping has ruled my life and left little time for anything else. It's been worth it though as I've sold all but just about one of my bikes, and I'm getting stronger and stronger with each day of training. Training wise, there was a week in there where I felt like crap. Tired, tired, tired. Motivation was, as always, high, but my body just wasn't responding. It's funny though, because right after that low point (and perhaps taking it a little easy that week), I've shot out like a rocket! My legs feel stronger than they ever have, and riding a bike powerfully and fast are a reality. In all honesty, it's actually a little scary, and I've gotta be responsible with it. I like going fast and I like pushing big gears. I've found it easy to get wrapped up in flying down the road/trail, and getting a little distracted and missing the point of each workout. I have to stay disciplined enough to realize that everything has to be done in a certain way or else I'm gonna blow up sooner or later. The last bit of the puzzle for me, and the one I've missed the past couple weeks has been diet. I'm a garbage can when it comes to eating. I'll go one day very mindful and healthy, and then the next will be all Oreos and French Fries. I'm gonna have to dial things in a bit more to keep getting gains for sure. Otherwise things are just moving along day after day. I'm going to try and get back to posting some videos now that the weather is nice. My camera is getting dusty!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Super Duper Busy

Crazy last week here. Since last Saturday, I don't think I've stopped once to sit down. Between trying to get my bikes sold, doing some Spring cleaning, training, and work, there hasn't been much time for anything else. I can't remember the last time I actually sat down for a meal...maybe last Saturday night? And training has just been robotic, but in a good way. I had to take a bit of a step back after Saturday of last week. I cooked myself on the mountain bike with what turned into a 4 hour tempo ride. Good workout to get fit, but trying to train hard off of that ain't the best idea. I was a zombie for the next couple days, so after taking Monday off, I got in some easy-ish training for the rest of the week, and it's back to the plan for this weekend. Tuesday I did another bike test, and I have to say I'm somewhat happy with the results. The numbers are going up, and I'm putting more power to the pedals in both short and sustained efforts. Man I love riding bikes!!!!! The weather is finally starting to turn here and it's getting my mojo flowing. Nothing is better than riding a bike on a nice warm and sunny day. The next few weeks will be dedicated to working hard both in training and in selling bikes and working. I'm planning on heading to Spain in mid May for a few weeks, so a lot will have to get done before then. Also, after kind of hanging in limbo about racing this season, it's time to choose and sign up for my season. It's a little late to get started, but life is what happens when you're making other plans ;-).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bikes for sale!!!

Selling my Trek TTX 9.5 and Trek 8000 mountain bike.

Trek TTX 9.5
Frame size M OCLV carbon (made and assembled in the U.S.)
Dura Ace Front and Rear Derailliurs
FSA Carbon Crankset
Dura Ace shifters
Bontrager Race XXX Lite Carbon Aero bars and Stem
Bontrager Race XXX Lite Aero Wheelset (clinchers
Selle San Marco Aspide Triathgel Saddle

Trek 8000
Frame size 19.5 Alpha Red Aluminum
RockShox Reba SL fork
Bontrager SSR wheelset (converted Stan's tubeless)
XT Crankset and Rear Derailliur
SLX Front Derailliur
SLX shifters
Avid Elixer 5 brakes

Trek TTX 9.5: $2500
Trek 8000: $1400

Post to comments and I'll send you pics!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

More thoughts on my 29er

Ok, so earlier I posted that I was going for a ride on my 26er today to compare the feel of the 26inch wheels to the 29er I've been riding for the past week. Earlier in the week I'd done a lap around local trails (13 miles) on the 29er and was shocked at what I found. It was my first ride on the big wheels, and even with some stops to tweek things on the bike (for a total of about 5-8 minutes), I held the same time I usually do for a similar ride (without stops) on the 26er. Moreso, my heart rate average was lower by 2 bpm on the bigger wheels. The lap of these trails is something that you would think would be perfect for a 26er. Twisty and tight singletrack, complete with short, punchy climbs and some rocky and techy, steep and quick descents. It's a trail that definitely feels faster on the 26er. With the 29er though, everything feels flattened out. In a lot of ways it's actually kinda boring-but in a good way. Efficiency is there, and once the bike gets up to rolling, it doesn't stop. Crazy what 3 little inches can do (ok, that sounds bad, but you get the idea!). So I'm compltely sold on the 29ers. I've come full circle now, and realize how much of an advantage they are with better geomety and lighter components. The 26ers are fun, but for the type of stuff I'll be in to this season and for the forseeable future, I'm gonna go 29 full on. Anyone wanna buy some real nice 26inch hardtails? Seriously!


So this has been a real funny week. I felt like crap in the middle because of work stuff, but still managed a couple solid training days on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then Thursday I decided to just spin easy for an hour, Friday I took off, and then hit it HARD yesterday with a nearly 4 hour ride that wasn't intended to be so, but fresh legs and a new 29er got in the way of my sane thinking. Anyway, I went hard enough yesterday to be very tired today, even after a solid 8+ hours of sleep. So what to do today? Stick to the schedule, or listen to my body. How about a bit of both. I intended on doing a road ride today, but since this week has been a little weird anyway, methinks I'll head out on the mtb again for about 90 mins easy. Interestingly (and to make things a bit of fun), I'm going to take out my carbon HT 26er today to see just how much the smaller wheels differ from the bigger ones. I spent about 6 hours on board my 29er this week, so I feel pretty comfy with the wheels and the handling. I'm so excited about the big wheels I've decided to sell one of my 26er's. Not sure which one yet, but one (or maybe both?) will be going out the door. Today's ride will give me some insight and see just if they're both worth getting rid of. Should be fun trying to find out!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Easy Livin'

Tired has been the name of the game this week. Actually, "stressed" is more like it. Real life stuff has been getting most of my attention this week, and training has suffered because of it. Usually, training is a great way to get the stress out, but since my sleep has been effected, it's been rough to juggle training and getting things done that need to be. Becasue of that, instead of trying to push through and wind up burning out, injuring myself, or worse, I just decided to roll with the punches this week. The weather has been pretty bad as well, giving me perfect opportunity to catch up on daytime napping. My fitness is super right now too, and that always makes it easier to know that stepping back from training won't have a big impact on me. In fact, I'll probably come back with some very strong riding this weekend. Speaking of which, one of the best trail systems here just opened up for the season today after being closed for the winter months. It's a great trail to ride long on, and has some really fun sections. It'll be packed this weekend, but I'm looking forward to getting out there. I'll probably spend my whole weekend in those woods! I'll be sure to break out the Epic HD Cam and get in some vids!!!