Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wilderness 101 Race Report

Ok, since I think these are boring things to write and read (unless you won the damn thing), I'm gonna try and keep it short and sweet.

Overall I'm really disappointed in my race. I did some dumb things in the final 48 hours that completely destroyed the expectations I had. Basically, I didn't sleep well for the final two nights before the race, spent the day before the race out in the sun and heat sweating and dehydrating myself, then slept on the ground in a tent sweating all night-further diminishing any hydration I had feebly tried to replenish that afternoon. While I'm still a rookie to mountain bike racing, I'm not a rookie to endurance racing. I should have known better and have no one to blame but myself.

Race morning I woke up feeling like absolute dog crap. If I had had a training ride planned for that day instead of a race I would have cancelled it. I knew at that point it was going to be a long day. After a quick breakfast of a Cliff Bar and Banana, I warmed up and headed to the start.

The first 60 miles was good. I stuck with the second group and worked with the other riders to keep out speeds high. So much of the race was on gravel roads and double track it allowed us to really keep things moving. I was feeling good and thinking that maybe the day would be salvaged.

Everyone had said prior to the start that the race really doesn't start until the last 41 miles. Very true. There is some gnarly climbing and some rocky singletrack that makes things hard when your legs are already burning from the extended gravel road climbs. Nevertheless, I was still feeling good. UNTIL... the cramps started. The dehydration I had been managing to fend off was now coming back to bite me in the ass (actually more like the inner thighs and quads). From this point on, it was all damage control. Any power to the pedals would result in my legs locking up and me having to dismount the bike and walk to get them uncramped. Very demoralizing and VERY frustrating. The pattern was as follows: Ride, pain, dismount, walk, try to ride, curse, repeat. I seriously must have walked at least 25 percent of the final 40 miles.

Finally, to add insult to injury, I got lost with about 2 miles left in the race. I missed an arrow and climbed up another gravel road for about 15 minutes before realizing I had gone wrong. Awesome. I descended the climb, limped it in to the finish, and got off the bike. Finished around 8 hours and 30ish minutes. Disappointment. Disappointment. Disappointment.

Ok, now I know I sound all negative and whatnot, but I AM terribly upset with myself for taking such a casual attitude into this race. Maybe I was a bit overconfident, or even cocky, and it taught me a very valuable lesson. When I go on these race trips I try to treat it like a business trip. Be professional and race like you mean it. Well, I did neither, and this is what happened. There will be other races, and I'm certain this type of thing ain't happening again.

So now I'm moving onward. I'm considering not racing the Shenendoah Mountain 100 (another NUE series race), and instead doing a couple 50 milers and a 4 hour race. After that I might hunt around for some more fall season mountain bike races, or just focus on cyclocross. The only thing holding me from coming straight out and saying I WON'T do the SM 100 is that I still have a bitter taste in my mouth from Wilderness 101. I might wanna take another stab at the 100 mile game before the end of the season. I'll make up my mind soon.

The next couple days will be dedicated to getting some rest and figuring out what and where I wanna race next month. Something tells me that no matter what races I choose, I'll have a much better appreciation for pre-race preparation.

That is all. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


After a great weekend (albeit with the worst migrane I've had in years), I'm super pumped to get racin' this weekend. I'm so happy I got a chance to check out Waywayanda and it's lovely rockiness, not to mention hammer on the road bike the day before. Both sessions were real confidence boosters going into Wilderness.

Yesterday was a pretty mellow mountain bike ride with a few 90 second race efforts thrown in. I got these from Joe Friel's Cyclist's Training Bible and did them before the Stoopid 50. I really think these work well for keeping me sharp while keeping the overall volume down. Felt great on the trails and had to work to keep myself from overreaching quite a few times.

Today is going to be another mellow ride, this time on the road bike, with a few more 90 sec race efforts thrown in. I'd like to keep the ride time below 90 minutes, but may even go for less if it's hot and humid. No need to burn matches now.

As for bike choice, I'm 99% sure I'm going with the full suspension rig for the race. After riding both last weekend, I'm nearly convinced that there is no need for hardtails in endurance racing. I mean, I haven't been doing this all that long, but if you're going to be spending 5+ hours on ANY off road situation (excluding gravel and dirt roads), I can't see how modern suspension can hurt you. Just my 2 cents, but all I know is I feel less beat up and much faster on my full squish bike than I ever felt on a hardtail. So much so, I'm even considering selling my hardtail! Any takers???:)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Waywayanda State Park

I had the opportunity to head west a little bit to the great state of New Jersey yesterday to ride my mountain bike. Catch the sarcasm? Anyway, I have family that lives close to the park, and from what I heard about the trails being rocky, techy and gnarly, I couldn't pass up the trip.

I had originally planned on racing the Curse of Dark Hallow in Pennsylvania this weekend, but in the end it was smarter to save a bit of money and energy riding Waywayanda instead. The trails are a mix of double and singletrack, with plenty of rocks, roots, and technical descents and ascents. It was like a little slice of East Coast Heaven.

The two vids I shot (check out the links to my vimeo page at the bottom of this post) are pretty basic portions of the trail. My camera ran out before I got to the really techy stuff, but you can get a pretty good idea of the rock garddens and downhills from what I was able to shoot. Also, if you fast forward toward the end of the second vid, there's a really cool bridge I rode over a swamp. Glad I made it-didn't want to find out what was in the water!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Got up early this morning to discover that I didn't have to head in to work, so I hopped on the road bike to bang out a hard effort which will be my last "serious" training until Wilderness.

After all was said and done, I got in close to three hours, about 2/3rd's of which was as hard as I could go. I've been really happy working without a computer or power meter, but today is one of those days I wished I had one. It would've been nice to see some data after today, not only for distance and time, but power numbers I'm sure would have been some of the highest I've ever put out.

I'm very happy with where I'm at fitness wise right now. I'm the fastest I've ever been on the bike, but surely not as fast as I'll be at this time next year. Might have to pick up a Garmin at some point so I can actually track my progress!

Friday, July 22, 2011


There really was very little reason to get out and go for a ride today. First of all, it was deathly hot today. The kind of heat they tell you not to go out in because you seriously might die. Secondly, because of the heat, I decided that the intervals I was planning for today needed not to be done. And thirdly, I'm just about a week out from the Wilderness 101 and if there are any matches to be burned, they certainly don't need to be burned right now.

Anyway, being that I was excited to ride my hardtail again for the first time in a couple weeks, I got out and hit the trails anyway. Even from the beginning I found it hard to breath. It's been a rather humid week, but today was just the icing on the cake. Oppressive doesn't even begin to describe it today.

So.... about halfway through the ride, I accelerate to get up to a log crossing (of which I've ridden and cleared dozens of times now), get up, and quickly loose my wheel to one side of the log while I fly through the air in the other direction. Now, I'm not one to say that I'm some crazy ninja, but damn am I good at falling. I really believe spending years training mixed martial arts gave me the ability to land softly on almost any part of my body and "roll" out of almost anything. Just a natural reaction I guess, but I was up and on my feet before I knew it. I wish I had video of it because it must have looked awesome. I picked up the bike (which was fine) and got on with the rest of the ride.

After that, not much happened. Just smacked my hand on a tree, hit my knee on a rock, and wished I'd stayed home and taken a nap:). One important thing did occur to me though. I've gone on and on about how much I like my HIFI and how sold I am on full suspension mountain bikes, and today really justified it for me. Riding the hardtail again was nice, but after feeling the efficiency of a full sus bike, I can't see myself racing long races on anything else. Sure the HIFI is heavier, but it rolls over so much, and extrememly smoothly. It flows on singletrak, and handles beautifully. Before the ride today I was debating on which bike to ride for the W101. I'm not 100% positive I'll be on the HIFI.

Tomorrow I'll more than likely try to get out early and head for a group road ride if I don't have work. If I do have to work, I might hit the trails for a bit if the temps are too much, or ride the road if they're not. No matter what, it'll be a pretty easy day. Sunday is up to Waywayanda State Park to ride some rocks for extra practice, then all next week will be focused to rest, recovery, and getting set to slay the Wilderness 101.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More on the HIFI

So I know I've talked my new full suspension mtb to death, but I really do love this thing. If I could do it all over again, I would sell all the bikes I have an buy a Superfly 100. Full suspension is really where it's at in mountain biking. I know there are some courses and venues where a hardtail is appropriate, but for the east coast United States, with the rocks and roots, a 29er full suspension rig WILL make you a better rider.

The one and ONLY complaint I have about the bike, and this is probably an issue with ALL fully suspended mountain bikes, is that it makes a hell of a lot of "clicky" noise. Not a "bad" clicky noise, just the noise of parts moving. When you think about it, there are more a whole lot of moving parts on the frame that allow your back wheel to move up and down, so naturally, there might start to be some creaking when you apply pressure to your pedals. It's not a downfall of the bike, it's just something I'll have to get used to.

So other than the little "clicks" the bike makes to let me know it's there, the thing is an absolute rocket. I plan on riding my hardtail tomorrow. It should be interesting to see the difference between the bikes.

Oh, and one thing I forgot, but is important: There is a pretty big difference in the way you catch air on a full sus bike as opposed to a hardtail. I've noticed that the back of the bike comes up way more and way faster off a small jump than a hardtail does. I'm assuming this is a result of loading the rear suspension with pressure and releasing it upon takeoff. Certainly something to be aware of as I've had some near endo's more than a few times now. :)


Seems like just yesterday I was complaining to everyone that would listen about how I was so bummed out about the snow covering the trails. Now it's the heat that's crushing me! In reality it's not that bad. I really like being in the heat, and I believe I'm actually stronger when it gets soupy and humid. The biggest obstacle I face is forgetting to hydrate properly. More than not, I find myself with that "hangover" headache after a hot day on the bike. Need to work on that.

Yesterday I was out on the road bike. Even though I had planned on taking it relatively easy, things got going and I upped it to some tempo work. I have a habit of going with where my body takes me, and yesterday it was asking for some hard riding so I obliged. In the end I probably spent about 90 mins of my 2:30 ride at tempo pace. It was nice to put some power into the pedals and get some solid work done despite the heat and humidity of a midday session. I remembered to drink, and took care to make sure I got in some proper recovery afterwards, both in the way of nutrition and hydration.

The legs are a little sluggish this morning, so today will ABSOLUTELY be an easy day. It's supposed to get hotter and more humid today, so I'll be careful not to over extend myself. More than likely I'll have a mellow ride on the trails and chill out afterward. I've been having some issues with my IT band lately, so I'll be sure to take care of that as well.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Made up my mind.

The decision has been made-no race this weekend. I had been kicking around the idea of racing the Curse of Dark Hallow 40 miler this weekend as a last prep for the Wilderness 101 the following weekend, but in the end, I think I've come to a mindful and responsible decision.

As I outlined yesterday, there were two positives and two negatives to racing this weekend as I saw it. Eventually, I came to the decision that in order to save money and in all likelyhood ENERGY for the race, I'd take a little day trip about 2 hours away to ride some good, techy, rocky singletrack. A friend of a friend who is now my friend (following?), suggested the trails to me yesterday during a ride. The new friend, John, has had his story on Really cool dude. He was slated to compete at Leadville this year, but decided to move his entry to next year on the advice of doctors. John had raced at the trails he suggested earlier this year, and in effect saved me time and money, not to mention most likely giving me a great training day before I rest for Wilderness. Thanks man!

Yesterday was a double header: Hard tempo ride on the mtb for about 75 mins, then out on the road bike for some hill repeats with friends. I never really do many hill repeats as structured workouts, but after the tempo work on the mtb I really like the way they let my legs feel. I'm feeling super fit right now, but with that I have to be careful not to push things too much and burn too many matches in this last week and a half before Wilderness. I REALLY REALLY wanna do well at this race so I'm going to try and be uber-careful. 'Nuff said.

Today I'm going to more than likely scale things back a little with an easy-is 2 hours on the road bike. This is subject to change of course if I feel like hittin' the dirt a little. It's suppossed to be balls hot again today, so perhaps the shade of ridin' in the woods might actually be the smarter choice.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Gonna be a HOT one today. Looking forward to getting back on the bike though-as I always do after a rest day. I'm planning on a 2 and change hour off-road ride today. I'm still a little undecided on whether or not to race this weekend, which is throwing a little of a wrench into my training plans.

The two biggest benefits of racing this weekend would be getting some more practice on the gnarly Pennsylvania rocks, and squeezing some more miles into the legs. The two biggest negatives would be the risk of burning too many matches before Wilderness 101, and spending extra money on the trip that I should probably be saving. Both sets of factors are valid and making things really hard to decide on what to do.

The one solution to this dilemma might just be to take a nearby day trip and get in some good techy riding. That way, I won't be tempted to go "race hard", and I'll save money while still being able to get in the benefit of riding and practicing on some rocks. The only problem with that is where the hell do I go? Seems the only rocky trails I know enough to ride are in State College PA, a nearly 6 hour car drive away. I'm sure there is something closer, but I'm afraid that once I got there I might not know enough about the trails to put in a solid ride. Either way, I've got a few more days left to decide on what to do.

In other news...

I've been really stressed out about work of late. I've got some side projects in the works, but for the day to day stuff, I just need a big time change. I've been personal training now for almost 10 years and while I still love it, things are starting to get a little old. I either need to get a spark from working with more athletes, changing things up, or something... Or, I need to look for a new career. I'd love to work in the bike industry, but I have no idea on where to start. I'm completely up for relocating, I just need to find a job first. If anyone has any ideas, let me know! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Good Weekend

After a sub-par mountain bike ride on Saturday, I finished up strong on Sunday with a nice long road ride. It's funny, but I never thought to actually do some of the "tour" type/century rides as training. When you think about it, you might pay a small fee to sign up for them, but most are fully supported and done on some nice roads. Add to that the fact that not only are there other people to chat with on the ride, but because of the amount of people riding is safer because drivers can see you much better.

So today is pretty much a rest/stretch/foam rolling day. Looking forward to chilling out a bit and relaxing. I'm about 80% sure I'm going to race this weekend, so the rest of the week will be determined by that decision. The Wilderness 101 is a week from this coming Saturday and I really wanna crush that race. I'll have to see how I'm feeling during the week. If I'm feeling good, I'll race this Sunday, if not, then I'll take the opportunity to rest up and get ready to go for the W101.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


The next time someone tells me that cyclists are just a bunch of fairies in lycra, I'll show them this pic. Damn. That's a B.A.M.F. (Bad Ass Mother- "Figure out the rest")

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Aw Crap.

NOT a good ride today. Started off well, but just never got rollin'. Lots of stopping and turning around, messing with my bike, and generally letting stupid crap get to me.

I had planned to make today an "adventure day" on the mtb. There are some old and barely used trails I wanted to take a peek at today. Yeah...they sucked. I guess I didn't realize that when trails are barely used, they normally aren't any good. So therein was my stopping every 5 minutes and turning my dumbass around to get back on a trail that actually went somewhere.

Then, after riding a bit, I noticed some clicking in my new bike!!! Instead of thinking rationally and realizing that things need to "settle" a little in any new bike, I wigged out and started tinkering with stuff. Sure I could have just realized that if everything was tight and good, there probably was no problem, but that just wouldn't be me:).

Anyway, turns out it's not a big deal with the shock, just needed an adjustment and some of bolts on the pivots needed to be tightened. Kinda bummed I let it get to me so much... Oh well. Tomorrow's another day.

Speaking of tomorrow, I'm going to do the Tour of the Gold coast. It's kinda a big "gran fondo" type of ride. Some guys race it, others just ride. I'm looking to just ride, but I'm not making promises. Once the competitive juices get flowing... Either way, it's a good way to get some saddle time in on the road-something I really hate doing. Riding on the dirt is just so much more fun!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wow!!! First HiFi ride report

Ok, ok, I know I posted the same pic yesterday, but I'm just THAT excited about this bike!

Being that this is the first full suspension bike I've ever owned (or ridden for that matter), I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. I had been thinking it was going to be pretty squishy, and that I would notice a HUGE difference in power transfer compared to my hardtail. For all intents and purposes, I expected this bike to be a slow accelerating, but comfy ride that I might get frustrated with.

Honestly, I couldn't have been more wrong. From the first pedal stroke, I was amazed with how quickly this thing accelerated. It really doesn't feel all that much different from my hardtail in that regard. Sure it feels different, but not in a bad way.

Handling was a bit different as well, but again, not in a bad way. Every bike handles slightly different-even if it's set up the same. The chainstays are slightly longer on this bike compared to my HT, so the long wheelbase is just a bit less nimble. I felt a tiny bit slower in the twisty stuff at first, but once I adapted to the change, it was barely noticeable. The biggest thing I did notice, was that this bike really really SITS in the corners. I've had a similar sensation after running lower pressure in my rear tire on my HT, but with the added suspension on the HiFi, I can really be aggressive in the turns and not have to worry about loosing traction.

Downhills are FAAAAST! So fast, in fact, I got caught off guard a few times and nearly went off the trail after screaming through a bumpy downhill. 29er full suspension bikes are like cheating in this regard. It rolls over EVERYTHING-and quickly! I thought the HT was efficient...not as much as this!

And finally, techy uphills are much mush easier. From what I can gather, a full suspension bike really rewards the efficient rider. The better your pedal stroke, the better the bike will suit you. Less "pedal bob" and more grippyness on the short, sharp, and loose climbs. Even when you stand up and mash the pedals, the rear tire grabs because, unlike a hardtail, the frame absorbs the power and puts it directly into the tire. The result is you get less skid and more grip. Basically, it relieves you of the need to softpedal when things get slippy.

Overall, I couldn't be more satisfied. I'm completely sold on the use of a full suspension bike-so much so, that if you were to ask me to have one bike, it would be this one. I never imagined how efficient this bike could be, and I'm so happy I decided to get it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

HiFi in the house!!!!



So I was lucky enough to secure a SWEET full suspension 29er this past week, and received delivery of it this morning. (If you read my post from yesterday you'd already know about my mini-saga concerning the United States Postal Service)

Anyway, got the frame unpacked and went to work building her up. Ran into some issues regarding the cable and brake hose routing and had to get my professional mechanic buddy Nelson to give me a hand, but in the end everything works! I still have to order a longer brake hose for the rear brake as the one I used from my Paragon hard tail is just a bit too short. It works, and is completely ridable, but doesn't follow the frame's routing guides like it should. With some luck I should have a new hose by the end of next week.

So about the bike. I'm not going to go into componentry too much (sarcasm!), but I'm running a Shimano XT hallowtech Crank, Shimano SLX direct mount FD, Sram X9 RD, Bontrager Race Lite wheels (it'll have Bonty Race X Lite race wheels), Bontrager carbon bars, and Bontrager Race X Lite carbon seatpost. I have a Fizik Tundra saddle on it now, but I'm probably going to swap it out for my Selle Italia SLR carbon saddle w/ ti rails (love the hell out of that saddle!-got it for 20 bucks!). Otherwise, it's got ESI grips, Shimano XTR pedals and Avid Elixer brakes. I think that's about it... :) Oh, and Fox will be providing the suspension, front and rear!

I might make some more component changes as things move along (and money moves in-hopefully!), but for now that's it. The only change I'll make to race is the wheels. I haven't weighed it yet, but I'm assuming it's not that much heavy. Surely it's gonna be heavier than my Superfly, but I really don't think I'll be worried about weight when I'm cruising over rocks and roots without getting all banged up!

From what I can gather, the suspension is really firm. I just pedaled up and down the street, and haven't done a proper ride yet, but it seems a lot less "squishy" than I though it would. This, of course, might change when I take it out on the trails tomorrow, but so far so good!

Oh, and I almost forgot, I'm wrapping my Bontrager wheels with Schwalbe Rocket Ron's containing Stan's Tire Jizz (thanks Lucho!:) ). I run my tires fairly low (27lbs in the rear, 21lbs in the front), and these tires roll faaast! They're super grippy, but still have little rolling resistance. They don't have a ton of puncture protection though, and they wear out faster than an Usher song at the prom, but it's hard to deny how awesome a tire they are.

I'll have more of a review after I ride tomorrow, but I'm so excited to finallly have a full suspension bike! I guess this means I'll actually need to move to a place where I really need a full suspension bike:).


I get migranes from time to time. Usually they occur when the weather changes, the pollen comes out, or I let myself get too run down. I'm thinking that this one was a result of the weather changing dramatically as well as being a bit run down.

After 2 very hot and humid days in a row, last night was actually quite cool and pleasant. No humidity, and temps way down from what they were in the daytime. I sleep with the window open, and could feel the cool air all night. Slept very well...

That is, of course, until I woke up at 5am with a splitting headache, dizzy, and queezy. Typical migrane symptoms for me. Well, with that bag of suck, my day pretty much followed suit. Luckily (or unluckily) I didn't have too many appointments, and could try and relax (which I didn't do) to get over this thing.

Instead, I decided to go for an easy spin, which really was easy, but left me feeling even worse. I guess it's a crapshoot-sometimes those little spins make you feel better, other time worse. Either way, I feel even crappier than before. The only good news is that my HiFi build is almost done, and I should be able to ride tomorrow, provided I feel up to it.

I've got a big weekend on tap with a long off road ride on Saturday, followed by a century ride on Sunday. This is all subject to change of course if I feel like riding the dirt all weekend which is a strong possibility. I'm thinking an "off Long Island" adventure to the wonderful state of New Jersey might be on tap. Either that or perhaps going upstate New York way... Decisions decisions...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

MTB Intervals

Love this workout. Basically I let the land do the time-work. Picked out a 15 mile section of trail, and on different parts, held an all out sprint until the designated area was over. Basically this is a Vo2 workout, done without a watch or a power meter/heartrate monitor.

I'm a big fan of doing this on my mountain bike and not on the road bike because it helps with handling. Nothing gets you to the point of good handling on a mountain bike like sprinting through the woods, dodging trees and trying to stay on two wheels.

Because of the layout of the land, the rest times vary. It feels a lot like a race because there are so many "attacks" coming at somewhat random times. Love, love, love this workout!

Also, it's quick. All told, with a warmup and quick cool down, this took me under 2 hours to complete, staying in line with what I'm trying to do regarding keeping my weekly workouts all about quality and sharpness.

On another note, I'm really bummed right now as I planned on having my new full suspension frame to build tonight. Well, because of the wonderful US Postal service and their policy of not leaving packages at your door, I have to wait until tomorrow morning. I know it's only a few hours, but I'm so psyched about having this bike in my stable I can't wait! I'll post pics when it's built!

Tomorrow will most likely be a mellow ride. I'm trying hard not to overload my system right now. I feel like I'm still walking a fine line between peak fitness and overtraining. Instead of taking time off, I'm instead putting a cap on my riding. For the next few weeks leading into more races, the weekends are for big hours in the saddle, and the week is generally for rest, sharpening, and quality. I don't mind taking days off when I must, but I believe a smart "plan" can keep me on the bike without problems.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Road Ride

Absolutely great ride outside today, even if it was shortened a bit as a result of air leaving my rear tire:). I've been spending so much time on the mountain bike lately that I completely forgot how fast and efficient the road bike is.

I love riding my mountain bike on the road because it just makes you a beast when you get back on the road bike. While I have nearly no desire to get seriously into road racing, the speed is fun and the smooth "hum" of the tires can by hypnotic.

Today wasn't much more than getting out on the bike and letting the terrain dictate my output. Went harder when I felt like it, but for the most part it was just a two hour, steadily paced effort.

This week, I really, really want to pay attention to how I feel, and not just at hours accumulated. For most of this season, I've just been looking at the bottom line at the end of the week. If I was able to hit somewhere in the area of 20 hours of riding (sometimes a little higher or lower), and still get in some good intervals during the week and steady efforts on the weekends, I was happy. I think that worked for the most part as I've continued to get stronger, but it's starting to get stale. Aerobically I don't think I can get much fitter, but coming into the next couple week's races (The Curse of Dark Hallow-60mi, and The Wilderness 101 miler), I'd like to get on the gas a bit with shorter and more focused sessions. Basically I'm forgetting about time, and concentrating everything on quality. I might even go out and get a bike computer...Maybe.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rest Day

Not just for the guys in France, but for me as well. I've taken a whole new appreciation to resting since taking a couple days off in a row last week. As I've said before, it's definitely under appreciated.

I felt unbelievable for all 7 hours on the mountain bike this weekend. As hard as it was to basically "shut myself down" for two days, it made all the difference. It's nice to have such hard evidence that resting obviously works, and I'm hoping this experience will remind me that I can train hard, but I need to rest just as hard if not more so.

Wednesday I'm expecting to receive my first full suspension bike, a HiFi Deluxe frame from Trek. I'm building it up to be a possible primary 100 mile race bike. The next few races coming up are all on gnarly, technical, east coast singletrack with rocks and roots galore. Riding my Superfly HT is nice on the climbs, but I'm thinking I can make up more time and have some more control riding something that is full squish-particularly over the rocky sections and longer descents. From what I've heard and read, the HiFi is a more than capable descender, while still not being all that bad of a climber. Hopefully I'll get a chance to see firsthand by the end of the week.

On a side note, I'm glad to see that the media at the tour didn't go all crazy with shoving cameras in riders faces after crashes yesterday. Since it's been such a crash-laden tour already, it seems like the photogs are going nuts with wanting more and more bloody coverage. It's great to see images of everything that's going on, but c'mon guys, we have to remember that seeing a guy laying in a bloody mass on the side of the road is a bit barbaric. Also, that French media car's driver should be arrested. I mean really? Did you not see both the big ass tree and/or professional bike racer in the road? Dumbass.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Great ride/race with great folks today, and it was all for a good cause! Wound up winning a free bike tune-up for my efforts!

Final numbers were about 50 miles in 4 hrs 3mins. Great ride and the legs felt great. Really didn't push things at all (save for the final 15 mins), and just cruised for the day. It was nice to be out in the early morning before the heat and humidity got to be too much.

Painting the deck is on tap for the rest of the afternoon, and then indulging in some of the last of my Dale's Pale Ale case. Think I'm gonna try some more offerings from Oskar Blue's-great stuff!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

'Nother 2 post day...

Second po'st today for the second day in a row! Wow, I REALLY have too much time on my hands!

Got out for about 3 hours on the mountain bike today, which was my plan. After much of an easy week, and with the last 2 days completely off, the legs felt better than new. Good rest is the most underrated aspect of training. It's like the Scotty Pippen to the Michael Jordan of training:).

Anyway, I threw in some good V02 efforts to spark some high end speed. My aerobic endurance is great right now, but I'm starting to loose my high end power. Since I haven't been training with anything but a watch lately, I have no numbers to back this up, but until today I was beginning to feel sluggish when I asked the legs to put it in to high gear. Sure enough, after the rest, they're back. I'm still planning on taking it easy for the most part at tomorrow's 4 hour "Ride-Race", but I'm happy with the feeling of power I had again today.


Dumb debate going on in my head this morning: Do I ride to the trailhead from my house, or do I drive and get in more time on the trails?

Basically I wanna do a 3 hour ride, but I'd like to spend nearly all that time on the dirt and not 40 or so minutes of it riding on the roads to and from the trail. I really HATE driving to the this particular trail because it's so close, but I'd really like to do a lot of skill work today and I figure the more time spent in the dirt the better.

Looking at it, it seems like I've kinda figured it out. I guess I just feel a pang of guilt in the back of my head for wasting gas and "F-ing" the environment... Oh well, it's only once.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rest (second post today!)

It's amazing how much time you have to do other things when you're not out riding your bike for hours at a time. Not that I have anything wrong with being busy, but damn do I feel lazy.

It's not like I haven't been productive today, and was even able to sell some extra bike stuff I had around, it's just that I haven't gotten my physical fill in close to 48 hours now and I'm gettin' the itch. I had almost wanted to go out for a short run today, but a cooler head prevailed and I decided if I was going to rest, I was going to REST-period.

Tomorrow I'll start back up on the bike with a shortish ride before the 4 hour charity shindig on Sunday. Not going to be a ton of hours on the bike this weekend, but I'm figuring somewhere in the avenue of 7 or 8 should do the trick. Just steady freddie pedaling...

Back to the real world

After a week full of shinanigans:), it's back to life as I know it-at least for a little bit. First on tap is resting up my tired legs. As I see it, right now is make or break time for the Wilderness 101 at the end of this month. I'm dealing with some residual fatigue coming off of this past week's sha-lacking (is that how it's spelled?), and if I don't step carefully, I just might blow the top off my fitness for the rest of the season.

Given the fact that I've been training basically non-stop, and now racing a fair bit, it's time to take at least a couple consecutive days off the bike. I always say I'm gonna do this, but for some reason or another, I find a reason to go out and pedal.

Fact is, I LOVE riding a bike. I love the speed, the skill, and the feeling of turning the cranks and hearing my tires hum underneath me. Always have. I can't think of a time in my life (minus a couple years in college) when I didn't own a bike. Even then, I had one, just not with me at school. In addition, I've come to realize that I've always loved being in nature. Why the hell did it take me so long to discover mountain biking??? :)

Training wise I'm looking to relax today (as I did yesterday), and then hit the trails tomorrow. I might throw in some intervals if I'm feeling it, or I might just ride. Then, Sunday is a charity "race", which is actually more of a ride. Basically it's 4 hours, and for each lap completed of a 10 mile loop, money will be donated in the riders name for the protection of animals. Since I'm an animal and I like other animals (as well as riding my bike for extended periods), I figure it's a win for everyone!

That's about it for now. Work is slow, but that's life. More time to plan my future and lay the foundations for independent success:).