Monday, June 30, 2008

This Sucks

I have been sick now for one complete week. I have been fighting a nasty head cold. I havent ridden a bike since last Monday. I went to Beechwood to help with trails cause trails dont maintain themselves and that turned into a bad idea. I spent the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday in my pajamas. Today I am starting to feel like I am at least on the downside. At least I have Amy to be miserable with since she got what I have. The no smooching rule should have been in effect.

Work is work. Blah....

Tomorrow I will get back on the bike and hit up Beechwood. I dont know how recovered I am but I have to do something and the trails are buff from Saturday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Have a Seat...This is a Long One

Another race down.

This last weekend was the Reforestation Ramble. I am still unsure as to where I am this year as far as my racing goes. I know I am having trouble climbing, I stink on the flats, and about all I can do is hold my own in the singletrack. My breathing is fine but after a while there is just no go in the legs when I need them. Yesterday was no different.

This was almost the same course as last years marathon course. I actually had a good race here last year but wasn't expecting much this time. I weighed in at 201 (down 13lbs in a little over a month) on Thursday and that was sticking in my head that I still had a lot to do.

Gooooooooooooo.... mass start, and we were off. Something like 4 miles of ski trail before the first singletrack. That means fast, full on, road speed. By 1 mile in you were in your spot. Slower guys were behind and faster guys were ahead. I stayed in the same spot most of the entire 12 mile lap. I ended up working with a nice little group and when we hit the last section of singletrack I went to the front, rode like normal, and when I popped out I was alone. I was a bit disappointed I was alone but figured I had a big gap and might as well see what I could do. I spent the next 4 miles with my head down dripping sweat from my nose to my bars. I lapped thru, got a bottle from Amy, and with a little motivation kept going. Then it happened as it has all year. I was going as hard as I could and I was slowing. My little group I dropped came by and I couldn't even catch on. Then another group of 3, a solo, another group of 2, and I was spent. I recovered a bit and tried to chase, but there I stayed. I finished 8th in age and 33/34ish overall. It is my best finish of the year but not what I feel I could do with some more effort during the week.

In hind sight I look at my race and think it would have been smarter to ride slower and stay with my group. I would have finished better with less effort. What I really think is I am happy I don't do that. Racing for 25th place in a sport race isn't what I am here for. Racing and riding my hardest is. If I happen to go too hard and blow and loose a few spots so be it. Next time, maybe I wont. I would rather take my chances of holding everyone off with my effort than sit on and hope someone else blows or ride the train to the end. So I guess I am happy with my race.

So far each race my results have gotten better. A couple spots in age equals around 10 overall. I would say my goal right now is a 5th in age and top 20 overall. I am not racing again until 24-9 (maybe) then Ore to Shore. I am not sure of the next WORS race to put my plan into action. So I have a month long block of riding before my next race. The plan. More riding, lots of group rides, eat right, and Beechwood.

Update... That last post was sitting in my draft folder to be finished. It is Tuesday and I got more to say.

Yesterday (Monday) my legs were tired from Sunday. I figured a nice easy ride to get them stretched was what I needed. I had to go across town for an errand so I figured I would do the Recyclist group ride. It has traditionally been a mellow ride. With an 18mph average in a group of 20 for about 22 miles you practically have to ride the brakes. Perfect for tired legs. I get there yesterday and look around and all I see are shaved legs, full team kits, and guys I recognize as "the fast guys" from some other group rides I have not attempted this year. A couple "this is going to be fast tonight" comments and I know this isn't what I had planned. I am there and dressed so off we went. The ride is mellow on the way out to High Cliff, a couple guys take a flier, I chase, and we instantly go from 20 riders to 6. A little pace work and we are at the park looking at the climb. Everyone regroups and up we go. Like my '08 theme half the group rides away from me. I used to do this climb as repeats and now I am out of gears. Everyone waits at the top before the real fun begins. It used to be after the climb everyone waited, regrouped, then broke into two groups, a fast/long and short/slower option to finish the ride. There is no option anymore. A quick regroup and we were heading the opposite way we came in. I was planning on going the longer route and the pace we used to ride would have been fine. I said, used to be. I found my self pulling thru at 28mph and drifting back at 25. Uhh ohh. I don't think this can last very long. One guys takes a flyer, I chase and bring everyone back. Another guy goes, I chase back on. More pace line and between me and 4 other guys we do the share of work for about the 12 guys left. I am on the front after another chase and no one pulls thru. I am stuck on the front holding the pace after I chased back on, oh man this hurts. "Why isn't anyone coming thru?", I wonder. Oh, I see, there is a hill ahead. They are going to let me take it. What they don't know is I am tired, this is really going to hurt, someone please help, Here we go and.... pop, By-By. Riders swarm around me and I am all alone. 25 miles into a 36 mile ride and I get to find my own way back. Oh well I still needed that easy ride right.

At first I was pissed. Riding by yourself gives you plenty of time to think though. Here's what I came up with.

1. It is my first group ride this year. The legs are not ready for that kind of speed. I will will be back until I don't get dropped. So no big deal. This stuff takes time and work.

2. It seems like a theme from my thoughts on the race. I could have sat in. Enjoyed a heck of a draft. Taken the "token" pull and sat on until the end. Instead I went to the front, stuck my nose in the wind, chased a couple guys, rode as hard as I could, and kept it up until the legs gave out. Next time maybe my legs wont give out. If not next time, some time. I would rather ride hard and pop than ride conservatively and not. If I wanted a conservative ride I can do that by myself. If I want to get fast this is what I need.

So like I said earlier. I have a month before I race again. With lots of group rides planned I can make those my free races and be ready to rip later.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Can you believe in WI we have a Mountain bike stage race. How cool is that?

There is a Cross Country race one day, a modified downhill and short track the next. You get an overall score for doing all the races. How cool is that?

I wouldn't know. I only did the one on Saturday. It was enough.

I now have my top 3 hardest races list.

#1- Buzzard Buster, a couple years ago.

Not hard in the sense of trail conditions or effort required but the amount of pain I went through. I had this idea I would just ride as hard as I could for the 30 mile race (rookie move). I started cramping and ran out of water half way through. I was cramping so bad when both my legs would lock up tight all I could do was look for a grassy spot to tip over in. I did that over and over for the next 15 miles. Hirsch still reminds me of that day and how I looked. I remember crossing the finish and lying down face first in the grass unable to move.

#2- Smokin Spoke, Rhinelander, last year.

That was a hard race. Lots of effort and a long XC race. Not the flat, fast marathon we all expected. Felt OK during the race but man that was a long hard effort. My thoughts afterwards,

I am just getting over the pain in my body from Sunday and it is Wednesday. When I got home I had to use my window opening to lift myself out of the car. I had to use the cruise control everywhere because i was too tired to go the speed limit. My ankle pain came back but it is getting better and I think my back would feel better if someone would just punch me a couple times in my lower back.

#3- WORS Cup '08- While I know many may not agree and think this wasn't so bad, it was for me. Lots of effort. Lots of rocks that I normally love were pushing me around. The downhill switchbacks had me gripping for all I had. I was just tired by lap 3. I couldn't control the bike anymore. I couldn't find another gear to shift into. It was a grind and I was spent. I couldn't climb. I thought I was going to tip over from going so slow. I think I just balanced a couple times mid hill.

The course was awesome though. It may be one of the best. It had all the aspects... climbing, singletrack and singletrack climbs, rocks and roots, switchbacks going up and down, obstacles, twists and turns, sun and shade, pines and ferns, spectator viewing. I was thinking before the race it was a great place to ride but to race was going to hurt. I was right. After all the racing I cramped 400 yards from the finish. I knew it was just ahead but I had to get off and walk to try to finish. I thought I could make it earlier and pushed through for as long as I could. Eventually the monster took over and I had to get off the bike. I got back on and I started my coast in to the finish and got passed, then got heckled by the BigRing crew, then gave the cranks a shot, the bike jumped, I went for a finish chute pass, got a wheel ahead and got pushed into the barrier, crashed into the scorers table, pulled my bike across with another bike stuck in the spokes for 45th, a millisecond ahead of 46th being dragged by its derailer inside my chain. Man did that hurt.

So that is my top 3. Hopefully it doesn't change but I feel it will.

Last thoughts on WORS Cup. I need to ride more. That is the only way it isn't going to hurt so bad on lap 3.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Just Wait...

I was going to post about my WORS Cup race but this is way better.

Congrats to my brother Ben on wining a WI State Crit Champions jersey. He has put in a lot of effort over the years and I cant imagine how satisfying this must be. His detemination and focus over the last few years is really impresive and he deserved this win.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Should Post Something

Since my flat at 9-mile I have been working a lot. Last week something like 60 hrs. This week it hasnt been too bad. At least my work life interupted at a time with out much opportunity to ride. Wind and rain, non stop. Everyone in WI knows about that.

Silver lining I guess.

We had a party on Saturday. Some pics...
Shawn and I (Thanks Laura)
Tony with my favorite brew as of now and my B glass. (thanks again Laura)

Some of the boys

Whats a party without a clyde and 40oz

I mean whats a party without clyde a foofy pinkie martini

Good times with this much booze

But to throw a good party you just need beer.

Monday, June 2, 2008

6 Miles of 9 Mile


First flat of the year.

Kinda hard to race with no air in your front wheel.