Friday, October 31, 2008


Oct. 31 and it was 65 degrees today. The sun was shining and not much for wind. Sounds like a nice biking day. OK. I left work early. Actually I didn't leave early I went in early in anticipation of a nice day and got done early. 2.5 hours on Mr X on the ol' trail. It wasn't exactly a training ride, what mid pack sporty trains the last day of October? It was more of a, look at the pretty trees and try not to breath too hard ride. I did get 'er going a little but I had a big smile the whole time and was trying to enjoy the gem of a day since it is probably one of the last.

Best part of my ride... I approached a guy walking and pushing a stroller. Not much for a photo op so it never occurred to pull out my camera. But, as I passed, I realized the guy wasn't pushing a stroller with a baby but he actually had a Poodle in a sweater. I thought of turning around but I wasn't too comfortable asking a guy with a Poodle in a stroller to smile for the camera. I let that one go.

Tomorrow more X.

Somebody said "pain cave"?

Somebody else got called out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back Reading

I have been reading some of my old posts. Some from Blackdog and some from version 2.0.

I had a point....

Lost it.

Last night I hit up Beechwood. I skipped out on work early and got 2 full laps before the dark came. I actually had time to get the fire going with a little light.

Before we knew it there was 8 (?) of us telling stories, cracking brews, and admiring the clear sky and all the stars. It was one of those nights. One where you didn't want it to end especially since winter is close and the ops for a night like that are close to being gone until next year. I stalled as long as I could and got home at 11pm.

Today I have been a pile. So tired but it was worth it.

Oh I remember now.

Nevermind it was stupid.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cross Eyed

Did my first cyclocross race Sunday. What an eye opener that was. People say its hard, yup.

It was the Halloween Cross race. I didn't dress up, I didn't fit into my costume. I hadn't tried this ensemble on in a few years and apparently I have grown.

I have never raced cross before and had no idea what to expect. I watched some videos. I practiced my dismounts and re-mounts a couple times in the yard. I took my bike to a little sledding hill and ran up and down a couple times carrying it to see what it felt like. I figured that was good. I really wouldn't know until I raced it right.

So the race. Myself, Mike C, and Joe C were the full contingent of the 864/ Fuel Cafe Cross racers for the day. Having never done a real cross race I was in the start chute asking the guys around me questions like "How long is this? Is it timed plus one? How do you know when it over?" Most guys ignored me but one guy gave me the scoop so I was set.

Race started and we were off with a 65 man field in the cat 4's. The first turn was a 90 degree into a little climb. 65 guys with race start energy had us bottlenecked at once. It was a trackstand climb just trying to stay upright at the slow speed and not hit the guy in front of you or fall onto the guy next to you. I made it through and the race was on. It is funny how pre race jitters really get you nervous but as soon as the race is started you forget it all and it is just like every race. That is how it went, I got into a group of guys and we all did what we could to ride away from each other.

So cross racing... is 100% all the time. You could see how one little bobble or one slight pause from someone and you could take advantage. If a guy was a little slow on a climb, gone. If a guy scrubbed too much speed in the turns and couldn't carry his momentum, gone. A pause on the flats and you went around, gone. It seemed like in an instant you could ride away or be ridden away from. Knowing that was the best lesson of the day. I seemed to be riding OK. I could hold my speed in the little tech sections well compared to those around me. I bunny hopped the little barrier with no problems and my run up seemed OK. For my first race I thought I was doing average. I had no idea where I was but by the third lap I could see plenty of guys in front and behind me. Then the last lap came and it was obvious I wasn't going to catch anyone and if I stayed on the gas I would solo to the finish. That is how it played out.

Here during the race I thought it couldn't hurt more, I was wrong. When I stopped it hurt more. While I was happy to be done, stopping seemed to give my mind a break and realize how tired it was. It felt like the first ride of the year but a starting with a fast group ride not a base ride. It is just one of things that you have to get used to and hopefully gets easier.

For everyone else... Mike had to abandon from a locked up back and Joe solo'd to a second place finish. I finished 20th out of 65 so for me that is a considered a success and actually made me pretty happy.

While I was watching I shot some video of Joe.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Joe's Post

I sent out this e-mail today about the cross race Sunday and Joe said I gotta post this stuff. I have a feeling it is going to be fun to read later.

Rookie Move?

I picked my bike up to cary it around the yard yesterday to see how it felt and I am guessing you dont use waterbottles on an x bike. They kind of get in the way. After that , I went and watched some vids I didnt see many bikes with bottles or cages. So do you not drink during the race? If it is only 30 minutes long I suppose not.

I cant wait to find out.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fun With Ebay

Sorry Chris.

I am glad you live in AZ because I am pretty sure I deserve a backhand for this.

Chris has a bike on Ebay. I had a little fun with him without him knowing.

Dear jamochafudge1 (Chris),

How do you guarantee satifaction? Do you take returns? What if I cant get no no... satifaction?

- ridzandsmilz (Me)

Dear ridzandsmilz,

Hmmmm, I'm not sure what 'satifaction' is. But if you are asking if the bike will be what is described upon delivery, then you will probably be satisfied. I'm going to google satifaction right now.....

- jamochafudge1

Dear jamochafudge1,

What races did you do on that bike? What were the trails like and how did the Paragon work for that aplication? I am thinking of doing some racing and I want a fast bike.

- ridzandsmilz

Dear ridzandsmilz,

24 Nationals in Wausau, WI, 24 hours of Moab in UT, and the Payson Pounder in Payson, AZ. I've been riding them for 3 years and won't go back to a 26. Full suspension is overkill on a 29' can rock a hardtail and have a great time. Wausau is smooth midwest singletrack, Moab is rocky hell and Payson is double rocky hell. These things ride technical terrain with ease. Good times.

- jamochafudge1

Dear jamochafudge1,

Wow, you have done a lot of racing. That is what I want to do. Just a few more questions. You said the midwest was smooth and the other places were really rocky, would that be considered extreme riding and did you have to wear protection like a chest protector to ride those rocks? I dont know if I am ready to ride rocks and just want to be sure I will be bidding on something that isnt too extreme to ride and make me look like a poser. Sorry for all the questions but you are the only person who responds to me and you seem like you know what you are talking about.

- ridzandsmilz

Dear ridzandsmilz,

It's a quality bike that is capable of being raced. You can find extreme stuff anywhere - if you're into that, then there are plenty of options regarding long travel full suspension and dirt jumping bikes out there. This bike is designed for cross country riding/racing. If you want to get into racing and want a solid bike, you'll enjoy the Paragon.

- jamochafudge1

Like I said, Sorry Chris.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blaster 08'

The Blaster went off. Easily the best yet. Our team/network of friends put on our yearly end of season bike race. It shouldn't be called a race, its is more of an event. When people show at 9am and stay for 12 hrs or just camp it is more than just a race.

We had a 1/2 and 3/4 lap race. With around 100 racers it was going to be big fields. I did the 1/2 or specifically the 2 lapper. I really should do the 3 lap race but I wanted to watch and heckle the 3/4 lap race. Also, I wanted to rock the mic, and after a good lubrication I did just that.

The races went awesome. For my race I jumped on a demo Milwaukee Bike Co. Single Speed right before go time and it turned out to be a lot of fun. More on that later.

The 3 and 4 lap race started and I got on top of Pats Suburban stage and did my best not to irritate all the partiers and did the play by play commentary. The 4 lap race was really exciting with Ronsta (2x winner) and Bender going wheel to wheel heading into the last lap after Bender took the penalty trail and Ron chugged a beer and got the short cut. Tom Came out on top and took his first Beechwood Blaster Wool Jersey home. Abby Strigel was our womens winner and first female Jersey winner.

After the races the party was on. Besides 100 racers there was probably another 100 spectators and friends. It was a great party.

The only thing that sucked is now the mtb season is officially over. I hate this time of year when the routine of riding and racing and seeing friends starts to slow down.

I guess there is still cross going on. Since I was called out I better show my face soon. Hmmm... there is a race Sunday.

I didnt get any pictures from the Blaster so if anyone reading this has some they can send or knows a link you can e-mail or stick in my coments I would appreciate it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Its Getting Closer

How trail is made

Yeh, We said shotgun start. What did you think we meant?

Sam, stopping for a time bonus or a breath

Sunday, October 12, 2008

3 For 3 and I Watched a Parade

Today was Sheboygan, last WORS race of the year.


Saturday I went down to Beechwood and with what turned out to be a big group we put some finishing touches on the trails for race day. Most specifically we built the cobbled climb on what used to be the little equalizer. A farmer next door smashed and dumped a load of concrete by the climb. We took the irregular shaped chunks and built at Tour of Flanders climb out of it. To quote Jojo "Its sick". From there I headed to Sheboygan for a pre-ride. The temps were 70, the sky was blue, and not a drop of wind. I got out riding and felt awesome. I haven't felt like in a while so I hammered. I figured not a good idea but I couldn't pass up on that day. Two laps plus an extra trip along the river (cause it was so fun) and another trip up the Equalizer and I was spent.


Driving to the course I was massaging legs from the ride yesterday. Oops. Whatever.
I get there with a full 30 minutes to spare to get the bike together, register, oil the chain, get dressed, and warm up. Don says go and with a fully locked out bike we are sprinting and I hit the singletrack maybe 8-9th wheel. Sweet. I hold that until about 3/4 of the way during the first lap and have to back off. I ride alone for a while feeling fine until I hit a low hanging branch along the river. It wasn't a little branch more like a small trunk and I hit it full speed with my nugget. Thanks helmet, but that rattled me good. I almost fell 3 or 4 times trying to get under control. Equalizer comes and I remember Big Steves advice "shift at the bottom not during the climb". Since he is the only Clydesdale to climb it all three times I listened and sho' nuff up I go. Lap 2 comes and I am riding slower than my dang pre-ride. Why cant I even ride as fast as yesterday? Yesterday I got in the zone where your body tingles and your wheels stick like glue. Today I couldn't ride half that pace. Crap. A few guys go past and by the time the 3rd lap comes I am looking for every chance to coast. Pedal a couple times and coast, repeat. It was like a 30-39 parade was going on and I was stuck watching. I just couldn't go.

Finish comes and I stop. I chug 2 bottles and look for shade. Why do I want shade I am shivering? I lay down on the ground and probably 1/2 hour from finish I am ready to head to the car.

That hurt.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Day After Thursday

Friday night and I am all alone. Amy is living the high life in Chicago for the weekend. Really she is just watching kids. Me on the other hand, I am a bachelor this weekend. That means....trying to stay up past 9pm.

I got a great weekend planned. Saturday Beechwood and Sheboygan pre-ride. I haven't "raced" Sheboygan in a couple years. Last year I forgot my shoes and the year before that I stopped for a beer on the equalizer and didn't really get going again. This year will be different, I wont stop so long, I am going to do my best. Whatever.

Sunday race day.

Truck is for sale.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I was riding today and a coldplay song came on. You cant ride to coldplay. I even like coldplay but it made me want to slow down. I just couldn't turn the cranks. It was like the song was sucking the life right out of me.

There, happy Chris?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Just S.U.A.R

Today was one of those days. I got home after work and didn't really feel like riding. It was a little windy and I didn't feel like fighting the wind. It was a bit cold. I didn't want to be cold. I didn't want to be cold and fight the wind. I got off work at 2:30 so I really had no excuse and nothing better to do. I got loaded up with the semi-cold gear and off I went with intentions of riding slow for an hour so I wouldn't feel guilty.

Then it happened...

I wasn't 2 miles into my ride and I was loving it. How does that happen? How do you go from no motivation to smiling and daydreaming. A song came on that perked me up and I found myself busting out a little guitar heading down a country road. What the heck? 4 miles into what would be about a 40 mile ride and I was down in the drops, hands relaxed, and time trialing with a cross wind. I made a quick turn onto the rail trail and me and Mr X were full throttle for the entire ride.

Now, I sit at my computer at 9pm, my legs are still numb feeling, and I didn't even want to go for that ride.

I should do that more often.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Day After Tuesday

Man I feel good. I was so tired at work today. I rode my two wheeled conveyance device 6 days in a row. That may be more than August total. I was burnt from the race Sunday and Beechwood last night. It is unreal that the more confortable I get out there that in no time it gets more challenging. Bikes, beer, and brats... it doesnt get any better.

Today I was feeling it though. I just couldn't stay awake. To top it off we had company wide diversity training today. They bussed us all in to a local HS and sat us the theater to listen to a acting group from chitown tell us about how to be tolerant and respectful. I have all kind of cliche's to insert but out of my new found respect for peoples individuality I will keep them to myself.

Bike news. My bike is trashed. I think I will be able to limp thru the end of the season but I am in need of a major overhaul...or a new bike. Don't tell Amy though, I don't think I have paid her back for this one yet.

Two mtb races left, Shevegas and The Blaster.

Also (CB) I am down 9 lbs since last week.