Monday, August 30, 2010

New additions

A new steed and .... a new pair of wings?.... were added to the stable in the last few days...
Vibram Five Fingers KSO

I've only worn these for half a day or so, but they're awesome!  The hope is that a little running in these will help strengthen all the small lateral muscles from feet to hips and avoid the knee issues from last winter!  AND.....

Ridley Crosswind

I picked up this frame and wheelset a few weeks ago and got it all built up with SRAM Rival and TRP Euro-X brakes.  The intent is for this to be my pit bike, but the Felt could get replaced after a few rides at which time I'll swap groups to keep the Red on the race bike.

CX is officially less than two weeks away with Huber's Apple Cross and King's Cross on 11-12 and 18-19 September!  Guess I better find some intensity after a summer of hundred mile mountain bike races...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dropped by the girls on a fun ride

Ok, so maybe we didn't get dropped.

Tonight was a fun ride, they're all fun but too often there is a secondary purpose (base miles, intervals, bike handling, etc.).  Tonight was different, just go out and pedal through the park, by the CX course, and around town with good company, namely John M (not Mandrola), his wife Brittany, and her friend Ashley.  I think more of these shall be added to the queue in the coming weeks.

For most of the rest of the week; however, the focus turns to a four letter word... GOLF.  It's time for the Annual Medley-Hamilton Golf Outing and the game is a little rough around the edges.  Hopefully there's just enough time to get it all together!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Georgia on my mind...and body

This weekend French and I took a trip down to Dahlonega, GA for the Fool's Gold 50/100 ultra endurance mountain bike race.  The weather showed rain falling all week and 30-40% chance of scattered thunderstorms predicted for race day, but we hoped for the best and rolled into town with a couple friends from the buckeye state.

Registration was at Dahlonega Wheelworks, the local bikeshop and other than parking was well ogranized.  Next up was a pre ride from the start finish area where I recognized Andrea from her brickhouse racing blog.  We all started up the first climb where I learned that a SS isn't really that bad (turns out SS was GREAT for mud).  Ben got all he needed after a few miles and I pressed on to 30 minutes, which got to the King of the Mountain point.  Nothing hard, just constant and steepest at the top.  I said farewell to Andrea and down I went... in 11 minutes!

French and I had dinner at the truck (yes, I had cold pizza) got everything ready early and called it a night.  Bed at 9pm seemed crazy, but it worked and it's a good thing!  About 1:00am we were all awoken by a clap of thunder and a hellacious storm continued off and on through the night dropping several inches of rain.  The weather was nice in a way as it cooled the bunkhouses we were staying in a bit and rain is a great sound for sleep, just not for racing here.

Up at 5:30, breakfast down, bathroom stops done and kitted up by 6:30ish.  Probably should have done a better warmup, but decided to keep it short knowing it would be a long day and the Cooper's Gap climb would warm things up plenty.  For the time at an NUE, we started just 3 minutes late and BB and I rode steady up the gravel climb with me setting the pace most of the way til the steepest part where he came by and forced my legs to warm up!  A quick stop at aid 1 for a bottle top off and then into slippery fun singletrack.  It wasn't easy, but I was having a blast - somehow it was working for me but BB wasn't having much fun. 

At aid 2 conditions were worse and shortly after the stop BB's brakes were all but gone adding to a spill.  I stopped at a creek to clean my chain and my riding partner pulled the plug (he's smarter than me).  From there I rode everything I could conserving brakes and had only a few close calls but having to hike a handful of the climbs for either chain suck or lack of traction.  Aid 3 finally had our bags ready and I topped off my Infinit bottle and continued onward.  Most of the section to aid 4 was uneventful, just riding along mostly alone.  The brake problems were caused by hard minerals in the soil, mostly mica that ate right through the pads.  Many people (including a JC who was leading the 50 SS) lost brakes within 20 miles!

At aid 4, they said we were at mile 41-42 but my Garmin said 37.5... mine was closer as I finished the lap at 49.5 miles.  Mental battles began after mile 45 where I knew another lap was only possible if someone would spare a set of brake pads.  I convinced myself that I'd continue on if I could find a set, even if it turned into a 13 hour day.  My body was doing well, the drivetrain was manageable and I really wanted to get the 4th NUE finish.

Just barely getting to metal on metal in the back.

As I crossed the lap line they pulled my number and said they cut everyone off.  For an instant I was sad, but didn't put up a fight because I was doubting there were enough brake pads to go around.  I ended the day in 19th of the "100" Open Men for my best 'finish' of the series.  The course was fun, even with the rain and hopefully I'll make it back next year!  (Hopefully I'll be able to add a pic from the finish of just how much of Georgia I had all over my body and bike)

Photo credit to David McIntyre, 2010.

50 mile lap profile.

Congrats to Zach Sager for climbing on the 50 mile SS podium and to French and Segal for finishing strong in the 50 as well!  The second half of the race was replaced with a number of 12 oz curls including some SweetWater 420 won by another friend for finishing at 4:20pm!

"Sid" and his SweetWater 420.
And of course, a beautiful sunset ended a great day and
began a fun night with fellow racers.

Cleaning numbers at the finish...