Monday, September 28, 2009

Shawano 100

Well I got one century out of the way this year...finally, and it didn't conclude without it's fair share of surprises. I decided to set out at around 11:30 and hit the mountain bay. This is a pretty nice trail and well maintained for a gravel grinder, but found that it doesn't stay gravel all the way to green bay and does in fact break up in shawano so about 3 hours and 53 miles into it I found a gas station close to downtown and refilled my camelback and found my way back to the trail. On the way back, I wasn't able to find where it connects but now at least I was able to put together a hassle free century route with no cars, but the downside is no hills. I felt good for the majority of the ride until the return route where the wind picked up and dropped my average speed quite drastically so I made another stop in Eland Wisconsin to hit up the bathroom and down some additional calories, from there I pushed as hard as I could and turned it into sign sprints for awhile. I still managed a 6:40 century on the dirt which wasn't too bad considering the recent illness, but my body did tell me to rest when I didn't wake up till close to 11am so I missed my ride at underdown with the coles to scout the Thunderdown race course which looks to be epic as usual.

So in a nutshell that's it, one more race at underdown and a duathalon at the camp in November then it's time to get some skate skiing goin on.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fattire Weekend 2009

This would be the 2nd time I've been lucky enough to get into the 40 with the last time in 2007. Devils Lake Retreat would be our headquarters for the weekend. Jshoe and Jvog arrived here in Weston Friday morning to head up Hayward after converting my rigid redline ss into a 69er. A short stop in Trego for subs and we were just about there. The majority of the group had already arrived Luke and Sarah, Paul and Melinda, Nate and Kim and finally us. After a few calls back and forth between Brett and Nate, Jim and the Colorado Crew (Brett, Scott, Marni, and Chris) showed up and ready to head to registration. Surprisingly that whole process went pretty quickly and we were already on our way back. Jim "da chef" Parman cooked us a spectacular dinner consisting of grilled chicken, alfredo sauce and noodles, with brocolli while the rest of worked on bikes. Figured out staging and returning to the cabin after the race and before too much longer we went to bed for an early morning wake up.
At the butt crack of dawn or i
n this case earlier we set out to stage bikes and at the time we arrived it was already 15 or more rows a
nd around 400 bikes back. I wasn't too dissapointed only because I w
ould get shuffled to the rear afte
r the cannon blew anyway cause of the fact I was riding single speed. The bike of choice for the weekend was the Redline monocog with 33x16 gearing. Anyway, we all met up again at the cabin a few hours prior to the start for breakfast and headed over to Hayward for the start. The start to the race was uneventful, hell, the cannon didn't even blow off but we did have pirates yelling pirate like things little did I know it was national talk like a pirate day. The start was very controlled and slower than years past but really what did that matter I was on a friggen singlespeed I got dropped in a fashion comparable to contador during the opening mountain stages on le tour. So I pushed on spinning my nuts off trying to keep pace at 22mph as best as I could pedal, pedal, coast and repeat till rosie's field. I think I took it way too easy in the beginning because I was thinking ahead to fire tower. Still I came through OO in fair shape. I would try to find a group that was moving pretty fast but after I would catch a group I found it easy to drop them in which I think this was because the type of riders I would normally be with were 10 or more minutes ahead with JS
hoe and JVog. I would continue to pass swarms of riders on the climbs which I found quite strange. I couldn't understand the amount of riders that were not using the hills to their advantage on to roll up on them and move quietly along side and ride on by with a ring of the bell or two if I felt saucy.
This process would continue till just about fire tower where I pushed it down and tried to carry all the speed I could into it but as luck would have it and I know others have run into this as well where you're climbing and someone jumps off and it's a domino effect until you are running along with the herd. The climb consisted of 4 sections all marked with the signs listed to the left not sure on the length but it couldn't have been too bad. After the end of the fire tower climb it began to go down hill little by little, mile by mile. I started feeling my calfs twinge a little after we got back on the birkie trail and with 4 or 5 miles left I w
as in full cramp mode on the climbs only, luckily for me I had john
hirsch riding with me back and forth as he would gap me on flats and I would catch him on the climbs it was probably the greatest timing as I was ready to give up and spin it in but he encouraged me to keep pushing hard. He got me in the end but it was worth it and greatly appreciated. So the wrap up for the race goes as
a time of 2:48:27.2 So not too bad by my estimation. Afterwards some post race chatter it was back to the cabin and the brew would be flowing like water in a gentle stream. Seriously though we've had an extensive collection of beer being represented from coors (yuck) to point oktoberfest, fattire hoptober, etc. see image to the left (disregard the can of jungle joose as that should have come with a surgeon general warning to drink at own risk). From that point on we talked some trash, got drilled by paul on music trivia, and listened to some intriguing stories about the tour divide by Chris Plesko current singlespeed record holder beating the previous record by 4 days!!! some of the stuff he was telling us made nullified my own personal stories of riding a bike for 24 hours. This looks to be my inspiration going into the 2010 season. Something like whenever I feel like stopping in my pit or walking a hill I need to ask myself wwpd - What Would Plesko Do. In all seriousness though it was great to meet the Colorado Crew and visit with Brett again.
There would be more war stories shared and people turning in one by one until it was me, shoe, and luke left. It didn't last too much longer since we were subject to Coors Light after all of the good beer was gone so that was a good time to call it a night. Sunday was
pretty much as expected in that we all packed up and departed to home. Shortly after arriving I jumped on the Turner and did about an hour and a half at nine mile and then proceeded to become very ill for the better half of the week, but all in all I'll be set to go for a ride at underdown this weekend hopefully to pre ride before next weekends 12 hour solo. There isn't too much left of the racing season but the Stump Farm Off Road Duathalon sounds intriguing.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What the hell have I been doing?

I've since dissapeard from the racing scene for a bit now, but have managed to stay busy. I've been trying to get my knee back to 100% and up to this point I've had good and bad days on the bike, but I was recovered enough to go and run with the Tomahawk CC kids who were kind enough to allow me to talk to them about continuing their active lifestyle and all of the options they have now and after school. That following saturday I ran in the THS alumni race and while I didn't have the greatest run of my life, hanging with this years team and some of the fellow alumni like Simon, Deann and Nate was the highlight for that day. I have since taken on a project of bring some mountain biking to my hometown so I boarded the single speed after the race and some food from Sammy's Subs and rode the existing trails and gather ideas of what needed to be created, reclaimed and finally think up a loop. From that point on I've been working with the city to advise of my ideas and also got the help of IMBA and WORBA to get some valueable input and great advice.

I've also been working on getting back on the geared bike and I was like a kid on Christmas Day when I received this beautiful, custom coated, 2010 DW Lind Turner Flux. Oh it is art in the greatest of forms with geometry, aluminum, great welds and the independent dw link a full pound heavier was the biggest concern but after mounting this up and riding it through the roots and rocks of nine mile i'm convinced that this will not be a problem. With the DW Link this suspension is not only more active than the Nitrous, but it climbs like a hardtail. I had a hard time believing this myself until I started up Twinkie Hill and it felt easy. Riding the new Ho Chi connector felt smoother and decending Ho Chi was insane and the flats felt damn good. I am thoroughly impressed with this bike only after the first ride but I do have some suspension tweaking to do and there is no better place than the Underdown.
So that's it, the update, I will be doing some racing at cheqfat and the remaining two wems races.