Well, we won one, yeah, accidents happen

May 9, 2013

A friend, Scott Von Woodbridge or SVWb, and I did a 12 hour race last weekend and planned on doing the Single Speed two person category (yes there was one and we were stoked) but ended up that we were the only team.  I do like victory, but winning by default is just hollow, very hollow so we decided to do the two person team category.  So it was the really plucky huge (6’2″ and 6’4″ 220ish each guys) against 6 teams of fit, young and little people.  Okay, we weren’t racing midgets but our two person team likely outweighed several of the three man teams…. that isn’t really such a good thing.

Now I can only type for me but the racing,, for me was, at least early in laps, painful and slow.  The race started with a parade lap, and it was a parade.  A whole bunch of guys and a couple of gals in tight fitting clothes riding slowly through the woods trying not to fall over was funny.  At least I suspect it looked funny because I was one of those out there trying to not fall over and look cool.  I didn’t fall over, that is all I can say for certain.

After the parade….. the race started…… for some, for me the sufferfest started for the lap.  Trying to move smoothly and easily through the racers was impossible mostly because I was pedaling in squares and feeling as if I was going to loose at least one lung and perhaps a spleen and I think my kidney did almost fall out my foot, which was not fun.  But I still moved up through the field passing with care and trying to be as friendly as possible to my fellow racers as I passed them.  But the roots… the roots… the roots… and the tight trees and the roots….. and roots…..  I was very surprised with the roots.  Around here we have rocks and roots and those, I am ready and was prepared for, however the roots in Fredericksburg were a slight and not pleasant surprise.  And as I rolled along wondering how many more laps I had to do I thought’ “NO THE ROOTS WILL KILL ME” if I do two more laps.  But about as I realized that the roots and tight trail was going to be my day, the lap ended almost as it began, me trying not to fall over and look cool as I handed off my little wrist band to SVWb and off he went into the roots.

What he thought and felt about the roots of hand punishment I don’t know, he didn’t complain he just rode and rode well.  Then he came into the start finish area and handed off the wrist band and off I went….. into the roots and tight trails.

Personally I took off and into the woods with a less than happy and positive attitude and I really believed it showed in how I was riding.  I still felt like I was pedaling in squares, had little to no power and was losing organs I need to live out of my foot, back, or eyes, which speaking of, felt as if they being rattled from my skull.  Yes, I was having a lap one repeat, except I was passed by one rider, a rider from team 106 and rider on the team that would eventually be the team that would challenge us.  He passed me with about two miles to go and I was pretty unhappy about losing a place.  It was not cool at all.  Not sure of how much time was lost I handed off my wrist band to SVWb and walked back to my FJ and thought about my upcoming day.  Suffer and work and place third of out of six teams or buck up and work harder and end up second or maybe first.  I munched M&Ms, pretzels and drank a Sprite bucked up and decided roots…. roots…. and tight trail were not bad, I was after all riding a bike for fun, what else can I say?  Last place, first place, who cared?  I just wanted to buck up and do what I could and that is what I tried.  A few minutes later SVWb showed up and I went out.

And I bucked up like a good little camper and rode as a fast as I could.  I felt good, kind of, and did my lap.  No complaining in my head about the terrain or tight twisty trail, just head down and pedal as I fast was able.  This lap was my best, not sure about time wise but I rode the entire lap without getting off the bike once.  There was one little rise in the course that was smarter to walk, IMO, than ride most laps but this lap it didn’t even register.  The legs felt good, it happens once a year. I guess I am out of luck for the rest of the year.  Whatever, I had a great lap, then I handed off the wristband.  Back to M&Ms for me.

I will spare anymore details of the rest of the laps except to say that no lap felt as good as my third but they all felt better than my first two.  Maybe I warmed up, maybe I got over being a big crybaby or maybe I woke up, I’m not sure but I am really glad whatever happened did happen.

Team 106, the team that passed me, was second place on my sixth lap behind us by something like 14 minutes so my lap six was just a ride along and enjoy the dark with my freaking awesome lights and finish the race.  The pizza for the post race festivities arrived just as I left for the last lap.  So all I wanted to do was cruise and finish up safe and sound and get our whatever prize we were going to get and eat pizza.  Another parade lap so to speak.  I rode it as if it was and when I finished we had 14 minutes left in the race.  Team 106 had no chance, but I held onto the wristband just in case….

Twenty some seconds to go in rolls Team 106, are you kidding me?  Really?  Twenty seconds?  Come on….  Sheesh.  So what is a slightly chubby guy with a piece of pizza in his mouth supposed to do?  I took off and chased.  This time I was not going to let him stay away or pass me after I caught him.  Head down and off I go.

On the first climb I come upon this poor fellow working like a dog.  Not a hound chasing a raccoon to tree, not a bird dog tracking down bird, not a husky pulling the sled to get medicine to poor sick children, not even Willie chasing a squirrel, but a dog who needed to take a nap under the front porch after a long hot day.  Better yet it was Team 106.  I passed without saying a word on the first climb and really tried to drop an anvil on his motivation.  I wanted him to stop trying to catch me and just hope to finish.  Did I succeed?  I have no idea, all I know for certain is Team 106 didn’t catch me.  We had won our two man category.  Sweet, where is my beer?

What? Squirrels?

What? Squirrels?


Willie after a Squirrel. Not how the poor guy looked


He’s looking for a rabbit. What does this have to do with the race? Nothing. I just like the picture


Lunch. Not the best food for me, but I did enjoy it for several hours. Toward the end of the race I was just wishing for anything but this stuff. Well the water was always welcome.

Solo in Hburg

April 7, 2013

No big deal, just had a lot of fun and finally found a place where the only noise was me breathing. Oh and occasionally my heart beat. It was nice.

I also did a race a couple weeks ago, and aside from one incident early on the race was relaxing and fun. I took sixth, out of more than six. Cool.

Whoops, I have been lax.

March 21, 2013

I am currently a bit ill and sitting on my couch and thinking, “man I’ve not written a thing in a long time.” Nobody but me cares, but I kind of do. Why? Dunno, just kind of do.

A good reason for being so absent from writing really boils down to me riding a lot of the exact same rides with the exact same person. Me, and I am not all that interesting. So making up reports of how great I was on a ride or how awesome I looked on a ride was a bit taxing. I am not so awesome or great while riding, as a matter of fact I am a bit fat and slow. Especially right now, not just because I am a bit ill, but we are just back from vacation.

The vacation was fun, the food was plentiful, and the shakes were unbelievable. And I love shakes…. so that does explain a bit of the fatness. Oh well, 1600 plus miles of riding so far this year and a plus 2 pounds of fat. I must eat way too much food.

In the past I have claimed to eat enough for a third world country to feed itself for a month in a day and perhaps I do. But that needs to change, and that’s been typed, said and written before. Why is it different now? Well it’s not and I may not, but admitting a problem is half the battle, right?

Whatever, I like food, good food, bad food, and chocolate, which isn’t food but a vital vitamin for the survival of me. So maybe eating smarter is what I should do. Again, whatever.

Six hours of racing will transpire this weekend, at least a six hour race is happening this weekend and I will be there. Whether six hours of racing for me will transpire is questionable. I am really and actually a bit ill and am not rolling today to try to get fully fit for Saturday. I hope it works as I like to ride my bike.

Hope you, the one person who reads this (sorry) have a great day.

Willie is happy

Willie is happy

The river I see everyday

The river I see everyday

It looks bad, my bench, but it hold beer and coffee well.  can't find tools, but the beer and coffee....

It looks bad, my bench, but it hold beer and coffee well. can’t find tools, but the beer and coffee….

A trail I often ride, Willie loves walking there too

A trail I often ride, Willie loves walking there too

But three for three, never

November 29, 2012

Yeah, well, yeah. Having time to type and spew forth nonsense doesn’t mean the time is taken to do so. This is mostly due to the fact that I haven’t much to say about anything… then again, who really does? Seems to me that a lot of folks have a lot to say and most of it is drivel, so why add to that? Well my drivel is important to me.

Lately I have been actually doing something called riding a bike! What? Yes, riding a bike. Two wheels, two pedals, two legs, and a slightly larger than normal me on a bike going places like, i don’t know, places. Actually the roads outside of town (you know the greater DC area) are pretty nice and mostly free of angry drivers. I kind of like riding out there. Hopefully I will get out there again this week.

What else is there to report? Well mostly that this weekend is going to be nicer than it should be, so a ride someplace not here in the NO(rthern)V(irgini)A is in order. Harrisonburg or the George Washington National forest are in order. I hope. Riding out there alone is foolhardy so whenever I do a ride out there I need a riding partner.

Who to call? My More or less trustworthy little riding buddy from the shop? Maybe, but he rides either way too fast or way too slow. My normal riding buddy? Maybe, but he has those little things call kids to make sure grow up to be productive members of society. The Punisher? Another riding friend, but as the name implies all rides with him result in punishment of my legs, body, and overall well being. Or any number of my off and on again riding buddies? I could, I should, but getting them to commit to riding a big ride in the middle of the GW forest is not as easy as it sound.

Always the complaints of it will be to hard, or too long, or too who the heck knows come into play and personally kind of make me not want to ask if they want to ride. I need a larger group of riding folks. But the larger the group the more trouble. More people to ride with mean more schedules to accommodate and that isn’t as easy at it have just three or four riding friends. It is a catch 22.

Anyway, I am off to ride or something.

two for two

November 15, 2012

Either I’m riding a bit more, which is not the case, or I’m feeling a bit more like actually using that 1.5 ounce brain of mine, which is likely the case. Typing is something that you don’t forget but you get all kinds of slow and are constantly making typos and that is currently what I am doing. Without getting into details, there are a lot of dong, fo, and teh that I had to fix. And I also helped myself out today with a little ride.

30ish miles of easy and cool riding, not cool as in attitude, rather, cool as in temperatures. I am not a fan of cool, no I like HOT. Humid, muggy, dry, or oppressive heat, that is what I like. Getting used to the cool isn’t fun, but what can be done? This global warming thing doesn’t seem to be working out for me.

Riding…. yeah that’s exactly what has been going on….. umm…. well I have been sitting on a bike a bit lately. That means a couple of things, having fun riding seems to have returned and two cars, trucks, semis and all sorts of motorized traffic has been honking and trying to run me down. Whether the near misses with motorized traffic are perceived or real, they seem really real to me, I am already tiring of them. Yesterday within three miles I had one car actually attempt to run me down, not perceived at all, and today a dump truck and one cement truck honked and buzzed me… a couple of feet between a semi and myself isn’t much and it kind of bothers me.

A truck from Vulcan numbered 345 is one of the folks that thought a flatter me would be good.

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Not dead yet!

November 14, 2012

Well, officially not dead yet. I’ve been out and about on the two wheeled machine, rode in Missouri, where I had a great time, and did the Shenandoah 100, and did a decent time, and have ridden with a bunch of friends, at the MOCO epic and other places, and all in all had a pretty good time. All that good stuff along with eating way too much food has left me in medium shape and overweight… okay, I’m already at mid-winter weight in mid November! What is up?

One of these days I might actually put the fork down, you know the one loaded up with chocolate cream pie, and eat, god forbid, an apple. That could have an effect on my overall health and perhaps my speed on the bike, but apples? Apples? I don’t like how they taste and sometimes the ones I get make me have mild allergic reactions. No really! Maybe I should try oranges…. or bananas…. or carrots…. or…… yeah that will never happen. I sure like Barbecue.

I think a few pictures are in order, but they will be in no order. Hope everyone is riding and having a good time. Ride safe, ride fast and ride for fun. I am trying.

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I believe I will do a SM100 write up. I saw a bunch from folks who quit and they made it sound really hard. It wasn’t.

Someplace not the NOVA

September 16, 2012

On a little trip. Having a freaking awesome time. Riding with two great folks on some the of the best trails in the Universe, no really.

Still a little perturbed at my performance at the SM100. Personally I think that the desire to drop people like an anvil has left me sometime in the last 15 years. It may be time to realize I like riding and I used to like racing. I don’t know. Maybe. Or maybe I need to commit to actually riding with a purpose in mind and work towards that goal.

Back to the trip…. yeah umm, these trails, umm, yeah… UNREAL!!!!! Those that live here hopefully realize how freaking sweet the riding is here and appreciate the trails. The NO(northern)V(irgini)A has some great stuff and getting back will be good, but fast a flowy is just so fun.

Ride safe, we are off to climb some unreal, sweet, perfectly groomed trail that should give us a view that will stun.

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Holy Smoke, how long? Man I am not committed to this….

September 5, 2012

I did the SM100… 10:49 and I didn’t even really try. Yes, I didn’t really try. Kind of sad really. Never did I turn one pedal stroke in anger, with a real goal of going fast, or even the thought of trying to beat somebody, anybody, just one long day in a saddle…. and then there was the rain. Still, no excuses, I just didn’t want to go anywhere near the suffer zone.

The course is one of the best I have ridden ever. A lot of fun just enough climbing and enough aid stations to make it not like suffering at all, just a long ride with folks just handing me all the food and drinks I need. So a good time, even in the rain.

It rained for three or three and a half hours and turned the trails into a muddy mess and covered my bike in, well, mud. It was not good for the drivetrain, or my clothes. Whatever it was a good day.

What else? Other than a lack or writing I’ve been not riding enough which isn’t a surprise. But riding just enough. I did the SM100 with a friend who finished a minute a half behind me, and he worked really hard trying to catch me on the last climb. He rode really well and I am happy he did so well.

Pictures??? None from the race, but I have other ones than may be of interest to me. To anyone else, unlikely.

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Yup, still riding, yup not feeling literate

August 10, 2012

Not much reason to write about the some old same old that I have been doing every day.

The day goes like this, cup of coffee, walk Willie, make breakfast, share breakfast with Willie, more coffee, debate riding, more coffee, call from friend, debate riding, more coffee, and finally decide to ride or not. Yes, everyday is nearly the same, the only real difference is how much coffee I drink. Most folks would think this is a great schedule, but let me tell you, it is the best schedule. Yes, I do live a very tough life.

Yesterday was a tough day, well in riding terms, not in real life terms. We, my friend and I, did a 60ish mile ride with just about 4000 feet of climbing, which truthfully was a surprise.

The route I do in the area is pretty flat save two large climbs. Seriously, an easy fast ride with a bunch of climbing feet but nothing too difficult. Yesterday was roller after roller after roller and then we started riding back on a false flat back to the start. It wasn’t easy, and as much as I heckled my friend on the ride he rode like a rock star.

In any case, I had a great day. So, where are the pictures? Well I took two. Let’s see if I can find them.

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Vacation and a missed race

July 26, 2012

I didn’t do the Iron Mountain 100 because I didn’t feel like racing. Having done the local series for fun and having ABSOLUTELY none the Did Not Start felt like the right call. Personally I can’t describe how awful and totally uber-competitive this Wednesday at Wakefield is, that as a race series that matters none in the real world. After you race and do well you still go to work, right? No UCI points, not real money, and no prestige. Who cares if you finished 2nd in the sport class of three people in Wakefield…. Yeah, absolutely NOBODY. Tell that to the goofs that race there.

It kills me that people who race the Clydesdales category cheat. I must say that when I am easily the heaviest guy racing by 35 pounds it means that most the folks racing aren’t anywhere near 200 pounds. I would venture a guess that the top three or four guys are 201 or 202 with all their kit on. Needing a scale for a nonsense race that matters not seems to be a microcosm of living here. If you aren’t trying to pull one over on the next guy, you aren’t trying hard enough. No one here seems to race for fun or to see how well you can do personally. It is about trying pull one over on the next guy. I don’t like it at all.

Racing at my age, my weight and my talent level is not only a reality check but a chance to strive to do well. I set times I want to beat, not how to cut the course and try to run my competitors off the course. Perhaps I am being a bit harsh, but really I think not.

Riding in MidMO, Germany, Italy, withe Lobos, and having done races all over the USA and World has given me a (spoiled) unique perspective. I have been in serious races that actually matter (being competitive in said race or not is not the point) I have been in races for fun (drinking beer and just rolling along with people you like riding with) and races that aren’t races at all but reasons to gather with friends ride 45 miles and eat a great dinner. All of these races have one thing in common, NOBODY FROM THE NO(rthern)V(irgini)A acting like a fool. Am I bitter? At the moment, yes. Will it change? Yes, likely tomorrow.

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