Archive for November, 2010

Okay, okay, I kind of lied

November 25, 2010

I had no rage yesterday, and still no rage today, what the face is wrong with me? Well, in a couple of days I get to ride with some very good friends who will abuse the daylights out of me and I will (most of the time) enjoy the time. I also had a bunch of little errands to run and never really got on my bike yesterday to build the rage and I met up with a friend from the Army days, so all in all not so much to get all angry about.

This morning was a little pre-Turkyday ride, and it was pretty mellow, and I had a decent time. It was on some of the easiest trails that exist, and I mean these trails are easily ridden on a cross bike and make me feel all kinds of smooth when I ride rigid. Fun, well Laurel Hill is not really fun, but it was riding. So it was a good idea to get up early and ride.

Last Sunday we rode a place called Wolf Gap in the GeeDub National Forest and it was the first time I rode on the trails where I felt like the descending was worth the climbing. So either I am getting used to these crazy rocks, or the area we rode was just fun. I don’t know.

A bit of rigid fun, not for him, but me. I had a Sus fork

Looks fun, and it is.

The signs says one thing, reality was a bit different

Another ride i did was at Patapsco or some such name, it was a bit like the mid-west, fast and a bit of flow and just a touch of small rock gardens, so I felt pretty much at home. It was fun. I should find some rage about the ride, but really the problem was getting there, the ride itself was pretty good.

Traffic, traffic and more traffic!

It is fall and fall is pretty

It is a steep roll down, I took pictures and did not ride it. I am a loser.

I don't know if you can read the sign.

That is all for now, I hope to have some rage next week, if not you all might think I am getting soft. I am….


Tomorrow post and some more pictures

November 23, 2010

I have done a few ride, I have a few pictures and some complaining to do, maybe. We will see how much coffee I drink pre typing.

Willie is visiting my parents and he is missed already. I saw him this morning last at 0815. Does he miss us? Doubtful.


Rubenesque, that is me

November 15, 2010

Well spell check tells me Rubenesque is not a word, but google and a couple of dictionaries do, so I am going with that spelling. Anyway, by definition it is a plump attractive woman with pleasing curves….. I am not pleasing to the eye or a woman but plump I am, so it works.

As my winter trip looms closer the reality of my fitness and state of general disrepair of my body I realize this “vacation” will be either the best thing for me or the worst. Best, if it motivates me to put down the XXL bag of M&Ms and ride the bike and eating a bit more healthy or show me that I am weak, slow and fat who needs to give up and just ride for “fun”.

“Fun” in this case means slow with gears and full suspension and lots of breaks to relax and enjoy the view. Truthfully, I am not a “fun” in this usage of the word kind of guy. I may never be the fastest or the fittest or the winner of any race (even though I have won two races and both were flukes) in the future, but I really hate (and that is not too strong of a word) that kind of “fun” riding.

The effort and hope of improving my overall fitness and trying to beat the best of the mid-pack may not be great goals for some of you folks, but for me it is a big reason that I ride. Not pleasure is derived from me trouncing the guy who just started riding a year ago, but beating that guy that has been riding for 15 years and is always talking about how good he is and how single speeds are just fashion statements, I do like beating them. So why am I rambling about this? I am looking for motivation, anywhere I can get it, and right now it is planning a few races for next year.

So in case anyone calls me on my BS, my hope (read if the best wife ever allows it) will be the CCP100, the Iron Hill 100k in Damacus VA, and the SM 100 and if all things play out Quachita Challenge and the Cohutta 100 mile race and anything else that catches my fancy, well I need to figure that out. I would like to do a 24 hour race or two. Big plans, no, realistic plans, kind of, good results, if I get off my rubenesque ass and ride my bike. I need motivation, and I can’t find any, but I think being last place in these races should keep me on the bike at least trying not to have “fun” on the bike.

I managed the three hours

November 11, 2010

I did get out for the ride and I didn’t have to drive. Well that should have been a good thing, but in reality it was a very, very bad thing. I need to keep remembering that I have to leave this car choked hell to find road that are good to ride. It is still a strange idea, at least to me, that I need to drive to ride safely and without the constant cars passing me dangerously. Ack.

What else? Tomorrow I am hoping to ride at another new place, well new to me, called Kennedy something (I will get the real name soon, like tomorrow when I get there or not because I am very bad with names). Pictures will follow the ride and I will write something about the ride too…

Full suspension bikes, are IMO a very bad idea. Too much work to keep noise free and in working order, so why am I really hoping to get one this weekend? Because I am a weak little (fat really) man who is looking for a way to cheat my really suspect descending skill. I rode with a few guys Sunday and once again realized that I suck at going downhill fast. In my defense, the guys I rode with built the trail and knew where every rock was as well as the roots. Try as I might I couldn’t keep up with them, and even though I saw a few new lines I never knew existed I still felt pretty bad about my (lack of) skill. Ever sine the broken head of the Humerus accident I have been shy of just letting the bike go and at some point getting over the memory of the pain and the fear of crashing that hard again need to be banished. Easier said than done, but that is a goal for the winter. Remembering that I rode seven years prior to the crash without major injury and since seven years without major injury….. Except for the stop light, the torn leg muscle in last couple of years.

Forget about it, the stop light was a stupid accident and the torn leg muscle was a stick in a spokes (tobias must die) so both incidents where very much accidents that could have been prevented, one pay attention and two never ride with Tobias. So, it is time to grow up a bit and relearn how to go down hill competently if not kind of sort of fast. Goals, I finally have one and I might just be able to meet the goal. I don’t want to fly with reckless abandon, just not loose all the time I make on the climbs every time I go downhill. Of course I need to make time on the climbs. Oh, I need to work on loosing weight too, but descending is so much easier.

The long road to self improvement

me me and more me

November 10, 2010

Saw the Physio today, he says I am a little messed up and need to break up scar tissue. Um, yeah, I thought so, but doing it the break up sucks. It hurts and it is not very fun. For me a week of therapy (not mental) and then we will see where I am.

Tomorrow I ride. Nice weather, and a little drive mean a good ride. So tomorrow I will drive an hour to ride for three to drive home for two hours, so it will be a wash as far as time is concerned.

Everything else is as usual, pretty good, even though I complain about it.

Willie is the Man!

Bad barber shop trim led to me shaving.

The beard is growing back, but another bad trim is leading me to another shave. I hope not….

These pictures need few words

November 6, 2010

yum yum

I love Mariah Carey???? Really?

Other than what is wrong with me (god those shakes are freaking awesome) and what is wrong with America (who the hell really loves anybody that much, especially Mariah Carey, I mean she sings and looks like a tramp but other than screeching like a cat getting strangled what has she adde to out lives other than “madame Butterfly which I only know because at the time I was still too into music and you couldn’t avoid the ad blitz).

Off for a ride a little later, walking WIllie, best job ever today as it is not raining and cool and crisp and we will find some squirrels to chase and then home to either watch Mizzou loose or play the Xbox. I am in full Gran Canaria training. Ice cream and Xbox games…. watch out Frank, i might roll down the mountains and land on you. Have a good weekend.

TIme to report

November 3, 2010

The Berryman Epic, hmmm, well it went badly.

The course was fine, in fact the course was (or should have been) fast and really (but for me it wasn’t) fun. I believe every bit of what caused me to have a rough day was lack of eating and not being smart enough to eat more. I have been thinking back to the race for awhile, mostly due to the freaking awful time I had there and have pinpointed my first and really only mistake. It was skipping the third aid station.

The race started on a 5 mile or so section of gravel road, which was dusty as all get out, onto some pretty fast and skinny single track. A few roots and rocks made the trail interesting but definitely not hard. It was looking like a course that I had expected, and it was early yet, I wasn’t happy because I knew we had a very long day, but I was hopeful.

We then turned onto the Berryman Trail proper from the Ozark trail and I was really pleased. It is the section one of my friends calls Shredtopia. It is a bit of trail that requires so little effort to go fast that it is almost like cheating, except for the day of the race. It was a 4 or 5 mile section of intervals because people where having problems with the trail. Not to throw stones, but if they couldn’t ride the trails we were on, maybe they should just stick to the roads….. Yeah, I was just a bit irritated. It seemed like every 30 seconds someone would flat and just stop in the middle of the trail making everyone behind he or she stop to avoid hitting them.

Well, it was on the next section of the Berryman before Brazil Creek where I stopped to help the first person a had with a flat. This man had either forgotten or had a failure of his chosen method of inflating his tires. So I stopped and gave him a CO2 cartridge so he could keep going. It didn’t cost me much time, but it did cause me to have to settle into another group of riders who seemed incapable of riding the trail.

On the last section of trail down to the creek I past a young man and asked him if he was okay and he replied with an very loud and frantic NO. So I stopped and looked to see what his problem was and it was pretty easy to see. He flatted and had never changed a tire before. So what do I do? I stop and try to show him how it is done. You first have to break the bead…. you know get the tire loose on the rim…. and on and on….. but I pulled his tire off and helped him get started with the tire change and off again into a group of riders doing interval training. Ack, why to I help.

I crosse the creek at about 10 or 11 miles and began the climb and immediately felt like I should eat, but what did I do? Me, I decided that I should save my food for later when i REALLY bonked. Umm, yeah smart choice. so I made it somewhere around 15 miles thinking I should eat and finally did. Well better late than never, but it was already too late. I was not going to catch up on the calories that I needed. As I ate I came across another fellow with a flat and he needed a tube, so I gave him mine. I was hoping I wouldn’t need it, and was pretty sure I wouldn’t because I added about 5 PSI more in my tires than normal because I would rather bounce a bit more than flat four or five times.

So I cruised into aid 2 at 20ish miles and promptly rode right on through, I didn’t stop or slow much I just rolled on through, big mistake. I was still feeling hungry and had a bottle and a half but had not eaten or drunk nearly enough. I was also still thinking I should save the water and food until I was really hungry….. yeah still thinking that and still beginning the big bonk. As I left the aid 2, well about 4 miles in I came across yet another mechanical problem and stopped to help. The guy had gotten his chain stuck between his spokes and cassette, so he was not going anywhere fast. I looked and realized very quickly that it needed a bit of a tug and a little pressure on the spokes to get the chain free, and it took me about a couple minutes to figure this out and off he went. I thought at the time, if I can’t help fix your bike, you can’t beat me in, so I need to stop and help. It was about five minutes later I exploded.

The lack of eating and lack of drinking had caught up with me and what was I still thinking? You guessed it, I better save my food and water until I really need it. So I kept riding, and the trails were easy. Gradually graded up and very easy single track and what was I doing? Walking. Why? Because I needed to save my food and water until I REALLY bonked.

I must admit the next couple of hours really sucked. I walked and walked until I finally ate some food. But it was too late. I had gone past the point of return. When I came into aid 3, I had planned on eating some food, but it was the only unsupported aid station of the race. What kind of luck is that. I want to eat and drink and need the food and water badly and the only place I really need food and water it is not there for me. Ack. So suck it up and drive on.

To be honest, I was around 25-30 miles in and really thinking about quitting. But…. I didn’t.

So what was the last 20 miles like? Well I don’t really remember. It was me being really unhappy and me suffering more than ever and me wishing for a coke and me walking up trails that I have always ridden. I did stop at aid 4, and tried to eat, but my stomach was in such a state that I couldn’t really eat as much as I needed. But I choked down some food and drank a bit of water.

I just kept suffering, kept my head down and got passed by people who kept asking if I was okay. Well I was not, but unless they had a coke and about 10,000 calories to give me they couldn’t help. At least they asked. And then I came back to the gravel road and finished. I have never been more disappointed in myself at any race ever. I made the easiest mistake there is to correct, eating and drinking on time and when my body asks. Next year will I go back? I don’t know, really it was fun for about 2 and a half hours, but then I nearly died. It was my own fault but you know….. It is never (really) my fault. Or in this case all my fault.

A ride in the GWNF

November 1, 2010

It was pretty good and only one minor injury, so I think I can say I had fun. One of these days I think I will actually find a ride where I have a great time, but for now I will take the good rides with, hopefully, new friends.

So what else is going on? Not much, really. A few rides solo, which is par for me. I did do a pretty good mountain bike ride Sunday out at Fountainhead Park (which I still am not very fond of) and rode everything that I can ride at this point.

I am still unsure if I like the Conti Mountain Kings. I feel like the tire should be one of my favorites, but the tire seems to wash out just a little too much for my tastes. Then again, maybe I just don’t ride so well. I can’t say.

The GWNF has some pretty good trails and I have a few pictures to prove that and here they are. I must get out there a bit more to learn the trails a bit better as I think it might be a really good place to ride but right now I have only ridden a small portion of Elizabeth Furnace and found it slightly rocky but totally ridable and worthy of a second look. So here you go, pictures.

you have to pay to play

Heehee, I typed knob

I don't recall her name, but she rode well and seemed to have fun

Trust me, lots of rocks moving under her tires, a bit unsettling

Same rock garden and Russ tried twice. The leaves made it very hard to ride clean.