Archive for September, 2011

All I got is words!

September 30, 2011

And not many today. I have a whole bunch of errands to run and not enough time to do all of them. We purchased a new car yesterday and that is stressful. I need to ride my bike and lose a bit of that stress. Hopefully this weekend I will get some good ride time.

Two weeks from now I will be back home! In Missouri! I am happy about going back to visit and then race a bike. Well, ride my bike in a race. I have to do better than last year. Last year was a disaster. Not a very good memory and something I want to fix this year.

Being back here in the NO(rthern)V(irgini)A makes me remember that after a year I am not in hate with this place which is, for me, a very strange occurrence. Yes, it isn’t perfect, yes I don’t like the traffic, yes the riding in the immediate area is kind of not great, but where will I ever be that is perfect in all ways? I like it here.

Oh I do have at least one picture!

The last time Willie was in the Audi! He hated that car.

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The race to beat the snow!

September 27, 2011

I did Suntop last Saturday. It was freaking awesome! Yeah, totally awesome. It was a great ride, I felt good, I looked freaking awesome and Skookum Flats was a blast. It has always been the tradition that the complete trail is 24 or so miles but the last two rides have just been a touch over 20. To be honest the ride is so good it doesn’t matter.

Heading home tomorrow in the AM where the riding is not so epic, but great none-the-less and I can begin a weight lose program as well as an Achilles tendon rehab program. I really did some damage to it when leaping over a giant downed tree running away from some evil hornets that were nesting in some deadfall! They stung me twice and when I beat the Olympic record in sprinting, I was way faster than that Bolt chump, and jumped over the log father than Carl Lewis ever thought possible I pretty much hurt myself to the point that walking is a chore. I may be rehabbing the Achilles for a while… No fun.

The time out here has been great. Good friends, a bunch of fun but no Willie and no wife. I am truly excited about seeing the Willie and wife again soon. 24 hours!

Promised pictures and a few words

September 23, 2011

What else? Rode again yesterday, kind of hard. I am tired and need a few days off to get the legs back in shape. I am cut, sore and not so sure that my legs aren’t made of rubber.

This morning did a short and easy 1:45 around were I am staying. No pictures even though it is pretty because I just wanted to unwind. I rode with no anger and just coasted along. Hopefully my legs will feel better tomorrow. Doubtful.

The feeling I have isn’t bad exactly, it is just kind of burnt out. I have ridden all but one day since I arrived and one day I rode twice. As of now I haven’t tallied the miles I have ridden but I am guessing in would be around 150 or so and 150000 or so feet of climbing. Maybe more maybe less…. It has been a lot of pedaling.

Tomorrow I am hoping to get away to the mountains to ride, if not there then back to Cap. I don’t and never have really loved Cap, but it is a nice ride.

Back home soon and back to the same old trails. I am looking forward to seeing the little guy and the wife, of course. Soon….

Day 3 day 4 riding and a lot of it!

September 21, 2011

The only picture that would upload

We did the McKenzie River Trail and that was fun. My shin will never be the same but the grin always come back when I think about riding the MRT.

Ack! No pictures right now.

So will have to write something…. Damn. So the ride began with a 10 mile road climb followed by views that you can’t believe, mostly because I can’t post them and a trail so fun that the descent to the car was just freaking unreal! Rock, and I used to hate rock, some ribbon thin single track, followed by roots and rocks! Unfreakingbelievable!

The next day we did Phil’s to Pauls , to Woops to Bens to Kens, I believe. This is a very nice ride, some really nice dry, dusty trails that are all rideable and really very fast. It also has some very good views. The descent is fast and very much smooth. The only thing that held me back was break bumps. The divots aren’t large, but ill placed and were in very strange places. Absolutely none leading up the to jumps but near the backside of the top of the jump there would be this hole and I would have to jump over the hole and hope to land well…. I didn’t so much…. I did, however, begin choosing one side or the other of the jumps to ride up avoiding the brake bumps…

Anyway we will try to get pictures up today. Bend is pretty cool, I would ride there again, I want to try Hood River (I like the beer better there anyway).

Today I am back in WA(state). Cloudy and going to rain. Surprise.

Day two and SSIT link

September 19, 2011

SSIT, My old friends!

Um, good ride, lots of climbing a bit of elevation, and we got lost…. We missed 7 miles of trail. Did all the work, didn’t get the reward. Tomorrow we will try to double up on the fun.

Bend day 1, few words

September 18, 2011

It was fun, I had a great day, I had a great burrito, I had 2 beers with the burrito (no pictures of food) and now going to get steak for dinner. It is rough being ME.

A quick NYc wrap up….

September 13, 2011

So we went to NYC and having doubts about having a good time before we got there were all put aside after our first walk through Central Park. Really Central Park was all I wanted to actually see so the rest of what we did was just pretty much gravy.

A street

Another street

Looks good from here

As for the food it was really good, as for the price of food, it was ridiculous. Paying for good food isn’t a problem for us, but geez, some of those prices made food at a NFL game of MLB game seem downright reasonable.

After dinner dessert

My 28 dollar Sandwich, fries, and beer

A few bad things did happen…. Too many people everywhere all the time. The number of folks pretty much surprised me. Knowing it is a massive city and that untold millions live there I should have expected that it would never be quiet but it was NEVER quiet. Always some goofball honking a horn. Then we had the death march around the park…. Did we get lost or just follow Willie…. I will never tell, but 3:45 later we just got back to the hotel and Willie went to sleep and we had to go off and see more of NYC. It was really a nice day.

The park at Willie speed

Looking for the next spot to make my own!

Who knew they had a statue for Willie in Central Park

So today I am off to do something that involves exercise, I hope.

NYC! Baby!

September 10, 2011

Just a quick note. Had a great day, walking and walking and walking!

This place is pretty big.

More about the SM 100

September 7, 2011

So I was leaving Aid 3 for 4 and was feeling good after landing on my head…

Remembering exactly what happened and what I rode is already fuzzy. I know I climbed up some stuff, I know I descended some stuff and I know I asked after we got to Aid 4 I was concerned about my time. I asked a fellow racer what time it was and if he knew the mile we were on. He told me we had ridden for 6 hours and had done 43 miles…. Ummm, I hope not. So I let him think that and rode away from him. As I left he mumbled something about needing lights as I took off and I shook my head and knew we were around 60 miles and beginning the big climb up to Aid 5.

I had heard and read that this climb was the “death march”. It was hard, and it wasn’t much fun, but “death march” it was not. I rode a good part of the climb had to walk a bit and here and there and passed people and passed people and passed people and finally hit the Aid 5 station. I grabbed my gel flasks, was offered pizza and turned it down, had to fill my own bottles and had a very nice woman give me a cool towel to clean up. That towel was heaven! I choose not to eat the pizza because it felt and was sure that it would just sit in my belly making me feel sick, so I left as fast as possible. From Aid 5 to 6 is supposed to be a climb that makes one want to hang themselves from the nearest tree.

The trees weren’t tall enough to hang me from and in my world they climb wasn’t fun, but really not that bad. I knew once I crested the climb I would have the race in the bag. So I walked a bit, rode a bit, walked some and walked some. It was at this time I began to feel as if I might have ridden 80 or so miles….. apparently I had. People passed me, I would get back on the bike and pass them back and this yo-yo thing kept going until the top of the climb. Once I got to the top, I believe I still climbed a bit, but at least I was on single track. Then the trail really turned downhill and I forgot about the climb and let the bike go. This trail was rocky and a bit technical which was likely because of fatigue not so much the actual trail. Once the single track turned downhill for real I just let go and coasted, then it got steep and grabbing brakes seemed smart. Then it got fun again and then I got scared and grabbed more brake and so on and so on.

In hindsight I believe I was beginning to bonk again from the lack of food from Aid 2 to 3. I never really got back to even on the calorie intake and was paying big time. The trail wasn’t that technical and I was really struggling to stay focused. That was a sign my head wasn’t clear and a sign I needed food.

Aid 6 popped up out of nowhere, well not exactly, but it surprised me. It was across a creek and never has a creek more hated than that crossing. Getting wet and bounced around didn’t seem to appeal to me but what choice was there. Across I went and then I made the biggest mistake of the race.

Two bottles were given to me, I left the station with little food and didn’t refuel. Bad move and I paid big time. Not being prepared for what was coming cost at least an hour of my life. Out of Aid 6 the race followed roads we had ridden earlier in the day, unfortunately that was bad. It was the first real climb of the day and now appeared to be the last. The first time I rode up this climb it was fun and fast and passing people was fun. This time I crawled to a stand still. From the stand still I began to walk and got past by people. That made me angry, upset and demoralized me into a state that was bad. It didn’t matter what I did every bit of motivation had left me and all I could do was walk. Every bit of my energy was gone, bonking was not the word for what was going on. I am not sure what to call it, but every bit of me had given up. Well I was going to finish, but it was going to be 13 hours… I was shattered, but kept walking. 4 miles. Arriving at what was the jeep trail I got back on the bike cursed and pedaled as I could and walked where I had to again. At this point I walked every climb, but could have ridden every one of the climbs easily but I didn’t….. End of my rope, looked like a 13:30 finish.

Finally the course turned downhill and I coasted to the finish and looked up and saw 11:02 on the clock. What 11:02? The clock was wrong, it had to be, but 11:02? Now I was mad, at myself. I had a sub 11 hour race in the bag, and 10:30 maybe a 10:15 but I had walked myself to an 11 hour finish. Dumb Ed!

I should have eaten at Aid 6, I needed to eat at Aid 6, I have learned that if I go back I will visit Aid 6 for food and coke….

The Shenandoah 100, a lamentable ride for me

September 6, 2011

This may be two installments, or not, but as for the title the irritation I feel with myself seems to grow every time I think about the race. The short of it is as follows, I rode really well and well within my limits for 39ish mile, totally blew up, ate nearly all my food, crashed on my head (literally) woke up at mile 42 (or so) rode the Aid 3 refueled had a awesome ride until mile 89 and then just gave up, no excuses, no reasons, no real idea why…. finished, moaned about how much the last climb sucked and got into my car drove home and thought, “why the hell and what the hell happened to me? Why did I stop trying….” I finished, but I am really not happy with myself and not sure if I want to go back. Oh, I finished in 11:02 not sure of placing as I left earlier than I should have….

So for a bit more detail, but above really sums up what happened and I took no pictures.

Alright, I will skip all the pre-race stuff and start with Mile 0. Upon hearing Chris Scott talking about getting ready to leave the realization that my front wheel was behind my car, my chain not lubed, and I was nowhere near my starting block. So I quickly got ready, rolled to the start line and got into my “start time” block and in hindsight picked the wrong one entirely. More on that later. Moments later, and that is literally, I hear, GO! and off we don’t move at all. Two minutes pass and the unruly cluster of lycra clad fools beginning a ride of foolish proportions finally roll for ten feet…. stops…. then this happens again…. and again…. and again…. and then off we actually start rolling. And I pass people.

We, as a loosely defined group, kept moving with little hold up for about ten miles. During this I passed people, nicely mind you, and tried to get around people who are already worrying about finishing the race… we were not even ten miles in and I was already hearing, “I have my lights at Aid 5, I will finish!”. Thinking to myself came this, if you are already that worried get off your bike, go home, ride that bike, come back next year with some fitness. How they got ahead of me is simple to explain. They all lied about the finish time they hope to achieve. I lined up in the 12 hour group, where I belonged, these folks lined up in the 8 hour group… what they thought that at 8 hours they would be getting their lights….

So onto the next 15 or so miles, I passed people, I passed people, I passed people, as nicely as possible until we hit Lynn’s trail (or whatever it is called) and walked and walked and walked and them finally got to the top of the climb and descended down what I think was Wolf’s something which was fun and passed people, and passed people and passed people…. into Aid 2. Where I have my only complaint about the help at the race. The volunteers are always great, alway kind and always helpful, except one guy. I went into the Aid station believing I could fill up at least one gu flask with gu… I asked the Aid station helpers for gu and am told go “over there”, I get there and ask if I can fill up my flasks and am told sure, them this dude walks over, literally tells the volunteers to stop filling my flasks as the are not a “hammer gel” station and tells me to literally get moving. I can’t have any gel here….. Why The Face? So off I go from Aid 2 to Aid 3 with no gel for eating, not food because I don’t eat fruits and I pass people and I pass people and I pass people and I pass people knowing trouble is coming as I am positive I will be bonking (or run out of energy) very, very soon.

Soon came as we began a climb called Smokehouse or something like that… I believe it was called kick the hell out of Ed and watch him suffer and laugh as bonks and has to walk up this terrible climb while he bonks and gets passed by people gets passed by people gets passed by people. It is at this point every last bit of gel in my pockets was consumed, every drop of water and HEED was drunk and I searched the bushes for berries…. okay that last part is made up, berries cause cancer, blisters, warts, and several other diseases. (At least that is my take on them, damn berries)

Pulling it together was difficult and I took a moment and thought that this might be where I pull the plug on the race, except that I don’t pull plugs on events, I push on until I get pulled or ….. well I don’t actually know. I have a couple DNFs but one is because the race director refused to believe I finished the race even with proof from my GPS files, and one because I had a slight breathing problem, AKA a real life asthma attack, so unless the folks pull me from the race I am moving on, one foot in front of the other, walk fool walk. It took a bit of time for the gel to actually enter my system and my brain finally began to wake up, my legs felt better and I saw one guy turn his bike around and begin to head off the trail for a DNF. At this point I pointed out his bike was pointed the wrong way, urged him to follow the fat guy up the hill, reminded him the descent couldn’t be too far off and Aid 3 was very, very close. Aside from the fat guy bit, it was all not true, I had no clue where the peak of this climb was, I had no idea where Aid 3 was and maybe he needed to stop, but he turned around and followed me up the climb. At the top, it felt like hours, I jumped on my bike and promptly crashed and landed on my head. That woke me up quick fast. That crash got my body back in gear and I ripped down the descent into Aid 3 and felt almost brand new, almost as if I hadn’t ridden 45 miles.

At Aid 3 I had three little bitty cups of cokes, grabbed my personal gel flasks thanked everyone and jumped on the bike and off I went quickly. Lets not waste time talking, lets ride. Now I will let you guys (yeah nobody has read all of this) take a break and finish off 4-finish tomorrow.