Sunday, February 28, 2010

CIRREM recap

was thinking about taking the slacker way out and just linking adam's race recap from this year's cirrem since we rode pretty much the entire race together. but i guess i'm above that...barely.

three times as many racers, gorgeous weather, rocket fast start. kept looking at my speed and refusing to look at my heart rate cause i knew i was well beyond what i had planned and i wasn't able to pull myself back and chill out. the lead group was gone quickly and people started to settle in when i found myself rolling along with squirrel who was also riding fixed. different setups but seemed that we had very similar gear ratios so riding together was comfortable. eventually we caught sight of a bigger group and decided to work together to latch on and get pulled along for a bit. i pulled for a bit then squirrel put in a big pull and we were on with mg, kyle, fuhrman, adam and a few others. the group was moving comfortably when we hit a decent hill and adam and i took the lead without realizing or attempting to pull away from the group. when we got to the top and looked back we had put a bit of a gap on them. with some serious indecision we decided to keep moving at our pace rather than slowing up and waiting for the group to share the work load. andy from ankeny was able to bridge up and push with us and eventually mike from cedar falls did as well although he didn't seem to be able to hang on after what must have been a tough solo effort to grab onto our threesome. adam and i collectively decided to bypass the water station halfway, both unsure if we had enough fluid to finish but wanting to increase our lead on the group chasing us. the three of us worked together and pushed hard and slowly worked past a couple riders that appeared to have been blown off the lead group and left to fend for themselves. about 15 miles out i was getting rocked by some rollers on the fixie and the gravels were really starting to soften up and demand far more effort. rationing the water may have been a bad decision as adam started to fight a couple cramps. i told andy i was gonna slow up to give my legs a break and let adam catch back on and that he should go on if he felt up to it. he continued on still looking fairly strong. adam and i hooked back up and it became obvious if we held a decent pace we wouldn't have to kill ourselves on the climbs and most likely no one would be catching us. about 8 miles out we got out of the headwind and cruised in to the finish. completely worked.

stats: 1st fixed, 4hr30min, 90min faster than last year, 14+mph, 146 avg hr (yikes), 4 gus, 15 slices bacon, 40oz carborocket, ran out of fluids with about 10 miles left, about 10 candy orange slices, free beer, awesome handmade trophy from squirrel, $50 gift certificate to scheels will most likely be going toward a new bikecamping tent, got to see TONS of friends i haven't seen in a while...want to drop names but so many people i would undoubtedly leave some out. awesome day, thrilled with how the body held up despite pushing much harder than planned out of the gates. a few recovery days then finalizing plans for the std.

huge thanks to kent and jed for throwing this party again. hopefully they'll get it figured out for next year despite the obvious increase in numbers and presumable increase again next year. congrats to kent on a super strong ride, jed for riding back from an early flat, bill had a great race, mg pushing through an illness and early morning drive, nick pushing a pugsley and matt pushing a studded 29er. thanks to adam for keeping the whole thing lighthearted despite the silence that began to creep in around mile 50 when we both started to hurt.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

catching up again

really hoping this doesn't become habit only posting once a week but still haven't figured out the internet situation at home so until then this is what i've got.friday morning brought an awesome pugsley ride with jeff with a solid mix of snowmobile trails and groomed xc ski trails. note: ski trails were not harmed. we didn't touch the classical tracks and the skating area had firmed up enough we were barely leaving tread patterns in the snow. that and the walkers had rutted it out so bad we should be the least of anyone's concern.
friday afternoon brought a beautiful drive through the backcountry roads of winneshiek and allamakee counties scouting and doing final recon on the saturday century for std.
sunday was larsson's birthday party at the roller skating rink. lots of chaos and plenty of opportunities for disaster but all went well. he got to open a few gifts sunday night and showed off his engineering skills with some star wars legos.
monday morning headed out for some snowmobile trails around vernon springs in cresco. this is about as close as you'll get to mountain biking around here in the winter. rolling, wooded terrain with snow conditions that require a certain level of bike handling skills. awesome stuff. only because i'm really smart did i decide to play volleyball monday night. which became a double header. which became pissed off knees and a reminder of my rotator cuff issue. tuesday morning took off with a group of high-end roadies on lightweight geared carbon weapons for 50+ miles of gravel. yes, i was on a single speed. yes, i got completely worked. yes, i slept very well that night.
tuesday night brought larsson's birthday dinner (almost had him talked into mexican but in the end he chose mcdonald's), more gifts and some more lego work. dude doesn't like cake so he got a cinnamon roll with six candles this morning for breakfast. final bike work today preparing for cirrem, riding friday fixed to make sure everything's dialed, suffering to begin at 10a.m. saturday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

std recon and cirrem training

considering cirrem is only a week and a half away and i hastily decided one day to ride it fixed, it seemed like a good idea to get in my first ride fixed in a very long time today. also made sense to start checking out parts of the std century that i've never actually seen. temps were up and so was the sun which worked up a serious sweat, unfortunately the wind was up as well and that turned the sweat into a bad thing. rode about the first third of the century before breaking off the route and heading home, finishing with about 40 miles. of the parts i hadn't ridden before...gonna have some raging fast/fun downhills, pretty good climbs, and as of today i even had to walk some due to the snow drifting. all in all very pleased with this section of the route but definitely realizing that if we have this many hills in the first third of the route we're gonna be feeling it by the end.
got pretty good windburn but the legs felt pretty good in general and starting to feel stronger overall. not bad timing with cirrem next weekend, std a few weeks after that and transiowa in two and a half months. about time i got my shit together.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

birthday ride recap

plan: 5 riders. lots of snow recently so snowmobile trails are out. meet at bar. ride 15 miles gravel to a bar with food. eat. drink. ride 15 miles back possibly stopping through jam night on our way back.

seemed simple. the plan, however, did not include high winds and unrideable gravels with foot-and-a-half deep drifts all the way across them. thus, no one packed food and this began to hurt. planned bar was closed, alternate bar was closed, convenience store was closed. lost one rider to a full-blown bonk with no food options available. the other four continued back. ended up an almost three and a half hour trip to travel approximately 30 miles with about half of that being on pavement. no food, high winds, lots of snow, dark, cold and a couple of stops to polish off the beer we'd brought along with some cherry brandy, firewater, and jager. finally found an open bar in town with chips and salsa, more beer and peanuts. pretty good beatdown for what should have been a casual gravel tour on my birthday. i suppose we're better for it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

catching up

so...due to events beyond my control i am now without internet at the apt and life/work/riding has been to busy for me to get to the bar and using their wireless as an excuse to drink until today. being my birthday and all it seemed reasonable enough to head to the bar fairly early today.
pugsley build was finished on thursday and i was able to get a good ride in on it friday and sunday. its an absolute riot and already worth the money spent on it. future posts will probably include a detailed spec for the sake of laughing at the semi-ghetto build. saturday brought the annual barnelopet kids xc ski "race" and a 14+ hour day at work. sunday night was the necessary super bowl watching and the first 140 of 800ish jello shots being made for this weekend's party at the bar. oh, and my birthday celebration which pretty much ruined any chance of me being functional or productive yesterday.
however many inches of snow being dumped on us over the past 24 hours has made the decision for tonight's group ride pretty easy...pugsley on gravel about 15 miles to a bar. eventually return. not a bad plan for a birthday ride.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

rethinking success and failure

adam's got a pretty good write-up of yesterday's ride. short version is we headed out for a gravel metric and came up about 8 miles short ending around 54 miles in around 5 hours. it was cold, much colder and windier than expected. other than the second triple d i'm pretty sure this is the first time i've planned to ride a metric and "failed". as we were riding back in and discussing how close we'd be and whether or not we could ride around town to finish up the metric i mentioned something about failing which led to a pretty interesting conversation. we had planned to ride at least 62 miles and didn't. that's what we didn't do. here's what we DID do...rode 54 miles of gravel slightly underprepared for how nasty the cold and wind were. we rode into the dark and felt the bottom drop out of the temperature even when riding with the wind. we ate a lot, talked and laughed a lot and got in 5 solid hours of riding on a day when most people probably chose to sit inside and watch t.v. we laughed at aaron's comment about needing a full epic set-up to ride with us, then laughed again when we realized he was right (though he unfortunately wasn't able to make it for the ride). i learned that poptarts don't freeze. i laughed at adam having a pretty deep conversation with some turkeys while i got my bacon and orange slices situated, suffered from my worst case of frozen feet since the first year of triple d and adam brought me my new pugsley wheels he just finished building. yeah, we didn't ride 62 miles. but we didn't fail either. perspective...

Monday, February 1, 2010

getting caught up and some serious bike love

definitely got in some awesome ride time in the last week. tuesday night's group ride turned out to be just trevor, jeff and i and we completely hammered some raging fast snowmobile trails. the rain has frozen over the surface of the snow and we were riding on top just crushing it. friday brought a mid-day mission with jeff. i can honestly say i watched a unicorn ride a pugsley and it has absolutely nothing to do with a new sub-culture of sexual deviancy. we actually rode a good deal of our singletrack as it was in the same condition as the snowmobile trails. he was on his new pug and i was pushing my jabber with a 32x16 gear and actually climbed in the rollercoaster and up the rocky road without a dab. that's a bigger gear than i ride in the summer and i still cleaned it. through pines east then down gunnar and out onto the road. took the gravel uphill then rode the snowmobile trails all the way back around town before calling it a day. the jabber in triple d mode was a champ in these conditions. yesterday brought what might be the last day of these conditions as the snow is falling right now and they'll probably soften up a bit. which is perfect timing with tomorrow's Operation Fatty McFat-Fat Metric with adam and aaron. pretty much just an excuse to pick up my new pugsley wheelset which means wednesday will finish the build in time to ride the now-softer snowmobile trails.

today brought the first serious day of bike love in a LONG time. the winter months had taken their toll on both the jabber and the fisty. geared fisty donated pedals to ss/fixie fisty which donated pedals to pugsley while jabber lost its pedals to lots of miles and a questionable one-year warranty policy form xpedo (new pedals for jabber should have arrived this afternoon...not xpedo). jabber got its low-tread speed tires (nano/weirwolf) back since the pugsley will handle snow duties from now on and a 17t boone cog as i'm planning to try to push 32x17 around decorah this year instead of last year's 18t. the boone was donated from fisty which got a 16t to match the 16t fixed tomicog so no more messing with the brakes everytime i flip the wheel. jabber also got its bottle cages back and gave up the flask cage to the pug. both bikes got much needed baths and the fisty got set up for tomorrow's mission as well as the expectation that cirrem will suck ass weather-wise again. it got its seat pack back, a feed bag, light, moose mitts and is now rocking a 42c rear tire and a full 2.1 nano up front. 3 hours of sideways hail and peanut butter conditions watching the mtbs ride away at cirrem last year won't be an issue this year. that and choosing to ride it with brother adam this year means riding fixed and comfortable rather than trying to force it into race-mode. took it out on gravels today with the new tire set up and a 37x16 freewheel gearing...absolutely loved it. oh, and it got a new bottom bracket since i trashed yet another one of those with winter gravel riding. travis even had a custom ano'd blue one sitting around and i no longer feel like i'm pulling a sled from the drag in the bearings.

feels good to have the bikes dialed again. probably a result of getting the new race schedule put together. clean bikes are happy bikes and happy bikes make me want to ride them more. lots and lots of training on the agenda for the next few months.
fisty's new monster truck look...whole lot of fun