Friday, June 30, 2006

maybe next year

Man, I wanted to do this race... more of an epic ride with friends than a race event. Kerry, have a blast and kick some booty.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Freaky weather weekend.

Hindsight is twenty-twenty right?...maybe next time I'm faced with a weather related decision to ride or not to ride I should just go for it and hope for the best. Turns out I could have gotten away with the northern epic but who knows? Went with a gut decision...was probably for the best.
Anyway, we laid down a good loop today (in the warm sun under blue skies!!)...woke up with my head ringing at the crack of dawn with a slight hang-over and music stuck in my head from last night's bar-room concert. Les and I had a good time listening to some rockin tunes and ejoyed great food. Thankfully I was alternating between beer, water, beer after 11:00pm.
This a.m. I packed up the subbie and drove an hour and a half north through rain and fog to Brad's near Wolfborow NH. 15 minutes from Bev's house the clouds burned off and the sun beamed down! Whoo hoo!
Our ride got underway at 9:30 after filling some bottles with S.E. and lime Heed..I set Brad up with some of the frothy potion. Three scoops S.E. and 2 heed is quite tasty...milkshake like, best when chased with water for sure.
Roads were busy but in good shape for the most part. Couple helmetless NH motor cyclists thought it would be cool to hammer the throttle and show off their loud pipes as they blasted past. Brad had a good come back to a guy in a lifted F250. He roared past with just a trailer in tow (no boat, just trailer) and pinned the throttle 2 feet from Brad...Bev raises his hand and displays a one inch gap between his thumb and forefinger referring to the size of the driver's penis...good one Brad...the driver definently saw him.

Best part of the ride: rt 11b. Climb to Gunstock ski hill and the halfway point in the ride. I had my heartrate pinned in the 180's for miles and some how it felt good?

That's about when a song came into my head, part of a song. Iron Maiden - run to the hills. Never been much of a Maiden fan, just like when the lead guy screams "Run to the for your lives! I was going to figure out how to embed the song in the blog but that's just a bit overboard.

64 miles in 3:27. few good climbs, fast decents. Average 18.5, max 41mph. good ride for both of us.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Rain, rain, go away

I had to skip the road epic due to heavy rain. Not exactly over-joyed with the current weather situation here in the north-east. Looking out the window I see sheets of water falling from the sky. A road loop is not out of the question but should be. My mother was elated to hear I was canceling the trek up to camp. She could relax knowing I wouldn't be a road pizza somewhere on rt 236 in Maine.
Instead, here I sit infront of my computer, with two bored dogs at my feet, drinking massive amounts of caffeine attempting to kick-start my somber mood.
Hoping Sunday is a little better than today, but weather predictions say otherwise. Tentative plan is to drive north and hook up with Brad for a soggy loop 'round the's always more fun to ride in the rain with someone else and share the suffering.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Northern road epic

Getting geared up for 'solo epic Saturday'. 100 miles of road grinding. Meeting Lesli at my parents camp near Mt. Chocorua for a night of relaxation after what I hope is an epic day in the saddle.
Merlin needs a touch of maintenance before I hit the road, new rear tire, new brake pads..plan on packing a spare tube, tire, tools, water,food and a spare shirt, rain gear...but going pretty light. Got my GPS loaded with waypoints and printed maps on some cool water-proof paper just incase technology fails me.

Being a solo effort, conservative route to the north-country is the way to go. Starting at sea-level and cruising up the coast (rt1a) for 40 miles to Kittery Maine..turning inland on rt 236 (sea to summit triathlon route) to Berwick, Lebanon, and Wakefield NH. Then the final 20 miles on good 'ol sucky rt 16.

I'll have the option to ride up rt 153 through Effingham and eliminate the 20 mile stretch of rt 16 (just cause I like the name f'n ham!) Hope the weather holds out and I have time. I'd much rather stay off rt 16 if I can.

Rain predicted for Sunday therefore a round trip is doubtful but let's see how the legs feel!

Checking the road loops up north has gotten me fired up for more road epics and hopefully some group road rides with Jeff, Brad, Ken and Daren.. Might be a bit too late for Hulrey to join in, Good luck with life out west and your new job engineering slot we'll hear that you've struck it rich with the one-armed bandits right?
The mountain roads through Effingham, Parsonsfield, and Cornish look like fun (and pain)
Hope to get up there for a big loop this summer.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Two words; Lynn Sucks! I've found no good way to pedal to Logan yet but still trying. This is yesterday's commute mostly on Rt. 107 through Lynn and Salem. I tried out Revere beach Pkwy and Rt 1a last week but the 1.5 mile stretch of the Lynnway north of Point of Pines (Revere) is death waiting to happen.
Thunder storms predicted for later today have kept me from pedaling's not the threat of getting soaked or struck by lightning that scares's the possibility of zero visibility for drivers running my ass over that I'm worried about!
That reminds me- heard some bad news for the Brauss yesterday. Seems that jeff was riding his fixed gear in Salem the other night and got run-over by a hit and run driver! Broken ribs, collar bone, torn rotator cuff and totally screwed summer! Sorry to hear 'bout that. Karma can be a bitch. Hope it wasn't Jonny Miller seeking revenge. Kidding Jeff. Glad to see your alive..hope you were wearing a helmet...but I doubt it.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

July Races

July is a busy race month

July 8th-All out in Moody Park DH and XC - two events, two different bikes.
July 9th - 6 hour of power

July 15 and 16 - Pat's Peak 24 - am I out of my mind for wanting to complete a solo 24 two weeks before Jay? Lighten the VT for the 24 hour race? do the 12 hour race again but this time on the Igleheart?

July 22 and 23- 24 hours of Killington - this would be a good one but falls to close to Jay 65

July 30th- Jay 60 - or now called the Jay 65 ? This is the race that beat me down to the fetal position in 2003 and the reason for training this year.

It's too bad the Wilderness 101 falls on July 29th...maybe next year.

But I am in for the Shenandoah 100 in September.

Now two ugly pictures, one worse than the other.

Unknown rider enjoying a mud bath at NS Classic last weekend
courtesy of mtb mind

A.P.'s broken elbow.
But I'm sure your girlfiends are looking after you.

All Zip-tied up! Stay off the skateboard for a while...

Big weekend for a few friends:

Good luck Jason at the Hard Core 24, Jeff at Mount Snow- Kick ass!
and Alex at the Lumberjack 100!

Monday, June 12, 2006

NS Classic

Mud, Mud and more Mud! I was surprised that the race even happened because it had rained for so many days leading up to Sunday. I learned that Nemba fest was cancelled due to soggy conditions at Wompituck state park and thought for sure that paved the way for efta to cancel the race at Bradley Palmer...Thankfully not.
I peddled down to BP early Sunday morning to warm up and scope out the race. Met up with Roz at the Luna tent and proceeded to eat 10 mini luna bars for breakfast. Went out for a slow loop 'round the course to check out the new stretch of single track volunteers made for the was a greatly needed section to eliminate a washed-out downhill - the new section rocks! Dumps out at the Ipswich river dam with a tough corner to a small grunting climb. Thanks to the volineers I'll have a sweet new section to rock on my morning loop...nice.
Huge turn out for this race...saw more racers than at any efta event...ever. Must have been 250-300 racers at the start. Would have been a disaster to mass start everyone, so the Pro's went off first with 2 minutes between categories. Huge Expert field. Don't know how many guys in my cat.
The expert class got underway with a sprint for 10 minutes. The pace slowed on a muddy climb and I was able to catch my breath. We dove into the new single track and I was having a blast! Was glad I pre-rode the course and knew about the climb by the dam..dumped it down to the granny and made the climb passing a few guys. Up into the 1st grassy field, cruising along I decided to pass on the right and got a bush caught in my derailuer...won't pass in the high grass again.
After the first 7.5 mile loop things were going better than expected. I had made a bunch of passes and was in good position. I Felt great.. then a flat tire! How is it that I have raced two 100 miler's this year and no flats- and in my own back yard get a flat? Oh well, I didn't dwell on the situation. Had a tube, made the swap, two co2 cartridges filled it back to 40 psi...three minutes lost...big deal.
The next two laps were increasingly muddy. My front tire found one mud hole that was three feet deep! It added a challenge for all the riders and was a good way to level the field. I was running a front fender to keep my face and eyes clear of the end I was clean from the neck up.
I saw Thom Parson's and Skip Brown finish the pro category one after the other. Thom put in a HUGE effort this race. Wish I had a camera to capture that image of the two muddy single speeders coming across the line, totally encased in mud from head to toe. Skip had several inches of glistening thick mud on his chest and shoulders and Thom's face was completely speckled with only his eyes and teeth showing. Good job going balls out!
I didn't stick around for the results, I think I came in mid pack with the experts...but will be checking later this week when the results are posted on-line.

Got together with the crank racing team after the race for some burgers and free beer for Ipswich Brewery!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Muddy weekend coming

It's been raining all week! Lots of relaxing, not alot of biking. Got back on my racing hardtail Thursday after I gave it a good wash and was surprised everything worked, fork, gears, brakes, drivetrain. Hell, there was so much Ohio mud stuck on it I couldn't tell what color it was. Just need to lube the shift cables and it'll be ready to slog through s'more mud at the N.S. Classic happening 3 miles from our house! Nice, don't have to drive 10 hours to race this weekend! Brad is spinning down from NH and a bunch of crankers are due to attend what is going to be an epic mud fest.

Somewhere on you can find real-time reporting of results of 24 hours of big bear.

I'll be watching (if I can find the link) and rooting for Kerry Combs' women's expert team - representing Shenandoah Mountain Touring and Buck aka Brian Keich and his buddy Mike Carpenter's (Tour da Burg "director") duo team. Go I.F. !!

Anybody need a new bike? There's no doubt that some young Canadian downhiller is drooling over the opportunity to grab this bike for cheap $$. I love ebay!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Mohican 100 report

Mountain biking may just be the best thing to ever happen to me. I met my wife 10 years ago while mountain biking, (our 4th wedding anniversary is tomorrow) and the majority of my friends are comprised of mountain bikers. This weekend I met a few more people that fall in to the mountainbiker-friend category...

Jeff arranged for transport (mooched a ride for me) to the Mohican 100 via the Seven Cycles team van. We met up on Thursday afternoon at the Seven Cycles factory and was introduced to Skip Brown...super nice guy, legendary powerhouse mountain bike racer...and driver of the 14 passenger cargo van. Soon there after Kerry Combs (24 hour and endurance specialist for I.F.) arrived, along with Tiffany Mann (Skip's gf and super-fast I.F. racer) and Thom Parsons (I.F. single speeder and comedian). We packed six bikes, coolers and camping gear in the back of the bus and loaded in for an 8 hour cruise to Buck's house in Harrisburg Pa. Buck was friendly enough to let us crash Friday night at his place where we stayed up late watching videos of the 2005 single speed world championships (where buck was tattooed for winning the sswc! that's hard core!)
Buck riding his longboard home after devouring a huge breakfast Saturday morning.

We arrived at Mohican State Park in one piece (thanks to Skip and his skills behind the wheel, we survived a near crash exiting the highway in a rain storm somewhere in Pa.) on Saturday evening and met up with Harvey Minton (I.F. endurance racer) and checked in for the race.

It had rained for 3 or 4 days leading up to the race..Luckily the bad weather was heading east and the skys were clearing. Unfortunately the course was going to be muddy...The race started out with the 175 entrants traveling down the road in a two mile rolling start to a dam and from there it was on! We launched into the single track on a super fast pace. We rode on an extremely slippery, off chamber, thin brown ribbon of trail for the first 26 miles! The mud was super slick, best described as 4 inch deep wet talcum powder. I took two big crashes while cornering but didn't get too banged around till we hit the river. I was riding near another I.F. rider-sully (yes, there was a sea of green on the Mohican course) when I took a swim after attempting to ride a tight technical section and got owned.

From what I could tell I was somewhere in the top ten, riding along with a Cannondale rider at mile 26 when the trail ended at a campground...and when I say ended I mean ended...I frantically looked around for Mohican 100 course arrows but saw none. Spun down the road and concluded that some jerk must have removed the markers from the campground. 10 minutes of searching and now I am surrounded by a bunch of familiar faces and we're all lost.

Now about 15 of us peddling around the stupid campground aimlessly when Garth Prosser emerges from the woods and directs us straight up a 300 foot hike-a-bike climb to get back on course. Oh well, shit happens! Who ever did remove those markers it's a good thing we didn't catch you doing it...your mother would probably not recognize you after we got threw with ya!

Jeff and I (now reunited) pedal on, trying to regroup and shake out the mishap and hit up sag 1 for some fluids. Soon were flying along muddy double tracks and crossing streams again. The course takes us on big road climbs and on open country roads. It was about that time that we met up with Alex. We biked together from mile 26 to about 52 when my legs start giving me signals to slow the pace...seems that I hammered the road portions a bit too hard and didn't properly hydrate. It was time to spin slower and drink up so I said bye bye to Jeff and Alex, they disappeared in the single track.

I concentrated on drinking and eating my way back into the race. Spinning with my heart rate somewhere around 150's. Now on rural country roads, being passed by horse and buggy carts - weird, you just don't see that stuff in Massachusetts. I was looking at the driver of one buggy when I missed a left hand turn. Went up two miles and decided to turn around after not seeing a ribbon or an arrow for a while. Lots of concentration needed while out on the open roads, no more day-dreaming or I'll miss another turn!

Skip passed me on a flat double track like I was standing still at about mile 67. What was he doing behind me? Later he told me he had trouble with his chain a bunch of times.

I stopped in to sag 3 (mile 70?) for water and a banana and talked briefly to Harvey and Thom. They both were looking strong. They left and I continued eating and drinking. I ran into Harvey a bit later when we were confronted with a no-trespassers sign. Infact it said no bikes allowed, $500 fine?? But the course markers pointed that way so we gave it a go and were right...maybe the race officials should have put a mohican 100 sticker on the sign?

At sag four I met back up with Thom on his ss. We started together on the final 11 miles of single track. My legs were beat down and my body didn't want to play any longer. Thom dropped me early on the twisty climbing switch backs. I spun a slow pace in...looking back now I should have eaten some pb+j's at sag 4 when I had the chance...oh well...learn from that mistake.

The race was soon over. I believe I got 10th in the geared mountain bike devision and 15th overall but official results aren't out yet. I had a hell of a time and will be looking for a few long adventures before hopefully tearing up the Jay Challenge in late July.

Now some pics...
Kerry, Harvey,Sully,Thom,Jeff,Harlan,Tiffany,Andy
I didn't see too much of Harlan as he proceeded to kick the hell out of the race for the win!

Tiffany and Skip

Kerry looking on while Jeff and Alex show off their loot

me and Jason (aka soiled chamois)