Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cohutta report

The first 100 mile race is in the books for '07 and I am satisfied with the experience but it has left me with yearning to return to correct a few missteps. That's what hundie's are all about..making decisions and seeing how they play out while you torture yourself for half a day. Coming into this I knew the pro field would be untouchable, guys like Tinker, Eatough, Hendershot and Price would slip away from the start leaving us quasi-pro's (all due respect) to duke it out for top twenty...and that's what I was satisfied with..some good competition.
After the first hour of low winding single track, which was incredible! (nothing like it here in the northeast) the course broke onto jeep roads that pitched upward and we got some views of the Tennessee/Georgia boarder. Rolling with a solid crew. Chatting with Jeff W (who was showing his race experience, looking strong and pulling the group every chance he got) Garth P was there, that guy is a crackup..Colin Izzard was looking comfortable in the train and the solo goat was there too, along with Eddie O (who would soon make a wise decision to take it down a notch & leave us).
For a time I was happy. We were 30-35 miles into the race at a heightened but comfortable pace, friendly conversation was in the air, team work among virtual strangers. This is what I was there to do. Ride with some guys I had mad respect for and see how it played out...Wham! I was down in a corner, skipping across the gravel at skin abrading speed. Fuck! Before I could remove my hands from the bars my shoulder contacted the ground along with my helmet. The train of guys slowed for an instant to avoid colliding with my jettison body as I heard Garth say.."I thought we talked about this" referring to a previous conversation of how it would suck to go down on the gravel road. Jeff dropped back from the group and slowed for a sec hoping I'd jump back and latch on..but I was busy straightening my seat and assessing the urgency of fluids escaping my body. I was OK. Time to roll but never to bridge up to the train. I was now in no man's land.
At aid 4 Harvey and I spoke briefly while urinating behind the sag. I ate a cpl things but was slowly heading to bonkville. Harvey left fired up to catch Eddie O who was only minutes off into the flat section. I could not get fired up or head out with Mr Minton. That stupid fall really kicked me in the junk but if I only knew what a hellish fall Thom P suffered I might have just shook it off.
Between Aid 4 and 5 I was in the doldrums of lethargy. No will to power the climbs, spinning to survive, if the sag wagon came along I'd happily collapse inside. God damn it why did I go out so hard. There are no do-overs. Got to take this one as a lesson and comeback.
I rolled into 5 and a hush fell over the support crew as I nearly fell off my bike reaching for a banana. I ate everything in my drop bag and more. My aim was now to rally remembering (from last year) the final single track climb after aid 6 forced me to eat and eat and eat.
I was rejuvenated at last and finished strong, holding on to my precious 24th place and beating my last year's time by over 30 minutes. Congrats to everyone that did this one, I'll never say that this race was an easy day in the saddle again.

Monday, April 23, 2007

cohutta 100

The short version:
Good people, good times, spectacular single track to start the race, Weather could not have been better, raced with some quality people, got beat by 23 of them, 1 high speed crash (but nothing like Thom's), 1 prolonged bonk, 1 comeback from the depths of the pain cave, 1 large smile crossing the finish line, 1 totally awful hamburger post race, 4 trips to the hot tub before leaving the cabin.
1 large lesson learned, when going into a 100 mile race with golden legs don't peg the HR at 171 for 50 miles and expect to hold on.
I'll be back to apply what I've learned at the Mohican. Thanks to Jeff W, Eddie and Nam 'O, Harlan, Mark E, Lauren & Harvey. A longer version of my meltdown and some cool pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Main Entry: assemblage
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: gathering
First race this Saturday. Looking forward to getting back on the bike after some nasty rain and cold conditions up here in New England. Good week to rest up due to the crap weather but I miss riding already! LETS GET IT ON! so we can all ride all day! That's what I tell myself before a big race to avoid nervousness, "we get to ride all day!"
With all the bad happenings of the world it's a fine thing to be a seemingly simple mountain biker with one goal...to beat my last year's time at the Cohutta 100.
Looks like temperatures will be near 70 degrees & sunny for the race and I'll be bearing my pale legs (with out the shielding aid of spandex) for the first time in '07. Get ready to see some pasty ashen legs Tennessee!
I won't venture to guess who will be in the top ten...going to interesting to find out. I'm just looking to survive with a smile and celebrate life with a bunch of endurance junkies. See y'all on the trail.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

break away

If I grow old and retire...
I'd like to travel long distances with a break away bike
outfitted with racks and bags and carry all that I require to be comfortable.
Time and money would be no object and the biggest concern would be
where to get the next bite to eat.

Igleheart's newest creation
equiped with stainless sliders
and built around the rohloff speed hub.
Heading down to D.C.
for lucky (and tall!) Mr. Line
to enjoy and ride.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

SL ahhs!

As I surf around the blog world from the warm and dry confines of a 7 by 14 foot office here at work (affectionately known as the cave) it's pouring outside. Damn those weather people for being right! At least it's not snow. I woke early this morning, jonesing to get some spin time on my new set of wheels. Rain was forecasted to start falling at 7 so I got out at 6 for a dry hour of singletrack.
Mounted up a set of Kenda Karma 1.95's and inflated to 40 psi (higher than normal, didn't want a repeat of Lynn Tuesday) The verdict on the wheels...they roll! That's what they're supposed to do right? No seriously, they are some sweet spinners. Big thanks go out to Jamie at Western Cycle for allowing yet another high-end mountain bike component to be within my financial reach. My old race wheelset started to give up the ghost with some strange sounding twanging and loud clicking so it was time for a replacement.
I've yet to see if these wheels allow the 99th mile of a 100 mile race with less pain...but who cares!..they sure are purdy!
I took advantage of the 2 year warranty offered by Mavic mp3.. their motto on the warranty is "ride it like you stole it".....thanks, I think I will.

Need a laugh today? head over to swobo's site and check out "how to avoid a bummer life"
Props to Igleheart for recomending..got a good chuckle out of it.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I see a trend here!

The year was '99 or 2000 when I was first introduced "it"...
I remember the experience like it was yesterday.
I was at work, a co-worker said "hey, think of something you want to buy and I'll find it online!" I replied instantly (and thought I had him stumped)...
"A Warn threespeed overdrive for a 1953 Willys wagon!"
Within one minute he had found an auction for that overdrive.
And within a few days I was the owner of a fully functional (and hard to find) fifty year old planetary gearbox that would propel all steel wagon to highway speeds. oh joy!
Logically the next item I bought was better brakes to slow my all steel wagon...again from ebay.
Since that day ebay changed my life, and maybe yours (and the world economy).
It enabled you and me to pocket some loot, unclutter the basement,
buy anything from anywhere, have it delivered, while holding the seller accountable. "It" also created an entirely new portal for scams and harassing email.
It is now a 700 pound gorilla among 600 pound gorillas.
It has spawned many successful offshoots, one of which is a major financial organization (paypal).
Many years ago when I created my account I thought wow, I should really buy eBay stock! (not that I am a huge investor or anything) But, I probably spent the money on bike parts (and rent) instead. In hindsight It is responsible for pumping the stock prices of usps, fedex, ups, dhl, end every delivery service probably including bike couriers...no, I don't own any of those either.
But when companies get too big and complicated (and expensive to use) they lose the cool factor.
" jump the shark" so to speak.

Has ebay warn out it's welcome with high fees and utter complication?
Maybe, at least with some mountain bike bloggers.
Tinker's bypassing the auction site.
So is Dave Harris, but then again he's just giving his shit away.
Anybody need a set of tubeless mavic 3.1 wheels? or a Thompson 100mm 5 degree stem?
I got both and don't need'em.
I trade for beer.

Here's one that you don't see everyday.
Video doesn't do this line justice (they never do)
But it's my friend Jared aka mr tough guy-no shirt!
He found out where the "G" in G spot was.

Friday, April 06, 2007

tracing the coast

What force pulls me near the ocean for solo road rides... Maybe gravity. Could be childhood memories. Most certainly it's the views of rocky beaches and the sound and smells of the crashing waves. But also it's the salty towns along the shore that a cyclist can weave the back roads and off the beat places that you normally wouldn't go because it's just out of the way.
The ocean serves as the perfect guide for a cycling route, you can get lost but the premise is simple...just keep the ocean to one side and pedal for hours. Although I did get turned about face for a moment or two while navigating northward toward home. No worries, found a hill to ride up and took a look around and got back on course.
This guy looks about as desperate for big waves as I am for big miles.

Monday, April 02, 2007

more rides, less junk

Numerous riding options this weekend, maybe too many. I would have liked to fit a few more rides in but there's only soo much time in a day and my legs could only handle a certain number of revolutions before I thought my shins may pop threw the tops of my knee caps.
A group of about fourty on Saturday's CCB group ride, up to Kingston NH and back to Topsfield. Rode home with Skip J from 'round the block. He had a great break-away sprint at the final town line. I couldn't hang on, my timing sucked. Lots to learn in the road sprint dept. I'll stick to mountain bike racing thanks.
Surprisingly the trails were dry on Sunday. Some deep mud holes but erosion not much of an issue. The ground still frozen in spots helped but it'll get worse before getting better - that's what spring is all about. Sunday, my legs felt the efforts of the previous day while chasing around some fast guys who Barry accurately referred to as the north-shore's all stars...Seaside Cycle.
Mark led the crew on a much needed clean-up the trails mission in Greenwood. Hauling out old truck tires and beer cans. Before leaving the woods we stumbled across a campfire that threatened to burn down the woods. I'm glad to see that kids are still partying in the woods and not just playing video games all night but really guys, piss on the fire when ya run out of pabst please..
And last but not least...is there going to be an additional bike riding fanatic moving to the north shore soon?