Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Man With No Bike Shoes

Un...(wait for it)...Believable!
For the last few Thanksgivings, the mtb brother duo of Mark and Jack have lead a series of rides over the Thanksgiving Holiday.  The first ride (on Thanksgiving day) was going to cover two trails of Old Reedy Creek rd (ORC); let's just call them the rocky trail and the numbered trail.  I show up motivated to ride hard as I have put on a few lbs and am eager to start burning calories.  I get the bike ready, helmet on etc.  Oh wait, where the %#&* are my shoes?  You Have Got To Be Kidding Me!!!  Left them on the garage floor.  I look down at the Crocks on my feet and say outloud, "My ride is over."  Fortunately, Alex H. was willing to let me wear his kick around shoes (black leather, lace ups with rounded toe...think Popeye shoes).  They were a half size to big, and the thought of using these regular shoes on my SPD's was a bit daunting, but whatever. 
Now the rocky trail is one of the toughest in our area with many endo causing roots, rocks and holes.  All the leaf cover did not help either, but thanks to some strategic cyclocross like moves, I was able to make it through the 6+ mile course, albeit with very fatigued feet/legs as the shoes did not stay on the SPD pedals well causing major supination (opposite of pronation, duh).  After 6 more miles of the more flowy numbered trail, my feet had, enough.  We went through a couple river crossings and the wet rubber soled shoes did not want to stay on the wet SPD's so I short cutted it ~2 miles out to give me ~14.6 miles of riding.  Finished the ride almost 4 hrs ago and the feet/ankles are still sore.  I'm thinking I will remember my shoes next time.

Happy Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Finding Time to Ride

I just don't want this to be me!
It is getting more and more difficult finding time to ride.  With my daughter breaking her arm and needing surgery, work expecting more (while paying less), the house needing a lot of upkeep/repairs and spending time with the family, ride time is difficult to come by.  Still, the plan is to get a good ride in during the week (likely at Harris Lake) and one good ride on the weekend (mostly at the Umstead area trails).  Add that with two or three commutes to work on the single-speed road bike and hopefully I can keep from getting fat and keep from losing endurance, all the while keeping warm while riding in freezing temps.  Yikes, I may have to do something desperate, like break out the trainer!!! :o


Monday, November 14, 2011

Birthday/Veterans Day Weekend

What a way to start a weekend.  A night ride at Harris Lake, followed by hanging out at "My Way Tavern" in Holly Springs with Ben, Chris and Brandon.  Enjoyed suckin' down beer n' brats while watching the Raiders beat the Chargers on Thursday night.  Along with some family time I also took a state teaching exam (boring, but necessary), had a rack of ribs, and went for yet another bike ride.  The last ride was over some fantastic single-track in N.Raleigh with Kelly, Jeff and Jay.  Good times with the three F's, Family, Friends and Food...doesn't get any better than that!
It was a magical birthday as the ribs and beer simply disappeared!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

2011 18 Hour Scouts Honor Race.

Not sure why I signed up for this event.  I think because I did well at the Burn, I wanted to see if I could replicate that result.  Unfortunately, attending this event meant missing Escape from Dark Mtn. and the Fat Tire Festival.  Still, I was excited to do something different.
The venue was amazing.  I drove up with Matt (36er guy) and we decided to arrive Friday night and get a preride lap in.  We were amazed to find that we were the only ones there.  The place was deserted.  We started checking out the facilities and ended up scaring the beejeezus out of one of the race directors when we peeked into the restrooms (oops).
So, we find our teepee lodging (a wooden teepee, no buffalo hides), unpack and get ready to ride ~9pm.  Don't know how or when it happened, but ~2.5 miles into our wet, mucky preride, I hear a click-click-click.  I have heard that sound before...broken spoke on my Mavic C29SSMAX.  End of preride.

After getting back to the teepee I called a couple guys that I knew were arriving the next day to beg for a rear wheel.  This is what is so great about the mtb community here: I called two people, and as it ended up, three guys were willing to bring me a rear wheel.  I took Kelly K. up on his offer of a Bontrager Duster (or was it Mustang) and the relaxed for a very, very cold nights sleep.

Lets get to the race.
First two laps were fairly uneventful.  I really like the course, however, it was wet, the roots were slippery, and it made the legs feel heavy.  Lap three I went down three times, no injuries, just low speed falls due to slippery roots and pedals too tight...I started walking a few sections just to stay safe.  I loosened the pedals and headed out for lap 4, averaging ~1:03 to 1:05 a lap over ~8.5 miles.  During lap 4 I was getting sick of constantly slipping and slogging over the course.  I had a bad slide into a tree that bruised up an already bruised shoulder, then on another low speed crash, I did not want to fall on my bruised shoulder so I put my hand down (the one I broke at Shenandoah) and that hurt.  At that point I was done.  I did not want to risk injury that might keep me off the bike for an extended period of time so I made up my mind to call it a race.  My legs actually felt great, so I picked up my pace, caught a few guys, including Brett E., who also decided to call it a race.  Since he was also on a single-speed he refused to let me pass him, and since he was nice enough to invite me up to Shenandoah, and to bring me a rear wheel, I though I would let him finish in front (though I am sure he would argue that I couldn't pass him if I wanted, but I could have!).  So, I went to the fire pit where Brett, Kelly, Jeff, Dale and others were pitting and hung out to cheer on Matt and his 36er SS solo effort.  Matt took 3rd, which is awesome, and I took last, which is embarrassing, but $#it happens.  Really I could blame this poor result on my switch to a 29er.  The bigger rim requires longer spokes which are more vulnerable to rocks, roots or just my heavy butt.  Maybe I should switch back?  What do you think?