Monday, April 30, 2012


Things are moving fast over here.  So fast that I wasn't able to ride fast on Sunday - yup, missed the race.

Life gets in the way sometimes.  We met with, and decided on, a realtor on Saturday setting in motion a whirlwind of activity before our first (and hopefully last) Open House next Sunday.  Decision time - race and risk not getting everything in order comfortably (and/or overload Annie with tasks I should be doing) or take care of what needs to be taken care of and miss the race.

It was a relatively easy (hard) decision - but it was the right one.  I skipped Massasoit on Sunday to get some door framing done, make a trip to CT to drop off some "clutter," and clean up and organize the basement back hallway aka bike area.

This afternoon the realtor will be in again to take some final notes, figure out what she wants to rearrange, what to take out, what to bring in - all that good stuff.  Wednesday cleaners will come in and clean the place top to bottom - how sweet is that??!!  And Sunday, well hopefully we'll have some offers.

Annie and I checked out an open house up the street from us - pretty comparable place listed at nearly 110k over ours!!  We thought the price difference would be based on the larger square footage and a garage space.  Come to find out the listed parking space... is rented... so not actually included with the property??  Not sure how you get away with listing that on the property (the rented space is about a block away...), but either way it makes us look even better!!!  Sure their yard space was larger, but our bedrooms and bathrooms were larger - and in my opinion, a better total layout....  Only time will tell, but the market in Southie has been looking good for sellers.

It would be nice to get this out of the way... So in the end, missing one race in order to take the next big step in our lives was a no brainer.  Sure the course looked sweet, but there is much more riding to be had.  I'll be ready for Weeping Willow, hopefully with strong legs and a clear mind/a contract on the condo!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bike Prom

Media Fridays
We'll post videos or photos that will hopefully inspire trail shredding weekends.

Prom tonight.  Prom is fun because it's crazy to see kids I see everyday wearing Carhartt, John Deere hats and work boots all covered in grease, dirt, and... manure, all dressed up.  Sometimes I don't even recognize them in their gowns or tuxs.  It's awesome. 

BUT - it also means no ride time, bummer.  If only I could combine the two....

Dunno if this will inspire actual riding... but maybe dancing??  Do a little jig for me while you are out on the trails!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I ended up pre riding yesterday... getting your place ready to sell can be kinda crazy.

The original plan was to pick up sealant yesterday, then hit up Cutler since it was right down the street.  Get the new tire on the rear and back to tubeless in the front so that today I would be able to get to Massasoit and pre ride.

Well, I got an email from my wife yesterday letting me know that our third, and final realtor candidate would be by today (Thursday) at 4:30 to check out the place.  And then our contractor who "fixed" our back door was coming by at 5:30 due to the gap in the door and the apparent water coming in now....  blah.

So looks like that means no chance for a ride.  So it was scramble time after work yesterday.  Shoot up to Newton to grab my sealant, and then head back the opposite way to get to Massasoit to get in a ride.  Then back up to Boston to make it for Trivia night.

The pre ride was good.  The first lap I stayed a little closer to the course.  The second lap I latched on to a group of riders about half way through to ensure I stuck to the course - which showed me a spot or two where I had drifted.  I still ended up with 7.33 miles - as opposed to the advertised 7.1 - so I may still have taken a turn here or there I wasn't supposed to.  But overall I like the course.  It is going to be another fast one.  And another case of wishing for rain.  It's sandy out there in spots!!  The singletrack, for the most part, is less technical and not as tight and twisty.  And it felt like there was more climbing than at Winding Trails.

My question, what is up with that last big climb???  That is insane!!  I cleared all the initial climbs - and should be fine come race time.  But that last big one is definitely a straight up hike a bike for me.  Then there is that last short one right before the descent to the finish that I may be able to make depending on if there are riders around... to get in the way and all.  So I'm "excited."  Although I'm not stoked that it doesn't look like I'll get a ride in today... and tomorrow is prom - so no ride then either.... that is no good.  Oh, and we didn't make Trivia last night (just in case you were keeping track).

That just means more energy for race day, right??  ha ha.

I'll leave you with this.  I was eating a delicious Gu packet between laps yesterday and I found myself chewing the Gu... what's up with that?  To chew or not to chew?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


So after my race I hung around and took pictures of the Cat 2 and Cat1/Pro races.  I finally got them all labeled and posted... I'm honestly not super thrilled with them.  I think I chose a decent spot, but I didn't frame them all that well (didn't get much the the actual trail in the shot).  I mean, it's ok - I got the rider and that's the important part... but ideally I like to show the trail as well... so those not participating in the race have an idea of what was really going on in the picture. 

Hey, I'm doing it for free - and I was sitting the in the rain!!  So, if you participated in the race... have a look.  If you are curious... well I guess that's ok too.

Winding Trails pictures.

Also, official results were posted.  Nothing has changed, but it's in the books.  10th place (which still gets me points) and a finishing time of 1:03:26.

Next up, Massasoit.  The LBS (second location) called to let me know my sealant is in, so I'll pick that up today and probably hit up Cutler (since it's right down the street from the shop) to try out the new and improved loop.  I'll get my tires all set (new one on back and back to tubeless all around) tonight.  And tomorrow afternoon hit up Massasoit for a pre-ride (now that I know to follow the yellow blazes).

It's almost May...  that might not mean anything to you.... but for those of us in a school system - HOLY CRAP!!  This year has FLOWN by!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

new trail!

So a little while back I get this email from a guy named Dean.  It's a great little email... "I've been following your blog for a while now" kinda email.  Those are always great!!  It's nice to have an idea of who may be out there reading along.

Anyway, Dean sent me a link to a Strava track showing a whole new side to Cutler Park  - across the highway.  WHAT!!??!  There is more to Cutler?  I thought I had hit it all and had my circuit all solidified and down pat.  So I thanked Dean - for following and the new lead - and vowed to hit up the "new" section.

On Friday I got my butt out to Cutler and found the new section.  I choose to ride Cutler on Friday because I had to try out my new tire(s).  I mentioned last week that there was a tire debacle.  It was actually a whole big disappointment.  I went to my LBS to grab a new front tire, since mine had a slit in the sidewall and I wanted to get back to a tubeless set up (plus, I just wanted a new front tire anyway!) and all they had out on the floor was a 2.3.  Little too big for what I was looking for.  So I asked if they had any tires anywhere else.... well they didn't.  They did find me a used WTB (of unknown style) that they offered me... and they called over to their other location and offered to have them send over some tires.... the following day - at 4pm (so that would be Saturday... with a race on Sunday).  I thanked them and said I'd just hit up the other location in the AM so I could get the tire on and ride it.

Have you figured out the disappointing part yet?  That my LBS doesn't have tires stocked.  Annie reminded me that this isn't the first time I've been to the shop for something "simple" and returned empty handed.  I guess it's kinda crushing to have a shop you like be somewhat limited.  So I went to the Newton location and they had tires set aside for me...  Bontrager 29.3 Team Issue 2.0.  I was a bit wary of going that small - I was running a 2.1 in the back and 2.25 in the front.  But, beggars can't be choosers, so I grabbed the pair and had to order some caffelatex as they didn't have any in stock - unless I wanted to be another kit... which I didn't.  So order it up I did, and I'd chuck a tube in the front.  I decided to leave the Ignitor on the back with the forecasted rain, I figured it would give me a little more traction in the mud that I was anticipating.

So back to the important stuff, the ride!!  So I first completed my usual loop to get a feel for the tire.  It was narrow for sure.  The kind of narrow that is "that looks funny in that big fork" funny.  But, I liked it!!  I'm not sure if it was real, or in my head, but it did seem to dip the front just a smidgen, but a noticeable smidgen.

As I completed the usual loop I tried to remember what street I saw the entrance on - there looked to be a way to access it on the back end of the trails - but that I wasn't sure of.  So from the parking lot I headed out onto the street and up the hill across 93.  I see roadies on this road all the time, and seriously I don't know how they do it.  Not from a perspective of - oh man this road is tough - that's not the case.   But it was the sheer assholeness of the drivers on this road.  As I jumped on it there were 2 lanes in both directions.  As I get to the bridge crossing the highway it merges from 2 lanes to 1 - but a VERY wide 1.  Some asshole decides that with a lane merge AND a bicycle in the road that they would hold their ground and stay in the lane that was no longer... putting their side view mirror mere inches from my hand.  fucker.

Anyway, cross the highway hit the first left, and then the first left and I'm dumped into a little cul-de-sac with a nice little trail entrance!

I pop in and immediately there is a choice... left or right.  I figured the trail was to the right... as I already said I just crossed the highway and was in a cul-de-sac, but I went left just to see what it was.  It was a short jaunt overlooking the highway.  The building you see in the picture is the building you head behind as you hit the "old" westside of cutler tracing along the highway.

This section of trail shows great use of about 60 yards of land between residential neighborhoods and the highway.  I've always gazed dreamily at forest land running along side highways thinking that there should be trails just following along... seems like a wonderful resource just going to waste... but here it isn't!!  The trail is smooth, fast, flowy.  Typical of Cutler for sure, it's been someones secret paradise! 
Eventually the trail took me down to the railroad tracks and dumped me into another cul-de-sac (word for the day: cul-d-sac).  I wasn't exactly sure where this was or how I would loop back into Cutler, so since I had enjoyed the new trail so much, I just doubled back.  And let me tell you, it was as enjoyable riding it in the opposite direction.  

Oh yeah, the added bonus of the ride is apparently I got KOM on a section on Friday.  I was surprised because I did pause when I hit Needham St to see if I could figure out how to find the new trail....  so even with a stop I got KOM - I'll take it!  When I got home from the ride and downloaded my data I took a look at the map and it looks like where I paused would be a great section to access the westside trail from the bottom, then head up and across the bridge back to the top of Cutler to continue in a new loop.  It will add some more pavement time to the loop, but it adds miles and sweet new trail... so I'm down.  

I'll be throwing the other 2.0 on the back this week and going all sleek racer boy on your ass.  Gotta be faster!

Monday, April 23, 2012

I won't make any

No excuses.

Winding Trails was Sunday.  Conditions were perfect for the Cat 3 9 AM start.  A little rain in the overnight really firmed up the sandy bits making the new start pretty much perfect.  Not enough rain to create any mud on the course or to slick up the logs, roots, and bridges.  So yes, perfect.

I was in a field of 12 racers.  As we lined up I took a new approach this year and actually took a front position.  I mainly did this because I wanted a good inside position off the start up the sandy incline and was hoping I could get into some singletrack first.  As I looked around I recognized a coupe racers from one of the later races last year (Hodges Dam) and instantly knew there were some fast guys here today.

As we take off and were nearing the new start turn to the left I get squeezed and a couple guys jump in front.  The pace slows in front of me as one rider dabs on the one sketchy turn in the new start, but not enough to really disrupt anyone else so all is good.  As we cut out of the first TINY singletrack section I hammer it to gain back some spots before the singletrack.  I'm able to grab two positions.

Throughout the race I end up yo-yoing with two other riders... never really sure where that puts me in the pack.  The lead group seems to get away about 3/4 through the first lap never to be seen again.  I felt really strong on the hills, always taking a rider or making up serious ground.  I'm able to accelerate out of the singletrack, and for the most part, hold off any attacks.  But I feel sluggish in the tight, twisty singletrack, and anytime a racer gets in ahead of me they seem to pull away... and it's back to making up ground on the fire roads or climbs.

Coming into the second lap (final lap) I'm able to take one of my yo-yoing buddies putting me in 1st of our group of three.  As I'm getting up to the singletrack I hear some clicking behind me, something is wrong with the riders bike but it is unclear what.  I suggest it sounds like their derailleur is clipping their spokes and they should really check it out as that could end up being a costly repair if ignored.  He suggests everything seems to be shifting fine.  In between two singletrack sections he drops the hammer and sneaks by right before entering the next section.  I take the opportunity to examine his bike from behind and can see his derailleur is not in contact with anything... I shout to him that everything looks fine... maybe it's a spoke??  BAM!!  As I'm leaned over a little to see his derailleur I clip a tree full speed with my shoulder and forearm coming to a complete and instant stop.

I don't think about pain, I don't think about lost ground, I quickly look behind to see if anyone is there not wanting to block the trail.  No one.... so I hop back on and get to chasing.  On the singletrack climb I'm able to half the distance I've lost but I hear another rider coming from behind... our other musketeer!  Now I'm stuck between chasing and keeping in front...  This far in the race he knows me strengths and I hear him pushing to enter the singletrack in front of me.  I'm able to keep my speed up and get their first... this time.  About halfway through the lap he gains the lead into some singletrack and he takes off.  I'm pushing to keep up but can't seem to catch him...

All of a sudden I'm in no mans land and I've got nothing.  I keep thinking... ok there are a couple more places to gain time and catch up... but with each passing second those opportunities are thinning.  I need to push it in the singletrack.  I need to go faster.  I'm almost done, I can't finish with ANYTHING.  It all gets left on the course.  But without a wheel to chase I can't seem to keep things up.  I've got to crank through everything, STOP coasting!!!

I fly up the wooded climb before the road section heading toward the STEEP of the course.... hit the pavement and slam the gears down and hammer.... I don't see anyone...  climb the backside of the STEEP and I see some riders running the STEEP... none of which are the guys I'm trying to catch - so hopefully that means they haven't hit it yet and I can might be able to catch them.  Make it up 1/2-3/4 of the STEEP and jump off and run.  HAMMER down to the fire road and take off.  I can catch someone, I'll be able to reel them in on that last section of fire road before the climb to the finish....  as I hit the last patch of fire road I don't see anyone in front of me....

There will be no reeling.  Through the trees I can see the third (or now second) musketeer climbing into the finish - there is too much ground to cover for me to overtake him now.... but I put it all out there and push it through the finish.  At the finish I find the rider with the mystery click (the final musketeer - finish first in our group).  His rear tire is completely flat.  He picked up a metal wire entering the second lap.  It was bent, puncturing his tire and then clipping his frame with each rotation.  He was running tubeless, which probably let him make it through the lap with it in his tire, but it was never able to seal as the wire probably kept working the hole open and letting his sealant shoot out.  He was wearing a go pro and said he endo-ed over a log toward the end which should make for an interesting shot!  But  he also commented that his footage would be heavy with myself and the other musketeer...  I'll have to search around for it.

At the end I felt like I was middle of the pack.  And I guess in reality I was in the middle of the pack, pack.  But coming in third in my trio put me at 10th overall I found out when results were posted up.  Not where I was hoping to be in any way, shape, or form.  I really got lost whenever I found myself alone in the woods.  I wasn't able to stay on it as much as I would have liked.

But I had fun.  I was able to talk to some cool people - a couple guys from the pre-ride.  That kid who had the mechanical during the pre-ride raced.  Saw him as I was standing around at the finish.  He came up and shook my hand.  Said it was tougher than he thought to do the full 2 laps, but he did it and he had fun!  Before leaving his mother came up to say hi as well.  That was really great.

Caught a glimpse of Charlie and chatted with TJ before their race.  Took pictures of the Cat 2/lap 2 and Cat1/Pro lap 2 races as well.  So I'll have to get those pictures up for racers to grab if they like them.

I realized after my race I never set goals for myself this season... so I'll have to do that and get those in my head before the next race... Massasoit Lung Opener which is this Sunday.  I've just got to keep on riding.  Bottom line.  No excuses.

Random...  I've always appreciated the Niner slogan printed on the bike.

... and apparently you can get a sticker... from someone, somewhere...

But I always find my motivating statements to myself to be much more vulgar....  something along the lines of "Fuck You."  Which kinda sucks in the sense that I sometimes find myself saying it out loud - and I certainly wouldn't want another rider to think I was swearing at them... It's more along the lines of "fuck you go faster!!"....

Best.... line... ever!!

Might have to get a little motivational "Maybe Fuck Yourself" on the HiFi.

Bottom line.  Race on Sunday.  Let's go faster!!

Friday, April 20, 2012


No media... had a "problem" getting a new front tire...

So you know how you shouldn't change stuff on your bike right before a race... new tire(s) today - oh well.  No excuses, I'll ride whatever is on there and just F'n race!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


(I hate video commercials that pop up and screw up a perfectly valid point.... anyway, if you held in there and watched the video then you'll get this)

No, not Kraut.  Grout!

Yesterday I had two (two and a half) jobs to do and then I could ride.  Make that 3 jobs.

First - run down to the post office and pick up my delivery.  Ok, so this isn't a job, a chore, or anything like that.  An errand, and an errand I was excited to fulfill.

Yup, that's me!!  With Monday's date - missed the delivery... and I guess they only try once?

all the way from up North... oooohhh pretty stickers!

A helmet to match Georgia!!

A bag?  For my helmet??  Maybe it's a barf bag for when I push it too hard??
Needed a new tube as the dogs chewed up the last one.... guess it's good I use the biodegradable stuff - less toxic on puppy stomach!

So I can stop playing the "what if" game when I ride without a spare tube.

looking fresh (bathroom lights make
it look orange, but trust me, it's RED!)
even better when I'm passing you

I don't need the new phones with the camera facing you, I'm just that awesome!!!
So that's a whole bunch of road stuff... and I still need a new front tire for the HiFi.  That's just a little important with a race coming up and whatnot.  After my chores for the day the plan was to get in a road ride and on the way back stop at the LBS and pick up a new tire and some more caffelatex.

So, job number 2 - 2.5 re-grout cruddy sections in the upstairs bathroom and grout finishing tiles in the downstairs bedroom.  Two rooms, two different grouts.  The bathroom went smoothly - got some premixed stuff since it was a small job... worked magnificently.  I couldn't get the color for the downstairs in a premixed container, so had to mix it up myself.  And the fun begins....

So I mix the grout up... and now I'm guessing when the picture in the directions shows a guy using a "ruler"(?) to stir you shouldn't use your drill attachment....  directions say let it sit for 10 minutes then re-stir - adding no water - and good to go.  It's not my first rodeo and I know that grout shouldn't be the consistency of... gatorade, soda, water, piss....  ok, let's see if I can let it set for a while.  10 minutes, nope.  Another 10 minutes... add on 15 minutes... wait another 20 minutes...I'll give it another 30 minutes... seriously???  30 more minutes mother fucker!!  There were sections of useable grout in the bucket and I got to work.  

In the end my "ride time" was gone and it was off to the deeps to get some mulch for the backyard.

Job number 3 - Depot visit, pick up 12 bags of mulch... rearrange some crap in the backyard, pull some weeds, dig something up here, move some rocks there, and spread mulch everywhere.  

In the end, tiles are grouted, yard is mulched, and legs are... rideless : (

Today will be a whirlwind of cleaning... if I get started early enough I should be able to get a ride in - it will have to be road.  But that will include sporting the new helmet and stopping at the LBS to get the HiFi race ready (after the washing it desperately needs).  Riding in two sandy places in a row does not make for a happy bike, instead it makes for a noisy angry bike - arg!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

(not so) pre-ride

Monday it was BALLS hot out.

And I went to try to pre-ride Massasoit.

Let's count the ways things went wrong.

1.  I take the HiFi off the rack and hear a hiss.  Is it so hot it's making my tire leak??  I quickly discover a nice little slit in the sidewall of my front tire.  Random.  I see if the caffe latex will seal, nope just spurts out.  I try to patch the outside (being lazy) and of course that doesn't work.....  ugh.  I just drove all the way out here, am I going to be forced to go home empty handed?  I contemplate a couple more options...
patch the right way and see if I can't get the tire to sit correctly with a floor pump, dump the caffe latex and tube it up... hoping that the sidewall won't tear further while on the ride, find a local shop and buy a new tire....

I threw a tube in the front and rolled the dice.  Gamble worked, made it through the ride with no further problems.

2. I was, however, not able to get a new tire after the ride.  I headed back to the LBS and was stopped by police barriers... the Boston Marathon was preventing me from getting across the road to the shop.  Balls, back home it is.  I had originally thought to go home, grab the roadie and ride to the shop, but I figured that the race would be past by 4... guess not....
(a plus... wasn't totally digging my front tire anyway, so here's a legit excuse need to get a new tire, YAY!)

So, back to the ride.

3. I thought I had stumbled upon the course as I saw some nice red dots/arrows on the trails - so I followed.  And it seemed like a great course... except it wasn't the course.  Ended up with 10+ miles, and the course is 7.1, hmmmmm.  Even accounting for some retracing when missing turns and some side exploration to see if I was on the right track I didn't think I could have racked up 3+ extra miles.

I did however come across this guy.

I think he was of the snapping variety so I used a stick to "help" him off the trail... he didn't like that so much.

4. When I got home I jumped on the Root 66 board and found that the course had been marked with yellow blazes.  So I was on the course some of the time, but didn't know to follow the yellow when it strayed from the red.  Oh well, I got a taste for the terrain, and me likey!

Do I got back and pre-ride?  Yeah, prolly.  Dunno if it will be this week or next, I've got time.  Still have the Fat Tire Classic up first (Winding Trails).

Yard work tomorrow, and maybe a road ride.... I've got goodies waiting for me at the post office.  SWEET!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Winding Trails - First Look

This weekend I got down to Connecticut to pre-ride Winding Trails on Saturday morning.  I was VERY surprised at how few people showed up for the pre-ride!!  Perhaps more people are sneaking on and getting a taste for it themselves (I'm looking at you Charlie) as I hear it's been marked for a little while now.  As our small group was about to start out Charlie showed up - always the schemer he was there to test out different gearing to really dial things in for the course.  Charlie offered to take me around since he's ridden the course, but I decided to go with the group at the slower pace (for the first lap) and allow Charlie to get his test run down.

Of course things didn't go smoothly with the first lap ride.  Not long into the course we lost a rider.  He was a younger kid, this was to be his first race and no one knew what happened... was he lost?  mechanical?  I volunteered to head back and find him and get him back on track.  Of course I run into Charlie head on as I'm back tracking... but he hadn't seen anyone heading back to the lot, so I guessed he missed a quick turn... so I run down various trails looking for our lost rider.

After a riding a couple "I missed the turn" options I headed back to the lot guessing he would eventually work his way back there having given up on finding the trail or catching the group.  I did find him back at the lot.  He has snapped his rear derailleur hanger... I utilized the intelligence of my phone and found a local shop for him to go to telling him if it was just the hanger (which it appeared to be) it should be a quick fix and I encouraged him to come back to get a full ride in.  He never returned (at least while I was still there).

So after I get him and his parents the info on the local shop I head back out to ride the course.  Much of the course is the same as last year.  Some changes are slight, due to blow down and whatnot.  Some are a little bigger, due to more access as the whole dredging the pond operation is done.  And one is HUGE.  The huge change being the start.  Still head up the sandy road, but instead of turning right - quick left into the woods we bang a left before the woods and ride the ridge line overlooking the fields.  Sounds fun - until you realize that not only is it sandy there, but it is totally soft sand.  It's going to be a mess out there as it's a narrow track and once one person fumbles it's a foot race.

So on my "first" lap I miss a couple quick turns.  The fire road portions are still there, but they are brief, and sometimes VERY brief, with quick turns into singletrack.  I catch up with the group before the final steep climb and finish the first lap with them.  I have to say I LOVE this course.  Is it designed for my strengths (what strengths?), I dunno.  But it is FUN!!  Great tight twisting singletrack.  Great opportunities to open it up on the fire roads - although some are quite short so it will be more of an opportunity to utilize acceleration rather than all out speed.  But it's just a track that allows you to use a bit of everything - technical skills (we got log crossing for days... some grouped together tightly), speed, acceleration, climbs (a couple grinders and one STEEP) and just overall bike handling skills.

We hang out at the end for a bit, I grab a little more water, and three of us head out for an "at speed" lap.  I'm taking up the rear and as we take the left into the new start my rear wheel washes out in the sand on a right turn.  There it is... the wrath of the sand.  I'll have to try different lines to start after we are done here...  acting as it's a race I run the bike to a spot where I wouldn't hang anyone up and jump back on and take off.  I can still see the riders ahead of me through the trees so I keep on it.  The start will be key really as once you hit the singletrack you will really be able to defend your position.  No, not in a dick "I'm not going to let you pass" way, but just because it is tight and twisty there won't be much opportunity for someone to want to pass...

I never catch up - but always catching glimpses around turns and through trees... my last glimpse being as I'm coming up the back side of the STEEP they are climbing it, which does push me to try to catch them, but there isn't enough course left to make up the gap.  I finish the lap feeling pretty good... but still wondering how I'm going to keep that pace for two laps.  I do not think I need to/want to back off the pace I rode that first lap in, but it will be interesting to see if my lungs/legs can hold up for the second lap.

Finished the lap in 31:32 with an average speed of 9.9 mph, climbing 337 ft over 5.2 miles, and an average HR of 170.  Everything looks good there.  Might be able to get the speed up a bit, but again with all the quick transitions from fire road to singletrack I'm not overly worried about it.  I'm feeling like (minus the spill off the start) I'd be happy with that performance come race day.

Of course I spent too much time bullshitting after the lap and forget to run the start a couple times.... ah well, one more thing to do the morning of the race.

So today start Spring Break!!  Which means getting more jobs done around the house (Annie really knocked a couple out of the park this weekend!!) and, of course, get some riding in.  I'm still concerned with the balance of my rides this week since I was not able to ride last week I don't want to go too hard this week and wear myself out for the race, but I also don't want to go too light....  The plan for today is to hit up Massasoit (which is the site of our next race) and see if I can figure out the course there since I didn't race it last year.  I've only ridden the trails there once so if I can't find the course itself at least I'll get a better idea of the terrain there.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

License to...

cause, it's from License to Ill and all....

I've been a ghost... I've been under the weather... I am .4 pounds from goal (number 1) weight... and this is the 200th post.

Assuming all goes according to plan, we'll be in Charlotte (area) by July.  So the Race page has been "updated."  I'm not sure if I will (be able to) jump into any races once we move down to Charlotte... but if I do it looks like I can/will do two out of three possible races.  I'd skip the Fontana Village race only because it's ass far from Charlotte.  

The other day I was snooping around Strava and came across something that reminded me that Winding Trails is coming up (April 22nd).  Holy crap!!  I need to pre-ride!!  Winding Trails was my very first race (raced in the First Timers class, naturally) and I enjoyed it.  At the time I was happy-ish that I only had to race one lap of it.... but I'm excited to get two laps in this year.  

I jumped on the Root 66 boards and discovered there is a ride scheduled for this Saturday at 9am.  Which is perfect as I have to head back down to CT anyway to drop the dogs off with the parents as we hit the final stretch in getting the place sale ready.  I'm interested to see if there are any changes to the course this year (as I know they added in some new singletrack last year) if it's the same, I'll be happy.  If it's changed any, I'm sure it's still as fast.  

I got my ass over to and signed up.  Looks like I have to pay for the one day license when I register the day off... kinda annoying - I like getting it all done (payment wise) at once.  I checked to see who else was racing and I found that there was no one else in my class yet.... well, not really anyone signed up in ANY class yet.... I'm sure there will be a late rush as it seemed to be a very well attended event last year.  I just checked and there are more people registered for the race at Massasoit the following weekend already...  whatever.

Dunno if I will be able to get in a ride before the pre-ride... but I have next week off for April break... so it will come down to not over riding next week in prep for the race.  I hope the last two days doesn't throw me off too much.  Ah, it's early in the season and I'm racing Cat 3 = it's all good.

* When I was looking for a video off of Licensed to Ill I came across this "wonder"
It's long.... so... feel free to skip it.  I'm not sure where it came from... but just about EVERYONE in hollywood is in this.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The best way to

Enjoy a holiday dinner is to get yourself a bunch of extra calories "spend."

During the three day weekend I got in only one ride due to a combination of laziness and home projects.  Got the drywall and ceiling repair done in the basement back hallway but am missing  a "custom" piece for the laundry room door frame....  blah!

Saturday we were heading down to CT for Easter and it was decision time.... bring the HiFi or Georgia (the age old battle, trails or roads)?  Although I could picture a nice ride through Case and Gay City (or possibly exploring a different park closeish to my parents house) I opted to do a road ride.  Doing a quick google search I found a site that provided me with 3 (somewhat old, but useful) route options.

Sunday morning I got in a pretty nice ride.  42+ miles through some back roads of CT.  Temp wise it was in the mid-high 50s so I had the choice... my merino wool jersey or a jersey with a jacket??  In the sun it was nice... and figuring on a road ride I'd be exposed to more sun than not... I went with just the merino long sleeve.  I was kitted out in all red - wore the red bibs and everything!!  But seriously, I can't say enough great things about this jersey!!!  They don't seem to have it in red anymore (at least officially) but you can still find it out there at other internet vendor sites.

What I love about the jersey is that it keeps you warm and cool at the same time.  Not once during the ride was I cold up top, or overheated.  It seems to trap your body heat well, yet at the same time it is very breathable and allows you to stay cool - even when completely zipped.  My feet on the other hand did end up getting pretty chilled throughout the ride (of course I was only wearing a thing pair of sockguy socks.... so that is my fault there.

When I was first getting into the whole bike clothing deal I was wary of wool.  Didn't sound comfortable, sounded way too hot.  Well, I haven't gone the classic wool jersey route, but I am sold on merino wool.  That is FOR SURE!!  If you don't like snug jerseys, go a size larger than you normally would as my large is kinda snug.  But it isn't restricting and isn't uncomfortable.  It stretches easily and comfortably and in a way you forget it's there.  The one "eh" point of the jersey is that the center rear pocket is narrower than the other too... the downfall to this is if you wanted a water bottle in you jersey pocket you'll have to settle for it on the side rather in the middle...  may not be a negative for some riders, but I guess I like mine in the middle for balance.  But I guess to "make up" for that issue it does have an inner pocket to hold an ipod-like device securely and an outer zip pocket for the valuables.

Overall, I'm diggin it!!

Oh, and the ride reset my calorie total giving my a whopping 3000+ calories going into dinner... pile on the ham and keep pouring that coca-cola!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

2 for 1

Media Fridays
We'll posts videos or photos that will hopefully inspire trail shredding weekends.

This video combines two great media - video and pictures... kinda neat to see the action, and then a great photo coming from it.

Plus, that guy has one sweet ass beard!!

AND the video ends with a shot if a beer.... classic.

Hope you get some great trail time in this weekend to balance with the all the food and chocolates!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Field Testing.

Went for a ride (starting) at Adams Farm yesterday because 1. it was close to work and I didn't get out of work until after 3:30 due to meetings and 2. I hadn't ridden there in a while.

The ride was good.  At first I was feeling a little stretched out with the new set-up but that faded throughout the ride... not sure if I'm still just adjusting to the new cockpit, if the water battole in the back of my jersey was somehow annoying my back, or if I will indeed need to shorten up the 105 stem... we shall see.  And... if I go shorter... how much shorter??  Any suggestions?

I also did a little impromptu testing the garmin edge 500 as well.  I just googled the user manual to see what they listed as their "waterproofing" and didn't find any material addressing it.  From my experience yesterday I can tell you that the unit can sit in about 6" of water for 5 or so minutes and be just fine!!  Of course that test was an accident!!  And as soon as I looked down and noticed it was gone I KNEW it was in the little stream I had crossed about .5 mile back.... YIKES.  I came to the stream crossing on the wrong angle and didn't carry enough speed, so as I hit the other side I had to jump off the bike.  Didn't really crash, just kinda laid the bike down.  I didn't think to check the garmin to make sure it was there, I didn't think there was any reason for it NOT to be there, so I continued on.  As I hit a dirt road I stopped to figure out where I was and if I should keep going (I hadn't been this far out previously) and that is when I noticed a missing computer.  So I took off back to the stream hoping it would be there.... I was HOPING it would be beside the water.... when I didn't see it I gleamed a little white in the mucky leaf covered bottom... hand in water- computer out of water.  It was still working (although with a "lost satellite reception message") and I was relieved.

Remember kids: ALWAYS close the weather proof plug in the back tightly before riding.  I think that was a big saving point there!!

So I grabbed the garmin and continued back to where I had stopped and realized it was gone.... I tore down the dirt road and came to another water crossing and then railroad tracks.  From my intelligent phone I saw there was more forest down the tracks a bit.... do I ride beside the tracks on big gravel to check out the possibility of trail... or head back?  Clouds were closing in a bit so I headed back.  But I'll do a little research/recon to see what is further out that way... I'd love to be able to make a huge loop out there!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

new stuff

I was anticipating getting a new part for the HiFi this weekend.  I was actually hoping to get it Friday - so I could get it all set to go and get out for a ride on Saturday.  Friday I did get a package... but the box wasn't the right size.... inside I found this

That's right, a crap load of GU.  I had "forgotten" that I had ordered it.  Actually, it just arrived quickly and caught me off guard.  For me, so far, GU is my go to.  I've been playing with Jelly Belly beans, which are good and all - but not for a race.  So I stocked up on GU.

Saturday was a gloomy day... perfect for some bike maintenance.  And finally the box I had been waiting for arrived!!  New Ritchey Comp Flat 5D bars.

sweet purple paper!!
I quickly set up shop (yes, my current workstation is the kitchen) and got to removing the old handlebars.  I must say that I have LOVED the wide big sweep bars.  They provide great leverage, and are super comfortable... but I feel maybe a little too comfortable.  That isn't to say I'm looking to add discomfort to my ride, but I sometimes feel like the positioning of the bar set my posture less aggressive... plus, they are wide.  So squeezing through tight spaces is just that much harder.  So I figured some narrower straight bars would be more to my liking.





Aesthetically, it's a thing of beauty!! 

One area of concern was whether or not I would now have to replace the stem for a shorter one since I have taken away the backsweep from the original bars. Only time will tell.

The Ritchey is shorter...

And of course, there is the lack of backsweep...

I was eager to get out on a test ride... but the weather was crappy... So I had to wait until Sunday to get out for a quick ride at Cutler.  Initial testing says SWEET INDEED!!  I like it.  Control was great, stance was good... still wondering about going shorter on the stem.  I felt like I may have been stretched a little during the ride... so I'll pay attention to that during the next couple of rides and then figure out how much shorter I need to go.

If nothing else... the addition of white bars makes me faster, right?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Larry Legend

Today is the first day of my Larry Bird Year (aka. my 33rd birthday).  Ever since birthdays (or rather the age part) stopped being exciting I've been looking forward to this year for no other reason than my age equals my childhood hero's number.

Yesterday we celebrated my birthday with a celtics game.  We had amazing seats, sitting 3 rows behind the Heat's bench.  Annie had to wonder why so many people talked trash about LeBron as she pointed out he is "one big dude."  Not sure if any of you caught the game, but we saw Wade get completely humiliated right in front of us... here is a replay

You can't really see us in this video as it's very quick... but we are up behind the end of the bench... see the guy in the green shirt right behind the bench, we are the second row behind him just off his left shoulder...  If you catch a glimpse of me you can see me with my fist over my mouth as I looked on in shock and awe at the block.

Before the game I got out for a quick ride over at Cutler.  I left the house feeling like I forgot something... and I did, my HR monitor.... ah well, the main focus was testing out something new on the HiFi anyway. Yup, I got two packages over the weekend that I had been anxiously awaiting (well one of them at least) and they both arrived on Saturday - which was perfect as Saturday morning was miserable with rainy nonsense.  So I got the new part on the HiFi and she was ready to go.  First ride yesterday and initial impressions are positive.  May have to make another adjustment in the future - but I'll get into the details tomorrow.

I'm squeezing into my old Larry Bird jersey today (under my shirt of course) in honor of the man and in celebration of the day.