Friday, March 29, 2013

work sucks, riding doesn't

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

Long story, but I didn't get to ride yesterday.  

Ok, so not a long story - my team mate "let me have" a client yesterday at the last minute... throwing off my planned day.  This equalled no food all day and a later then expected end to my day.  
Add on top of that the WWC took their sweet time in "opening" their trail (I didn't see that it had opened until I was on my way home - still having eaten nothing) so I wasn't assuming I was going to have an opportunity to ride unless I switched to Poston.  Poston is a lot closer to my work, but since it was later then expected by the time I was out of work, and I still hadn't eatn, the ride got scrapped.   

Can you tell I'm a little bitter?  Anyway.

Have fun, get some miles in this weekend, and please avoid doing this.

From PricePoint's FB page

Here's a little something.  If you like bikes, big air, slow motion, and ladies then you'll probably like this little compilation.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Yesterday I put my wheel order in.  Estimated (dependent on the arrival of the hubs) Time of Shipment is the end of next week.  Freakin sweet man!

Again, big thanks goes out to Dustin over at Southern Wheelworks.  He was super prompt, answered all my questions with lightening speed and provided a wealth of information to illuminate all my choices.  He really does want to build the right wheels for you, and it shows.  He takes the time to get to know what you are riding, how you are riding, and what you want out of your wheels.

If you need some wheels built up, I would highly recommend getting in contact with Dustin.  I mean, you can't get better then this; from his website:

Pricing is largely up to you: chances are I can build you a great set of wheels for whatever your budget will allow.  I only charge for the parts used to build your wheels, but no additional build fee.

Mountain bike wheels start at approximately $400, and road wheels start at about $300.

Turn around time is pretty damn quick, as we see by my estimated shipping date - which includes about a week lead time to get the hubs in.  I will be sure to put up some photos of the wheels when they arrive.

Today I'll be hitting up WWC after work.  Not sure if it will be a group thing yet or not, but plan on hitting it up on my way home from work as I just put on my season pass sticker and I feel it needs some attention.   Although,  just checked the trail statue (when I went to post the link) and it says the trails are STILL closed.... let's hope that changes by this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


My hands are still in the warming up phase after the morning walk with the dogs.  Of course, that's my fault as I was wearing shorts and my Uconn hoodie... but whatever.  My eyes were watering so much it must have looked like I was crying.  I refuse to bundle up like it's winter... so now my hands are still cold.

Anyway.  Yesterday was the weekly social group ride.  Originally it was scheduled to be at the WWC, but rains on Sunday had the trails closed there, so venue was switched to Sherman.  With a late appointment with a client, and the trail switched to the opposite side of Charlotte, things were going to be tight.  On the drive over I shot TheMutt a text letting him know that they didn't need to wait on me, I would just catch up on the trail.  As it were, they hadn't hit the trail as I pulled in and everyone was gracious enough to wait as I got changed and ready to ride.  

I haven't ridden Sherman in a little bit, and since my last visit they have put in some great work out there rebuilding berms... the section is sweet!!  But, it looked like people were out there while it was wet as some of the berms were a bit torn up...

Afterwards we hit up the Kickstand for some food and beverages.  Good times all around.

Yesterday Fabian made a plea for me to hold out and wait on the I9s.  Part of me thinking that... but part of me had questions... do I want to wait however long, do I NEED I9s, etc.

The answer, sadly, is that I do not NEED I9s.  Yeah, I WANT them - who doesn't?  But when it comes down to it, I don't NEED them in order to ride and have fun.  And again, I've had this "build" going on for entirely too long.  It might have been different if I was still in New England and good riding weather was still a bit off.... but with no real off season here, and signs of spring all around, it's time to get the One9 up and running.

So, in order to get one giant step closer I put in my order this morning for my wheels - sans I9s, loaded with HOPE instead.  I've seen a lot of good stuff out in the tangled web of bike forums about them so I'm feeling that I won't be disappointed.

Ok, I might be disappointed if I were to ride my Hopes, then ride some I9s, and then my Hopes again... but that won't happen.  No one my size rides I9s anyway.  TheMutt rides a big ass bike, so I won't be throwing my leg over his steed to test them out.

So, what's the next step for the One9?  I'm going to collaborate with my LBS to get the last few parts ordered, the headset installed, the fork cut down some.  I'm on the fence on whether I should just have them throw the brakes on as well, or if I should do it myself.  I mean, that was the whole point of building it, to do some of this myself.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013


as in, BUMMER.

The news I thought I'd have for everyone today was that I have a new singlespeed wheelset being built up as we speak.  As it is, I don't.

I had my wheels imagined - I9 hubs laced to white Crest rims.  Yesterday my wheel guy (yes, I have a wheel guy) tells me he has to check with his distributor about the I9 since he can't get them directly...  I'm sure you can see where this is going.

Later in the afternoon I get a second email informing me his distributor can't get a hold of a singlespeed hub.  Totally bogus, man.

So I'm presented with other options that I must sit with.  Then, all of a sudden, a thought pops in my head.  What if I can find a hub somewhere on the internets?  I could snatch that bad boy up and send it over to my wheel guy, right?  Maybe... if I could find one.  No one appears to be selling I9 singlespeed hubs.  Not online stores, not people on the ebays or other reputable (or less) internet wheeling and dealing sites.  Maybe your mom is selling one, can you check for me?

Will I be happy with a different hub?  Honestly, at this point I'd be happy with Bontrager hubs just because it would mean I'd be that much closer to riding my freakin singlespeed.  What did I like about the I9s?  Well, the engagement - super quick.  I liked that fact that they are built up in my (new) home state.  I've seen The Mutt in action on the I9s and they are sweet for sure... and of course local legend and international nightmare Dicky has some experience on them... but I guess I can ride something different.

I'll stop whining now.

In all likelihood I'll be going with the Hopes.  Don't feel like taking the step up in price for the Kings.

In other news... I do have "ride" news.  I'm riding tonight after work at the WWC, so there's at least that!  Well, that is that IF the trails are dry enough after the wall of water that fell from the sky on Sunday.

Monday, March 25, 2013

skipped and missed

Thursday I had my bike with me at work and was all ready for a ride.  Initial plans switched from WWC to RRT, that's ok.  RRT isn't on the way home from work, but it's a fun trail.  By the time I was getting out of work I'd have an "awkward" amount of time between arriving at the trail and the group assembling and riding.  Maybe enough time for me to put in a lap and then ride with the group... but in that scenario I might not have enough in the legs/lungs for that second lap (depending on speed).  As this wasn't necessarily a "social" ride I figured I'd be demolished on round two if I were to attempt such a feat.

I spoke with Annie and I could tell she was having the type of week I had... and although riding was my escape, that meant she'd be home alone just waiting.  Knowing that she was ok with me riding made the decision that much easier.  I went home.

Annie is so amazing and understanding.  She gets what riding is to me and what it does for me and she is 100% behind that.  And that is why I decided to skip my group ride to spend just a little more time with her.  It was a good decision.

The rest of the weekend was decided for me.

Saturday morning I had to bring the pterodactyl in for more than I bargained for.  I had just thought to myself I should get this thing in for an xxx mileage service and I started hearing things....  grinding noises on a left turn, grinding noises when braking... ouch.  A few days (and butt clinching, finger crossing driving) later she was in the shop.  Rear brake rotors gone with none (on one side) and VERY little (the other side) brake pads left.  Swell.  And, to top it off... bearings in the right front wheel were pretty much about to seize.  Awesome.

If anything, I was "lucky" to get it in and serviced then.  The drive home was like heaven... feeling so cushy and safe.  The weather actually looked like it was going to clear.  Maybe tomorrow would be nice and I might actually get a ride out of the weekend?

And then I wake up to this.

I guess up north it was snow instead.  Annie and I really did pick the right year to move I guess... I do feel bad for everyone in New England, when the hell is winter going to end?

I can only imagine what the first race of the season is going to look like...  yikes!

WOW, the Root 66 website is looking SWEET!!  Very nice new design.

Ok... maybe no "ride" news tomorrow, but there may be "bike" news... (VERY excited Michael over here!)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What about you sideburns?

It seems like I've either been riding my bike or enjoying beer(s) after work.

Unlike sideburns, I'd rather ride my bike.

Today is a mountain bike day.  Time to put some pain into the legs over at Rocky River.

That is all.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

better late

It poured Monday night.  I woke up Tuesday and it was grey and nasty... great, no chance to ride tonight.  I was really looking forward to it and needed a ride to recharge - plus my legs were still feeling the race so I needed to stretch those bad boys out!

All of a sudden the day got wicked nice with the sun just blaring down... I start kicking myself for not bringing my bike with me to work.  But really, what are the chances it will dry up that quick??  I start checking the forums to see what the call is on the group ride.

At first there was no official call, but certainly enough people chiming in that the ride should be called off.  I knew to ignore (laugh at) the bickering on the forum until word came down from the man himself, TheMutt, with regards to the ride status.  And sure enough he did his due diligence, checked the trails, and gave the thumbs up - ride is on!

SWEET!!  Except... I don't have anything for the ride with me.  That's ok, I'll leave work around 5 (at the latest) and be home before 5:30... time to grab my crap and should be like 30 minutes to the trail... Totally do-able.  Except for the fact that people were crashing all over the place.  On the way home the other side was totally screwed and backed up for miles (miles may be an understatement... what's longer then miles?).  As I hit 277, and was mere exits away from my destination, all traffic stops... accidents on my side now... and of course there is a mass exodus from the highway on MY exit... so everyone will be trying to cut through the city... using my route.... ugh.

Suffice it to say I wasn't home before 5:30.  And then traffic out to the trail was no better.  I'm not sure if that was still a byproduct of the highway cluster F or if that was typical after work traffic... either way I was able to read in the car while standing still on a one lane road.  It was GREAT!

I was late, but not so late that I didn't see the line of bikers cross the entrance road.  Ok, I can get my shit together and tear up the trail after them and catch them somewhere.  I hop out of the pterodactyl to do just that and Tom Tom comes riding up.  They saw me coming in so he decided to wait with me and catch the group together.  

We caught the group in the new black diamond section sessioning on a jump.  I "hit" it sans air as the kicked kinda scared me on the first go.  The second run I just let it do it's thing and send me into the air.  With some more runs in there I'm sure I'll be busting tailwhips like no tomorrow.  

Just to rest everyone's nerves let me say this, the trails were in great shape!  The new section was even looking great.  It was a fun ride for sure, and it's a great way to break up the week and get to catch up with some great guys.  Next time I'll be sure to be there for the full event, ride AND food(beverages).    

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


So, I jump up off the ground, shove my water bottle back in the cage, and start running up the trail to get out of the way.  I hop back on the bike and now it's catch up time... way too early.  Of course I'm in my own head now, and anytime I feel any movement in the front wheel I automatically imagine going over the handlebars.  Ain't nobody got time for that while racing the Bouldergeist!

See more on Know Your Meme

Already we are catching riders from the waves ahead of us... maybe this will help me close the gap.  At times, I think I might be catching up, but a couple times I get caught behind riders just a little longer then I would have liked.  It's hard to tell exactly where you are on the course, and in relation to those you are chasing, because of the constant switchbacks.  I catch glimpses of the singlespeed field here and there - and they started 15 minutes before me.  I finally settled in, dropped the worry, and rode.  Since I couldn't accurately gauge the gap I decided to not overextend myself and instead try to keep my pace and see if I could catch someone falling off as I picked through the field ahead.  

The one bonus of the course bending back on itself so much is that it easier to keep at least someone in sight.  There always seemed to be someone ahead (or behind) to keep you motivated and moving.   I pushed myself to keep my speed up as well as I could.  Knowing that the garmins will surely inaccurately report my mileage I'm racing on time.  Looking at last year's results I knew that if I can finish around/under 1:10ish then I'll likely be in good standing.  

When we hit the gauntlet I felt a surge of energy.
(at about 40 seconds you get a view of a section of the gauntlet)

This is where I can capitalize on others mistakes.  I enter the "pre-gauntlet" (yes, there was a sign identifying it) and I see a rider ahead fumbling a bit.  I catch up to her and am looking ahead to see if there is a safe place to pass... there isn't.  I follow her as we enter.  She's keeping her pace and we are both staying on our wheels so I can't complain.  On the first switchback to the left she dismounts in the trail, forcing me off the bike.  I run up by her and hop back on the bike and attack the rocks.  I'm loving every second of it!!  I'm not annihilating the trail, but I'm clearing it.  I roll up to the last hard switchback and decide to jump off and run it.  I wasn't sure of the line and felt I didn't have the speed to just bust through.  I was a little disappointed on the decided dismount, but I was really happy with my riding through the majority of the gauntlet - a shout out to the Boneyard in really making me work on rock garden riding.

After the gauntlet was the first, and really only, respite.  A nice long, smooth, downhill run that gave me a chance to get a drink of water.  I hit a couple of hard strokes and coasted as I drank.  Quickly I rethought that strategy as this was an opportunity for speed.  So I jammed the bottle back down, shifted and hammered.  I used that pristine straight away for all she had and jumped back into the singletrack.

As I was catching more Cat 2 females I noticed a rider gaining on me.  He had been back there, but typically I had maintained a rider between us.  Finally there was no one between us.  I didn't recognize his jersey from the start line so I imagined he was the 40+ leader.  On a climbing switchback I yelled down to him to let me know if/when he wanted to pass.  He was content to follow.

I dabbed on a switchback allowing him to close in.  Clearing the next switchback I gave it to him, riding to the right I told him to take it.  He did, and thanked me.  I jumped on his wheel... briefly.  He took off, and suddenly I wondered why I hadn't called back to confirm he was the 40+ leader... what if he was in my class??  I was pretty sure he wasn't, but it was too late, he was pulling ahead and what I had left in me to try to grab back on didn't seem to be enough.  I pushed the thought out of my head and kept riding.

I was finally in no man's land.  I could no longer see him in front, and no one seemed to be behind.  Soon I enter one hell of a jump line.  It scared me at first because I wondered if I was off course... but no, below me I see the rider who got away and it looks like this the way to get to where he is.  Nothing I can do now, so I just ride.  I can't say I went balls to the wall on it - something about getting massive amounts of air during a race doesn't sit well with me... so I pump it to keep tires in the dirt as much as possible.

As I clear the jump line I can once again see riders on the switchbacks - but now I was more focused on those that were behind.  I didn't feel I would be able to catch anyone from my class at this point, but I wanted to make sure I didn't give up ground either.  I looked down at the garmins and it was around 56 minutes at this point.

Ok, best case scenario I have 10-15 minutes left... that is, if I've been riding well enough.  I think I have?  F it.  There isn't anything I can do now if I haven't, so I decided to ride it like I only have 10-15 minutes left.  That meant no letting off.  No leaving anything on the trail.  No coasting.  I see a female rider ahead, now I have the bait.  I use her as motivation and work my way up to her.  I'm behind her as we climb, and we just seem to keep on climbing.  We MUST be near the end by now.  She spins out on a short up and we dismount, she tells me to go ahead, and I do with a "thanks."  She jumps on my wheel and now it is up to me to set the pace.  We enter the dragon's tail and now I KNOW that we are close to the end as one of the racers at the start mentioned we finished out on the dragon's tail.  It is a fun little back and forth bermed downhill section.  Although I'm loving that gravity is once again my friend, I am dreading the climb back up to the finish.  I can finally see the start line through the woods and express my joy to a spectator - who can do nothing more than laugh.  

As I exit the woods Sean is there with my camera yelling "pro line."  If he hadn't been there I would have had a choice, but he was set up towards the "non-pro line" on the right so I was naturally going left - through the root drop.

Now I'm out in the grass looking at the last climb.  I don't see anyone ahead and do a quick gut check - just as I thought, nothing left in the tank to really bust it up the hill.  So I get my cadence up and work to just not loose speed on the hill.  I make it up to the top and cross the line, completely done.  Shortly there after the last rider I passed comes across and thanks me for pulling her through to the end.  I returned with thanking her for pushing me to finish hard!

One of the guys from my class comes up to me and congratulates me.  Huh?  "Looks like you snuck onto the podium!"  Really?  That isn't possible...  I'm happy at the thought, but it doesn't compute in my head.  My look must have given my doubt away and he says he is pretty sure, but maybe I should check.  I check the preliminary posting and I got 4th.  A little bit of a let down, only in the sense that 3rd had been dangled in front of me when I didn't think that would have been an option.  But I am happy with 4th, but more so I'm happy with my finishing time.  1:11 - right about where I wanted it to be.  I'm psyched I got 4th, but even more proud that I hit my goal.  

I finished that race just happy.  Happy to be riding, happy to be racing, happy to have been able to keep myself pedaling, happy to be riding with such great strangers - and happy that I got to race on such a great trail!!  

Looking forward to the next one!

Monday, March 18, 2013

4th and goal

Sunday was my first race of the season in the Southern Classic Series, Bouldergeist III.  This course, held at San-Lee Park, had it all.  Tight switchbacks, fast trails, a jump line, nice berms, and of course rocks.  Rocks strewn throughout the trail, big boulders to roll, and even a nice climbing rock garden.  Oh yeah, there were roots too.  And I loved every minute of it.

This was such a departure from the winter short track series (just pounding as hard as you can go over smooth trail) and really reminded me of why I love XC racing.  Sure I was sore and tired by the end of it, wondering where the trail would pop out so I could climb back up the start hill to the finish line.  But that's the glory of it, to ride your hardest on a trail that is challenging.

I must say, for having never ridden the trail before I was very proud of my performance on the technical sections.  Pre-riding probably would have helped my speed through some of the faster sections, but over all I was happy with my performance.

Before the race I did ride the intro section of the course up to "bouldergeist."  There was a tight steep switchback leading up to the big rock roller and I knew that would be a place that either I or other riders would get hung up.  Then into the fun.  The roller wasn't bad, it was making sure you were in line for the sharp left that quickly followed was the key to riding this section.  There seemed to be two lines.  The quick hard left utilizing a nice "rock berm" that was in the middle of the trail, or go wide around it. I rolled up right at it to look at the lines.  The outside was clearly chewed up with dragging wheels as riders grabbed fistfuls of breaks... didn't look like the line I wanted.  If you went too wide you'd be down in the creek.  There was a guy setting up the sponsor banners and I commented that it looked like the inside was the way to go.  He concurred.  He also gave me a little hint as to where to come off the roller to be set up perfectly for it.  It was a great hint indeed.

When race time came around I took full advantage of my "insider" knowledge and cleaned the section flawlessly.  Well, THAT section at least.  Remember, I hadn't actually ridden the rock berm and down across the creek crossing.

The approach
Headed right for "dismount"
Off and clear
Lining up to utilize the rock berm
getting it
what's that guy over there on the left of the trail doing?
Yup, as I was headed to ride the rocks built over the creek bed I made the mistake of looking at the guy standing with his bike off to the side of the trail.  What happened next?  Over the bars I went as I crossed the rocks.  Luckily I rolled free and into the trail, my bike was fine, but launched my water bottle.  I got up quickly, grabbing my bottle and stuffing it back in it's cage, and I was back and riding.  Only problem was that now the rider in front had put in a gap.  And, of course, confidence was a bit shaken for a while...

The race was long, but this post doesn't have to be... so I'll get the rest of the story and results to you tomorrow... unless, of course, you are a detective.  Then you likely already know the results.    

*Thanks go out to my teammate Sean for the pictures

Friday, March 15, 2013

race preview

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

From this video of the Bouldergeist II it looks like there is some actual fast parts out there as well.  Some definite rock obstacles out there, but it looks like  a blast overall!

Side note - I went out for a ride after work with a few buddies and wore the new kit - it feels great!  Figured I should give it a test run before going out and racing in it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


It starts (for me) this weekend, the Southern Classic Series.
From what my teammate Keith tells me, it's a rocky one.  
photos from the facebook

I'm ok with that as I'm not one to shy away from the rocks.  I miss the rocks.  Well, I say that now, but we'll see what this course is like come race day.  If it is that rocky, that will likely mean speeds will be down.  So it will come down to actual mountain biking and not just a mashfest like the winter short track series - so that is good!    

I'm excited, but since starting the new job it feels like I haven't ridden in forever!!  The winter series seems so far off... it will be interesting to see just where I am fitness wise for this race.  As I'm settling into the new job hopefully I can get some sort of riding schedule fit in there somewhere.  But what better way to start the year off then to just jump in feet first?  

I'm ready.

Oh, I also got my new team kit - so I'll look legit and flashy for the race.  It's race cut (ordered club fit) so I'm glad I've dropped a couple pounds...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

work in the woods

I FINALLY got out to put in a little time at... well, it doesn't have a name.  But the Mutt has been talking about it for a bit, so you can pour through his stuff if you want to know a little back story in the trail.  I ran into Tom Tom at the Tour de Charlotte on Saturday and we got to talking and he mentioned he'd be out bright and early the next morning getting in some work before joining up with a group ride at Sherman Branch.  Sounded good to me!

I was late to the trail because I wasn't paying attention to the time change deal... I woke up and thought I was early, and then looked at my phone.  Oh well.  I got my ass in gear and got over to the trail.  I started walking the trail, figuring I'd eventually run into Tom Tom out there at some point.  I didn't bring the bike because I had to run some errands with the wife after doing some work out there.  Let me tell you, even just walking it I could tell this is going to be one sweet trail.  Definitely not a lot of saddle time on this trail as there are a lot of quick ups and turns and challenges, so get your ass out of your saddle and get it done!!

While I was walking I came across this.

And then I made a new friend.

And after that I ran into Good Guy Greg cutting through the woods to the trail ahead of me.  We met up before the bridge work and water rerouting that they had all done a few weeks back, so he gave me a little tour of the rest of the trail.  Tom Tom met up with us as he was walking back to come get us and the tour continued.  I must say, I was impressed.  Impressed with what was already out there, and excited by what is to come.  The potential for this trail is huge.  

I spent my time out on the trail eradicating freshly raked sections of that tiny rooty, stringy, web mess that you find around here.  The type of stuff that trips you as you walk, and can certainly end a ride real quick with the grab of a pedal or derailleur.  When I first started reading the local forums and people would talk about root removal from trails I always pictured legit tree roots... but now I wonder if this is what they were talking about.  I've never supported root removal due to challenge, but I can totally get behind the removal of these tiny roots floating above the tread of the trail.    

Trail work was fun.  Seriously.  I'm definitely down to put in more work out there.  To help clear trail and figure out the routes of what's to come.  Go get out there and help with your local trails, there is no greater feeling (other than riding the trails of course) than giving back.  It gives you a sense of pride and joy just knowing how much fun you, and others, will have on the very trail you are sweating on.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Not only was the Tour de Charlotte fun, but it was educational too!

During the ride we hit up some greenway that I hadn't ridden before.  To be honest, I haven't really hit up any greenway in Charlotte yet... I typically just stuck to the streets.  While on the road bike I'll probably always stick with the streets, but on those rides where I'm riding to the trail the greenways might be helpful.  We did hit a section that I could likely incorporate into my ride out to Renni, and also out to Trailblazer meetings, so that is cool!

No, I'm not a Michigan fan.....

I need a cycling hat.

Being out all day on such a beautiful sunny day I definitely got some sun.  Red arms, nose... and "speed stripes" on the head.  Time to get myself a cycling cap for under the helmet!

On Sunday, I did a little trail work.  I've got to say that I'm pretty psyched about what's been going on out in the woods!  I'll fill you in on that tomorrow... it's raining, so I'll need something to talk about since there will probably not be a night ride tonight - BOO!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Party Pacing Charlotte

Saturday was the very first Tour de Charlotte and it was a blast!  The event was masterminded by the Faster Mustache guys.  Having little/no contact with these guys before the event I wasn't exactly sure what I was in for.  I certainly knew there would be riding, racing, and beer... and of course, there were all three of those.  But the greatest thing about this event was that is was totally and completely inclusive (all types of bikes, levels of riding abilities, etc.).  There were no egos, no attitudes, there was just a it really great vibe right from the get-go.

I'd have to say that this event was a great success.  There were about 91 participants riding through Charlotte together... it must have been a sight to see for those out enjoying the beautiful weather on Saturday.  Numerous times I'd pass families trying to count all the riders going by.  A lot of friendly waving, and we even got a train conductor to blow his horn!

This year the FM guys let us know that this was totally underground and was a big fun group ride/scavenger hunt "non-race."  Next year the red tape will be tackled to make it a more "proper" and permanent fixture.  And, I am very excited for that.  If this year's event is to serve as the baseline for all those to come, then this is an event that you do not want to miss.

I passed on racing this year as I really didn't want my legs failing at the end of the ride after putting in various stages of effort into them throughout the day.  For me, I think that was a fine decision.  Next year?  I'll probably be racing as well.  They had some great little courses out there and mixed up the formats throughout the day.  From a straight up singletrack race, to stages with multiple laps, to the grande finale "death crit" (it was held in the cemetery)

Milling around waiting for the "pre-race" meeting.
The trophies
Rules and regulations

More info... thanks Tim for letting us hang out at your house!

waiting to go.

Soon after the FM guys announced the start a loud bang went off.  Did someone really bring a starter pistol??  Nope, someones tire blew off!!  Quick fix, and we were all ready to roll

Riders in the front
Riders in the rear...  stretching back as far as you can see

Spectating the finish at BYT
Pit stop at the Spoke Easy for some pizza and beer
mmm beer
The fun doesn't stop during the break!

the Death Crit

Post ride fire, food, and beers.
I just want to say a big THANK YOU to all those involved in making this happen.  It was a really great event and I for one and looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Back at it

Yesterday was my first day at the *new job.  Paperwork and whatnot.

Today I'm back at it bright and early for some trainings.

One "cool" thing about the location of the job is that I'm pretty damn close to Poston (which I rode on Sunday) and the WWC is on the way home.  So, right off the bat I have some spots to hit up after work- if logistics work out on any given day.  Although, at the end of the day I could be any number of places through 3 different counties... so we'll have to see how that works out.  But with the time change coming up hopefully that will remedy itself and allow for easier/later riding.  I've always got the light for night riding!

After riding Poston on Sunday with a few teammates I won't mind at all having Poston as a go to after work ride.  Place has some great varied terrain and is "wilder" than most trails around here.  Plus, the locals like to brag that it never closes.  So thumbs up on that.  Sunday was proof of that, pretty snotty in spots.  Tires were caked at the end of each run.

The weather seems to be taking a dive again, which might mean no social night ride tonight... boo that. but, only time will tell.

*New job, as in brand new.  But not new in that, I've done it before in CT.  Or something VERY close.  You know how it is, someone tweaks one things and calls it something different.  Either way... it's a job.

Monday, March 4, 2013


The weather has been rotten.  Over the last week or so there has been just enough rain to kept the local trails closed.  When it hasn't been raining, it's just been those gloomy grey days that seem to suck motivation right from you.

I had enough of the missed opportunities and waiting and decided to hit the pavement on Saturday.  When I went to bed on Friday I was under the assumption all precipitation would occur in the overnight and the day would be fine.  Fine meaning cold, but dry skies.  When I woke up it was snowing/freezing rain.  Great, there goes another day without riding.

About noon it cleared and the sun seemed to be peaking out.  The weather forecast hung at a 30% chance of rain... it would have to do.  I set myself up with a new route hitting some gorgeous streets I had driven through previously that would then hit up some of my standard route for about a 20 mile circuit.  The plan, hit the circuit twice.  The outcome - a little over a 1/3 accomplished.  As I was heading out away from Uptown everything was gorgeous.  The streets were awesome, the temps were fine.  The sun was "present."  As my route turned my back towards Uptown it looked something like this.  

Yes, Ghostbuster style - minus the lightning.
At first I felt a tiny little droplet.  Ok, straight home before I get caught in.... nevermind.  All of a sudden the skies open up with some friendly freezing rain.  A mixture of both cold ass drops and frozen little bits, FUN TIMES!  I knew I wasn't far from home, yet I still debated stopping in a shopping center or restaurant to try to wait it out.  Stubborn as I am, I did neither.  I pushed on.  My feet were frozen lumps a few blocks away from home.  My legs were absolutely freezing.  My upper body was ok - I guess that's good.

I was in no way prepared for such weather, and that is my fault.  I let the sun trick me into thinking everything would be fine throughout my ride.  I will also say that was the coldest, most miserable I've EVER been on a ride.  My legs were red and itchy, my feet red/purple.  It was ugly.  Jumped in a coldish shower to try to help coax warmth back into me.  All said an done I was fine... just stupid.

Even though it doesn't truly feel it, I still have to respect that it's winter, and winter will bite you.

Friday, March 1, 2013

watch out

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

By now you've all probably seen one or both of these videos, but I'm sharing them anyway.

First up is the American version of a biker getting hit by an animal.  This time a deer.  Personally I know that I've been in situations where (after the fact I realized) things could have gotten ugly with deer getting spooked.  Luckily for me I've been able to weave through the varying paths of deer as they scattered.  For this fellow, well, this is what happens when you aren't so lucky.

Next up is a teaser for the film Singletrack High.  Personally, I'm excited at the growth of youth cycling.  I'm super psyched that the sport is finding it's place in high schools across the nation.  While most of it is happening out west, hopefully with more exposure teams can become a reality in your neck of the woods as well.  

Would I have been on a cycling team in high school if it was offered?  Good question.  I was a founding member of our mountain bike club in high school.  But I also played a number of sports.  So, I'm not sure if I would have given up baseball to ride on a team (same reason I never got into lacrosse - new sport in town with a conflicting season).  But, for some students it would be a great way to get involved.

Watch out for showing in your area... talk to your local mountain bike association and see if you can't hold a showing yourself.