Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Bad Afternoon Gets Worse

Yesterday started off great. We've almost got everything moved into the back of the store in preparation for the new floor, and the forecast was for clearing skies after 11 a.m. and a high of 50. When I left the store at two there was a slight mist and the temp. was 37. Not what I had in mind for the scheduled ride. I got home and built a fire to warm up, and then I set about contemplating my options. Well, there were really only two. One, ride the trainer in front of the tv with ipod......boring. Two, get bundled up and hit the road.....cold. I decided to bundle up, figuring I'd be fine once I got warmed up. And I was fine once I got the blood pumping. So, about forty minutes into said two hour ride, pow.......flat in the rear. I was about halfway up Wasson's grade when it happened. Since there is no shoulder, and it's a curvy twisty road, I began the walk up to the top (rather than risk getting hit by a car changing the flat in the cold). For the record, I can walk appox. 3.8 mph uphill in stiffass bike shoes. Once at the top, I'm only 1.5 miles from home, and so once again I forgo changing the tire in the cold in favor of walking. Also, I figured someone would drive by and give me a ride. They are neighbors after all. I hate to walk. I especially hate to walk in road bike shoes. But it was that cold, and I was that close to home. I walked 1.7 miles without seeing a single car. The walking does give you time to think though. And what I thought about was firing up the sauna when I got home. That sounded like a good way to look at the glass half full and all that shit. Before I'd left the house, I decided to be a nice pet owner. Since the dogs had been outside all day, I let them stay inside on the couch by the fire while I was out riding. When I got home from the ride/walk and opened the door to let them out, I knew what had happened immediately (from the smell). As the saying goes: shit happens. Bodhi let it happen in a few choice locations throughout the living room. To make a long story short, no sauna for Pete. I got to clean up dog shit instead. Well, this afternoon really can't be any worse.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Trail Conditions

Just a quick update about trail conditions in the area. I rode some different sections of my trail last night, and conditions remain unchanged. The trail is in sad shape and need of some serious TLC. Hopefully it won't rain too much on Sunday, and we'll be able to get out there and clean her up. On a brighter note, I rode some of the trails at boyne on Wednesday before yoga, and they are free of debris and snow. I took the singlespeed out for what was supposed to be an easy ride...yeah right. My first time out on good clear singletrack, and I'm gonna take it easy. I was only kidding myself. That would be like taking Jeff Gordan's car away for six months, and then on his first visit to the track you tell him he can only do 40 mph. It's just not gonna happen. I had a great time riding all the same. It's supposed to be a little chilly for the first WNR next week, but at least we know the trails will be in good shape for riding. We should be out working on the trails at some point Sunday afternoon if anyone is interested in coming out for some work/ride give me a call on Saturday. In the meantime, take care and be good.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bishop 1996-2007

March 27th 2007 marked the passing of the best dog I have yet to have known. Bishop enjoyed over 10 years as our completely spoiled boy. I cannot comfortably put into words everything that he meant to us, I can only give some words that best describe him. Bishop was warm, friendly, loving, patient, regal, intelligent, strong, fast, loyal, vocal, interested, sweet, inspiring, party-loving, at-the-ready, constant, vigilant, extraordinary, obedient, handsome, tender, a good listener, mischievous, serious, stubborn, sharp, hug-able, grumpy, inquisitive, spirited, helpful, generous (especially with kisses), comical, heroic, focused, gentle, playful, wise, a great companion, soulful, wishful, trustworthy, independent, dependable, comfortable, name but a few of his qualities. He was like a son, brother and friend to me and was much more than a pet. He was a wonderful brother & companion for Kira. Bishop enjoyed a spoiled & pampered life and will be truly missed. Thanks to everyone who shared in his life and our memories.

Gdog on the hunt

I'm sorry in advance if this doesn't work out. I just signed up with my YouTube account so it's a maiden voyage attempting to post videos from there. This is supposed to be a video of old Guinness attempting to root out a chipmunk that had taken to ground. Sarah shot the video out behind the shop yesterday afternoon. He sure is a tenacious little bastard. Well, let's hope it works....if not I'll give it another try later. Had a stupendous road ride up and down the shore yesterday. It's spectacular right now with no leaves on the trees and the ice breaking up. At the same time, it will be nice to see some green again. Can't wait for the Trillium to start up. Until next time, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

First Loop of the Season

Got out on the Loop for the first time this season yesterday. Turns out it's a good thing I brought that folding hand saw. It took me a while to get through that tree, but I finally made it and was on my merry way. Seriously, there are a ton of trees and sticks down everywhere. I got all of the small stuff off of my section after the ride, but it still needs some chainsaw work. The rest of the trail......well, let's just say that we need to schedule a trail work day. I'll be around Sunday afternoon if anyone is interested in coming out for some work and maybe a ride after. Let me know. The weather looks good for the next few days, so let's get out and ride. An inspirational quote for the day: Training is a building process. Start with a strong foundation.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring Cleaning

Good to hear that Chrs and Amber are getting some good rides in while they're on vacation. I'm thinking that after the storm that came through here yesterday and last night, our own twisty fun trails will be open for riding soon. Just in time too. As much fun as I've had on the road bike, I'm itching to get out on the singletrack with the singlespeed. I had the first day off the bike in two weeks yesterday, and so what did I do? Worked on my bikes. First off, the road bike needed a new rear tire and a new chain. I then turned my attention to the singlespeed. Last week I almost ordered a new crankset for her, but then I remembered something: I had a really nice RaceFace crankset in one of the toolboxes that came off the old razorback. I removed the stock junkyass cranks, and then went to twist the spindle on the bottom bracket. It barely moved. It felt as if someone had replaced the bearings with small misshapen rocks. Off to the store for a new (and lighter) BB. I Got it all put back together and went for a short spin. It works, It's lighter, It looks cool. I'm a happy camper. So happy I may have to hit up the Loop today even though it may be a tad muddy. I'll report back on trail conditions if I go. Remember, the first WNR (wed. night ride) of the season is April 4, and I'm calling it now: 6:30 @ the field. Be there or be square.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Twist 'n Flow

Greetings from sunny Virginia, finally catching up on the blog update while on vacation. We arrived last Sunday afternoon to some slightly chilly VA temps (still in the 50's though.) The weather has steadily improved all week and so has the riding. With the help of my friend Chris Martens, a former Michigander, now a Williamsburg 'local' we began our Tour de VA. Monday we went to a Park/Trail called New Quarter, a good initiation to the local MTB scene. The trail is fairly twisty & technical with a few roots to contend with but a great amount of trail in a relatively small area, around 6-7 miles with some pretty good descents and climbs even a few bridge & ramp features at the trailhead.
The next day Amber wanted to get familiar with her road bike 'on the road!' We found a new multi-use trail and set off. Not exactly what we had in mind for a road ride, kind of like the bike path from Bay Harbor to Charlevoix, paved, away from the road & traffic with a few wooden bridges...and it is a work in progress. We did a little bit of packed gravel sections between paved ones hoping they would connect-almost a little more cyclo-cross but it gave Amber a good feel for her new bike and type of riding.
Wednesday turned cool again, overcast with temps in the 50's - a good day for a Mt. Bike ride at a place Chris directed me to, Freedom Park. Due to the cool weather, I was the only bike out on the trail. Definitely a good find and well maintained by a local MTB club, this park will eventually have around 25 miles of trails but the current offering is quite adequate. I logged about 10+ miles with only minimal repeats, but that was only because I turned around, rode the trail backwards to a fork for some fresh trail and more miles, well worth it! The only complaint I have is that the map at the trailhead is oriented upside down so it is a bit hard to get your bearing. Thursday, Amber and I met Chris back at Freedom with our road bikes. The park is a great place to park, the entry drive is about a mile long and you can ride a great loop that follows some country roads and returns to the park entrance making approximately a 10 mile round trip. Amber & the Chris's rode one loop then Chris & I did a repeat loop while Amber took a break & hiked some of the trails. We definitely pushed the limits on the second lap & it shows that Martens has been road riding much longer than I have...he kicked my butt.
Friday promised to be much warmer so we planned a day off the bikes and took a trip to Virginia Beach, about 45 minutes SE of W-burg. Today Chris & I returned to the Mt. Bikes with a journey to York River State Park. A $3 entry fee was worth the experience, this was the most fun I've had on my bike in a while (I'm glad it's spring & there's more fun to be had.) The trail has two sections, a beginner/intermediate called Laurel Glen only about 2 miles but much more intermediate than beginner with a fast descent and wicked return climb. The second section is called Marl Ravine and was definitely intermediate to advanced and where the trail isn't twisty it flows beautifully. There were a fair number of roots to negotiate but that just kept us honest. This ride was my payback to Martens for him kicking my ass road is good to be from a hilly area. The Marl loop is about 6 miles and a blast, well planned & maintained with a good amount of ups & downs to keep you in line. I have been pleasantly surprised at the geography variations in and around W-burg as well as the trails. If I have an opportunity, I would definitely return with the bikes. As for me, that seems long winded enough and sorry for the lack of photos, the biz center computer lacks the upload option. I'll try to include a few upon my return. Hope to be riding with every one in MI soon...we've got to get in shape for the TT3-day ride!

On the Road Again

That's right. Had my first "Road" bike ride last night. I've been out already on a number of occasions, but it's all been on the singlespeed or the scalpel. Yesterday marked the first day for the old Lemond (and I do mean old). It was great. It's amazing how much faster you can go with those skinny slick tires. I guess those fat tires with nobbies and such really do slow you down, duh. It was an interval kind of day, so I rode around the block five times. Granted, that may not sound like much. But then I live in a neighborhood with really big blocks. This particular block is just over 5.22 miles in circumference, and .54 of that is the last climb. So when you do it five times in a row, you end up covering 26.84 miles and climbing a total of 1,887 feet. Suprisingly, my lower back is sore, but my legs feel fine. I guess that's just the way it goes. Haven't heard anything from Chris and Amber. Hopefully, they are having some good rides down in Virginia. Until next time, be good and ride like the wind.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Energy Conservation

We just finished up the first week of springing forward faster. I was not real excited about having it be dark out when I normally get up, but it turns out I really do enjoy the much later sunset. I'm not so sure that this small measure will end our dependence on foreign oil (that was old gdub's spin), but it's been nice all the same. The weather has also been downright balmy. Out of six bike rides this week three were actually outside. Yesterday I rode up to the Readmond Twp. Park (just north of Good Hart). I hit up the singletrack down to the beach, and then I cruised south on Lamkin Drive back up to 119. This was also a little research ride as well; this section of road and trail will most certainly be a deciding factor in stage 2 of The Team Terpening 3-day Stage Race to be held May 18-20. That climb at the south end of Lamkin is a bitch, and there are still two more big climbs to go after that point. We've all got just about two months to prepare, so get out there and ride for gosh sakes. Hopefully Chris and Amber are getting in some good rides on vacation down in Virginia. There are only two more weeks of yoga left, and then it's time for the Wednesday Night Ride to start up again. In the mean time, take care and be good.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Great Bear Chase

Greetings from the great u.p. I just finished up my last race of the season, and I'm glad to say that it ended on a good (albeit sore) note. Cycling requires little upper body strength. Cross country ski racing requires a great deal, and my arms are sore right now just typing. My legs felt great today in the 26k classic race, but my arms hurt from the beginning. I ended up doing okay in the grand scheme of things: 1hr. 42min. 27th out of 57 classic men overall and 4th in the 30-39 age group. My avg. h.r. was a whopping 177 (new high for a race avg.). However, I do look forward to getting back on the bikes. If nothing else, it will be nice to do something that I am actually somewhat good at. Cross country ski racing is so hard. I'm still learning so many little tricks, and there is room for a great deal of improvement. I anticipate a few more days on the snow, but it will be so relaxing to not have a race hanging over my head for a little while. Time to pile on the base miles on the bike and be ready to rock for the 1st annual Team Terpening 3-day stage race (may 18-20). Until then, we'll ski on tuesday nights until the snow melts. Take care, and thanks for reading.

p.s. For those not in the know: Our good friend and training companion Angie is moving to Ashville, N.C. This picture was taken at headquarters the first night we met her special friend Dan. We wish her the best of luck in the move, and are happy to have the excuse to visit that great part of the world.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Black Mountain Classic

Sarah, Keri and I headed over to the "sunrise side of the state" on saturday morning for the Black Mountain Classic Ski Race. It used to be a 30 km event, but it is now up to 34 km. For those unable and/or unwilling to do the conversion, my GPS had it at 19.98 miles. They haven't posted the results yet, but I'm pretty sure I improved over last year. My time was the almost the same as last year (2hrs. 50min.), but most people had times about fifteen minutes slower than last year. I'm operating under the assumption that this means I'm getting faster. The first picture is the start of the race taken from across the lake by Sarah. The second one is a byproduct of her volunteer duties. She stood at the bottom of a huge hill before the finish to warn/remind skiers of a big, ninety degree right turn. She said there were quite a few crashes, and this shot turned out the best. I only have one race left in the u.p. next weekend, and then it will be time to shift over to the bike full time. We're still skiing on tuesday nights until the snow melts. Take care, and be good.