Monday, March 31, 2008

How was your weekend?



I got out for my longest ride of the season Saturday afternoon, and it felt really good. I did 49.7 miles on my cyclocross bike; and aside from a few icy stretches, the roads are pretty clear (if you're able to ignore the salt, rocks, and sand). I did a fairly flat ride with only 1600 ft. of climbing, but I kept up what I expect to be a good Cohutta pace and even carried my Wingnut hydration pack. It was a bit of an adjustment wearing the pack again, but I figured I should probably start using it now rather than trying to get used to it on race day. The legs felt good enough at the end of the ride to do a little extension up Wasson’s grade for the finale instead of the usual route. Yesterday, I got out for a little hard hill training. I did a 17.6 mile hilly figure eight loop around the neighborhood at a pretty brisk pace, and I was definitely feeling some discomfort by the end. I’ve got pretty easy rides on the calendar for this week, so I should get a chance to recover a little and get things situated for the trip. It's hard to imagine that in less than two weeks I may be able to ride in shorts as opposed to the three pairs of tights that have been accompanying me on rides so far this season. Hopefully by the time I get home the singletrack will be open for business. I'm heading down to pick up the new bike either Tuesday or Thursday, and I can't wait. I heard birds chirping this morning, and it was above freezing when I left the house around seven. Surely this is a good sign. Take care and think spring.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Cloudline



The bike stable is about to get a new addition, and her name shall be Cloudline. I sent Scott some pictures of one of my favorite wine labels of late (an Oregon Pinot Noir from Cloudline Vineyards) to use as his inspiration for the paint. Once again, I think he's done an amazing job. When I talked to him last week he was just getting ready to start painting, and he was worried that it was going to be a little too blue. I assured him that blue was, hands down, my favorite color of all time, and he went ahead with what he had planned. I'm more than pleased with the results, and I can't wait to see it in person and all built up next week when I go down to pick her up. I'm so happy right now I can almost forget that I've been riding inside for over a week straight now. Hopefully I'll get out on the road tomorrow for a good three hour ride. It's supposed to be 35 and sunny which, right now, sounds like a fu**ing heat wave. Over and out.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Uggh

As much as I love winter, I'm definitely ready for it be over. Yesterday morning I woke up to heavy wintery mix precipitation. It was such a shock to my system that I immediately decided to skip my morning yoga class (I'll go thursday night with Sarah). I knew I wasn't going to be able to do my ride outside, and I decided I would need all the reserves of motivation I could call up in order to get on the bike upstairs for the third day in a row. I sat around all morning drinking coffee, watching Netflix (if you haven't checked out the Showtime hit Dexter, give it a whirl. it's really funny), and reading. Once I got dressed and on the bike, the ride wasn't too bad. Unfortunately, it's looking like I may indoors for the rest of the week. However, it's looking like it may warm up into the 40's by the weekend; and that's a good thing too because I've got long rides scheduled on saturday and sunday. It'd be real nice to do them outside. On the brighter (and not so bitchy) side of things: One, I talked to Scott Q. on monday, and I should be heading down next week to pick up the new bike. The frame is done, and he's painting this week. Parts are either there or on the way. Yeah. Two, Oberon is out, and I should be getting a few cases at the store today. At least if we can't ride like it's spring, we can drink like it. Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Is In The Air (not really)

Of the six bike rides I did last week, three of them were outside. I took this a very good sign that warmer weather was on the way, but it now appears that Mother Nature fooled me once again. This morning the temperature in my care registered a chilly five degrees, and the forecast is not calling for much over freezing the remainder of the week. The roads are still clear and fine for riding, but these cold temps. are only going to prolong the snow in the woods, thus barring our access to singletrack. I'm starting to think I may not even see the Loop or the North Country Trail before I leave town in a few weeks. Such is life. Hope everybody had a good Easter, and have a safe week.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring

I talked with Scott earlier this week, and it sounds like my new frame is almost ready to be painted. That means that if I keep on him about the build kit I could be heading down there to pick it up in just a couple of weeks time. I definitely want to get a few spins on it before I leave for Tennessee next month. I had an excellent, albeit really hard workout yesterday out on the road. It was a hard interval day, so I did hill repeats on Wasson's grade for a couple of hours. All that skiing this winter must have really done something for me because my legs are feeling really good. I can't wait to get out on the singletrack. Unfortunately, that doesn't look like it's going to be happening anytime real soon. It's supposed to be sunny through the weekend, but the temps. are only going to be in the low 30's. So that two feet of snow in the woods may be with us for a little longer. Have a good weekend everybody.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

This Is A Test



I know most you probably don't need the reminder, but it's encouraging to see more and more of these public service campaigns popping up for those that do.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

YouTube For You

It's been really slow lately at work, but that's to be expected. March is, by far one of the slowest months of the year. Anywho, after I've exhausted all bike related blogs/forums, checked my email (for the umpteenth time), and updated my Netflix account, I generally run a search for ski/cycling related videos on YouTube. This one's kind of funny and real short. Enjoy. Training has been going really well this week in spite of spotty weather, and I'll give you a full recap at the end of the week. I know, you can't wait. Over and Out.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring Is In The Air


It might not seem possible with all the snow we still have on the ground combined with arctic temperatures, but spring really is on the way. Aside from the calendar (spring begins March 20th), two things have started to happen that reassure me we're on our way to warmer and greener pastures. One, I've had to start up with the seasonal allergy medication. I always try and put it off as long as possible because I really don't like to take any sort of prescription drugs; but when your throat starts to get sore and you start sneezing for no apparent reason, you really don't have a choice. You just have to start popping in a little Allegra with your multivitamin and glucosamine. The second sign of spring around the house has actually been happening rather slowly over the last couple of weeks. Ski equipment/gear that I'm relatively certain I won't need again this year has been making it's way up to the spare bedroom. Bike equipment/gear that has been lying dormant for the winter has been emerging from rubbermaid bins and closets. So dust off your two wheeled machine and get ready to ride.

I got out on the road twice last week; and even though it's been really fu**ing cold, it's nice to be riding outdoors again. I still may have to resort to the indoor riding once or twice a week; but if it's over 25 degrees and not raining, I'll probably be on the road. It's so much better than staring at the t.v. while you pedal. In other bike related news: Sarah is starting to put together the evite for this years Team Terpening 3 Day Race/Extravaganza. If your email address has changed, or if you'd like to get somebody on the list give me a call. The dates are May 16-18 so put it on your calendar and start training.



Kate's husband Adrejs gave Sarah his old smoker when he upgraded his grill a while back. Yesterday, she fired it up for the first time, and the results were excellent. I worked up a big appetite riding outside yesterday (sunny but only 23 degrees), and those ribs hit the spot. Have a good week. Over and out.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Five Weeks Out

The Cohutta 100 is five weeks from today, and I'm actually feeling pretty good. It'd be nice to log more of my hours outdoors though. Riding indoors is real boring, but it does get the job done. Hopefully I'll be outside full time within another week or so. Have a good weekend.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Week in Review

Monday: 1.5 hours indoor cycling
Tuesday: 1.5 hours yoga/1 hour indoor cycling
Wednesday: 1.5 hours indoor cycling (intervals)
Thursday: 1.5 hours skate skiing
Friday: off (legs really sore from skating)
Saturday: 1 hour skate skiing (legs still really sore)
Sunday: 1.75 hours backcountry skiing/1 hour indoor cycling

I had a pretty good week training, and I was actually able to exercise some common sense for a change. I was talking to Hugh on thursday, and he informed me that there was a freestyle (skating) race at Boyne on sunday morning. The fact that I'm going to be racing my bicycle in a little over a month immediately fell off the radar. When I went out saturday afternoon, I was still seriously considering racing on sunday morning. That changed about halfway through the hilly loop at Nub's. My whole body, from my hands and arms right down through my legs and into my feet, was very sore. Not the end of the world sore, but certainly not the kind that's cured by hard racing. Common sense prevailed and I spent yesterday concentrating on recovery with some nice backcountry skiing and an easy spin on the rollers. The plan seems to have worked, and I'm feeling pretty good today. Hope everybody had a good weekend. Think spring.

p.s. I tried out Matt's helmet cam yesterday in the woods, and I think I got a fair amount of usable footage. Stay tuned for a new video montage recapping this winter's adventures.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Traveling Without Moving

I've been on the indoor bicycles for three days in a row now; and while the legs are feeling good and all, it's just no fun putting in all that effort and not moving. Yesterday was my first hard interval workout on the bike this year, and in a really painful way it felt really good. Today, we woke up to a picture perfect winter morning (low 20's and 2-3 inches of fresh fluffy snow), and so today's workout will be on the skate skis. I'll be looking to get in an hour and forty-five minutes, but a lot of that will depend on when I get out of work since I'm scheduled to get my mangy mane trimmed at 3:30. In bike related news not related to my bikes: Sarah got a new set of wheels in the mail yesterday. Mavic 817 Tubeless Rims laced to some WTB hubs. Combined with the sweet Fox fork she got for xmas, her sweet Santa Cruz Superlight is going to be even sweeter this spring. I'm also planning on hooking her up with an old XTR rear der. and some XT trigger shifters. Off to play in the snow. Take care.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Black Mountain Recap


Putting on the kick wax.



Heading down to the start/finish area.



Chatting with JT in the woods yesterday.

My race on saturday was proof positive that if you do something often enough, and for long enough you'll eventually get better at it (at least a little bit anyway). It's been exactly three years since I did my first nordic ski race, and I'm still amazed at how many more little things there are to learn as far as technique and waxing are concerned. It's fascinating. Now that I'm more comfortable on my skis and in the whole racing situation I can actually start to concentrate on them as well, which has really made a difference this year. My result on saturday wasn't off the charts or anything, but I was very pleased none the less: 34 km in 2hr.30min. for 33rd overall. My time was 23 min. faster than last year and I moved up from 45th overall in last years race. This sport has got me hooked for good now, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to find myself devoting most of my training to it starting in the early fall this year. I know that will mean less time on the bike and more time doing pull-ups or dragging tires up hills, but I've had such a great time this winter I want to keep improving next winter.

In bike related news: The new 29er should be done soon, and I'm going to be giving Scott a call this afternoon to finalize the parts and paint. I took the day off of training yesterday and just went backcountry skiing with JT and Sarah, but I will be jumping headlong into bike training starting today. I've got to do an hour and a half on the bike this afternoon, and since it's snowing right now that means it will be an indoor ride. My training volume in March has been ratcheted up to an all time high with a few 12 hour weeks building up to 14 hours by the last week. As long as it's unsafe to ride outdoors, at least a third of these hours are going to be on the skis still (I simply cannot bring myself to ride that many hours indoors). But once the roads are safe, if it's over 35 I'll be outside. Get your bike tuned up and ready to go. We'll be riding outside before you now it.