Thursday, July 31, 2008

Last WNR (of July)

I have been overdue for a post and seeing as how WPG wasn't able to join the group, I guess I can fill in the details. Pete arrived hoping to join us for part of the loop but his pre-riding had taken a bit more out of him than expected & he needed his reserves for the spin home...so the group was on the small side with Rob, Matt, Jessilyn & myself in attendance. Jess got some directions & felt confident she knew her route as she was the solo girl rider & didn't want us boys slowing her down. Matt had a different plan in mind for the route with a diversion on a section of single track that Y-bike Dave had shown him. It turned out to be a pretty cool alternative climb that bypasses the "old" logging two-track climb (that Marcus fixed years ago), Pete's Knee, & the Stuffed Lamb & brings you out to cross the two-track just before you cross onto Boyne's property - newly marked by their ridiculous sign-in request signs. We obviously poached the trails & headed on to the South to North Peak run & caught up with Jess at the top of the Loser trail (she's so fast!) & that's where the group split up, Matt had a shorter route in mind so Rob & I headed out to the bridges & then back down to the new climb to try the downhill direction. All in all a good section, a bit overgrown with some biting thorny spots but it's late July & that is the price you pay for beautiful single track. Rob & I decided that Sarge's section would be required to complete our loop & other that a few more scratches on the arms, it is in wonderful shape as well. We even shared the trails with at least 10 other riders, on their own routes but enjoying themselves immensely...even a tandem! Well next week starts a new month so the WNR is at Terpening Station with a bit of hoopla for the 1-year anniversary of my crash. I know Pete & Hugh will be tapering their efforts before Ore to Shore but for those able & willing, Rob & I are planning on arriving early for the Pro-Loop. Until next time, get out & ride!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Whoa!

Had just about the busiest regatta weekend that I can recall. Things went just about as smoothly as can be expected though. We've got a great crew of kids this summer, and that definitely makes a big difference. It seems like most kids these days are lazy and apathetic; but if you look hard enough, you can still find a few good ones in the bunch. I've got one more week of heavy saddle time, and then I'll start tapering off in preparation for the big race coming up on Aug. 9th. It's going to be interesting to see what happens. I'm not sure yet how my new training strategy (more riding/less structure) will work out when it comes to actually racing. But I'm feeling good, and you can just catch a glimpse of Labor Day if you try really hard and squint. Hope everyone had a good weekend. WNR this week 6:15 @ Boyne this week (show up at 3:30 if you want to start with me). Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Countdown to Regatta

Less than a week to go now before the big regatta weekend. It's probably our second busiest weekend of the year, so it's a good one to get out of the way. Once I get past that weekend, there are only a couple of weeks before Ore to Shore. After that's it's mostly smooth sailing to Labor Day and the end of yet another summer in hell. This summer is my 15th, and I honestly don't know how many more I can handle. I'm not sure that it's possible to understand what it's like without experiencing it, so I won't bore you with all the gory details. Suffice it to say that summer is far and away my least favorite season. At least I've got three other ones that don't suck. On the brighter (cycling) side of life, things are going rather smoothly. I've been getting in a good ten hours a week of saddle time, and I'm looking to up the volume a little now that I'm getting ready to ramp up the racing again. After the Ore to Shore, I'll have about a month to get ready for the 3 day stage race in Canada. I'm really starting to get excited about that. I'm looking at it like three marathon races in a row where you get to camp/hang out with all your fellow racers at the end of each day. Also in bike related news: I put the old LeMond back into working order about a month ago to be my primary commuter vehicle. I've got a rack with panniers (thanks for the loan Hugh) on her, and it's been great using her to cruise around the county. In a little less than a month I've logged just shy of 500 miles that I normally would have driven. I'm super motivated to see what kind of total I can rack up before the snow starts flying this fall. Now if I could just find a good route, I could ski to work this winter..hmmmm..probably not going to happen. WNR this week on the NCT. Meet at the Pleasantview Twp. Hall for a 6:15 departure (Hugh and I will most likely be departing headquarters around 4:30 if anyone's interested in a longer ride). Take care and ride well.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Evolution

When Mike Bodt was in town over the fourth, he was commenting on how much the Loop behind the house had changed since we all took up biking back about 8 or 9 years ago. I like to think of it as more of an evolution though. Over the years the trail has evolved according to training needs and the unending quest for more singletrack. When it all started the trail had very little singletrack and was only about 6 miles of an out and back loop. We all thought we were bad ass for making it up the big climb to the 95 acres without getting off to walk. Now, I ride up that climb at race pace over and over again as one of my favorite interval workouts. Yesterday, I rode what I consider to be the current official Loop. After the initial few miles of singletrack you climb up to the 95 acres and descend down to Five Mile Creek road. From there you use Geary Rd. to get to the back of Pond Hill Farm. After riding the outermost perimeter of the farm, you head over to the creek for all of Sammie's freshly groomed singletrack goodness. From there it's home via the cart path. It's just a hair over 10 miles now, and the flow and mix of trail type is just about perfect. Come on out and ride. This weeks WNR at Larks Lake Rd. NCT trailhead. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Quick Update

Just some quick and random thoughts to let you know I'm not dead:

1) New WNR ride time: 6:15 instead of 6:30. This week the ride will be @ Boyne. We're planning on some serious climbing so come prepared.

2) I've been getting a lot of time in on the saddle, and I'm definitely over the bad mojo that plauged my world this spring. I've gotten to be more proactive about the things in my life that I can control, and I've done my best to come to terms with the things that i can't.

3) Try riding a bike somewhere that you would normally drive to. I've taken to riding most places I need to go (work, yoga, doctor appt., haircut, etc.), and I'll tell you what: it's a win, win, win situation all the way around. I feel better mentally when I get where I'm going. You don't have to worry about parking or traffic congestion. You get a little exercise. And most importantly, you save $ on gas. I haven't totally converted, and I still drive one or two days a week to transport clean clothes/dirty laundry and beer/empties between the store and home.

4) I'm coming to truly despise some of the people I have to deal with in the summer months. We have one customer that won't drink Fiji bottled water because it's "wasteful" to have water shipped all that way. This same guy just built a 8,000 square foot summer cottage and travels on a private jet. Do the fu**ing math a**hole.

5) Congratulations to Scott and Catherine (sorry if I misspelled that). They're getting hitched next month. Best wishes from the team.

That's it for now. Over and out.