Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's Been A Long Strange Summer

It's almost over, and I can safely say this has been a very long and strange summer. On the store front, I feel like I've been on a carnival ride that speeds up almost to the point of self destruction every few days before slowing down to a barely manageable pace. Only two weeks left now, and I know I'm going to make it. My new training regiment has paid off in spades, and I'm feeling really good. Power output is up and body weight is down. I'm in the midst of a recovery week, and I'm actually finding it hard to take it easy. Today is the first day off the bike since before the Ore to Shore. I know deep down that this recovery period will pay off in the long run. I've got Hugh's 50/50 ride in two weeks (50 miles on the dirt + 50 miles on the road), and then I've got two more weeks before the big shakedown in Canada. I think my ability to maintain even a shred of sanity this summer is definitely the result of bicycle commuting and yoga. That's all to report for now. WNR @ Larks Lake trailhead of the NCT. Until then, thanks for reading and keep the rubber side down. Over and out.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Quick Ore to Shore Recap

I'll have to keep this short because I have to get back to work this morning. Rain the night before made for a nicer course than last year, but the slippery stuff in the beginning did lead to a couple of not so serious (but time consuming) crashes on my part. Fortunately I was able to keep my head in the game and kept a good steady pace going for the first 35 miles or so. From there I was still feeling pretty good so I really put the hammer down. I passed a ton of people in the last third of the race and came in at 3 hours and 14 minutes. That's almost 20 minutes faster than last year. I was definitely hoping to have cracked the top 20 in the 30-34 age group after coming so close last year (23rd). The nice girl at the timing table handed me my printout, and I had to ask her if she was sure itwas correct. She said it was. I ended up 8th out of all the other 30-34 year olds. Needless to say, I'm really happy with how the race went down. It gives me a great boost to keep the volume up in training for Hugh's Humongous 100 and the stage race in Canada just over a month away. Other team results: Hugh 3:01 and 5th in the 50-54. Doug 3:08 and 11th out of all the singlespeeders. WNR @ Boyne this week. Start time 6:15. See you there. Over and out.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Final Prep for O2S

My final preparations for the Ore to Shore this year were definitely in keeping with my new training philosophy. In years past I would have ramped down my hours in the saddle and tried to avoid any extra manual labor this year. This year I took the exact opposite approach. I've still been riding a fair amount. And I took on a few extra projects around the house. They turned out to be big projects and now I'm really starting to wonder how good of an idea it was (at the same time I really didn't have a choice). I started off my chores by stacking ten cords of wood for the winter. When I ordered it a couple of months ago, I really didn't take the race into account. But at least it's done.

My second big chore was to rip out all of the carpet in our home tuesday. It took me the whole day, and it was one of the most disgusting/physically hard homeowner job I've done to date. My body is really sore in a few new and interesting ways. But I needed to be ready for our new hardwood floors that are going to be installed monday. Jamie called last week to let us know he'd be ready to start next week. So I had the option of doing it tuesday, or waiting to do it when I get home from the race on sunday. Now that I've done it, I'm sure I made the right choice. It really sucked, and I would have been even more miserable if I'd had to do it on sunday.

So to make a long story short, I'm sore but feeling okay at the same time. I've been feeling really good on the bike for a couple of weeks now, and I'm mentally ready for the task at hand. I'm just going to give it a really good push at the start up until the top of the bobsled run (20 min. in) and see how I'm feeling. If I'm feeling good, I'll put the hammer down and make a race of it. If I'm not, I'll back off a tad and see how the day unfolds.

WNR report: Good turnout, and exactly one year since that bi**h ran Chris over. We all celebrated with a little extra beer and were thankful that Benson's still able to ride with the big boys. Have a good weekend everybody and ride well. I'll do my best.

Anniversary Ride

The Wednesday Night Ride August 6, 2008 also marked the one year anniversary of CB's car attack/crash. In honor of the day, Chris, Doug & Kurt got an early start for the Pro-Loop/Pre-ride. Kurt had a minor issue with a rock which caused his tire to unseat & lose air, luckily the trio made it back to Terpening Station & Pete had a spare wheel in the stable. The official ride group included the aforementioned trio plus Pete, Rob & Matt. Along the ride, we made our regular stop in the field before the sweet downhill & CB noted that at this time last year he was getting hit by the SUV. After the ride, we all enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by Sarah with help from the gang. There were a few added to the social & dining crew including Marcus Q, Jess, Amber, Sonya & Marcus, Scott, Katherine & Mitchell, & Zach. Thanks to everyone for coming out to ride & share in the day.

As a follow-up to a post-dinner discussion on proper Cycling Hand Signals. Since we couldn't come to a consensus, I did a little research and have to acknowledge my ignorance in the matter and have included examples of correct signals here:
Under the terms of the Vienna Convention on Traffic, bicycles are considered to be vehicles and cyclists are considered to be ride like a driver & Share The Road.
Good luck to the Ore to Shore riders this weekend & to Katherine & Scott on their nuptials 8/8/08 & their reception Saturday. Next week's ride is at Boyne at 6:15!