Monday, June 28, 2010

Training Update

The training has been going pretty well as of late. It's been nice bringing some structure back into the mix via Lianne. She's been doing a great job of making some of the hard days more interesting and mixing in some cross training with ab workouts and at home yoga practicing (both of which I'm always meaning to do more of but never do). I'll be curious to hear how the team ride went yesterday morning. Benson was heading up a group for the 24 Miles of Pain ride down south. I was unable to attend because of work, but I did get in a solid interval session on the road afterwards. I'm going to try and head down to B.C. a little early for this weeks WNR at Avalanche, maybe a 5:30 to 5:45 start for a little pre-ride action. Hopefully we'll have a good turnout this week, the trail is super fun. I've got a little less than two weeks left before the next race, and things seem to be coming together nicely (although I'm sure 40+ miles of singletrack at Boyne Mt. will kick my a** all the same). See you Wednesday.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

WNR # 15

Attendance: Myself, Benson, Racin' Rob, Doug, Kurt, Kevin, Charlie, Damon, Joe, Sarah, Sherri, Cheryl, and ? new girl.

Weather: Despite off and on rain throughout the day, it cleared up and the sun came out by ride time.

Trail Conditions: Nice and open without too much debris on the trail, but the rain we've been getting made for some slick spots here and there.

I had a good ride, and from what I heard afterwards so did everyone else. Thanks to Amber and Chris for hosting the after party and providing the cheeseburgers. Next weeks WNR is heading back south to Boyne City.....again. I know we're riding at Avalanche, but I forget where we were talking about having dinner afterwards. Anyway, get down there and ready for a 6:30 ride time. Until then.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

WNR #14

Attendance: Myself, Benson, Rob, Secret Steve, Kevin, Charlie, Doug, Kurt, Damon, Cheryl, and Bobbi (plus about 20-30 others from the Lat 45 crew)

Weather: Cloudy and cool.

Trail Conditions: Very good. A bit slick in a couple of spots, but overall clear and quite flowy.

That was my first ride down in the Chandler Hill area this season, and it was definitely worth the drive. I had a good hard ride, and my legs felt way better than they have in a couple of weeks. We'll be returning to the hood for next weeks WNR @ Boyne Highlands (thankfully) after two weeks on the road. Be there or be square.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The LBJ That Never Was

So, when I was initially shut out of the LBJ 100 due to the 12 hour online sellout (I mailed mine, oops), I had the bright idea to just do the ride a week early with a few local riding buddies that also didn't get in. I was pretty lax in the recruitment department, but I thought I had some pretty firm probables with Hugh and his brother Roy. That was up until about a month and a half ago. Roy decided to put his house in Grand Rapids up for sale to test the waters and contemplate a move to the west coast. Less than a week later it sold. So Roy's moving to California and has to pack up all his stuff, he's out. But you can always count on Hugh being up for a 100 mile ride in the woods, right? Normally yes, but not if he's got a couple of cracked ribs. A couple of weeks ago (while riding with brother Roy) Hugh took a nasty slow speed spill at Fort Custer and cracked said ribs. I know that guy can put up with some serious pain and discomfort, but I also know from experience that any sort of rib injury makes any sort of mountain biking a pretty painful proposition for at least a month (especially mountain bike rides in the 9 to 10 hour range). So it's just me and the LBJ. Before we even left, I had already decided to ride two laps for 66 miles. About halfway through the first lap on Saturday I decided one would be plenty. So my weekend of 100 miles in the woods turned out to be 50 instead. 33 miles on the LBJ course Saturday, and 17 on the VASA Singletrack yesterday. All in all it was a good weekend. Sarah and I got to take the new (to us) camper out for it's first trip this season. We got some good riding in, and we got to have a late lunch/dinner at Short's yesterday. Oh yeah, funny sticker on the pump at BP I noticed on the way down Friday.

WNR this week on the NCT off Thumb Lake Road. Latitude 45 is hosting a ride, and Secret Steve hooked us up with the invite. Call or email the shop to rsvp/reserve a demo bike. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

WNR # 13

Attendance: Myself, Benson, Rob, Secret Steve, Charlie, Doug, Sherri, Bobbi (at Boyne Mountain), Sarah, Cheryl, and Joe (at Avalanche Mountain).

Weather: Despite a wicked storm that rolled through about an hour before the ride, the weather was pretty good. It wasn't too hot and the rain really firmed up the trail well.

Trail Conditions: Conditions were about as good as I can remember. They've added a lot of new trail, and that really seems to have spread out the wear and tear.

It's not often I get down to ride at Boyne Mountain without strapping a number on the bike. While we still did a pretty hard ride, it was nice to stop and let everybody regroup from time to time. It was also nice to ride some of the newer trails that aren't normally included in the race loop. That said, it was a good reminder that the terrain down there is not to be taken lightly. I may try and sneak down there once more before the race next month. After the ride, we all reconvened at the new Cafe Sante in downtown Boyne City. They've got a great beer list, and the wood fired pizza was excellent as well. Next weeks WNR is still up in the air while we wait for some info. from Secret Steve. He thinks that Latitude 45 may be hosting a ride on the NCT down off of Thumb Lake Road. It's a nice section of trail, and even though it would mean another long drive for the WNR I'd be down. I should know for sure what's what by Monday. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Hanson Hills: Racin and Learnin

*All references to yesterday mean Sunday. Blogger was down Monday and I had no access to the internet until this morning.

A steady downpour and temperatures hovering around 50 degrees made for a pretty rough day in the saddle yesterday. I got chilled after my warmup in the cold and rain (despite putting new dry clothes on my top half), and I never really got warm again. My feet were soaking wet and cold. Traction was either really good were there was sand, or it was super, super slick where there was dirt. In the end I was about ten minutes slower than last year, but preliminary examination of the results shows that this was pretty much the same for everybody. I ended up 7th out of 8. It was not my best effort as the cold and my inability to get my heartrate up left me feeling a little blah. Not DFL, but PFC. On the brighter side of things, I was within just a couple of minutes of the few guys right in front of me. So what did we learn?

1) If you’re driving a covered pick up truck to a race, and you own an easy-up 12 ft. square tent, bring it. Bring your trainer as well. If it’s raining when it’s time to warm up, simply do your warm up on the trainer all dry and warm.

2) If you are going to do your warm up on the road and it looks like it may rain (or it’s just starting to rain lightly like yesterday), put the shoe covers you’ve brought along on anyway. You’re never going to be more than 10 minutes away from the car if you really want to take them off at some point, and if it does start raining heavily (like it did yesterday) you’ll be happy you had them on.

3) If you think conditions may be a bit slippery, or really slippery for that matter lower your tire pressure by about 3-5 p.s.i. This is especially true on a course that is almost 100% singletrack (just like Hanson Hills). When there are no road sections to make up time and the course is super slick, traction becomes a really big deal.

I did none of the above yesterday, but you can bet your a** I will next time. If you have a less than stellar race, it’s important to at least learn something from it. I learned a lot yesterday, and hopefully it’ll make me a little faster somewhere down the road. I guess Benson has decided the WNR for this week: Boyne Mountain. Sarah is leading a faction of mostly female riders at Avalanche Mountain. We will regroup for dinner at the new Cafe Sante in Boyne City. Over and out.

Friday, June 04, 2010

New Content?

Sarge just contacted me and wanted to know if I'd be interested in some contributions from him about riding out in Flagstaff. I said hells yeah. I'm always surprised that the few people that read my boring, same old same old don't get bored and stop reading all together. It'll be nice to have some posts from way out in AZ., and it'll be nice to hear from Sarge from time to time. Welcome old friend, I look forward to some good reads. Have a good weekend everybody.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

WNR # 12

Attendance: Myself, Benson, Rob, Charlie, Secret Steve, Bobbi, Sarah, Cheryl, Kevin, and Keri.

Weather: Sunny and warm.

Trail Conditions: A few logging issues near the back end of our property, and sand, sand, everywhere sand.

The trail actually is in pretty good shape considering the lack of rain. I don't ride the Loop as often as I used to, and there are a couple of hills out there that never seem to get any easier. Most notably are the Ruth Unwise trail and the cart path heading back up to the 95 acres. I also managed a little crash at the end. Nothing too bad (unlike Hugh with his busted ribs), just smashed the living s**t out of my knee. It felt okay pedaling some intervals before work this morning, but yoga was a no-go. We've got the race at Hanson Hills this weekend, so I'm out for riding on Sunday unless you want to come down to Grayling and race. We were unable to come to a consensus for next weeks WNR last night, so we'll try and have something firmed up by Monday. Have a good weekend. Over and out.