Thursday, October 28, 2010

WNR # 33

Attendance: Pete, Benson, Racin' Rob, Kevin, Charlie, Joe, Cheryl, Christian, and Lisa.

Weather: 45 degrees, 50 mph winds, and a steady rain.

Trail Conditions: Due to the wind and rain the trail was very slick in spots, and numerous dismounts were required to climb over downed trees and limbs.

You might think this all sounds like we would have had a horrible ride. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure the rain was a little wet, and yeah it would have been nice to have a few less than the fifty or so dismounts and tree climbing overs. But once you're wet, you're wet. And it's always good practice dismounts and remounts. So we ended up with a little under nine miles of riding and just over a thousand feet of vertical. Actually, it was one of the better rides I've had recently. Judging from all the smiling faces at the conclusion of the ride, I'd say the feeling was universal. Riding in adverse conditions is always a little tougher, but when the ride is done it's just that much more gratifying. HTFU. Next weeks WNR @ HQ. Since it may be the last HQ WNR of the season, I'm going to do something special for dinner. All you have to do is show up and ride. It's been a great season, and I hope we'll keep up the strong finish until the snow flies. Over and out.

Friday, October 22, 2010

WNR #32

The 2010 Wednesday Night Ride season is still going strong despite the dwindling temperatures, daylight and trail visibility. The late afternoon weather looked to be cooperating with clear sunny skies though a bit windy. Closer to ride launch, that wind pushed a little lake effect rain over us but quickly cleared before the ride began. The temps were hovering in the low 50's and definitely felt chillier with the wind but that didn't deter us. Even in Pete & Sarah's absence (PG' s parent's anniversary) we had a solid crew of 8 WNRiders geared up for the cool/dark ride up the rooty Kipp NCT: Racin' Rob, Action Chuck, Secret Steve, Bruised Benson, "Where are my keys?" Bobbie, Cheryl, Joe & Lisa.

Rob, Charlie & S.Steve set off on a good pace & quickly dropped the rest of the crew as we started the climb. Joe, Bobbie & I rode in the middle, not too far behind but in no hurry. Joe was even testing a fully ridgid single-speed (due to a mechanical) and was enjoying its efficiency. Cheryl & Lisa were enjoying themselves batting cleanup. The leaves on the trail were plentiful and masked some of the roots below for some fun surprises and the recent rain made the roots a bit slippery especially on the climb. Though the trail was a little hard to see in the remaining daylight, the trough we carved on the way out made for easier visiblity with the lights. It was actually harder to follow the trail in the pines where there weren't any leaves. All in all a great ride, especially for late October.

Not long ago it seemed that there were only a few of us that were diligent (some would say foolhardy) enough to continue riding this late into the season. Just having new riders join the core group has been great but even those new to the group are excited to don not only cold weather gear but headlights too in order to continue our riding season. Plus we have been extremely fortunate to have had a nice mild & dry fall so far. Only a few WNRides left but it looks like there will be plenty of us out there to enjoy them.

One more note, I want to wish Sarge & Kristina Congratulations today on their wedding day! Wish we could all be there!

The Night Before

No bachelor's party...  I'm alright with that.  I suppose I'm past paying for overpriced lap dances.  A few Beaver Street IPA's after cutting out of work early.  Greg stopped by with a sixer of New Belgium Ranger IPA.  Jess dropped off an extra cooler and an air matress for the Warden.  Nothing planned tonight except waiting for the "Big Day" with a few good beers.  Me...  I'm ready for the reception.  A keg of Beaver Street IPA, generously donated by Gary, and a lot of good food prepared by friends and family.  Life is good.  Now, lets drink some beer!!!

I'll be laughing and having a grand ol' time tomorrow.  I've been a bit busy lately.  I'll right more later, until then...  enjoy this video while drinking an IPA in my honor.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

WNR # 31

WNR # 31 is in the books and I think we are getting close to a new record for most WNR in a season. I think Benson is keeping score and I am sure we will celebrate when we reach that goal.

This weeks ride was at Boyne Mountain. riders attending were myself, Action Chuck, Bruised up Benson, Secret Steve, Chris M. and from Boyne City, Team No Boundaries riders Bob and Ben.

The weather was near perfect for the middle of October with temps around 60 degrees.

Steve and Benson arrived a little early and did a short pre ride to warm up and as they returned I decided to check out trail conditions as well. I pedaled away to the east of the parking lot just out of sight ( 75 to 100 yards) and I heard a loud bang, sounded like someone slamming their trunk or hood really hard. I didn't think to much of it but when I returned to the parking area I see Steve and Benson wrenching on Benson's bike. It seems that Benson decided to practice his wheelie skills and leaned a little to far to the right and could not save it. The noise I heard earlier

was Benson and his Bike hitting the pavement really hard. I keep telling everyone that they are trail bikes not stunt bikes. He landed on his right hip and bruised that pretty good, sprained his right wrist and his face (cheek ) kissed the pavement. Pretty banged up but we were glad he got up and was not seriously hurt. It could have been much worse.

Now for the rest of the ride. Steve started off leading and set a quick pace. The trail was dry and loose with a lot of leaves down so it was a bit sketchy at times....for me anyway. Steve myself and Bob took turns leading the way for the first half of the ride. At about mile 6 or 7 Bruised up Benson's wrist couldn't' take any more punishment and he took a shortcut back to the truck.

He put in a good effort considering the hit he took. Good job CB hope you are feeling better soon.

The rest of us kept going and action chuck got out front for a bit showing off on his 1998 Schwinn S carbon something. He broke his frame on his Cannondale so had to get the Schwinn out of retirement. Charlie said it is a good climbing bike but a little scary at speed. He seemed to do just fine as always. We made our way to the top with lights on as it was dark now. Bob knows his way around these trails so he showed us the quick way down so we could meet back up with Benson at the parking lot. Benson was there waiting for us just resting,licking his wounds and sipping on some medicine in a brown bottle. not a long ride but not bad for a WNR in October. OK I have to say it, IT WAS A WHEELIE GOOD TIME!!!!!

Good luck to everyone racing Saturday, the weather looks good, HAVE FUN!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

WNR #30

Yes, it's true, we have reached the 30th ride of 2010 and we're still in early October. This puts us on pace for a total of 35 Wednesday Night Rides for the year! That is, weather permitting and before we have to take a hiatus for firearm deer season. So far the weather for this month has been exceptional and the fall colors are in abundance. The weather for ride #30 was no exception, in the low 60's at the start of the ride on a clear & sunny day.

The group started at The Meadow to ride the trails behind Boyne Highlands. In attendance this week were myself, Racin' Rob, Secret Steve, Action Chuck, Kevin, Joe, Chris M., Cheryl & Lisa? (also from Lat. 45) - Everyone donned their headlights for the latter half of the ride. We opted to ride a traditional loop, starting up the valley to Pete's Knee, then to the Chapel, across to the North Peak. On our way from the N.P. out to the Bridges, we encountered the logging that had been rumored on the 'Blue' trail. It turned out not to be too bad though, only a short section was blocked by downed trees & log piles - from the top of the Loser trail to the top of the short downhill connector. A little 'through the woods' riding & we were back on the trail without issue. We rode out to the Bridges & then started working our way back down and aimed for a nice finish on Sarge's Section, where we had to make use of the headlights. The boys group kept a pretty good pace and made it back to the Meadow in about an hour. Cheryl & Lisa found their own way & got back to the cars about 20 minutes later making full use of their lights. The trails were near perfect, save for a plethora of freshly fallen leaves coating the forest floor occasionally obscuring the trail.

For those that have been taking attendance, I missed my first WNR of the season last week (WNR#29) while Amber & I were in AZ enjoying a little warm spell (104+ a couple of days) - so much for a perfect season...though I'm still waiting to hear if there was a September T2 blog contest winner. Blog official Sarge was curious too!?

Please excuse the late entry, PG is on vacation and I got back from our vacation the night before the ride and have been playing catchup ever since. In the meantime, enjoy this photo of a sizable saguaro outside Greasewood Flat just north of Scottsdale. Next visit I plan on doing some riding...if it's cooler!
WNR #31 is at Boyne Mt. & dinner options in BC. Bring your lights & see you there!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Thanks Greg

Stole some good pix of the team at the Cry Baby thanks to Greg H. My big nemesis's older (?) brother.

Big Dave and I before I got dropped for good on the last lap.

Kevin muscling up the beginning of the "cry baby" climb.

Damon heading down a steep little chute about a mile and a half in.

This one I'm not sure how I feel about. Kevin gave it group wide email distribution this morning, but for those not on the list here it is again.

So how was WNR # 30? We're about 5 hours shy of Burlington and holing up for the night in Utica. Utica does not appear to be a very nice city, but we'll make the best of it.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Lost and Found

Let me know if you've lost something recently, and I'll keep my eyes peeled while I'm out east. I found this on the DC this morning, and I thought it was pretty cool (even if I couldn't understand what they were saying for the most part). I believe they've been doing rides like this over across the pond for a long time as evidenced by some of the old school bikes and clothing. I think they're referred to as Gran Fondo rides? Hugh (our european correspondent) needs to look into this. Check it out below:

L'Eroica report / DAY 3 / The Race from Le Coq Sportif on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

1st Annual Cry Baby Classic

Yesterday afternoon, the forecast for today's Cry Baby Classic was dismal to say the least. Rain and temperatures hovering around 40 degrees sounded miserable. Fortunately, the forecasters got it wrong. It was cold this morning to be sure, 42 degrees or so but the sky was blue and there was no threat of rain. I got kitted up in the car and got out to start my warm-up about 45 minutes before the expert singlespeed 9:30 start. I wore some heavier gloves, a big hooded sweatshirt, and a ski hat for my warm up. This proved to be the perfect choice. It was cold when I coasted downhill, but I didn't overheat when I ramped up my heart rate on the uphills either. I tried to stay moving as long as I could before the start because I knew once I stripped off my warm layers I would get cold in a hurry. I gave my warm clothes and tunes to Sarah and put on my helmet and some lighter gloves about 5 minutes before the start, and then we were off.

The giant dude in front of me (it's not an optical illusion) is none other than Dave Hintz. Here he is leading me into the first lap. While we would trade spots back and forth a couple of times throughout the race, in the end he proved stronger and got me by less than a minute.

Lap 1: The first lap went by without too much incident. The climbs were brutal, but the course was in great shape all in all. This was also my first bike race on home turf. It was a little unnerving at first to have almost every spectator and course marshal calling out my name when I rode by cheering me on, but in the end I think it most definitely helped me out. I came through the start/finish area to more cheering and a slight gap on Big Dave.

Lap 2: About 30 seconds into the second lap, disaster struck. Well maybe disaster is a bit strong of a word, I dropped my chain on a particularly bumpy downhill section of trail. I stopped long enough to get it back on and make sure the chainring hadn't loosened up again. It only took a minute or so, but in that time Big Dave and another singlespeeder flew by me. I had a momentary lapse into the world of frustration and self-pity, and then I told myself to HTFU. I did, and halfway through the lap I caught up to and passed Big Dave again. After another ripping downhill back to the start/finish area I was stilling feeling pretty good.

Lap 3: Big Dave caught up to me about 2 miles into the last lap, and I was content to sit on his wheel and let him pull me around for a while. I tried to make a move past him on the second to last run up, but I started to cramp up just a tad in my quads. I let up on the gas a little, and he was gone. The rest of the lap went fine, and I had a strong finish.

While I didn't do particularly well in the expert singlespeed division (8th out of 10 I believe), I was very happy with my race. The four or five guys above me were less than a minute ahead, and I was also less than a minute back on Secret Steve's wicked fast geared pace. Also, my lap times were all less than a minute apart which means I paced myself well. I think my official time was 1 hour 39 minutes and 50 seconds for 18.64 miles. My average speed was 11.3 mph, and my heart rate averaged 166.

Here we have a shot of myself, Secret Steve, Ulle, and Kevin at the finish. I think my brand new 10th anniversary DC jersey brought me some good juju today. I will wear it again for sure.

So I went home to take a shower, and then I went to work where I type this now between selling people some wine and stuff. Check out all the other numbers and elevation profiles through the link below. Have a good weekend.

Untitled by wpeterg at Garmin Connect - Details