Thursday, June 25, 2009

Missouri Sucks Monkey Balls

Let me first say that I didn't choose to be raised here. I was forced to. I often think what it would have been like to be a child raised in a small mountain town out in Colorado, or where the trout fishing is sweeter than lollipops in the small town of Missoula, Montana. But alas, I was raised in the Po-Dunk, weather couldn't be crazier, boring as hell Missouri. Some days it doesnt seem to be so bad, yesterday, it did. I will go on record and say that I still live here because of choices that "I" made, and I coulda had my chance to get out when I could. What the hell was I thinking...

I drove from work in Sedalia yesterday, to Shawns house to go out and ride SMP and then back to his crib for the infamous backyard trials course. I had the option of going to Columbia, which in the long run woulda provided more dry trails, but when you have a pimp ass trials course like Shawn's, you make exceptions. So I arrived an hour and a half later, did a few bike tweaks, got a few bad ass new parts from Shawn, and headed down the road to meet a group for the Humper ride. There were 11 of us, and we set off. I rode behind OlathaJoe for minute before splitting off on my own due to the increase wind and likelyhood of rain. Who woulda fucking guessed? A surprise strom moving SOUTH right towards us.

A few short minutes later, and I was greated with the most thunderous lightning strikes hitting what seemed like in the woods only a hundred yards away from me and the bike. These were the kind of lightning strikes that make your hair stand up, and put a hellava pep in your step in accordance to getting the fuck out as soon as possible. I haven't had a lightning experience like that since I was a wee boy trying to catch that one last fish before the incoming storm out at the farm pond. I never caught that last fish, but I was greated with a shake in your boots lighting strike that demolished a giant oak just a hundred yards away. I never would have thought such a girlish scream could pertrude from a boy who thought he was so tough. That was some scary shit yo.

One thing I did learn last night, and that's if you make your bike go fast, it will. I've never split through rock gardens on my rigid SS so fast in my life. It was dusk dark in the woods and you could barely see the rocks, but I had one agenda, and that was getting out alive. I put the pedal down and maxed out the cadence blowing through rock gardens and slicing corners like I was minutes away from being the SS World Champ. It felt PRO... Adrenaline will do that I'm told. Now if I could just transfer that to a race.

So I reached the pravilion, hell broke loose, and the rains flooded the earth that I was just moments ago scorching with my fat tires. Shawn was a team player as always and came to the rescue, which was good because we could barely see to drive the mile and a half back to his place, much less ride in the shit. I like to look at the bright side to every dark moment, and I figured it was God's way of keeping me from hitting the Trials course that night. Who knows, a hospital trip could have been in the planning had it not been for that rain. I still got to down on a few PBR's and shot the shit with Shawn, so a wasted trip it was not.

On a light note, I won the Warsaw race on Sunday, this time with a little more stiff competiton. Rich from Columbia, originally from Wisconsin, was there to ensue pain upon the expert field. I rode behind him for the first lap of 4, took the lead in lap two, lead till the flat in lap four, in which Rich passed me, but flatted a mile or so later, and I took it home for the win. Ebby Norman took second with Rich in tow for third. The next Down and Dirty Race is July 12th, so make it out if you can.

I took the SS out in preperation for the much anticipated SS shindig this weekend at Binder lake in Jeff City. Should be a kick ass time, the "race" starts at noon, the entry fee is the price of your favorite six pack of brew, and afterwards the BBQ gets fired, and the beer gets drunk. The action should be packed, and the pace should be feirce, I plan on spinning circles like a mad man to get some more intensity training in before the next big race, Sac River. If you ride a SS, there's not a better course, so come get some!

Friday, June 19, 2009

That's Alot of Grass

Dishman told me about this scandle last night. With hair like that who woulda guessed? Something about those downhillers always intrigued me, but this hits a new high. Ha, get it? High? Thats enough grass to make me happy for a very looonnnggg time. Guess all that fame and glory she had back in the nineties didn't satisfy her finacially. In true stoners fashion, load up the pipe, spark up a fatty, and rip the bong for Missy "The Missle" Giove in hopes that she's not bound to the pen for the for the rest of her days. Here's the dirt...

Sedalia TT Training

Well I got wind that the Sedalia TT Training has been brought back on board. They run them on the first and third Thursday of every month, and it's a pretty damn good time. The course is roughly 20k, with quite a bit of climbing for a TT course. Now I'm no TTist by any means, no roadie either, just a guy with a Kona Jake, and a need for speed. So I thought I head out and flex my speed and see just how much I've improved over last year.

There were a total of 6 of us, with a couple in the group who could roll pretty well themselves. We set off in one minute intervals with my rounding off the back. I warmed up decently but the past few days of effort had me feeling a little sluggish. Ebby loaned me some sample packets of this new stuff which for the life of me I can't remember this morning. I'll post a review of it after the race at Warsaw this weekend. Seemed to be some pretty strong stuff, mainly focused on amino acids.

I took off well, and hit the road battling the strong cross wind. The wind and heat were the factor last night. It was hot and we had a strong SW wind whipping at 10-15 miles per hour with gust in the mid twenties. We turned directly into the wind about 3 miles into it and that's where the pain train began.

There's a long gradual hill that left me for ruin as it demolished my speed to 17mph. Not exactly TT material... I grudged up it, and hammered to the next turn, up the small rise, turn again for the last little leg of the out trip. The turn around happens just after a hill that is big enough to make you cry, especially trying to haul balls. I made it up almost to the top before blowing up. I took a swig, turned around and enjoyed the tail wind as much as possible.

The return trip was alot nicer, with a couple of balling tail wind section in which my Jake accelerated into the low 30's and held. I will say the wind did more damage than help because on the last leg it was a nasty cross head that reduced the speed down even more.

I put it in the red for most of the journey and the last climb to the finish was an all out effort in which I reached a new Max HR, and came across the line eyes closed with the hammer down. It was painfull...

Ebby had me at just under 34 minutes but my Garmin had me under 33. Not sure what happend there but I'm going with the Garmin cause it's faster you know. I was happy with it beins that last year I was in the 36-37 range and the conditions were much better. Now it's what I have to do to get it under 30. That's my goal, which I'm confident to say I'll reach. Maybe if I put some slicks on the rig instead of running cross tires next time. I'm always one to use the most unconventional shit for the situation to make it even harder than it should be.

If your in the area, stop by and join us. The next TT is the first Thursday in July, we meet at the church off 32nd street in Sedalia. It's about a mile from the 32nd and 65 intersection. The fun begins at 6pm.

Warsaw is a go for Sunday, so if you don't plan on driving 4 hours to race in Farmington, this is your other option. Find out all the dirt in my lower post or call ProVelo in Sedalia. It's going to be a good weekend...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Grinding Gravel and Hungover Intensity

I recovered well last week, and managed to put in some really good riding. The weather sucked monkey balls as usual. Spring seems to still have it's death grip on us, forcing us to stick to road, or what I enjoy even more, gravel. I took the Stumpy out on Wed. for some good gravel grinding, and then again on Saturday for a half century on the rocky roads. Fifty miles on gravel leaves me wore out, beaten, and ready for the best reason to ride, beer...

A six pack of Shocktop, on of my top summertime brews, hits the spot. I used to be able to throw down with the best of them when it came to drinking. El Milagro was my vice, a fifth of it on a Friday night was always doable. Then came the next days hell, which I came to not to much care for limiting my tequila intake. I'd rather not waste a day hungover...

Sunday woke, and I rolled out of bed to down some stone cut oats, which I've come to love after devouring Shawn's at Syllamo. That shit is golden. Some honey, peanut butter, and a banana tossed in makes a hellava breakfast. I felt decent, a little wore out from the past weeks efforts, and a little heavy due to my weak ass tolerance for alcohol, but ready for a hour and a half of hard work turning circles.

The wind had it's turn on me for the first 35 minutes of hard work after a 20 minute warm-up. I'd put it at around 10-15mph straight to the head. I turned around with an average of 19.2. Time to make up... 55 minutes later and I was done, turning in an average of 21.8mph just over 30 miles in. Not bad for a wore out, half-hungover morning.

In cycling news, the next round of the Down and Dirty Race goes on this Sunday. Ya it's Father's day, but it's an early race and I see my dad enough the way it is. Come out and partake in the pain if you can, it's sure to be another great day to rock the new Warsaw trails, and get more race trainging in. I'm working on trying to keep my top end going strong throughout the whole race and not pettering off like a sissy boy. We'll see if my new training has payed off...

Quit making excuses and go ride!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rhetts Run ReCap

So the results show I'm not even good enough to be a mid-packer. Some say numbers don't lie, but these numbers don't exactly tell the whole story.

Lining up with 16 other Expert racers in your first big Expert race was different. It wasn't so much a sense of fun and joking around. These boys were here to throw down, and you could see it in their eyes. I'm about as serious as three dollar bill, so I did my best to put my game face on and look intemadating. I don't think they flinched...

3... 2... 1... and we're off. Damn that's a fast start. I end up mid-pack, right where I wanted to be. Somehow got stuck behind a slower rider who let the front of the pack race off into the distance. I ask to pass on a hill, he obliges. Thank you whomever you may have been.

It was a ridiculous pace, I was riding at limit, and it felt great. I caught up to Mike Best somewhere about halfway through lap one. I'm riding to good I thought. Mike should be way ahead by now, but I guess he was having a rough start. I rode with him for most of lap two, and then passed him towards the end. Halfway through the race, and I'm holding down 5th place. Dizzamn I thought, I might just top 5 it, which I thought would be a ice cubes chance in hell...

Feeling good, come up on another rider and as I try to pass I slip up on a log creek crossing, go mid-superman, manage to land back on the saddle, but crush a nut. That shit hurt something serious. It took the wind out of me, as my sails burned to the ground. It took a minute to regroup and refind that left testicle, but it eventually re-apeared and I was in better spirits.

I was riding alright, feeling the pain a bit, when I come up to a rocky sections in lap three. I guess I came in a little too hot and a little too off center, cause I burped my tire real good spewing stans out, and loosing all my air. I didn't know if it was a cut or a big ass burp so I made the decision to throw a tube in it and call it good. I don't know how much time I lost but that pretty much set the pace for the rest of the race. I got passed by a big group of people, some of which I knew were in my race and some who were not. I got it aired back up and started turning cranks again.

I never really got it working again, that was pretty much the end of it for me. Looking back on it, I feel like a big pussy for not digging in and driving myself into the ground on lap 4. I guess I figured I'd save some for the next day and not loose another day of training to a race that I had no chance of winning. I finished lap four with a sad ass time, 1 hour and 44 minutes. I had hoped for a sub 1:35. I could have had it...

So that's the story of my first real Expert race, and I'm pleased. I now know I have what it takes, I just need to tweak a few things, and work on a few areas. Live and learn they say, and I was learned during this race.

Thanks for to the volunteers and the race promoters for putting on a good race. I don't care what everyone else says about you all... I guess there was some kahoots with the timing. Shit happens, get over it.

Next up is the second race in the Warsaw series, Father Day the 21st. Then its back to Sac River for the first time in 3 years... Maybe Sac will be better to my sack. I'm never going to be able to have babies...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rhetts Run

Oil your chain, air up your tires, and butter your balls, the next race in the MWFTS is due for Sunday down at the infamous Rhetts Run course in Columbia, MO.

This is a kick ass trail for those who haven't had the chance to blaze it's glory. Super fun race course with a couple of ass kicker hills, some super fast downs, and overall balls to the wall riding.

Last year I did the Marathon on my POS SS Hardrock. Sucked balls... This year it's expert all the way on the new Stumpy. If trails are right, it'll be a hellacious 5 lapper. 4 laps would be perfect, that 5th is gonna whip my arse if it happens.

So we'll see you out there, and if we don't then that's your own damn fault, but don't ever say no one invited you...

Here's the dirt. -

Camp Alexander Race

Lelan sent me a comment the other day and I haven't had the time to post up. I guess those boys down in Emporia are putting on a race coming up in July. You can find all the info here...

Guarantee payouts are sure to make the bigs boys come...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Down and Dirty Race 1

Damn I'm glad to be finally moved. I spent a total of 15 hours moving and cleaning this weekend. Seems like in the last few years, I've double my accumulation of useless shit, but being sort of a pack rat, you know I've got to keep it. You just never know when you'll need an old school N64. I used to get down on the Mortal Kombat.

So Sunday came, and we were up with the sun to get ready for the first race in the Warsaw race series, Down and Dirty. I knew the course, and I knew it was going to be a tough day. My body was wore from all the moving, and three weeks of pretty heavy riding. It was the end of my three week block, and more or less the last ride to ride myself in the ground before a week of rest. Our race was a three lap, 21 mile race, with alot of climbing, and plenty of ass pounding rocks.

We arrived at 9:30 and even though our expert race was supposed to start at 10:30 it didn't roll off till 11:15. I took the lead of the five man group, but shortly flatted when a rock penetrated my rear tire spewing Stans out everywhere. The tire is only about 6 rides old, it did go through Syllamo, but I was still dissapointed at it's longevity. Maybe if fucking tires weren't 50 dollars now days I wouldn't take it so personally. But until you pansy ass tire companies can come out with a tire that will actually hold together in rocks, doesn't weight a pound, and can get me through more than a handful of rides, I'm gonna bitch. I got passed by all the experts, and all the sport racers...

So I got it fixed and started to roll. It wasn't long and I was passing the sport feild like a bat outta hell. I wasted alot of energy but I wanted to regain my lead before the end of the lap. I managed to catch up to the two lead expert racers about 2/3's a way through the first lap. I took off past them on a field opening and never looked back.

I flatted again later in the race but still managed to come out with the win, with about 20 minutes to spare. The competition wasn't super stiff or anything, but damnit, a win is a win and I'll take it. I forgot my damn Garmin so I have no data, but I know my average was lower, partly due to the fact that I was running about 80%. Not a stupendous effort by any means.

I'm ready to rest, these old bones are tired, and the body is telling me to give it a break. Next weekend is Rhetts Run in CoMo, so I'm getting ready to experience a true Expert race. One in which I'll struggle to hold on for a short period of time, before being exploded off the back of the pack and be forced to wander the trails solo wondering just how far back my slack ass is. But maybe, just maybe, I'll get lucky enough to mid-pack it. We'll see...