Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oops! Broken Sworks

So I'm out in Cali at the Specialized headquarters doing some training. We did a cool road ride yesterday, but it didn't end so well for me.

At the bottom of the decent I downshifted, stood up, and laid down some watts. Right as I did the chain dropped, sent me lurching forward, and 30mph speed wobbles followed. I managed to not ride it out cleanly and hit the deck in a most spectacular sprawled out fashion.

My first road wreck, and luckily all I came out with was some nice road rash, a broken helmet, a torn kit, and some lost eyeglasses. The test bike didn't manage to do so well though.

Pop goes the cherry...


Saturday, February 18, 2012

So Bittersweet

Riding some of the most moisture friendly trails around right now. It's amazing out. The trail is Bittersweet, just off Bittersweet road at the Lake of the Ozarks.

This valley holds the funnest piece of singletrack I've ever ridden. It's a fairly short section but its the craziest, fastest, rollercoster trail around.

You'd almost never know just by looking.


Thursday, February 16, 2012


I love crazy people.

They make you think you really have a pretty normal, easy going life.

Like today... I had some crazy lady wheeling around a suitcase yell, and I quote, "Go to hell you sunavabitch!"

Not just like kinda yell it, more like a blood curteling scream. I could do nothing but smile and ride on.

Sometimes I think I'm a little crazy. Then I run upon someone like this lady.

Life is good.

I even found this CD hidden in a box today. It played the perfect tunes I needed for a training rebound. I felt good today. Today was a good day.

Yes... that just happend. Probably the only time Maiden and the Cube have been referenced in the same paragraph.

Figured since we were on the crazy theme...

Go ride this weekend. It's going to be beautiful!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2012 Race Schedule

My Mom would be proud.

I think I'm growing up a little...

My life perspective has seemed to changed somewhat over the last few months. The tornado that is my life has caused me to step back, evaluate my situation, and draw new conclusions based on that evaluation. My motivations are different, and my mindset is much more calm. At least it's seemingly that way. I've had my hot mess days, but overall I'm finding my mind is drifting towards the place it belongs.

So how's this all tie into my 2012 race season? Hugely...

Before I go on, here is the hit list 2012.

5-06 Wilson Lake Fat Tire Festival
6-02 Bump and Grind
6-16 Ute Valley ProXtc
7-14 Missoula ProXtc
8-18 Subaru Cup ProXtc
9-23 Binder 6 Hour
10-13 Burning at the Bluff

That's it... 7 dirt races, and hopefully a good handful of cross races. Much, much different than the 25 or so dirt races I did in 2011.

Why the major change? Well, there's plenty of reasons.

The main reason will be my new job. I'm happy to say that as of now, it looks like I'll be in KC for sure. Some things are coming together, and it's looking like I should find myself in a shop sometime in March. I've spent a decent amount of time beating the streets trying to find a place to call home work wise for 2012 and beyond. I've also been stressed doing so. Luckily this week things have started to come together, and I hope by next week I'll have a definent answer on where I'll be. Bottom line is though I'll be working weekends, and that means no local racing for the most part. I am going to do Wilson, Binder, and Burnin, but that's probably it. The plan is to get at least 4 good Pro races in too... These are the main focus for sure. I'm leaning on not going to Mellow Johnny's, even though I really want to. Ideally I would have had a great month of no work and all train, but being sick has put me back quite a bit. I'd rather not waste money to go race when I'm not confident in my riding. Instead, I'll save the precious race money I have and use it for one of the other races.

Back to growing up... I remember a good lady friend of mine telling me once that there's more to life than racing. I told her she's full of shit. Sorry for not seeing your perspective Sarah. I'm finding her words of wisdom to be somewhat true.

Racing my bike has been 90% of my focus the last 5+ years.

It seems I've spent so much time, energy, and money to get to were I'm at. Last year was a huge year for me, and I accomplished a ton. I simply don't have that to give this year. There are many other forces in my life that need focus, and my job will be the biggest. That's why I didn't hesistate a bit when asked if I could work nights and weekends. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to find myself a great postition in an industry I love, bikes. Up to now, my career has always taken a back seat to racing. No longer will that be the case.

So it sounds like a year of twinkies, double stuffed oreos, and charleston chews right? Na... I'm still a speed freak, and more importantly I still love riding my bike. I still love diving deep into the pain cave and pushing limits. Luckily I've learned you can still get faster and have more fun without killing yourself or alienating your life.

I've donated the target on my back to the next fool you best watch out for... That would be the Manimal. No, not this Manimal, although the Peep eating competition ranks high on the list of similarities between the two. I almost wonder if there is some correlation? And no, it's definently not this Manimal. Disturbing... Anyways, now newly minted KCMANIMAL is going to break souls this year in the Cat 1 field aboard his SS, mark my words. You best not let me down cracker!

Enough rambling... I'm off to catch some Z's, but not because my training plan calls for 9.76 hours of sleep tonight. I'm just plain ass tired...

Forecast looks amazing for the next 10 days. I'll be in KC next week for some dirt action. Hit me up, lets ride!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Street Cred to the Howling

Not often does a day roll by that you have the chance to race twice at two complete different venues. Saturday offered that chance with the happenings of both Street Cred and The Howling. A street race to start the day, and then a super secret offroad race in the evening. Both were brutal, both were fun, and both had more shenanigans than that scene with Farva.

Back to Street Cred. These guys put on a classic event, full of West Bottoms, peeps, and good ol' Tallgrass beer. I chose to take the Stumpy FSR out to play, figuring that trying to keep up with the cross boys and roadies would lead to a good time. I wasn't let down. I jumped towards to front, and ended up in a battle for 1st with BK. He was on a sweet Spooky road ride, with some seemingly invincible tires. I was pretty impressed on how well he rode the rough stuff without flatting. I was able to hold his wheel fine in the more tech spots, but on the long road run into the finish it was full bore to keep up. Somewhere around the halfway mark I made my way past on the fly over and looked back a few minutes later to see no one. Managed to win some sweet Major Tom rims, get a sweet buzz to kickstart the days festivities, and got to race and hang with a cool group of guys that I don't always get to see. Thanks to Chasm and Chris for the sweet time, along with everyone else that helped make that possible!

I unfortunatly didn't get to stick around long, because the Pirate, Manimal, and I had to jet off to set up for the Howling. I was happy to help by donating my energy carrying the buckets so the boys could flag and stake the course. I just didn't know the course was 3 miles long. Man that was a long hike in biking shoes, not to mention the run back to the car in order to get out of the parking lot before it closed.

We headed back to the meeting spot bar, and I stuffed my face with a big pulled pork sandwhich, fries, and more beer before getting ready for the second round of suffering. There was a decent crew that showed up, and before long we were headed out to the course ready for 8 miles of pure hellish fun. I was unfortunetly still rocking my shorts from earlier in the day thanks to my boy Tdonn forgetting my stuff at his house. Just a little mis-communication...

The race was fun... Well not really. I mean it was a blast, but I felt like shit, and it was a course that didn't give a shit about how you felt, it was going to make you hurt. I managed to get blown off the line and lost a minute at the start due to me having frozen hands and a 20mm thru axle. Apparently the Pirate saw it fit to make us start without our front wheels. I almost killed myself trying to catch up to the leaders, and when I did I managed to do as little as possible to stay close. Tdonn was 10-20 seconds ahead most of the race, I just didn't have the motivation or legs to do much more. I figured I could easily outdrink and eat him, but he was apparently thirsty and very hungry and managed to even outdo me in that department. So he took the overall, and I took 2nd overall, 1st geared. The crew we had show up were a blast. The drinks afterwards were fun, although I had wet socks and no shoes, again thanks to Travis. He made up for it though by letting me eat some of one his 3 entrees he ordered. That man can eat almost like the Manimal, who by the way dominated both races with more Peeps and Doughnuts eaten than almost all others combined. I won some sweet PBR swag, along with one of those nice TaddiHogg cycling hats. Some sweet hats made locally by a couple of KC dudes, one of which had me cracking up at the after party. Luckily they were able to close the garage door on us to keep us seperated from the rest of the place. We truely tore it down Pirate style. Many thanks go out to the Pirate and all of his awesome volunteers that help make these crazy night gatherings happen.

Pics of both events can be found on the websites... I'm too tired to fuss with it.

So that was it... Two races, two different styles, two hellava good times. I'm looking forward to the last race of the Pirate cXc race series, and hopefully I can catch another Street Cred race soon. Can't this weekend, but hopefully the next one.

Snow snow snow... I think it's time to spend some time at the Lake riding trails that are always good. Looks like our dirt will be far from hero for quite some time.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Game Changer 2012

Well, were to start...

Quick recap of the last few weeks.

I quit my job.

I got sick.

I'm still sick.

Training has been very meh.

I'm in the search for a new job.

I'm still left with a lingering ear infection. It's been a week and a half, which started a week after the first round of sickness. So that's two and half weeks of being sick now. I was supposed to be on my way to Colorado today, but choose not to risk it being I still have quite a bit of pressure built up in my middle ear. Something about pushing hard in the mountains with that kind of pressure didn't sound appealing.

Back on the job front, I quit my job in order to persue working in the bike industry. I figured it was time for a change, and what better work feild to work in then bikes. Radio sales was pretty good to me, and I learned a ton, but it was time to switch it up and work my way to KC. I'm pretty sure it's going to work out great, but as of now I still remain unemployed. It was my plan for February, and then in March hopefully find myself in a shop learning from the ground up. Just haven't found the shop part yet...

I still ride my bike, and I've also been to the Speed Academy something like 10-12 or so times now. We've been riding over from a buddies house, doing the hour workout and then riding home. I've been on the Stumpy FSR and he's been on my cross bike. It's a good workout. 6 miles of sprinting over, and hour there, and 6 miles of sprinting back.

I did the first trainer ride of the year the other night at Travis' place. It was fun, but painful. Just like trainer workouts usually are. The workout was 7 - 20 seconds sprints full on with 10 seconds rest in between. Four sets with 3 minutes rest in between. Then finsihed it with a 10 minute 170 heart rate set. I made it through, but the antibiotics and sickness has me running pretty low on the energy scale. I just don't have much to give right now. It's getting better though, and I'm looking forward to getting better. Anyone knows being sick sucks, especially when you're trying to enjoy riding.

So that's about it for now... Nothing exciting, unless you're in my shoes. It's a unique time in life for me, and I'm looking forward to where it leads.

Don't forget the Howling this Saturday night, preceded by Street Cred. I'd like to do both. I've never done any of the Street Creds, but they sound like fun, and the Howling, well, it'll be a damn blast no doubt.

I need some sleep... The dirt will be frozen in the early morning. I'd like to great it with some fat tire goodness.