Monday, September 15, 2008

I need a new kit

This is what my race outfit has evolved into (thanks to skinnyski for the photo). Definitely not a candidate for the Ralph Loren mountain bike team.

Chequamegon 40

A summary of my ride:
I didn't get to sleep until 2:00 am on Friday. Saturday, it rained (actually, this didn't effect my speed, but it did f-up my chain), I cramped, my bike cramped, but I shaved 12 minutes off my time last year and beat my goal time of 3 hours with a 2:55. I'm pretty sure my theoretical limit is somewhere around 2:40 - I will shoot for that now.

For a great on-course report of the real race for the podium spots, look here.

Jesse LaLonde was too ill to defend his '07 win. I don't know him and I'm kind of a hater of the single speed thing, but my heart goes out to the guy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sneakin' in a Ride

I wasn't going to ride today. After an hour reading bike blogs on the 'net, I said screw it and decided to take a couple slow laps around Harriet. It's fun to tool around, hitting curbs and sticks on purpose, but going slow enough to get passed by senior citizens.

With a new chain, and softer grips, the bike feels smooth. I took the pressure in the tires down to 25 and they feel squishy up and down, but not side to side. They might need a couple more psi.

I like to get song going in my head for races. I'm brainstorming for Chequamegon:

Born to Run - The Boss
Move on Up - Curtis Mayfield
Galaxy 500 - Reverend Horton Heat
On a Plain - Nirvana
Ice ice baby - Noooo! Get out of my head!
Dancing queen - Crap!

That's the problem with a brain-based mp3 player.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Resting Up

It's four days until Chequamegon, and I'm nursing a big bruise on my leg. I rode pretty hard for 2.5 hours last Sunday and I must have connected with something on the trail.

Right now, I'm trying to rest, and eat healthy to be as fresh as possible for Saturday. Everything I see looks like a beer.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


This is my blog about bikes and stuff. I'm a sport category mountain bike racer and road racing fan. I hope to share my ideas about training, equipment, bike related current events, and whatever else.

I'm at the end of my 2nd season of racing. It's been fun, and not the least bit brutal. I used to associate distance sports with pain and nausea and a feeling that I hate what I've been working toward. This year, I've dialed back the intensity during races and it's made all the difference. Now, I'm focused on finishing in a good position, rather than going as fast as possible. When there's nobody around you with 200 yards to go, there's no reason to sprint for it. The fun in racing is the people. Without people, you are on the moon, measuring yourself against nobody. You can't apply strategy against nobody. You can't "win" (or "lose").

I have been riding an unconventional, but mostly effective bike in my races. There are elements of my setup that I feel give any mountain bike a boost. I used to be a disk brake hater (weight), but now, I'm a participator. I haven't quite learned to use them to full effect, but I'm getting there. Going tubelesss with your wheels/tires is a huge improvement over convention. Wheels have evolved to recently include the option of 29" wheels. You really need to ride the biggest wheels your height will allow. For 5'8" me, it's the 29". Full suspension is not a necessity for XC mountain bike racing in the midwest. However, that's what I'm using, cause it's more fun. With air shocks, a light aluminum/carbon fiber frame, and racing tires, my complete bike weighs in at 25 lb. It is way too good for me.