Saturday, August 28, 2010

Just what I needed

It all started out so innocently, like it always does. A 7:30am departure time for a mid length ride. But when you make plans to ride with the Chief things tend to get out of hand rather quickly. So 50 miles of hills later we find ourselves in New Bedford at the general store sucking down sweet tea and pop tarts. I was still feeling good at this point as I had taken the Walnut Creek and the Coshocton County signs on the way down. Yes, of course Chief took Apple Creek and Trail(50+mph sprint!).
On the way back north I was still feeling pretty good until about the 5 hour mark. That's when it got real ugly for me. Chief seemed to be fine and was pulling in the big ring for what seemed to be miles and miles. My stomach got queasy as I tried in desperation to get some fuel in the tank to keep the pending cramps at bay. I felt the pain I have inflicted on both Belmont and Feeman in seasons past. This is what I have been needing and longing for....a damn good beating. Once we got back to Apple Creek I was in survival mode and crawled home for some good fetal position recovery.

Of course my day was not over, as I had promised to take the wife to Vultures Knob that evening. Fortunately we only rode a little over an hour there. The kids went along and they both wanted to ride the Cradle. Sydney rode it 3 times but I wouldn't let Gillian ride it. She was mad but she doesn't pay the insurance premiums either.

Here we see a composite photo of the Chief laying the smack down on me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The B side

August is somewhat the mid-point of the race season for me and I have not competed since July. The NEO PowerSeries continues Labor day weekend at Manitoc, which is where I will find out if my off road training regimen did the job or not. I don't expect to be flying by any means. Hopefully my speed will progress throughout the next two months just as it did last year. The great thing about self coaching is that I have only myself to blame if things go wrong. I must admit that the West Branch enduro race has me a little concerned. The longest I have ever raced off road is about 3 hours, and I'm sure it's no secret that I tend to go really hard at the start of a race...then explode on the last lap. I ordered some electrolyte tablets to try. Maybe they will help thwart off those nasty cramps that left me pedaling with one leg for nearly 2 miles at the last Knob race.

And now for some really boring tech talk. After well over 100 hours on the Groovy with the 650B wheels I have to say that I made the right choice. I did give up a little in the really tight stuff, like Reagan. However the bike rolls noticeably faster over rough stuff. I have not put much time on a 29r, but I can only imagine both the steering and traction changes would be even more exaggerated. I can't see myself enjoying any further handling loss, even if it meant faster rolling elsewhere.
Rody set my headtube angle at 73 degrees with neutral steering. This would probably not suit a novice rider very well. The tight angle also changes the angle of attack for the Fox fork, making the suspension feel slightly less supple. But this is what I asked for...super tight steering, and that it does very well. The speed of this bike has actually scared me on several occasions this summer, each time leaving me laughing my head off at the near misses with trees and other hard objects. Someday I won't be laughing so hard when I hit one of these things hard, but until then I will continue being too stupid to slow down.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Endless summer

The has been one of the best summers I have had in a long time. LOTS of trail riding for sure. So much so that I might actually O.D. on singletrack. The road bike is collecting dust which is fine with me. I've been getting 100- 125 miles of trails every week for about 7 weeks now. Also the weather has been hot and humid and that suits me just fine. This is the stuff I dream about while riding in January, so keep it coming. I want to gorge myself on trails and vomit dirt all winter long.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Mini vacation

Took the family camping to Coshocton Lake park last week. Across the road was a trail system built by a boy scout. It was nice to ride a new trail, but this one was brutal. I was actually wishing for full suspension here. It kinda reminded me of riding Spangler park in the old days with death defying cliffs, rocks, and roots. But it was bone dry, and with the way this summer has been it was a welcome feature.
No racing going on for me this month, just waiting till the NEO series continues in September. I think this is about week six for riding almost entirely off road, except for the Sweet Corn Challenge on the tandem, which was 50 miles of rain.

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