Monday, May 23, 2011

Vultures Knob #2

Despite all the rain we've had, the Knob was in pretty good shape for the 2nd race there this season. The expert 36+class felt ridiculously hard, either that or I am just getting too slow. I took off hard and entered the rock tunnel just behind eventual winner Ross Clark, who to the delight of us all had just moved up to my class. Mix in Shawn Adams, Tim Mould, and Tom Franek and you have one hell of a fast group.
Long gone are the days of me and Lorson duking it out for 1st and 2nd, now we fight for 5th and 6th. Actually, my time would have placed me 3rd in the young expert class, maybe I should drop back down?
Oh well, it sucks getting old, but the season is still young and I know my legs have more in them. Some of these guys have been racing/training in warmer climates this spring so hopefully my time will come as the season progresses, it is a long season too.I know I need some more speed so I have decided to switch to the Karen Carpenter meal plan for a few weeks.

On another note, I did spy several camelbaks in my field. Maybe I'm not such a nerd after all?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention how much I am enjoying the ongoing Lance saga. It looks like the end is finally in sight.

Many thanks to Bob Grimm, for the photos. He is quickly becoming the Graham Watson of northeast Ohio.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hi-Lo, Hi-Lo, It's off to suffer I go

I met the Chief at his house this morning for a ride feeling pretty fired up and I wanted to do some Hi-Lo's with him. I have been sworn to secrecy and can't tell you exactly what a Hi-Lo is, however, I can assure you that it's the most suffering that I have ever experienced on a bike, ever. The HI-Lo concept came to the Chief in one of his peyote induced hallucinations back when he was searching for the ultimate interval training. He explained his vision to the local shaman, and after some more peace pipe smoking, the Hi-Lo was born.

Well as it turned out, the Chief was pretty knackered from his previous rides this week, so I figured the Hi-Lo's would have to wait for another day. We were set to cruise into the valley but as we got ready to descend a storm cell popped up looking very ominous. We turned around right away and beat feet back east. There is nothing like trying to run from a looming storm to get you moving. We were trading hard pulls, albeit mine were only 1/2 as long as his. My lungs were on fire and I felt things rapidly moving around in my intestines, this is always a sure sign that I am on the brink of disaster.

Somehow we did manage to outrun the storm, and not a second too soon, as I was ready to implode. Great ride all in all, that's the kind of training that you just can't get riding off road.

Chief's house.

A big snapper we saw at the start of the ride. The Chief got him worked up into an attack mode rather quickly.

Monday, May 02, 2011

We've Got Big Bells!

Me, Soup, and John shaking our bells like only 40+ year olds can do!(Thanks to Magnus for the pilfered photo)The bells were awarded for the 2010 Groovy Series overall standings.

The 2011 season kicked off in fine fashion at Vultures Knob last weekend. So fine in fact that it was one of only 3 dry days the entire month of April that I recalled. We have been getting pummeled with rain records that were set back in the 1800's. The Knob however was mostly dry with a few puddles and pasty areas. (amazing!)

So I line up next to four Soupcan guys, thinking I'm about to get worked over like an MS 13 gang initiation. I took the hole shot and managed to promptly crash in the first mile on a slick turn. I hit the deck and curled into a ball, Tim Mould showed amazing skills by not running over my neck, thank you!
No biggie I thought, just get back up and hammer. I entered the cradle 2nd and dropped my chain the first time, for what would turn out to be an ongoing problem the rest of the race. (note to new chain and rings every spring moron). I have always prided myself on almost never having mechanical issues during a race, but I dropped the ball big time this day.

Then while climbing up the first real climb my bars hit a tree and stopped me dead in my tracks, and I held up Soup in a very bad area for a singlespeed, sorry dude.
Soup soonafter passed me and quickly had 30-40 seconds gap in no time at all. But as fate would have it he flatted on the 2nd lap and his day was pretty much done. (Yes, I feel your pain).

I ended up third, 2 1/2 minutes off the winners pace. This would not have upset me if a local rider had won. But the first and second place guys were not from the area. (Tim Mould and Tom Franek).

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