Sunday, April 27, 2008

Big Week Coming Up

I had a good weekend. Rode up to Southern Pines, NC this weekend for the Tour De Moore Road Race. We had good representation with Nathan, Scott, and I in the race. Looking at 70 miles in the first hot day of the year, we were loaded up with water.
The race went pretty good. We were in a constant battle with the Hincapie team and their negative racing tactics. They would get a guy up the road in a break and sit 4-5 wide across the road at 12 mph and not let anyone else past to start chasing. This is racing in it's most cowardly and most unsportsmanlike form. No one else in the race wanted to race either as the other teams succumbed to these tactics. Weak. Wouldn't want the race to come down to who is the strongest and tactically astute. That's not honorable racing. Eventually, Nathan and I worked our way to the front and started to bring the break back. It wasn't easy as the 2 guys were out of sight up the road somewhere. We spent over a lap on the front to get it done. Thankfully Scott made his way up right as we caught the break. I knew a counter-attack would happen when we caught the break. Nathan and I were wasted from chasing for so long so Scott would have to go with any attacks. Thankfully he attacked as well and 7 guys were up the road. I did what I could to slow up the field and soon had nothing to worry about. Hincapie had 2 guys in the break and soon their whole team was spread across the road slowing things to a crawl. Game over. At least we could take advantage of the lame tactics.
Long story short, one guy got dropped from the break, the remaining 6 split 3-3 but stayed away. Scott was in the 2nd half, struck a deal with the other 2 to not sprint and split the prize money. This worked out well as the other 2 were better sprinters ( he started riding away on the hills and they got scared he would attack so they wanted to bargain.)
I finished well in the field sprint so we had 2 in the money. That paid for our gas and we all went home with more dough than we came with. Worked out well. Especially since I had my doubts about finishing after chasing so hard. I was cramping pretty bad in the sprint but had something left.

Next up:
USA Crits in Walterboro on Wed night. Lots of money and Pro's to beat on me. Pain Central for this week. Gonna do the Cat 2 race before the Pro race to win some cash before I get beat on.

Dirt Sweat and Gears 12 Hr. in Fayetteville, TN on Sat. 2nd race of the USAC Ultraendurance Championship Series. I am currently tied for 4th. The goal is to ride well and move up into the top 3.
I'll let you know how it turns out! DH

Friday, April 25, 2008

Motorpacing Night

Got out with the guys for some motorpacing last night. Big crits next week to get ready for. We probably should have started motorpacing a month ago, but what the heck! Got in about 45 miles last night, mostly at 35-40mph. Some of the team had never done it so I guess it was good practice for them. I meanwhile was trying to see just how close I could get off the bumper ( fortunately we had a good road and a smooth driver or I would not do this and do not recommend anyone else do it without getting use to it first. Trained professional and whatnot.) Had a couple of tense moments where we had to come around the car in corners (cars corner way slower than the driver thinks they do!). That was fun as well. Anyway(s) we got in a couple of good hours of speedwork and headed home. Funny how you can turn over 2 gears higher on the way home ( into the wind ) than you did on the way out after that type of workout. Motorpacing "redefines" your perception of speed.
Got in another great ride this morning- a few hours in the sun makes the rest of the day go well. DH

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cohutta Write Up

Basic Cohutta Race Write Up:
7 am. start- Rain- It wouldn't stop for 5 hrs. Very fast up the 1st climb. About 200 in my category. I'm cruisin' about 15-20 guys back in the pack. Someone attacks with "old school fury" over the top of the climb and I come off. Not wanting to go that hard, I back off and figure I'll settle in with the 2nd. group. There are about 30 in the front group. Surprise- no one in sight behind me. I guess the top 35 or so guys blew off the front and left everyone else ASAP.
This worked pretty well for me because I had a clean shot at the singletrack when we hit it. I started picking guys off pretty quick once I hit the trail. This went on for awhile, suffering on the climbs and recovering on the downhills. Putting out as little effort as possible while still maintaining decent speed.
About a mile and a half from the first aid station I break the chain. Great- no tool, couldn't find it in the toolbox before I left. No one had one so I figured my race was over and walked the mile and a half to the aid station. Hung out there for awhile as no one there had a tool either. Finally, after about 10 mins., I hear a guy coming up the hill with a flat tire. He was hollerin' out to see if anyone had an air cartridge. I said " I've got 4 for you if you've got a chain tool!" He had one and dropped it for me while he filled his leaky tire.
Game on again. I figured I just lost about 30 spots and 15-20 mins., but it was a long race and anything can happen. So, on I go- trying to stay steady and not chase too hard. I know how hard this race is and I'll need it later.
For the next 5 hours, I steadily pass people back. I keep it nice and steady doing damage control on the climbing and punch it hard on the rollers-making up time there and on the downhills. I meet up with Nathan around 50 miles in. He is cramping pretty bad and we get separated after a few miles.
Finally, after 92 miles I hit the last aid station and the last climb of the day. I stay as strong as I can up the singletrack and top out at 94-95 miles. All downhill from here. I have to struggle to keep it togather on the downhill as I'm coming apart at the seams and having problems focusing on the trail.
Mile 99- out of the singletrack and on to the bike path to the finish. I spy Floyd Landis and Chris Scott ahead. I pin it then figuring I might have to turn myself inside out but I'm gonna try to catch them. I come up fast and go as hard as I can. I come by fast and they can't really react as I drill it to the finish. I'm cramping badly and hope I don't crack and get passed back. That would be embarassing. I hold it out to the line, almost catching another guy but running out of racecourse. I ended up 24th place. Not too bad with the mechanical and all ( had to repair the chain one more time too). Exhausted, Nathan and I eat, pack up and head home. DH

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cohutta 100 Pictures

Nasty hard race. Rain for 6 hours. 2 1/2 miles of elevation gain. No idea how I finished, slow results. Here's some pictures, I'll post a write up soon. DH

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Weekend Preview

Looking forward to a great weekend. Gonna leave tomorrow night with Nathan. Driving up to Asheville to stay at Robert's on Thurs. night. Getting up on Friday morning to run by Cane Creek and give everyone a hard time. Got to get a carbon rim to replace my broken race wheel while I'm there. Then it's on to Ducktown, TN for the Cohutta 10,000 gravel road extravaganza. We are going to ride all the singletrack sections on friday. 73 deg. and sunny temps should make the trail that much better. If I remember correctly from last year, the trail sections were really good. Camp out Fri. night and throw down on Sat. Floyd Landis is suppose to show up and throw everyone a beating. That has no impact whatsoever on my race. I don't care who else is there. All I want to do is beat my time from last year and I'll be happy. The weather forecast is looking favorable for Sat. as well. 67 degrees and rain showers. I love racing in the rain. It's great to see guys that are normally much stronger than I am have spectacular meltdowns in bad conditions. It will be a heck of a day one way or the other! DH

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Baker's Dozen No Go

Didn't race this weekend. Went up to Charlotte w/ Liza and Alex. Liza ran a 10K running race Sat. morning. We stayed w/ Liza's Grandmother south of Charlotte. The 10K went good, the rain held off for the most part. Got done around 11:00 , then I got to ride. Was looking for 4 hrs. at least so I headed south towards the Leroy Springs trails in Fort Mill. Did a 12 hr. race there in November and remembered the trails being very good and close by. It took me 25 min. or so to get there, then I was on dirt. The trails were in good shape and I had a great time till the rain showed up. After an hour or so it started storming, harder and harder. I got muddier and cold, I didn't want to tear up the trails or my bike so I ducked out to the baseball fields and hid out in a dugout. Called Liza and 15 min. later she came to collect me.
Got back, took a shower, ate 2 pieces of Key Lime pie, and zonked out on the couch for about an hour. Slept on the way home too. And all last night. Guess I was tired- I guess 4 nights of no sleep will do that to you.
Anyways, looking forward to Cohutta 1,000 gravel road extravaganza this weekend. Should be fun. Later-DH

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Foggy Morning

Got up really early this morning to go get in a couple of hours on the MTB before work. Made it up to the trails about 7:15 and got ready to ride. Very foggy out. Nice and misty too. The ferns and other vegetation were very bright green. Combined with the fog the place looked like I was on Endor. I halfway expected to see Ewoks and stormtroopers battling it out. Anyways, the trails were in great condition and the first lap went by before I knew it. Got hung up for awhile at the " jump" area, someone has been digging alot there. There were 3 or 4 new sets of double jumps that caught my attention for a half an hour or so. I soon realized that if I didn't get back to riding I would be late to work so I took off. The 2nd lap went by faster than the first and I got back to the car just in time. #1 to get to work, and #2 just in time for food as I had started to come apart a little near the end of the ride.

Load up and drive in to work. Greeted by UPS and a big box of tires. Thanks Maxxis!

I'm a slave to the computer right now as I am waiting to find out if the race on Saturday will be cancelled for the 2nd weekend in a row. We'll see- I really want to race. Later- DH

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Why the Mountain Bike is cool to ride on the road:

Got a great ride in yesterday evening. Headed out from the shop on my mountain bike. Hit the greenway and headed south. The plan was to go to John's Island, loop over the big bridge and head back. Got on the road at the end of the greenway for awhile and decided to do some exploring. There is a railroad line that parallels Hwy 17 for miles and miles. I decided to ride down it. There was an access road on a few sections, others I rode down the tracks. Riding down the tracks was better the faster you went. That is unless there was a crosstie missing. Had to pull off some quick maneuvering every now and then. Got way out in the middle of nowhere and rode across a long section of bridge over the marsh. Pretty cool or nerve wracking to ride. Had about 8 inches to ride on then a rail on one side, 15 foot drop into water on the other, tires going whump, whump, whump.
Anyways, got to the next road crossing down at Hwy 162, hung a right, merged onto Hwy 17 and headed north back to Charleston.
Pretty cool day, wish I'd brought my camera. Nice to ride some new stuff every once and awhile, even if it is unconventional. Later-DH

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Manchester State Forest

Since today's 13 Hr. race was rescheduled on next saturday, Brad and I drove up to Sumter to go for a ride yesterday. The trails were in great shape and very fast. Nice day, we got in 3 hrs. for around 35 miles. Rode tempo for the most part. Had to kick it up to race pace for a few minutes on Cambell pond trail to see how the legs were doing. They are good to go for next weekend. Later- DH

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I just wanna ride!

Yeah- I'm sitting here with nothing to do. It's raining out. All I want to do is go for a night ride tonight. By myself for a couple of hours out at the trails. Quiet, smooth, in my own personal tunnel of bliss. Not gonna happen though. Guess I'll ride the rollers. Again. I'll just have to close my eyes and imagine.


Still looking forward to Sat.'s race. Babying my leg by riding easy, I want to go out to the trails tomorrow and drill it. Better not. I'll be raring to go for this weekend though.

Got back started with my chiropractor from a few years back. Had some X- Rays, assessments ,and other scans done on Mon. Went back today for the diagnosis and to figure out what to do. He didn't really know where to start there are so many problems. Most stem from the 7mm leg length discrepancy. My left hip drops and causes pain in the right. This explains why my right leg has been junk the last couple of years. An orthotic will solve a good bit of this.
Another area of concern is my neck. There has been so much trauma over the last 32 years that my neck is not bent right. There is suppose to be a nice curve in the spine there, but 2 vertebrae are curved then the next 3 or 4 are straight. Basically, he told me that I REALLY don't need to crash anymore. Multiple whiplash "events" have wreaked havoc around the base of my skull. Maybe that is why it creaks and groans every time I turn my head. This can be fixed with adjustments and exercises that I can do. He mentioned traction exercises too but that is a last resort.
Then my back is jacked up around T12 -14. He didn't mention anything about my gallbladder problems in the last few months but I did some research and that is the area that is connected to the gallbladder. Possibility there.
Anyways- Now I know what the problems are for sure and what to do about the problems. I feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel now and I will soon be able to train like I should and take care of business.
DH Out.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Weekend Outlook

This weekend will hopefully be better than last. Racing in the Baker's Dozen 13 Hr. race this weekend. Gonna race the 2 man team with Brad. Never done a duo before. Should be fun. My legs should be fresh, they felt great last Saturday in NC. I haven't been riding a ton this week, trying to ease off my right hamstring- it's a little pulled right now. Got some time in on the rollers tonight and it felt better.
My new mountain bike fork will be in on Thurs. and I'm really excited about that. I got a Bontrager Switchblade fork. Gonna ride rigid singlespeed for a bit. It just feels better. The bike is so quiet, simple, and light. Most of the time I think the rigid fork is just as fast as the suspension. Most of the time. I like the singlespeed as well, it makes me ride harder up hill- can't ease off and spin. The only drawback is on the flats getting spun out. Fortunately, I am a road sprinter and can hold high RPMs for quite a while.
Anyways- looking forward to this weekend, driving up on Fri. AM to pre-ride and hang out. Brad managed to reserve an 18th century Huegenot cabin for us to stay in. Should be a fun weekend.
I'll let you know. DH