Thursday, July 31, 2008

A week of beat downs

Man- what a rough week I've had. Started last friday with a terrible ride at Marrington. Riding a borrowed bike, I was going through all the usual setup problems with the suspension and positioning. Not to mention the trail was VERY dry and sandy. Not a good combination with euro style ( backwards) routed brakes. Augered in on a step down double when I tried to scrub speed in a sandy turn with the front brake ( suppose to be rear). After dusting myself off, I got on with it and eventually got my setup close.
Drove to Brevard the next day and dropped Alex off at the skatepark for a few hours. Ran by Sycamore to chat with Wes and headed for the Fish Hatchery for some riding. Pulled up in the parking lot and ran inyo the woods for a pee. The sweet smell of deep dark dirt and forest greeted me and I knew it would be a good day. Got in about an hour and fourty minutes ( 2 laps on Caney Bottom) of great riding. Best ride in 3 weeks ( the count still continues ). Got the bike dialed and headed off to pick up Alex. We immediately drove back into the forest to the river to go swimming. That done we headed to dinner, hung out with Kent and Mary, and set up camp. After a campfire and marshmallows we called it a night.

Got up way too early and drove to Fontana. Pre- rode the course, changed tires, and got ready to race. Took off at the start and that was about the fastest I went all day. 2 mins. of fury. Rode like poop and had one of my most pathetic races to date. In the other side of the glass, however, was the fact that the trail was great and I love riding there. Anyways- rolled in for 11th and last place in the Pro class. Should have been closer to 5th but it's over now so I'll shut up about it.
Drove down to the river, went swimming at the bottom of Fontana Dam and drove home.

Went riding at Marrington again. Trying to lick the wounds from the weekend I was headed out to nail down some fast laps. On my second lap I was feeling good and riding smokin' fast. Compressed the suspension in a dip as I was pedaling- Left crankarm digs into a pile of rocks and I go 20 mph to zero in .0005 seconds right on my head. Laid there for awhile ( after the bike flew up in the air, then down on my back ). Gathered my wits and did a damage assessment. Pretty bruised up and sore due to hitting the ground harder than I can remember doing since Albany. A couple of small cuts and scrapes, busted helmet, Deep bruises on my thigh, kidney area, and calf. A fat sprained ankle finished everything off. Limped on out and rode back to the car to go to work.

I was sore yesterday, but much better now. The bruises are continuing to get nastier as more blood comes to the skin. Maybe I'll post some pics of those for ya'.

Next up- GA Cup in Elberton- We're off to that tomorrow. 20 Mile Team Time Trial Sat. AM, Crit PM and 90 mile Road Race on Sun. I'll try to stay off the ground and post a positive race report next! DH

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm gonna get to race my bike this weekend!

Gonna go to Fontana Village, NC this weekend and race a mountain bike. It's been almost a year since I've done a cross country race. Broke my Yeti a couple of weeks ago and haven't received the replacement frame yet. I am fortunate to have good friends that let me borrow bikes. Nathan set me up on his Giant NRS for this weekend. I have 2 days to get use to it but I'll be OK. Don't know why but I am super excited to race, but 2 hrs. of self inflicted pain sounds great for some reason. Maybe I'm so excited because I haven't had my MTB for 3 weeks now and have been deprived of dirt. I live in a pavement world here in Charleston and have been using pretty much the same routes for the last month now. I need to get off road ASAP. Gonna race the FL state mtb series this fall and winter. Turns out most of those races are relatively close to me and since FL has some of the best riding around I'm gonna do that instead of spending tons on gas and freezing at cyclocross events all winter. It'll be 70-80 and sunny through Dec. down there so that makes the decision easier. Miami in Nov. sounds pretty good.
Anyways- the weekend plan is to go to Brevard on Sat for a long ride and then camping Sat. night. Head over to Fontana Sun. morning and turn myself inside out. No expectations- no clue of fitness with the lack of riding/ excessive work to get the new store up. Gonna show up, race as hard as I can and have a great time on one of my favorite trails around. Kinda funny that I'll be going from a fully rigid aluminum bike to a full suspension carbon rig. I'm interested to see how it goes. Hopefully the race will be long so all the endurance training this year will pay off. If I could just find some speed somewhere I'll be alright. Maybe I'll find some in time. We'll see! DH

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Finally starting to get some consistency down as far as work, riding, and diet. I have a schedule figured out now and am ready to roll. Most of my weekly training will take place on the way to work and back. It's a 22 mile commute one way so I should get in alot of miles regardless of wether I try to or not.
Yesterday was a good one. Left the house at 7:00, got in 2 1/2 hrs @ 239 watts. Worked 10:00 to 8:oopm. Got on the bike @ 8:20 and headed home. Called in an order to Yo Buritto for food and rolled by to pick it up. Sat at the bar in spandex while I paid and waited for my food. Ate, then headed home. Almost the whole ride home was in the dark, good thing I've got lots of lights.
Everything was going great till I made it to Calhoun St. downtown. Heard some glass crunch as I weaved through between a car and a dumpster. One mile later- front flat. No problem except my spare tube had a hole too. Bummer.
Whip out the phone, call Liza and wait for a ride. Game over. Thankfully, Liza had come home from Sonoma a few hours earlier or I'd have had a harder time getting a ride.
While I waited I noticed that it was quite hot and humid out still, something I'm not use to while riding with the lights on. That's normally a winter endeavor.
I also noticed the large ammount of people out on bikes at 9:30 at night. Must have seen 10 or 12 during my 10 min. wait.
Anyways- I'll give it another go seeing as I work till 8 again tonight. Let's see if I can make it home without any problems tonight. DH

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The New Store is Open

The new store opened today. It went very well despite no advertising or signage. Thankfully I have tomorrow off. I need it. Put in 70 hrs this week culminating in a 13 hr day yesterday to get things done in time. That's alot of bikes. I need to ride, been working so much and standing on concrete that I'm just absolutely worked over right now. Couple that with not really riding in 2 weeks and I feel all out of whack. Quality of life is not great right now. Should improve over the next few weeks though. Still gonna have to work alot as we need another mechanic on staff- anyone interested? Good pay and sunny beaches!
Anyways- got to get some sleep now- might actually get to ride tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

How Not to Win the National Championships

Race Report:

Hard race, with no huge team representation, it was complete chaos. Attack after attack after attack went up the road. No cooperation to chase let several large breaks stay out for awhile. I tried not to work but had to do something with 10 laps to go and 12 guys up the road. Chased hard for 3 laps then others contributed bringing the break back by 5 to go. 2 to go the pace ramped up and the jockeying began. Last lap I was top 8-10, came inside w/ 2 turns to go to move up to 4th wheel heading into the last turn w/ 250 meters to go. Perfect. First 2 guys would fade in the headwind and I would charge around the 3rd guy to win the National Title.

Unless the guy in third wheel skips a pedal, highsides into my front wheel, and my fork snaps in half. On the ground at 42 mph. Again. Get up and walk in with 1/2 of my bike in each hand after some "words of encouragement" to the offending bonehead. I'm fine- only 2 quarter sized spots of road rash?! I actually still ended up on the results in 22nd place. Not many people left by the finish of that one if I walked in at 22nd. What hurts the worst however is knowing the win was right there in my hand. Then it was gone. I have 364 days to stew on it though! DH

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Made it

Made it up here to KY. Well, Indiana actually- we're at a KOA just across the river. 6 hr. drive yesterday was not bad at all. Stopped at Norris Dam, TN for a ride. Pretty cool area and a beautiful day kept us riding for 2 1/2 hrs or so- 40+ miles. The legs are starting to feel pretty good again. After an invigorating soak in the river, we got back in the megavan and headed north.
The KOA is pretty cool, had to drive through the ghetto to get there. We crossed "the tracks", however and everything was good. Had some great food downtown, caught a 4th of July festival w/ some live music, then packed it in for some sleep.
Rain is pouring down right now but the weather forecast is for a nice day. The plan is to hang out till the rain stops then get 3-4 hrs. in. I think if we head north up the river we'll find some good roads.
Got to eat breakfast now. DH

Friday, July 04, 2008

Forgot Something

Just remembered that I haven't "officially" announced my change in employment. Last day at Charleston Bicycle Company was June 30th, I start my new job when I get back from Nationals on the 8th. I will be the mechanic for the new Trek concept store opening this month in Mount Pleasant. The store is going to be first class ( by far the best shop Charleston has ever seen ) and the $ and benefits were too good to pass up. Kinda sold out as the atmosphere will probably not be what we had at CBC but the chance to go to the next level came up so I took it.
Lost my spot on the CBC team as well, hence the new sponsor Sycamore Cycles ( thanks Wes!).
Anyways- looking forward to getting that store started up, I've started from the ground up in a shop before and that is pretty fun. Gonna have about a billion bikes waiting to be built when I get back, so I've got to get some rest. Later- DH

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Final Preparations

Just finished packing up for KY. We are leaving in the AM, driving to Knoxville, riding, then on up to Louisville. Had a good couple of days up here. Robert and I met up w/ Kent yesterday and the 3 of us got a good ride in at DuPont. Had to cut it short due to a Robert flat, Kent crash, and I cracked my frame. Good ride till then though, a beautiful day out and perfect trail conditions. By the way- the new stuff( to me ) on Burnt Mtn. is so much better. So we packed up and rolled into Brevard for some double cheeseburgers and tater tots at Daggie's.
We then caught the Wed. night crit at the Mellodrome, got some Moe's then hit the sack.
Got in an easy AM ride today. The legs were junk so we scrapped the motorpacing and rode motorcycles all afternoon. Picked up a jersey from my new sponsor- Sycamore Cycles, and rode up to Weaverville to watch Robert's son @ BMX practice.
Hit the parkway on the bikes at dusk for a nice ride and got back here around 8pm for too much pizza. Now I'm just sitting here like the Goodyear Blimp.
Hope to get in a good ride tomorrow, maybe the legs will feel better, then on to Nationals.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Bound for Kentucky

I'm in Asheville right now. Got up here yesterday, hung out at Cane Creek for awhile then rolled out with Robert to the Etowah group ride. The weather is great up here. Sunny and 70-75 degrees makes for an enjoyable ride. The Etowah ride was good, the usual suspects were present as well as some unusual individuals as well. That ride has gotten much better since I have moved with a smoother feel to it. It used to be all herky jerky but last night was steady with a nice solid pace. My legs were kinda funky feeling from the drive up but not too bad. Didn't get anywhere near redlined but did put down a few good leadouts for the sprints. Ended up with a pretty fast ride. We got in a little over 3 hrs with a 21+ mph avg. Not bad with the hills.

Heading out to DuPont for a 4 hr MTB ride today, some motorpacing on Thurs, then drive up to Nationals on Friday. Looks like good weather all week as well as good riding. I'll let you know how it turns out. DH