Monday, December 06, 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010

2010-2011 WBL #1

Come on out for the 1st WBL of 2010! The Bicycle Shoppe in Mt. Pleasant at 9 AM Dec 12th. 4 hr Tour de Monck's Corner is the route. 18-20 mph avg, one store stop, possibly some hardpack dirt, be ready for anything! See ya there-

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I almost forgot to post pictures from the weekend. Alex and I drove to my parent's house in Dahlonega,GA last Friday afternoon. The plan was to visit and do some hiking. Saturday we got up early, grabbed some sandwiches and headed for the Appalachian Trail. After dropping my Dad's car at Woody Gap, we drove over to Neel's Gap to hike the 11 miles back. The parking was out of control even early in the morning. With such a beautiful weekend on tap there were tons of people out. Long story short- we had a great hike on an awesome day. The ribs were OK and the legs were fine. Very glad to have made the trip up. So here's some pics:

Monday, October 25, 2010


Probably the worst picture ever of either of us. I think we both just woke up. Rest in peace Big Cat. You'll be missed.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Wheels!

Some Stan's wheels were waiting on my doorstep when I got home today! Supersweet and much lighter than my I-9s. Can't wait to ride.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I'm still here. Still hurt. Still bored. It's been a little over two weeks since I the vehicular assault and I'm going nuts. I have a ton more mobility now, almost back to normal. The pain is still the same as the day after though. From what I hear, that's the way it will be for awhile. Oh yeah- I almost forgot, I had to go back to the ER 2 weekends ago due to inability to breathe. Turns out that I have six broken ribs not two. Again- don't go to MUSC. The doc.was impressed that I ran out of pain meds. 4 days prior and only came beck then. My lung has returned to full volume and is still bruised but recovering nicely. The ribs will just take time. Nothing I can do about that.
I did get out for a ride this Saturday though. 3 miles around the neighborhood on the mtb. Got on the bike very gently and started riding with Liza. She upped the pace on me prompting a "counterattack" at 12mph. As I passed I tried to put the nail in the coffin and sprint away. Wrong answer captain! As I stood up and put weight on my arms, I also loaded up the upper body and the ribs screamed curse words to my brain. Not a good idea. So, as I got sick to the stomach from the pain, I got passed back and just had to deal with it. After a few minutes I was done so we headed back home.
Anyways, I have two to four weeks left of recovery- I'm thinking two though. I have been busy however working the details out for next year. Change is afoot and I'll know more soon.
Stay tuned- DH

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rest Period

So...No more bike racing for awhile. No Cross but I might be OK for the Swank in November, then the 24 hr.Charleston race. Riding my motorcycle home from work Thursday night a girl decided to ignore the fact of oncoming traffic (me) was definitely oncoming and turned left into me. 8th time I've been taken out on 2 wheels. Anyways- I was in sight of the turn into my neighborhood so I wasn't moving fast greatly reducing the damage. After a quick, unnecessarily bumpy trip in the ambulance we arrived. "We" meaning me and the demon paramedics. I thought I was going to choke to death due to the neck brace installation and knew I was in big trouble when I saw the driver was a woman. After alternating between full gas and screeching halts sliding me around we finally made it to the MUSC Trauma Center where we would remain for eternity. I had managed to work my unneeded neck brace loose and could breathe again by this point and the adrenaline was wearing off allowing me to take stock of the situation. I was pleased that for the first time after being hit I had no apparent head or neck injuries ( those motorcycle helmets are waaay better than bicycle helmets.) and hardly any road rash. The entire left side of my body however was killing me. There was no position that I could wiggle around to to aleviate the rapidly increasing pain. I would lay around on my gurney for quite some time before Liza was allowed in and a nurse showed up.
Finally a nurse came in and gave me a couple of shots easing the pain and allowing me to lay still. After many rounds of painful X-rays, a cat scan, a ton of redundant questions and prodding, and eight hours time wasted that I'll never get back, dressing myself and attempting to leave ( I could have walked out and they wouln't have noticed),the doctor came in. Prognosis- broken ribs and a collapsed lung. It was recommended that I spend the night and get X-rays of the lung in the morning. No way. I told him I didn't think that was necessary and I should go home. He gave us some time to think about it and came back an hour later. It occurred to him that we'd been there 8 hrs already so he sent me for a more up to date x-ray to check on the lung and released me.
4-8 weeks recovery is predicted but I'll be up in no time. The next time I get hurt I'm willing to bleed out before I go to MUSC again. Terrible. I know hospitals and that place was by far the worst ever. I was the only patient there for most of the time and still got crummy service. So I figure if MUSC world time is 4-8 weeks recovery, a normal person's time is more accurately 2-4.
I'll be up and around in no time. Later-DH

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

5 days

5 more days till football. Finally.This sat. at 1:00 Georgia Tech will put 50 points up on South Carolina State. What an opener. Guess every top 20 school does it though. Confidence booster. They'll need it with alot of top 20 teams coming up. Gonna do all I can to get to a home game in ATL this fall. The drought of football over the last many months has me jonesin' for some action. Can't wait- I'm off this weekend. Gonna ride then watch football all day. The Tech game is probably not going to be on TV so I'll have to watch it on la computadora. You have to do what ya have to do. Anyways-bring on Fall!DH

Monday, August 30, 2010

Duo W.

Brad and I headed up to Charlotte Friday night for the River's Edge Marathon. We got to the hotel around 1:15 or so and got to bed at 2am. After a not so good night of non-sleep we felt less than stellar. The hotel breakfast proved without a doubt why it was free to add to my growing discomfort. We loaded up and headed to the race, arriving an hour or so ahead of the start. It was decided that since the holeshot was so important here that I would start. Yay. Feeling less than enthusiastic I tried to warm up as best as I could. The start came up really quick and I rode up the road to line up. I didn't get the holeshot, but 2nd wheel into the woods was good enough. 4 hrs and 3 minutes later Brad finished his 2 laps and we won. After an unwelcome, rapid decrease in my front tire pressure five minutes into the 1st lap put me down 15 guys, things were looking grim. I finally got rolling good at the end of the lap, passing a few more guys. The 2nd lap saw everyone but me slow down by several minutes. My 2nd lap was 4 sec. faster than the first and strong enough to put us up on 2nd place by a minute. Brad then rolled out our fastest lap and we never looked back. I think we got the W by 4 min or so. Not a terrible day, I managed to hold it together despite feeling terrible and riding like I had never been on a bike the 1st lap. Overall I have to say this was a great event, good course,well attended, and very well run. I'd like to return next year for a repeat. If you haven't been to the U.S. National Whitewater Center- check it out, it's pretty cool. Later-DH

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fool's Gold Part 2

I left off with the start of the race so here we go. We headed up the gravel road climb to Cooper Gap, 4 miles or so to the top of the ridge, then another 7 miles across the ridge gradually climbing. I was on the front of the race riding tempo. Three guys were up the road with another dangling in no-man's land. By the time we past the Ranger Camp, there were only 10 or so guys left in my group. Only a mile in and the other 250 people that started with us were gone. Up and up we rode into the increasing rain. I backed off a tad approaching the steeper sections before the top and came onto the ridge in around 11th or 12 place. Feeling better up there I opened the throttle and rolled it pretty hard across the ridge immediately dropping 4 guys and catching another group of 3. Soon I caught Jeremy and told him to get on my wheel as we hit it really hard across the top- we could rest on the downhill. Soon we had moved into 3rd and 4th place and left everyone else for good.
The downhill coming off the ridge was gnarly. 40mph in the pouring rain! We passed a ton of the 100 milers here and shot onto Turner Creek Trail at full speed. It became quickly evident that we couldn't ride that trail at full speed as nasty as it was. Red clay and roots made for a slippery situation so we dialed it down to a conservative pace and pushed on. Soon we made it to the Bull Mountain Loop 20 miles in. Aid Station #2 had nothing but water at this point so I stopped to fill up both my bottles. Rain continued to fall as the conditions were deteriorating. Jeremy left before I did so I was pushing on solo now. After a long climb up a gravel road that felt like quicksand I made it onto the trail up Bear Hair Trail for the technical climb to the top. After some pushing I made it to the descent. Rain was pouring down now and there was a good 8-12 inches of water cascading down the trail. I hammered pretty hard down Bull Mtn. My brakes started fading here so I stopped using them in an effort to save the pads for later. Some sections I was going way too fast and out of control but managed to pull it off. I started aiming for puddles and mudholes to scrub speed without using the brakes. Soon I was done with the loop and at Aid Station #3. After another bottle fill (4 bottles so far) and some chain lube I was ready to roll. The scene there was not good. I saw probably 50 people scattered around, standing, working on bikes, confused looking people, all covered head to toe in red clay. After weaving through the piles of muddy bikes laying around I was rolling again. 18 miles to go.
After some quick, really muddy singletrack, I was back on gravel for awhile. I rolled up the gravel at a good pace, glad that my legs were still feeling good and that I could push it a bit. Soon, the left hander onto the next loop of trail came. I almost blew the turn as my brakes were really starting to lose effectiveness now. That loop of trail went by much quicker than I remembered from last year and I found myself at the next Aid station. 10 miles to go, and it was looking like I would finish in under 5 hrs. now for sure. I didn't stop here and rolled on to start the Black Creek trail. I had been dreading this part the whole race. It's a cool trail but has a ton of steep up and down and I remembered a lot of clay last year.It was sure to be destroyed this year. I was right. I almost died 10 times on that loop with the combination of no brakes, slippery clay, and steep hills. Soon enough though I was approaching the end of the loop. I had caught Jeremy on a climb near the end of that loop. He had less brakes than I did and was dragging a foot on his tire to slow down.
After a quick stop for a coke at Aid #5 I pushed on, passing the 2nd place guy as well. 5 miles to go as I rode through a steadily climbing double track section. It seemed as if the rain was done now. Soon, the turn onto the last section of trail approached. With less than 2 miles to go I knew the end was near. I had a few close calls but was out of the trail and descending the gravel road into the Ranger Camp quick enough. Picking up speed on the gravel I became worried as I remembered a creek coming up. I had no brakes and hit the creek crossing at fullspeed. Last year it was only a foot or so deep. Not so this time I thought as my bike stopped and I hastily "dismounted" into the creek that was uptomy waist. My bike was floating away and I quickly grabbed it and got out of the creek. At least I was clean for the first time in 4 1/2 hrs! Anyways- down the hill I went knowing I'd be done in 2 min. or so. I barely made the turn off the road onto the trail down to the 4-H camp. Again, no brakes led me to hit the turn full speed and launch up into the woods at 100 miles and hour. After regaining control just in time to blow another turn I was ready to be done. Soon I was exiting the woods and riding between cabins entering the finish area. One creek crossing to go and I'd be done. After swimming in the last creek, I was taking no chances with this one and dismounted. The Ukrainian judge gave me poor marks but I didn't care. I was done. 2nd place at the end of an epic day for everyone. I went straight back into the creek to wash off and clean the bike. I think I just now got 100% clean. Later-DH

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

24 Hrs. of Charleston

Save the date! Nov 20-21st, 2010. Charleston, SC. I'm putting on an urban 24 Hr. race. The Faster Mustache 24 hr in Atlanta last year was the coolest race I've ever done. It is not happening anymore so a few of us down here in Charleston decided to carry on the theme. We still have great weather in late Nov. here. So.... stay tuned for more info, we are gathering sponsors quickly and working out the details. Website to come with full info very soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fool's Gold

What an awesome weekend I had. Drove up to Dahlonega on Thursday to pre-ride the Fool's Gold course in the rain. As I headed up the first climb the rain stopped, the sky looked better and I thought it would clear and dry out. It didn't. I rode the gravel climb and descent then headed down Turner Creek trail into an expanse of peanut butter. When I popped out back on the forest road I had decided to cut the trail sections out of my pre-ride since they were in such bad condition. I then headed backwards on the course and back up to the ridgetop, back across, then down Cooper Gap Rd. to where my car was parked past the 4H camp. After a quick swim in the creek to wash off ( not to be the last!) I headed into town to catch up with my parents.

Friday was a great day, sunny again and not too hot. I got out for awhile on some quiet roads for another good ride. When I got back and cleaned up my Mother and I drove over to Hiawassee to see my grandparents for lunch. My Uncle and Cousin stopped by as well. We had a great lunch and visited as long as we could, but too soon it was time to go home. When we got back to Dahlonega, I rode up to Wheelworks and picked up my registration packet, came home and went to a great Italian dinner with my parents. After dinner and a quick walk around the square, we headed home, I got everything ready to go for my 5:30 am wakeup and hit the sack.

I was awakened earlier than I wanted to be by some very severe sounding thunderstorms. I got so excited that I could barely get back to sleep. I have been waiting all year for muddy race! Anyways- I woke up at 5:30, got ready, and was out the door by 5:45. I arrived at the camp the same time as last year- a little after 6 and was suprised that the parking was almost gone. There must have been twice the turnout this year. I got the megavan parked, got changed, and headed off to take care of the most important part of the race preparation.
The line at the bathroom was very long. After a painstaking wait, I was able to drop a little weight. Now I could mosey on over to the start line and relax till it was time to ride straight up a hill for an hour. Soon, the 100 mile race started. Those guys took off and I was a little sad to be doing the 50 miler this year instead of the 100. It wouldn't make a difference in the long run however. When the 100 milers had rolled out, the 50s swarmed thestart line. Jeremy and I ended up front row right in the middle. Perfect. After a look around I was very glad to be there as all I could see was people behind me. There must have been 300 back there. After a quick strategy talk with Jeremy where we discussed getting the holeshot, then making a left back to our cars and going home, we were getting the 30 second countdown. Everybody got real quiet as the tension rapidly built waiting for the start. I was counting in my head like I always do waiting to jump on one instead of go. After 30 seconds Eddie shouted 10 seconds and everyone flinched a little. Then GO. I got a good start with Jeremy right behind me to avoid the chaos as the bottleneck started behind us. And full race report willhave to wait until tomorrow- I have to go ride now! Later-DH

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Today's Ride

Got a good one in today. Rolled out with Aaron from the Shoppe this morning headed for Goose Creek and some off road at Marrington Plantation. Got up there and onto dirt in about an hour. Things went well for most of the first lap until I crashed for some bizzare reason while going uphill. When I crashed my bike somehow landed on the back of my heel and broke the valve stem off. So now I have a flat on top of rolling around on the ground.
Anyways- We managed to finish up the trails and make it back to town as it was hitting 98 degrees. Just in time before it got really hot. We ended up with 4 hrs and 56miles in. A cold shower and a Burrito later it was time to hit the couch for a nap!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Action" Photos from the weekend

Drove up to Fontana,NC this past weekend for the final round of the Southeast Regional Mountain Bike Series. After breaking some bike parts (and then crashing immediately because of said parts breaking) the day before I was less than enthusiastic. Robert was kind enough to let me borrow his bike so at least I could ride. Getting use to a 26 inch wheeled bike in the middle of the race was entertaining, but I finally got it together and didn't feel like I was going to kill myself by the end of the 2nd lap. The legs were a different story as my largeness and lack of training would catch up to me on the steep gravel and pavement climbs. Anyways- ended up finally finishing in 12th, jumping in the river, then driving home. DH

Friday, July 30, 2010

Good times

I had an incredible ride tonight. Really liking the new cx bike. Rode to work this morning in Mt. P. Got off at 7 pm. I was more than ready to roll out of work. Looking forward to a headwind on the way home, I was less than enthused. However, by the time I got to Patriot's Point I was feeling pretty good and really digging the Solo CXR and the 38 X 14T gear. So.. I hit up the trails by the golf course for a bit. I ended up out on the marsh overlooking Sullivan's Island and the downtown peninsula just in time for a pretty cool sunset. A surprisingly cool breeze was blowing despite the hellish weather we've had lately. I soaked it in for awhile then rolled out. By the time I got over the bridge and downtown I didn't want to stop riding. Liza was out at a baby shower and Alex was out with some friends for awhile. I had some time so I rode. And rode. And rode. I got home a little after 10pm. I ended up riding all over the Metro Charleston area. I rode for no reason other than I liked it and I didn't feel like stopping. Usually I have a purpose for riding, but not tonight. Tonight was about enjoying riding the bike. I may end up worn out tomorrow morning but so what. Go out and ride folks. Nothing beats it! DH

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Toy

I just recieved my new cross bike. This summer has been so terrible that I'm doing everything I can to hurry up and get to fall. Even if it's all in my head. Fired up for cyclocross already, and long mountain rides. Anyways- got the bike in, stripped it down, and now it is rolling just the way I like it. Some deep carbon tubular wheels would be nice. Fortunately ( or unfortunately) I've still got awhile till I need race wheels. Anyways- Here's some pics, I'll write a review after I get it dirty. Later-

Monday, July 26, 2010

ORAMM "Race" Report

ORAMM: Ran too small a gear, got behind a ton of people on the flat road out of town, passed 25% 0f the field on Kitsuma, crashed with a spectacular cartwheel, got up and passed another 25% of the field, drive side bottom bracket bearing seized and stopped turning, went home. From the looks of the people I saw DNFing and finishing over the next 5 hrs, I got off easy. The heat was pretty spectacular, even in my picturesque lounging spot by the creek. I got to see some pretty rough looking people on bikes. Hope it's not as hot next year, cause now I have to come back. Wasn't planning on it but I can't leave it hanging with a big fat DNF.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Second Half of Summer

Not much going on here, trying to get some sort of momentum going for the 2nd half of the year. Finally getting some solid training in with a couple of big weeks now I've lost 11 lbs. Feeling better all around! It's a good thing with the upcoming race schedule. I've got what appears to be an epic battle at ORAMM shaping up this weekend, Fool's Gold 100 next month, then the monster Trans North Georgia on Sept 4th. Cyclocross starts 2 weeks later. I did get my new cross bike in last week. I'm in the process of building it up. I am racing on a Rocky Mountain CXR Team bike. It's all white so it must be fast! I'll post pictures and a review when I get some miles on it.
Back to TNGA. The process of preparing for this race occupies some of every day. There is so much to do before Sept. I am trying to sort my gear and figure what to carry. I am studying maps and cue sheets. I am also trying to decide on racing the singlespeed or gears. Rigid or suspension? Tarp, tent, or hammock? The list never ends. I have a shakedown weekend planned early in August to help me figure things out.
Changing the subject a bit- here's a retail story from work yesterday:

Customer: I need to pay off the balance on a bike.

Me: Sure! Which bike?

Customer: blah blah

Me: Here's the paperwork, Kevin will grab the bike and I'll meet you at the register to settle up.

Customer: How much is it? ( preparing to write a check)

Me: I'm sorry sir, we don't take checks. Do you have another form of payment?

Customer: This is the only way I can pay.

Me: Doesn't that check come from a bank account?

Customer: Yes but I don't have a debit card.

Me: That's fine, why don't you go to the bank where you deposited the money into that account and withdraw some to come pay me?

At this point I see the wheels are not turning anymore as the customer looks very confused. I am staring to think we are at an impass when the customer speaks again.

Customer: Can I use your phone? I need to call my mother. ( and I'm 30 years old.)

Me: Sure, no problem, here you go.

Long story short- Mom gives me her credit card info, bike is paid, and off he goes. Checks. The only reason checks should be used is between businesses and payroll.

Anyways- I need to go work on my bike now. I have to change to a 24 X 23 T setup for ORAMM if I don't want to walk on Curtis Creek Sunday. Just kidding. However, I may( for the first time ever) drop the 34T for a 32T. I feel like a wimp thinking about it though. The lowest I've ever run is a 34 X 21. That was fine out west last summer and I think the 19 was the 2nd lowest gear I used all year. Nah- I'll stick with the 34X 21. I shouldn't have a problem in NC.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Wow- talk about losing the message in translation. Good job Nissan- perfect timing with the current "Floydgate" situation! "Discover the science behind legendary performance" Yep. Might want to change that ad.

On to more important matters....4 more days and I get to hop a plane to the Bahamas w/ Liza!
Made my day-DH

Monday, May 10, 2010


Time for a little break. My right shoulder still hurts from when I separated it last March. I can't figure when it happened but now my left shoulder is in more pain than the right! Maybe it got jealous or sympathetic? Who knows. I did have a crash at FATS well over a month ago where I landed on the left shoulder but it felt fine for a couple of weeks. Now it's getting worse. As if that wasn't enough, my left knee is inflamed and killing me. I also have a hangnail. I know how the knee happened. I installed some new Shimano pedals on the Niner. Had to ditch the crank bros. Got sick of rebuilding them. Anyways- I don't think I installed my cleat where it should have been. It seems like all I want to do is ride around on the mtb lately- with the increase in mileage and the misaligned cleat- I think it caused the hangnail...or the knee issue. I can't bend it very well now.
Sooo.. I will skip the SERC race this weekend and 12 hrs. of Tsali the next. After that Liza and I are headed to the Bahamas for a week for our 8th anniversary. If you want to rob my house- stop on by! Better not- we have 2 police officers house sitting for the week.( really!) Liza's sister and brother in law are gonna come down for a vacation in Charleston while we are gone. Works out great! Sorry to dissapoint you if you were hoping to score some Niners!
After that I should'nt feel like a cripple anymore and will be back in action soon. The plans for the rest of the year have changed a little though. I'm still doing the rest of the SERC series, ORAMM, Fool's Gold, and a couple of 12 hr races; however, the big one will be Trans North Georgia in Sept. Really looking forward to that. Nathan and I are teaming up again and it should be a good time! Gotta go work on bikes now-DH out.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Over the hump

Things have been a bit disorderly for me lately. Ever since I returned from Rouge Roubaix, I've been sick, unmotivated to train, or too busy to get any consistent riding in. I've gained a little too much weight for my liking and feel really out of shape. The plan for this past week was a backpacking trip on the Art Loeb Trail with Alex for spring break. However, he hurt his foot so that was off. I had the time off, so I rode. Brad and I went to FATS in Augusta on Thursday for a great ride and great ammounts of pollen. Yellow dirt. Yellow sweat. Yellow clouds blowing in the wind. Great trails and a hard ride down, we headed home. Friday I drove to Asheville, hung out at Cane Creek all afternoon ( and put a suspension fork on the Air 9), made ride arrangements for Saturday, and got in a good road ride with Robert. After a terrific dinner at Apollo Flame I hit the sack and slept like a rock.
Saturday morning I woke up, showered, and headed up to Mr. Petes to meet the guys. Gary and his Friend, Paul, Jeremy, and some industry guys were there so we rolled out. N. Mills was the destination and we were soon there. A bit of Darwinism shed the WTB guy as he followed the wrong car to Brevard instead. The second industry guy was shed after 5 minutes and a stick in the derailleur on Laurel Mtn. With the baggage gone we rolled out for 4 hrs or so. The bike was working great, I had good legs, and we were ripping the downhills following Paul on the Niner WFO. Good stuff. Got back to Robert's, napped, we ate Mexican, messed around with motorcycles, and hit the sack.
On the schedule for Sunday was the SERC xc race at Tsali. This one I was dreading. It's been awhile since I raced an XC and my current state of fitness had me hoping for a ride slightly north of embarrassing. Anyways- after arriving, I parked, grabbed my bag and rode off to find the team trailer. Hung out with Bill a bit, registered, and got ready to race. Feeling optimistic after a good warm up I headed to the start line. Or the back row of the start line. Guess I rolled up a little late. There were 30 or so in the Pro class and I had the back row all to myself. Great way to start the race. The gun finally goes off and we drill it to the singletrack. I pass a few guys and have to back off and try to get into a rythm. Before I know it the first 18 mile lap is over and I'm over halfway done with the second lap. When you are use to racing 12 hr races, I guess a 2hr XC race goes quick! I had steadily been passing guys here and there and the finish came quick- ended up 19th. The legs felt tired but not a whole lot different than when I started. I actually felt pretty fresh after the race. I could get use to this again- I don't feel like a car crash victim like I normally do after a race.
Anyways- I'm relieved to have gotten that over with. Now I know what I need to do to get back to XC racing. After 24 Hrs. of Big Bear was cancelled, my whole program has changed. Building for that all winter has left me with a ton of endurance and muscular strength, but nooooo speed. I have to get that going, it takes me about a week to accelerate out of a corner! Give me a month- speed comes quick.
I did find out that the Left loop at Tsali has more sapling pine trees growing/ crowding the trail than any other spot on the planet. I didn't pay attention during the race, but when I showered afterward I found that I was covered with scratches on my arms and legs. Just an observation.
Off to ride now- have to keep the momentum going! DH

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another Rainy Day Off

The rain is falling pretty hard outside now. This has been the pattern on my days off this winter! Things are looking up each week though with better weather. Had some nice early morning off road rides this week and am looking forward to another one tomorrow. My general sickness and/or beating myself half to death on the bike for the last 3 weeks has been letting up as I feel recovered now. I haven't felt "normal" in a month but feel pretty good now and am looking forward to training hard. Training for what I'm not sure as my "A" priority race this year was cancelled. No 24 hr Nationals in WV. They are moved back to Moab, UT. Too far away and too crummy a course to entice me to race. I think I'll race more XC now and focus on the Pisgah Stage Race in Sept. I should have done that one last year and as a bonus it is now 5 days long!
Anyways- I couldn't bear to get on the trainer again so I kept busy around the house today- or should I say the garage. Liza got me a model railroad starter set for christmas after a visit to the hobby shop and some reminiscing of my childhood. I need something to take my mind off of riding bikes so this worked out great. Not one to do things in a small way, I have been adding on to my trains since the day I got them. I finally got the layout built up and running the way I want today. Here's some pictures of the results. Still needs some landscaping and buildings, I'll get there in due time.
Well- got to go- I probably should get on the trainer after all! DH

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The St. Francisville Fiasco

Nathan, Joachim, and I drove to Louisiana this past weekend to race in the Rouge Roubaix road race. It is suppose to be a really hard 102 mile road race with steep climbs, bad roads, and miles of dirt and gravel. I continue to find ways to mentally and physically beat myself into the ground so of course I was in! We left on friday and after 14 hrs. in the car we arrived in the middle of nowhere north of Baton Rouge known as St. Francisville.
In order to save time and spare you the whole story, here are some observations from the weekend:

1. Alligator tastes pretty good.

2. 30% of the roads in Louisiana and Mississippi are dirt, 50% are crap, and 20% are nice. By 20% I mean I-20 and I-10. I don't know what the tax dollars in these states pay for- it's not the roads. With tough competition from SC for worst state educations, I don't think taxes pay for the schools there either!

3. There is very beautiful countryside there.

4. LSU's cycling club has the worst, most horrible cycling kit in existence in the history of cycling. On that note, I'm glad I don't have to see anymore purple outfits worn by the fans of LSU either. Had enough of that. The whole state is purple and yellow.

5. If a Shimano Di2 electronic drivetrain equipped bike is packed in a car driving for 14 hrs with something touching the shift lever, the battery will go dead.

6. You can ghetto charge a Di2 battery by stripping the wires on a cellphone charger, inserting them into the battery, and plugging it into the wall.

7. Rouge Roubaix is the hardest road race I've ever done.

8. It feels weird and just a little creepy when someone tries to buy drugs from you at 11pm at a gas station in Pensacola, FL.

9. Nathan and Joachim did very well, and none of us flatted or crashed.

10. We drove straight home through the night after the race, arriving at 6:30 AM. The sunrise from the connecter was beautiful.

11.McDonalds will sell you a Mc Flurry at 2 AM.


Monday, February 22, 2010

This Post is Brought to you by the letter W.

W for win or for weak? A little of both. I was more than a little worried headed to Florida Friday morning. The painful chest and cough I had developed on Wed. was getting more persisitant and I had taken Wed. off from riding due to crummy feeling legs. However, I was signed up and everybody was fired up to go. So I went. Robert, Joel, and I left around 6AM on Fri. morning so we could get a good spot to set up camp on the course. We got down to Bellview around 12:30 and got set up in the same spot as last year. Worked fine then so why change anything right? We got 2 1/2 hrs. in on the course and called it a day. Same course as last year. I ran a 34 X 17T last year and although it felt a little tough, decided to run it again this year. The legs were OK pre-riding, I took one lap easy, then did a hot lap to open up the legs. After this, the legs were good but the lungs were crap, with a painful cough and headache. I was worried.
We got dinner at the same Mexican Joint as always, then groceries ( with lots of TheraFlu and Vitamin C) and headed back to camp. After a steaming cup of TheraFlu I headed off to sleep. Or so I thought. There were of course some Idiots raising Hell all night keeping everyone awake. I think one of my competitors must have stayed in a motel and had his buddies stay up all night to keep people awake. After much yelling from other people, the jerks finally quieted down and I got some much needed sleep.
I awoke to my teammates Bill and Jeremy hollering at me about 8AM to get up and bring the pain. I had the pain alright- just all over myself. I felt terrible. So I went and hollered some things at the guys that were loud last night. They looked at me and quickly turned away as everyone in our area now hated them. I planned on putting ants in their sleeping bags on Sat. night. After a breakfast of more TheraFlu and oatmeal I started to feel better. I slowly got ready and before I knew it it was time to drop off my bike in the transition area and head to the start line. I was lacking the energy to stand at the start so I sat on a rock wanting to sleep until the stat line got busy. I lined up and we were off.
I had a decent run, got into the trail in around 15th. Moving up past the prerequisite guys that run really fast then blow up 5 min. in, I found myself in the top 10, in 1st solo. I stayed here for a few hours, then started feeling really bad. The sickness was catching up- my lungs were killing me, my headache made me think my eyes were going to fall out, and I couldn't focus very well with my eyes. I started making dumb mistakes. The 34 X 17 was feeling way taller than last year. I pulled into the pit after the 5th lap and decided that I was doing more damage to myself than it was worth. However, I was still in 1st by a large margin. After hacking up some quarter sized phlegm, I grabbed a coke and rolled out for one more easy lap. It was a fast one. As were the next 5 laps. I had begun to feel a little better. With a steady diet of Perpetum and TheraFlu, I lapped 2nd place halfway through. I have a theory as to why I "felt better". It's all about balance of pain. In the beginning my head and lungs were hurting from being sick while my legs felt fine. Unbalanced pain. So I noticed the pain and dwelled on it. Toward the middle, the rest of my body caught up with the lungs and head and then everything hurt. Balanced pain. I could then concentrate on riding. Everything was fine. I was now 1 1/2 laps up on 2nd Singlespeed and 5th overall. I could have stopped early but decided to put the exclamation point on it ( and I wanted to go over 120 miles) so I rolled out for a last lap. With that done, it was over. Team Cafe:ine (formerly known as Team Terrapin) had won SS Solo 12 Hr (me), 2 man Team 12 Hr (Bill and Jeremy), and Sport Solo 12Hr.(Andrew). Congrats to Joel as well for pulling out a 5th in his first ever solo 12 hr!Not bad for the first race of the year. Now- to get well then get some much needed training in. After collapsing by the fire for awhile, I got changed, we all got our awards, and we rolled out to find a hotel.
Although I had a sub standard ride, a win is a win and I'll take it. Next up- Rouge Roubaix on March 7th. That one should be epic and I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Niner Air 9 Carbon Review

I have a couple hundred miles on the bike now and it's clear that some precautions need to be made. The Air 9 is so stiff and light that my reaction time can't keep up. Any input on the pedals results in instantaneous highway speed acceleration. It's like the powerband on a YZ250 kicking in. Fortunately, the handling is razor sharp so any control issues at high speed are handled with ease. Nevertheless I have decided that more protection is needed if I have an altercation at top speed. Therefore, I'll only be riding this baby with my motorcross gear on from now on.
All jokes aside- this bike is really impressing me. The faster I go, the faster the bike wants to be pushed. I'll have a long distance review to post after this weekend's 12 hr. I should be very aquainted with it by then!

That's right

Snowball's Chance in Hell

We got snow here Friday night. Snow at the beach- never thought I'd see that. This winter has been the worst winter I can remember. The winters were milder when I lived in Brevard! The wind hasn't dropped under 10mph for at least 3 months. We normally are over 60 degrees now and have had several days in the high 70's. We haven't been out of the 40's for the most part. Sure we've had a couple of 50's- with 30 mph wind all day! I wonder if we'll have a milder summer this year? Hope so! Yeah, yeah- I know- quit being a crybaby- there are guys that can't even ride their bikes till April. Yes, but they made a choice to live in Wisconsin, or Michigan, or wherever in the far reach of retardia they live. I live here for the mild winter and year round riding. Anyways, looking for good weather this weekend as I head down to Ocala, FL for the 12 Hrs of Santos. Always one of my favorite races and I always do well there. I'm looking to repeat last year's win. We'll see how it goes- I haven't been riding anywhere near as well as last year, but ya never know what will happen on race day. I've had some of my best days when I thought I had crummy legs and some of my worst days when the legs felt good! That's the funny thing about bike racing- you never know how you are gonna ride till you are in the race.
Anyways- I'm going to ride a ton of laps on a fun course in sunny warm weather on a new bike so I can't complain! I can't wait to see how the new Niner Air 9 Carbon rides over 12 Hrs. I have an idea- and it involves the chiropractor on Monday but we'll see. Regardless, the bike is blazing fast and will be tempting me to push it faster.
Here's some pics from the ride on Sat: Snow on my palm tree, one of the better SC drivers ( probably happened after the snow was off the roads!), and Coleman boulevard approaching Shem Creek.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010