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