Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Foothills Trail- Albuquerque, NM

Nice 2 hr ride this morning. Swoopy, fast trail with just enough technical rocky sections to keep you on your toes. Off to Flagstaff...............

Quick update from Albuquerque

I'm tired so I'll make it quick. We're in Albuquerque, NM now. In a small hotel room that required creeative bike storage. Started in AL yesterday morning after racing the SERC #9 in Ft. Payne. I had a decent ride, got 4th and made my entry fee and a tank of gas back. Matt flatted out of his race unfortunately. Great trails, rocky and rooty, technical but fast too. Highly recommended. I wanted to get some pics but had to wait until after the race to get a new camera so I couldn't. We made it to Ft Smith, AR last night. After 3 cinnamon rolls and a waffle for breakfast we rolled out. The planned stop to ride in Greenleaf Lake St. Park near Gore, OK was a dissapointment. Great trail- rocky and technical around the lake. Planned on a 17 mile loop. Looked promising....other than the fact that it hadn't been maintained since 1945. Badly overgrown with trees down every 30-40 feet caused an about face after 3 miles so I would avoid throwing my bike in the lake in a fit of anger. Matt immediately seconded my vote and we rolled out of there ASAP. Good thing because it soon hit 111 degrees. Anyways- good to see a Dr. Pepper machine. No Coke or Pepsi at this park, just Dr. Pepper....weird. Planning on a good am mtn or road ride from here in the morning, then on to Flagstaff, AZ. Planning an all day mtn ride there on Wed. More pics and updates to follow soon! DH

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Or Maybe a Stoemper Ronny?

Man it's hot!

I was lucky to make it home from the ride this morning. I think some brain cells definitely did not make it from the feel of my head melting. I wanted to get one more 100+ mile day in before Leadville and with the xc race this weekend that meant I'd have to do it during the week. I was suppose to do it yesterday when it was nice and cool but circumstances prohibited it. I did manage to get up early and get out before sunrise. Got some beautiful views of the sun coming up as I headed North towards North Carolina. I figured on doing the same route as I did last Wed as I got in nearly a century. I'd just tack on some more miles once I got into NC. Same wind as last week too, from the south. Normally, I'd head into the wind while fresh so I can benefit from the tailwind return when I get tired. Not wanting this to be an easy ride, I put it on 220-250 watts and headed North with the wind so I'd have to work coming home.
It became apparent pretty quickly that the day was going to get very hot. This morning was probably the most humid day I've ridden on that I can remember. Sweat was rolling off me more than I'd ever seen outside. I had some new sensations- sweat running down my cheeks and dripping off my chin. Never had that happen before, especially rolling at 24ish mph. The wind normally blows all that sweat off. Another issue causing concern was the amount of sweat on my hands and covering the handlebars. The brake hoods were soaked underneath and actually twisting around on the levers adding more excitement when I'd sprint on the hoods. The drops were no better with my hands slipping down them with every bump. I've had my hands sweaty and slip off the bars before resulting in a face first crash and seeing rainbows around everything for awhile. Not fun. Not eager to repeat that moment, I pulled over at  convinience store to refill my bottles and dry off my bars. The clerk informed me that it would be a 118 degrees heat index today and that I should drink a lot of water. Um...thanks. I'll do what I can. Perfect. Hottest day of the year and I was out for a long one.
Wasn't bad yet so off I rolled. Pushing north, I hit hwy 9 out of Cherry Grove, crossed the swing bridge and headed inland. Hanging a right onto hwy 57 I pedaled on towards North Carolina. Soon I'd crossed the border and still with a tailwind and feeling strong, decided to keep on rolling several more miles before turning around. All the while I kept wondering how bad the wind would be on the return trip. I was also beginning to notice the heat a little. By 9am, it was full blown hot. Heat waves were starting to appear on the horizon and the headwind I was riding into was no longer cooling me off. By 9:30 that wind was feeling like a blast furnace and I could feel my skin burning when in the sun. There is hardly and shade down here, so that was most of the time. Every now and then I'd get a litttle tree cover and a welcome 1 degree reduction of the heat. The legs were holding up beautifuly, I kept waiting for the power to drop but 4 hrs in and it was still holding strong. I knew it had to drop sometime though, and the thought of limping back home in a headwind and this oppressive heat didn't sit well with me.
Remembering old Floyd from the 2006 Tour and all the bottles he went through had me stopping every 45 minutes or so to refill bottles. One to drink, one for the head. This worked great. Douse my head and I was good for 20 minutes or so till I had to hit it again. I started noticing however, that the time till I felt crummy again was decreasing rapidly. Power was holding steady, I was just feeling worse and worse. Soon the 45 minutes between stops became 30. Then 20. As sunny and bright as it was, my glasses had to come off, they were too hot to wear. Soon after the glasses went, the Ipod earbuds had to go. I just knew those things were holding in heat that was trying to escape from my ears. I probably went through 15 bottles before I made it back to the Myrtle Beach city limits.
One more stop for a cold Coke and I was only 6 miles from home. Revitalized, I rode those 6 excruciatingly hot miles as fast as possible. Other than a momentary mini fit I threw from having to stop and bake at a long red light, the last part wasn't bad. The bike path for the last 2 miles turned out kind of nice as I hit the tailwind again and instantly felt cooler. After a cold shower, food, and a gallon of water, I'm ready to roll again! I'm rolling out tomorrow to head out west and will be there for a few weeks. By the time I get back, he weather will hopefully be cooler! Doesn't matter anyway though as I'll be shifting to shorter, more intense cyclocross training and leave the longer rides for better places. Stay cool out there people! Dink up! DH

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Want List...

Looking for a new cx bike for the fall/ winter/ spring. Have a few in mind but can't get the look of the Ritte out of my head. Beacause that's the only thing to consider when  deciding on a new bike. Well.....90% of it at least. While I need a new cx bike, I don't need a new mountain bike. Perfectly happy with my Niner and my Epic there. Had to post a pic of the new Ritchey 650b bike though. Even if it isn't quite full grown in the wheel department, it's still a very fine looking bike. I'd ride the bejeesus out of it. Speaking of riding.....I'm out. DH

Monday, July 23, 2012

5 to go

Got in a nice recovery ride this morning. Hot as hell already and twice as humid as Panama but a nice morning nonetheless. My rides always end up with a stop by the Piggly Wiggly near my house. I grab a Diet Coke and some breakfast and sit outside on the picnic table and take a few minutes to enjoy the day. I get the same thing every morning. Same cashier every morning. We small talk a couple of minutes every morning, I pay, and then she puts my stuff in a bag. I'm wearing cycling clothes and a helmet. She knows I rode up on my bike. What am I going to do, roll off with grocery bags hanging on the bars? I tell her I don't need a bag, I'm going outside to eat it every morning. I'm interested in seeing how many times we go through this routine before she finally hands me my stuff with no bag.
Anyways- Training is going well, got some good hard rides in this weekend and was pleasantly surprised when I downloaded my Garmin after them. A few more interval days, knock out 120 miles on wed, a few strength workouts, and I'm off to CO! Picking up Matthew in ATL, then we're racing in Ft. Payne, AL. Never heard of the place until Matthew informed me that the band "Alabama" was from there. Ironic, they got their start playing at the Bowery here in good old Myrtle Beach. Looking forward to a stop in Albequerque, NM for some riding, and then one of my favorites....Flagstaff, AZ. Then on to Durango for a bit and we'll work our way up through Crested Butte, CO Springs, ride up Mt. Evans, Brekenridge, then finally Leadville where we'll hook up with Cal Naughton and Liza. Then only a few more days until I get to suffer for 8 hrs 2+ miles above home! Hoping the 2 weeks at altitude will take some of the edge off, but not kidding myself. Riding above 10,000 feet is terrible no matter where you're from. Racing out west over the last 15-16 yrs I've noticed I get a little better with the altitude every time I go out there. I'm usually fine at 8,000 ft. 9,000 ft isn't too bad, but 10,000 starts to really catch up with me. I've raced up to 12,000 before and up there basically all I'm doing is trying to keep moving. Don't know if I'd call it racing. Hoping that after the descending the Columbine climb, getting back to 10,000 feet or so will feel awesome.....other than the fact that I'll be 60-70 miles in of course. Only one way to find out! Stay tuned-


Friday, July 20, 2012

New Business Cards!

Finally got some business cards made up for my coaching services. They are classy black and red and loaded with lots of great features and the latest technological advances such as useful tidbits like my phone # and website. If you are on this site you know how to get ahold of me. However, these cards can serve all types of other purposes as well! They are blank on the back so you can write more important things, you could tear them in half to use setting up disc brakes, you can even use them to clean between your teeth! Very useful and versatile....or, call the number or send me an e-mail and I'll help you get fast. Or faster.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Counting down the days

Training for Leadville 100 is going well, going to finish up with 25 hrs this week, knock out 23 next week, race in AL at SERC#9, then 2 weeks to just ride in AZ and CO and have fun! My power numbers are steadily going up while weight has come down and I should be lighter than ever come race day. Got my shock working again and the Epic built back up so I'm ready to roll. Making travel preparations with Matt as to where all we will be going/ staying/ riding. Now, if I can figure out how to breathe at 10-12,000 feet I'll be good to go! 9000 ft felt pretty good at Nationals in ID, and this time I have much more than a week to acclimate. The elevation at Nats really wasn't a problem, the thing that got me was the dry air and dumptruck loads of dust I had to eat with my less than impressive back row start. Hoping this won't be a problem in Leadville with the early start and being on pavement for a bit.

While I'm looking forward to the next few weeks of riding in the mountains, I'm really looking forward to the week after the race. Liza and I are headed to Moab the night after and I'm going riding the next morning. I've been through Moab 4 times now and never ridden there. Yeah. 4 times and never ridden in the most iconic mountain bike spot in the US. Time to fix that. From there, It's on to Vegas for a couple of days where we're gonna renew our vows at a bike in wedding chapel. I reeeally hope we can get Elvis to hook us up! Then- on to L.A. where we'll check out Hollywood and catch a Great White show at the Whiskey. Then we head home the southern way, hitting up Big Bend NP and New Orleans on the way. Gotta go- DH

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Evil Empire Strikes Again

As the USADA case against Mr. Livewrong gets rolling, an interesting development just happened. Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner raises questions of sensibility regarding the money spent on this investigation and if it is a missuse of taxpayer money. Wisconsin. Isn't Trek Bicycle Corporation located in Wisconsin? Just sayin'.......

Monday, July 09, 2012