Monday, March 22, 2010
The BURN 24 Hour Challenge just so happens to fall the very next weekend with our local mtn bike club camping trip coming just after that. Too many events falling back to back like this makes it difficult to fit them all in. Most of the summer months look to be wide open. Why is that? Three events in a row will be too much for Melinda and I. I don't think asking her to go to back to back race events are fair of me.
Recently I've noticed more and more underground events taking place. Both of the bike mags I subscribe to did articles about them. My good friend Alan put on 2 last year. No entry fee, no big prizes just good ole clean fun. This underground event organization sounds kind of appealing. I would rather participate in it but putting one on could be fun too. I hope to see the return of the Dead Possum this year as I've heard the Possum Creek ride is once again cancelled or changed or something.
Last year about this time I was looking at a pretty uneventful race season and it turned out to be one of the best I've had yet, maybe this year will end up the same who knows.
The 6 Hours of Warriors creek is just around the corner and I'm trying to prepare myself as much as possible with out over preparing myself if that's possible. Between work and bad weather I'm currently not where I thought I would be fitness wise. My lower back has been bothering me some from riding so hard last week and I hope that it quits complaining before race weekend. My goal of 4 laps minimum could be very hard to achieve with a screaming lower back.
Maybe I should get off the computer and do some yoga.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
It's that time of year when you dust of the fenders of your cruiser, swing your leg over the low slung saddle and reach up high for the ape hanger bars and cruise around town.
I know most of you who choose to read this blog know we ride all year round but the spring and summer are different. We go from fighting frigid temps and stinging finger tips to all day rides in the sun and hitting the local Mexican joint on the way back home for a round of tacos and a Dos Equis.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Whenever I find myself in a situation like this I like to make a list of pros & cons to help me decide.
1. It's a fun course to ride, & a great trail system.
2. It's a 12 hour race in which I really wanted to push myself to see how far I could go.
3. I really enjoy the camping and the other trails there are to ride before and after the race.
4. It's the only 12 hour race I have on my schedule.
5. Although I don't agree with the promoters fees and lack of swag, it makes for really good blog material.
6. You can drink beer and play music past 10pm.
7. The majority of this race is during the daylight hours.
1. It's a further drive which is more expensive to travel to.
2. The race fee will be higher & the swag is skimpy.
3. The spaghetti is watered down.
4. Alot of my friends are leaning toward the Night Owl.
5. The crappers in the pits smell terrible in the summer.
6. Alot of racers who think they are better than everyone else show up for this event.
7. No free beer
Pros: The Night Owl
1. It's closer so the travel expenses will be lower.
2. It appears to be the race a majority of my friends will be attending.
3. It's a local promoter not some cat from Florida.
4. The race fee will probably be alot cheaper.
5. First year for this event so it will probably be a small turnout which about half of the participants will be my friends.
Cons: The Night Owl
1. The race is a night race only. (I haven't decided if this should be a pro yet)
2. The race will be alot shorter.
3. The course reminds be of the Bays Mountain race course minus the ruts.
4. The venue is held in a VA. State Park which I have had bad experiences in under certain situations. We mountain bikers just like to have a little fun after the ride.
5. No free beer
I guess I really don't have to make my decision yet so I'll probably continue to add to my lists as pros & cons come to mind.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I knew going into this that my 29er might not be the best bike for the job but it would have to do. If it were up to me I would have at least on one of everything but space and limited funds say no. The bikes I saw the most of were bmx and 26" hardtails. The Mamasita performed great on the XC stuff and the trials course but the pumptrack was a bit tight. It didn't help that I had never ridden a pump track before either.
As far as the bowls and half pipes I chose to just watch from the sidelines rather than get in anyone's way. I had plenty to ride and could have gone back another day. Next time I'll probably just rent a bike and save my tires for the dirt.
I should have the video finished by tomorrow, I can't give it all away in one day. I don't want to be one of those deadbeat bloggers who get's fired up about once every three months and rambles aimlessly for 2 pages about what they've been doing for the past few months.
Who wants to read that?
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I just hope I can keep up with Alan and AC today as I've spent more time in the saddle the past 2 days than I did the past 2 months. I woke up this morning sore and sluggish but I've got the coffee pot rocking and the Hero cam's batteries charged.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Early Friday morning we loaded up the car and managed 5 stops before finally leaving town, (gas, groceries, 2 stops for breakfast & 1 for a book on CD). Once underway we managed to stay on the road until the first tank of gas ran out. I never thought I would be happy to see the needle reach "E" as I could no longer hold in all the coffee I drank. We pulled into some random gas station in West VA and I let the dogs out to do their business. As I walked the dogs around I was paying close attention to Moonshine's neck full of staples and not where I was walking. Little did I know that the area we chose to let the dogs use the bathroom was quite popular for others traveling with dogs. Unfortunately there was dog poo everywhere and somehow I managed not to see any of it. I loaded the dogs back up, jumped in the car and pulled up to the pumps. As I drove the 50 ft or so across the parking lot I noticed an usually awful smell. It wasn't until I got out of the car that I realized it was coming from the bottom of my shoe. It seems I must have stepped in a huge pile of dog poop. In all reality I'm used to this at home where I can wash it off easily with our garden hose but with no garden hoses available I was in quite a predicament.
I went on a search for some sort of outdoor water source to remedy the situation and found 2 faucets, the 1st one appeared to be frozen and the 2nd one had a broken handle. With no other options I went into the gas station bathroom and attempted to use the sink. I know this is gross and unsanitary but it was my only option. You see I was wearing trail running shoes with aggressive lugs on the sole with all kinds of trail grabbing crevices that are excellent for keeping you upright on the trail but also excellent for dog poop to get into creating quite a mess. Dragging my shoe through the grass only made things worse. I have realized that high pressure water is the only way to solve this problem.
Upon entering the bathroom I knew I was going to ruin the sink and I said a short prayer that I would not get caught cleaning dog poop off my shoe in a sink used my humans to clean their hands. I cranked up the water full blast and got nothing but a measly stream of water that almost made me cry. I tried my best to wash away the poop but wasn't having much luck. I looked around for some paper towels to aid in my efforts but this gas station had decided to be environmentally friendly and go with a hand dryer. I put my wet dog poop covered shoe back on a walked into the nearest stall to get some toilet paper. The toilet paper of course was the cheapest available and wasn't much help either. I repeated this process several times, wash in the sink, wipe with toilet paper. I realized after the first trip across the bathroom floor that I had left a trail of brown water on the floor. Not wanting to make an even bigger disaster than I had already created I resolved to hopping on one foot back and forth from the stall to the sink. I was getting no where with my process when the bathroom door opened and in walked an EMT. Luckily I was in the stall and not the sink but I had the door open so I was caught red handed with my dog poop shoe in one hand and a wad of brown toilet paper in the other. I just knew at any minute the guy was going to realize what I was doing and unleash a slew of obscenities in my direction. Nothing was said even as he washed his hands in the sink. I thought I was in the clear as he made his way to the door but turned to me at the last second and looked at the shoe in my hand. Hear it comes I thought. To my surprise he did not accuse me of destroying the bathroom but instead he started asking me about my shoes. Apparently he thought they were cool, never mentioning the mess I had created.
After a couple more hopping trips from the sink to the stall I spied my saviour out of the corner of my eye. I was having no luck getting the poo from out of all the tiny little crevices in the sole and I wasn't about to use my fingernail. Someone had left an unlucky scratch lottery ticket wedged in between the toilet paper dispenser and the wall. What was unlucky for one man turned out to be my jackpot. I was able to use the corners of the ticket to get all the tiny little crevices of my shoe clean. One more quick wash in the sink and I threw on my wet shoe and got out of there before anyone else decided to come into the hell on earth I had created in that bathroom. Normally I think lottery tickets are bad and I never buy them but now I have a different outlook on them. I will no longer accuse the state of convincing people to cough up their hard earned money on the ridiculous chance that one day they will become a millionaire.
When I finally got to the car Melinda said she was about to come in searching for me thinking I had been abducted by some burly trucker.
We did finally make it to Ohio and I did get to ride Ray's Indoor Mtn Bike Park which was awesome. I shot alot of footage with the Hero cam and Melinda snapped some photos but I'll save that for tomorrows post, sorry. There is still alot of editing I need to do before I post my video so stay tuned all week.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
With the cold temps, high winds, and a lack of sleep I just couldn't get in the mood to get out and ride. After I got back from the dentist I hit the sack in an attempt to get some rest but it wasn't happening. My mother in law was due in town at anytime and with my lack of sleep I settled for an hour of P90X in the living room.
Saturday I could tell my day was going to be exciting. Shopping for diet books, and diet food with 3 women was the only thing on my agenda. I was just thankful I wasn't stuck standing outside the women's dept. dressing room while the ladies tried on everything in sight. I decided to load up my bike for the trip just in case a window of opportunity presented itself and as we neared Johnson City a plan slowly began forming in my head. One of our stops included the Earth Fair Grocery Store, an all natural, organic, hippie grocery with ridiculously over priced food. Don't get me wrong the place it great and it makes me hungry just thinking about their deli but the prices keep me from voluntarily stepping foot inside. I decided instead of torturing myself watching our grocery cart fill up with $5 boxes of crackers I would head over to the local singletrack @ ETSU for a short ride.
As I pulled into the parking lot I remembered how this particular set of trails sometimes takes longer to dry than any other trail system in the Tri-Cities but this was my window of opportunity and I could not pass it up. I suited up, adjusted the psi in my tires for slick conditions and pedaled my way toward the tree line. Three tenths of a mile in I knew it wasn't going to work. My 2.1 tires looked liked giant chocolate covered donuts and rather than do damage to the trail and my bike I turned around and headed back to the truck. As I drove to the hippie grocery I hoped for another chance on Sunday to get some riding in, this time I would choose a much drier destination, Bays Mountain. We did manage to make it through the hippie grocery with a decent bill, the only item I picked out, some organic coffee beans, turned out to be the most expensive thing in our buggy.
Sunday I got the okay to take off and hit the trails at Bays Mountain. As luck would have it the singletrack was in excellent shape. My start was a bit chilly with temps in the mid 30's but a good long climb to the firetower got me toasty warm. All was not lost and I considered the weekend a success. I managed to get out and enjoy the singletrack while the ladies hit the clothing stores.