Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Like usual I'm mixing up my training. But this time it's in a pattern. In the morning me Finn and the girls go for about an hour long hike. When he is napping or off to town hall with Bonnie I spin. After work I take 'the long way home' and get some climbing in. It doesn't sound like the workouts of a serious mt. biker, but it will have to do.

We had to have some tests this morning. I guess we're growing up, we are shopping for life insurance. We had to have blood drawn in our own home...weird. Among other testes we needed to weigh in, I'm leaner than I've been since sometime in high school. Right away one gets to thinking 'if I'm lighter it's because I'm loosing muscle mass'. Because if your heavier it's always fat, right?

This weekend it the Idyllwild Spring Challenge. It's a xc race about 35 miles long, not my strong suit but always fun anyway. Bonnie is going to be working a check point so I'll probably set her up with some bottles for me to grab as I pass. It sounds like Brendan will be coming out to race as well. It'll be good to see him out there hammering.

The rest of the week looks the same trainingwise. Do it whenever and however I can.

Ride on!

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's Now an 8 Hour Race

We had a great weekend. The show when very well and I got to watch some racing. I didn't get down to the venue until about 5 hours into the race. Because time was pressed I didn't go to start/finish to watch. Instead I viewed the action from keen summit. As I watched and cheered racers on I noticed that the majority of the number plates had an 8 on them. The next morning I got down to the race around 6 a.m. I checked out the results and sure enough there were almost as many male 8 hour solos as there were solos and teams combined racing 24 hours.

When watching races I like to run the course in the opposite direction of the race. That way I get to see more action from different points on the course, and it doesn't hurt to get a little exercise. With so few racers the course, it held up very well. My plan was to stay through the end and then get back home quick to get ready for the last show. I ended up running a couple of laps and by 10:00 the race was pretty much wrapped up. No real close match ups, for example the male solo had nearly a two lap lead on second. Nice work Taylor! He was looking strong all day long. The 8 hour race was won by Luke Wiens. He broke out 9 laps, way to go! I think he might be looking to do the 24 in the fall.

It was fun watching the race but it made me really miss being out there. I think this will be the first season in some time that I won't get 4 24's in. For some reason shows seem to fall on race weekends this year. We're thinking about doing the first Granny Gear race out east in June. It's the weekend after graduation and logistically it could be a real hassle. If we do then I'll get my 4 in for the season.

Ride on!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Life a mile up

Today is one of those days it's good to be living at altitude. Sunny and beautiful up here, overcast and chance of rain down there.

I got out for about an hour and a half this morning before Bonnie need to be at a meeting. I shot up to Pine Cove and then hit some single track below campus. This chest cold I got about a week ago is getting to me. I thought that the Death March might knock it out of me be that doesn't seem to be the case. I guess it's a good thing I'm race Hurkey Creek this weekend. I gotta tell ya seeing all of the bikes in town is great, but it's making me wish I was part of the action. My plan is to head down there tomorrow night after the show and check out the fun, it should be a good time.
Tonight is opening night, the show looks great and the kids are just itching for an audience.
Ride on!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Living Up to Its Name

This weekend I took on the Julian Death March. I did this race last year and placed first in the open category. This year the course was to be about 12 miles longer with a bit more elevation gain. The past two years the overall winner did it on a cross bike. The majority of the course takes place on paved roads, control roads, and double track, very little single track. This year, however the racers that followed this cross bike thinking really suffered. The descents were fast and twisty, early on the climbing was soft and sandy, climbs late in the first loop were littered with rocks making it tough for skinny tired races to negotiate. At times during these climbs even racers with fat tires were relegated to walking. Full mt. bikes were the way to go this year.

For me the race started off well. I got down the first decent unscathed, maybe a little farther behind the pack than I'd like to be, but I had all day to catch up. As I start up the first climb I witnessed the first skinny tire victim struggling to keep his rear tire from spinning out. As I continued I stared to pick off racers one by one. By the time I got to the first aid station I had made up about five places. This is where I took note of my first mistake, I wasn't drinking enough. After about an hour of racing I had only taken in half a water bottle. At the next aid station I had only taken in one more bottle. I didn't feel the effects of these mistakes until the last long climb on loop one, and oh man did I feel the effects. Any time I need to get off the bike to go through a grate my hammy would knot up. I started cramping up in places I never had before, this race was really starting to live up to its name. I downed both bottles on this section of the course, but the sun was baking, and it was too late to recover from mistake made earlier in the day. I knew I just needed to make it to the aid station and I would be o.k., not great but o.k. After what seemed like forever I had reached the top of the canyon and was in the meadow on the way to the aid station. I loaded up on fruit, crackers and peanut butter, and heed. Thank god for the aid stations and the folks working them. They were great all day long. So good to see a friendly face out there when your turning yourself inside out.

The end of the first loop was all paved road and mostly down hill, prefect for recovery. I checked into start/finish then over to my truck to restock. A spectator came over to see how I was and if I needed anything, he ended up lubing my chain for me. You gotta love the vibe of most of these events, everybody just wants all the racers to do as well as they can, competing against one another seems to be an afterthought. A few minutes later I was out for the second and last loop. This was the same as last year so I knew what I was getting into. On this loop I was by myself for the most part, very different from the first loop. For the first 55 miles of the race I was never alone, weird.
In the end I placed third in the open class, just minutes away from second but a ways back from first. The hard tail performed great. It was a good choice for this terrain. I might have wanted to switch to my Song for the second loop for a more comfy ride, but it was only 20+ miles so no big deal. A great day was had in the saddle.

The drive home was relaxing and scenic. Nothing aides recovery like what I should have been drinking early in the race and so grocery store coffee.

Finn's up, gotta run!

Ride on!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Race weekends

Things are coming together. I've got my hard tail up and running smooth, maybe just put a little clean on it and it'll be ready to go for Saturday. I got the loops on to my gps last night, and Mary is going to hook me up with some cue sheets, hopefully I won't suffer the same fate I did in Sedona.

Next weekend 24 Hours of Adrenalin is up on the hill, this will be the first race I've missed in years. We have a show opening the same weekend so I'll just be a spectator this time around, which will still be a lot of fun. I'll get over there for the start and then come back after the show. In the morning I'll swing by to see how it all plays out. I know I'll miss racing but it'll be fun cheering on all of those who are working their tails off. I know it means a lot to me when I get support out there in the middle of the night.

Ride on!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Squeezing it in

Spinning in the morning, followed by a quick hike with the girls. Shot down to Hemet for some lumber and paint. On the way back up I hit the South Fork trail for a run.

Ride on!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Winter Back to Spring

Recovery from brunch went well. I got out for a 2 hour ride down in May Valley. I wanted to get a look at conditions of the 24 hour loop so I shot straight down, passing all of the single track on the way. The loop is in pretty good shape, just a few spots where there is some mud or puddling that might get a little rough as the sun bakes the course dry.

The snow is mostly gone for the most part, with the exception of the high country. Let's hope spring is here to stay. Weird weather this weekend. Snow Friday night, Cold and wet Saturday and beautiful Sunday.

Not only is the Song riding well, it's looking good too.
It's good to see seasonal ponds and streams are full and flowing.
As I was heading back home I ran into a couple of friends who were just wrapping up their ride. I got word that on Saturday a big group came up to per ride the loop. If that's any indicator it should be a good showing in a couple of weeks for the race. This week we are in production mode, meaning classes don't meet and we are working in the shops, or rehearsing all afternoon/evening. If I want to get in any riding the next couple of weeks it'll have to be in the mornings, when time permits. It might be I end up running more than riding.
Ride on!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter weekend fun

I'm currently recovering from an Easter brunch before I go out for a ride, just enough time to check in. Yesterday the weather stayed pretty crummy all day so the hike with Gray didn't pan out. Instead Bonnie Finn and I went down to Hemet to run some errands. On the way back Bonnie dropped me off at the bottom of the hill and I run up the control road. I've run up the hill before, but it was years ago and I couldn't recall how long it took me. I was guessing it would take me about 3 hours, in the end it only took 2. It was cool running from a cloudy day to being in the clouds to blue sky.

I haven't been to May Valley for some time now so I think I'm headed over there today. Maybe I'll do a lap on the Hurkey Creek loop.

Ride on!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Yesterday was one of those mental fitness riding days. All day it was cold with occasional rain and snow. I got out for about an hour and a half on the trails behind school in the morning and then the ride home from school in the evening. The morning ride was good, the trails were in great condition. The only things that stayed consistently cold on me were my hands and feet. The commute home was wet, cold, and miserable. School is about 500' lower then our house so I went from rain to sleet to snow to thank god I'm home. Good news is the rain kind of cleaned off the gunk on my bike from the morning ride. With 3 new inches of snow on the ground I think todays riding will take place on the trainer. This morning I'll get out for a hike with the girls and Finn, and maybe another one this afternoon with Gray and on of his horses.

On a different note it looks like the firm tail is coming together. It needs a couple of finishing touches and then it's off to powercoat. I don't think it'll be ready for the Death March next weekend so I think I'll ride my hard tail, It worked well last year. Which reminds me I should probably register for that.

Ride on!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Checking in

Spring break has come and gone and we had a great time. A little traveling, getting together with good friends, taking care of some chores around the house, and just hanging out together. I got some rides in as well, not as many as I was planning on, but the again I wasn't planning on being out of town for 5 days in the middle of break.

The last few days I've been trying to get a good amount of climbing in. I'm hoping to do the Julian Death March in a few weeks. This is an epic day of climbing, over 11,000'. Last year I did pretty well at this event, and I think with a little work I can do well again. This is another one of those races that you have to do some navigation. Yes, last year I got off course a few times.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to hit the trainer before Finn gets up and then get a ride in later in the morning. As always, we'll see what happens.

Ride on!