Tuesday, July 28, 2009

24 Hours of 9 Mile

Let me start by saying it's always good to race with friends and family close by. Once again our pit was the best. For the first time our niece Taylor, who turned 13 on race day, stayed out for the entire race. She had a blast and we were proud to have her working the pits with us. My sister Shannon was able to make it to this race after running into trouble getting to the first two races of the season. She was the gasoline on the fire. Getting us in and out of the pits before we knew what happened. Bonnie kept it all running smooth. Every time I hit the pit I knew she'd have everything and everybody ready, and she did. Finn kept the race short for everybody by keeping them busy when they weren't getting ready for us to come in. There were other surprise members in the pits as well this year. A racer I look up to and admire didn't have a good day. Early on he had to pull out. Despite that he and his mechanic stayed the entire race and helped out team WBR-Siren. Scott and Scott were a huge help and need to take some credit for our successful race.

O.k. on to the race recap...Early on the plan was to race together if we felt of the same ability. By the time we hit the second section of single track Brad was off like a shot, or so it seemed to me. He was feeling strong at the start so I kind of changed up my plan to mimic what Scott Cole had done the year before, start out slow and steady and continue to turn out consistent laps. Maybe I would avoid some of those dark times in a race. Early in the race Brad and Chris were able to ride together which I think worked out well. About 13 or 14 hours into the race I caught up to Brad and Chris and we were able to ride together until sunrise. It was the WBR-Siren Solo Pain Train chugging down the trail. At sunrise Chris wasn't feeling right and told Brad and I to head out without him. We did and by the next lap Chris was back with us and feeling much better. I was glad to see that he was able to bounce back from whatever was getting him. After cranking out 17 laps, we all finished at about the same time.

We each had been racing on Siren Songs and they held up great. I had an issue with a crank that has been showing up with great regularity so I think it's just time to replace it. But other than that no other problems. The Song is the prefect bike for this course. It smooths out the rocks and roots. It lets you really accelerate out of the windy single track. And the big 29" wheel up front saves you when you're late in the race and you're not picking the best of lines through the techy stuff. We were each riding Kenda Small Block 8s. These tires raced fast when the course was dry and even when we got rained on for about an hour or so.

As always a special thanks goes out to Bonnie and Finn for living the lifestyle of an endurance racer with me. These races take a lot of time and sacrifice, not just on race weekend but all year long. Because of their understanding and support I'm able to put in the time and effort needed to keep us competitive. Siren Bicycles earns huge props for such a great product. It looks like three of the top five places in the National points series are riding a Siren. If you're into endurance riding and racing you need to check out these bikes. As I mentioned earlier in this post thanks to Shannon and Taylor for everything you did all weekend long. Weekends like this are what summer memories are made of. And thanks to Scott who's true love of cycling really showed through when he had to pull out of the race but yet still made sure he and his mechanic Scott did everything they could to help us have the best race we could. I know I say it all the time but good solos have great crews and the three of us that raced for WBR-Siren this past weekend had the best crew.

Here's a shot of Taylor showing off another tradition, inspirational posters made by her and her brother and sisters.

Brad as he makes his way into start/finish to secure his fourth place spot. Nice work Brad!
The WBR Siren Solo Pain Train after a good hard race...Let's hope we look this good after Moab.
Ride on!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ahh the power of Bicycles. Here is a shot as the racers come into sight during an early race in the day. Here is a shot as the racer whizz by in the last race of the day.
Finn and I have by hitting Super Week pretty hard this past week. For those who don't know Super week is actually more like Super couple of Weeks. It a series of road and crit races that take place primarily in South Eastern Wisconsin each July. It ranges from cat. 5 to pro so there is a lot of good racing to be had. I gotta tell ya every time I watch a crit. I'm so impressed with how well they all move together. I don't think I'll ever do such a race. I would be the guy everyone is mad at because I can't hold, what should be 'my line'. No I'd much rather stick with the 24 hour mountain biking where I could go an entire lap without seeing anyone. Much safer for me and the other racers.
So speaking of 24 hour racing...Things are coming together. My new rim came in yesterday, so this afternoon I made some decisions and got some tires mounted up. I'm going to start with Kenda Small Block 8 front and rear, like I've done the past two years. Then because it looks like rain is on the way and things could get sloppy, I mean it's call 9 mile swamp, I've mounted up some more aggressive tires for the slop should I need them. My fork is on it's way back from SRAM and boy did it need a lot of work. I need to get together with my teammate Brad to get the cassette off my old rim and put it on my new one. Then all systems should be go as far as bikes are concerned. We'll get all the other stuff figured out as the week goes on.
Tomorrow I think Finn and I are off to the lakefront to watch more racing, if the weather cooperates.
Ride on!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I've had a good solid week of steady taper rides and runs this week. I'm going with a little different approach for this race. Because of injuries sustained during 24 Hours of Big Bear I needed to take some time off. I think this could be helpful. The theory is that I'll have fresher legs on race day, and I think there is something to it. The past couple of weeks I've been able to go for all day rides and the next day I feel like I just did a regular training ride the day before. I guess we'll find out next weekend if my thinking was right.

Ride on!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quick post, Grandma is reading Finn a bedtime story. I got another ride up north this weekend. It only took me 10.5 hours, what a difference a little wind makes. This week it's all about staying healthy, and keeping the fitness I have. Things are coming logistically. Chris is taking care of getting us a great pit. I've been in touch with Stan's about getting a new rear wheel. After 2.5 years of racing and training a rim started to crack. Not too bad considering the beating it took. You really gotta check these wheels out. I wouldn't replace it with the same rim if I didn't think it was of the highest quality. I've been in contact with my pit which is going to be awesome. The 25 of July is my nieces birthday, she has been asking for years to stay for the entire race, this year she will be. More later...Finn is sleepy and it's the All Star Game.

Ride on!

Monday, July 6, 2009

So how is it that it's summer and I seem to have less time to keep up on things like blogging? This weekend I got some great training in. We all headed up north and I got to ride. 12 Hours later I was feeling good and ready for a fun weekend at the lake. Plenty of rides with all the kids, 11 in total. Good news it looks like it's going to be more of the same next week. If I go up Thursday it'll a 400+ mile week for me. It's about time! Ribs felt good, even when out of the saddle. Shannon and I went for a run on Saturday and that felt good as well. I need to start running more as Shannon I are slotted to do a marathon the second weekend in August.

Ride on!