Thursday, July 31, 2008

The older I get, the worse I looked back then!

Mark Savery was kind enough to post some very old pics of me from way back in the day. We all drank the same Kool-Aid and looked like that back then.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Heartland SMP 3/6 hour race

Gotta love having the home court advantage. It’s not everyday that you get to race on your home trails. Living just a few miles from Shawnee Mission Park is very convenient, and those are really the only dirt trails I ride. I wasn’t planning on doing the Heartland 3hr/6hr race there since I figured it would be too damn hot and I’ve been only doing 1 hour rides. After riding the course Friday night and looking at the weather forecast, I decided to give it one more go. The start/finish area was a little ways from the trails on some freshly mowed grass and a new trail along the power line cut. It was wide open for the first mile before that real single track started so I knew it would be a hard start to control position. I got a good LeMans start and came into the bike area in 4th but had a good bike position and was riding in 3rd. Within a 100 yards on got into second behind Cowtown’s Tige Lamb. We swapped positions a couple times along the power line trail, and I managed to get into the trails in 1st position. I’ve ridden these trails enough to know that there are a 1000 different rocks to flat on, bust a rim, or just plain crash on. I knew if I had a clean trail in front of me, I could string the pack out and make the first real selection of the race. As an added bonus, I also had a shot at the Fastest First Lap and Fastest Overall Lap prizes. I put a good effort into the first lap and managed to pull out about a 1 minute lead. I could see the group behind me with Tige, Aaron Elwell, and Jeff Winkler. Plenty of horse power back there and not very far back. I kept it steady and came though lap 2 with a little bigger gap. I was drinking one full bottle every 30 minute plus sipping from the hydro pack. The heat was starting to play a factor. I had a pretty good lead going into lap 5 so I cut back a bit on the speed trying save up for that 6th and hopefully last lap. I knew Elwell could ride the last lap faster than me so I made sure I had enough left just incase he got back on. Coming along the power line trail I asked the course marshall what the time was and he said 2 minutes to 3. From that point it was about 2 minutes to the finish line so I knew it would be close to the 3hr minimum and I didn’t want to do a 7th lap. I came into the dismount area before the finish line and the clock was still at 2:59:00. I walked a bit to eat up some time but I still had about 30 seconds to kill and then I saw Elwell come out of the woods. A slight panic would have set in had I not been so dead. I waited out the last few seconds then walked across the line just as Elwell was coming in to dismount. I was more than pleased with my effort on the day. The heat and terrain definitely cooked and beat me senseless. I had to sit down at the finish for little bit just to recover as the 3hr effort left me rather inert. It was good knowing it was the last MTB race of the year for me. Time to enjoy the summer a bit and get physically and mentally ready for ‘cross season. The Heartland crew once again put on an absolutely flawless event. The organization and stucture of the event always runs like precision clockwork, and the generous awards and raffle items are much appreciated.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Midwest Fat Tire Series - Smithville Lake, Mo

Pretty small turnout even with the perfect weather. Everybody must already be on Summer holiday or something. Course got about 1" of rain on Saturday, but was surprisingly in great shape. Only a few spots of actually mud that didn't pose any problems, but plenty of spots that were greasy and could very quickly have your bike pointed in the opposite direction. Only 3 of us older Vet Experts and just 1 younger Open Expert. I really like the course and it suits me perfectly so I made the holeshot stick and immediately started to drive the pace and get the others off my wheel. The 1 and only Open Expert, John Shottler, stayed on my wheel for the first half of the first lap. He had the fastest overall time on this course last year so I knew he was capable. This course is almost entirely big-ring-able, so I used that to my advantage and ripped up all of the very-gradual climbs and dropped down the tricky twisty descents quick enough to forge a gap. The 2nd half of the 10-mile look gets noticably more technical and rockier and that played into my favor. I kept it in the 46 and increased the gap heading into lap 2. The heat of the day was just starting to hit so that 2nd lap was a bit slower but I kept a good rythem and never got into difficulty and came in with the fastest overall time for the day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Update for the Week

1,328 miles and counting. That's what 36 days of riding to work and back so far this year adds up to. That's about 4.5 tanks of gas in my truck at about $55 per fill-up. The morning rides in were sure easier when it was 40-50 degrees. Even 65-70 with 90% relative humidity makes for a wet dripping mess. Then there's the ride home! The hottest ride home so far has been 90 degrees, but it was windy as hell and not very humid that day, so it wasn't that bad. I fully expect things to get much, much worse. Fortunately my ride home has numerous drinking fountains so I can drink as much as I need to.
My Final MTB race of the season MIGHT be this Sunday (MWFTS Smithville Lake). I say MIGHT because my last race of the season might have been 3 weeks ago (Heartland Landahl). 89 degrees is the magic number for me this year. I just don't want to race hotter than that any more. Been there/done that and don't want to go back! I'm a 'cross guy now so bring on the snow and ice!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Video's of the week!

No matter how you feel about the war, we owe them a big round of applause. We have the lives we have and the jobs we have because of they do their jobs. Jobs we could never do!

This song popped up on Versus tv coverage of the Tour de France. After several years of doping stories and just bad publicity all around, the race is trying to prove to the World that it can be the World's #1 sporting event again. Sometimes our own lives take different twists and turns, ups and downs. The #1 thing to remember is that it's never too late to make a brand new start. (Thanks Kristine, Athena, and Buster)