Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rough Day in the Saddle

Ugh! Thats about it. Rough day today. No power, no endurance and an average HR of 170 with a max of 193. The max, eh I can live with, but the average of 170 is way to high. I usually hit 165 for an average, so I may need to take a break. Legs felt horrible from the start and couldnt recover on any of the climbing sections at all. I usually average 20.5 on this route, so almost a mile an hour slower isnt a good sign.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


What is that you say? Those wheels look... well a bit... uh... like TWENTY SIX INCHers! Why yes, yes they are. Now before you go all Bolshevik Revolution on me, hear me out. This came about by sheer chance. My cool boss Jeff needed something I had I wanted something he had-voila! Red cranks for Ferrous frame. No, I am not going back in time and ditching my 29er beliefs. Nothing could be further from reality. It was in the shop, I saw, I liked, I have.

It's sole purpose is to just play and have fun and give my other bikes a break. I outfitted it with some good and some just ok and 1 surprise. The surprise being the Sram X7 wheels mated to Disc Jockey rims. These arent the lightest wheels but man are they smooth and bomb proof. They are set up ghetto tubeless. I have a Bontrager race fork and Race X Lite stuff where needed. Comes in at 20.8 lbs, not too shabby at all.

It went out for the first real ride today. 22 miles and 2300ft of climbing. My legs werent feeling great to begin with but the smaller wheels did help a bit on some of the tougher climbs. The OX II frame-like its big brother in the garage is just splendid. Anyway, the ride went pretty good. I certainly noticed the difference on the rougher stuff; the small wheels feel as if they need walkers with little tennis balls on the ends.

There are a few 15% grade technical climbs that really tested the small hoops and they did well; not sure, but I think I would have been faster on the 29er. My tire selection isnt the best, but it is the only 26" tires I had. All in all it was fun, but just didnt have that same flowing feel the 29er has. Plus I look like a Carney in a mini car parading down main street on the small rings.

It was certainly fun, but nothing could make me switch back to the smaller wheels. Well, maybe one thing, but Joe Strummer is gone so it looks like I will be forever big, er uh favoring 29ers.

Gettin' Ready for Cranky Monkey Race 1

Well, it is that time of year again. Pigs are starting to fly; hell is freezing over and monkeys are flying...uhhhhh, onward. So, my favorite race series is upon us here on the east coast. I have to admit, I am not as excited as I usually am. This year has been a rough one for me, at least from a physical stand point. I have only raced once since my episodes with a 6th place finish at Fairhill (although I wasnt supposed to be on the bike), so I feel a bit intimidated. I did real well at last years series winning the series in the SS class...duh. I will get to catch up with some old friends like Hans and Mark Hagen.

I feel pretty good right now. I feel almost as good as I did in april. My power is almost 100% with my endurance getting close. Last week I put in some long road rides with hard efforts. I have been doing limited MTB rides to try and focus more on smooth, out of the saddle mashing, so we will see how it all plays out next weekend.

Thar be a Tarnaduh in them thar hills

Well, I am back from Cherokee and alive. I didnt get hit this year; makes for a good story, but painful. I did manage to ride into what we now know was a tornado in the Smokies? Chris and I headed up to Clingmans Dome (the highest elevation that you can ride on a bike on the east coast-6500 or so ft.). Halfway up the winds picked up and the hail ensued and we were not in a good place. 3500 ft up the mountain and 14 miles downward to any respite. Ever try to race down a mountain at 40+ mph in hail, rain and 70 mph crosswinds along with limbs and debris? I dont recommend it. We were coming down and about 300 yards in front of us a tree had just fallen. We barely missed that one! I think what saved us was the fact that we saw taillights around the corner, so we had to slow down. It was the most frightening encounter with nature to date. As we descended, we could hear trees and limbs snapping in the forest. Now, 441 is one road up and down, no shortcuts, once you are on your on. Luckily for us, we sought refuge in a bathroom at the mill near the OconalufteeVillageafter few very close lightning strikes made it too dangerous; too dangerous? 

So, for 45 minutes, two guys in bike outfits hanging out in the bathroom-nevermind.
I will catch up with other stories later, but I thought this one would get you started.