Sunday, May 31, 2009

race highs. race lows.

Mohican 100 k.
Decided to do the shorter race cause I am soft, and I thought that I had a chance of winning. I havent won a race yet this year, and thought that this would be a good one to win. I lucked into finding a ride and a hotel. Everybody in the room has a blog except one who spends his online time on craigslist.

Feeling good in the first 24 miles of singletrack. Closing the gap up to a fast group and staying with them for a long time. Group had Eatough, Harlan, a bunch of other fast guys and somehow me. Just the day before I was talking about how cool it would be to follow the fast guys through the singletrack to see how they were so fast. Here it was. Neat. I was a passenger on their train.

Seat rail snapping 25 miles in. Get dropped from that group while diagnosing problem. Figured that it wouldnt kill me and planned to ride as far as it would get me.

Rolling out of aid station 2, 30 miles or so in with that fast group. Nailing it on the roads. Pace lining on mountain bikes. I was even keeping up on the trails.

Rolling out of aid station 3 in first place for the 100k (both races start together and separate at the 3rd aid station), knowing that it was like 1:30 more of racing, that I had a few minutes on rivals, that I was in the lead, and my strengths would only help me for the rest of the course (hills and roads).

Feeling so much better on the brutal dirt climbs than last year, as it was mile 50 and not mile 85 or whatever.

Rolling in first. Winning? Calling Amy and telling her I had won.

2 hours later, after watching tv for a few minutes in the motel, showering, drinking diet pop and being happy, I returned to the race venue with a clean jersey (for the podium duh), a smile and a good mood when I was told that I had missed an unmarked turn and missed about 15 minutes of trail.

I know exactly where it happened. There was an arrow, a parking lot and a million trails. Further ahead there was another arrow. I went left up a trail, up a hill and rode for about 5 minutes... no pink ribbons (that show you are on the proper route)... So I turned and went back to the lot... There was only an arrow pointing me toward where I had just been, and then an arrow pointing me back toward the finish, in the same direction. With 5 miles to go, 4:25 or so in, I wasnt in the mood to diagnose the problem, so I did what I had been doing for the previous 58 miles and followed the arrows. I figured that somebody had altered the course, and all racers behind me would follow suit, or that the promoter had shortened it. The promoter said that there were supposed to be people there, there weren't.

APPARENTLY, somebody somewhere messed up. Race promoter tells me "it is your responsibility to know the course" .... which is funny, because there were no maps available. Friday at check in, I kept asking where the maps were. I remember 2 years ago, Wes saying "Mohican..... ... I think that is the race where everybody gets lost"...

Travis in 2nd place knew the course just from riding there a bunch I guess. Tim in 3rd didnt know the course. Travis went the right way, Tim went my way (not going to call it the wrong way cause there were arrows pointing me there..) ...

LOW: Calling Amy and Ed and telling them that I had in fact not won.

Watching new race winner collect 300 bucks.

Race promoter not giving my entry fee back, despite saying that he would.

Its hard not to be angry. I guess I am lucky to be an adult healthy enough to ride my bicycle enough to be fit enough to be able to compete in races like this. Things could be a lot worse. But... that 300 bucks could have bought me a 26" hardtail frame on ebay too though. Pretty bogus.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

You think "I shoud race mountain bikes more often"

Then you have a mechanical in the middle of the woods and you are on the rivet and you cant think straight more or less fix your rear derailer so you finish the last 45 minutes of the race with 3 speeds: 11x22, 11x32, 11x42.

However, I must say that the local offroad races (local being within a 3 hour drive) are awesome. This was my first OMBC (ohio mountain bike championships?) race. It was awesome. It was at a place called The Wilds, which was a nature preserve.. or strip mine.. or something or both.

Observations from first mountain bike race of the year:
-Locking out your rear suspension for a whole race is kind of the same as adding weights to a hardtail.
-SLX is the new XTR (for those not in the know, slx is like 105... NOT PRO)
-26" is the new 29'er
-I make fun of road weenies, but there were plenty of dudes there with 7000 dollar bikes. Just cause you have hairy legs doesnt mean you are better.
-FREE PASTA, POP, BROWNIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and sierra nevada beer, but I am still True til death... )
-Tubeless tires are really neat.

Jake and Jared drove and did NRC crits. They went 30 miles an hour for probably 2 hours or something crazy. I went like 9 for 2 hours. I got free pop, brownies and pasta after. Im guessing they did not.

Ed and I stole his wife's car. I burnt a few CD's for the trip down. Bad Religion 80-85 and Ministry In case you didnt feel like showing up... The car only had a tape player and mix tapes from the early 90's. Iced Tea, Body Count, Fugazi... At one point the tape was acting weird, so we took it out, flipped it over and then pushed the auto reverse button. Remember doing that?

Ed Krall & Steevo Cummings = IRMC mountain bike racing team.

Monday, May 11, 2009

And the photo I wish that I had is here.

Thank you Mr. David Burke. He is mentioned below. He makes my day.

Productive day....

6:45 - awake
7:00 - French toast and french pressed coffee and npr
7:45 - clean bike, clean chain, make it look nice and run smooth
8:25 - put on superhero outfit,plan food, make bottles.
8:45 - roll out to ride to Alliquipa crit.
8:47 - see the dude who has been riding around town with a car bumper on his bicycle. He is a crazy man, possibly with gold teeth, with the font end of a car strapped around his handlebars. I wish I had a photo. He was rolling up the bike lane by my house.
9:00 - meet steve k
10:20 - get to quip crit. took 10 minutes longer due to head winds. dang.
12:00 - sprint in the hoods as usual. Ride home. 4 + hours in for today.
1:45 - Arrive home, walk to gas station to buy chocolate milk and diet pop
2:15 - Start weeding the garden. This was way harder than the bike race. I had gloves and everything, but the weeds still pricked me.
3:45 - Four garbage bags of weeds later, I decide to till the garden with a shovel.
4:15 - Clean myself up for Mothers day dinner
4:30 - make brownies for said dinner
5:00 - RAGE with little Somalia. I say rage because they have enough energy to power a small city. There were maybe 8 kids out, maybe 4 pairs of shoes between all of them, and they were making enough noise that I could hear them over the shower with the window closed.

At some point my Mom arrived and we went to my brothers.
At some point Amy made fun of me to my mom and explained why I had three tan dots on my bad head and explained its because of my helmet and the sun. Sister in law laughs a ton and says she was wondering what it was, but didnt want to ask.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Because Peter said that I dont write about bike racing.

Had dinner with the legendary diesel climbing engine Peter last night. He said I dont talk about bike racing in my blog anymore.

Here is talking about bike racing:
Scenario: Turkey Hill, just bridged up for about 5 minutes to the leaders.

Fast Guy: "Dude you have to pull, dont start sitting on blah blah"
Me: think "I will be a lot more beneficial to the break if I can recover for 2 - 3
minutes before starting to work." Say "mmmmmmmmmmlhhhhhhhahhhhh" and take a baby pull.
Fast Guy: "You got to pull faster than that" really not seeing the irony in yelling at me for not pulling then yelling at me for not pulling fast enough.

I eventually starting feeling a bit better and did my fair share.

Scenario: Ephrata Crit, basically just going like 30 miles an hour for like an hour.
Video link (fixed sorry ryan) of a dude who just falls over. 11
minutes into the video, but 30 laps into the race. Watch him. He freaking falls over. 1 more mavic open pro will be taken to the scrap yard this year. I slip from 99th to 1172th or so on GC. Something like that anyway.

Then we sat in the car for 4 hours figuring out how to split 45 dollars 6 ways.

Bike racing.

More exciting from Amy's students is:
Tumble Weave - When you see stands of a weave in the middle of the street. (This is a very urban thing)