Saturday, May 27, 2006

12hr Tsali Report

photo courtesy of

May 20, 2006
12hr. of Tsali, Bryson City NC

Tsali was all the challenge I thought it would be. Running fully solo for the first time was the biggest challenge of the weekend. My fitness was great and all I had to do was stay focused and steady. I really had nothing to lose; it’s a tester for the 24 in June.

The race started with the typical LeMans run uphill about 150yd. I stayed steady and didn’t max myself out for a change, then onto the Rig for the opening 2.5 mile fire road climb. The Rig forced me to ride more aggressively than I normally race these events. Due to wet conditions it turned out to be a great move. The constant rattle of chain suck and muttered cursing filled the woods in the early laps.

Finally by lap 4ish the course began to dry out. By this time I started to notice my pace had slowed, especially on the climbs. Which by now, I was forced to walking the bigger climbs. If I kept this up I would sure to be passed by the leaders. Still I had no idea of my placing. I managed 5 laps on the 29er SS running a 32x18 before retiring it for more gears.
Stopping only at my pit for pre-made bottles of HEED and Sutained Energy mixed with flasks of hammer gel. By lap 6 I was rolling on my Sugar292. Steadily racing into the afternoon the clouds began to roll into the area. With brief flickers of lightning and rumbles of thunder, you could begin to smell to rain a coming.

Upon completion of lap 6 the Swain County Rescue Service called a halt to the race due to 60mph winds and hail storms in close proximity. This was the first chance to chat with the race leaders on the overall. It seems as though Tiny T. could be in the top five (that was my goal). This delay was about an hour forty in length, but luckily for me only about 40 minutes. This was just enough time to seize up.

Restarts SUCK and this was no exception. I managed one more lap before having to stop for lights. Soon after sunset the sky filled with clouds again. This time it brought rain heavy at times but it would remain falling till the 11th hour. It quickly turned to sticky mud that brings havoc to your drivetrain. By laps 8 or 9 this mud turned from sticky to slicky. Traction was an issue and to top it off the fog was getting heavier by the minute.

Finally lap 10 and the leaders had not passed me, this was a great sign. So I had to be on the lead lap – Yeah. Not bad for 11 hours of riding and some quick math to figure that one out. Completing the race in 10ish hours with 10 laps for 110mi. This put me about 17 minutes off the winning pace. I will settle for a third place finish. results

Thanks to all my sponsors Harrell's Bicycle World, Hammer Nutrition & Garmin
Till next time folks Happy Trails

Sunday, May 21, 2006

12hr Tsali

It's official 3rd place at Tsali. Stay tuned for race report.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ready to race

For the first time in awhile,I'm feeling good about my fitness, truely ready to race. Goal for this weekends 12hr is to go non stop. The real trick will be to do this without a support crew. Call it a personal challenge. After seeing Rob L run completely solo at 24HOA in Conyers last Oct. I was truely impressed to see him finish 2nd overall solo. If successful after Tsali this should build great confidence for June's 24hr solo.

Happy Trails Folks

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Prep Time

Short post for now, just trying to get things in line for the 12hr at Tsali this weekend. Fitness is coming around, after two centuries in the past two weekends. Shocking the system into endurance mode. Weather is looking good for Sat. but rainy through the week. I'm sure this will bring out the mountain enduros. The rest of this week should be easy trying to recover and hopefully have fresh legs for sat.


Friday, May 05, 2006

First Shop Ride

Not a whole lot going on. Race plans have changed, in that I will not be going to the dirty spoke 12hr this weekend in GA. Didn't feel as though I was ready. So now I'm just trying to ramp up my endurance in hopes of being ready for 12hr. Of Tsali (5/20). Trying to get in as much saddle time as possible.

Last night was my first Harrells shop ride of the season. It was as hard as expected - plenty of animals (J) out on the road. I must have missed the normal warmup, by the time I joined the group (Damon, Selix, Jaime, Chris) - our warmup consisted of rollers up Kennerly rd. @ 22mph. Not little chain ring needed. This is good, go ahead and set in the fatigue before the real accelerations start.

Once the shop group showed @ like 6:45 it was go time, mainly from the initial warmup group. Apparently I missed the memo on the early attack at Kennerly rd, so Peter and I had to chase the fast group down. I still haven't figured out - Is it harder to chase down a group of fast riders or go with them at the initial attack?

So about 3mi. Later we caught back up. Just a few baby chunks to show for the effort, but a great interval. This would happen once more on the ride back towards Shady Grove rd. Dropped of the back but fought my way back to the group with Gabe this time. Stick a fork in me cause I'm done. Good thing its mostly down hill back on Kennerly. So by the last big hill on Kennerly I just sat up and took it easy back to Harbison SP. These two a days can really put the hurt on ya.

P.S. - I'll weight my 1994 steel DeRosa this weekend, so you fellas with the 16lbs bikes can feel better about dropping me on the hills.

Happy trails folks