Monday, December 10, 2007

Finally Over

This short run at a season is finally over. It's time for my favorite type of riding slow endurance. There is nothing like going out to the country roads and spinning about looking at the landscape. Enjoying the mild pace with Autumn still lingering around.

Visited my old stomping grounds this weekend. Nice easy paced road ride with minimal traffic and no real plan. Just make it two hours on the bike. Aboard my favorite road steed the Raleigh C700 hybrid. Throw in some 28c. tyres and 9 gears and I'm set. No ride in the sticks is complete without some dirt road action thrown in. It's good to be back.

Season in review
On the Bike
1 Win - SS Class, Tiger Rag XC
5th place - Stump Jump XC (pic provided)
Unofficially the SC State Expert XC Champion
(1st SC rider to cross line)
Top 5 Overall Expert Class (Winter & Fall Short Track Series)
4th place - Cowbell Challenge 6hr Race
28th - 12hr of Tsali

Off the Bike
12+ Tick Bites between April and May
1 Case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Looking forward to a better season in 2008

Monday, December 03, 2007

From Nothing To Something

This weekends short track race was better than expected. With a 9pm start time and a bedtime of 10ish, my body & mind were not communicating. Decision to race or not race was the topic for Saturday. With a full day of Christmas decorating and tree shopping behind me I was feeling very sleepy. Wondering around the house kinda packing and kinda scratching up an excuse not to go. Well the reason I needed to go was a jump in the overall. Since I've already missed a race I needed to complete the final four to be eligible for the series overall. Knowing some roadie folks wouldn't show and my mad skills in the dark made it a must go.

Depart on a 2hr solo drive North with caffeine and metal to past the time. Race start at 9pm and I arrive in plenty of time. Yelled at Clint for few laps. Congrats on another solid performance (2nd & tied for the overall). Found Jaime wondering around talked strategy or lack there of. Not too many folks showed for the race, so a good placing would be feasible.

Calm start and good pace. Manageable in my eyes all five riders staying together for the first 20 minutes or so. Then Jamie decided to turn it up on a comfy race pace. This blew everyone apart. I managed to hang close some 10-20 seconds off the lead. The main climb was killing me but able to make up all the time and more on the downhill section of the trail. Things were right for a change. The rigid 29er was spot on and I was flying on the downhill. Attacking every time through. The hour flew by and just when the pain started to ramp up I only had 2 laps to go and a 12 second gap. One slipped pedal and one slipped turn, managed to stay upright and finish third on the night. I believe this would put me in a tie for 4th.

Big J pulled out another impressive win 4 in a row. Can he sweep the series we'll find out next weekend? Say J have you been on the road much this season?

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Suffering all in the pursuit of fitness. This Saturday was the third installment of the Harrisburg stxc series. Monty and I headed North on 77. Neither of us had high hopes for a top spot. Mission was more of a support role for Jamie, get in and help when we could. This race was much faster than the previous weekends night race. Plan was to get out quick and set the pace early. Monty pulled out the lead off the gun. Jamie followed a close 2nd and I hung onto 3rd as watch out. "Team work" was the theme.
I managed to stay on for a few laps before I popped. Monty held on a few more laps then we were left to survive till the leaders came back around. Goal was to stay ahead and not get lapped but I knew better. These guys were ripping the trail up. Some many minutes later they did catch us luckily with Clint Spotting for us. Alerting me that they were closing fast. Anything I could do to help. "Get on your horse" and hold on. Chewed up and spit out Monty was next to help. Jamie was red hot this weekend and it was cool to be a part in it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Another HBW night ride is in the books, and a record of 11 riders showing up last night. Many of the usual suspects welcomed a few new faces to the ride. Pre-ride fuel for the strong - the gravity race is mine.
Good ride around 2:30~28mi. Feeling a need to show the folks how to lay down the hammer on the gravity games. Pulled out an impressive first by a full straight away. Even managed to lead the folks on some very tamed dirt paths with no complaints.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Random Thoughts

Monday - First rollerblade session of 2007. Awesome workout for 25 minutes, the burning in the outer quads and lower back indicates target training.

Holly Belle celebrated her 6th birthday with her favorite ball and my foot.

Tuesday - Mony and I headed over to the night ride. A group of seven showed up for an evening of hills in the Elmwood area. Took third in the gravity games and managed a seek peek of the greenway addition.

Tuesday I found myself here in SC, any guesses - Once again Spokejunky solves the mystery. In the picture I'm running a RTK GPS survey, occupying SCGS marker "Gooding" situated at N33*30'04" W080*27'31" looking northeast at Lake Marion. On the right is south bound traffic on I95 heading toward Santee. On the left is th abandoned highway sc430.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thursday Evening in November

The Thursday installment of the HBW night ride was a bust again last night. However Monty and I were able to salvage a great 2:15 ~ 27miler out of it. Points of interest Riverfront Park, Marion St. Parking garage, Horseshoe @ USC, Run ups at the Blatt Center, 3 gravel roads, one cemetery, Granby Park & some twilight singletrack. Eat your heart out this was an awesome ride for a Thursday evening in November.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

To Vent

Another installment of the HBW bi-weekly night ride in downtown Cola. Following a confusing and frustrating day in the field I needed to vent. No better way than an urban assault on the rig. Scrambling out the house @ 6 to meet the group around 6:30. It's always a surprise to see who may show, for I have no contact prior to the ride (if it's a go or no go). These are always the thoughts as I navigate down the RiverWalk. Now that the air is turning cooler and the daylight is getting shorter, the Riverwalk isn't so crowded.
At the meeting spot I see 4 HBW riders hovered over a bike accessing some repair. Two riders choosing to bail another has a flat as the group starts off (from 5 to 2). Karma or Bad Luck , who knows? So now It's Monty and myself off for a stroll around Cola town. Since the usual suspects didn't show we had free reign to go anywhere we wanted. It's nice to see something different and nice of Monty to let me go wherever I deemed necessary. Points of interest - ElmwoodCemetary, USC, Five Points, Ownes Field for some nighttime singletrack and the Greenway. Parting ways at the Gervais St. bridge I headed west towards the house. Calmed and at ease with the days events 2:20 and some 30 miles with one gear through the street lights of down town. Looking forward to Thursday.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A night out

Back into some kind of form. With Harrisburg starting in one week (2 for me), the need for some fitness is a must. Somehow managed a 3 hour ride at Harbison on Saturday without bonking. Last night I went out for the bi-weekly Harrells Urban Ride. On the bike at 6pm to make the :30 commute over and through the woods to Riverfront park. The park was packed with foot traffic, many preparing for the Govenors Cup 8K. Trying not to be a complete jackass and blowing past them, especially since I'm decked from head to toe in Harrells Blue. Not good PR for Harrells. Anywho the commute consisted of some exploring on any type of dirt path I could find and three flights of stairs in a downward motion. After meeting up with the group my front tire started losing air. This would force me to stop in Elmwood Cemetary for a quick change. Twenty minutes later at the top of a parking garage the rear starts to go down. A couple shots of co2 and we're on our way. Down through campus and over the river we go, for a quick out and back on the Greenway. Chasing the gear folks down with the one gear. A good way to spike the HR. Hopefully this is what I need for the short track.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Last Weeks View

Anyone want to take a guess where in the heck I might be located.
Hint N34*03'18", W81*13'04"
Congrats to spokejunky on the correct loctaion

Monday, October 01, 2007

Some Luck

A brief absence from the blog o' sphere. Finally felling above 80% and letting everyone who cares know I'm OK. Testing positive for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a dirty little bastard of a situation that leaves you feeling like shit all the time. Spread through a certain type of tick bit. Only 800 cases reported a year in the US (some luck). However not as bad as Lyme Disease plus it's curable with enough antibiotics. It's taken close to five months to regain some energy to ride or anything else exercise related. So now it's fall and most races are over and I'm ready to build up some fitness. So if someones looking for some slower fall routes give me shout.

Looking forward to the Harrisburg Short Track Series starting 10/27. I'll be suffering but what's new.


Monday, August 27, 2007

I guess it's time for some lottery tickets.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Slap, pat, kick, thump or shot

To the BEANS folks. It's the polite way to explain my latest trip to the Pisgah area. Coming off of a wicked week of cycling a whole 2 hours of trainnig this week. Which is a consistant average for the past month or so. Fitness not to good. Anywho traveled up with some buddies for an adventure from the N. Mills area to the BRP and back down the mountain somehow. Played the role of the cabose most all day. Two strong points of the day, first off I was on time. No one had to wait on me. Second no crashes or even near misses. This trip to the hills has inspired me to try harder for more saddle time. Wish me luck

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Working this past week in the field has taken yet another blow to my workouts. Guess I'm trainning my heat tolerence for the chance I'll be on the bike soon. Took a spin friday afternoon, oblivious or just stupid. Temps at 106 yeah. Managed to ride through some sprinklers to stay hydrated. Stay hydrated peeps, or you could suffer.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

It's been so long I forgot my password. Lots O' Work & Not O' Lot of riding

Sunday, June 24, 2007

6hr Challenge for a Cowbell

Cowbell 12hr Challenge held at the new whitewater center in Charlotte NC. WOW this place looks like a lot of fun for a non cycling weekend. If not throw in ten+ miles of sweet singletrack and make it the total package weekend. The trail system was impressive. Many section of challenging trail, most of the trail was in the shade. In June this is a huge +, all in all a must do race.

I decided on the 6 hour event this weekend for several reasons. One was a 12hr race in June sucks, next lack of fitness and then I wanted to test myself on the single speed for 6 hours. With ORAMM coming up in a months time I needed to decide on one gear or 27.

Luckily I recieved a friendly call from Damon on going up to Charlotte. Finally a trip with a teammate. This can really pump you up - I probably talked Damon's ear off. The morning went as smooth as could be. I felt calm about this whole event my gear selection and my chances on a good finish.

Lap 1 - Fast maybe too fast. Settled into a quick start spinning out the 34x21 gear.
Felt great through the technical sections and the climbs seemed managable.

Lap 2 - The quick pace catches up to me around mile 6 of the lap. Not 100% sure if it was the heat or the effort.

Lap 3 - Pace drops off some ten minutes to the previous 2 laps. Issuses with the gi system. A much needed unscheduled pit stop.

Lap 4 - System settled down and getting back into the race. Pace now coming back into the desired :65 minute window.

Lap 5 - Mantaining the pace of the previous lap. The cut-off time was 3pm and due to laps 2&3 I would not make the deadline. There would be no 6th lap, just happy to have made it through the race. Somehow managed a 4th place.

Monday, June 18, 2007

What's that Sound

It Sounds like a Cowbell! Trying to prepare myself for this race. At first it was going to be a 12hr single speed effort. Due to work and related projects that have kept me from quality saddle time. It's been reduced to the 6hr challenge for me. After 12hr(7:25) of Tsali, I made a promise to myself don't inflict unneccesary punishment on myself until proper training has been achieved. Yet to get anything over 3.5 hrs on the saddle this should be a good call.

Making steps this weekend with a season record - 3 training days in a row. Friday afternoon dodging traffic on my hybird. Saturday group road ride, fast at times and steady tempo the rest of the time. Sunday a very wet mtb ride at Harbison. All in all 7hrs of riding a weekly high. I must be on a roll. Other training includes ample amounts of surveying hours in the field. Last two weeks I've been outside working all day. This heat tolerence could help, I'll keep that in the mental bank.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

7:29:05 of Tsali Report

This would be my second time at Tsali and the second time racing the 12hr of Tsali. As the title reads 7:29:05 was my Timex stopwatch reading as I completed my 7th and final lap. I was done, the conditions were dry as a bone and very dusty. With ideal temps and course conditions were stupid fast, and many of the southeast's up and coming endurance freaks were out to show off there fitness. Something that I seem to be lacking.

The race started in typical Lemans fashion with the dreaded uphill run. This brisk 2 minute jog seems like 10; but is needed to spread the mass of riders out. Managed to jump many spots on the county line road to the the first single track section. All was well and I seemed to be riding within my range. My lack of fitness would soon show. Around lap three I was flat, no energy, burning quads and fighting the dust. Pulled into my pit spot and sat down pondering what to eat. About a 5 minute pit and I was back out on the trail at a more training ride pace. For me the racing part of the race was over. This needed to become a training ride. With my longest ride of 4 hours and 70mi on the road (last weekend). There had to be something good come from this - "I'm here and I need to make the best of this situation".

So now the training ride side of things, could I complete 9 laps for the century? Do I want to ride 6 more laps? That lake sure looks pretty! I kept finding myself drifting off looking at Lake Fontana. Quickly focusing back onto the trail before I hurt myself. Swimming and beer kept popping to mind.

No more boring training ride story, I did manage 7 laps some 84 miles of off-road goodness. I was even coherent enough to drive the 4 hours back to Cola town. I had another night paid in full at the Freeman motel, but I just didn't want to stay there another night. I took a quick shower and hopped on 74 heading to I40. On the road about 10 minutes, I was popped by the NCHP just outside of Bryson City. Well finally this weekend I was going to fast, to bad the bikes were in the car.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Catchin Up

It's now Tuesday May 15th, and it's been awhile since my last post. So here is the 411 on PalmettoSolo.
May 6 - The StumpJump XC race allegedly the S.C. State Championships. Raced in the Expert field and landed myself in 5th place. The first from the state, so does that make me the Unoffical State Champ, I like to to tell myself so. I had decicded to race the expert field in fear of no one showing for the SS class. To my surprise they had 7-9 riders. Oh well back to the expert race, I was on my SS 29er for 36mi or 4 muddy laps. A real kick in the beans. I started out hot, finishing the first lap in 2nd place. There on I would slip a place per lap and managing to hold it all together and finish up strong. (5th of 12 / 36mi 3:03)

May 8th - So from here I needed to decide on the Tsali 12hr race in two weeks. The week progressed with plenty of work at work and little bike riding after work. The Team HBW trainning ride was to follow the next Saturday. Having not put in a heck of miles on the road bike, I really wasn't pumped about it. I needed the miles no matter what. So forcing myself to work with the my road bike and try to tune the fit as much as possible. I went for a planned 2.5 hr. ride down south of town. Up to speed and cruising along not realizing the tailwind I had. Now an hour down the road and about 30 minutes of daylight left in the sky. I turn back north into the now 20mph headwind. This would be a problem. I had to make it up highway 321 which is a four lane road linking several smaller towns to the down town area. Little traffic at the time but I had no red blinky light or anything for that matter. With only two more big rollers to go I hit a pot hole and PSSSSSSSSSSSssssssssssssssssssssssss. The rear tire goes so now I'm in the grass grinding up the climb to the safe spot change the tube and cussing the whole way. Change the tube - oh no it's a hybird tube. Ah s#*&@ i cut the tube installing it. How in the hell am I to get home from here it's now 8:45pm and i'm 5-7 miles from my truck. Luckily my brother-in-law was in the area and by 9:30 I was loading bike ride in his truck.

May 11 - So friday(overtime) at work out in BFE, I had a run in with some devil's whip. It caught me right in the knuckle of a previously injuried finger. Big pain, felling concerned I went to the urgent care that afternoon. Three aggrevating hours later I had a very sore hand and a decision to make, go to the mountains on an uncomfy ride road bike for 6 hours or take some pain killers and sleep in. Yeah sleep.

May 12 - Having overslept till sometime into the morning, I needed to get in some miles this weekend. Packed my bag and headed to Lexington to ride around my old stompin' grounds. These roads out by my folks house were the very roads I started on back in '92. These road are a great way for me to clear my thoughts and ride without traffic. To make this experience even better I took out my hybird for a the 4 hour ride. A planned 3 hour ride would turn into 4 beacuse I was having such a great time. Finishing the ride with 70 miles, on a comfy hybird. Trainning secret of mine riding on 700x38c. tires.

Hopefully now this past weekend was a turnning point for me and seals my decision for this weekend's race in Tsali. Now it's down to planning and packing. Well I need to get back to work, thanks for reading along.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


to riding single speed mountain bikes. Today was a 3hr ride out at Lynch's with Leroy, Brian & Clint. After laying a pallet of sod on Friday afternoon, I was whupped from this back breaking honey-do chore. Not sure how I would feel today I brought the geare bike out the garage. Holding true to the ss fashion I promised Leroy I would keep the shifrter quite. So about ten minutes in settled on 32x23. Finally made the creek crossing, and I even had an audience. A big step for this trail. No mechanicals and no crashes, this makes for an awesome ride. Looking forward to another mtb ride tommorrow in Manchester. That will be two days in a row.

Monday, April 23, 2007

One for the Win Column

Finally a check goes in the win column! Sunday I skipped a local race to go up to tiger town for a much needed shot of adrenaline. Putting myself amongst the masses in the Single Speed XC race. My last outing in Clemson was 2002, and somehow I remembered most of the course. Not the XC type I decided to plan ahead a bit. Contacting some friends on gear suggestions. I only had two to choose from 18t or 20t. The 18t. was called up for duty.

It’s been about 4 or 5 years since I’ve raced with sport riders. Man it’s like a pinball game. These cats are bouncing off of every tree in the woods. Breaking heavily in the turns and spinning on the hills. Well the organizers put the SS class with the sport 40+ after the sport 19-29 & 30-39. Damn this is going to be painful. From the start passing folks left and right. The opening climb, there is one groove or preferred line. Well that was occupied and racing SS you got to hit it and hit it hard. There is no spinning up the climbs. So into the rough I go passing these fellows knowing this is the thing to do early. Closed in the singletrack behind the folks will drive you insane.
Managed a good pace into the single, a few riders here and there to pass from other classes. Amazing the riders who blew up on the opening climb that were able to come back on the single blowing their horn and wanting by. Well with nowhere to go patience would be a virtue. Then the trash talking started, I didn’t want to break it out but I had to. Examples: “come on dude, pick a gear”
“I paid $33 just like you”
“why are you spinning up this hill”
“yeah I’ll let you by, but you better kill these hills ahead”
“that other gear will make you go faster”
Dropped the hammer about 30 minutes into the first lap, and never looked back. Second lap was still full throttle. The only possible mechanical was my lock ring for the cog had loosened. It sounded like Santa and some reindeers coming through the woods. The cog never came off the freehub so I kept hammering. The last time up the big was painful but I finally had a win.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Chasing the Roadies

It's thursday and that means another installment of HBW group road ride. For me it's always a tester to see if I can hang with the roadies. This week was no different, except I was back on a road bike. Road tactics are not my strong point by any measure. This never disourages me from mixing it up when I can. With only 7 riders leaving O'Leary's this ride would be quick. As the wind picked up and the sky darkened, the anticipation began to rise. The ride would be short but it would be fast.
This ride needed to get started quick. The first hill acceleration was mild. The second was a bit faster. Then on the downhill of 176 I decided to speed it up a bit. Well it's always short lived. The next series of hills are always the tuffies. Wash Lever Rd. put me at 193 bpm, or to quote Paul Sherwan "he's on the rivets, after that attack". Damage control from her out. Here comes the rain, well at least we made it to Freshly Mill Rd. before the rain started. One more attempt to bury myself in my own punishment. I tried to lead out a few riders to the foot of the bamboo forest. Stick a fork in me I'm done. With a few quick flashes of lightning this ride was over in a flash no pun intended.
Time: 1:05
Dis: 21mi.
Av. hr: 160
Mx hr: 193

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Rollin' Tarmac

After 3 months without a road bike, finally able to complete my Raleigh build. Made it out for 50mi. of sunny skies and little traffic. Interesting route on Plat Springs to Ramblin into S. Congaree. Continue up Ramblin to Fish Hatchery to Bachman to 321 toOld Wire to 21. Plus a loop of 21 to Savant Hunt to Access to 21. Back in with Dixiana and 12th St. extension. A much needed ride with some distance and close to 3 hours in the saddle.

Hopefully the rain will get in get out tonight. Big ride planned tommorrow in Sumter - 50mi on the SS. Should be a good ride if the weather pans out.

Lynchs outings

A flat break, with
Clint's new friend.

Spring is here, finally

Friday, March 30, 2007

Is that Rain

Slowly creeping back onto the road for some much needed base miles. Managed a good road ride in the Cayce area yesterday. As chance would have it misting rain and cooler temps. It felt as if early Feburary, with the wet temps, you know the type were you really don't want to stop because you may lock up. Luckily I had Todd out with me, for I'm not sure I would have managed a ride at all. Call me lazy for I just don't give a damn.

Bonus on points in the bad ass department - total Belgium style minus the cobbles. Though I did happen to make it on a paved track.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No, I Don't Miss That Feeling

Extrmtao brought up an interesting blog starter. He reminded us of that feeling of total exhaustion and how it can humble the strongest cyclist. I felt compelled to share a story or two of my delirious encounters on riding bikes. Most all the moments I can remember were in competition

The worst experience I’ve encountered was in 2003 at The BURN 24hr race. This race took place somewhere in NC. The trail was some of the tightest single I’ve ever witnessed. Not to mention the weather was HOT with like 200% Humidity. This would have been my 2nd solo attempt at a 24. Inexperienced with pace and nutrition I raced as if I was in a XC race for 2 hours. Around late afternoon sometime I remember coming in to the pits dropping the bike and diving behind the trailer to blow chunks. The feeling of total exhaustion was all over and somehow I wasn’t even half way through the race. The aftermath of this race was the worst. The trail was littered with poison ivy and I was covered with it a day later. That topped with a recovery period of about two weeks of feeling totally crushed. This was truly the worst for me.

Runner up was my first a trip to Whistler BC for the ’03 Worlds 24hr Championships. Excellent venue and a great trail I felt compelled to give it my best effort. I never felt sick as in previous events but the harsh ride for 180+ miles was the breaking point for me. I remember finishing that race with the worst back pain I’ve ever had. You know the type were you cannot stand upright, nor sit down. Your extremities feel as if you are standing or gripping spikes. My quads felt as is they were shredded meat. Every step I took back to the hotel was a chore. If it wasn’t 2000 miles away from home and not the World’s I probably wouldn’t have pushed it that much. This was the turning point for me in endurance racing. Learning how your body works and how it doesn’t. Routine training and good planning can save you from a world of hurt, but no matter how fit you think you are, you will one day have to succumb to the hurt factory and pay the piper.

Thanks to the Extreme Tomato for the memories!!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Charlotte STXC #4&5

Race #4(2/10)- Racing was fast and furious once again. Weather was ideal, clear low 50*s and the track was tacky. A good start helped me stay close to the front for the opening laps. Running close quaters with my teammate Jamie. We had to contain our closest competitor in the overall. In this situation it's nice having someone to work with. Considering we had another race tommorrow. We needed to conserve as much energy as possible. We took turns leading or patroling the three man group. For some reason I was getting jumpy and excited I had to hold back the urge to attack since we still had :30 minutes to go. Content to keep working, or maybe I worked too hard at times. With about :15 minutes to go we were jumped and unfortunately we had no response. Down but not out, burying myself to bring us from a 45 second gap to a 3 bike links at the finish line. I had more but the gap in the overall was enough of a cushion to not woory about it. Finishing 6th of 11. Besides there would be another chance tommorrow.

Race #5(2/11)- Weather was ideal just as before, and the riders turned out to finish the series. Weary legs were all around. Even the start was the slowest of the series. Very simialr to saturday, the groups started to form early in the race. Jamie got up the road on me, and I was content to hanging back with Ben. Going into this race the overall was 3rd Jamie, 4th Me, 5th Ben. This put me content with keeping Ben at bay as long as I could. That held till about 13 minutes to go. I cracked from the relentless attacks, that Ben and I released upon each other. Some quick math at lactate thresold puts me still in 4th overall but damn it sure would be nice to catch him. The legs were not having it, I just kept tempo and mantained the gap. Finishing the overall series in 4th place that is an improvement of one spot from the '06 series. Content with the fitness this series has given me. It's now time to go and finish up the home projects so I can ride this spring.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Charlotte Race #3

Saturday was the third installment of the winter short track series. The wind was howling with the temps in the 40's. This made for smaller fields and a chance to grab maximum points. I was lucky enough to have 4 strong teammates in the race with me. Jamie and I are both in the hunt for the overall. There are two racers between us. With only one of the two riders at the race, the mission was to cut the gap down. At the start we were informed that this would be the double points race of the series.

From the start the pace whips up quick. Into the single track close to the front. The lead group stayed intact through the first few laps. Then the gaps started to form. Small groups scattered the field. I found myself split from Jamie's group around lap 5 or so. Riding in the group of 4th-6th place. With the competion for Jamie riding on my wheel, I as a teammate did not want to drag him up to Jamie. I started playing roadie games with him. I knew those evening of watching the spring classics on DVD would pay off.

Now that Jamie was out of sight. I began to turn the screws into 5th&6th place. Wanting and needing the points badly. Figuring my strong points were in the singletrack but I was having problem on the hill. I knew I had to go hard for 4 laps to really make the gap stick. I did and it did! Pulling in a 4th in the Expert class right behind Jamie in 3rd. How about that, the fitness is starting to show. It must be from all the time I'm taking OFF from riding during the week. Next weekend will be a tuff race weekend. Saturday and Sunday races the final two of the series.

Also the Harrells Team had three fellows in the Super-Sport class. Monty in 2nd, Damon in 3rd and Toby S. finishing in the field.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Recap of STXC Races #1&2

Late January means the '07 season was about to start at full speed. Just as I thought the expert field starting at warp speed.

Race #1 (1/20) - Temps in the high 40's and sunny conditions brought some 190 riders total for the opening day of racing in the winter short track series. Race time 2pm, I along with 13 other expert riders followed by 20+ super sport riders were about to flood the 3/4mi. track for a heart pounding HOUR O' POWER. The start was fast very fast and placing into the first section of single track was crucial. In classic slow start fashion I get behind the worst single track riders out there. Within 5 min the field was out of reach.

It's never good when 10 min. into an hour event you start planning your corrections for the following race. So now into survival mode I tried to keep ahead of the super-sport class and the ever charging leaders from the expert class. yeah getting lapped really sucks. However it happens more so in this type of event. Luckily I stayed with it holding onto every available rider who past, just keeping momentum. Finishing in 7th, I'll take that as I'm planning on the entire series. Points are what you are really after. Changes are coming!

Race #2 (1/28) - Perfect temps - dry, cool, sunny but windy. This made for bigger fields than last week. I think some 16 expert and 30 super sport lined up for the HOUR O' POWER. The high octane element for this weekend was from the WNC area, a handful of strong riders were to make this event faster than the last. Conscious of my decision from last weekend to start faster and more aggressively. I lined up closer to the front and was mentally ready to suffer from the start. Key was to pick out the riders who would complete the series and keep with them.

Holding to my decision I file into the woods in the front group. Feeling great about my situation. Somewhere around 10mins in gaps started to form, I find myself just on the cusp on loosing contact with field. Grouped with three others I keep surging to bridge up to the second group. Now twenty something minutes into the race I finally bridge the gap to the group(6-8). Still with half the race to go. This group contains Jamie(teammate) and two other riders content on the series. Good group to ride with. The wind was a factor and getting into a group was crucial. I held as loooooong as I could, heck I just spent 20min bridging up in the wind solo. With 10-15 min to go, I had to put whatever I had left into the effort. Managing to hold onto 7th for the second week in a row. Official results are not up yet but, I'm counting on 7th. Next installment of pain comes on Saturday (2/03).

Till then

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Into the Woods

A weekend full of trails and friends. Managed a group ride on saturday at lynchs with Joe, Clint, Barrot & Leroy. No single speed this weekend all gears all weekend. Still nursing the crazy sciatic nerve. Stretching like crazy all week. Picked up a foam roller at Target and highly recommend it for any tight leg muscles and lower back issues. This seems to be the only way to ease the pain. Besides focusing on the geared bike for the short track series. I've spent the week working on the fit, matching the X-Cal to the Raleigh like saddle height and stem height. After all said and done 1.5" lower on the saddle and 1" lower on the stem. I'm hoping this is the key to the sciatic nerve cooling down.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

2007 Season Opener

"Kick off for the 5th Annual East Blvd Bar & Grill Winter Short Track Series. This year, the event is presented by Heartwood Tree Service, the Dirt Divas andCharlotte Sports Cycling. The series will consist of five races, Jan 20 and 28,Feb 3, 10 and 11 all held at the infamous Renaissance Park short track. It takes in elements of mountain biking, BMX and a road criterium. "

For more info on the series, visit

Time to put on the game face for this weekends short track. Should be a bit chilly and probably still wet. I think this is the face I'm looking for!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Russ's Farewell Ride

Finally a group ride at Lynchs, it had been in the works for the past several weekends. With a perfect weather forcast on tap, and the trails in excellent shape. A group of 7, consisting of Jamie, Clint, Dan, Damon, Toby S., Toby P. and Russ all showed up decked to the hilt in Harrells blue. A side note that we all were on 29ers. Mostly geared with the exception of Damon and Toby on single speeds.

This would be Russ's last ride in SC for a while as he and his wife have plans to move up north. It was good to see folks show up. It is always a treat to ride with such a talented rider like Russ, especially when you can keep up with him. I've known Russ for some 14 years and have always enjoyed his friendship. Plans for a road trip are already in the works. So Russ mix up some sweet tea and get to exploring because I'll be up to ride some trails with ya.

So back to the ride, everyone was so excited to be back out at Lynchs. Most haven't been to the trails in 2 years. So consider it a new experience for many. Clint, Monty and Toby's trail work was greatly appreiciated amongst the riders and even the hikers. I believe we ended up with 3+ hours and probably 30 something miles. Who cares we all had a great time and I think everyone left out spent from the ride.

Clint negotiating the creek crossing

Jamie going for the crossing

Thursday, January 11, 2007

First Trainer Session

Last night, I had to pull out the trainer for the first time in 10 months. Just too damn cold to ride outside and I had the itch to ride. Throw in the CTS Crit DVD and try like hell to keep focused on the overall goal - not loosing my dinner (nasty bastard). After last Saturday's a** kicking I figured it's time to get in gear and create some fitness.

Excited for the weekend plans. Saturday I have my monthly rotation at LMC Health Directions. A 75min cycle class, trying to bring the joy of steady tempo into an indoor cycle class. The only way I've found is stretch the class duration. Mix that with some scare tactics and a shake of sitr crazy - they love me. Also a possible Sunday assault on Lynchs Woods. This makes me all warm and fuzzy on the inside. After the work that's been put into the trail in the last two months. It's finally time to put in some miles out there.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Kneda Small Block Eight 29er Tire

John Tomac Series Small Block Eight

This looks to be a great tire for the Midlands 29er fans. Hopefully I'll be trying these very soon.

* Excellent hard pack XC race tire

* 8 Nevegal shaped but smaller knobs across the tire for better ‘bite’

* DTC - Dual Tread Compound offers cornering grip with faster center line acceleration

* One of the fastest rolling tires in the Kenda Premium line

Here’s the specs:

Part #: 212509

Feature: DTCSize: 29×2.10

Bead: Folding

TPI: 120PSI: 30-80

Weight: 500±25g

Friday, January 05, 2007

Night Adventure

Urban Assault on Cola town last night left me fully satisfied. The thrill of having 9 riders ripping through town outfitted with top dollar HID lighting was a sight. The Harrells riders came together for their bi-weekly urban night ride. It's early January and it's 50*, what a great time for a night ride. This was the third time I had made the ride and every time the ride gets bigger.

Last night's ride had the group meeting on the riverwalk around 6:35 they heading out towards town. First out to Elmwood Cemetery to see if anyone out there was a awake. All quite there, then headed up town through the Cotton Wood district. Over somewhere near Gervais St. we hit the first of two parking garages.

Vacant for the evening we climbed to the top and regrouped for the real festivities. Called the gravity races - my first of this type. Rules are simple you get one push to start and no pedaling, first one to bottom is winner. How neat is that. Picking smooth lines and not hitting your brakes is key. Damon & Russ had too much of a lead on me but I got the hang of it. The usual suspects immediately started talking about the next garage. So again up to the top, lined up, one push. This garage much tighter than the last. Quickly I found the line and holding it through the turns. Somehow I made the passes that put me into first. A few turns were still stick from the rain. I had two close calls on theses.

Then we headed down towards campus past the Colonial Center, across the river then onto the Cayce greenway. Throw in some trash talking and an out and back along the greenway. This put us into W Cola. Still out for some fun I lead the folks out to some dirt. A very small taste of dirt but with everyone on mtb and we have not seen any dirt, I felt it was appropriate. Paul insisted we all hit the Natchez hill somewhere in the ballpark of 18% grade. This puts me very close to my house so I split off and called it a night, still giggling over the fun I had. Looking forward to next week.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Wheels in Motion

Now that the new year is moving along, it's time to set the training in motion. This past weekend started with a 7 hour trail working session. Lynchs Woods has been hanging in limbo for way too long. Clint & I managed to almost clean the entire inner loop in one day. This would have never been possible without Monty's chainsaw work of the previous week. With the dead fall cleared we were able to clean the single track with Clint's blower. I've cleaned many trails but this was the first time I've used a blower. Normally I would have rake in hand. This blower was the key.

A day of recovery was needed. The annual New Years Day ride around Lake Murray was to be held on Monday. With rain in the forecast, only 3 folks showed up. The small group collectively came to the conclusion that the rains here and no one really wanted to start their new year in the rain. Besides who wants to clean their bike on New Years Day. So after lunch I managed to find myself a comfy spot on the couch and sleep. I'm sure the new year of riding will become more eventful.