Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rainy Winter Day 5k

Still trying to figure the sport of running out. Today, I was signed up to race the very popular 5k in Forrest Acres. With a steady mist in the air and temps around 50. This would do nothing but make for a fast event. The miles on the road have been on the increase, however the lack of speed work will be the achilles heel to my running success. The start was quick and soon the leaders were out of sight. The thoughts of fun running were gone. The pace was killing me and by mile two I felt as if I was going backwards. Trim back on the pace and try to keep it together. With the final few rollers still putting the hurt on me. Managed to hold it together and pull into the finish in 20:34. When I said a fast event, the winner finished 5k in 15:15. That is a 4:55 pace.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Trot for your Turkey



With the busy day ahead and large amounts of food to be consumed, the need to be in a caloric deficit was great. What better why to achieve this than a jog.

Why not give a little to charity over the holidays? The
Boy's & Girls Club of the Midlands
hosted the Turkey Trot 8k on Thanksgiving morning. The turn out was large. Some 290+ runners with the same ideas gathered for the event.

The start was quick, down in front of the Colonial Center the pace was probably faster than I'm use to but what the heck. The leaders were still in visual contact as we crossed over the Congaree River heading into Cayce. As always a goal of mine is not be chicked. As the 2nd place lady starts to get further away. The feeling of crap this is fast hits home.

The half way point comes on the right turn on Gervais St. crossing the Congaree again. The long climb up Gervais was the confirmation that my start was way too fast. Holding it together and to not be passed. A top 30 was the idea of the day but as runners started to pass with 2 miles to go the goal was slipping away. The line couldn't have come any sooner. Finished in 29th place at 33:32, 6:45 pace. Garmin confirmation had me averaging 176 HR and maxing at 201bpm. Hate it if you dare but holding a 176 HR is good training for the winter short track series to come.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Still Standing

Yet another weekend spent on two feet instead of two wheels. As the temps have dropped so has the desire to brave the wind and ride. This probably had something to do with the beat down from last Sunday's Race to the River. Since the saddle time has been at a minimum, the lack luster performance in a race situation was a given. Yet maybe my ego was damaged or just put in check. Who cares? The winter is made for a change in pace. So the running shoes have been getting most of the action lately.

The past 48 hours was a change. Saturday, I headed out to the folks house for some dirt road adventure by foot. Started out with a lap around LHS then to the dirt in some various out and back routes. Nice easy cruise pulling back into the folks house 13 miles later. Shocked as shit yet still able to function. Woke up this a.m. surprisingly feeling well. Well enough to take the dogs on a 2 hour hike/jog at Lynchs Woods. The proven method of breaking down the high drive of two bird dogs.
So this weekend had the smell of epic to it. Wow 20 miles for the weekend.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Paris Mountain 11k Trail Race

A first but definitely not the last trail race I'll run. Like racing bikes the dirt is far more exciting than the pavement. The PMTR was my first attempt at a trail race. The strategy was very similar to that of a mtb race. Go like mad to the singletrack then patience takes over. Since my ability to kill it at the beginning is far from elite.

A pre run of the opening single told me the trick was to start fast yet smart. The start saw 160 runners toe the line up at the entrance to the park. A downhill paved start, all while jockeying for position. A bit spastic yet conservative. The single track came up quick and with the 30 something folks ahead this was to be a test of patience. Luckily I had the smart-ass card tucked in my britches.

The opening trail was a lot of fun. With some wider single track aided in the passing of the hot starters. All seriousness started when the pace came to a stop on the technical sections. The set in rock steps were killing some folks. Then came some serious steep section of narrow slick trail. Here comes the SA card. Pull to the side roadie and let the dirt huggers through.

To the top, I thought I may loose it. Collecting myself I tagged onto the 6 of some chick killing it. Motivation in many ways. One to not be chicked. I'm fine with it. It happens all the time. To the top of Kanuga Trail where the course tops out and downhill we go. This is the part that sketches me out. This chick passes me cruising. So I take off after her. Putting myself in MTB downhill mode to find the groove I was missing.

Transition to the rollers of the final sections of trails. The hills were really good to me. I felt good cruising through the trees in control of my feet and lungs. Pulled in another local in the next rocky downhill section. This cat was dropping gas bombs left and right. I had to pull back a touch till the opportunity to pass came again. The out and back trail was the last section. Seeing one more runner up ahead, I could not resist the chase. Out sprinting him towards the end. Fun stuff.

Then onto the business of eating some pancakes. Yes that's right the post-race meal of hot off the griddle pancakes. Wash that down with some chocolate milk (A+). What an experience, the organization had it down. This running thing ain't so bad. Pancakes at a bike race? Anyway finals had me finishing 7mi. in 1:02, 16th overall, 3rd in my age group. Two minute off my goal, but I know where I lost that 2+ minutes.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Check Your Head

Along with your self. As I head out to HSF for run through the woods. My longest run to date was around 8.5 sometime back. So today the goal was to fall. Planning on a loop from the front lot to Lost Creek. Hit up Lost Creek in a counter clockwise direction with the B-Boys checking me the hole way. Lap time on the Garmin showed a 5.2 mi~48:00. This was a good feeling having my first trail race in a week. To be able to hold a 9 min pace on LC. From here I had to head down Lost Creek Rd. for touch to the gravel that connects me back to Stewardship Trail. The way out from here is the main gravel back towards the gazebo. This puts you climbing up double track towards the Eagle Trail. Gravel all the way to the Discovery Center, then a right on Fire break to the front lot. The reason for this post is to call the fact that I finally broke the the 10 mile barrier.

10mi ~ 1:34

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Double Dare Day 2

One of the hardest thing to accomplish on day 2 was getting up from a warm sleeping bag. With the constant ringing of cowbells at 5:30 am it was hard to ignore. I had to get up and try to focus on getting ready. Today would start with another time trial to an undisclosed location for further instructions.

It had to be in the 30s at the start. The look of fatigue on many faces around the camp was easy to believe. Day 2 would have some carnage for sure. Then the instructions to head to Pilot Rock came across the weary ears on the riders. The climb would test the mental more than the physical this a.m.

A solid 2+ hours of climbing puts us up at the top when further instructions arrive that the trek continues on up to Ivestor Gap. This will give you the mandatory cp for the day. The route to Ivestor is a lot of hiking on the Art Loeb trail. This in turn would spit us onto the BRP. From here it's pavement up to Ivestor TH. Now normally my pride is strong and giving into pain is a far reach. This paved climb had me pushing for a touch and zig zagging across the road to lessen the grade.


The Ivestor CP was a relief. It seemed like 4 hours or so just to get in the mandatory CP. This would also be the special test for the day. Like day 1, shotgun the beers or shoot a slingshot. I tried for the slingshot, but failed miserably. In the mean time Clay was scanning the map for possible CP. Yes, I was tired but I was there to compete. Pulling myself around the task at hand. We rode hard on day 1 to put ourselves in a situation to place high. There was no reason to let that hard work go to waste.

Clay plots out a path of 5-6 CP in a convenient loop around the 215 area. In a short matter of time we had nabbed another 3 CP on our way to Farlow Gap area. More numb to the climbing now, the feeling of motivation was coming. With this motivation, I had to contain it a touch.

The feeling of high to the feeling I was dreading. The lows came in on the climb up to Farlow Gap. What seemed like days to climb, probably lasted in the hour range. Beat down mentally and physically. What better way to celebrate than a beer. A PBR at Farlow was bringing my spirits around. From here I believe dream land set in. The decent of Farlow is rocky and very hairy. Like I said fuzzy, because we passed a few more CP on the way down to the Fish Hatchery. The decision had to be made. Where to from here.

The decision to route through Coontree heading back to the camp was good but very hard. This trail had some steep pitches to climb. With my throbbing feet, this would be a very though test. Finally at the top. First thoughts beer then comfy shoes. This give of 7 CP on the day in 11 hours of riding.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Special Notice - Brownie Points


This post will have to tied you over till I can drum up day 2 of the Double Dare. I promised my better half I would help her out and call attention to her side project. The Silver Dog is handmade jewelry and things your better half would love to have. So if you are looking to build on brownie points (kinda like I'm doing here) give it a look see. It's very affordable and the holidays are closing in quick.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Double Dare - Day 1

What constitutes a good race? Is the atmosphere, the venue, the promoter, the prizes?

As I sit here this morning I’m trying to stay awake. The clouded visions of the Double Dare keep trying to free themselves from my mind. My body is reminded of the event with every move I make this morning. All the pains associated with an epic ride. What constitutes as a good race I ask – the aches and pain that follow. A true stamp of approval that you felt good enough on the bike to throw down every hammer you could. The Double Dare for me has lived up to the expectation of a great race.

It’s kinda like jumping into murky water, not really aware of what’s below. The Double Dare Adventure Race has a cult like following. Mostly local and some regional riders come together for the challenge. Eric’s recipe for pain - two 12 hour days of Pisgah. Check points littering the forest with various route options. Overall goal was to navigate to the CP snap a picture and move on. Snag as many of the 10 CP, and make it back to camp in the allotted time frame.

The race would start with a time trial to the Gauging Station. Checked over the passport and planned a route conducive to riding a SS all day. Off to CP2, a short jaunt down S. Mills River Trail. Then the first of many off the wall calls to run the hiking only trail back out to the road. So the ¾ mile jog took us right out onto FS1206 for a while. Next was the daunting hike of Pilot Rock Trail. Well over an hour of hike-a-bike to CP3. The views were awesome. At hike-a-bike speed it’s much easier to take in these views.

As the sounds of traffic grew the anticipation of the hike being over was great. Our route would take us right up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This put us at the foot of Mt. Pisgah, which would be the next CP. The twist it’s hiking only. So we locked up the bikes and stashed the packs. Setting off on another jog until the trail pitch up and the rock steps started. The temps had dropped with the wind howling. Moving was the key to staying warm. A :40 round trip to snag CP4 on the day were back on the bikes and headed down the BRP. Clay set us up with a killer route for the day. The call to hit the BRP when we did put us on a 10 mile decent. Yeah it was cold but we were not hiking or riding up. Quickly snagging another CP at Bent Creek Tunnel.

With a bag of CP before night fall, I was feeling confident of our decision on the day. From here I believe we head toward Trace Ridge to snag another CP at the Hendersonville Reservoir. Then another convenient CP was close, I believe the out and back trail was to Middle Fork. This was yet another new trail for me. Rejoined by some other fellas we all made it back out and down to N. Mills River Campground to refill and mount up the lights. This preceded the haul up Yellow Gap Road. One I was fairly familiar with from past experiences. We climbed this road in the dark for fear of the burn time on our lights. Not long had pasted before the blinky tail light of other racers would appear at the top of Yellow Gap Road. A gathering of weary riders fiddling with a map and plotting their course for the night to come. Felling the chill of the night I asked Clay if we move on. So off on another decent down another double track road to the mandatory CP.

Bradley Creek CP was the mandatory of day 1. The fire was the key for me. Since the temps had been falling all night and my feet were wet from the multiple creek crossings. I really needed to warm up a touch. This CP held the special test of day. Your choice to shotgun 3 beers between the teammates or to shoot a bb gun at a target from 25 paces. It’s dark and I’m tired on the verge of cramping Shit hit the beers. After a lesson on how to properly shotgun beers we passed the test. Believe most folks learn to shotgun beers in high school not at 32 and not on an adventure race.

The night had just begun for us. Squirrel Gap Trail was next on the agenda. With fatigue and PBR working against us the challenges would be great. This was a difficult trail from memories of PMBAR in the rain. I recalled the off camber sections and tight rooty switchbacks. Plus the fact that most of the trail is up, then followed by a sketchy rocky downhill. This would drop us at another CP on Upper Cantrell Creek. Surprisingly I was feeling good but could tell Clay was on the other side of the fence. The PBR was giving him hell.

It wasn’t long till my lights would burn out. Now for some f’ed reason I did not bring my backup to my backup light. Feeling very stupid for the total lack in intelligence, I asked Clay to lead us out and I would just follow his wheel in the dark on what would turn into a technical decent down to Buckhorn Gap. If his wheel would jump out I would brace myself for the unexpected. This did not last long before Clay offered up his backup petzl light. Thanks Clay. Onward we went, but not long before Clay’s main light dies – oh shit now what. The going gets real slow from here. Luckily were very close to Buckhorn Gap TH. This would spit us out onto Clawhammer road. Clawhammer is usually a very fun and fast gravel road descent, but not tonight. It was freezing out and we were getting very close on time. The horse stable were a welcome smell. The day was now close to being in the books.

Arriving back at the campsite to see people drinking and having a good time by the fire was a welcoming experience. Now shaking uncontrollable I had to warm up by the fire. How close can I get my frozen hand to the fire? Luckily Clay’s friend Terry was a camp heating up some food for us. Without this I probably would curled up my tent and died. The grub hit the spot. I was feeling better with the warm cloths and a fire. Soon off to my tent to crash out and nap for about 4 hour till day 2.

If my memory serves me correctly, Clay & I ended Day 1 with 11:49 ~ many miles and 9.5 CP. Not too shabby for Rigid SS in Pisgah.

(Pic nabbed for Ohio Rob)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Double Dare top Ten


19 teams start and 16 finish.
top 10

1. Brad Kee / Matt Fusco ~ 19 CP ~ 22:10 (~134 Miles!)
2. Zach Broussard / Dennis ****z ~ 18 CP ~ 20:46
3. Dave Anderson / Alex Hawkins ~ 17 CP ~ 20:18
-1:32 bonus =18:46
4. Shawn McCann / Jon Magnusson ~ 17 CP ~ 22:01 - 1:23 bonus = 20:38
5. Clay Faine / Toby Porter ~ 16.5 CP ~ 22:28
6. Robert Kranz ~ 16 CP ~ 21:32
7. Kylie Krauss / Jeremy Hargrove ~ 15 CP ~ 20:56 - 1:52 bonus =19:04
8. Bruce Steinfurth / Justin Mitchell ~ 15 CP ~ 20:30 -:36 bonus = 19:54
9. Peter Rajcani / Jeff Eichmann ~ 15 CP ~ 22:48 -:1:25 bonus = 21:23
10. David Cook / Cissy Fowler ~ 14 CP ~21:45

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nervous for What - Maybe it's Anxiety

And the count down to pain is well under way. This weekend is the annual Fall event for Pisgah Productions. The Double Dare is the beast. Two days in Pisgah National Forest, multiple check points and a 12 hour time limit the first day. Then you stagger from your tent for day two. Again like day one, 12 hour time limit and multiple check points throughout the forest. Luckily I'll be teammed up with a fella who has a good handle on the topo and navigational way throught the beast. Did I mention we will be rolling SS29" rigid.

Race Update: Barely Functioning this a.m.Super long weekend. Clay & myself pulled out a 5th place with 16.5 CP over the two days. Here is a link on mtbr for more recaps.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ray Tanners 12k Run

A plan that's been in the works for months now, to compete in the Ray Tanner Home Run 12k. A plan I've been able to stick with. This would be the longest run race I've ever competed in. Set a goal - to finish in under an hour. Ok that should be attainable. That's holing an 8:00/mi pace. seems easy unless I get caught up in the excitement of competition.

An unusual sense of calm come over me. I was confident of my fitness and pace. Meet up with the Dubose family for an early morning drizzle start. The rain was lite but still it was raining. Luckily I really like running in the rain.

From the start, the combined fields of the 5k & 12k. This stretched the field out over the first few hills. Settled into my pace. Except my pace was :30sec faster than planned. Good, I guess as long as I don't blow up. After the 5k split off I could see the competition up the road. Steady pace allowed me to not be passed by a single runner after the 2 mi point.

Closing in on the finish. One final hill about 1.5mi to go. The hammer finally fell from my shorts. passing the fella I'd been holding onto the entire race. With half mile to go, it was all on the table. Crossing the line in 55:25 for 7.5 mi. Placing 30th overall and 5 minutes ahead of my goal.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

For Those About To Rock

I do salute you..................

Since my running fellas have posted their runs to date. I thought what the hell. Started running a little in late April that snowballed into a passion. A passion for a quick exercise that would wear out my dogs.
May - 50 miles / 8:55 hours
June - 70 miles / 9:25
July - 68 miles / 9:14
Aug - 61 miles / 9:08
Sept - 45 miles / a case of self diagnosed Patellar Tendinitis
Oct - back for more

Use your head not your will.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Nibble Nibble

Well it's been a week since the last post and not much has been going on. Other than work and no one really wants to here about that. Did manage to go out and support the local crit on Sunday. Luckily Jamie called me on Sunday morning to remind me.

Starting to feel the bike bug nibbling again. Looking into some bike related ideas of fun. After Damon ragged me about running too much. Speaking of that a case of Patellar Tendinitis has creped into my right knee. No big deal just cut back and ice 2-3 times a day.
Plus the Poison Ivy is finally drying up. All the white dots are the various spots that popped up after my last Trail Running adventure at SouthEastern. Here is a little something for the doubters of the PI - it puts the fear in ME.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Ride Through Dupont

Big time on some big wheels. This past Sunday I managed to catch a ride with Joe and headed up to Dupont. This would top out my riding from the past months. A 4:00~40 miles in the mountains on one gear. The route was a brain child or just a quality bowel pasting that freed up some matter in the Mater. No matter it was a blast. I could not remember any of the names of the trails we rode. With exceptions to the high lights - Big Rock Trail (amazing clear view), Ridge Line (killer downhill), Air Strip Tr.(another fun downhill) Joanna Road (a gravel road I about heaved on).

High light of the ride and the low light of the ride came on the same stretch of trail. Ridge line is one amazing down hill. Weaving in and out of small hardwoods. Dipping in and out of elevation swings. Gliding off of subtle rock drops, hauling at a fraction of mach. When the 180* switchback you're not ready for slams to to to the the ground. Luckily Joe witnessed to entire scene. A creditable witness at how fast it really happened.

Big thanks to the X-Mater, Cook, D-K***Z & Joe for the blast in the woods. Good times. It's Tuesday and I've still got the grin on my grill.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Kiwanis 5k

Kiwanis 5k
Lexington SC

Early rise this a.m. and ready for the personal challenge. My home town was host to a Fun Fest 5K sponsored by the Kiwanis of Lexington. The personal challenge was an enticing feature to Monty & Jason also.

A long down hill start was a great way to blow up early. Managed to pass most of the pre-teens runners. A good feeling to have the youngsters behind but damn there are some chicks still up the road. Mile 1 down and Monty & I cross at 6:52. A bit faster than expected.

The hilly portion of the course was between mile 1 & 2. The hardest hill topped out at mile 2 (7:00). Monty still stalking me or just utilizing my draft. Not sure, he said "he was just hanging on". The course levels for about half mile. This sets you up for the approach of another long down hill.

Our pace started to quicken. The lead Female was just in front of us. She was fading and Monty was utilizing the hill. Inspired for fuel for some spousal trash talking. Luckily I've fallen for this trick before. Monty pulls ahead a touch then the small rise on Main St. took it's toll. Closed the gap and I believe a hammer fell from my shorts. The kick was more than I expected - A real effort. Finished in 21:4?, just shy of my goal. Somehow winning the 30-34 age group. Congrats also to Monty and Jason for a good run.

Friday, September 05, 2008

TNUR

Some old and a little new. The route for the Thursday Night Urban Ride has been revamped for maximum enjoyment. After catching wind of the TNUR still in full effect. I had to go out and get in on the fun.

After dodging the walkers & go-getters out on the RiverWalk, I meet 7 HBW riders. The pace quickly picked up. With very few miles in the saddle I was a little apprehensive about going too hard for too long. Last thing I needed was to pop. The talk was to get in 40+miles. As the thoughts of "oh shit I have zero calories with me" steady would need to be my mantra.

Heading out to Old State Rd. the pace was jacked. By who I don't remember. The road was in good shape and Paul, Chris & myself separated from the group. The tempo was fast but manageable. A regroup at US21. Then is was something new.

From here a bottle refill at the Horizon, then onto the road formerly known as the METH route. This road has been tamed with the recent paving. The hills are still there but the soft sand is no more. The route stays on pavement for a few miles looping back around on Savany Hunt and 21, before heading back onto Old State. Two county line sprint signs have been added. This added loop was fun.

Heading back into town, Old State was another scorcher. The pace a touch slower, but still moving. A regroup at the pavement then an easy roll back into town. All in all a good ride. I was beat the ride was a little harder than I would have liked. Hell it was probably my fault the pace was jacked.

2:45 ~ 40 miles
HR av. 141
max 183
2500 calories burned
Bring food next time. Calendar marked for next Thursday.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Calf Buster

A week like normal should be. This put me running 4 days and riding one. That one is better than none. Now with three months of consistent running under my belt. Felt the need to bust out of the neighborhood and surrounding area.

An area that has piqued my interest on the bike would do the same for the feet. Friday, I made my way over to Granby Riverwalk Trail. A series of old fishing trails and a concrete path paralleling the river. A far less popular area, unlike the Cayce/WC Greenway. Started out with a mile warm-up around the new USC baseball field then into the woods. Hitting the trails, turned up the pace for 3 miles of good tempo. Cool down for a mile. No walkers, no senior citizens who pretend not to hear you, no drop kick dogs, no baby strollers & no stalkers. Just me and my ipod cruising through the woods.

Saturday a much needed reuniting with the bike. Broke out the trusty hybrid for a pleasant 90 minute spin out into Cayce and down Dixiana & back. No asshole rednecks and really nice weather. The running has definitely helped with the fitness. Now it's time to familiarized oneself with a saddle again. Even managed the traditional cyclist arm tan. Sweet style.

Sunday was the test of mettle. Trail running at HSP. Surprising to not see many peeps out at the trail. Started from the Eagle TH parking > Discovery Trail > Crooked Pine > Midlands Mtn. > Stewardship > Stewardship Connector > Eagle > Eagle TH = 7.5mi ~ 67min.

The full price of admission came with the accent of Stewardship then onto the connector. This series of climbs started the burn. My small amount of water was gone and the drive was going south. Jim past but I was too focused on the water at the truck to say HI (sorry Jim). Back to Eagle TH headed down hill along the double track picking up the pace to the FS road then a left on Eagle trail. This is one of the original trails in HSP. Off limits to wheels but friendly to feet. Not many cyclist see this trail. With 7 miles in the legs this trail's steep accent back to the car can really hurt. Hence the breaking point for me. Fun stuff, next HSP challenge - Lost Creek.

12.5mi by foot
25 mi by wheel
=3 good workouts

Monday, August 04, 2008

Funk Diving

Just in case anyone was wondering, I have been running instead of riding. Why you ask? Totally burned out on the bike is why. After the Stumpjump XC my desire to ride started on the decline. Stemming from a combination of increasing heat and the simple fact of the same ol' geographic location of my rides. Not sure how it really happened. My guess would be the fact that I rode all through the winter with no real break from the bike.

The downward spiral all started back in late April. It was a string of flats that left me walking out of the woods in one instance. Then I had to call my wife on two occasions to come pick me up out on the road. It seemed as if every other ride I went on was filled with disappointment. During a flat repair down on the Outer Loop @ HSP, I noticed two trail runners coming through the woods. These cats were gliding along the trail having a good time. As I remembered the good times of running high school XC.

Now roll into May, the work load was starting to increase. More and more time spent in the field. All day on your feet in the heat - sucks. Everyday I would come home and plop down on the couch and veg out till time to go to bed. The drive to go out and explore had fizzled. All the routes that I've come up with over the past years did not have the excitement they use to.

So one night while walking the dogs, I decided to jog for a few minutes. After three weeks of this routine I went out and bought some new kicks and stretched these walk/jog/walks a little further. Now early August I'm able to knock out one hour non stop. This new found joy of running has started to pull me from the funk I've experienced. Not sure if it's the thoughts of yester-years or the fact I'm onto something that can be done with little to no travel and minimal prep time. Double bonus is the fact that I can drag my pups out with me. A steady 3 miler will keep them tired for two days.

This past Saturday, I toed the line of a local 5k for the first time in ten years. Nervous yeah a little. Overall goal to beat my PR from 1994 of 18:50 at a Lexington High XC meet during my senior year. This race was a wake up of sorts. Going into it I was confident of a sub 21:00 finish. Excitement took over and the first mile I ran a 6:45 then mile two was 7:00. Something happened between mile 2 & 3. Heat happened! Paced slowed to an 8:00 last mile. Finishing the 5k in 21:38. Totally exhausted but now I have a benchmark to work from. Now ya'll understand why I haven't been posting. There was no need to write about the funk diving till I could bring myself from it. So don't forget about me & lookout I'll be back.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Blogging Mind is a Blank

Closet Training - Yes

Will it work - Maybe

Miles Ridden - Few

Miles Ran - Many

Swiss Ball - Yes

Hot Out - Hell Yeah

Carry on people - See Ya'll soon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Coffee Talk

For those of you out there looking for the next insane endurance challenge. Or at these following a crazy insane endurance challenge from the comfort of your office CPU. As to peer into ones mind all while sipping on the community office coffee. Check out the Great Divide Race. Good reading and new this year the racers are all wearing the SPOT locaters. This give you areal time location. So every morning during your blog search hit this site, hell it just might inspire you too.

Friday, June 13, 2008

HBW Group Ride

Finally made a Wednesday night group ride. It's been some time since I was able to ride with others, what a nice change of pace. Good group turn out even with the temps still in the 90*s. Slacking on the hydration at work, I went for the pack. Filled it with ice and water. Think of it as an A/C unit for your back. The ride had several regroups and plenty of laughs. Easy tempo for some good riding. The EBB on my SS was quite for a change. This made me very happy. So the riding was even better.
The group decided to head back after Lost Creek, but I had brought my commuter light and was looking for some more saddle time. Headed out towards Stewardship Loop riding the trails in low light is so fun. Reminds me of my 24hr days. Squeezing every once of battery from your lights, conserving what you can. The last little bit of daylight on Stewardship I came up on a bobcat running down the trail. Holy Shit this thing was big. Easily in the 50lbs. range. No, It was not a dog. I was close enough to make out the bob tail and cat like moves. A first at Harbison. Taking every minute I still had of daylight, I rolled every bit of fire road I could on the way back to the front lot. Good sustained pedaling on my SS.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

KITS

Just down loaded some pictures from our Kiawah Island vacation over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Kiawah Island Taxi Service - 2 rides on this beast, both rides were in the 2 hour area .


E had to trust me for our journey around KI on the tandem.
Don't piss off the locals. This fella was about 6 ft. off the paved pedestrian path. Amazing to see all the folks pass by all to never see this fella sunnin'.

Lesson learned

This week's work load for me has showed a touch. My co-worker departing last Friday for a bigger and better job. This means I've been in the office all of this week. More A/C time and less hot sun time. So I felt eager to hit up the Wed. group ride.

Running a touch late from work, I run home and tweak the SS to tension the chain. Filled the hydration pack and fixed a monster PB&honey&banana sandwich and off to HSF. Rolling into the lot @6:33 assumed I wouldn't see anyone. So I headed out towards Stewardship > 2 laps of the gravel road. STOP I can't take it any more. The EBB on my SS was making this awful noise. So I tighten it up a touch and pedaled on. Still every time the torque went up the noise did too. Very annoying, so I'm kinda glad I hadn't seen anyone. Passed Jim somewhere on the connector as I was heading over to Lost Creek. Didn't turn around because with noisy ass bike, I could ruin someone's ride.

Plans were to knock out 2 laps on LC but ignorance got the best of me. Noticing my speed was suffering badly. Was it a lack riding or what? No folks the chain was so tight I hardly turn it by hand. Ah shit, so that's why I feel like I'm riding in mud and the noise is so loud the wildlife is running in fear. Lesson learned - EBB maintenance should be top on the priority list. Seeing how I've only got one gear, I should make sure that gear is working.

Found A+ in the front lot afterwards. We marveled at how the oppressive heat was wrecking our dreams of a smokin' fast average speed. Then Jim & Tim rolled into the lot. Later found out that Toby S. was in the woods somewhere also, so I guess it was a group ride.

D.A.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Roadie Stuff

Follow up on some Ebay stuff.


*Power Tap Computer Harness
- Brand New has been installed once but it's never seen the elements.

*Power Tap Rear Wheel w/ Campy wheel bag
- PT hub is built up on a Mavic rim. Freehub is Shimano. This wheel has been hanging in this Campy bag for about 2 years.

*Shimano Road Shoes 44 - Near mint shape clean and they don't smell.














*Speed Play Zero Ti Pedals w/ cleats - Cleats have about 150miles on them. The pedals are few years old. They are in good shape would be great for a back-up bike if you already use SpeedPlays.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Stump Jump 08

A step in the right direction. Go from riding 2-3 days a week to crushing the oneself on the race course come Sunday. A pattern I've adopted over the beginning of this season. Maybe it's working for me. Tempting faith this weekend at the Stump Jump XC race.

Forked out $40 bones for the SS race with a total expectation of a high podium place. Game plan - Go hard from the gun and for the entire 2 laps. Funny thing with the SS class is the mixed bag of tricksters you may encounter. From semi-retired Pros to experts who don't care to purchase a USAC license to entry level riders getting there feet wet in XC racing.
Looking around I spot a some riders from the winter stxc series, Erik N. and the recently questionable DQed winner of the Cohutta 100mi SS Will Black. So the kitchen was warming to be set a blaze.

The flame was ignited from the start Will & Erik put a gap on me before the 1st power line decent. I was in third and chasing hard. Sitting on the nose of the saddle spinning the fastest rpms I could manage. By the 1st section of single track they were out of sight. Knowing I needed to stay focused on the trail I tried to keep the lines as smooth as possible. First ride back on a rigid fork. Paying close attention to the many roots littering the trail.

I made no ground on them. A solo ride for the most part. Passing only a handful of sport riders. A podium spot was mine. I just needed to finish up strong. Hammered out a sub 40 minute first lap and matched it on the final lap. I just never looked back.

Finishing up in 3rd place for SC State Championships - 1:20~16+ miles of very nice technical single track. More bike time is needed, especially in the woods.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mud Jump 08

Bust out the WD-40 and the Q-Tips. It's time for the annual Stump Jump XC races in Spartanburg SC. It's history is steeped in red clay that sticks to every moving part of your stead. Ass busting greasy red clay. You got to love tradition - rain today and tomorrow means mud on Sunday. Thankfully I don't have a functioning geared bike.
Looks like the SS class is my faith for the weekend. No expert one day license. Race page states race distance is voted by voice at start line, a choice of 1-2 laps. Race $30+ Late Fee $5 + USAC one day $5 = $40. This bitch better be at least 2 laps. I'll be dreaming of a top podium spot.

2003 - A little something to remember

Monday, May 05, 2008

"Why Am I" - A True Death March

This thing called PMBAR has a way of bringing most hard core MTB folk to their knees. Crying and aching for dear mercy. Some as a cramping ball of muscle & mass and most are just mentally broken. Sign me up and let me bring a friend into the fire.
The goal was to finish in a time of 6-8 hours for the minimum 4 CP. A possible 5th CP if we were up to it at Club Gap. Now all we had to do was navigate the PNF with little problems and keep our spirits in tact. Plan from the start was to check out the passport before hitting any trails. This would give one plenty of time to think about a possible route on the hike up Black Mtn. Early plans to hit Turkey Pen TH first were set and off we went.

CP1 - Turkey Pen > This hike up Black Mtn. was a hard way to warm up. All was going well. I knew were I was and were I was going. Lots of traffic on Turkey Pen with riders unsure of the skills to rip the hills of Pisgah. On the way to CP1 we managed up with a group of riders. This type of race is every team for themselves. So it's hard to just follow someone. Map check. Missed the left and went right up Mullinax before hearing people talking down by the river. We double back all to be passed by the Mater & Cola Joe.
A bit frustrated because you spend energy passing some slower riders all to be passed up by them while you are back tracking. Made the CP and the good fellings were back on our side.

CP2- Bradley Creek > Pulling out of CP1 with a plan to go to Bradley Creek . Fine but I've never been there before. Navigation would be the achilles' heel of the event. Map Check. Opted to pass on a well used trail for a trail I thought would be better choice. Strike 2. Map Check. Back tracked again but only for a few minutes. Back with the masses on Squirrel Gap. A long train of riders we had passed before, now stuck to wait it out. Slow goings being passed again by M&J 15 minutes out from CP2. Double that for an out and back route to the CP and we are now 30 minutes behind.

CP3- Squirrel Gap & Cantrell Creek > Probably the best trail of the day. A real MTB trail. If you're looking for an example of a real East Coast trail Squirrel Gap is it - Rideable. Plan was to go along to the Buckhorn Shelter area an skip the hike-a-bike up to Club Gap and check out FS 5033 down below the trail junction.

CP4- Club Gap > A good plan turned bad when we (I) missed FS 5033 just down from the Buckhorn/Black Mtn shelter. This would be the mistake of the day. Every trail I pasted on the way down Clawhammer road I would stop and check the map, wasting buckets of time. Somehow it just never clicked, that we had past the trail. Once we stopped at the intersection of Clawhammer and Maxwell Cove, I knew I had screwed up bad. Ten minutes went by. My internal flame was slowly going out. The look on Kenny's face when the realization hit that we would have to climb back up to Club Gap from the Horse Stables, was not good. To finish without a DQ, we had two chooses on the accent. Up Clawhammer fire road or Avery Creek.

Let me just say - It's been a while since my last visit to PNF especially in this area. Anyone in there right mind would not have climbed Avery Creek. Not in my right mind and Kenny didn't know were he was. A peace offering of a delicious brownie was broken. Hoping this would inspire Kenny to continue being my friend, even after Avery Creek.

Some hour & 15 minutes to complete the 3 mile hike-a-bike. All was well till a local Bio-Wheels rider made some comment of our route choice. This set me off - just keep your damn yapper shut if you don't have any encouraging words to say, damn local. So now pissed off and hallucinating a touch. I convinced Kenny that we should catch them before the end. Bombed Avery Creek and back tracked FS 5033. Map check. I wanted to see were I missed the turn 2 hours prior. Hammered Clawhammer road to Maxwell Cove road. Climbing with fury, I've seemed to not realize I was putting my own teammate in jeopardy of bonking. I had a renewed spirit of completing this son-of-a-bitch. Sharing encouraging words with Kenny to keep climbing it wouldn't be long till we would be done.

Around the corner look who is taking up the whole trail eating M&M's and looking like death, our local yapper smart ass. I slow down to share a comment on how bad they looked and slowed for Kenny to catch up. Apparently he could see my blue eyes turn red. Knowing this why we've been riding so hard up Maxwell Cove. Offering more encouragement, a push, more water & whatever it took to push ahead. A promised decent down Black Mtn. would be the reward. Beer never sounded soooooo good. Finished up with almost 10 hours of adventure in Pisgah Wilderness.
Survived On:
29" of Fury rolling 32x20
100oz. H2O
16oz Sustained Energy
3- Clif Bars
2 - Flasks of Hammer Gel (~10)
1/2- Brownie (Shared other 1/2 w/ Kenny - Peace offering for third navigational screw up)
12- Endurolyte Caps
0 - Mechanicals
36 - Map Checks
1 - Compass
2 - Small Navigational Errors
1 - Major Navigational Error
= 10 hours of Pisgah & probably somewhere around 70 miles

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dig The Ribbit

What a weekend to remember - well most of it.
Friday

6:30am - Happy 32nd Birthday to me. I awoke feeling more like 72nd BD.
Noon - Departure time to meet up with LeRoy for the trip to Copper Hill Basin.
2pm - Finally leave Cola. Total chaos with packing one car all to have forgot important stuff in another car that was occupied.
8:30pm - some 6 hrs of traveling, I'm finally at the Ocoee WWC and meeting our group of Asheville folk.
Saturday

3:30am - The rain starts falling and falling. (10pm "it will be raining you pansies" BrouSSard)

7:45am - Just one of 150 riders standing in the drizzle for the start of the 65 mile event "The Big Frog" the middle distance event of the Cohutta weekend. We started up the paved highway to spread things out. With no warm up this had to be a smart time of the day for me. Do I go hard and blow later or conserve a touch and survive? Made it to the Single track some riders back in a group of 15+. Rolling some sticky but super fun trails. A touch of wheels and I bobble into the woods. Lost my place in line and had to wait for a gap to hop back onto the trail. No real clue of where I was or where I was headed. First rest station at 17mi came quick. A right turn and up the gravel road. Gravel mile after gravel mile I climb. The rain had really made the FS roads slick and slow. The kind of mud that just wears you down. This was the first time I questioned my gear choice for the day.

9:45ish - Caught up with passing folks and really getting into the event. Realized I haven't had many calories since the start. Falling into my own pace, I caught up to several hot SS riders who had taxed themselves early. Luck me, I guess. Hooked up with another SS who was running a 32x16. My first response was "Crusher". So this fella and I switched around for a few hours. Pass and get passed.

11:00ish - Still going up or down a Gravel FS road in the mud with grit in my eye. My shades were worthless for the conditions. I would often catch geared riders on a climb, and then just ride away from them. All to have them cruise by in the big ring on the down hills. Finally really able to turn out some Power on the SS. With a slow cadence that kept ticking over with the cranks. It seemed to work well for me. A few times I would get off and walk. Only to get the blood flowing back to my feet again, and because the hill was just too damn steep.

12:00ish – Some 4:30 hours into this thing I once called a race, the first stages of a bonk starts. I haven’t seen any other riders for a while. Good and bad. Now I have no clue how far the next aid station is. I just plug along one pedal stroke at a time. Soon I begin to notice some FS roads I’ve seen before. It’s finally the end of the 34mi loop. This would be the lift I was looking for. The last section of single track was some fun stuff. Too bad I was blasted from the previous 6 hours of riding to fully enjoy it.

A secret goal of mine in all long distance races is not be chicked. Well all was well till the last half of single track. I heard this creaking bike coming up of a few switchbacks. Not yet sure as to whom it was. I started taking more risks on the descent. Popped out onto the final section of pavement and what you know she attacked me. This crazy chick drops some gears and attacked me. “Well Shit”, I only have one gear and it’s spinning as fast as I can without the cramps. I just laughed and fell happy to have not kisses the dirt all day. The effort was enough for a 3rd place in the 65mile SS class and a possible top 20 Overall. Still waiting on the results to be posted.



After Thoughts:

1 - 70oz. bladder H2O
3 - 16oz. HEED
1 - Cliff Bar
1 - Flask of Hammer Gel
6 - Endurolytes
6 - Sugar Cookies
1 - Muddy 29er
1 - Gear
0 - Mechanicals
1 - HELL-OF-A GOOD TIME

Monday, April 14, 2008

Endurance Step 1

Well 5 days now to my first endurance challenge of the 2008 season. The Cohutta 65miler is on tap for this Saturday and all the anticipation is starting. What gear to run, pack no pack, what tires & how much pixie dust in my shoes? Yeah this feeling is something you never get enough of. After many endurance events I know one thing, go into the race to have fun and suffer. This being hard to image for some, at how one could pay to suffer and have fun doing so. Leave your expectations at the door. My inconsistent training has left my fitness level out of wack. This will just make for an interesting day on the bike. I'll try riding into a respectable fitness level during the race. It's been done before. Now off to clean the Rig and make a list of things I shouldn't forget to take.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ebay Bound

Spring is here and it's time for a Spring Cleaning. Looking to get rid of some bike related stuff if anyone is interested let me know.

*Gary Fisher X-Caliber 29er - 17.5" (M) Frame - 2004 I think. Front Der. included. Bought this frame as a replacement for another. The frame has served me great. If you are wanting or thinking of going to the 29" platform this would be a great deal

*Independent Fabrication Steel Deluxe 26" - 17.5" Frame - Red/Sid Blue Fade. This a 1996 frame built of Reynolds 853 Steel. Canti brake bosses, sorry not disc tabs. This bike shows plenty of scuffs however thy are all cosmetic.

*Bontrager Race X Lite 31.8os Handlebar - Used normal scuffs around grip area, but no real scratches to worry about. I would still ride it for I prefer the Big Sweep Bar

*Power Tap Computer Harness - Brand New has been installed once but it's never seen the elements.

*Power Tap Rear Wheel w/ Campy wheel bag - PT hub is built up on a Mavic rim. Freehub is Shimano. This wheel has been hanging in this Campy bag for about 2 years.

*Shimano Road Shoes 44 - Near mint shape clean and they don't smell.

*Speed Play Zero Ti Pedals w/ cleats - Cleats have about 150miles on them. The pedals are few years old. They are in good shape would be great for a back-up bike if you already use SpeedPlays.

I'll follow up with some pictures soon.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Reincarnated

Meet my pup, Holly. Holly is a 6 year old German Shorthaired Pointer & reincarnated human. This dog truly believes she is human. This is not staged, she will sleep like this on occasions. Always keeping one eye open for an opportunity to play. Favorite activities include eating, sleeping, chasing her ball and or squirrels when provoked and digging in my flower bed.
I have tried to take her on bike rides but it's very aggravating. She has such a drive to hunt that she seeks out any varmint in the woods. I do on occasions take her for a bike ride around the neighborhood. I always wear a helmet with this beast. One pass across the front wheel and I'm a babbling idiot. She hit 22mph one night cruising around the block.

Happy Birthday Mom

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Don't be Fooled


SpokeJunky this is for you to guess the location. One hint: coastal county. There were two gators in the water. Every few minutes a shoulder check and a head count. They usually sun on the bank right behind the EDM. This is about extreme as work gets.
Update 4/02: Location Raw Water Canal, Jasper Co. About 2miles east of Hwy 17. The structure to the left is a concrete flume that transports the river water over the swamp area. This water will travel East for 17miles before entering the Beaufort Co. raw water plant to convert it into drinkable water for the citizens of Beaufort & Jasper Co. So don't pee in the river, you may have to drink it.

SpokeJunky 's new handlebar mounted toy for his AM commute. Possibly NiteRider makes a bar mount for this WWII model. Good Luck with the commuting - stay safe.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cashing in to be Cashed out

A little late to post on a weekend ride, but here goes it. I cashed in some honey-do credits this past Saturday for a day trip to Pisgah. After a few missed opportunities to hang with some like minded SS freaks, I desperately wanted to climb some mountains with one gear. Early to rise and head North on I-26 all to be the first in the Sycamore Cove parking lot.
A delay start due to a te-kill-a hangover by our ride organizer. At a social pace for the most part heading up Grassy Roads to Sycamore Cove. GR & SC to me brings back some great memories of my first Pisgah experience. If memory serves me right these were the first trails I ever rode in Pisgah. Not 100% on our route for I was high on excitement. It went something like a purge into North Slope (open seasonal) back up Grassy Road then up Black Mountain. The group went from 6 to 4 rider at this point. I believe this dropped us out on Maxwell Cove to Clawhammer. This is were the fuzziness starts. Somehow Buckhorn was involved and another accent up Black Mtn for the North side. Once our rag tag crew of 4 made the Black mtn lookout. It's been a long time since I've seen this view so clear. With the high pressure in the air the views were awesome - ridge after ridge one could see for many miles. Every time I close my eyes I still see that mountain range. Makes for a great soul cleanser. From here to the car all down hill for my first beer in three & half weeks. Then a refuel at the El Banditos in Brevard and drive 2.5 hours back to W. Cola. Gas is getting expensive but time like these makes it worth the price. Cashed out from the ride, what a great time.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Slacker

Finally got my lazy arse in gear and registered for the Cohutta. Plans were to attempt the 100 miler on the SS. With my innate ability to procrastinate to the highest degree, I let the hundie fill up. Well poop on me!!! Good thing, because I've also just started adding longer rides into my weekly agenda. Luckily there were plenty of spots for the 65 miler SS class. So I'll be competing against LeRoy - sorta. The Zen Mater Guy is in the open 65 class. Racing with the gearies, sounds like a page from the BrouSSard manual. So LeRoy it looks like I'll be hanging with ya'll heckling the hundies racers.

Update 3/23 - LeRoy has upgraded to the Hundie and has an entry to the 65 fo sale.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Harbison 3/15/08

Jason picking his way through the rock garden on Spider Woman.
Monty trying to widen the trail through the rock garden on Spider Woman.
Damon showing how his new Kermit Niner handles the Woman with Spiders.
Clint climbs his way out of Spider Woman.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rattled

Friday was the end to a long work week, and I needed to reward myself with a quality ride. So I gave the road bike a once over and headed South. No real plan just a direction in hopes it would just work it's self into a decent ride. So it's 1pm on a Friday and most of the roads are in good shape as traffic goes. Navigating the back roads of Southern Lexington County. About two hours into the wind or cross wind. Turned around in Swansea and doubled back, hoping to the wind would give me a push home. Now with the tailwind the speed picks up a touch. Traffic was picking up but never nerve racking. Made for a pleasant 3:30 hour (57mi) ride and a great start to the weekend.

Saturday, meet up with Monty, Damon and Clint for an 8am ride at Harbison. Plan was to knock out a 4hr ride. First trail was Lost Creek and our group of four split. The World Cup warm-up Monty & Damon put down was not working for Clint & I. A regrouping at the trail head and back on course we go. We all headed down to Stewartship Trail, Gravel Road Loop and Spider Woman.

This for me is were is ride took a abrupt turn for the worst. I managed to get a touch out of control and lost my front wheel. The wheel slid off the shoulder and tossed me like a rag doll. The only thing I really remember is landing on my face. Stunned I try to stand and immediately have sit back down. Dizzy and confused of what actually happened. My chest was hurting and it was painful to breath.

Luckily I had three good friends around to recall what happened. Monty was on point at the time but Damon was following me and saw every. This is a section of the trail that doubles back on itself around a ditch, and Clint was coming up the other side. He also saw the whole thing. With there recounts of the incident I was able to put the pieces together. Front wheel broke off the shoulder OTB for me. An oak tree stopped the bike not sure how I missed this tree. I landed face first about 8-10ft. from the tree, flipped into a seated position and slid to a stop. All I remember of this is the impact and my neck cracking. You know the kind a popping when you crack a stiff neck or back.

A few minutes pass and I collect myself and slowly make our way down the trail. The rest of the ride was slow for me. Tightness in my chest mostly on my right side and a headache. I figured it was just bruising and to solider on. I managed another hour and a half before the end of the ride. Back at the front lot talking to Monty about the ride, I was looking at my helmet and noticed a crack on the front left. This happened to be the side I remember landing on. The helmet showed other signs of impact with dirt and a green scuff.

Now back at home I had to tell my wife that I crashed and landed on my head. This happens to be the second time in less than a week I've crashed and landed head first. Just last Sunday while riding the railroad tracks looking for an old trail system. My front wheel was kicked sideways and I ran into the rail. OTB and head first into the gravel rail bed. Rattled and scrapped but I was OK.

Worried that this might be a worse crash I alerted her to watch me for a while. Nervous moments for me as ate my lunch a splitting headache and blurred vision on my right side. Contemplated go to the ER, went to Web MD instead. Looking for a home remedy for a concussion. Iced the lump on my forehead and laid down. The headache went on for the rest of the night. Sunday I awoke to a very sore right side and clear vision.

Damage report:
Bruised right hip
Bruised and very sore rib cage
Sore Neck and Back
Sore Right Shoulder
Small Knot on forehead
A cracked Giro E2 helmet



Thursday, March 13, 2008

A New Ride

Yes, another attempt at a new group ride. With the time change and the days are getting longer. I called out to a few folks about a weekly ride in the dirt at Harbison. The front lot was swarming with bikers & hikers at around 5:45, a good sign that the trails were in good shape. I knew Monty was already out on the trail and few others were possibly going to show.

Meet up with Monty out on Spider Woman and rolled back up Midlands Mtn to the front lot. All to see Damon and his new Kermit Green Niner. This was the madien voyage. Kermit is the replacement for Tang that blew off the truck on I-20 2 months ago. So the three of us waited till 6:35 and bolted.

Not sure how I always make into the point position leading the way. I think we hit Fire Break > Gravel Loop > Stewardship > Spider Woman > Crooked Pine > Midlands Mtn > Front Lot. Short ride but it's a start to the weekly attempt of getting friend together to ride. Just think in a month this ride will be in the 2hr range.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Another Night

Yet another night ride in Cola town with some HBW folks. With rain in the forecast for Friday, I had to knock out some quality. My usual commuting buddy had other plans so I was going solo. Made it over to the dam in time to meet 4 others (Paul, Dennis, Manny & Tim). The riverwalk was packed with people. That's what happens when it's 70* in early March.
We started out on the normal route up to Elmwood Cemetary, then to the parking garage on Marion St. From here the fellows gave me the lead. I love dragging these folks around town in the dark. Of course I'm going to hit every dirt/gravel road I can find. Random landmarks USC, Sarge Frye Stadium, Olympia, Olympia Mill, Congaree Riverfront, Cayce Riverfront & West Columbia Riverwalk. Split off from the group and headed over toward some hills. Hit up Westover Acres. So not bad for 2:45~35mi. Good thing because there will be no riding today. Crossing my fingers for more riding this weekend.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Looking for E

"E" being Endurance, a form of fitness I've always enjoyed working on. As of late it's been the hardest form of fitness to acquire. So when the opportunity arises for a long ride accompaned by a fellow rider I leap at the opportunity. Met up with Monty at high noon for a showdown with the road unit.

Weatherman's promise of near 70* with no real mention of the wind. So we headed south towards Monty's hometown of Springfield SC. I know I asked the same question.
Are going to see Homer?
Can we stop by Krusty Burger?
The riding was great, not too many hills just a lot of pedaling. The first 2 hours had a stiff wind from right to left across the road. Neither of us very coherent about drafting. Side by side riding on open farm land. Arrive in the three horse town of Springfield, fill up on h2o.

Back on the road, heading North. Now the real pain is to begin. The brutal cross winds have now changed to head winds. Monty was kind enough to take longer pulls while my slack a$$ tried to draft. The last hour of this ride was brutal, between a leg cramp and a burning saddle. Finally pulling into Monty's house I crash out on the front lawn. Getting in shape sucks. Now I remember why the folks on Biggest Loser are always crying.

Ride Stats:
78 miles, 4 hours
152 av / 182 max HR
3700 calories burned
3 - large bottles water
1 - large bottle of Sustand Energy
2 - Cliff Bars
1 - throbbing leg cramp
1 - case of fire crouch
3 - counties
6+ - small towns
1 - positive feeling that some fitness is coming

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Structure

An article has appeared in the state newspaper about an interest group wanting to start a night ride at Harbison SF.

"Night biking, A treat for adventurous folks Harbison State Forest to give night trail biking a try

Night trail biking isn’t for everyone. You must be very comfortable with your trail-riding skills, have proper equipment and have a legal place to ride. Even if you met the first two criteria, the last one has been a problem in the Midlands, but that could change. Harbison State Forest is testing the waters with a highly structured night trail ride Feb. 20.The Friends of Harbison State Forest is organizing the event in part to gauge the interest in night riding. Only the first 20 qualified riders to register will be allowed to ride, and you must be a member of the friends group to register. (E-mail friendsofhsf@friends ofhsf.org for registration details.) The pilot ride will be used to determine if there is sufficient interest and support to start a night-ride program on the popular trails at the 2,177-acre forest on Broad River Road.
Registration for the pilot ride closes Friday."


Well I'm adventurous but not adventurous enough for a structured group ride at night at HSF. What does "Highly structured" really mean? Is it to be a strict loop of the Firebreak Trail? A true adventure would include a night decent on Spider Woman II. A test to see how well you really know HSF and it's trail system.

A membership to fohf is a must. Well how about a state park pass, the same pass that enables you to ride the trails during normal business hours. This is a test ride to see if the interest is there for weekly night outings. After showing up for several HBW urban night rides, with some 4-15 like minded riders. I'd say YES there is an interest.

My real thoughts, find a suitable night during the week to keep the park open to all night riding (running). Just extend the hours of the park till say 10pm. Peak the interest of fellow trail users with this opportunity to explore the trail in the twilight. With this once a week opportunity available, groups will form on there own. Riders could enjoy the thrill of ripping through the pines in an illuminated train.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Close



Saturday was the series finale of the stxc series. On the bubble of breaking into the top five. It was possible but my competitors had to finish back in the field. Looking around all the lead guys showed. It would be impossible to jump up a spot or two. Main goal for today was to redeem myself from the awful race a week ago. I wanted to win!

Started out fast, between 5 or 6 guys at the front. We opened a large gap on the chasers. I put in several good pulls. Just wanted to contribute to the cause. I believe it was 4 riders by the final ten minutes. With 2 laps to go Timmy floored it. Eric the series leader was letting gaps form and I couldn't take it anymore. A missed opportunity to take second into the woods on the last lap hurt me. A gap formed going into the final single climb.



Timmy was on the gas again and when I finally got out of the woods he was making another turn. "Damn Gotta Go" so I gassed it hoping to close the gap. The final 200 meters, has a short grass climb then a grass approach to a short concrete curve and finish line. Timmy had 15m on me by the climb and by the line he had 13" on me. Yes closed the gap almost, I just couldn't see myself crashing both of us for the win. So I'll settle for 2nd place.

It still was not enough points to help me in the overall. I had a blast and plan to hit all 5 races next year in SS class. Now it's time to switch to endurance mode.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Race#4

Race #4 of the stxc series played out something like this. SS class had some 20+ racerss with a few new faces but the top racers of the field were all ready to go. The race started as usual the Kenda team occupied the front line, all to just get in the way. As for me I just elbowed my way up into 7th place or so for the first few laps. A new face from Brevard College showed how fast a 20 year old college kid can be on a ss bike. Falling early to recover and slide by the top 5 riders and build a led. As for myself, the race lacked something. I've yet to put my finger on it. Still having some allergy problems from this past week. The 29er was creaking really bad and my tire pressure was a touch high. What ever it was I suffered for the full 45 minute race. Pulling up to the leaders all to have it vanish with some pesky lap traffic. Seemed to be a problem every lap or so. So I managed a 5th place.

Next Saturday is the final and it seems a double points race.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Starting 08 Right

This past weekend started off my 2008 race season in Charlotte. The winter stxc series is always super competitive and a great chance to get in quality efforts. With that said, this season I've decided to move from the expert to the singlespeed field. considering my new found passion of riding my ss it seemed to be a no brainer.

Saturday 2 - 23 ss riders start race two of the series in a furry. In normal fashion I get close to the front but not into the wind. Heading into the singletrack in 7th wheel. Emerged from the woods at the end of lap one and surge to the front. Amped to be riding I guess. What ever I was doing out there I quickly opened up a 20 sec. gap. I held onto this led for about 20-25 minutes. By then the excitement and early season fitness caught up with me. Fading back off my pace I'm joined by the 07 series winner and teammate. This is the wheel I've been waiting on, but I can't hold it. Driving to stay within sight of him. Smooth throught the single and finished in third.

Sunday 3 - 19 ss riders start race three of the series. Today's start was much slower, but by lap 3 the pace had picked up and the split happened. I quickly tagged onto the led pack of 6 riders. Sunday's race I had to use my brain over my legs. A steady pace for some 20 minutes, then there were 4 riders. This led pack had a nice gap over the reset of the field. Lap traffic really played a role on the single track climb. The 34x16 was a tough gear to start on the hill. About 15 minutes to go I was gapped bad on this hill and had to make up some ground quick. Closed in and recovered till hearing of two laps to go. This was my call to attack. Into the singletrack smooth lines and no brakes I start opening the gaps I need. One to go still one rider stays close till the next trip through the woods. Emerged from the woods the sole leader. Put one more surge in for good measure and across the line 1st. Wow First Victory for 2008, I hope there will be many more.

Monday, January 28, 2008

FATS Phase III Fundraiser

SORBA-CSRA had a trail building fundraiser this Sunday in the Lick Fork, Modoc, Stevens Creek area. The $$,$$$ will be going directly into the funding, building and completion of Phase III of the Fats trails system. This ride was an interesting connection of several well established trails in the area. Many of which have been open since the 70's.

I remember back in the late 90's when riding for Outspokin' we made weekly trip down to this area. Riding the Modoc, Turkey, Wine & Stevens Creek trails. I was once stung by a Hornet on the old Firetower trail. Requiring an Ambulance evac from the area. Then a 7 hour stay in the local ER for treatment from anaphylaxis shock. Needless to say these trails will always have a special place in my heart.

So Mighty D and I headed West on I-20 for the festivities. A 50 mile mixture of singletrack, gravel & pavement. Starting at Lick Fork Rec area traversing the Edgefield County countryside. The halfway point at Key bridge split Wine and Turkey Creek trails. Several more miles of gravel, then onto some pavement. Finishing up the ride back in on Modoc trail.

This was my longest ride of 2008. Riding my garage project 96er SS with possibly a good (if your in shape) gear of 36x18. If your not in shape (i.e. me) this gear was a bit tall. BrouSSard ran a similar gear and made it look easy. So for me a full rigid SS was a killer and by the end of the ride I was toast.

All good things sometimes abruptly come to an end. The trip home Mighty D's Tnag Orange Niner blew off the truck on I-20 at 77 mph. This sweet ride (pic to the left) didn't stand a chance hit quickly by three or four cars traveling at a high rate of speed. After removing the carnage from the interstate the Niner had meet it's demise. Luckily Mighty D has a SS to fall back onto. Sorry for your loss, that Niner will be missed.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Opener Posponed

January 19 Short Track POSTPONED,Posted 6:15PM 1/18/08

"After watching the forecast on the local channels here in Charlotte, it looks as though we are going to be getting snow accumulation during the day tomorrow. In order to avoid the situation we had 2 years ago where we had to shut down the race in the middle of the event, we are going to postpone the January 19 Winter Short Track Series to another weekend. Meck County Parks and Recreation typically will close the parks during inclement winter weather. This is not a Park by Park decision but a decision made within the management of the Meck County Park System.
The event organizers for the Winter Series have decided its best to postpone the event based on the forecast in order to not inconvenience our race participants. Postponing the race on Friday evening will allow everyone to make other plans, whether it be tonight or tomorrow. We truly hate to postpone on event based on the weather forecast but feel it’s the best thing to do in the current situation.
We are very sorry for any and all inconveniences and hope to kick the series off next weekend on Sunday." Series Promoter

I guess this means there will be some kind of double race weekend, similar to last years series. Glad the series opener was set back for I'm finally getting over this little cold I've had. Hopefully getting back into some routine this week.

Friday, January 18, 2008

2008 Season Opener

Go00 - the season will officially start tomorrow at the winter stxc series. Looking like momma "N" will be serving up a fresh case of shity weather



High chance of cold rain turning to snow by afternoon. Sounds like a total badass way to start the season. As of right now I'm on the fence on go or no go. Early in the week I came down with a tight chest. Out of work Thursday hacking up luggies and watching season 2 of Alias. Now back at work and drinking my first of three daily cups of coffee, I wonder if starting the season with this cold is a good idea.

Monday, January 07, 2008

2008 Lake Loop

With 2008 kicking off one week ago it was time for another running of the annual Lake Loop. I started exploring this loop back in 1999. Taking my first group out in May 1999, back in my Outspokin days with the local crew of roadies. Three years later I found myself hanging with the Harrells Crew. Sparking interest with Paul back in 2001 to call together a group of friends and venture out for a New Years Day Lake Loop.

The loop in its original form was 80 miles around Lake Murray. Mostly starting at the Ballentine DMV heading in a clockwise fashion through Lexington. Heading West traversing the farmlands of Lexington county (my homeplace), making our way to the 391 crossing at Black's Bridge. The loop would head North then East towards the Dreher Island area then into the Town of Chapin. Traverse through Chapin back to the DMV.

Waiting till the last moment I decided to run this year’s route counter clockwise. Having put this ride together some many times in so many ways, I needed something in the 65 miler range. A real task giving the shortest possible route is something like 60 miles. Unfortanley this adds many miles of busy highways and not enough country roads for my taste. So the challenge began to spice this thing up and really put the Toby stamp of approval on it. For those of you who don’t know me or have never ridden with me. The possibility of a dirt section is highly possible. This makes for an interesting approach to a road ride. Always expect the unexpected.

What started in 2001 with 6 friends grew to some 20 riders in 2004. The following years were much the same. Until the 2007 ride when cold rain came into the area that postponed the ride till 2008. This 2008 ride was unexpected, with 10 folks verbally committing to the ride. Then at 9:50 a.m. a head count of 63 riders were ready to head out onto the roads of Richland, Newberry, Saluda and Lexington Counties.

Around 63% of the riders were friends of mine from the past 15 years of cycling in the Columbia area. The remaining 37% were friends of friends. It seems as if this ride has really made a foot hold into the local cycling community. Not sure if it’s by word of mouth or just a lack of group rides in new places. This ride has really got people talking.