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


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 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


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 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.