Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Night Fights...

The Thursday Night Fast rides have begun, tonight's version being the third so far this season. Big group showed up consisting of some heavy hitters and rolled out from Black Dog Bikes. The ever-slimming James, IronMan Rob, Racin' Ron, Strong Jon, Climbing Doug, Quick Andy, Patricio now known as the Leg Breaker, and myself. We met aerobar Dan, sans aerobars, at the start of Limestone Road. The ride was on and many gauntlets were thrown.

The LegBreaker scaled the Mt Pisgah hill in his big ring, leaving every one with an ever diminishing view of his rear wheel. He wasn't finished with us, as he stayed on the front taking monster pulls. Notice: Watch this kid. Especially this sunday if you are at the Jefferson Cup race. And more so if you are racing with him in Cat 4.

Rob is a big diesel, and the smart spot on the ride was staring at his rear wheel. Dropping into his wake was obvious as it felt like you just drove a VW bug behind a semi. Oh yeah, the dude is Strong up the hills too.

apres Ride was chill, thanks to Jon's beer stash. The spring classics were discussed along with the recent sniper shootings. (freaking idiots out there, be safe). Kevin regaled us with stories of his past travels to Europe. He will be in Flanders at the same time that Sam and I will be. We're going to try and meet up to spin pedals together in the home of spring races.

This is always a fun ride, especially when Shakin at the Station is going on and we roll thru there with our sweaty lycra kits. Gotta love the drunk chicks...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

a week away...

Map of the Ronde and my number plate arrived in the mail today. Only a week to go till I get on the big airplane (aluminum tube) for the trip to Belgium.
Plus my new Cateye Strada computer arrived today from IF. It's mounted (set in kp/h) for the 259 kilometers of the Ronde.

Speaking of the Ronde, head over to the Unholy Rouleur's site for his take on what the spring classics must mean to the locals. And to us, tourists...

Monday, March 17, 2008


I found this video via Greg over at Mud & Cowbells. Sam and I are not going to Belgium only for the ride and the beer. We'll watch the Pros fly over the cobbles and ascend the bergs like angry angels. None of those wispy Spanish and Italian climbers, these are the hard, strong men of the peloton. This is the Tour of Flanders.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It was a good day...

Woke up early, got breakfast and into work early. I got a bunch of stuff done, sent an email to the boss to let him know I'd be leaving early. He replied, "enjoy". Thanks boss. Checked the RunRideRace website for Sunday's results and found that I finished in 8th place. Not bad for having only one long ride in the legs this year. Eleven am rolled up quick, time didn't drag like it can when you know quitting time is early.

IFJeff called from 5 minutes out and by the time I walked out of the door, Jeff was pulling into the lot. A few quick pleasentries and it was off to my house to kit up. Jeff came to town for a gravel road ride and I was chomping at the bit to get on the bike. Jeff rode his CJ with the 'cobble' wheels and I threw my leg over the Planet Cross with a new Reynolds carbon fork. We made a quick stop at the shop to pick up up a map and then we headed south on Middlebrook Ave. to taste some of Augusta County's finest roads.

42 miles and we had less than 10 cars pass us on the roads. There was nothing but beautiful weather ahead of us with the sun shining down and warming our legs as we motored up the hills. After a few miles it was a right turn onto gravel for today's adventure. The loop we took has 25 or 30 miles (plus/minus) of the sweetest gravel roads. Thank you James, as he is the author of the loop. Some deep, full-on power sections and then smooth roller coaster gravel pitches, it doesn't get much better. This great ride, as they all do, had to come to an end. We made our way to Baja Bean for some beer and good tex-mex.

After Jeff and I parted ways, I headed to the CSPDC offices and attended this month's meeting of the Regional Bike-Ped meeting. We listened to Allen of BikeVirginia's presentation. The chairwoman is going to help get the club in touch with the right person to help move the Berry Farm project along. I talked to Thomas about another trail project and he gave me some good information on how to deal with the local parks and rec. Yeah, more trails in the valley.

Made it home to pick up the wife and Parker and we were off to dinner with friends. We had a wonderful dinner with Andy and Kelly, and Parker had fun sharing dinner and toys with Gillian. Not wanting this time with our friends to end, we went to Klines for ice cream. Parker and Gillian had a blast running and playing, so much fun, they neglected their ice cream. Don't worry Andy and I didn't let it go to waste.

Yeah, it was a good day...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Camp Hilbert...

Bike: new BB, trued wheel, lubed, cleaned, fresh stans; Check
Clothes: helmet, jersey/shorts, vest, arm/leg warmers, gloves; Check
Nutrition: cytomax, bananas, chips, sandwiches, water; Check
Ride: meet at 6:30, roll at 6:45; Check
Alarm: set at 5:45; Check
Daylight Savings Time, d'oh

So the alarm went off at 5:45 but the time on the cable box showed 6:45am. Damn. A quick call to James and he was on his way to pick me up. Damn, Damn. Luckily, I had set everything out the night before ,so we weren't too late getting on the road. Then a quick stop at Dunkin' Donuts and we were on our way. I wasn't the only person that was an hour behind. Jon was behind us but quickly made up time on I64 in his A4.

Rolling into Camp Hilbert we were confronted with a full parking lot so we dumped all the gear while Joe and James parked. A quick trip to the blue room and I was ready to set up our pit. James brought his tent and I brought the tailgating table. We had a sweet spot and a solid setup, maybe not as nice as the Bike Factory team trailer, but we try. We really do try. The line for registration was huge, but we made it through in time. Jon manned up and signed up for the Enduro with James and I. Joe was the sane one in our group and raced in the singlespeed class.

Did I mention it was cold? We rolled to the start and got word that the race would start about 15 minutes late to accommodate the long registration line. This gave me a chance to catch up with my friends and shiver. I've said it before, Virginia has a great cycling scene.

I lined up to the rear of the big Enduro group and took off in an easy gear once the horn blew. It's a long race and I was using it to get ready for the Flanders trip, no need to rub elbows in the first quarter mile. Here's what I remember of the race:

1st Lap: Mid pack start, felt like the rear wheel was soft, bottomed out on some roots, I pumped the mud tire up to the normal pressure before the race, oh yeah it's a skinny low volume tire, need more air, trees down I guess they did get wind, rode in a group for a while till they started stacking it up on the whoops, time to move up, started passing, saw Joe along the trail, yelled I needed a pump, rolled through the crater section and pulled into our pit pumped the tire and was back in it.

2nd Lap: Turned it up a bit and started passing more people, felt good, no bobbles, my focus stayed on the ribbon of dirt weaving in and around the trees, this trail is fun

3rd Lap: Started getting warm, still felt good and smooth on the trail, worked on my stop in my head playing out exactly what I needed, rolled in, dropped my vest and bottle, picked another up and was back on the bike

4th Lap: still felt good, was still focused on the dirt, the trail really firmed up nice, turns developed nice berms, no more downed trees, two mud spots, but the mud tire on the rear hooked up now that there was some air in it

5th Lap: felt good, but hungry, the drivetrain sounded dry, drained the bottle, worked on my third stop in my head and pulled in to see Mr Horvath at the tent, leapt his bike, grabbed some chain lube, changed gloves, ate a gel, chugged some Coke, grabbed a peanut butter 'n jelly sandwich and a bottle, then back on the bike

6th Lap: wow, I still had legs moving under me, yep I was surprised, still moving forward on the trail, fun fun trail

7th Lap: James came up and we rolled this lap together, chit chatting, he was railing the twisties and bombing the downhills, i heard a 'damn' or something, soft pedaled, James was back on my wheel, damn rear wheel seeking sticks but he fixed it, he is a mechanic, rolled up on Joe, said Hi, didn't hear James behind me

8th Lap: yeah this hurt, last lap, nothing but a parade lap, rolled in at 5 and a half hours, slow lap

post race: Talked to Jeff and Tom, then back to the pit for a banana. But there were none left, damn vultures ate all the bananas, at least they left a Coke for me, but some funny guy shook it up for me. Yep, I've got some good friends. Luckily, they didn't find the stash of pringles and a really Good Friend gave me a banana, Thanks Joe. Refueled, packed up and it was back on the road.

It was a great ride with some great friends. It was good to hear people cheering me on when I rolled through the finish area. Thanks. First time I've done an endurance mountain bike race. Might have to do another. I even entertained the thought while on the trail of tackling the SM100 this year. Especially when Mr Horvath said this Enduro race was harder then the 100. At least I think it was him, I was kinda busy shoveling food into my pie hole at the time. It's a month or so after the last XTERRA race. Maybe.

(Thanks honey for the kitchen pass for the race)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

quick hit post...

  • Did a big ride with James and the new kid on the block, Matt "verMonty Python". Big Climbs. Little North Mountain (little my butt), Great North Mountain x2. Troxel Gap, Hite Hollow, and Old Parkersburg Turnpike were the gravel road climbs. Even found some snow on the descent to Deerfield.

  • Hitting the first Camp Hilbert race this Sunday. Going big with the Enduro (5 hour) event. Big crew is showing up for this race. James, Old Man Joe, Matt, maybe more from Staunton, plus plenty of CAMBC and Bike Factory folks. My teammate, IFJeff will be there going for a repeat of the series Expert Vet win. Gwadzilla may even show up.
  • The Queen City Cycling Club is back up and running, second meeting of the year was tonight. Main topics were money, membership and the upcoming Queen City Century 2.0 on May 18 (mark your calendar)
  • Thursday Night Fast Rides will be starting next week, on Thursday (duh) the 13th, riding at 5:30. Meet behind Black Dog Bikes. Come out and help put the hurt on Patricio, the bambino.
  • Wednesday Night Social Rides start next week as well. Looks like the boss will be attending these rides. It's about time I gave her a kitchen pass, so she can ride. 5:30 and leaving from Black Dog Bikes.
  • Weight, plateaued at 158. Still working at it.
  • Sounds like IFJeff will be making a trip to the Valley. We'll hit some gravel roads on a big ride. Gotta get the undercarriage used to riding on rough roads. Gravel, cobbles, Tour of Flanders is a month away.
  • Bought a new car, traded the old 'ru in on newer Subaru. Upgraded to an Outback. Just need a new bike rack and stereo to plug the iPod into and it'll be ready for road trips to races.

That's about it, thanks for reading. See ya at Hilbert...