Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Trail News...

The valley is home to an obscene amount of stellar trails, one of IMBA's Epics is a short drive away. But it's a drive, and there is something to being able to roll to a local park and ride trails. So our local bike club built a trail at Montgomery Hall Park. And we plan on building more this winter.

On Monday, Mindi Westhoff of the NewsLeader met James, Patricio, Keith and myself at the park to do a story on our trail project. The article ran today, Front Page, w00t. It even had a picture of James and I, above the fold and we remembered to smile. Cause smiling and mountain biking are like peas and carrots.

here's the article. Let me know if you want to ride, or help build more trail later this year.

Thanks to Staunton's Parks and Recreation for letting us construct trails and thanks to Mindi for the article.

and thanks to Patrick and James for getting this started.

now if we could just think of a name for it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

bicycle accommodations...

Staunton will soon finish the widening of Churchville Ave from Augusta Street to Albemarle Street. This project will widen this stretch of road from 2 lanes to 3 with a center turn lane and is the main thoroughfare between Gypsy Hill Park and downtown Staunton. VDOT will be applying for federal funding to pay for this project. This project has been in the planning stages for a number of years. The project was moving forward, they buried the conduits for utilities and cleared land for the widening. Then, from what I read/heard, the bids that came in to complete the project were way over budget so the project has languished. Unfortunately, when this project was scoped, bicycle accommodations were not part of the plan. Since that time, VDOT has changed its guidelines and bicycle accommodations have to be recognized. With this new push to acquire funding, the project has to have a new environmental review. The comment period ended last Friday (7/18) but you can still send in an email. I didn't hear about the comment period myself until last Thursday and I did get an email in on Friday.

If you would like to send an email, the address is or via post:
Bill Jones (contact)
VDOT Staunton District Office-Environmenta l Section
P.O. Box 2249
Staunton, VA 24401

What to say?
Bicycle Lanes are needed on this road.

Friday, July 18, 2008

EX2 35-39 Age Group Podium

Originally uploaded by ex2adventures
On the podium with my sleepy and fidgety training partner.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A game...

The A game was brought out for my A race. All three legs of the EX2 off road triathlon were solid. The swim, the ride and the run. The decision to scale back the number of races was the right one to make earlier this year. I have had enough racing in my legs to build me up for this race, but never felt overtrained. The great training plan from Jeff at Allez Training Systems had me at peak performance for this race.

I lined up in the second row at the start and was right in the thick of the scrum at the start. Just like Frazz says, it's Australian Rules football in a washing machine. About 50 meters in, I took a foot to my face and my left goggle filled with water. I swam a few hundred meters with one eye closed, but was in the pack so I didn't worry about sighting. After clearing my goggles, I was back in the pack, feeling great which is a completely novel experience for me in the swim after 3 years of tris. This swim is a two lapper and as I was running over the peninsula to start the second lap, Rich a racer I met here last year complimented me on my swimming. He said that I must have been swimming a lot, yep I have, Thanks Connie. Out of the water after the second lap, it was a short sprint to the bike and the fun trails of Rocky Gap State Park.

The bike leg starts with a short section of road and then the rocky trail. The bike was solid, I never went into the red zone, consciously thinking that I needed to be steady and not go into the pain cave. Only a few people came around me on the bike, and I passed a bunch of people on the trails. On the back side of the second lap I came up on John, who I've raced with in a bunch of races. He's always fun to race with, as we are closely matched. He came around me on the road section but I made it around him shortly after that. I did have some trouble with lapped traffic on the end of the second lap. I was caught behind a girl and a guy on the narrow single track and told them I would like to get around them. A little ways down the trail the girl bobbles and stops off of the trail and the guy stops right in front of me. "God Damn", and he says he would appreciate it if I wouldn't cuss. I shrug it off and motor on to transition 2. Coming out of T2, John and I are together and we pass a few guys. I tell him about the easily offended chap and he said he heard it and laughed. I told him that the guy got off easy, because as an ex-Marine I could've dropped a bunch of F-bombs. John then lets me know he's also a former Marine, yeah that's why we get along. Ooh Rah Devil Dog.

So we shuffle along the run leg, just pacing each other. John fell back a bit after the drink station at the camp ground. After Evitt's Revenge the course drops you down into a rocky technical trail. This was the section that caused me a host of trouble last year with leg cramps. I backed off a bit here, watching my foot placement and before long I was at the bottom. Up the other side to the bouldering section, it has to be seen to be appreciated. Climbing up through the rocks, I hear John behind me. Shawn T is at the top and I asked him where Denelle was and he said she's a few minutes behind. I wanted to stay in front of her so she wouldn't get trash talking rights after this race. Shawn was all over the course and gave me a bunch of encouragement, Thanks bro. John came around me right before the road section and gave me a great pace to finish the race with. I finished 5 minutes better than last year. If I keep this up, I may win this race in 12 or 13 years. :-)

After the race, I cleaned up and stowed my gear. When I checked the results, I had to do a double take. My name was in fourth place in the competitive 35-39 age group. Huh, wow. I found Holly and Parker and told her we would have to hang around for a while because I had made the podium. And to add the icing to the cake, John came in 3rd in the 40-44 age group and Denelle won her age group, Great Job.

After this race last year, I knew this one would be the one I would focus on this year. I also wanted to make this trip a family race and have Holly and Parker there with me. It was awesome to hear them cheering for me and Parker was spreading the IF Love in his Independent Fabrication jersey. He was on the podium with me. He is my training partner. Every time a hill looks steep to me in a race, I always think to myself that it's easier than pushing Parker in the BOB up Staunton's hills.

Thanks to Jeff at Allez Training Systems, Independent Fabrication and for the best bikes and support, Connie for all the swim help, Jon with The North Face, the guys from the Thursday Night Augusta County World Championship ride for pushing me and the encouragment and mostly I couldn't have done this without all the love and support of my wife and son. Thank you Holly and Parker.

I'll try to find some photos, sorry we left the camera at home.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

enduro James...

Nice ride at Hilbert Race #3. Way to go James!!!

We could read about it if he would update his blog.

A Race...

My A race for the season is this weekend at Rocky Gap State Park. It'll be my second time on this course, so hopefully I won't have a repeat of last year's extra mileage from a missed turn. The 1200m swim is followed by 14 miles of mountain bike, with some pavement (time trial sections). Nothing too technical on the bike, but there are a few solid rock gardens that the ti Deluxe will eat up, not to mention Evitt's Revenge hill. It's a two lap course so I have a bit of concern on the second lap with having to deal with lapped traffic on the one narrow single track area. I'll just be polite until I shouldn't be polite. Most of the racers know to cede the line when another racer comes up from behind. So far this year I haven't had any issues, and I hope that continues.

The run uses some of the bike course until it hits the narrow and most technical sections on the course. This is a great run course, grass, trail, some pavement and a hand over fist bouldering section. Then it is a short trail to about a mile on the pavement and then it's back to the finish. I'm planning on taking time off of my result from last year. I know the course, I'm better trained, rested, and motivated to do well. Plus, Holly and Parker will be there with me. If I am alone in the finishing chute, Parker will get his first XTERRA finish. If someone is trying to sprint me to the line, well daddy's gotta do what he does. He will of course be pimping the IF Jersey that Jon Bruno sent him last year. Looks like it'll just be Parker and I spreading the IF Love as I haven't heard from Steve if he's racing.

I wonder if Denelle is racing... Maybe she's scared...(jk) She's been rocking the XTERRA and mountain bike races this year. Hope to see her, Shawn and the Bike Factory crew at EX2.

Wish me well, I'll need some postive energy directed to western Maryland on Sunday morning.

Have a great day and thanks for reading.

Monday, July 07, 2008

If you ride a triumph?

Originally uploaded by ngc
you should have a kilt...

my bro Neil rocking the kilt and the Triumph...

Friday, July 04, 2008

quick hits...

- ran a 5k this morning with Parker. He didn't actually run, but was chaffeured around the course in his BOB jogger. We took almost 2 minutes off of our time from last year. The legs are ready for next weekend's A race.

-the trails at Montgomery Hall Park are expanding. Queen City Cycling Club has been helping a local Boy Scout on his Eagle Scout project. We completed a 1.25 mile trail at the park that is all single track. The city Parks and Recreation department brought in a convict labor crew for two days to chainsaw and bench. And they built a rock wall. That was a huge help. The new trail adds to the 1 mile already in the park, with plenty of land available for more trails. These new trails will be built this winter as soon as cyclocross season ends.

-training has been hit or miss this week as family obligations have taken precedence. I feel strong so I'm not too worried about it.

-did a open water swim with Keith on Monday at Todd Lake. It was nice not to have to turn at a wall every 25 meters and stare at a black line for 45 minutes. It was an early morning as we met at 6am to swim. It was tough to get up at 5, because...

-went to C'ville to see Modest Mouse on Sunday night with Brian. Damn that was a great show. Isaac Brock crushed it and I got to hear/see Johnny Marr on the guitar. WOW it was incredible, high energy show, plus the copious amounts of Starr Hill Ale were delicious. yeah yeah this is a cycling blog not a music blog, but I did see someone with a bicycle tattoo so that counts.