Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In the woods...

Hmmm...This year I had decided to play more in the woods, but Mutha Nature, I'm convinced, hates MTBer's...So at this point I have only lined up once, sad I know!!!

When I started riding, my first bike was a mountain bike. The first few months were spent on bike paths and on the road. Then a friend of mine suggested going out to Minor Park and check out the trails there...that was all it took to get me hooked on riding in the woods!!

From that point on me and my riding buddies were in the woods. It's funny as I think back to those days, we would ride for an hour and just be flat out toast when we were done. As we progressed the rides got faster and the point where we would be wheel to wheel inches apart going as fast as we could go on every stretch of single track we rode. Most of the time it wasn't a problem hammering down the trails this way...most of the time...

One instance stands out to me...this trail at Minor is an old railroad bed and is slightly canted downhill, about a mile long and straight. Big ringing this section at 20mph+ is easy!!!

This day we had been riding for quite a while and were on the return trip back to the trail head. Once we got on this trail the speed went up to at least 20mph probably more...and in usual fashion we were wheel to wheel on semi loose single track trying to go faster!!!

About a 1/4 of a mile into this, a trail intersects the one we're on and there's a small know we jumped it!!!! That's just the way it is...speed and a small jump what could go wrong???

As this freight train rolled on as fast as we could go, rider number 1 hits the jump a little sideways and flies to the side of the trail, rider number 2 was over lapped a bit and grabs 2 fists full of stoppers, touches rider 1's wheel, starts to wad it up in front guessed course I was 2 inches away from his wheel, so I grab as much brake as my hands can hold....

Rider 1 recovers and rides away, rider 2 ends up in the weeds on the ground, and I ended up in the weeds on the ground with a toasted front add insult to injury I had to walk out...

Ah yes...the good old I miss it!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's over...

Let the withdrawal begin...The 3 week ass kickin session known as the Tour de France is over... : (

If the powers that be weren't REDNECKS, we would be salivating at the fact the Vuelta a Espana is set to start in September!! Since they are REDNECKS...We get no such love!!! If you like watching bull riding you're golden...I have to admit seeing a dumb ass get on a 1200 pound bull that's pissed off and then get thrown, dragged, and stomped makes me laugh!!!

Anyway...we will have to wait another year...365 see the greatest bike race on the planet...THAT'S FREAKIN FOREVER!!!!

I think it was a good race, and I also think that Alberto Contador is a PUNK ASS BITCH!!! Don't get me wrong, he's a great rider, but he had to steal time from the man because he knew he couldn't deliver the goods!!!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


So...This is about the race I won...again...not to brag or anything like that!!

As I have said before, I found out about that race and decided to train specifically for it. In that 2 month span I'm pretty sure I started this blog. Anyway...I started paying attention to the effort I was putting in out on the bike, and started sharing this with anyone that cares to read this.

Fast forward a few weeks and the race is pretty much all I think about when I'm at work or out on the bike...I was visualizing how I wanted it to go down...

The race comes and goes, if you read this you know how it went...Anyhoo, a few days after the race I went back and looked at what I had written in the days and weeks leading up to the race, and was pretty much surprised at what I read!!!

Of the 5 or 6 entries that have anything to do with this race, there is one that is more or less word for word on how the race went down...The only things that aren't accurate are the wind direction, which was out of the east...and that's just weird considering it was 96 degrees that day and usually means a south wind...The other thing was the small group of guys that I went up the road with...they were my teammates!!!

After I read this, I was amazed at how accurate it was. I sat there for a few minutes and thought about how much time I had spent thinking about this race and playing it out in my head and was kinda shocked. For at least 3 or 4 days, probably more, while I was at work, I thought a lot about this race!!

I have a friend that has told me that visualization works and I have never put much thought into it up until now...I'm pretty sure it WORKS!!!

If you are out there training everyday for a specific race and wonder what else you can do...See yourself racing...See yourself going as hard as you can, think about how you want it to happen and believe in what you see!!!

I don't know if it was a fluke or what, but if I pick another race that I want to do well at, I can assure you that I will visualize how it's going to happen!!!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Student of the game

I was thinking about mountain biking the other day, and how much racing in the woods I used to do...I want to do more but Mutha Nature hates mountain bikers!!!

Anyhoo, back in the day when me and my hommies were chasing MTB championship points all over Missouri, we were students of the game!!! By that I mean we knew everything there was to know about our bikes, what tires to use when, the proper tire pressure for the course, how much everything weighed, and the right suspension set up!!

The thing that I think made the most difference in our game planning, was going to the venue the day before and doing an inspection lap of the race course.

We would go out and just ride the course, which had a few benefits, but the main one was learning the fast line and alternate lines through the technical sections. In my experience this generally paid off, especially early in a race when the bottlenecks occurred.

The one instance that I know it paid off for me, was a race at Landahl Park. I went out to ride the course and ended up going alone which is no big deal. As I rode that day I looked at every section I thought I might have problems with from going into and riding out of angles.

There was one section I remember clearly...It was a short climb, not too steep, but it had lots of big the top you made a right turn and it dropped away into a rock garden of good sized rocks. The key to this section was to make it up the short climb before this and you will put time on anyone who doesn't clean this section. So I stopped and found the good line up it, and tried to clear it twice with no luck. I thought to myself oh well it would probably be faster to run anyway. So I finish the lap confident with what I learned on my inspection of the course.

On to the race...GO, were off, up the first climb and a small group of 3 ride away, and i'm at the front of the rest. We get out of the first section of single track and I pin it WFO to get across...YEA I made it!! so we keep hammering and hit the next section of single track, there are 4 of us now.

Fast forward a bit...the guy that's on the front tells us that his front derailleur is broke so he will pull out of the way when we get to the next climb. Down to 3 of us. We keep it on kill for the next 3 or 4 miles and shuck the number 3 guy. Down to 2. Racing along and the guy in front of me rides away and i'm all alone now...I think to myself...Great...2nd place isn't so bad. So I keep riding what I thought was a good pace and sure enough I run him down. I get to his wheel and follow for a while, he hits a stick and flips it up into his rear wheel...I say to him...dude you got a soon as I say this it locks up his rear wheel, around I go and put the hammer down to lead the 1st lap.

Lap number 2 was uneventful...I get to the section I described earlier, and fly up it like it was flat, make the turn and roll down the rock garden and on to the smooth stuff, put it on kill again, and won the race by over 3 minutes!!!

I'm pretty sure that being a student of the game went a long way in that victory!!!

That win is the one I hold the highest over all of my wins!!!

So needless to say, knowing as much as possible about any battle you are about participate in, is a huge advantage!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tour of Lawrence

July 4th I decided to line up in downtown Lawrence, I knew going in it was going to be a fast race..I was right!!! The course had 8 turns, nice and wide, with good pavement...for the most part.

On to the race...Let's start with the wind...It had been blowing out of the southwest all day, which if it had stayed that way the race might have been a little easier, but NOOOOOOooooo Mutha Nature decided to flip it to out of the northwest about 15 minutes before the race...not a bad thing, it meant headwind on the uphill section and tailwind on the start/finish straight. It would have been nice rolling downhill into a headwind and hammering uphill with a tailwind...oh well...

The course is open for inspection and we start riding the course and quickly realize that it will be a very fast race with a blistering fast finish...downhill with a tailwind!!! At about 7 minutes til 4:00, the race started at 4:00 by the way, I realize that I am a wee bit hungry and hadn't gulped the hammergel that I should have ingested 30 minutes ago!!! So I hammer back to the car, and eat it up yum!!!

By the time I get to the start line they are in the middle of the racers about cutting it close!!! So I weasel into line and try to calm down before the race, I look down at my heart rate and it's 155, it was at that point that I started to TRY and relax!!! They call us to the line, tell us it's going to be a 40 minute race with 3 prime laps.

GO!!! For the first time in I don't know how long I miss my pedal TWICE!!! Not a good start...I finally get my foot on and I'm mad as hell!!! I grab 3 gears and hammer up the outside of the race and get to the front. Ahhh that's better...I sit in about 5 riders from the front for a minute to recover a bit, then go to the front and hammer it to try and shuck as many riders as possible, after all...smaller field...better chance...right...right!!!

We had been racing along for about 5 laps, and the first prime is called, the pace is lifted, shortly after and this huge behemoth of a rider attacks with a half a lap to the finish line and sticks it!! I hope it was worth it, because i'm pretty sure he went out of the back shortly after!!!

We've been racing along for about 20 minutes, and an SKC racer attacks at a time that the field was rolling along fairly slow...I'm sitting pretty close to the front and think to myself he looks strong I should go to him, and launch out of the pack and proceed to ride across the gap, fortunately he see me and slows up a bit, which is a totally classy move!!! I get across the gap on the hardest part of the course, uphill into a headwind...can you say DUMB ASS!!! Anyhoo i'm on his wheel and say to him I need a minute and i'll work, to that he says OK...again another classy move!!!

At this point he pulls for another 1/4 of a lap and I come around on the downhill tail wind section and pin it at 31 mph to increase our gap. Our gap increased to 10 seconds, at this point i'm hoping that the fairly large group of SKC riders and my fellow Bicycle Shack hommies are on the front of the main field slowing it down!! My teammates say they went to the front...I never looked back to see, even if I had I wouldn't have been able to see, due to the BLINDING PAIN I was in!!!

For 4 laps it's just the 2 of us and it was by far the most pain I have been in for a looooooong time!!! About half way through our 4th lap off of the front the field has cut down our lead a bit and a rider comes across, I look back and think SWEET!!! I take another pull and SKC pulls through guy doesn't come through, so I go through again followed by SKC and new guy pulls through. This lasts about 2 rotations and he stops again, at this point another rider joins us and I pull through 1 more time followed by SKC, and team Flying Monkey...I wave through new guy and he looks at me, hesitates and then goes by so hard that none of us can follow...This guy is a DUMB ASS!!!!!

At this point the field is on top of us, and we reintegrate...I drift back about 15 spots to recover and punch the gas again to get close to the front. We race on and the 2nd prime goes by and we keep racing. The 3rd prime is announced and a half a lap later my teammate attacks and 2 other rides go with...They get a gap and proceed to keep going after the prime. I have another teammate on the front of the pack, and I think to myself sweet he's going to slow down and I will join him on the front to help, at this point I was 5 riders back, and all of the sudden I see him put his head down and start hammering...WHAT THE FUCK!!!!! I yell at him but he can't hear me and he starts to drag the field up to the break...I was MAD AS HELL at this point!!! Fortunately him and 2 other riders create a small gap and the 2 riders in front of me have riders up the road.

At this point one of the riders in front of me starts hammering, and I yell at him...SLOW DOWN DUMB ASS YOU HAVE A RIDER UP THE ROAD!!!! Surprisingly it worked...we slowed the field for about 1/3rd of a lap and it swarmed around us at the first opportunity.

3 laps to go I'm working way too hard on the easy part and trying to recover on the hard part...Thankfully I realize this and sit in close to the front to recover...going into the last lap i'm sitting about 20th, My teammate goes to the front and proceeds to pin it at 28mph for the entire lap including the up hill head wind section to string it out and it works!!

We get to the top of the hill and start heading towards home and I move up a few spots, we're flying at this point...about 30ish, on to the last turn we lean into that one at 28mph+ I grab a handful of gears and start my sprint I pick off a few guys, grab 2 more gears pass a couple more and it's over...I count the riders in front of me and I nail down 15th...out of 60.

I had a good race, the only thing I would have done different would be to make sure I was closer to the front going into the last turn...closer than 20th more like 10th or better!!!

That's racing...Here are some of my computer numbers...We averaged 25.5 mph, I averaged 190 bpm heart rate for 43 minutes, and maxed at 200 bpm on the finish sprint at 39 mph!! Like I said it was PAINFUL!!!

The Tour of KC is next in about a month...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Racing racing racing...

It's official, I'm lining up in Lawrence this Saturday...Should be a good race, and it won't be HELL HOT!!!! Just now I got a touch of the race nerves thinking about it!! It makes me giddy...TEEHEE!!!

I'll go out for an easy spin tomorrow, then spin my legs out on the trainer on Saturday morning, then blast down the highway to Larry town at 2:00 to race a 4:00!!!

Race recap on Sunday!!!