Friday, August 28, 2009

The end...

It's hard to believe that it's the end of August already...What a year it's been so far!!! Rolling into September means the end of another season is rapidly approaching, which kinda sucks...mostly due to the days getting shorter and the cold...oh happy days the cold is coming back...woo.

Back in the day when I raced a ton in the woods, the end of the season couldn't get here fast enough...MTB season is crazy long!!! I kept a journal one season and leading up to the last race of the year at Snow Creek, which was in the first week of November, and the season started at the end of February!!! I was totally burned out and just going through the motions so I would have a decent race, this year Mutha Nature didn't care to much for MTBers and it rained like it was time build an ark!!! That pretty much ended my season because racing up and down BIG ASS HILLS in the mud SUCKS!!! The last entry into my journal said "IT RAINED...THANK GOD IT'S F**KING OVER"!!! for me is for the most part finished!!! I didn't race as much as I wanted to but I did have a good season with good results overall!!

As the days get shorter, crit racing turns into cross racing. I plan on doing a few of these races, mostly because it's fun and I will be racing my MTB!!! That's right I'm lining up on the Truth...I've done it before and had a good time!!! This time I have better fitness and my goal last time was to do a wheelie as I pass someone during the race...I did the wheelie...but my fitness was not up to snuff and didn't have the umph to go blazing by anyone on one wheel...

This year I might just irritate a roadie or two cuz I'm bringing good fitness into the cross season!!! ;) The main goal still remains, and that is to go blazing by at least one poor roadie on one wheel!!! Talk about crushed ego!!! The other goal is to have fun...let's face it, it's on the dirt, I have mad ninja handling skeelz and most roadies don't have any off road skills...

With all of that being said, a decent result or two would be icing on the cake, making it even better would be the fact that I was blasting around on my Truth doing wheelies and cool feet up brake slides into the turns, having a KICK ASS TIME!!!! I'm not setting out to try and win or anything like that just to have fun and let the MTB'er in me shine brightly like back inthe day!!!

Hmmmm.....if I didn't know any better I would think that I'm a little stoked about lining up again!!! The end of the season...

So there you go...keep on riding until Ullr the god of snow says ride the trainer, get in the woods if it ever dries out again, drink more beers, and just have fun until it's time to train again...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rapture in Misery...part 2

Well...another 6 hour 2 man race has come and gone...and the dirt gods smiled on my team ever so brightly!!!

Let me say this first...A 6 hour race is a LONG FREAKIN DAY!!!! My day started at 6am, the morning ritual and load up the stuff and out the door by 8:15. Arrive at teammates house, unload and reload, hit the road to Crowder State Park...2 hours northeast.

We arrive at the venue and head straight to sign up, sign up done, back to the war wagon to set up our pit for the ensuing 6 hour melee, pit set up, time for the racers this point it's 11:30 and the race starts at noon. The racers meeting drags on and on and ON!!! Now I'm starting to freak out a little, because I am NOWHERE EVEN CLOSE TO BEING READY TO RACE, AND I'M GOING OUT ON THE FIRST LAP!!!!!!!

So I duck out of the meeting and haul ass back to the pit, change into riding clothes...good thing there wasn't anyone around cuz I didn't cover up at all!!! I was in a HUGE RUSH!!! Put the number on the Truth, and head to the staging area to park my woods rocket, and head to the start line for the Le Mans start...which was 5 minutes later.

My warm up consisted of me riding from our pit to the staging area a grand total of 1/4 mile...The shortest warm up for me for a MTB race EVER!!!!!

On to the race...The start is a Le Mans style...meaning a short run of about 100 yards or so. This one we had to run up a wide rocky trail out onto a flat grassy area to where the bikes were staged. Fortunately I found a tree to lean my bike against that was as close to the start line as you could get, this was a good thing!!!

The course was a 9.1 mile loop with one gnarly section of rocks, which I didn't think it was that bad but anyway, two big climbs that would pretty much suck ass later in the race...I was right on that!!! Lots of fast flowing single track, some screaming fast descents, and a long grinder of a climb!!! Overall it was a good track, it kinda catered to the roadies meaning there wasn't very much technical riding...and those of us that have MAD HANDLING SKEELZ could've benefited from more gnarly sections!!!

Go!!! A mass of loonies is off and running, I grab my bike and head off to the course...I don't know how far back I was from the first rider on the trail, but I'm pretty sure that I was in the top 20.

The first lap rolls by and I come into the transition area and hand off to my teammate and at this point we're in 2nd place 45 seconds back. So I roll to our pit and take a break, refuel, check the bike, get cleaned up, and rest for about 15 minutes after all of that, then it's time to head back to the transition area and wait...

About 5 minutes rolls by and here comes my hommie, I grab the baton and off I go into the woods again. At this point in the race you really can't tell who, by looking at people, your competition is. My second lap rolls by and I crank out a lap 30 seconds faster than the first!!! Into the transition for the hand off and away goes the teammate still in 2nd.

Back to the pit, do the pit ritual and head back to the transition...The hand off is made and away I go for my third lap, now in 4th, hommie got passed some where out on the course...At this point I know who our competition is. So I go hammering along and as I see a rider I make them my carrot. Eventually I see my competition about 3.5 miles into my lap and I put him in the crosshairs, run him down and put it on kill to finish my lap 2 minutes ahead of him and put us back into 3rd!!! At the transition I tell my teammate to not make me have to chase that guy again!!!

Off he goes for his third lap. I go do the pit ritual and head back and wait...he comes in and we are now in 2nd going into my last lap, I grab the baton and head out going as hard as I can possibly go to get as far away from the transition as possible thinking the whole time I gotta get out of sight!!! Out of sight, out of mind...right?!?! In doing this I came to the rock section and bombed it faster than I had all day, I didn't even touch the brakes!!! On I go like my life depended on it. At one point on the course you are out in the open riding across a pond dam, I get to this part and pin it to get across as fast as I can...again...out of sight out of mind!!!

I look back right before I head back into the woods and see no one...yea a small victory at this point. I start this climb and both legs start to cramp at the bottom and I'm like WTF!!! NOT NOW!!! So I keep going and rub them out while I climb...I get to the top and the cramps have gone away, So I punch it and hammer on. Eventually this part of the course winds around and spits you back out on the dam, I get there and beat myself BLIND to get across without being seen...success!!!

So I race on and try to go fast and stay consistent. At about 2.5 miles to go I'm suffering badly and I feel a HUGE BONK coming on quickly and the last long grinder of a climb is about 1/4 of a mile I freak out a little because I don't know how far behind third is and if I bonk it's OVER!!! So I grab my gel flask that has my tried and true strawberry-banana power gel in it and gulp down as much as I can, then wash it down with as much carbo drink as I can take!!!

I get to the climb and make it up the first steep section and spin up my speed and try to recover on this flat part that took about 2 minutes to traverse. By the time I hit the first switchback the bonk was gone and I kicked it in again!!!

I finish my last lap and hand off to my hommie and told him to bring it home!!! I wait for third to come in and it's 5 minutes later, so I gave my hommie a 5 minute lead going into his last lap...I think to myself hopefully it's enough!!!

Back to the pit to get cleaned up and get some real food and wait!!!

I'm sitting at the transition waiting and shoveling food in my face like I haven't eaten in days, and about 20 minutes teammate comes rolling in and we nail down 2nd place!!!

No bad considering we were in 4th at one point. Cranking out some good laps and a bit of misfortune by another team paid off!!!

Here are some numbers from the race...36.4 miles at an average of 11.3 mph. I had a max speed of 26.9 mph. I spent 30 minutes and change over 190 bpm, maxed at 198 bpm, averaged 181 bpm for the entire race, and burned 3398 calories for 3 hours and 48 minutes of ride time!!

As I write this, I am flat out SMOKED!!! Racing on the road is hard, but racing in the woods waaaaaaay more difficult!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rapture in Misery...

The title pretty much speaks for itself!! The Rapture in Misery is a 6/12 hour MTB race, a race that I have participated in twice.

The first melee was of course the 12 hour...I competed in this race on a 3 man team. We had no expectations going in to this race, and we ended up on the podium, 3rd overall in the Supa-fast (expert) class. Not bad for some 12 hour rookies!!!

The second incarnation of this race was a 6 hour 2 man team...I chose the 6 hour for a variety of reasons. Mainly because we couldn't find a third to race with...Gotta have standards!!! One more reason is doing a 12 hour race is about the hardest race I have ever been a part of...hence 6 hours.We did pretty good at this one, we managed 5th overall, not bad.

The Rapture in Misery has been traditionally held at Landahl park, this year it will be held at Crowder State Park up north by Trenton. I love riding and racing here, lots of good fast flowing single track punctuated by some pretty long climbs...good stuff I tell ya!!!

This year I will be racing the 6 hour duo again, I briefly considered the 6 hour solo then I came to my senses!!!

Race report on Sunday...maybe...;) The Gods of Dirt beckon!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

OP crit...

A short story first...I was pinning my number on my jersey when a teammate of mine who lives close to the venue shows up, he has his number in hand and asks me to pin it on...OK I say...As I'm doing this a pterodactyl sized bumble starts to buzz me...I don't dig be stung so I ran like a girl!!! I go back to teammate that's standing there with a look that says...SISSY!!! I'm like whatever dude...

Back to pinning his number...I'm almost done and I see the king bee again for a second and then no more, his number is done and I say to him pull the jersey down to check it, as he does this he puts his hand on the king bee and it stings the piss out of him!!!!

If that's not karma, I don't know what is!!!! On to the race!!!

Today was the OP crit, a race I have done I don't know how many times. Today the field size was 69...Giggety!!!

They say go and we're off!! I stab the pedal first time, which always makes me happy!! I pedal hard a few times and move up close to the front. The first few laps are pretty much a group cluster F**K!!! On the 3rd lap I decide that the pace is too low and pin it for about a lap and a half, fortunately there were other racers that were on the same page with me so the pace remained high for quite a few laps and the field was dwindling because of it!!!

The race rolls on, about a third of the way through the first crash happens...right behind me, so I scream at the guys in front of me to pin it!! We get a small gap for about a lap and it's back together...

The race rolls on, 2 laps to go bombing into the fastest turn on the course at 30+ mph there's another crash...behind me again, so I yell at the guys in front of me to go again, and off we go. We get a rotation started, and that lasted about 1/4 of a mile before a knucklehead screwed it up!!! Shortly after that the riders that were able to get around the crash catch back up.

We roll back around to where the crash was and the course workers are telling us to slow down...which was a good thing and a bad thing...good because it was a break, bad because it was a break for everybody, know what I mean???

So we poke along to the last corner and a rider who ended up 2nd goes to the front and put the pace on KILL for the entire last lap, up the last hill into the last turn I was absolutely DYING!!! I thought to myself going around the last turn I can't go anymore, and that pissed me off!!! So I grab a handful of gears and proceeded to go blind with PAIN to the line!!! I cross the line in 7th, I think I was 12th coming out of the last turn, so I guess I wasn't dying as bad as I felt!!!

On the other hand, after I crossed the line I tried to puke my guts out for the next what felt like an eternity!!!

So I would say I had a good race!!! there's not much if anything I would have done different.

The numbers...we averaged 25.1 mph for 46:30. I averaged 189 bpm and maxed at 199 on the sprint!!

I would like thank the lucky penny I received at the Breakthrough Tour of KC!!! I had a good race and was ahead of the carnage both times!!!!!

Thank you lucky penny!!! You will always be in my gear bag and go to every race until I race no more!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Losing all...

At some point in the last year or two I have come to the realization that I have put a lot of time and effort over the last 14 years into what I'm pretty sure I can't live without...RIDING!!!

I am more or less afraid to quit riding because of what you gain over time and what you lose when you quit!! I'm not talking about taking a month off, I'm talking about stepping away for an extended period of time...6 months or more.

Not only do you lose fitness, but the cumulative effect of logging mile after mile, and hour after hour in the saddle. Then there's the one thing you can NEVER get back...age...You quit riding, you get older. Your fitness goes away, you get older. If and when you get back in the saddle, you can regain a lot, but with age you may never be where you were when you stopped again!!!

This is why I am afraid to quit riding...