Monday, October 24, 2011

There in a fortnight.

When I worked (that really shouldn't be past tense but whatever, I'm a part timer) at Cahaba Cycles I was fortunate enough to overhear many conversations the other mechs had with customers over the phone.

My favorite:

Customer - "Do you sell pennyfarthings?"

Eric - loooong pause "Yeah, we'll have it ready for you in a fortnight sir..."

Anyway, I went to go ride the planned Chainbuster course at Oak Mountain again Saturday and bailed after the first lap. That was tough. I went ahead and committed to something I have resisted for months now - no activity for a couple weeks.

I have had a lingering hamstring strain for about three months now. It doesn't hurt, per se, but damn is it annoying and uncomfortable. I can ride just fine but running always fucks it up again, as does yoga oddly enough. Rejuvenating? Not this round. 

It took me this long to really realize what was going on with the leg. Basically, there are two types of hamstring tears. The first would be an acute tear, with swelling and a big loud POP. These are usually seen in sprinters. The next is a chronic tear, which is much smaller and less painful. It has a gradual onset and is mild enough to allow continued activity while never really allowing the tear to heal. Pretty sure I have the chronic version of a hamstring tear. Hopefully it heals up without me constantly aggravating it. Some good transverse friction and eccentric exercise should do it. Time to be the patient instead of the therapist for a bit, I suppose.

I joined the BUMP crew Sunday to help finish Quarry Road Bypass. This is going to be a new trail at Oak Mountain and is looking pretty badass right now. I want to ride it soon. My ribs are incredibly sore right now from all the tool swinging and rock carrying. Manual labor isn't so bad when it's nice outside.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I finished half of a sponsorship app to a great tire company yesterday and stopped suddenly with the realization that there is no way I could make it an entire season on only one brand of tires.

I have not yet thrown the application away.

On one hand I have never had a company tell me if I could a deal on their stuff I could not use the product of a competitor but it almost seems like an understood standing condition. Maybe I am crazy. Or have a guilt complex.

In other news in the incomplete applications department, I almost signed up for a 24 solo this weekend and decided not to. The bike race will have to wait, other things have priority at the moment (suit shopping, dog bathing, and not being gone the whole damn weekend to name a few). Good luck to Lee and Zach, my Bici brethren.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bamacross Numero Uno: Brookside

My condition after the first cyclocross race this year...

Mind: Satisfied I raced hard
Legs: Unimpressed with what the Mind requested
Stomach: Confused by today's diet of cheap beer and hot dogs

Bici Coop was the sponsor group for the first Bamacross race this year and I think we pulled it off with style to spare. A great turn out yesterday made quick work of setting up the course which everyone seemed to be pretty amped to go suffer on. The grill was going strong before noon. The new baby blue jerseys turned out quite well - thanks Paul Halupka. You da man, man.

I will let Alan do the full recap on the team site since he probably has a better grasp on how everyone ended up so I will just throw in some words on how it went down for me out there.

Something has been wrong this year. I'm not nervous on start lines any more. No extra trips to the bathroom for no reason. All vital signs stable. Perhaps being unable to focus on anything for very long is a blessing in race situations.

Brent lined up the Singlespeed people with both Masters classes and the women. Awesome, a big group start so I don't have to worry about who is ahead of me.

"First Masters 35, then Masters 45, then singlespeed, then women," Brent called out.

So much for my hide in the pack tactics, I would have to watch as the other ten one gearies rode away from me on the first straightaway. My fears came true as they started us and sure enough, most everyone rolled on past me. I was way they could go that fast for 45 minutes.

I had no tactics, no game plan, no goals. Cross is still very foreign to me. I am better at the transitional stuff this year but don't have enough time on the Nature Boy yet to be comfortable tossing it around like a mountain bike. Good thing you don't have to comfortable to go fast. About two laps in, we had established a lead pack of three including Sam, Phillip, and myself. We were right together the next twenty minutes or so, slowly picking off the Masters racers. Ah, carrots. I love carrots.

I quickly decided I would be able to speed up on the last lap and win. Nevermind that I had already attained my top speed and would not be able to speed up under any circumstances.

Awesome plan. Failed execution. Phillip and Sam put ten or fifteen seconds on me during the last lap and that was that. Third place. My eyes felt like they were bleeding, so glad to be done. Hell of a lot better than I was expecting. I got a weird Surly t shirt as a prize that says "I'm with Big Dummy." The shirt has a hand pointing directly south. I need to ride around on someones shoulders when wearing it, I suppose. Nothing wrong with that at all. Totally normal.

Bamacross has really grown the past few years and I am stoked to be a part of it. Here's to a gloriously long and painful season.