Sunday, November 27, 2011

Resurrection of the Beast

That sounds a bit apocalyptic. Sorry to disappoint, but no end times prophecies or readings from Revelation tonight.

The Beast is my 1983 Trek 500, a bike given to me by a friendly soul at the shop which I have probably ridden more than any other bike I have owned. It has spent most of its life as a fixed gear but that duty now lies with the Nature Boy. I sold my old commuter, a Soma Double Cross, to one of my friends and had the perfect opportunity to revive the Beast as my main road ride.

Its a slow POS on group rides due to a number of factors, one of those being myself. That's what a carbon Madone/Scott/Tarmac or whatever is for, this thing is for commutes on bumpy roads at 5 AM and the option to hit some gravel if I come upon it on a ride in the country. It rides pretty decent for being so old. I don't really weight enough to flex the frame and the brakes are now of  "adequate" status with the Kool Stop Salmon pads.

Trek 500 56 cm frame and fork
Handbuilt Dura Ace/ Open Pro wheels. 36 hole.
Fat Hybrid tires
OEM brakes with Kool Stop pads
Sora compact cranks
Dura Ace 9 speed mechs with flat bar shifters (duh)
Niner Flat Top bar and Bontrager alloy post and stem
Cane Creek bar ends with green ESI Chunky grips
XTR pedals

2 cages via Rivnut
Fat front

Dirty Kanza 200 mud/cow shit on frame bag
Oh, and yes, that is a Bikestache on the handlebars. Melissa got this for me as a surprise birthday present and I think it really suits this bike. Gives it a bit of a Burt Reynolds theme. Classy.

Last time I visited my Mom's house I found my long lost Dremel tool. Given a four day weekend I went to work making some bitchin' homemade tools for an upcoming wheel build.

Optional revolution indicator
 I'll be a nipple spinning machine with this baby.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mark your calendars.

Brent sayz:

 The "Skyway Epic" mountain bike race application was just approved by the U.S. forest service. Mark your calendars for 5/20/2012. We will race from Adam's Gap (bottom of Cheaha) to Hwy 148 (Sylacauga and back - 53'ish miles. Pre-rides as soon as this weekend.

According to the googleweb, a crop circle predicts "something terrible" will happen starting on 5/20/12...also a partial eclipse that will cover the usa. 

Brap, Brap,(sputter),Braaaaap!

Also, side note on a hamstring workout I found by Nick Tuminello:
My athletes haven't had a single hamstring injury since we started doing this circuit. That's not proof of anything, but I think these exercises have certainly helped keep my guys healthy.
Lie on your back on the floor with your legs straight, your arms out to your sides, and your heels on top of the Swiss ball. Your calves should also touch the ball. Lift your hips up and bring the ball toward you for 20 leg curls. Your heels should be flat on the ball at the top of the curl. Don't let your hips drop.
On the final rep, hold the curl position with your heels flat on the ball, and do 20 hip lifts, squeezing your glutes at the top. Finally, in the same curl position, switch to the balls of your feet, and do 20 more hip lifts.

If you're not crying by the end of those 60 reps, color me impressed!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Oops, I did it again.

Sorry, I had to. It popped into my head. Sorry.

Yet again, my yearly cyclocross campaign has disintegrated before the halfway point of the season.

I made a return visit to the ortho doc this week and we talked a bit about the MRI of my left leg. He thinks it was a lateral hamstring tendonitis that simply took a long time to heal. Imaging says everything is good (no cysts, tears, or any other abnormalities) and it has been feeling fine now that I am only riding and quit trying to run on it.

I have a real cross bike this year and had fun at the first Brookside race. Bamacross has really grown since Brent started it and I think it adds a lot to the Birmingham cycling scene. As much as I want to love racing cross, I really think my body just wants to be fat and lazy this time of year. I'm at home sick right now and have been off the bike for five days... Let's just call it my off season and leave it at that.

The Nature Boy has sat neglected for over a month now. I might have to break it back out for Sloss Cross in a couple weeks. Whoo!

Race plans for next year are spinning furiously in the medicinal cesspool that is my brain right now. I might actually register for some when my head clears.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chainbuster Oak Mountain 9 Hour - return of PMFC

 *As a report on a 3 man team hopefully this will be about one third the length of a normal race report. No guarantees.

I did my first endurance race in a team format yesterday at the Chainbuster 6/9 Hour season finale at Oak Mountain State Park. I don't count PMBAR as a team format since both people are riding the whole time. I guess I should say this was my first RELAY event. Ah, clarity.

I originally signed up for the 9 Hour Solo Singlespeed race and changed last minute due to my concern over what was wrong with my left leg. I went to an ortho doc last week who checked it out and did an MRI. MRI says...not a whole lot wrong. Doc said go ride but don't run. I decided to try something new and play it on the conservative side for the race and had Kenny switch my registration to a 3 man team with Nick and Sean. Having just turned 26 I can already feel my wisdom increasing.

My planning for the race quickly went from obsessive to unconcerned. I made my race pile in the floor in about 5 minutes then went out for dinner and drinks with some friends. Guilt free.

Out at the park, I quickly declared I would not be riding first so I could avoid running. Nothing wrong with milking a minor injury. The order would be Nick, myself, and Sean bringing up the rear so to speak.

As Nick went to ride I began to get antsy. We had a trainer to ride to warm up under the EZ Up. On a beautiful day. With 25 miles of singletrack close by. Yes, I did a trail ride to warm up before every lap. Not the most efficient way to do things, but efficiency was not high on my list of goals for the race.

Relay racing is tough. It confused the hell out of my body, which is used to going to race for 6 to 12 hours and not sitting. The process went much like this:

-Bust ass on the trail at cross country race pace for an hour trying not to puke
-Sit still and eat too much food
-Forget what time the last person went out for their lap
-Spend ten minutes figuring out when I needed to be at the timing tent
-Go ride to get warmed up while full of sandwiches and soda

The course was tough. It went backwards from normal race direction which mean climbing Blood Rock and descending the freshly built and aptly named Jekyll and Hyde trail. My laps were pretty consistent at 51 minutes for the two day laps and 53 minutes for the night lap. I had a hard time seeing where I was going on the night lap and eventually realized my headlamp was on it's last legs. Batteries don't actually have appendages but it was putting out enough light to see that I was on a trail but that was the extent of what I could make out. Jekyll and Hyde was nasty in the dark but I made it through with no crashes or walking.

Sean finished his last lap at 6:08 and the race was OVER at 7:00. Hmmmm. This was a quickly solved conundrum. Nick was next and even if he pulled out his fastest lap of the day we would still be in fifth place. An executive decision was made to continue on with beer, food, and heckling whoever warranted the abuse. Soon after Lee Neal came around to cinch the 9 Hour SS victory and Jason Barksdale was the last official rider to finish the race. Stacey Davis rocked the women's 6 hour singlespeed style. 3rd place I think? Proud of all of them, good showing. Ed and Wael's team was first place for the 9 Hr relay with the PMFC still in 5th.

After doing this event, I have a new respect for the team riders out there. There is more strategy involved than I imagined and the planning between laps is a skill of its own. Chainbuster puts on some of the best lap races out there and hopefully they will be back next year. As much fun as the team deal was I think I will have to return to my solo roots next race to get a full helping of pain fueled by stupidity. Pics later.

I cannot finish this without congratulating my teammate Sam Porter on a 5th place SS finish at the USGP cross race in Louisville. Real talk. Way to go, Sam!