The shoes are done, finished, I guess a pair of Sidis are worth about 2 seasons of cross and 1.5 of mtb. Meanwhile fresh keds are on the way. Pics from the area where the race went last Wednesday. Today I feel restless, trying to not get dehydrated and also excited for dinner, always excited for that.
The trails are like a soft couch, I settle in to a rhythm that only comes from years of watching lots of tv. I find my place and the episode unfolds, better than old happy days and the reruns of sanford and son more like the new show you want to see but haven't caught yet on dvr or tivo. Even if it's an old trail, new lines and jokes are there if you look and listen close enough. Rolling across the commuter path is rewarding but the point is made, no rubber stamps and no blanket amnesty.
Today is bike to work day, I did, what if I drove or rode the bus today? Would I be letting the system down? I haven't driven myself to work in 5 months, bike or bus every day, what does that mean...I think there should be one day where it's ok to drive yourself solo to work, not one day that is the designated bike day. What about that? Public transportation or bike or walk and then one day you can drive yourself in without getting out the bike gear or the bus-headphones-I-don't-want-to-look-talk-see-interact-with-anybody-gear. I do realize the Utopian nature of my thoughts, however, isn't this possible a few days a week? Or what about one? I think it is doable. I feel slow on the rolling stuff today. One direction is ok, I prefer it, but I was better on the sustained climbs this morning, punchy ones hurt. The bike is so comfy, an extension of whatever it is that it is an extension of. Quiet solitude on the trail beat the bike path hands down, even the off leash dogs chasing me weren't enough to ruin the pleasant rolling through the woods. Same tomorrow. Pics tonight.
Reeling still from the truck that didn't like him riding on the bike path, at least that's what I was told, he doesn't really recall seeing the driver but more than likely a bushvoter. The weird thing is that they weren't even breaking any rules. Whatever. Mid day work avoiding the cyclo-tourists, where do they all come from? I thought we were between tours right now. Scary, they don't always realize the path is two ways. My pockets are full and the stomach is empty, the day is done.
I would have had more shots of the ride but when the camera is buried under that much uphill riding it gets tough to get the thing out. Rocco was the leader for most of the ride, the only one visiting but he rode like it was home. Talent. Up and down. That second picture doesn't look blurry to me, you? The green Ergons matches the sunlit trees, too high up to get the beetlekill area involved. I had to add the vanity shot of the bike on top of West Ridge, pointing in the direction it did a lot of, up. Not long as in mileage-distance long as in from here to up there. Hills are good for the head. Props to Jesse for a big win and Marko taking a strong second close by at singlespeed states out in Wisconsin and Devin for suffering for a solid result (6th) despite mechanical slowing.
This guy didn't make it across the road last Saturday, he tried but either the warm road felt too good or he was too slow. Bummer, he was about a 4 foot rattlesnake. I raced this cloudbank for about an hour, I lost, but it never rained on me, about 4 drops at the most. That was refreshing, if I was smarter I would have looked for water sooner that day too. This one was while pedaling, I thought of Sager as I was pulling out the camera and taking the picture as I rolled through the intersection. I get to ride these roads all the time, can you beat a road like this without traffic? I can't beat it, I've looked for better roads but come up short every time. Last night Thompson started as hard as I did and then he was gone, the lungs he said weren't too friendly to the effort. You can't win every Wednesday, I guess. I was starting to open up at this point and the lungs were happy to be there, that, and the nice walk up Heinous.
Even on a onespeed bicycle, or I guess especially on a onespeed bicycle a plan can work. Big gear, suffer on the mostly climbing course to have the gear to get across the top and over to the final descent. Two pretty long climbs and a lot of traversing put the advantage over to the bigger gear. Heinous wasn't too bad as soon I figured out I would be walking it. The small lead I had there was gone mid way up but cresting the hill in third with less than 30 seconds to make up wasn't too much trouble on singletrack I've ridden 100 times. Travis and Cal dusted me on Heinous, I was walking and riding only little bits, they could ride more than I could. I managed to keep a good pace, caught them and moved on towards the finish a lot loose descending and trying to just roll the big wheels and get it across, pretty perfect stuff for the faster bike set-up after Heinous Hill. About 90 seconds at the line. Good work. I don't ride these particular trails that often but my house is right behind the red one in the picture, yes, home field advantage.
New stuff, the camera went on a little road trip b/t last Wednesday and yesterday, here are the pictures I wanted to load from the race last week. Good course. And my newest jar of morning goodness. This stuff in the Bialetti makes every early start less of a challenge. The pocket has the keys, I'll open the locks later.
Try to get your hands on some nice cold water and sit down a while and put it back. Summer is hydration season. Also if you ride 3-4 hours get out and drink all you have and let the body recover. A gallon a day. I get so wrapped up in getting the work done that I can't remember to drink enough. Can I get an IV? Permanent drip into the system to get it out of my hands. I guess Thai food and a beer doesn't help too much either. Good distance over the weekend has me feeling good but tired today. Openers tomorrow for a big one Wednesday and then perhaps a trip on Friday. Bike is ready, body is good and the ride is coming, it's a shame last year's winner won't be there.
Putting together the rest is tough. All the train hard-rest harder crap never really made sense to me, ride well and it will come, listen to what the legs and system are saying and it will work out. I think Brian is on over drive, no food is enough. Hungry ten minutes later.
If the results show anything it's that singlespeeds are no slower than geared bikes. Click the title link or go here. Vail gets good numbers but the series in Summit County has a better vibe. We are lucky to have two race series that are so close. Still this course had the most climbing for the shortest distance I think I have seen in a while. 1st single, 5th pro. Good work.
When the local big guns at a race show up and throw down off the start I try not to get drawn in. It's too easy just to let them go and be pegged long enough to lose the race in the first 10 minutes. 1000 feet straight up the road three times for the race but rolling is easier at your own, one speed or 27. Caught the guns 1/3 of the up the first time and, guess what? They were pegged. My turn, push it through the other categories out there, passing other pros on the Ferrous 29 Single made me smile through the moondust that covered the course, desert single track/two-track that offered no real rest until the weld kup-style descent with multi-2 foot drops. The best part of the lap was early for me as the extended stair-step descent had me just rolling not pushing. Good gaps to the next riders and better gaps to the next singlespeeds made me ride smarter, hurt on the way up to not get hurt on the way down. Win number two on the season, 54 inches-perfect tyres. Thank you Fisher, Bontrager and Ergon and Smith Optics if they only made a dust proof lens I could have seen even more of the view at the top of the climb.
I know now how valuable fenders are to train in the rain/snow but today it was more pronounced as the rain didn't stop from 3 am until, well I guess for another little while or something. My lunch ride still happened and I feel like the keys in my pocket are opening up the locks in my legs and head. I was 6 minutes better on Sunday than last year, same course & conditions with similar weather. At least it isn't snowing. Better to try and get it done than the alternative of sitting around moping. It was the 1x9 today, almost threw a leg over the fixed but opted instead for the fenders, maybe I'll fender the fixed. I get weird looks even in the summer going into the grocery store or the beer store in lycra, is it so strange?
First of many I hope. It all came together when Hayes bobbled on the first time thru the rock garden, you open the door I'll go through it. Fast times, spin and coast, spin and coast all the way down the descent, climbing across the motorcycle track, pushing to keep up with Smith, as he dropped down the descents like a stone only to allow me back in on the climbs, working to help on the dirt road was all he'd allow, he didn't want me ahead of him anywhere. I'll help if you let me. Dropping back to descend smart, suffering on the way up, up and down, back and forth. Misfits in my head "let's test your threshold of pain..." I tested my own last time through the rock garden, light attack and then on the gas to open up, a gap, hopefully. Push and spin push and spin. Lead to the line. Smart ride, thanks to the Bontrager ACX Tubeless Tyres I ran soft to keep up and roll the descents well enough to stay with Smith. The new cockpit is perfect, I had my own suspension thanks to the new Bontrager 110 gram bar and the Ergons, thanks Jeff I think the new grips with the mini barends are worth and extra tooth or two on the climbs. Fast days to come!
Some weeks openers are worse than others. Today felt like I was trying to reach down my own throat and tickle the very bottom of the alveoli, deep, too deep to really feel good on the short one, longer the better short and sharp always hurts more. Openers are better when I have company like today, my wife kicks ass, just look at those shoes, pearly goodness for the feet.
I have ridden hard enough to nearly or sort of puke but it looks like Boonen pushes himself that much farther than I do. If you put our palmares next to each other I think that point is pretty clear, but I just ate french fries and pizza for lunch, I consider myself lucky. No Nazi-like director is telling me what I can and cannot eat.
Rough to get in the work when the weather is this bad. I needed a treat. Hiding under the layers, no mtb while I wait to see if the new tyres set up. That and the trails aren't so ready with a few inches of new snow. Full tubeless front and rear for Sunday, we'll see how it all comes together. New Ergon grips, thanks JK they feel great, perfect fit, ideal for bumpy courses, especially if you're rigid.
I get the quiet plodding done these days with less mental effort, an auto-pilot sort of thing. I like the how the bikes are feeling under me no matter which one I ride it feels right. Special treat today for the past three or four weeks of training-bear claw. Odd satisfaction to fall off the wagon that hard-a heroin addict getting a fix after being clean for 3 months, that's how I feel right now. Guilty and good. That fried doughy-goodness, loaded with cinnamon and jam, I might as well have a needle in my arm.
I rode the bus a few times when I was a kid to the big city but I never got a chance to experience the freak factor on a two hour bus ride. Listening to one of the newer episodes of This American Life made me think of that. That show seems to stir a smile or make me think more about the things I thought I forgot. Odd the way that goes. I always enjoy seeing the people talking to themselves or yelling at the top of their lungs. To be unhindered to that extent is admirable. I feel better the bike always feels good no matter what beasties are lingering in the legs.
Sometimes the crits sort of feel like a mtb race. The high end and then the coasting are more rhythmic, I can play a song in my head and feel the race happen sometimes I wonder if I could shut my eyes and ride by braille. Clicking through the gears (guilty pleasure) to get back up to speed is punctuated by the random scrape of carbon on asphalt or a yell. It's most fun when the team works out the problem and uses the talent we have and puts the right face on the front to go over the line. I slid my front wheel for about 2 meters and kept it upright after getting bumped coming out of a roundabout, one foot out and sort of dirt tracking, not crashing was the only victory I had on the day. The sprint for the line was weak, I got pinched again oging into the last turn and lost a few spots, finished top 10, not bad since we started about 80 guys and only finished probably 30. I'm tired today. It was a good short week on the bike, less than 12 hours. Good races and good recovery, back after it now.
I think old people really like to spray for weeds. I see it a lot, the nasty super bad for everything weed spray shit in the hands of some septegenerian out there "cleaning" up his yard. Retarded. Lots of motos out on the grid today, it made me think of Tron no less entertaining. For whatever reason the bike felt perfect today, it fits with me like no other road machine ever has, maybe I'm hitting form because the mtb is feeling the same. I'm not on the machines, I'm part of them. Like Wednesday even with a steadily softening tyre the Ferrous carved it's way around the course, perfect gear 32:16 (54 gear inches) turning over at the end as well as the beginning. Feelin' it.
In case the link in the post is broken, here is the article from the race the other day.
Plenty of intrigue at SMC opener
Mountain bike race series kicks off with youth domination, among other things