Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wii Love Boxing!

Over 4 minutes of Tazmanian Devil action! I may unleash this beast on whomever passes me next race.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Real Coyote Hill Race Report

21/39 Pro

First mtb race of the season and it showed. I loaded up and headed due west Sunday morning to attend the 4th race in the Root 66 Northeast race series. I was feeling a bit unprepared fitness-wise having failed to get intense rides in the past 2 weekends in a row. But, I was marginally optimistic about my handling having gotten a couple of solid Bradbury mtb rides in and was very comfortable on the bike. Then it rained. I put way too much faith in the forecast the day before which had called for a 40% chance of showers in the morning, then a nice afternoon. So I set the bike up for a dry race. Well, that 40% turned into 100% of 1/4" of rain from like 10am-noon rendering the course muddy and slick and my front tire useless except for collecting mud to skim on top of mud.
Hutchinson Python = Stupid Tire

Well, you gotta run what you brung so I lined up with over 30 other pros and set off for a 4 lapper. The start was great as I was comfortably in the top 10 heading into the singletrack. Then it was a skid-fest. My front lost grip on the first slick off-camber section and I had to put a foot down to keep from going into the woods. The field freight trained by me and I lost at least 7 spots. I rudely jumped back in and hopped on to Mike Joos' wheel making this a repeat of last year when I rode with him for the 1st lap. The pace was high, but not killer. I had to stay super-focused to maintain traction and keep up with Joos and the small group we were in. There were a few sections that I opted to run that cost me a bit of time but not enough to get dropped. Eventually though, the running certainly adversly affected my finish. I looped through the start/finish in decent shape but I soon settled into a pace that got slower and slower each lap. I was no longer riding with anyone and the mind just started to wander. On the 3rd lap I swopped places back and forth with a single-speeder, then Mike Rowell motored through as I was doing my feeble try to ride a muddy, rooty section, then get off and run routine. I kept him in contact as we climbed the open road for the last time, but he was powering up and I was just riding up. The singlespeeder stood and delivered as well and entered the singletrack ahead of me. I desperately wanted to maintain contact to keep up the motivation and help me get through the singletrack faster than I would alone. But I was fatigued going up the climb and my recovery on the descent was slow and I was alone again. The course was drying quickly and traction improved with some tacky mud. Trouble was, my front tire liked to collect the mud and I still wasn't able to open it up. Plus, my mind and body were pretty unresponsive so my final lap was more like a trail ride than a race. Definitely the worst lap I've ridden in years. Then, to make the lap worse, I got nipped by a couple more hard-charging pros less than 1/2 mile from the finish to drop me out of the top-20 which would have been the only bright spot on the day! No excuse. I'm behind in my training and that was a tough course to start the season on. I have a couple of local road races in a couple of weeks to build fitness, then it's back to the dirt in June. I should be recovered by then!

Coyote Hill Race Report

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pulled a Rick Nelson

I took my car in to Augusta for service Wednesday and took advantage of riding some flat terrain for once. I needed a bit of recovery from the previous day's Bradbury ride. I opted for the mtb to add saddle time and continue to get acclimated to the ride. I spun out of town on Rt. 27 and took advantage of roads that branched off and followed the Kennebec River.
I had to take a natural at the turnaround and happened upon an atv trail that was pointed down towards the river bank. I am typically not one to explore the unknown. But, I was inspired by Racin' Rick's (Commuter Rick?) habit of riding wherever he damn well pleases, and steered the bike down the trail. I was treated to a lovely ride along the river bank. It was certainly worth it.

The route back took me along the Kennebec River Rail Trail
and a stop at Kennebec Bike and Ski making for a very enjoyable time spent on 2 wheels.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bradbury is BAADbury

Since Tuesday was Community Service day at KHS, I thought I would do my share by making a $3 donation to Bradbury Mountain State Park and do some trail maintenance. Of course, I spent 99.9% of my time riding. But often it's the thought that counts, right?!
Perhaps not, as I'm sitting here with an ice pack on a swollen knee. I have no idea how/when I hurt it. Karma is a bitch!

I met up with Burnsy and Coach Kurt and we got our swerve on. Both guys are rolling 29ers. What am I missing?!

With JB's help making fork adjustments, I am getting more accustomed to the new bike. It rides super plush. But who @ FOX thought this was a good way to save weight? They removed some material and created this void which now serves very well as a mud shelf. So shed an ounce of metal, but replace it with a pound of mud? Not a sensible trade-off IMO.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Racing? Heck, nah. Hockey, lacrosse? Hells, yeah!

The whole fam packed up and headed to Foxboro, MA for the County Cup hockey tournament. Drake represented the '00 Team Maine, playing against other New England teams for bragging rights. They played 2 games on Friday and Saturday. Sunday depended on their seeding. I actually packed the mtb as I was painfully close to the Glocester Grind in RI. However, since Babs had to go back to KHS Saturday for their prom, my biking was not a priority.

My dad (a former goalie himself) came up from the Cape.

The team ended up the 5th seed and won their consolation game which was nice!

15 hockey players in the pool: EVERYONE ELSE GET OUT!

In other news, our KHS lax team won the MAISAD Championship without me!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Onto the Mud

Got a beatdown @ Bradbury Mt. State Park today courtesy of Burnsy. He was flowing some ill skill on his big wheels. Conditions were very favorable save for some soft spots and some mud. But the roots were dry and handling was at maximum. It was just a matter of how fast you wanted to go. JB was going fast! This was my first real throwdown on the new bike. It felt very stable, comfortable, and plush. Maybe too plush. The Fox RLC fork felt almost too soft. I still have some dialing in to do. Overall, it was great to be riding in the trees again!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Out of the Box

Finally put together the Hei Hei Supreme last week and got a couple of road/dirt road shakedown rides in. It was immediately comfortable so confidence is high right out of the gate. New features are the curved top tube. It's funny to actually be able to touch my knees together at the top of the pedal stroke. This is a major aerodynamic advantage for me! It does pinch the water bottle room a bit. This marks the first time I'm running a FOX front shock. So far so good. I felt like it had an extra bit of stiction before the travel got going, but time and proper setup will tell. Also a major new to me feature is the hydraulic disc brakes. I fear these are going to be a major maintenance hassle after dealing with kids on my KHS MTB team's bikes, but I'll give them a proper chance.

The RaceFace seatpost is pretty cool for ease of setup. I like the ability to alter my seat angle based on courses. Hopefully it won't slip mid-race.

My only change was swopping out the flat bar with a riser. I feel so much more in control with that setup. Of course, I added the Superfly Swatter option as these buggers are known to be prominent on New England race courses!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Racin'? Still nah. Ridin'? Hardly.

Oh how the wheels came off this week! I skipped an easy recovery ride on Thursday thinking I would get a long one in on Friday. But I awoke with a sore throat that I still have to this day! Then Saturday was chock full of KHS classes and lax games for Drake in Cumberland and me in the afternoon. And today? Mother's day is so not about me getting a ride in! Maybe next week.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

One of Those Days

Yesterday was a rough one!

Weather: raining.
Workout: 1 minute max intervals. These suck in general. Today, they all ended mid-way up climbs.
Work: Duty until 10pm.
Bike: Assembled Hei Hei, only to find front wheel was missing piece of the hub that makes the hole smaller to hold the skewer rendering the bike unrideable.
Old Bike: FedEx didn't pick it up, delaying payment from ebay buyer.
Driving: Backed into a light pole after work putting a good dent in the rear bumper.

Today, a different story.
Weather: Clearing.
Workout: A mild tempo day.
Work: Watched girls and boys JV lax games.
Bike: Found missing part still attached to plastic packing piece used to protect wheel while shipping.
Old Bike: Glad shipping was delayed or else I wouldn't have found that part. Bike shipped today.
Driving: No crashes. Pounded dent out, just needs some touch up paint. Saved $1000.
Still don't have Swine Flu.

Babs, on the other hand, broke a mirror this morning. Sucks for her!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Racin'? Nah.

Had a busy weekend off the bike.
10-11:30am Road ride
Noon-12am KHS lax game @ New Hampton
7:30-8am Fireman's breakfast with the fam.
8-10am Fenix's t-ball game
10:30-noon Drake's double header lax games
1-5pm Duty @ the Alfond, lifted weights
6-10pm KHS bus trip to Augusta
Chillaxed morning with fam.
11am-4pm KHS bus trip to Portland Mall. Got 2 hour road ride in down there.
4-6pm Drake & Fenix's hockey clinic
Dinner, Sunday night shows, and deep breaths!