Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Well, I finally got around to my first MTB race of the year and was stoked. I had Matt and Andrew over from Hattiesburg, MS for the weekend and we all were looking forward to an awesome time. We went down to Swayback on Saturday after riding Oak Mtn on Friday for a preride of the course with Omar and Josh. After a good lap preride we were good to go and looking forward to the Sunday morning race.

Luckily the B'ham weather man/men were wrong again as to when the storms would hit our area and down in Wetumpka where the race was held. Weather turned out to be perfect by the 10:40am race time. I was looking forward to a good "base race" with at least a top 5 out of 18 for my sport/cat 2 class.

I enter the woods 5th and got caught up on most of the 1st lap behind the 4th place rider that I eventually passed (after I scrubbed his wheel 3 times) with 1 mile left on the 8.7 mile first lap. Turned a 0:41:52 on the 1st lap and now right on the 3rd place rider 2 miles into the 2nd lap. Then, I start hearing that dreaded "hissing" sound and yep......flat......good ole pinch flat. I new I had taken a bad line. My mojo is drained and I jump off the bike and get the tube changed out and realize that a 16 gram c02 cartridge only puts about 10lbs of pressure in a 29in tube. So, I wound up cruising around in the woods for 6 miles almost on the rim and an 11th place finish out of 18.

Legs/endurance felt good. Lessons learned........switching to tubeless tires this week!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Still Training....for now

Well, the past few weeks have been good as far as riding/training goes. I finally got my weight back under 190....sitting on about 188 now. So, at least things are paying off and I should be at 180-185 by my first MTB race this year in Wetumpka on 04/17.....but there is a huge IF! Part of the company I work for may go on strike this weekend and if that happens I'll have to fly to Cleveland, OH to work until who knows when. Something like that will throw a huge damper on the riding but I still should find time to run and make the best of it.

I tried my hand at my 2nd road race this past weekend at the Tour de Tuscaloosa. And, for the 2nd time I didn't enjoy it that begins my list of lame excuses. To begin with I was running late. Start time was a suckass 8:35am and I pulled into Lake Lurleen State Park at 8:20am. I had to rush to registration all the way across the parking lot then get back to the truck and start getting ready......then ahh hell, no safety pins in my registration bag to pin my two race numbers on (reason 1 why MTB racing is better, we zip tie one number on the bike). Cecilia was a sport and ran back to registration while I get ready at the truck. She gets back with only 4 pins but we need 4 more. So whild I'm putting on my layers of clothing and hearing the lady with the bull horn tell all the pro/cat 1 riders to get to the line I know that it's getting close to 8:30am which was their start time. I hear Cecilia bumb some safety pins from some guys parked close to us(maybe rodies do have manners).

We finally get me ready and I'm still shaking from the 45 degree temp and the howling 20+ winds coming off Lake Lurleen. I roll up to the group of cat 5 racers about 3 minutes before roll out which means the legs are still cold and it's time to race, yuck. I find my fellow BLR (Bike Link Racing) teammates and chat it up for a few secs.......time to race,we start rolling. The course was a 10 mile rolling course with a couple of good climbs. We were to do 3 laps. The beginning was pretty quick for cat5 and I'm sitting about mid pack out of 28. Then, classic cat5 road racing begins......guys start slicing and dicing half way into the 1st lap (way too early) and slowing and going. I was almost at the point to where it was getting annoying and I hear "SLOWING".....which is a common term heard in road racing......uncommon is the guy in front of me just slamming on his brakes at 20mph. Since I'm right on his wheel, my reaction time is in no way quick enough. So, my front wheel goes all the way up into his right foot/pedal, I pull right to keep my spokes out of his rear derailleur and I go of through a red clay/rock filled ditch about 10 ft off the edge of pavement for about 20 yards and some how save it with out crashing. I manage to get back on the road without incident. I get a few cheers and congrats from the riders in the back of the field that I am now riding with. After the near miss, I just sat in the back and fought the wind and eventually got dropped from the lead pack. (reason 2 MTB racing is better)

I spend the last lap pulling the back group (reason 3 MTB racing is better) and eventually finishing 25th out of 28. I'm not much disappointed since I only road due to the team being there and I wanted to ride with them. So, I got 30 miles of training in.

The MTB training is going well. I'm turning 1hr 23min loops on my single speed bike and 1hr 18min loops on the geared race bike at Oak Mtn. My goal is to get to the 1hr 14-15min time frame for that trail. Living 10 minutes from the back gate certainly helps when it comes to riding it often. Time change helps as well to get some good rides in during the week. Can't wait to see how I peform in some competition in a few weeks.
The coolest thing I've done since my last post was a night ride at Oak Mtn. Hard to explain in words!

The Hoover Crit race is this weekend at Spain Park High School. It should be fun. But, you'll catch me at Oak Mtn/Lake Lurleen taking in some single track!