Monday, October 31, 2011

The ride the race

So this passed weekend my buddy Mark Cole texted a line and asked if I wanted to ride some gravel. It was a tough call I had done the Tuesday night universe practice race and did a little bit of a smattering of riding including the Pirate ride on my new single speed (purchase number 2).

Not having ridden a single speed but a few times a couple years ago I didn't know much about them except to pedal pedal. The lights where on and we were a rolling, let the bushwhacking begin I don't think we touch a standard piece of trail all night. Things where going good except for the fact I had no idea how to set my front fork, i was bouncing all of over the place. I couldn't tell if I just did know how to ride this thing or i didn't have it set up right. I think it was the ladder of the two, about half way through the ride on a steep decent I ejected, launched over the bars and was picking myself off the ground before I knew it. With a dented head and cracked helmet I was a wreck. The brain healed after a couple days and I was ready for more. I headed to Swope Friday on the single speed for some good old fashion riding. I made a few tweaks to the bike and I was in love man this thing is sweet. I recommend everyone owning at least one especially for some fall goodness.

Back to the gravel, Mark was for sure I was going to bail and he awaited my morning retreat call but not this time, I buzzed him in route. As I pulled up with a surprise on is face we where ready to pull off. Being he lives in Spring Hill close to the gravel I figure I'll be making this journey often this winter since I'm a good 35 miles from any. He had planned us a route of 50ish miles out his front door. I reminded him I had a cross race on Sunday and didn't want to crush the ride just go out and spin. Well thats always is an interesting problem I have, I seem to do everything with max intensity. So climb after climb I pulled up and Mark pulled me down, he has some wicked arrow bars and we would cruise 25 to 30 mph on the flats and up to 40 on the descents. So as the miles buzzed by, he told me we were crushing is best time on this route. We finished up in about 2 1/2 hours which was plenty for my first gravel of the year. My legs were spent and I was glad to be down but was already wondering how my legs would feel on sunday..

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A bike week

So I got several new toys starting last week, well let's back up a bit to two weeks ago. I talked Jesse into doing a little trio of mountain bike riding instead of racing the Joules cross, I just wasn't in the mood. It was something Cameron Chambers and I sat out do do a couple years ago and the trails where a mess so we settled to a smattering of riding instead.

Back to the day Jesse and I sat out early to ride lake Perry, Clinton lake and the river trails to polish it off. Things where going good with the rock climbs of Perry and the constant creaking of my bottom bracket. I've gotten used to it over the years it seemed to need servicing so I'd got it down to a science except for when I'd forget to do it like this day. So the rythem of the sound kept a creaking as we kept a plowing there the rocks and leaves. Jesse was going good as he always does when it gets rough, he's a climbing machine. So one trail down it about 11:00 a little slower than planned since I suffered a flat as we where finishing up but with a industrial car plug and some CO's we made it back.

Perry lake was in the books and we headed to Clinton lake just a stone throws away in the STI. We pulled up and slipped are shoes on replenished are bottles and we where off. Typically we would roll out white the more technical trail then fly back blue. We did the reverse today, thinking the legs could use a little spinning before the power ups of white. It worked great things went well we spun right along, it's funny how tame Clinton feels after riding Perry. So next up was the river trails just across lawrence, Dana my wife and one of her girl friends planned on meeting ups there which they did. It was nice to cruise with them doing the 9 mile look to flush legs out before the ride home well not before eating some Mexican food.

Sunday was almost in the bag except for one little detail remember that annoying little bottom bracket. Ya so I decided I'd service that thing when I got home 15 minutes what could be a big deal. I popped the cranks, pulled the seals flushed the old greese and inserted in the new. Done right, wrong as I was putting things back together I noticed a nice crack in the suspension piece on the s-works. Not good, the BT Epic was a week away and no bike to ride. I dropped the frame by the Bike Source shop on Monday but knowing it wasn't looking good for the part to get in on time. What do do.. well Tuesday came and I made a rash decision head to Bike Source and see what they had that would be race ready. It's funny to me and a constant reminder that I'm short with short legs so guess what nothing in stock. But there was a medium s-works 29 hard tail in Denver. With some hesitation I said ship it! Arrival day Thursday, race Saturday sure I've never ridden a 29er and years since a hard tail let's saddle up for the first super lap race I've ever done on a new ride. Seems like a great idea or not but either way I wanted to race so thats what I did.

The race, well it faired okay I cramped up like a bad dog and limped my way to 22nd place. I've got a lot to learn on the longer races that aren't lap style where the nutrition is so close. The bike road great! Purchase one in the books