Monday, May 22, 2006

A few more pictures

Here are some more pictures of this weekend. Big thanks to Rusty for shooting these and letting everyone else use them. Thanks man you get some really good shots!!

This was the only section Cathy had to get off for. It wasn't that steep but that big tree behind her was tough to get around.

This must have been one of the first 4 laps when was actually going fast.

MMMMMMMM nothing like licking the dust off your lips!

Cory figured he might as well be comfortable while fixing his broken chain. The Power Link would have been faster if you didn't launch it into orbit!!

This is the first climb of each lap. Nothing was too steep just long!

I don't know why but she just loves going up those hills.

WORS #2 Alpine Valley

Traditionally Alpine Valley has been a pretty wet sticky course. With 3 weeks of rain I was considering just throwing on my mud tires before the preride. We headed over on Saturday to do some riding and found that the course was really shaping up nice. It was in great shape and still had another day to dry!!
We loaded up and headed over to the race on Sunday. Once we got all checked in and ready to ride I started digging though our bag looking for my shorts....WHICH I FORGOT AT HOME!!! I didn't have enough time to run home and get them so I rode around seeing if anyone brought extra shorts. Jason Nine had a pair that were a little dirty, scratch that VERY dirty - YUCK! Then I ran into Jeff who had a pair for me.

After a warm up we headed to the start line only to find a completely stacked field. I got called up 16th so had a good view of the hill we were going to attack. About 100 ft. off the line someone went down hard and took out about 8 guys including me. I got going again quite a way's back in the field. I was feeling pretty decent on the climbs, and really felt like I was riding my own race. On the second lap I came up on Cory who was walking his bike back with another broken chain, talk about bad luck two weeks in a row. I was moving up pretty good but just kept that in the back of my mind and didn't over due it. I thought. By the 3rd lap I was running about 15th spot and really feeling comfortable. I pretty much just hung out there for the 4th lap and started to see a couple guys starting my 5th lap. I wanted to push a little and close up some time in the single track. I was getting around the Comp. guys with no problem until we hit the big hill about 1/4 into the last lap. The other 4 times up weren't that bad but I really fell apart hard the last time. I couldn't get recovered after that and started riding backwards all the way to the finish.

Cathy had a really good race for her first time in Expert. I got to see her on my 4th lap (her 3rd) and she looked good. She was climbing the hills smooth and really hitting the single track hard. We worked on a few lines through some tricky sections and those paid off big time for her. She came in mid pack just as she thought. It was really cool getting updates every lap on how she was doing.
Not sure what we are doing for Memorial Day yet. We've talked about doing a duo 6 hour race but on the other hand we might just go out and do some riding. Sounds like it is going to be pretty nice though.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Clif Bloks

Ok so lets rewind about 5 months back to Ice Man. That is when I first tried the new Clif bloks and totally became a believer in them. We don't need to go into detail about the race you can read about it here. After that I e-mailed Clif Bar and told them about the experiance. They must have liked enough to post it on their experiences section!!
Anyway if you are sick of trying to squeeze all the gel out of your packets or if that much gel is just too much in on shot (that was traditionally my problem). Give these a try.

Multi Rock Tool

Last night we headed out for the group ride. The plan was to check out the park and then if it was too muddy to get on the road. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how dry and ridable things were. Nobody really wanted to lead and I wanted to go easy, somehow I still ended up out front. We took things really easy and it was fun to just cruise around at a leisurely pace all night.
On one of what turned out to be the last climbs Cory hit a rock and broke his derailleur hanger. Bob had one on him and normally it wouldn't have been a big deal to change it and keep going. But when he hit the rock it lodged the hanger up in the derailleur really hard. After some pulling twisting and pounding on it with a stick we decided to take it off and go single speed home. While Cory was trying to get the chain back together again Bob and Jeff took the derailleur back to the rock that broke it. I guess they found another rock and went after fixing it cave man style! By the time we got the chain back together they came back with it fixed. It was starting to get dark by now so we quickly broke the chain again and got the derailleur remounted.
I don't think we set any records for fixing a derailleur hanger...4 men and 30 minutes. It was pretty cool though fixing it with a set of rocks!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Back at work

Today totally feels like a Monday!! My bro and his wife stopped in for the weekend on their way up the Alaska for the summer. I guess they got sick of the Caribbean life and wanted something a little cooler!
We took a couple days off work and it was fun getting to hang out with them. So today is the first day back at work. We wanted to hit up some of the trails but the rain over the past oh say 3 weeks kinda put a damper on that. We headed up to Madison and looked at every shoe in the city! I honestly didn't know that that many different types of shoes even existed. Yesterday the sun finally came out long enough for us to jump on the bikes and cruise down to get some ice cream. We bombed around town for a little then had to get back and get them off to the airport.
Sounds like Alpine Valley is drying out good. Hopefully the rain will hold off now for the rest of the week. They have some of the worst mud I have rode, it's like riding through peanut butter!! Also Cathy just signed up for a NORBA know what that means - Expert class. She has been thinking about it and after doing good last weekend decided to give it a shot. Looks like she might have chose one of the harder courses of the series to move up on. She is riding really strong so I think she is going to do alright.
Thats all for now, I will try to get a pre-ride report on here early this weekend.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Iola WORS #1

You never know what to expect for the first race of the year. I knew that I had been doing a lot of riding and TJ has been really helping a lot. We got up the Iola around mid afternoon for a good pre-ride. I guess they haven’t got much rain up there because it was really dry. That made for a really fast course and made the sand that much looser.

After the pre-ride we set up camp and then just hung out. It was fun talking to everyone again after going into social hibernation over the winter. We finally called it a night and climbed into our sleeping bags. After totally freezing over the night, I think it got a lot colder than they were predicting, the sun came out to make for a perfect day of racing.

Cathy was excited to try the Sport class and the challenge of a longer course. As soon as she took off the butterflies were gone. When she came out of the woods for the first time she was running 3rd place and looking good.
They looped through the ski bowl and into the woods for more climbing. I seen her as she was heading out for the lap and she and the leader had opened a sizable gap over 3rd place. Just after starting the second of three laps as Cathy was going into the climbs she dropped her chain!! It only took a about 20 seconds which seemed a lot longer before she was off and going again. By this point the 3rd place girl had gotten by her. Cathy knew that they were the same on the hills so she was patient and waited until the single track to close the gap. Sure enough coming out of the second to last set of single track she made her move. Both of them sprinted through the open double track and Cathy beat her into the trees! The girl was right on her tail all the way to the finish! It was a really cool race to watch and I am sure it was even that much more fun to race!

It wasn’t long after she finished until we were lining up to go. I lined up toward the back because I didn’t want to go out too hard. We took off and hit the first climb. I was spinning the big ring really easily and there were about a million guys ahead of me so I made a small move over the top of the hill. The first lap was really fast, I was pushing in the hills but really didn’t feel like I was over doing it at any point. If ever a gap opened up I was able to easily get around my guy and close it up. My CrossMark tires were hooking up like it was no-ones business they rolled super fast on the hard pack and really gripped in the sand! At the end of the first lap our group had dropped to 4 guys and stayed that way for the next two laps. On the 4th lap I was just starting to feel the burn. I had been eating Clif Blocks which were total life savers, but I was starting to feel the fast pace of the last 3 laps. I struggled in the hills to hang on to the group and had to close the gap in the single track a couple times. Then right toward the end of the 4th lap 2 guys attached HARD. I stuck with Tim Drankus for about half way through the final lap. The last set of hills really hurt and I had to slow a little in order to recover and be able to finish. Two guys got around me and I jumped on their wheel. I was getting stuck in a lot of lap traffic and it was hard to keep a good pace going having to look out for other riders, no problems though that is how it goes. Coming into one of the last clearing I was right on Doug’s (Polska) wheel but just couldn’t get around him. I was really hoping to get him on the sprint but he hung strong and was able to keep half a bike on me at the line.Over all it was a really good race. I might have gone a little hard at the start but really the last lap isn’t suppose to feel like a walk in the park either. Everyone else had good races so it should be interesting to see how this season plays out.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Photo Blog

Don't let the sun and warm cloths fool you. Last night was sooooo cold!!

Cathy back at it. Hills are her playground!

After a little mishap on the second lap she really had to work for the top podium spot!

Speed was the name of the game during the Expert Race!

The dry weather really made for a fast course, plus I think everyone did their homework this was fast group!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

More rain

I have tempted the fate of weather forecasters since as long as I can remember. If there is a chance of rain or bad weather then I figure they are wrong and plan for sunshine. Up to this past week I have been doing pretty good. However I think today my luck ran out. I planned on getting out during lunch to do some more hub testing for work. I checked the weather and they were only saying 30 percent chance...that is nothing! As noon started to get closer the skies kept getting darker. I am not kidding AS I was walking to the door with my bike it just started pouring! I took off thinking it would just be some quick showers moving through. No it lasted the entire 1.5 hour ride, and I kid you not as I was pulling back into the driveway it quit raining and the sun came out!
Oh well I had a good ride, I really like riding in adverse weather. It seams like the worse the weather is the better I ride. In that respect I kinda hope we have a lot of rainy races....that is a tough call though. Rain during a race is just no fun!

Monday, May 01, 2006


That was the story all weekend. Saturday we decided if you can't beat it join it. So we suited up and embraced the wet! Actually it wasn't that bad it was wet but not too cold. We rode for about an hour doing some intervals to stay warm. We figured we were going to be plenty wet on Sunday at the Rockcut race we might as well get used to it.
When we got home we quickly through the cloths in the wash and hoped they would be dry in the morning. I was pondering what tires I was going to run. Would the CrossMarks have enough grip, should I switch to the ever trustworthy MiMo's, or go all the way to the Medusa? Then Christina called with news that the race was off! I guess a few years ago they had a muddy race and the city freaked when the trails gut tore up.
Sunday instead of racing I hooked up with Cory. I was testing a new hub configuration for work and needed to get some wet riding in...perfect it was raining sideways! Again it wasn't cold just wet. We pounded on eachother for about an hour into the driving wind. When we had enough of that we turned back toward home and talked about building 'cross bikes.
Looks like we are in for some more rain today, at least it is in the 50's. That doesn't seem warm but when you ride all winter and all the wet spray freezes making everything but your knees a block of ice it doesn't seem so bad!
We are gearing up for the first WORS race this weekend, hopefully the weather will make a turn for the better.