Thursday, July 26, 2007

Getting Settled

I think we are finally getting everything set and put away from our move. The bedroom is painted and recarpeted, the living room is painted, we just picked out a new couch and love seat set for upstairs, and Mercedes has enjoyed exploring her new back yard.
We were back in Janesville a week or so ago for the Thursday night mtb ride and stopped by our old neighbors house to say hi. After talking for a while they gave us a toy that Mercedes loved when ever she would go over there - Fred the duck.
Everyone is getting pretty pumped about 24-9 this weekend. We aren't going up this year but are trying to get out to California for 24 hour World Championships. A lot of things have to come together before that can happen and with not too much time left it is going to be tight. Good luck everyone this weekend, hopefully you will have better luck than last year!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

I hate Blue Mounds!!

Saturday I was planning on getting a nice long hard day in. Originally I planned on going out to the Kettles around noon but our trip to the farmer's market took longer than planned. As we pulled off the bike trail to down town we were stopped by droves of people and these crazy guys running with a canoe down the street!! I had no idea what was going on and was wondering if some got busted for fishing without a permit and was on the run do I tackle them and be a hero or stand and cheer like everyone else? We chose the latter...fortunately...because after asking around turns out they were the leaders of the Paddle and Portage race - not some canoe wielding fugitives!
We made our way up the square to watch the other 300 contestants making there way from Mendota lake to Monona lake via the Isthmus and downtown. From there we walked around in the crowds for a while before heading home.
It was getting late to drive out to Kettle and ride so I just headed out on the Military Ridge trail to Blue Mounds for a lap and then back. I have only rode out there twice in the past 3 years. 3 years ago I did a 12 hour race and got 6 flat tires before taking the win. I vowed never to ride there again. Last year Cathy and I rode there and miraculously didn't have any problems. As I got into the park on Saturday I was having seconds thoughts but told my self to just go slow and get through one lap. The rocks were sharper than I remember and I missed most of them but some were just unavoidable. I finished up and had a bad feeling about one of the hits. I knew my air was limited and not having a tube I gassed it home. Mt.Horrib was as far as I made it before I was on the rim and on the phone calling Cathy for a ride home. Once I got home I was surprised to have made it as far as I did, the rock had cut the side of the tire from the rim to the tread. Stan's did everything he could but it just wasn't enough.
I have renewed my vow NEVER TO RIDE AT BLUE MOUNDS AGAIN!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Reforestration Ramble

I have heard that every racer has good and bad years. I have experienced a few good years and some learning years but have never really had a bad year...until now. Having not finished the past two races my goal had changed from finishing in the top 10 or top 20 but just to get through the race. With the marathon being 46 miles I knew that was going to be a tough enough goal. We started out at a really comfortable pace with the entire pack together. The leaders drilled it a couple times but that only strung things out but we all stayed together. The first single track was about 5 miles in and that was what ended up breaking it up. Jumping back onto the ski trail the leaders had a gap and I was with 2 other guys in a chase group with a larger pack behind us. I was pushing hard to get back on with the lead group but didn't want to over do it and blow up. Coming through the lap area I was looking for Cloe for my water bottle but there was a ton of people around and missed her. I panicked for a second thinking how am I going to get through another lap without any water!? The lead group was just up the road and I knew if I could get up to them life would be alot easier. I kept the pace at Steady State, something I knew wouldn't blow me up and finally we closed the gap. I was able to bum some water off Nate Guerra which was a life saver. I was dangling off the back trying to conserve as much energy and water as possible. Finally the lead group got away and I settled in with the second group. Cory was riding really good so I let him by and he was gone. Finishing that lap was really tough, I was totally dried out. I found my water bottles through the lap and grabbed two hoping to pull things together. I soft pedaled for a while and polished off one of my bottles almost instantly. Things weren't coming around like I was hoping so I took the 3rd lap really slow and hoped I could gain some ground on the last lap. Coming through the lap I stopped for a second and grabbed 2 bottles, a banana, a granola bar, and some fig newtons. I was starting to get frustrated because things were just not coming together. I tried to jump on with Comp riders as they were coming around me but there was no response in my legs. Finally about half way through the last lap some riders came up to me and said they were in my class I got really mad and just punched it this time the legs gave me a little feed back and I was able to get away from them through the finish.
Cathy didn't come up because of the no dog ruling. Sunday she headed down to Janesville and did a ride with Christina. Things were going really good until her valve stem broke off, resulting in a flat tire. Christina rode back to her place got an extra tube and then drove back to the park. Between the two of them they got the tire fixed and finished up riding the trails. Cathy has been back on the a couple times and really has a lot more energy. We have some really easy trails around so that is good for her to get out without having to worry about crashing.
No races for a couple weeks so it will be nice to get refocused...again...and get the rest of the season planned out.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

IT'S going to be A BOY!!!!

Cathy had her Ultra sound today and we got to see our little baby. It was super cool how they could do cross section views to see the heart pumping, all the blood veins, the spine, ribs, hands, toes and everything super clear. Cathy is right on track for a November 13 due date so that is really exciting.

This is a really cool 3D thing that they do. They take a few pictures at different angles and then put them together to get a 3D image. Some of the areas didn't register in all the pictures so that is why he kinda has a funny head. (I am sure it's not just my genetics)

A really nice side picture

Last but not least the feet that are going to keep Cathy up kicking all night. This is going to be the only time he can kick his mother and get away with it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Crashed and Burnt

After a really slow start to the season I was hoping Eau Claire would be the turning point. This is a really good course and always draws some really strong riders. Cory and I pre-rode on Saturday and the course was awesome, I kept joking that I should just ride 6 laps Saturday and scrap the race...hindsight that would have been a good idea! Sunday we got to the race, it was really nice and everyone was saying the course was in great shape. I had a better start than I was expecting and was quickly sitting in the top 10 on the lead out. It was really dusty, but not THAT bad and then all of the sudden some guy come blasting up next to me and drills my handle bars. Everything happened in slow motion which was really sweet! As my bars spun around my tire blew off the rim and the rim dug into the gravel. I went over the bars and landed on my head HARD! I tumbled a couple times while thinking 'nobody is going to see me in all this dust and there are about 50 guys coming really fast'. About midway through that thought I took the first hit to the ribs. By the time the dust settled and everyone was gone Sam Oftedahl and myself were down and out pretty hard. I pulled myself and bike off the trail knowing the women weren't far behind us. On the way back to the car I assest the damage; seriously broken helmet (2 large dents and cracked in 6 places), gash on four head, bloody nose, gravel rash on both elbows, both shoulders, and entire right calf, and a pretty sizable gash on my left knee. The bike didn't fair to well either with 2 broken spokes, bent wheel, bent brake rotor, grips are ripped off, and the seat took a pretty hard beating.
After checking in with Cathy I headed to first aid and they got me all fixed up. I spent the rest of the day cleaning dirt and gravel out of my wounds while Cathy handed bottles and proceeded to get burnt. Needless to say neither of us slept at all last night!
I will get some pictures of the carnage up here soon.