Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ever get that feeling?

So the race is on! The organizer Chris sent out the official email this morning. Imagine all the different aspects of this race. You have pro racers that show up ready to blaze across the finish line in under 8 hours. Are you friggin kidding me? So these guys show up for some serious competition. Then there are the non-pro racers. These guys that are there for guts and glory. Well not so much glory but the glory of knowing you can ride 100 miles through some very rough terrain faster than most. Now we get down to non-pro-non-racers such as myself. These are the people that are exclaimed by their friends as "whackos", "tid bit crazy", "way off the rocker." We are there to ride our bikes absolutely as far as we can while having a great day in the woods and hope at the end of the day we come out unscathed and with a big "Benjamin" under our belts.

So I had that feeling this morning for the first time. You probably know what I am talking about if you have ever competed in anything. It is that "I don't want to eat breakfast because my stomach feels all funny mommy" feeling. You know the one that gives you nervous energy and keeps you awake all night before the event. When that happens I always have to take a deep breath and remind myself that I still have a few days before I am allowed to feel this way. Sometimes not letting these feelings overwhelm your thoughts and keep you from your "real work" is very difficult.

Well a itsy bitsy bit of stress relief last night. I talked to "the wrench" Clayton last night at Harrell's Bicycle World and my bike is being masterfully wrenched together. That is great and Gary Fisher is great for working so quickly with us to get me a new frame! Yes I am still worried but I was given comfort and loving thoughts from "the wrench" and I did give him a suitcase of beer the last time I saw him. So surely Karma is flowing at me if not in my direction.

I send you of with a chant of sorts. It is like that slow rolling thunder of a sound that starts in a stadium when "Rudy" comes out on the field

Claayton, cllaaayyyton, Claaaaayyyytttoooon . . .

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"The Curse"

Some people call it that even though I don't believe it one bit. Supposedly I have some sort of dark cloud of evil that follows me to endurance mountain bike events. The first time I did a 24 hour race, we were on a four man team with a tropical depression moving in during the night hours. The last 12 hours were spent biking and slogging through hurricane bands of rain. That was my first endurance event and I was hooked from that point on. The night laps that I did were some of the best and worst times I have ever had on a bike.

So what does this mean? Nothing really except for the fact that the potential for me to do another "first timer" in a strong storm. As Ernesto (sounds like a wimpy name) moves up the coast there is a chance that this depression could reek some havoc on our day. I don't really mind biking in the rain. Helps cool things off. However camping in the rain the night before an event can be tedious. Luckily I have the perfect counterpart to help me stay dry.

So things will get interesting over the next few days as us racers watch the ever proceeding doom fly up the east coast.

On another note, if you don't know already there is serious talk of an awesome ride in Dupont on September 17th. If you are in the area you won't want to miss this one! Check IT out if you are interested.

Photo courtesy of Michael Field.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rest Days

In the beginning of the season I always hate the days directly before a race because I can't go out and really ride my bike hard. This week is a little different story since I have been riding my single speed a lot. I look forward to the days this week that I can just bum around and not worry about how many miles I am putting in. If I don't have it by now, I am not going to have it.

Its not as though I can really bum around anyway. I have quite a few things to do still to be ready for the race, more or less vacation. That's right folks vacation! The longest vacation of my professional career to date. I am not excited yet, due to all the things I have yet to do. I am headed to Dick's today to purchase a new mouth piece valve for my camel bak. The way it stands today I either blow my water back into the bladder or ride down the trail with my valve leaking water all over my leg. I have to stock inventory of 26" tubes, cliff shot bloks and the ever important chamois cream.

Keith Bontrager did a really good article on "home remedies" for endurance cyclists. I learned the hard way this season how much "butter" to use for a race. He shows us that too much isn't really an option. That's enough about that.

I am still anxiously awaiting my bike. Yes I am very nervous about this and so I shall say no more. I leave it to the bike shop gods.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Weekend Dirt

While down in Columbia over the weekend I was able to get in two dirt rides. On Saturday I met up with Aaron and we spun around Harbison State Forest. A good ride for the most part.

After the ride, I was able to get the CAKE dropped off and I hope to have it back in my hands sometime this week for a shakedown ride before the big day.

On Sunday, Toby and I went for a good 3 1/2 hour ride out at Manchester state forest. We both rode our SS, so it made for a good ride. We chatted about the ride coming up on September 17th. Don't miss this one it will truly be one of the best rides of the year.

That's all for now. Lots of work to do this week to get ready for the race and vacation.

Friday, August 25, 2006

One Hundred

Those words haunt my dreams at the present time. I am headed to the SM-100 next weekend and I feel prepared mentally and physically. Well as prepared as I can be considering this will be my first attempt at riding my mountain bike 100 miles. Supposedly this race has some pretty rocky terrain and isn't for the light of heart. Sounds like good fun to me.

Right now in my car I have two frames, six wheels and all the other components that go along with two bikes. I haven't ridden my CAKE since the ORAMM. This is because after the ORAMM I noticed some problems and I am awaiting a new frame. Supposedly I will have the bike in my hands some time next week. Which leaves me no time to make sure everything is tip top. Sure I could ride my newly purchased Karate Monkey, but that would be bad. I haven't had a professional fit on this bike, it only has one gear, I have ridden it less than 10 times and it is a hardtail. If you check out LyndaW's website (A super hardcore biker gal that I have yet to meet) she gives some "tips" on how to complete your first "hundie" on a mountain bike. One thing she explicitly says is "Leave your Hard Tail SS at home." Thanks for the tips LyndaW!! So with that being said I will bow very low and give the bike god's all the offerings I can offer over the next week and pray that one of the four-gazillion parts on my bike doesn't break. I might take some beer by the shop as well. A little good Karma can never hurt.

Last night I made a short run through Falls Park and then hit the gym. I will be executing some fun SS rides this weekend. I am hoping some people will come out to join me but if not I will spin it out with the animals in the park. So if you read this and you want to join me for a ride at Harbison State Forest this weekend, leave a comment on what time you can meet.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


So I guess I am now a blogger too. Why you ask? Well I am tired of emailing my race reports and then going to multiple forums to post them and not having the pictures the right size and. . . You get the point right?

Strictly speaking, this will not be a bicycle only blog. I will focus mainly on mountain biking but I will also post about vacations etc.

My first post was a picture of a log ride in Dupont State forest. This is the picture I will keep on my profile until my awesome photographer snaps another picture of me that I deem worthy.

A note about my links. I have linked to bloggers I either know personally or read often. Guitar Ted's site has a plethora of knowledge on 29'er bikes. He really seems to know his stuff. Maybe some day I will get to do a "Death Ride" with him.

Team Dicky is actually Rich and he is an "ok" biker with the skills to pay the bills. No seriously, he actually was sponsored by Race Face to do the Trans Rockies on a SS with his good buddy Josh.

Toby Porter is a fellow 29'er and a great endurance rider. I have had the chance to "ride" with/behind him a few times.

Eddie Odea is a powerful racer who recently got 4th in the 24 hour nationals. I have had the chance to race with him in things like the cowbell challenge and the Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race.

I will add my race links and maybe other bloggers later on. I mean I have only put in a couple hours on this so far so leave me alone Gosh!


Photo by Kristin Elliott