Friday, February 29, 2008

Fast Happens

Hmm....Who Knows...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hot Off the Press

Apparently Mountain Bike Action wanted a rock star to truly show off their 26er/29er gear comparison article in the April issue, but they settled for digging this up instead:

Who knows where they got it from, but the pic was taken at the 2006 24 hour "world championships" in Conyers. Pretty cool to get some magazine facetime, even if there was not so much a name in the caption. At least I'm the guy in front and not the guy struggling behind. The article itself is a bit lame. Seems like they wasted alot of time trying to measure something that could be calculated in Excel in about 30 seconds.

And I'm not sure how they found my secret, but I guess it's out now. "By knowing my gearing, I'm able to finish off my competition by the top of a long climb." Now everybody is going to be expecting it...Damnit...

Sunday, February 24, 2008


The plan for saturday was to get 4-5 hours in on either the road or the mountain. Since it rained all day friday, that left me with the road. Temps looked to be in the low 40s for most of the day, with a high of 48. So I bundled up, and was nearly sweating as I was filling up tires and bottles. At that moment, I was convinced I had way too much clothing, but decided to just roll with it and zip things down. This would prove to be about the last good decision I made for the day.

I made it about 4 miles before I was again convinced I had way too many layers, but unzipping everything made it bearable. As I got about 15 miles south of Knoxville, there was a consistent mist. So much for staying dry, but at least it wasn't full on raining. After getting to Walland, I had the option of either taking the flat way out to Townsend, or climbing up the Foothills Parkway. After convincing myself that taking the flat way out would totally be an amateur move, I headed out towards the parkway.

What, no sun? Com'n!

I wasn't really paying attention to the obvious signs on the climb up. Constant mist, along with a nice drop in temps had me zipping up all my layers while I was still climbing, and visibility kept decreasing. After making it to the top, I downed a gel, and turned to head back down. This moment would prove to be the last time during the ride that I could feel my toes. I made it about a mile and a half down before I was shaking enough to move the bike and had bright red shins. Great start, as I'm freezing to death after 1.5 miles and still have 8.5 to go. All my clothes being wet from the mist wasn't helping, and my body fat was not so much protecting me. Getting the rest of the way down required stopping twice to warm my hands up and trying to brake and pedal on the way down to attempt to generate some heat.

At least the visibility was good.

I finally felt sort of comfortable again on the way back into town, but it took almost an hour of riding. The rest of my afternoon was spent thawing out my feet and fingers. Red, swollen, and tingly appendages are a good thing, right? I won't say it's the coldest I've ever been, but I can't remember having a colder day on the bike. Definitely more of an epic ride than I was planning for, but I guess those are good every now and then. I know for sure now that I will never be a tenth of the man that Andy Hampsten is...

In bike news, the bits and pieces of the Rig build are starting to trickle in. Hopefully everything will show up and I can get the bike built up by the end of next week.


B-Dot Christmas

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Done Deal

Was there ever any doubt?


Wednesday, February 13, 2008


With the Superfly most likely being a pile of carbon dust at the moment, I've got to decide what I'll be doing for my first couple of races. My season is really stacked in late April and May, and then calms down. So worst case scenario, I'll be going two 12 hours, a 24 hour, and a 100 miler without the Superfly. Hmm... That didn't sound like much in my head before I typed it, but that looks like a good 56 hours or so of racing.

Since the Fontana weekend, I've been debating the whole singlespeed thing. It was fun to play around on for sure, but painful enough to make me question what would happen over long distances. The challenge definitely intrigues me though. One of my goals for this season is to branch out some from what I've been racing the last two years. I won't say that pedaling a full-suspension couch in circles hasn't lost a bit of its luster. Eat this, drink that, ride a lap, repeat. Maybe throwing a "complain about gearing" and a "walk a bunch of climbs" in there would be a start.

And it turns out that cross racing is better on a cross bike than a full suspension mountain bike...who knew?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Looks like I'm gonna have to live with only being fly for a while. The super- will come, but it's looking like it will be May before that happens.

I'll see you my friend...but not yet, not yet.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Singletrack Circles

I took advantage of the great weather today to get a few hours of singletrack in, as the mountain bike has definitely been feeling neglected. With IC King Park being only 5 minutes away from downtown Knoxville, it has the reputation of being a great place for a quickie. And the mountain biking is pretty good too.

The weather finally worked out to leave Knoxville with pristine and dry (mostly) singletrack for the first time in recent memory. Today was nearly perfect for February, with mid 50s temps, along with a good amount of wind. There were some gusts coming off the lake that made me glad I wasn't out on the road. IC King only has 8 miles or so of trail, so getting the necessary ride time in definitely required some loops. I called it a day after getting a little over 30 miles in. Bring on the hamster wheel...


Monday, February 4, 2008

Fontana Village, NC
Icycle 2006 - 30 degrees, sloppy mud, and snowing...
Icycle 2007 - 24 degrees, Icy, Frozen mess...
Icycle 2008 - 60 degrees and sunny? What happened?
Knoxville crew before the race
I skeptically ventured out for the Icycle this past weekend, expecting a sufferfest of epic proportions... Instead I got a nice weekend of R&R with some of the warmest weather I had seen in weeks.
Going with the expected theme of suffering, I figured Fontana would be a great course for a first attempt at spinning around on a singlespeed. I'm not really sure how I've made it this far without riding a singlespeed offroad for more than 5 minutes. But it sounded like a good idea at the time, so there I was, waiting for the lemans start and hoping 32x18 was my favorite gear...

The race course was in surprisingly good condition, considering that it had rained quite a bit in the days before. A few spots were wet, but 90% of the course was perfect. Rocking the singlespeed was definitely different, but it was a good time. As for the gearing, I probably should have run a 19t, as I was mashing the majority of the race. The race was quite short, with the singlespeed race being a whopping 9.5 miles. Sweet, we almost did the distance of a beginner class XC race... In the end, I came in 12th out of the 40 or so singlespeeders, so it looks like I have a little more work to do figuring out the SS thing...
Singlespeed Action
Coming soon to a 12 hour near you? Who knows...
Afterwards, we spun around for another lap, and then watched the nighttime downhill. Watching the downhill guys practice was pretty sweet, as you could see 6 or 8 guys hauling down the mountain 10 ft apart with lights blazing. Since I like keeping the number of bones in my body at exactly 206, the downhill is not my thing... But kudos to those guys, they are fearless. Overall, the Fontana weekend was good times and a great way to ease in to the 2008 season.

Nighttime Downhill

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