Monday, June 30, 2008

Black by Popular Demand

A lot of people seem to think it’s cool to tell me I don’t match. I mean, it's kinda close, right?

So for everyone distressed by my lack of color coordination, check it…

No more will you have to tell me that I can probably find some black shorts on or that the “light turquoise on the shorts doesn’t go with the cornflower blue on the jersey.” I mean, seriously, turquoise? Ladies, it’s clearly cerulean with a hint of malibu. Com’n…

But now that you can’t comment on that, you’ve got to fill that dead space in the conversation with something… I suggest: “Oh my god, Dave, ________”

You’re so fast.
Where did my inhibitions go?
Can I make you a sandwich?
Those big wheels are so manly.
Your arms are so huge.
Can I buy you a beer?

As always, ladies choice…

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dubya C

This past weekend while I was spinning for cowbells, the mountain bike world championships were held in Val di Sole, Italy. 4 time consecutive world champion Julien Absalon was going for 5, but didn’t make it happen. But his misfortune reminded me to dig some old photos out of the archives.

A little backstory: Back in the summer of 2005, I was touring around Europe a bit, and happened to be wandering around in Paris, and came across a bunch of expensive bikes lying around everywhere, as well as small crowds of spectators. Since I speak pretty much no French, it was difficult trying to figure out what was going on. After running into some Australian guys, I learned that it was part of a stage race. The course for the day was an individual time trial through the streets of Paris. Most of it was on cobbled streets with descents down stairs or ramps, and then climbing back up the short steep ramps between the stairs. It was pretty cool to watch the guys flying down stairs and whatsuch. The race ended at Sacre Coeur, the highest point in Paris.

This was back in the day when I had just purchased my first mountain bike a few months earlier (for riding on the pavement, of course.) I knew nothing about racing, barely knew what singletrack meant, and still thought xtr was impressive since a crank cost almost as much as my bike. But I had somehow managed to read or hear what the rainbow stripes meant. And so when I saw Absalon finishing the race all decked out with his rainbow stripes and shiny gold bike from winning the Olympics, I headed over to get a picture.

He was just hanging out at the finish, so I went up and motioned with the camera to get a picture. I said something to him in English and he just looked at me like I was a complete moron. Whatever, smile for the picture.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ring It

After skipping it last year due to racing too much, I finally got my cowbell fix this past weekend. In the past, the race has been held at the US whitewater center, but for whatever reason this year's race was held at Fisher Farms in Davidson, NC. The course only had 4 miles of singletrack, but included 3 miles of grass/field sections to increase the mileage. The singletrack was mostly tight, twisty and rooty, with quite a few techie sections of skinnies, rock gardens, bridges, log piles and the like. Overall, it was super flat, with only one short steep climb and 2 or 3 longer uphills. On a side note, this race is the only one in the southeast that has a "King of the Mountains" competition on the first lap. I just find it funny that the flattest course I've raced on crowns a king of the rollers.

Bling Bling... Also, something about this picture reminds me why I'll never be a good roadie.

The race was kind of tight at the start, as it was a mass start on the bikes with a downhill gravel road. It didn't exactly break things up. I had gotten a good spot near the front so traffic wasn't bad. Apparently, Dejay and Fuzzy were not at the race, and were just messing with Rich to psych him out. I couldn't complain. As I was discussing gearing at the start, Rich tells me he is running a 32x20 because the 32x18 was too big after preriding for a couple hours. Great, I was running the 32x18 and didn't even bother bringing additional cogs. As I didn't preride the course, the gear choice decision was running through my head for most of the first lap. My legs felt better than they have in the past weeks, but they still didn't have the top end snap in them. Surprisingly, the heat wasn't bad at all, with highs in the mid 80s or so. It even rained for a few minutes... although it was weird as the sun was still fully out as it rained.

The race itself was pretty uneventful. Just the usual ride in circles, drink some infinit, and stop when people wave their arms at you at the end and tell you you're done. I was in 4th for the first 5 or 6 hours, and then got bumped to 2nd when Rich and the roadie guy with the tree trunk legs slowed and dropped out. I saw Rich riding slowly through one of the field sections and finally passed him as he stopped to chat with the yazoo guys. That was the last shakeup in the placings for me, as I never really saw the soulcraft guy that won. Damn flatlanders. I needed another 500 ft or so of climbing per lap to have a chance. The 32x18 ended up being perfect, as I was never in danger of having to walk any climbs and wasn't too spun out on the rest of the course. Running the 20 would have definitely been a mistake. My legs felt best when climbing, and I was able to drop most of the pro guys with their fancy shifters going uphill. They could then of course resume crushing me on the flats and roots. With lightning and thunderstorms approaching, the race was ended half an hour early. I couldn't complain as I was locked into second and actually got to pack my stuff up in the daylight.

Moments after this shot was taken, I flexed my guns too and put him to shame but the camera missed it.

So overall, not a bad day on the bike to put down 112 miles in 10.5 hours and win not only money, but beer as well (and of course a cowbell also)... It's like they knew I was just going to spend the money on beer anyways. The geared guys were super fast on the day, and Tostado took the win with Nat Ross and Chris J rounding it out.

The golden ale is tasty, although, I'm not 100% sure on the kayaking turtle. I mean, let's be realistic here. If it was a turtle kickboxing or playing croquet or something, I could understand, but kayaking? Com'n...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Back to One

With the Cowbell Challenge coming up tomorrow, I'm finally going to be back on the singlespeed for the first long race in almost two months. At least my thumbs can relax for 12 hours. The race is shaping up to be as much of a throwdown as the DSG, as Dejay, Fuzzy, and Dicky are all going to be representing in the singlespeed class.

Rumor has it the course can be run completely in the big ring, so we'll see if the pool cues of power are up for it... The legs have felt better the past few days, but who knows what will happen tomorrow.

Oh, and Rich, Fjear only works on people fatter than you... and you forgot my imposing bling to make up for my lack of kabush chops. Com'n!

Random Video of the Day:


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Spin to (Not) Win

I would like to be able to say racing made a comeback this past weekend, but I can’t really back that one up. At least I got a nice training ride out of it…

Check out that number plate...

Since racing only one race a day is clearly for amateurs, I went for the double XC of the singlespeed and expert races at the local Haw Ridge XC race. However, my legs quickly let me know that they were not at all interested in racing at XC speed. So my singlespeed race instead turned into an endurance training ride. After finishing 2 laps of the 8 mile course, I had about 15 minutes or so to switch bikes and bottles for the expert race.

Well, I would have used that time to switch bikes if I had gotten around to bleeding my front brake on the superfly. So instead I rolled out for the expert race as the only singlespeeder. The ½ mile flat road start against the gearies quickly saw me spinning madly as everyone dropped me. I did manage to make it to the singletrack before 1 of the women who started about 15 or 30 seconds behind, but that was it. The course was pretty tough for Haw, as it went straight up one of the rockiest, rootiest, and loosest climbs in the entire park. That one definitely ended up being a walker all five laps.

After the bad legs at the start, I began to feel better with every lap. My laps were pretty consistent, with laps 2-5 all being within about a minute of each other. On the third expert lap, I finally started catching some other racers and managed to pass 3 people. I knocked out the 40 miles in right at 4 hours, so it wasn’t terrible for an endurance pace on the ss. I was pretty happy with that considering how tough the course was. As for results, I ended up with a pair of 3rd places, which sounds good until I point out I only had 5 other competitors between the two races.

Not really sure what happened to my legs. They had finally been feeling good for the past week, but apparently not good enough... Thats how it goes though somedays, everythings shiny, and then Bam!

And just like that, you're left with only the disco ball of broken dreams... Nothing else to do but pick up the pieces and roll with it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Random, but months ago I was out driving and saw the google street view car. I noticed yesterday that google finally updated the street view cities, and wasted the 20 minutes necessary to find myself. Dave 1, Productivity, 0. [I actually saw the street view car twice, but couldn't find myself in the other location]

Thats right ladies, it's got power windows

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer Returns

Around Knoxville the temps have been ramping up quite a bit the past few days. I guess that means my tan lines are only going to get worse...

At least my legs finally feel like they're making a turnaround. With the local Haw Ridge XC race going on this weekend, I'll have a good chance to see if I'm back on form for the Cowbell coming up on the 21st. I'm interested to see what the course turns out to be, as the venue has changed since I last raced the cowbell. Rumor has it that laps are in the 6 mile range, so it sounds like it might be a bit of a hamster wheel.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Disc Burner

I guess next year I'll have to get a more dark beer friendly color for the glasses...

Well my first attempt at promoting a race is finally (almost) over. We had 54 solo riders and 10 teams come out. The heat was pretty oppressive, with afternoon temperatures staying in the mid to upper 90s. Without a single cloud in the sky, it definitely wore on the riders as the day went on. The race as a whole went well, and there were only a few minor snags. Some removed tape sent a few people an additional mile or so off course, and we had some minor timing issues that had to be resolved early in the race. We had a few racers with minor injuries, but everyone stayed hydrated enough that we didn't have heat exhaustion problems. The course itself was in perfect condition all day, and the racers put down over 3000 combined miles.

Promoting the race was a lot of work, but I definitely learned a good deal to improve on the race for next year. It was a strange feeling being on the otherside of a race like this. I almost feel like it's more work to get stuff ready to go sit in the sun for 12 hours than it is to race for 12 hours. I suppose thats what happens when you get used to surviving for 12 hours with only a tub of powder and some jugs of water.

A big thanks to all the racers, volunteers, and family that came out to the race. I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to send me any comments, complaints, or suggestions for next year.

Friday, June 6, 2008


I was hoping to be back to good by this point, but my legs are still flat and I seem to feel tired all the time. The Burn has apparently taken its toll on my body. I suppose racing 325 miles off road in an 8 day period may have something to do with it. I'll start feeling better after an hour or so on the bike, but then my legs will just decide they don't want to put out any kind of power. Luckily I've only got one bigger race between now and nationals, so I should have almost two months to figure it out and get back to good. I'm kind of relieved to not be racing the Disc Burner, as I don't imagine it would go down well. I suppose I would be able to finish it, but competing when your only strength is a willingness to run yourself into the ground is probably frowned upon... unless you're Team Dicky, who would probably tell me to subtract three teeth from my rear cog and run a fixed gear for recovery...

Monday, June 2, 2008

One Week Gone

The recovery after a 24 hour race is never really good times. Usually it takes days and days before I can even think of getting back on the bike, but I was surprisingly not that sore at all. No bumps or bruises either, so that was nice as well. I took Monday off, and was back to commuting for the rest of the week and doing some recovery spins here and there. My legs were feeling good enough at the end of the week that I decided to put in a 3 hour ride on the rig on Saturday morning. This proved to be a pretty poor decision, as the leg strength has definitely not returned. Singlespeeding is not very friendly for recovery riding, and I felt like I would have needed a ginormous cog on the back to make it work. So I was instead left with lots of mashing and ridiculously slow climbing.

The Disc Burner is swiftly approaching, and I’ve got the fun week of making sure everything is going smoothly for that. I’m excited that the weather looks to be perfect. No rain for about a 6 or 7 day period with Saturday right in the middle of it. Accuweather even described the predicted weather for the day as “delightful.” So it will probably be a sort of hectic week again, but hopefully the day itself will go smoothly.