Wednesday, July 30, 2008

System Reboot

Well, so much for nationals...

After a nice allergic reaction (cause? no clue...) over the weekend that seems to be lingering, I've decided not to risk a 12 hour drive to Wisconsin on the hope that I'll feel good by Saturday. It's possible I might be good to go, but my memories of racing the Haw Ridge 12 hour last year slightly sick don't make me eager to try it again. I ended up with my only DNF of the year after dropping 20 minutes on my 4th lap and puking 3 times. I was looking forward to checking out Madison, as everyone I talk to tells me it is quite an awesome place. But I can't really justify the expense and time not knowing if I can even finish the thing, much less be competitive...

On the bright side, I'll actually get to race the Fontana Night Train 12 Hour next weekend. [Click the link to check out their excellent photo selection skills] With over 1000 ft of climbing every 5.5 miles, it's a course that suits me well. Definitely bringing the gears for that one though... And maybe I'll even do the Fools Gold 100 now. Perhaps...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Consistency is Key

A big part of 12 and 24 hour racing is being consistent. Setting a steady pace that you can handle is always a good idea to ensure that you stay strong and that you're not sitting on the side of the trail swatting moths away from your light at 3 in the morning. Knowing what to eat and drink, how much, and when to eat it keeps you fueled for the long haul. And rolling through the pits with the quickness every lap keep things moving as they should. Throw all this together and you get the added bonus of looking the same whether you've ridden for 2 hours or 20 hours.

Consistency is kind of one of those things that if you do it right, no one really knows you've done anything at all.

However, I often feel the need to flaunt my consistency. That's why I spend a lot of time practicing my positioning for when I go by the cameras. Head down 12 degrees, hands perched on the ergons, eyes focused on the terrain, bling .... umm, well, blinging. Now that's the kind of consistency you can't miss.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Soho Much Better

I decided to park the car back in January and have been commuting it ever since. The Trek Soho S has been my A to B rocket, and I couldn't be happier with it. The singlespeed is simplespeed, and the matte black is super sweet. Being able to spin on the bike is so much quicker and less frustrating than fighting traffic and burning gas. The greenway system in Knoxville keeps growing, which makes commuting even more convenient. I think the current tally is around 40 miles of greenways in the city, with plans for more. Although, you do have to watch out for the occasional but elusive Knoxville lemurs.

You don't want to see this, so whether you're heading to work, running errands, or just catching a flick, hop on the bike and give it a go. It's amazing how much better you feel spinning on the bike while everyone else is trapped in their cars. And who can complain about saving money and reducing greenhouse gasses? Join the pedal power revolution today.

On a side note, a great part of my commute to the U of T is always the 2 or 3 minutes I spend basking in the glory of the MovinCool. This little guy keeps our servers cool by shooting freezing cold air out at maximum velocity. According to the sticker, it cools at a rate of 24,000 btu/hour. I don't really know what the hell a british thermal unit converts to, but it sounds impressive… But anyways, this thing takes you from sweating to shivering in a minute flat… Ooooooh, yeah.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th O July

To celebrate the 4th, the local club team always has a big group ride and cookout, which always ends up being a nice tough ride and a great time. This year was no exception. There was a good crowd of 40 or so people rolling out at 9:00 am for either 35, 65, or 100 mile options. I decided to do the 65 to maximize my relaxation time, although I'm sure memories of the 100 from last year helped to make the decision for me. The 100 mile option adds a loop though the homestead development, which has some of the biggest and meanest climbs in east TN. I vividly remember weaving diagonally up one hill at 4 miles an hour in my 39x27 while the sun beat down on me and the top of the hill mocked me in the distance. Good times...

The ride went well, although the start was sort of stressful when my saddle slipped a mile in and rotated forward, and I had to stop to fix it and chase back to the group. As it always hits some nice roads in areas that I don't normally ride, the route is usually pretty fun every year. Lots of little rollers, a few bigger climbs, and some sweet views kept it interesting. The pace was good, and having Geri and Spencer decide to do the 65 made for some nice intervals trying to chase them down when they decided they wanted to ride.

After the ride, the club had a bbq/pool party. Hanging out and relaxing at the pool was definitely a great way to end the day. My lack of time in the sun definitely showed though, as I was left with the "neopolitan" tan of strawberry red shoulders, vanilla sleeves, and a chocolate biker's tan on the rest of my arms. It looks fantastic, let me tell yah... For Saturday, I had planned on doing the Rocky Top 100k, which combined my interests of riding bikes, eating pizza, and drinking beer quite nicely. However, I woke up at 7:00 am to a torrential downpour, and decided that riding in the pouring rain would probably be for amateurs. It eventually dried out though in the afternoon, so I still ended up getting a good ride in, and even got homemade pizza and beer later on. So overall a pretty sweet and relaxing weekend.