Wednesday, October 29, 2008

HOT Circles

The Haw Ridge race turned out to once again be a fun day on the bike.  Even though it rained all day friday, the course was only mildly wet and slick.  I decided to race the singlespeed to start it off.  To know why, you only need to look up above at the title of my blog. You know, riding in circles is just way too exciting, and I didn't want to be distracted by the clickies.  Maybe.  

I started off allright on the 1/4 mile of flat pavement, and was probably 10th or so heading into the woods.  Had to make a few passes halfway through, but for the most part it was smooth sailing and traffic free.  There wasn't a single puddle on the trail, and I finished the first lap with only a few splotches of mud.  The singlespeed was great for a few laps, but the steep climbs up red hill and the hill of truth were killing my knees.  The HOT is just the right grade and length where walking it would cost you minutes of time every lap, but it's steep enough that you are mashing horribly and wrecking your arms trying to get up it.

After 6 laps, I decided that singlespeeding was for amateurs, and hopped on the superfly.  It was silky smooth, and it felt nice to be able to spin again on climbs and actually make it all the way over the HOT.  I cut a lap close on forgoing the lights, and got to descend the last section in near darkness.  After that it was lights, warmers, and vest time, as the temperature dropped swiftly.

I was pretty much locked into third place all day, which is pretty much what I was expecting based on my riding lately.  After 13 laps, I did some math and was able to call it a day a lap up on 4th.  After some free_ing cold times changing clothes afterwards, I was able to relax and hang out by the fire for a while.  Good friends and good beer couldn't really equal anything other than good times...  

Congrats to fellow 29er crew member Erik Nielson for winning the solo and Mike Biegalksi for a strong 2nd.  

Since I didn't get to see Rachel fall in the water, I guess I'll have to settle for this.  (For those that don't know, this trail is called Rachel's Landing...  You can probably guess why.)

"Has anybody fallen in the... SPLASH"

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hill O Truth

The 12 Hours of the Hill of Truth is finally upon us.  This is always a great race to end the season with.  It's always exciting to be able to do a 12 hour race and still sleep in your own bed the night before and after the race. Well... Without driving all night and getting home at 4 or 5 in the morning anyways.

Stay away from me Disco Ball of Broken Dreams

Hopefully this year's race will go a bit better than the last one.  I got on a plane in Hawaii feeling fantastic the wednesday before the race. A few hours later saw me feeling sick in the stomach and shivering uncontrollably in an airport with a fleece jacket and 2 blankets on me.  I felt a little better over the next few days, but not 100%. I had already pre-registered, so I did the race anyways.  My first 2 laps were sort of mediocre, but ok if I had kept that pace all day.  My third lap was awful, and I dropped alot of time.  By the end of my 4th lap, I had dropped 15 or 20 minutes off my first lap and had stopped 3 or 4 times to share the contents of my stomach with the side of the trail.  After that, I called it a day...

With 100% chance of rain today with one inch of rainfall expected, it's gonna get messy for sure. Looks like I'll be starting on the SS. Actually I'll probably just ride it all day. Gotta keep it interesting...

Can we top the horrendous DSG mud?  Perhaps?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Finally Fall?

Over the past few days it seems like fall has finally arrived.  After sweating on my commute in 80 degree weather a few days ago, I'm now breaking out the winter clothing and learning how to shiver again.  I guess right under 40 degrees isn't that bad, but I'll probably still complain and whine for a few weeks about it.  

At least I have another month or two until the red shins return...

Although I've been carrying my camera with me everywhere, I haven't been finding many good pictures on my commute. So far, this is about the only good one I've been able to find.

Because I'm pretty sure it's not really love until you write your names on a rusted out industrial sized trash dumpster. I would have loved to have seen the moment this happened...  Maybe they were huffing markers and there was something magical about how the moonlight glinted on the dumpster. Something profound about the shadows from a streetlight?  Who knows... Godspeed Johanna and Wesley...Godspeed...