Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cohutta 100 Round Two

Cohutta time has finally come and gone for another year.

After a little bit of shivering in the dark and cold before the 7 am start, I rolled off in the front pack going up the road climb. However, my legs were not really feeling it at the start, and I lost contact with that group coming downhill during the stairstep road climb. Hit the twisty fast singletrack, and I was immediately undergeared with my 32x20. One or two guys caught me in this section, but I made it through it fast enough. The rest of the ride through old copper road back to the whitewater center was uneventful.

My legs felt way off going up the first singletrack section. I got passed by 3 or 5 people on the first climb, which, as a skinny climber guy, is never a confidence booster. 5 or 6 miles later I hit the fireroad I would enjoy for the next 70 miles. Passed a few on some of the climbs, and the legs were slowly starting to feel better. 

A fast geared guy from Deleware caught me on a flat section, and I hopped on his wheel. Having somebody to pace off as we hit the next climbs of was a big boost to getting my rhythm back. After riding with him for 10 or 15 miles, I rolled away at an aid station to start the bigger climbs of the day. I slowly passed back 4 or 5 of the ss riders who had passed me earlier. 

The rest of the day went smoothly, although the long flat section was no fun, and the last 20 miles were oppressively hot. Hitting the singletrack was fantastic, but I managed to get caught by a ss guy, and lost 20 seconds on him by the end of the race. I finished up in 7:51 for 8th place in the ss. So 30 minutes faster than last year, and I gained one place. The 32x20 wasn't quite as nice in the dry conditions, maybe next year a 19 will be better...

Congrats to fellow knoxville finishers Gary, Ed, and Elizabeth. Elizabeth managed to take a wrong turn and got 10 or so bonus miles. I'm pretty sure she was loving it. Also congrats to the plethora of 29er crew guys and gals at the race. Lots of podium places and great finishes for the big wheels.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I made the last minute decision this week to head out to Charlotte for the 6 Hour Grind on the Greenway race. With monsoons coming through on friday night, I was expecting a little mud. Luckily, the trails dried quickly, and aside from a few mud pits, the course was perfect after 2 or 3 laps. I chose to race the SS in the open class, and had an ok day. The course was pretty flat, with some short moderate climbs that were well suited to the 32x18 I was running. After having some stomach issues the first few laps, I was able to settle in and finish up the day with 65 miles in 6:15ish, and 4th place in the open solo division. Not bad for a 6 hour, and I really needed to get some racing in before the Cohutta. It's kind of hard to complain much about spending a day on the bike.

The day itself ended up being super long since we drove down that morning... 8.5 hours in the car and almost 6.5 on the bike meant that I slept great saturday night.

My bike didn't look so hot afterwards... 

But, after way too much cleaning on Sunday it was back to normal...

Monday, April 6, 2009

White too far?

I think I took the one step too far on the white. After switching from an all-white bike to a half white bike, I decided to top off the look of the new madone with some shiny new white speedplay zeros... They arrived in their pretty box, and after touching them once, I noticed a greasy smudge that wouldn't go away. 105 miles later, and they are permanently dirty and blackish-grey... Com'n... I guess I should have known better... at least it looked good for a day.

Friday, April 3, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, I decided to ride all 40 road  rides in the Knoxville bike routes book. I figured it would be a good way to explore some roads I might not hit otherwise. Here we are, a few weeks and an awesome new bike later, and I've hit the 25% mark with 10 routes down and 490 miles. 

"Melton Hill Park"

This route ended up being a nice 25 miles I was able to squeeze in by leaving work early on wednesday. Moderately hilly, but not bad. I think I'm finally starting to learn some of the roads out west. Maybe on the CBC ride I'll actually know where I'm going, and I won't look confused when certain people ask me questions about the roads and routes out west and wonder how I don't know any road names after being on them more than a dozen times...

"Loop through Norris"

Yesterday I decided to do a double, with 2 routes in North Knoxville. Both were full of rollers, and had 4 or 5 bigger climbs... The one on Conner road (at the end of each profile) especially sucked, even more so since I had to do it twice. Finished up with right over 80 miles with a few wrong turns / bonus miles. The legs are finally starting to turn over well after a not so good January and February. Getting closer...

"Hill Street Blues"