Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Pretty groovy weekend, started with the Wapello to Burlington RR or the "Road Rash 33", this is the first year I finished with the "pack", the "pack" being 75 of us all trying to perfect our Mario Cipollini finish line sprint. The race itself was very strange in the fact that almost the entire group of 100 plus riders stayed bunched the whole time, every one wanted to get to the front and SLOW DOWN . I spent more time yelling SLOWING than anything else, although at one point even mellow Mattonne was screaming at riders around me to quit crossing the centerline and diving back into the pack and SLOWING...Oh well I have to admit I was pleased with my finish but the friggin finish line camera must have been from the civil war era, cause I believe I'm in the group of riders "unidentified" from 10th to 15th position, but during the 40+ mph sprint to the line most of my teamamtes were taken out in a NASTY crash, our team Coach is sporting a broken collarbone and a rainbow of ugly bruises, so even with THREE numbers on you could not make out anybody from the 18th century "lithograph". The Snake was another thing altogether, I entered the 40+ "open" race OOPS When everybody shows up to the line in a skin suit I knew I was in the WRONG race and out of my league, I DNF'ed after four laps to save myself any further shame, I should have done the regular Cat 4 race with all the usual suspects that I normally race with...hindsight being 20/20! I had my BEST time yet on the "Cobble Climb", but Dennis and Dominic crushed me by 1 second, and .5 seconds respectively, podium sweep by the local Boy's as we finished 1-2-3. The next Female PHENOM will be Mrs. Brakeville, cause the cycling bug has bitten her, she wanted to race in the Quad cities Crit so we headed to The "ROCK" as in Island, Once again I had already been signed up for the WRONG race, this time in the 30+ "open", I did find out that I can ride my bike for approx. 15 minutes at 30+ miles an hour but thats about it, I hope our sponsors weren't watching me! But I finished, last, and like Forrest Gump, "thats all I have to say about that". The Mrs. did her first (of many I hope) Crit in the Cat 5 race and was the first Woman across the line!! She even came along on the Tuesday night roadie ride, Warms my heart...now I'm gonna have to fight over who gets the new ZIPP 404's I've had my eye on DAMMIT!
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Venom is not just a Spiderman villain, its what THIS makes your legs legs feel like after a couple laps. The SNAKE ALLEY CRIT, I haven't done a road race since I went up to CAT 4 so this is gonna HURT. I only hope they put me out of my misery quickly. The racing starts Friday with the Wapello to Burlington RR, 33 miles, 150 riders, lots of band-aids. See it here Bring your Mountain Bike for the Cobble Climb AND, rumor has it there will be a group of riders hitting Dehn's woods after the Criterium Saturday. THE biggest bike weekend that I don't have to drive anywhere, WOOHOO...
Monday, May 22, 2006
Raced in Council Bluffs Iowa on saturday, Had to be one of the hardest trails to build I've seen. The first downhill is like being on a bobsled track, your about neck deep in a trail(gully) with HUGE bank turns, twisting down over roots and jumps till it dumps you out on the flat, definitely one of the most unique trails I've ridden. The whole system was bench cut into the side of a bluff, had to be MASSIVE amounts of trailwork involved, but it FLOWED great. At least while it was dry...The Ultra hard pack dusty clay of my pre-ride turned to ultra hardpack with brown snot a 1/2 inch thick, as the rains came in an hour BEFORE the Expert race. All I could think of as I hit that first downhill was the song, "LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR" the super dooper bobsled trail turned into a water slide, but lined with brown slime! there were bikes and riders in various states of carnage from the top down to the bottom (I added to the bruise fest on my second lap, still a little sketchy on the bottom left hander)What a ride though, I felt "good" for the whole thing but POPPED trying to go to fast in the GOO too early, by the time I got to the final climb going back to the start/finish line "MT. NEVER-REST" it was cyclo-style for me, all the guys I left back at the downhill grinded past me. Thanks to everybody involved for putting this event together, got to hang with the RASSY POSSE a bit and talk INK with Squirrel, who by the way SMOKED this course on a 29'er S.S. I know first hand, he passed me somewhere near the end! Pete Basso was tryin to get my fat butt back on the bike going up "not-even-in-grannie-est" but i was GASSED so bad I could'nt even talk let alone ride! No cramps but my fitness is WAY behind this time last year, too many other things going on, maybe I'll ride myself fit like JAN ULRICH in the GIRO (not), but I've had fun so far, so I guess thats what its all about. Ended up taking Mrs. Brakeville to Sugarbottom on Sunday, Quote from my better half "product tester" after one too many hits getting used to her new pedals, "I F**KING HATE CLIPLESS F**KING PEDALS!" I thought one more hit like that and I'd be trading HER bike in for a new SESSION 77 for Daddy! But Momma got TUFF and started hitting the TRAIL back on our second time around, GOOD ON YA MATE!! If it were easy everybody would do it,And I got my ridding Partner back! Next up; the SNAKE See ya!
Friday, May 19, 2006
Going to Council Bluffs Saturday to get whupped by the EXPERTS from Nebraska. It should be COOL area to race, I think this trail includes a bit of the Loess hills and the Missouri river bluffs (read HILLS). Hope my legs show up this time. I'll steal some photo's and have a race report Sunday. Sunday is also the Burlington Fleche ride. The Mrs., her Dad and I will spin along with the rest of the folks for a nice 30 mile recovery ride to Geode State Park and back...I may even clean my road bike, still a mess after the washout tuesday group ride. "No motorized vehicles, pedestrian traffic only" the clearly visible signs at Dehn's woods. Friggin four wheelers DESTROY single track...
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
The PAMBA series has always been near and dear to my heart, I sorta cut my racing teeth over in Peoria. This CLUB is the BEST group of mountain biking peeps I've had the pleasure to meet in the midwest BAR NUN!! PAMBA maintained trails set the standard for any I've ridden, a person could not find any better single track in the heartland, they even have "Big Hit" downhill and Four cross sections included in their series. (I need a Session 77 Momma). Iowa has been growing too, ALOT of new venues for mountain biking have emerged over the last few years, and the IMBCS has something like 11 races this year. Makes it tuff on me to decide which races to attend because SO many XC events between both are on the same day. I'm going to have to miss the next two "I74" dates to concentrate on the IOWA side this year, this weekend is IMBCS #4 in Council Bluffs Ia. Going to try to hang on to my position in the points chase (easier said than done), June 18th is a "stage race" in Washington Ia. Sounds like a good time, bit I'll miss the "FARMDALE FRENZY", bummer, same day again. I'll get to Peoria and mix it up with Howie and T.T. in July. See ya at the races!!!
Friday, May 12, 2006
Did some late night laps around the Snake Alley Crit course, it was really tuff cause of the wind last night, I used to just ride the alley by itself but during the race there is another nice hill coming off Jefferson street, THEN the Snake. Thought I better start including both just to get the "feel" of it. MIDZ if your reading this I tried "Elite" during a group ride tuesday, tested the legs a bit, and LIKED it. Thanks! My nutrishun is pretty poor anyway (like my spelling) so a few more electrolytes can't hurt me, also gettin hooked on POM straight from the fridge, I don't think I could identify a Pomgranite in a fruit line up, but it tastes yummy. Tonight is "all slackers eve" and its too wet to ride anyway so I'm going to watch Texas chainsaw massacre or something... Happy MOM's day!!
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Having ridden more or less the same bike for a number of years you get to know how it "feels" or rides on any given terrain. ( I still use the original 2001 model LX shifters that came with the Fuel, along with seat post and stem, but everything else has been replaced sometime since then) Road riding for me exposed a nasty habit of pedaling in "squares", mostly as a result of having about 3/8 inch of "bob" on the mountain bike that "absorbed" this fault in my spin. So much so that when i locked out the suspension on the MTB, or while riding my road bike, I bounced, very strange sensation. I got to race on my "old" frame shock fresh from a rebuild by PUSH, propedal is NICE, ALMOST hardtail firm even in the big ring, but with the push "tune" parts, very plush and active over the rough stuff, including smaller hits. I needed 140lbs in the shock before to keep it half way firm, but "soft" enough to use as much of the 3 inches of travel as possible. with the propedal, I've lowered my shock pressure to 75lbs, use ALL the travel in the frame design, yet keep it very firm when the trail is smooth. The trade off is I'm having to learn how to climb the "steeps" again, as I tend to spin out more now with the firmer shock that does not react to pedaling input (hammering up hills). The verdict is if you have an older type FOX Float frame shock, and you want to take advantage of PROPEDAL or even just to make your existing frame handle smaller hits better, getting your shock "PUSHED", is an easy way to get both, and its half as much as a new shock to boot...
Monday, May 08, 2006
I've never suffered to the extent I did yesterday, I could have used a WHOLE box of midol for the cramps that started from the inside of my thighs to my feet yesterday. Every time I tried to "power up" my legs would just QUIT working, seriously at one point during this race I had to hop up a little hill cause my knees would not bend. The day started off bad with Mrs. Brakeville and I doing a little "recon" on the course, made her miss her start time for her first race in three years, DOH!!! Apparently I can't tell time. I thought strongly about quitting on the fifth lap, I figured I would lock up completely in the woods and have to be rescued, but I went ahead at the BLISTERING pace of about 9mph and finished DEAD LAST, but a finish none the less. ( I actually PLACED 3rd In expert masters +35 and earned 20 bucks, my first PAYCHECK from racing) But I was almost to embarrassed to accept it, never had the Cramps before, I hope I never experience them again...Maybe I should start training more??????
Thursday, May 04, 2006
...Have been NONE, The CEO and OWNER was in town this week, I don't get to hang with multi-millionaires too often so I've been busy at work. IMBCS #3 is this weekend and normally this time of year I'm never too far away from the "chamy cream" stage, I should be quite rested and refreshed from TWO "taper" weeks of no impact, no intensity, no aerobic and no interval workouts...See everybody in Waverly!!
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Monday, May 01, 2006
Inspired by the upcoming "Teen Tri" (athalon) the WHOLE family decided to do a three mile run last night. According to my trusty Cateye, my block is an almost perfect 1/4 mile, so 12 laps = 3. Damn that hurt, is hurting, and I can hardly walk today. MIDZ is a masochist, runnings not FUN, its painful and demoralizing :-) Speaking of which, TRANS IOWA was a washout, the weather won the day. like I said, I sat and tried to put myself in their position, no one made it to the first time cutoff, and if you've ever seen a "B" level road in IOWA its basically a dirt path between farm fields, and after a couple inches of rain its a small muddy stream between farm fields. Now THAT'S suffering. I think the farthest anybody got was 119 miles, in about TEN hours! I'd to like to try it next year. Running and carrying your bike through a foot of mud, WHY? Why not?