Monday, May 26, 2014

Steady Diet Of Nothing

Sitting in front of window waiting for this small shower to pass
getting way to jacked up on coffee. Four day weekends are like 
little gifts sent down from the gods up on Mt Olympus. 
With no racing this weekend I have just been cramming in as much Mountain Bike riding as I can.
Solid miles on dirt with and with out the kid as she floats back and forth between work
and the work of fat tires. 
We spent part of the weekend in the Rockwood over at the camp ground just outside of Levis. 
Camp Fires beer fishing and bike riding,,, Is their a better recipe of things to do when 
their is nothing better to do?
Next week is the race in Manko MN and it is one of my Favorites..
I like to think that my fitness is coming around and this race
will be a good test as it will be the first one that features any climbing, 
Three time a lap bottom to the top of the hill,, by the time it is done just under
4K of climbing. Not bad for life in the Middlewest.
Damn this rain is harshing on my Mellow.
Hope you all have a great time doing what ever it is you do!! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fast Times

Bike racing is a sure fine way to see where your fitness lies.
Mine may be under a rock somewhere back in April.
All things being the same I have to say that I am happy with the way yesterday shook out.
Unfortunately their are still no concrete results due to some new equipment snafu that
took place but I know that they are shaking out all the bugs to get it righted.

The Curran-mobile showed up to the venue
Total Hwood style after some road closures and some farm machines slowed down the processes of getting there.
I had the Rocket getting kitted up in the back seat of the Rav which was funny enough in its
self as he tried to navigate his bibs and enjoyed the felling of the
 leather seats on his bareass.
With four minutes to spare we got the boy to the line,,, Bike off the roof  number plate on and a
big High-five and it was time.
A four mile lap for the kids and the third time that the boy had been on his new bike,, I was a bit worried but all should be ok Right?
Some Forty minutes later had showed up smiling and
letting me know about all the tricky spots.
Happy to see him cross the line in one piece.

I had some time on my hands between races and got to cheer on some of the other Team Hollywood Cycles racers that were on course for the Sport race.
Semi dressed for fun I hooked up with the Bavers who was testing his legs after
a 5+ hour day at the Almonzo.
We ripped some of the single track figuring out lines and shooting the shit...
The Little Ginger is on fire this season and the sky is the limit.
Lining up it was a free for all and people shoved to the front of the chute.
I took the mellow approach and forced my way to the front,,, no respect..

I had Hwood to the Left of me and the New Kid Mcburnsy to my right.. Due to the nasty
crash that took me out years back they don't send us straight into the single put send us around the ball field and out to the back half of course.
It was a fast start and in one of the last corners I could hear carnage behind as wheels overlapped and people went down.  Hwood was charging hard as the group of Dom, Hall , and Young Jack hit the gas.. It took everything that I had to get back on and at times I left a little room to avoid the yo yo effect.  Eventually Jessie R came around and I missed his wheel and now I was chasing hard and pulling a line of guys that I did not want to pull..
From here it is kind of a blur,, I missed a corner and had the Bavers and Owen pass me,, But are flying fast right now,,, I needed to not completely shut it down but knowing it was going to be a two hour race stick with my plan.. The single track was in prime form and the dirt air pressure and corners all made for some fun riding.
I was able to put in a few attacks towards the middle of lap three and then consolidate during lap four going full gas now.  As far as I know I cross the line in 7th was as far up as fourth and drifted back at times around tenth.
For the first real test of fitness I can smile and say that more better is yet to come.
The rest of the team had a kick ass day and
our hope is that this will be another winning Year!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Breaking Two

Last week was my best week on the bike since I have been home from the desert.
With drier trails and longer days I was able to log some miles and climb some hills. 
But I am still down one bike,, with my single speed being broken on the seat tube. 
I have spoke with Spot and as of now they are only offering a crash replacement at a cost that does not make my wallet smile. 
So I took my Cracked bike to a local Fabricator who came highly recommended.
Paul at Blue Steel Fab has a pretty cool shop in his garage and even spent some years in Summit.
So our paths had crossed even though we had never meet.
He took a look at the crack and came up with a plan,, he was going to sleeve it and bring it back to life. 
The seat tube had a cable stop on it for the front derailleur which I told him that he  could 
get ride of it as it would be single from here on out. 
Palms were slapped and thanks given and I was on my way..
Flash forward to this morning and I get a text from him saying we have a problem.
He removed the stop and after filing it down noticed that the metal was soft to the touch. 
What he found above and below the stop holes in the frame. 
The seat tube so fatigued that there were multiple issues.

 The big hole is where the cable stop was and above and below you can see the holes and the crack above them. So what I am wondering is or was it a bad tube is just from something going on with the aluminum seat post and the steel of the frame. Regardless this bike should not have died after only three years of use and last year it did not see that much riding. 
Spot says that since I only paid 900  instead of full price of 1299 that they can't justify replacing it. 
Again I say horse shit,, and since they don't weld anything anymore they can't and wont do anything. 
Bla Bla Bla Bla and Bla... 
Just under 14K of climbing last week and 
I am feeling strong,, now just need to figure where my race pace is..
Sunday is the first Minnesota Series and it will be a real test of where i am and where I need to be. 
The LaMere is riding well and seems to have its own set of wings, so the plan is to 
hold on and go fast.

Now I just need to find a new Single Speed Mountain Bike,,
I feel naked with out one and not the good kind of naked.. 
Now only if the Money tree will start to grow..

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Gotten Higher

It is hard to believe that two weeks ago I was waking up to the Red Rocks of Sedona.
Again by far one of the most beautiful places that I have ev
er been to,,
and not that in the middle of the day it is not fun to look at but the sunrise and sunsets in this town are by far the best parts of the day. 
The deep canyons of burnt colored rocks light up and give off a display that has to be seen by the naked eye. 
This was going to be our last day in the High country before heading back down to the Valley.
Anna and James were going to hike while I was going to go for what i thought would be a quick ride, and the ride that everyone says that you have to do "The Hangover". 
Flash Back some eighteen years ago the Doctor and I packed up his Geo Storm and headed out to Moab. After a few days of riding we were told the must ride was Poison Spider,,
In 96 the bikes were not what they are today with disc brakes and good suspension.
The ride leading up to the portal was typical Moab riding,, up and over slickrock and through sandy washes.
Then comes the Portal the thin ribbon of single track that clung on to the side of hill overlooking the Colorado River.
Needles to say with a new baby at home and not wanting to come back dead I did not try to ride a lot of the tricky sections and portaged my heavy ass Gary Fisher across the deadly sections till we were able to descend back down to wallstreet.  
My experience on "The Hangover" was not that much different.
I spun up the Munds Wagon road looking for the sign to tell me turn here,,
with my over excited self basking in the early morning sun I took the first turn for the Hangover,,
First mistake,,,,,,, The trail map said that the trail should be ridden in a counter clockwise fashion.
I kept thinking that it was going to be a lollipop and at any moment I should start going to the right.
By the time I figured out that I was going backwards I was in it and this was the way that I was going to go. 
After cresting the first saddle and getting unreal views of the Oak Creek my first hike a bike section started following a white stripe of dotted lines painted on the rocks that went straight up and up..
Bike over the shoulder climbing with nothing to hold onto trying to figure out who and how people were riding this. 
I had been told that my 23lb XC bike was going to be the wrong bike for this ride..
It was perfect with all the carrying that I had to do.
Finally to the section of trail that clung on to the side of the Mountain up down over up around through and around again.. Unreal,, my mouth open and smiling all at the same time. 
By the time I made it back to the road and Munds Wagon Rd I was fried.. 
I descended the  road back to the car and the family,, beaten and bloodied,, and asking my self
how in the world did an eight mile ride take 90 minutes??
Regardless when and If my ship ever comes in or I just fuck it and give up on this Mid West dream,, I am going to get my self a small house in the Pines,,
and watch the sun go up and down on the Red Red Rocks of the Coconino!!