Thursday, December 31, 2009

Jimmy's 2009 Mileage and Statistics Report

Sorry, I'm a bit stat obsessed sometimes and like to take stock of a year and look back at my numbers (I try to balance having fun riding while also recording numbers as a way of tracking performances because I get a thrill of competing against myself).


— 23 Races (27 Cyclocross, 5 Mountain Bike and 1 Road)
— 6,182mi,
— averaged 515 miles per month
— most miles in a month: 723
— longest ride 100 mi (avg 18.28 mph).
— averaged about 10 training hours per week
— 455:54 total hours of training (avg 13.55 mph).
— most hours trained in a week 20:15

— Max recorded watts 826W
— Max average watts up Kuglar Mill: 283W (16mph/7:24)
— 30 minute average watts: 216W
— 60 minute average watts: 189W
Heart Mini Marathon and 2 Relay legs of the Flying Pig!
— 223 mi
— 9.4 mi/mo avg
— longest run 12.8 mi

2009 Lessons:
I should probably be more aware of training hours per week instead of mileage. This year I also want to train "smarter" and take more advantage of training time by working drills into workouts.

Here is a look back at previous years spent as a "bike path bunny":
— 6 Cyclocross Races
— 3563mi,
— averaged 296 miles per month
— most miles in a month: 478
— longest ride 71.5 mi (avg 17.09 mph).
— averaged 6 hours per week
— most hours trained in a week 11.5
— 73.67mi
— averaged running 6.1 miles per month
— longest run: 6.4mi

— 1139mi (began cycling in July),
— averaged 189.27 miles per month
— most miles in a month: 262
— longest ride 52.5mi (avg 16.36 mph)
— 432mi
— 36 miles per month
— longest run 8.3 mi

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Races #33 & 34: CapCity 2009 Finale! Dreaming of a White Cross-mas

Sometimes when I explain cross I say it's like human nascar. Then the other person laughs... But I'm serious. Going as fast as possible in little loops, week after week for three months, battling out for points.

So somehow this Jimmy is like Jimmy Johnson! I didn't expect it but I got a couple wins and held on for the overall in points. I was really scared I would blow it in the last couple of races and crash or wreck and blow my points. But my luck held out!

So it snowed like crazy in Columbus. Like 2-3 inches of wet sloppy snow with mud underneath. The race was really crazy. I got a horrible start! Then slid off the singletrack and some thorns cut my chin. I only wiped out once but at times I wasn't riding my best due to exhaustion. Other sections I was really pround of my handling and felt like I made up time, like a crazy sidewinder rollercoaster section through some icey slush. But I worked my way up from the teens to finish 6th.

Bridget and I stayed in Columbus and had a great weekend trip. We went to the Elevator Brewery and got hammered for dinner and Northstar for breakfast. We met up with Farmer (my new BFF or Bike Friend Forever) and his wife Jen.

The CapCity Party at Tip Top was a blast. I ate a yummy pot roast and drank a lot, got hooked on these framboise lambics like some Belgian schoolgirl.'

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's a CapCity Christmas Vacation!!!

I got a little down in the dumps a few weeks ago and decided I needed a little vacation for some inspiration. So we decided to race on Saturday and hang with friends; then stay for the CapCity party at Tip Top Sunday night!

Saturday night may include a dinner with Amanda and Joe and any other new cross homies who want to come.

Options for Saturday night's dinner:
Columbus Brewery Co in the Brewery District
Nida's Thai on High in the Short North
Graffiti Burger in Dublin
Sage in Clintonville
Mac's is always on old standby.

Brunch and Lunches for Sunday or Monday:
Nibble at North Market?
A little people watching at North Star?
Afternoon tea at Zen Cha
Bodega Café

Sunday afternoon Inspiration & Entertainment:
Buy a book for Bjet?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Races #31 & 32: ‘Tis the Season to be Sloppy

I watched way too many cyclocross videos and really built myself up. I was watching the 2002 Worlds where three Belgians hammered on the front and took turns destroying the race. I also have been watching "The Nine Ball Diaries" where Tim Johnson is at his best in the mud. I have been worshipping at the alter of the cross gods dreaming of being a flahute.

But then there's reality...

Saturday I hammered on the front in a sub-30 degree race at Smith Farms in Columbus. I looked awesome for about two or three laps. Then I blew up! My lungs hurt like a wimp and the deals I make with my legs fell through. I began to make sloppy mistakes that cost me a podium. Lesson: Jimmy does best when riding conservatively and coming from behind.

Sunday my lucky season ran out. I barely made my race. No warm up, Bridget ran my wheels to the pit. Rode backwards with the plan of laying down the hammer halfway through the race. Then I slid out and somehow the valve stem sheared off my back tire! Ran into the pit and had no idea where my wheels were! Butch, Jeff and Jason from CORA started helping me in the pit. It took forever and I put on a grin, chugged some of Butch's Whiskey Eggnog and set out to some in last place.

I rode like total shit. I felt really uncoordinated and like every turn was a potential crash. I swear I dismounted my bike worse than a rookie, I would have looked more graceful climbing over the handlebars. Some chick heckled me and told me to "race or go home!" Geez. DFL! I had to laugh.

But I got some points and ended my first incomplete Cat 3 season 17th place in the OVCX overall.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Race #30: Freakin' Stars and Stripes Forever

I did it again! Somehow I held off the wolves or at least most of them.

I made had a great Thankgiving Break taking my Jamis road bike off-road tokyo driftin' through muddy park paths and hammering myself for hours. Evidently this was pretty stupid and my legs felt like total garbage before the "biggest" race of the year.

I knew I wouldn't get it but I dreamt about snuggling with that Ohio Champions jersey... It's so sexy.

So race goes like this: Whistle. Oh shit. Flying. Hit the hole in about 6th place. Let my bro Gerz get my place and held onto his wheel with my pinkie nail for a lap. Let CycleSport Dan have Gerz's wheel as I was about to puke. Then I fell off like Leonard DiCaprio in "Titanic." Peddled backwards... Tried to hold B1 Michael's wheel after he passed me but I promptly fell off and chased him for the rest of the race. Taunted Mark Farmer with jeers just so I wouldn't get bored and rolled across the line in 10th.

But somehow, even though my race wasn't inspiring or incredible I still held off like 30+ dudes behind me. Some of these guys would have had me for breakfast two months ago.

So this Thanksgiving I am extremely thankful for this silly hobby I do for fun. My cross season has surprised me and lifted my spirits with my three top 10 finishes in the crazy OVCX series and two wins in Capcity.

I raise my turkey leg to my homies Teri Meek (THE 2009 ELITE WOMEN OHIO CX CHAMP) who tore my legs off just the day before, Michael Chewning who bore is hairy ass chest as he crossed the line as CAT 3 OHIO CX CHAMP and to my new associate John Markstein who rode like he had wings.

And to Joe Bellante, because this is the second race he hasn't rode by me. Na na na na na na.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Races #28 and 29: My Lucky #2 a.k.a. First to Worst

Commuting home Friday night I felt really good. For many weeks now I feel really tight and somewhat hindered by fatigue.

The coarse was really fun. It was at Indian Caverns on the northside of Columbus, kind of this campy field trip destination. There was a miniature pioneer village and part of the course crossed a creek on a small wooden bridge where a skeleton was in a rowboat!

It was an all around power course where you had to be able to power the flats as well as climb some hills, one being pretty steep. I'm still running a 42 chainring up front and my mud tires are on a wheelset with a 12-25 cassette — so some of the steep sections can really kick my butt. I tend to prefer to spin at a higher cadence and I don't feel like I have a lot of high end power. There was also a fun woody singletrack section with a tight bridge crossing.

I started out pretty good in the B race. I was about in 4th heading into the single track. Two rided bombed around me at the last second — some pretty badass aggressive riding that I really respected. Then halfway through the single track my back tire hit an unseen root and slid out. I lost four to five more places!

Over the next lap or so I clawed my way back up to a small pack of riders and was back into fourth place. I had to power through the flats and really push myself on the hill. I was within 15 - 20 seconds of the leading rider from Jeni's Ice Cream when suddenly a rider from B1 launched an attack. He gapped us quickly, maybe gaining 30 seconds.

I worked my way into second and was just barely hanging in there when we passed the leading rider — his pedal fell out! Through the next section I wanted to see if the other riders wanted to work together — but one guy was pretty vocal about not doing that. So I positioned myself to be the leading rider into the single track. I opened the gap as soon as we hit the faster sections and had a lap where I held a 20 second lead and tried to take a break preparing for the final laps.

Maybe I was relaxing too much, the second place rider launched this awesome attackon the hill section to bridge up to me. I could hear him breathing hard so I knew I decided to reopen my lead while he was still tired. I pulled away after the barriers and reopened my lead and just maintained it. On the last lap I nearly wrecked on the wooden bridge — I could have ruined my race and potentially have gotten injured!

At the end of the race I knew I was lucky, who knows if that B1 rider would have won without the pedal failure but he looked really strong.

My day wasn't over yet. I decided to race the A race too. I had given my all in the B race and I was really scared my legs would seize up but I still did it. I pretty much blew up halfway into the first lap and I raced alone for 99% of the race. Aside from getting some miles in my legs it proved to be a pretty bad idea. I had to learn somehow!

Also, I need to pick up a 38 or 39 before the end of the season, I think my legs will thank me for it!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Race #25: Victory Tastes as Sweet as Pumpkin Pie

First, I want to say a huge thanks to John at Biowheels and Lane at the Trek Store for getting my bike back in working order. I tore the derailleur hanger off my Redline and John speedily got me a new one, while Lane made sure my bike was race ready and the hanger I reinstalled wasn't going to fall off!

Okay, so sometimes I am a weight weenie. It just doesn't make sense to eat garbage then go out and spend $20 to $30 on a race if you have to lug around extra pounds — the same amount of weight Dentists would pay $3000 to drop off their bikes. But, Bridget has been baking pumpkin pies like they are going out of style. Who could resist? So I've been packing it in — gaining four or five pounds before this race.

Bridget and I drove up to Columbus to our beloved CapCity series where there was a Halloween race at Uncle Steve's (a wonderful host, birthday boy and great patron of the peloton). My first race in the CapCity series went well and I was able to score ninth. I was extremely happy with that result. But going into this race I was at least four pounds heavier than I should be with a lot of the course uphill! I just want to sneak inside the top ten and hopefully be in the top ten in points for the series at the end of the year.

All costumes wearers got a front line call up. I love this series because they keep the races fun. The guy in front of me was wearing a huge diaper — but I remember seeing him gaining spots in the gutter in a road race and from cross races last year — so hopefully he was a strong starter. Nada. The big baby couldn't clip in! I was boxed in and practically riding backwards.

Then I became the big baby and made a pissed off pouty face as I passed Bjet. But suddenly I channeled my distress into my racing. Instead of cautiously waiting to pass I bombed into turns on the inside like some sort of BMX/F1 racer out of control! I was having a blast.

Suddenly it appeared that there were only four riders ahead of me. But, maybe there were time gaps and ten more riders were ahead of them. So like any normal race I asked the giant mustard bottle what place I was in.

Coming around the other direction the giant mustard bottle, or Dan, let me know I was in fifth. WHOA! I can't believe I was in fifth! Gaps began to form. I bobbled a bit and my handlebars caught a tree in a muddy section.

The mustard bottle shouted at me to get busy, stop sitting on people's wheels.

So I attacked up to the second place rider or Aquaman's wheel and felt gassed. You make deals with your legs... "Stop riding so hard. Just sit here. You haven't been on a podium before. Third is all you need. Sleepy..." But the next lap I felt rejuvinated and made a move on an incline.

More encouragement from the mustard bottle.

I bridged the 20 second gap onto the first place rider's wheel. My tired legs wanted to make deals again but felt strong going up another hill (to be fair I didn't realize that he, Layne, has a single speed). I went to take a pull as to not suck wheel and opened a gap.

The mustard bottle told me he was a strong finisher and I better put him away. Remembering my foibles at the end of the Dark Horse UCI race and a random Sven Nys clip on YouTube I decided I better open a gap than try to sprint.

Here is where the mustard bottle became a sadist. He spurred me on, his words like a whip across a mule's back, never letting me rest. I would push myself like crazy upon seeing him and would have to cool myself down so I didn't get so exhausted that I would make a mistake and crash. I came across the line surrounded by friends (Andy Johnson as an enormous little girl in PJs!) and tried not to puke all over them!

The win was also pretty cool because I got to know so many more people in the CapCity series. People like Layne, Mark and Tim that I hope to see year round at road and mountain bike races.

I really want to thank Dan. I haven't been "coached" since I was a teen and it's amazing how a fresh mind helps push you when you are oxygen deprived.

Now maybe I'll be less of a weight weenie.

Monday, October 26, 2009

There is a mountain high enough

And it's just a hill... Alas, episode 3 in my quest to topple Bridget's supposed 7:15 up Kuglar Mill. It's not a steep hill, it just makes you try to ride it faster so that any changes in grade make you suffer.

I began to feel the only way to get stronger was to head off to some mountains. I noticed it was difficult to surpass the 7:31 time I set after returning from the climbs in Oregon. But a few weeks ago I felt great in cross practice, finding power I didn't know I had, and pulled off a 7:24.

So I borrowed Bridget's powertap again and had at it. I decided to take this weekend off from racing so I chose to do 4 ascents to mimic the effort required by a race. This time I analyzed some of the data (average wattage, i.e. ) from my last ride and applied it to this attempt.

I pushed myself to maintain a wattage of 320-350 and no less than 280 on any section of steeper grade. Any flatter section I spun out and pushed less watts in an effort to rest.

I was facing a rather cold and windy day, noticing also my rear tire was about 90psi and absentmindedly carried a bottle about one quarter up my first climb. But I squeeked out a 7:23 with the hopes of beating that 7:15 some day! I had to average over 16 mph up the climb to beat it. I remember a younger version happy to ride up there at 10 mph!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Race #24: Welcome to the 3s and Goodbye 4s

When I say Hello
Waking up early and staying all day at a race is fun but after 3 months of doing it once or twice a weekend it gets old. Bridget and I decided I should upgrade to Category 3 in Cross to shorten our days, wake up later and I am hoping the stiffer competition will make me a better rider.

I have to admit that I was nervous. I remembered my first cross race where I was frightened I would make a mistake that would wipe out a bunch of other riders. So I was stupid and did the reverse hole shot where I was the last one in and I had to fight my way up.

I still had a blast. I love cross, certain parts of the course are better for certain riders. My handling has gotten better, but I found myself stuck behind a guy that was a great climber but braked into every corner. I got ahead of him and he caught up on a massive hill! I got ahead of him and was riding with Jason Reser for awhile, that guy can really handle a bike!

I was working my way up, riding the wheel of 14th place when he snapped the tape! It wrapped around my eyes, neck and handle bars! I think I lost 15 or more seconds taking it off me (I prefer to roll it up and get it out of the way so other riders don't get wrapped up — karma I hope). The riders I had passed had caught up, and that 14th place looked a long way off. But I kept riding hard and nearly clawed it back.

Why do you say Goodbye?
On a side note I am happy with my results in the cat 4s. I consistently placed within the top 10 (the Erik Zabel green jersey). I looked up my results on US Cycling and I was ranked 9th in the country in Cat 4s! Thank you computer error! I am also happy that I was placed within the top 4 in points in the OVCX. If I continued perhaps I would have achieved my season goal of top 5 in points in the OVCX.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Race #21: A Sloppy Success

I have to admit having some serious butterflies in my stomach this morning. I overtrained on Tuesday night — doing a hill routine that I hope will develop my endurance and leg strength but ended up over cooking my quads. And Wednesday I caught a bug that left me feeling extremely weak. I pictured a day of wrecks and slogging through the back. But I wanted to keep at it for the points competition if I end up staying in Cat 4.

I actually felt okay in the warm up and I got a great place in the staging and field was way less than 100 people! And the climb leaving the start line was just the separation I needed. I got off to a good start just in the top five riders. The course wasn't that scary yet and I held on pretty well for awhile. I ended up overcooking a turn and my poor brakes weren't working as I flew through some tape.

During the course of the race I passed people as the slid out, I was passed as I slid out. At one point my front brakes worked as my rear wheel spun me out into 180˙ skid. My head was spinning. Who knows what place I was!

So I get to the end of the race and without realizing it this other racer was bearing down on me. We hit the final pavement uphill and start sprinting. Why is this guy sprinting with me for 20th place? Well, it turns out it was 5th place! I kind of gave up thinking it was stupid to be fighting for 20th! Oops. Well, I got 6th...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Race #20: The Chain Drop

Made a rookie mistake today and missed my call up while chatting in the staging area at the Tour de Louisville cross race... So I took a spot on the right side reminding myself to work left to avoid a big mud puddle before the start finish line. I gunned it and weaved around some wheels. I was lucky to escape a pile up that happened just behind me — unfortunately teammate Louie ran over some guy's neck and end-o'd.

Since it rained earlier in the week some of the off-camber sections were a little slick during the early race. My tubeless Vittorias seem to not do especially well in slicker conditions so I was riding conservatively. Louie caught back up to me and even passed me. I realized I was riding a little too easy and he spurred me on. I was hoping we could work together but he couldn't grab my wheel on a pull. I focused on riding cleanly and efficiently, using fitness to power after the barriers and to attack the several long climbs on the course.

Final lap things got dicey due to some stupid handing. I saw a couple riders trying to bridge up to me so I buried it through a few sections. In my haste I took a lame line through some gravel and wiped out. It was so lame and I lost momentum up to a steep climb.

I approached a first year rider entering a section of chicanes. He was being very cautious and ended up falling over. Somehow, three feet away my tire caught a rut and I was down as well! We kind of looked like Benny Hill without the Constables and Nurses.

I looked back and the next rider was fast approaching. I instantaneously realized I dropped my chain so I rain an uphill on the drive side putting my chain back on. It is weird to remount a bike on the opposite side but I did it and rode through some more chicanes. The next rider was on my wheel!

In a recent practice I overcooked a turn when I was in the lead and another rider was on my wheel. So I kept it cool. I hammered away from the chicanes so I could take it easy on some off-camber turns, where I rode high to catch some untreaded grass. I looked back and I had some space. I could take the next near 180 turn onto an uphill with a little caution.

I attacked the climb but only gave it 70 percent. I looked back and somehow the next rider was gaining! I licked my lips as I crested the top, lowered into my drops and began powering through the gears on my cassette anticipating a sprint finish. I looked back again and was delight to see he had exhausted himself on the climb.

I suppose the hills were to my advantage because somehow I got my first top-10 finish in the OVCX. I was content with my 8th place and I wish I could have rode a bit harder with more assurance from the tires.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Race #19: Surf 'n Turf

Bridget and I returned to the scene of my first ever Cross race, Alum Creek, where I had my best result of the previous year with a ninth in my first race. I chose to cat up in the CapCity series to make our race day shorter and hopefully the stiffer competition will make me a better cyclist.

To even the field they had a Le Mans-style running start were we grabbed our bikes, flipped them over and jumped on. I had a pretty good start and was feeling pretty good. Suddenly on a 50 foot long off-camber hill I found myself behind a rider that seemingly couldn't ride off-camber! He kept dabbing with one leg awkwardly so I decided to pass on the low side only to find myself trapped by an obstacle! I had to stop while 10 or so rides passed! That is painful.

I found myself behind James Turner who I have seen in the "advanced" group at the Harbin practices. I was on his wheel and we caught a small group of riders. Where perhaps sometimes I follow a wheel too long I saw James attack a surge around them. So I made him my white bunny and decided to chase. He really drove me to pass groups of two to three riders at a time and we worked our way up.

With three laps to go we were together with two riders trying to gain on us. I felt good and told him I would take a pull. But I think James was feeling puketastic and I ended up gapping him. I rode harder to gain more time fearing something might happen and all three riders might pass me.

I would relearn a lesson from last year: Don't just follow wheels! Chasing James reminded me I was in a race. And lesson #2: take your time! I was about to catch up to two more riders just before the finish, BUT, I caught my britches on my saddle as I remounted after the barriers.

Can't wait for next year!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Seven Cycles Mudhoney

Well it has been a few months since I got my Seven Cycles Mudhoney all built up for cyclocross season. I have had many a bikes in the past; Jamis, Trek & Gary Fisher, Independent Fabrication. I have rented and ridden Scott and Masi.

Nothing can quite compare to my mighty Mudhoney...I'll tell you why:

1) Precise fit. I have a non-stock build typically of a taller female. Short torso & short arms = opposite of a mans frame. Women's specific fits are still not ideal for the taller female. They are either too long for me or cramped in.

2) Precise handling characteristics. I am a racer. I want a bike that is nible and stiff. Seven delivered on all fronts.

3) Durability. Say what you want, this Ti frame is for life. For a smidge more in weight I'll take a Ti bike over carbon anyday.

4) Made in the USA. Need I say more.

5) Beauty of the craftmanship. Need I say more.

I love my Seven & it loves me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Race #18: Rubber-side to Heaven for Baby Jesus

I can't keep two wheels on the ground lately! My body looks like it belongs in a morgue! I have been generously offered a Trek XO1 cyclocross frame to race but I am worried I would return it battered.

I love the first race of the season. You get to see how your training has paid off and just where do you place. Bridget and I drove back from Pittsburgh the night before, only getting a few hours sleep. I felt okay and I am kind of used to it. But not preregistering and ending up on the back line of almost 120 starters was a bitter pill to swallow! Plus it was raining and muddy to boot.

I immediately used the starting drills from Harbin to my advantage. I think I quickly passed almost half the field, or at least it felt like it. First lap is always hairy, so I dimounted and ran along with the crazy traffic through technical sections. It paid off and riders were dropping and I could easily get past.

My Vittoria tubeless tires have been a great addition to the ride-ability of my bike, but their lack of tread proved to be disastrous! In the middle of the race there was not a turn I could confidently master — often slipping or falling!

I kept passing people and I really felt I did well. But I was sad to discover my name was 15th. After so much practice! Have I gotten any better? But I have, last year I would have been a DNF. But to add insult to my many injuries was my name getting bumped to 18th. Perhaps some muddy riders weren't counted. 

Overall I had a fun race, but my fun and glee was wiped away when Bridget had slid out and crashed on her head. Playing in mud puddles suddenly seemed very dangerous — taking away all the fun of running with scissors.


I did my best, as they say, to get the rough & tough stuff out of the way early.

It was a challenge to make it to the race to begin with. We were up in Leechburg, PA for the wedding of a a good friend from college. With a limited budget we decided to head for home after the wedding. The drive was long and tiring and I was doing all I could to stay awake on sugar and caffeine. It certainly is not the type of drive I will attempt in the near future.

James, my husband a bike crasher extraordinaire, aka Road Rash Billiter headed up for his Cat 4 race at 10:30 am while I caught up on my zzzzsss after about 12+ hours of driving in 2 days. I woke up to the horrible sound of the rain. Without my spare wheels which were waiting for a 10 speed spacer I was SOL for some mud tires. I had to run my "all conditions" (which should really be marketed as "all conditions DRY" tubulars). Things were already not looking so hot.

I arrived @ 11am with plenty of time to pre-ride and to track down my crazy husband which can sometimes be more challenging than a cyclocross race. Road Rash had a pretty good race finishing in the top 15 out of like 80 something guys. He knows when to throw the hammer down and he has worked really hard to get faster at cyclocross. I am really proud of my hubby.

James stuck around to keep his bike in the pit for me. I was riding okay, perhaps a bit off from the day before when I flew around a corner and skidded out on my head.The only good thing was that there were no spectators on that side of the course.

I sat there for a little while in a daze and assessing my ability to finish. I'd have to rank that doozy of a wreck in the top 3 all time bad ass wrecks. I finally decided that I was okay enough to finish but I had hit the ground so hard I knocked my handlebars out of place. So, after about 5 minutes of fumbling around I got back into the swing of things. I fumbled like a gazillion times after that slipping and sliding my way around the course. My hip was hurting, my knee was cut open and bleeding, and my body shut down like a little baby. I was hurting but I didn't quit, I don't know why because it was pretty silly at that point to continue. I finished like 2nd from last; not DFL but pretty close. I'm hurting today; physically and mentally but I know I couldn't have had a worse race. Phew, as one of my cycling buds says "when you suck completely, you will/can only get better from there."

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saddle Soars!

I've always enjoyed pushing myself to see what my limits are. It was not that long ago that my weight and lack of fitness really limited what I could do.

09/03/2007 Newtown to Lebanon
52.63 mi.
16.36 avg mi/hr
175 lbs/ 2,895 calories burned
149 avg Heart Rate

05/31/2008 Loudenville—Wooster—Shreve—Nashville Loop
56.90 mi.
13.13 avg mi/hr (with about 2000-3000 ft of climbing)
160 lbs/ 2,469

06/15/2008 71 Miles on the Little Miami Scenic Trail
71.50 mi.
17.09 avg mi/hr
160 lbs/ 3,562
149 avg Heart Rate

07/03/2009 Beer Bottle Loop with Jadin, Joe and Scott
83.75 mi.
18.54 (mi/hr) (avg)
148.0 lbs./ 3,662 (kcal)
Not really apples to apples because I was drafting, but it was hillier.

09/04/2009 FIRST CENTURY up Loveland trail
100.20 mi.
148 lbs / 4,443 (kcal)
18.28 (mi/hr) (avg)
153 (watts) (avg) 645 (watts) (max)
30 min interval = 216 watts 1 hour wattage = 189 Did another 30 minute interval on return.

I think this effort will really help for cross season. Pushing 200+ for half an hour!

Monday, August 31, 2009

6 Hours Riding like a Mom on a Hybrid

I thought I would take it a bit easy after my last race where I flew off into the woods and landed on my back as well as headbutted a tree. As a 32 year old rookie I always create a goal so that each effort feels like a success. So for the 2009 6 Hours of John Bryan I decided to get acquainted with endurance events as well as work on my bike handling.

Unfortunately the night before did not afford me much sleep. I think I only got three and a half hours... I nearly decided against racing worried that the tight trails may cause me to make mistakes and get hurt. But you don't know what will happen unless you try, right?

I had a secret weapon though. Bridget made an initial run of some of her BJET Bars, homemade energy bars. I had a big batch of banana walnut and a smaller potent batch of chocolate coffee.

LAP 1: 1:07:05
Really shaky handling, getting used to the coarse.
Approx 5 min break
checked air pressure as back was washing out a little
LAP 2: Approx 59:56 (2:13:01)
LAP 3: 58:37 (3:11:38)
Really tried to crush it...
Hands began to kill me!
Approx 36 min break
I was kind of drained and was searching for second wind
LAP 4: Approx 1:02:53 (4:50:31)
Really rode like a mom on a hybrid trying to get feeling back in my hands.
LAP 5: 1:01:26 (5:52:05)
Dialing it in, trying to teach myself skills.
LAP 6: 59:55 (6:52:00)
Tried to bring together what I learned that day with more speed, but bonked a bit in the middle due to running out of food and water.

I'm pretty happy with my performance — I was 11th out of 28 solo male riders.

I was so impressed watching some of the elite riders pass me in technical sections. They make it look so easy. I wonder if I lack quick hand-eye coordination. Will working out my upper body help my handling? Maybe Bridget can teach me a few things. I also feel like I could use a fit on my Paragon. Even though I dropped the stem I still feel a bit on top of it. That thing is huge, and I look like a kid on top of it. But when those wheels start spinning that bike really zooms!

Things I learned:
— Need to continue working bike handling skills
— Use brakes less and conserve energy through handling
— Make more efficient pitstops in Endurance events
— Please stop making poop face

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pedal. Crash. Repeat.

I had a lot of fun at Caesar Creek on Sunday, but it also opened my eyes too! I really need to work on my bike handling! I was going along pretty well on my first lap. I got to a section where I felt a good flow and I started hammering a bit more. I felt great, like a downhill skier slaloming through the flags. OUT OF NOWHERE a sapling caught my right handlebar, I punched myself in the mouth and flew off backwards through the woods. Train of thought as follows: oh shit my tooth, I'm flying, ow!, I'm paralyzed, get up!, can't breath... I looked like an Ewok flying off a Speeder on Endor... I tried to keep riding but I pulled off and moaned in the woods for a minute while six guys passed.

After that the adrenalin was pumping and I got a bit too frantic. I started hurrying too much and got caught up in the race, but when I hurry I make mistakes and crash even more. I just kept crashing or falling. I ended up landing on my seat pushing it into an uncomfortable position, slamming headfirst into a tree, pulling my rear cable and losing the ability to use my rear derailluer. I didn't want to stop for fear of losing the places I fought to regain after my initial crash.

I limped in with only three gears, a headache and a backache. I didn't eat and was cramping... But I got tenth, two laps in two hours and nineteen minutes. I feel I can improve but I felt I did my best.

The picture says it all. I look like I am holding back a turd. This time I was lucky I wasn't hurt and didn't destroy my bike.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Anorexia in my future?

I am still battling to get that household record up Kuglar Mill. I still haven't beaten my best time since returning from the DL.

Although it seems that I trounce Bridget on rides, both in sustained efforts and sprints, she insists that her time of 7:15 is real and that "it is easier for [her] to climb since she is 12 lbs lighter" than me. She will drive me to starvation! She does have a point. My power numbers are only 20-30 watts greater than hers, but I tip the scales at 147 or so lately.

My only other option is to bribe my employer into sending me to our Geneva office for a few weeks so I can get some training in the Alps!

I do like some of the efforts and I hope they help me in cross. One ascent nearly made me puke the other day!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Need more POWER!

This has been a tough month. I've taken a few breaks off the bike and lost a bit of what little top end power and endurance I had. So I decided to borrow Bridget's power meter for the first time.

For the past few years Bridget and I have used a moderate hill call Kuglar Mill as test of form. So after a 78 mile ride with my friend Tony I thought I would climb Kuglar Mill to chart where I am at in form and power. It isn't tough, but the 3-5% gradient pushes you to maintain a high speed and you eventually grind yourself into the ground.

Hopefully as my shoulder heals and I get more time on the bike and begin to train for cyclocross I will see progress and a return to the form I had earlier in the season. I will track my progress on the blog, as well as my attempt to break Bridget's supposed 7:15 record.

I want to thank my échappé homies Bridget, Joe & Rachel, Tony, Jaden and Scott for the many group miles this month. Usually group rides only make up 10% of my training, but this month it has been over half. Thanks for the company!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Can Food Fix Me?

I have stopped riding and put my arm in a sling. A ligament on the outside of my shoulder kept getting enflamed during daily use (folding laundry, working on computer, cleaning dishes). Riding a bike isn't bad, but I just want to get better.

I've read using and moving an injury increases healing and collagen repair...

I think I am going to consume more protein, vitamins A & C and maybe take some glucosomine and condroitin...

I just want to be back for CX season...

Nutritional Strategies for Injury Recovery
Increase protein intake to offset potential muscle breakdown that can occur post-injury
Aim for a range of 1.5-2.og/kg.
Protein meals should be divided among 4-6 smaller meals throughout the day and should ideally consist of lean, complete and bioavailable sources (poultry, fish, eggs, lean beef, cottage cheese, whey protein powder).

Good sources are: veggies and fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, oats. Avoid sugars and refined carbs.
Include carbs in sufficient amounts in early stages to keep calories sufficient, but consider cutting back after a week or two post-injury/surgery - especially if weight control is a concern.

Fats are formidable allies in reducing inflammation. Omega-3's are the hallmark fats for reducing inflammation. Monounsaturated fats are also helpful.
Good fat sources include: Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines), flaxseeds, nuts, olive oil, avocados, pumpkin/sunflower/sesame seeds.
Fats that can hinder healing by increasing inflammation: Trans fats, omega-6 fats and saturated fats.

Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements
Vitamin A:
Why it's good: Promotes cell growth/repair, boosts immune function, and enhances bone development.
Food sources: Liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, mango, spinach, papaya, red peppers.
Amount: Up to 10,000 I.U.'s

Vitamin C:
Why it's good: Collagen formation, replenishes blood levels of vitamin C brought on by injury, enzyme activity for metabolism, increased immune function
Food sources: Broccoli, red peppers, oranges, strawberries, cabbage, grapefruit, cantaloupe.
Amount: 1000-2000mg


Why it's good: Wound healing, enzyme reactions
Food sources: Meat, seafood, sunflower seeds, almonds
Amount: 15-30 mg

Supplements that May be Helpful
Fish oil
Amino Acids (arginine, ornithine, glutamine)

Superfoods for Recovery
Salmon (omega-3's)
Almonds (fat/protein, zinc)
Olive oil (Anti-inflammatory - works like ibuprofen)
Broccoli (vitamin C, fiber, antibacterial)
Apples (flavanoids - protect cells from oxygen damage, prevent inflammation
Curry (anti-inflammatory)
Pineapple (bromelain - analgesic)
Garlic (allicin - anti-inflammatory, improves macrophage function)
Grass fed beef (protein, vitamin, minerals)
Papaya (vitamins A, C and papain - enzyme that increases immune function)

Article from Runer's World

Eating for Injury Prevention

There's no doubt that smart training helps prevent injuries. But so will a wholesome diet, filled with foods that will enable your body to mount a strong defense against muscle strains and tears. Here are three nutritional strategies to prevent injuries:

1. Eat more. If you followed Survivor: The Australian Outback TV series, you may have noticed how gaunt the participants appeared after subsisting for weeks on daily rations of rice. This type of chronic malnutrition puts your body in prime "injury-waiting-to-happen" mode.

Many runners get stuck in this mode for extended periods of time, either to lose weight or because they're too busy to cook a real meal. How do you know if your body needs more calories? Keep track of your weight and eating patterns. If your weight fluctuates for no apparent reason, or if the quality of your eating is sporadic and generally unhealthful, you should consider a slight increase in high-quality calories.

2. Pile on the protein. True, a high-carbohydrate diet will fuel your running. But many runners take this advice to the extreme, living on bagels, pasta, and energy bars. Besides carbohydrate, you also need 80 to 100 grams of protein a day to maintain your muscles and other soft tissues. A small 3-ounce serving of chicken provides about 25 grams of protein, a glass of milk 10, a soy burger 14, and a hard-boiled egg 6. If you're only eating one protein source a day, you're not consuming enough. Try to include some protein in every meal.

3. Don't forget zinc and iron. Runners often skimp on these two important trace nutrients found predominantly in red meat. Though research hasn't linked zinc and iron deficiency with increased injury rates, I've noticed the connection when working with injured athletes, and so have many of my sports-nutrition colleagues.

You need 15 milligrams of zinc and 18 milligrams of iron a day. Most runners don't consume nearly that much, which is why I recommend eating a zinc- and iron-fortified breakfast cereal or taking a multivitamin that contains both minerals. Foods that are good sources of both zinc and iron include lean beef, poultry, seafood, and lentils.
Dining During Downtime

If you get injured, the length of your downtime is determined by the severity of your injury, and the degree to which your body is nutritionally prepared to handle this new stress.

If you have a severe injury as I do, and you can't run, you're probably wondering: "How can I avoid gaining weight?"

Relax. Even though you're not running, you're still burning calories--between 5 to 15 percent more than usual--to repair your tattered body. Also, for most injuries, total downtime usually lasts about 2 weeks. After that, you might not have the green light to run, but you may be able to do other forms of exercise, such as swimming or pool running.

But if you restrict your calories too much during this initial 2-week period, you might lengthen your recovery because your body won't have enough protein to both repair your injury and carry out typical bodily functions.

So, how do you prevent weight gain and still ensure a sound recovery? Don't cut back more than 500 calories a day. And if you notice that you're losing weight, start eating more immediately.

Other than calories, you need many of the same nutrients for recovery as you need for injury prevention. But now they're even more important. Bump up your protein intake to 100 to 120 grams a day. Zinc and iron are also crucial for recovery, which is why I've been eating lean meat nearly every day. The following nutrients are also a must:

Calcium: If you have a stress fracture or a broken bone, your body really needs this important mineral. You should take in up to 1,500 milligrams a day. If you don't eat dairy products, take a supplement, or drink calcium-fortified juice.

Vitamin A: Your body uses this vitamin to make new skin and other tissues that are vital to your healing. New research shows that your body isn't as efficient as we thought at converting the carotenes from fruits and vegetables into vitamin A. This means you need to eat even more of them. You should have two servings of leafy greens and yellow and orange vegetables every day during your recovery. Drinking vitamin A-fortified milk is also a good idea.

Vitamin C: Your body needs this antioxidant to make collagen, an adhesive-like protein found in your bones, connective tissues, and blood vessels. When you're injured, collagen is the substance that glues the injured area back together. Women need 75 milligrams of vitamin C each day, and men need 90 milligrams. If you eat a diet rich in berries, cantaloupe, oranges, and other fruit, you'll easily meet this requirement.
Refuel for Recovery

Once you've been given the go-ahead to start running again, you still need to take extra precautions. I'm sure you already know not to up your mileage and intensity too quickly. You'll also want to continue to adhere to a wholesome diet rich in protein, minerals, and antioxidants.

At this point you may want to add a supplement to the mix. Once you've injured a joint, you're at higher risk for developing osteoarthritis (a degenerative joint condition not uncommon among aging athletes). Fortunately, the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been shown to help decrease inflammation and improve mobility in people with osteoarthritis.

These two supplements may also help promote cartilage growth. But it's not certain whether glucosamine, an amino sugar, and chondroitin, one of the substances that make up cartilage, work alone or need to be taken together. So for now, take 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams of each, three times a day. Why so often? These supplements don't last long in your body, so frequent supplementation ensures that they're present at all times to nourish your joints. (Warning: If you take blood thinners such as Coumadin, do not take chondroitin.)

The better you feed your body, the more likely you'll remain injury-free, and the faster you'll bounce back if you do happen to get injured. Just be patient. You'll be running again in no time. Trust me. It's what I tell myself every day.

Liz Applegate, Ph.D., is the author of the book Eat Smart, Play Hard, published by Rodale, Inc., and available online at

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hour Record

I love this old video. Great editing, I wonder if Jorgen Loth did it.

Anyway it raises a question... What would my personal one hour be? If you ever see me haulin' ass on the bike path maulin' over toddlers and grannies you'll know why.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hypochondriac on the DL

I hate being hurt. And I always fear the worst. Even after seeing the doc I don't feel much better and now I am wigged out about the drugs too. Will the anti-inflammatory slow the healing process? Plus it's risky if I take allergy meds with it or stand too long in the sun or let's face it, I can't drink beer. And beer sounds really good right now.

For some reason working out is so easy. I don't ask why, I just do. Now that I don't workout as much I have plenty of time to contemplate life. It's freaking me out. Who am I, why am I here? What if I can no longer ride a bike? What if I miss cross season? Do I need surgery? Will I have to sell a bike to pay for that?

So the crazy thing is, even after almost three weeks, to raise my arm forward (like typing this sentence) feels as if my ligament on the top of the shoulder is tightly pulling over the bones. Imagine dragging a bungee cord over small boulders. It's not painful as much as uncomfortable, but 50% of the time I am uncomfortable. I have no strength, and aside from the ligament I think I pulled all the muscles in my arm too.

So I can't tell if riding bothers it or not. There are times when my arm is in a fixed position and I forget that I am even injured. Then there are times my deltoid (and not the funky ligament) is angry that I am using it. Should I ride or not? Short rides okay? My doc gave me the green light but my arm sometimes begs to differ...

The devil on my shoulder wants to ride a long freakin ride tomorrow, the angel says stay on the couch.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pimp my Cross Bike

Thinking about tricking out my cross bike for next year. My bike currently weighs 21-22 lbs and has a lot of entry-level components. Here is what I plan:

– Ritchey Biomax II Handlebar / 240g
– Ritchey Road Comp Stem / 180g
– Ritchey Road 27.2 x 350 Seatpost / 225-240 g
– Ritchey Comp DS Road Wheels
– Redline R6 Alloy Fork
– Shimano Tiagra Shifters
– Tektro Oryx Brakes / 162g per wheel
– FSA Cranks with BB / 900g - 1060g
– Ponza Saddle / 225-230g

– Ritchey Carbon Fiber Fork / 449g?
– Thompson Elite Masterpiece Seatpost / 158g
– Bontrager Race Lite White Stem / 115g
– Double chain guard with single chain ring (probably a 39)
– New Shifters (Brake only on left, DuraAce on right)
– One Cross brake (on left side but brakes rear due to cabling miracle)
– Lighter, better spinning bottom bracket
– White Bontrager RXL Saddle / 180g
– New white Fizik bartape / yummy

– New cranks perhaps? Bridget has used Ritchey Cranks but I heard we are ordering in some lightweight Bontrager cranks at the Trek Store.

– I would also love to build up a wheel set or buy some Mavics, but I may be out of dough. Perhaps I should jsut rock my Shimano Ultegra wheelset for Races and train on the Comps that came with the bike.

Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I wanna be like Mike

Remember 1989? You begged your parents for a new pair of Nike Air Jordans so when you hoop, perhaps, just maybe, a miracle would occur and you could dunk.

I am a proud owner of a 2008 Gary Fisher Paragon. These bikes are hardtail "29ers", which have larger wheels than typical mountain bikes. Larger wheels mean you can clear or ride over obstacles easier (typically).

I guess I believed all the hype and where I would have "cyclocrossed" a log in the past I attempted to ride it... The front made it over easily but my speed was too slow and I got caught on top... I got stuck and fell sideways.

I put my arm out to try to support myself on a tree. My arm caught me, but I fell so quickly that it couldn't support it. I heard a pop and my arm gave and I fell over. After much cursing, a rush of blood and a feeling of fire in my shoulder I got back to riding.

I think I am lucky and I only pulled some muscles. Right now I can some weight on my arm, but it doesn't have much mobility (in all directions). Hopefully it will be healthy enough to race next weekend. We'll see.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jimmy Vs Cat 3

Even though Portland freekin rocks it was wonderful to get out and see Oregon at its finest. Bjet and I explored the Tillamook area and drove down the coast. Coffee, cheese, beer and seafood. These people know how to live. And I know how to consume, meaning I'm steadily putting on the "L-B's". Kissing our lovely Sister-in-law Bri and Bro Pat and Nephews Eliah and Simon adieu, Bridget and I set out to conquer the Oregon coast.

Riding along the highway you look out into the ocean and sea ravishing waves pummel the volcanic rock. Turn left and after a couple miles suddenly we felt back home, or at least in Appalachia. Under the shadows of pine covered mountains was a little farm with a prairie full of cattle. The Yachats River trickling past, separating the farm and the forrest.

Another eight miles and suddenly the road turns upward. For the next six miles we climbed a forrest service road with a rough coat of asphalt and some killer grades. Some sections were just gravel — sometimes with a grade of over 10%. Getting fatigues you try to stand on the pedals and your rear wheel spins out. Day one we rode together, day two Bridget said I could have fun and test myself. But after a couple of these switchbacks beat me down I realized that I could only give it about 80% or else I would lose time by being fatigued. There are not climbs in Cincinnati that are this long and relentless.

At the end of this first climb is an incredible view, a nice present after all the effort. At the top is a clear cut of the forrest and we can look down and see the farmlands we had ridden trough. We turn a corner and hit a wall, the clear cut allows the ocean wind to shear against the side of the mountain.

Next we have a fun descent. I guess I could say fun, but sections of this road are missing also and you have to keep a steady line over some rather large chunks of gravel. But at the end is a nice paved road leading to Cape Perpetua a beautiful overlook to the ocean with some WPA-era structures.

One our third venture up, we took a left onto another forrest road and rode up to Mount Klickitat. This climb is a bit higher and we nearly got up to a half mile from sea level. It was a turn inland and the type of pines were dramatically different — tall and slender. The forrest looked familiar and I seemed to have recalled that they may have filmed some of the Star Wars Endor scenes in Portland. I swear I saw an Ewok.

Map of our ride up to Cape Perpetua.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Notes from Portland, pt3

Swedish breakfast. Sounds like something you do with flatulence and tricking your spouse under the covers. Think again. Bridget and I rode to Broder for a charming frukost. Trout on rye toast, YES PLEASE! Bridget had the cute little round pancakes with Lemon Curd and Lingonberry sauces. Had a little coffee across the street too.

Tried to go out for a ride. It began to drizzle as we ascended the West Side Hills. First was Cornell road, a lovely climb that's not too bad of a gradient. We turned onto 53rd and there are some more difficult sections. And we finished the four mile climb onto Skyline Boulevard. We were supposed to see views of Mount Hood, Mount Adams and Mount St. Helen but it began to rain harder. Once on top of the ridge climbing was limited to the rolling little hills. We began to get cold and wet. I've ridden in twelve degree weather but I began to suffer.

We turned around. I was shivering all the way down the descent. We turned onto 23rd and grabbed some lunch at The Ram's Head. Really great bar food. The sun came out and we were eating in the sun but I was still covered in goose flesh.

After a warm up /clean up we rode up to REI where Bridget looked around.

After that we ate an incredible dinner at Clyde Common, a wonderful meaty menu that was very savory. I ate a fried rabbit leg. Yum. Then a wonderful roasted half chicken with asparagus salad and mushrooms. It was one of those dishes where everything really balances out all the flavor. Nice touches of red wine vingar to the asparagus.

We walked up to Cacao for an incredible dessert of spicy dark drinking chocolate. Followed by another Americano from Stumptown. I ended up riding another 10 miles to burn off some of the calories...

That was pretty much the night save for a late attempt to return to the Ram's Head for a late pint. But we were more tired than expected and the streets were bizarre. Time for bed...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Notes from Portland, pt2

Sleep deprived we walked across the river to Hawthorne Street. We met our awesome homies Matt and Beth for some breakfast.

Went shopping, bought some delicious sweets at the Pastaworks, one being a cherry tart and the second a Swiss hazelnut chocolate.

Picked up two Masi road bikes at Veloce Bicycles. Went for an easy ride out the Springwater Corridor bike path for a couple hours.

Met back up with Matt and Beth and ate some incredible mexican food, I had tongue tacos and some Horchata. They were incredible, like deliciously rich pulled beef and the horchata is a sweet cinnamon rice milk.

Coffee. Dessert. What a day.

Notes from Portland, pt1

"YOU'RE UGLY!" the homeless woman spat at me as I told her I did not have change.
"I get it from my Mother (sorry mom)" was the quickest, self-deprecating comeback I could muster.
If you don't believe me, as Leah Frank-Finney. She was there. I don't know how.

Hopped on the Light Rail. Bike hooks in the train car, a couple of bikes with downtube shifters. One is a Bianchi with some Super Record components. Wow. Tattoo sleeves...

Delicious lunch at H50 in hotel lobby. Hotel and bistro are clean, posh and affordable... Salmon roll, vietnamese sammy and a couple of local brews. Nice ambient music, kind of like Six Parts Seven but better.

Saw tall bikes... Check.

Set out to discover mystical city of books.

Dude from Everclear playing in public park. Yes he is still living with your ghost...

Ate a "Vertigo" crêpe. Spontaneously purchased a crêpe from a street vendor attempting to relive a moment in Paris, much like Jimmy Stewart attempts to recreate a relationship with same/different woman in a Hitchcock classic. Funnier in my head.

Pearl District seems pretty awesome. Found Powells. Two well stocked racks of bike books. C in my P... Got plenty of books for our new nieces and nephews. Saw some cute children's authors like Joëlle Jolivet and another that led me to this pretty blog.

Ate dinner at this awesome cinema and bistro names Livingroom Theaters. Italian Sodas. Listened to a song by Clock Hands Strangler on SOMA FM. Spicy Tuna roll and a salad. Yum. Cool indie movies playing and the interior design almost makes me faint.

Went across the street to the Ace Hotel where a yummy eatery and ordered an americano.

This city is my mecca. Beer, bikes, architecture, culture... I am feeling so inspired.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Portland or Bust!

I cannot wait to voyage to the land of Milk and Bicycles!

Home Base, Hotel 50, 50 Southwest Morrison Street Portland, OR 97204
How to get to the rental car place...or wait, they pick me up!

NY Times Travel Page
NY Times "Frugal Portland" article
POWELL'S CITY OF BOOKS!, maybe get me a copy of Bobke?
Travel and Visitor's Website
Gentlemen's Guide
Using Lightrail to get around

Bike Shops and Rentals
Veloce Cycles, 3202 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214, (503) 234-8400
Bike Gallery, 1001 SW 10th Ave, Portland, (503) 222-3821
Renovo Hardhood Bicycles, 2005 S.E. 8th Ave., Portland, (503) 231-4888‎
Waterfront Bikes, two blocks south of the Burnside Bridge at the corner of SW Naito Parkway and SW Ash Street.

Regional delicacies include: salmon, Tillamook Cheddar, Bandon Full Cream Extra Sharp Cheddar and dried procini may be found atthe Portland Farmer's Market.
– Perhaps get the salmon smoked at Karla's Smokehouse
– Go to thePeople's Food Coop?
– Some other mark

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Smiling through the mud

Bridget, Jacob, Jeni and Scott from Seven Hills and I went down to Dirt, Sweat and Gears this year. It was nice to get out and camp and hang with some friends. The preride was pretty fun, minus Bridget's flat tire. I was riding a borrowed Gary Fisher full-suspenion mountain bike. It made a lot things more ridable and the geometry made descending a lot easier, I wasn't leaning over the front wheel as much.

I guess overnight it rained a little. And then a thunderstorm struck just before our Le Mans start. I bridged up to Bridget as the pack raced through the infield. I felt my back tire sliding out a lot in the slippery corners but I tried to hold her wheel. But alas my luck ran out and I went down losing many spaces.

I enjoyed riding through the woods in the rain and for some reason the thunder strikes didn't bother me. But the spaces I lost cost me and I ended up behind a lot of riders that could not ride up the slippery climbs. Once I got past these riders I had a lot of fun and I think I was even able to ride for a continuos five minutes. I really had a blast on the first lap.

But hours later the course's condition deteriorated immensely. The trail's mud became thicker and full of grass and rocks. I tried to go out for a second lap but I found once I hit these sections the bike I was riding became extremely heavy and the wheels jammed and would not turn. I gave up. I wish I were tough enough to soldier on but I feared I would get into a bad place emotionally and be stranded on the trail for hours destroying a bike that I didn't even own.

Mud, Wet, & Beer, the bike pushing contest

It is Tuesday and I'm still feeling the lingering effects of the 12 hour endurance race known otherwise as Dirt, Sweat, and Gears. The week prior to the race the weather reports were not looking good. Still, I have done some races in some pretty horrific conditions but this race was a total slap in the face by mother nature.

Leading up to the event I couldn't get my tubeless set-up to seal. I certainly learned my lesson about trying to run some lightweight (non-tubeless) tires as they started leaking from the sidewalls the night before the race. They eventually sealed up but the rear 1.9 tire got sliced over a rock garden on the pre-ride. I remounted my older, heavier, more durable tires. After getting them all set-up I realized that one of the tires had a knob ready to rip off at any moment. Thankfully, my duo teammate Jacob had a demo/back-up, 29er with us at the race. We swapped the front wheel and I was ready to roll. The next morning I woke up to find the front tire flat again! Grrr! I aired it up and it finally did seal. Phew. Flat tires are the last thing I want to worry about before a race.

I agreed to do the Le Mans style start the next day. My husband was also doing the first lap for his team so we were together in our suffering. Ironically as soon as the gun went off it started to rain pretty hard. As muddy as it was the course was still 97% rideable. I had a pretty good first lap and got us off to a good start. That is kinda the point where the sun came up, the rain went away and the trail became a peanut buttery kind of mud. My teammate Jacob came through about 3+ hours later. He was walking his bike over the line. I thought he had cramped really bad. As he got closer he was like "are you sure you want to go out for another lap? It is completely unrideable out there". I kinda shrugged it off and went out for another. Bad idea. It was the most painful hike-a-bike I have ever done. My bike had fatty 2.2 tires, (not good), my cables are routed under the top tube (not good), I have no upper body muscles = triple not good! I am stubborn as all get out and managed to drag my 80-100 lb. bike 8 miles or so before my upper body could no longer push. At many points I was walking backwards uphill dragging my bike across the hills with my hands on the top tube. I have bruises on my hips where I tried to push the bike by the saddle. I removed pieces of ceramic pipe, rocks, & thorns all embedded behind the front fork and rear wheel. Times that by 2,000. Walking 6 inches and clearing the mud out again sure did get old. Each time I stopped I also got swarmed by mosquitoes. I finally found a good bailout point at about 8 miles because I was completely cooked at that point. My bike had become so heavy I simply lacked the upper body strength to push any further. With the work hike-a-bike sections in the last 4 miles of the race I know I made the right decision.

So, the race was a bit of a bummer with us only getting 2 laps in. 6 hours of driving, $200 in registration fees, one chain, one bottom bracket ruined, one broken ego. Will I be back for more next year? Probably. It was a super sweet event, good trails (when they are dry), great prizes, etc. Will I ever forget this suffer fest? No.

A great race report and photos are up on this super great new website.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Palmères, s’il vous plaît?

Here is a rough overview of the my race schedule :

Ohio Spring Race Series, Deer Creek Road Race: crashed, didn't finish last
CORA,: Tower Park: Flatted out of Beginner race
Flying Pig: wore my kit and smiled like a madman
Dirt, Sweat and Gears, 2 person co-ed 12 hour MTB: 1 lap in 2:04, lap 2 DNF due to mud
Ault Park Crit Series
Hyde Park Blast Crit
OMBC, 3 races
CORA, 4 more races
OVCX, about 15 races
CapCity CX: about 4 additional races

Hopefully I can get some results and be in some race-like situations this year!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Almost Match Fit

Today I ran two relay legs of the Flying Pig, it came out to about 12.83 miles. It took me about an hour and forty minutes.

1st Leg, 6.84mi, 1:17:11, 11:17 per mile
My 2nd Leg, 5.16mi, 41:50, 8:06 per mile
My 3rd Leg, 7.67mi, 1:01:54, 8:04 per mile
4th Leg, 6.55mi, 1:12:46, 11:06 per mile

My personal total: 12.83mi, 1:43:44, 8:05 per mile avg pace
My Est. Half Marthon Time: 1:46
My Est. Marathon Time: 3:33

It is weird how I perceived my run. I felt great, I know I flew up some hills. But I felt like I blew up in the second leg. Maybe it was the last 2 miles... I started cramping a little and I could feel all my little muscle fibers tearing apart. I wonder how fast I was running before that. It is nice to see I have a consistent race pace of about an eight-minute mile.

Running that distance finally accomplished something I have been dreaming about for three years. Ever since the 2006 World Cup I have always wanted to be able to run 90 minutes. I would often daydream about Franck Ribery while jogging around my neighborhood — the "Moped" is my power animal!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Just Keep it COOL

Now that I am sponsored I feel a stronger obligation than before to improve myself and to push myself, to get myself out there as a cyclist. I've had a love/hate relationship with mountain biking. I love it when I can ride a trail, become one with my bike and surprise myself. I hate it when I bobble my bike, nervously ride off a trail unable to hold a line or nearly injure myself flying over my handlebars. But hey, there's this local Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance race series. Maybe I'll give it a shot, get some visibility for the store and get some handling ability for cyclocross (my true love).

I was pre-riding the trails at Tower Park with Bridget and my friend Joe on Saturday. There were a couple tough sections were I was very unlucky and really bobbled and couldn't stay in the saddle. I tend to curse myself aloud and get really upset, making poor decisions that cost myself more time. The same thing happened a few times in cyclocross races.

But there were sections where I fell in love again with mountain biking. "Whoa! I didn't think I could ride that!" I told the clump of high tree routes or 90 downhill turn. When I hit the bad sections I made myself remember the good ones and decided not to get all worked up anymore and to:


Hopefully, this will be another life lesson taught to me by a bike...

By the way, I ended up racing my first Mountain Bike race in beginner. I had a great time. They took out the rough sections and I had a blast just hanging in there still surprising myself. Unfortunately my run in second place ended as my tire pinch-flatted on a fast, rocky downhill section. But instead of moping and pushing my bike back kicking myself I decided to run it in like a champ. Gotta keep the chin up — my motto for the day was to be Obama on a mountain bike.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Results from my first road race: ROAD RASH!

I learned a lot the hard way! I didn't sprint off the start when I should have. I couldn't pass over the double lanes and was locked into a bad position half way through the pack. I went down to the gutter side to pass just as we turned and the wind that came from that direction. I worked so hard for the little time I was there. I went back into the middle of the peloton, we were riding about three riders wide, just as a gust hit the peloton forcing a touch of wheels and a pile up. Someone unclipped and fell into me.

The next thing I know I am in a fetal position as wheel roll pass my head... My day was over.

As I nursed a rashed hip I finally brought together six stragglers on the second lap and we formed a paceline to make it home. At least I had company.

I really want to thank the guys at the Trek Store for turning my Jamis into a mean machine, Bridget for really making it happen, and Joe for some tips that I did not get to use!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Is There a Market for Country-Western Dittys about Cycling?

I present lyrics about a rookie cyclist making boneheaded mistakes:

Discovered craaaaaaaacks
in my new carbon fiber road bike
My knowledge laaaaaaacks
in maintenance and the like

Cracked my tooooooth
On a covered bridge
Not so smoooooooth
Lost my line just a smidge

I'm just a grifter
a pseudo cycling drifter
my head cannot lift- ehr
destroyed my new shimano shifter

on my riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiims
some old tires shrunk
oh my liiiiiiiiimbs
from riding my cross bike

I'm just a grifter
a pseudo cycling drifter
my head cannot lift- ehr
destroyed my new shimano shifter


Not based on reality whatsoever. I need to think of a showbiz name like Conway Campy, Brooks & San Marco or Kenny Paceline.

I could use the proceeds to pay off all the layaway and new parts I may need.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rookie Rider proves to be short in the tooth, literally

I didn't know it was called the Covered Bridge Ride. There is a lot of stuff I don't know. Like the floorboards run the length of the bridge and there are gaps in between. What I do know is that now I have a crack in my Madone and my tooth to match.

All I do know is that Joe Biker can tell you a much better version of the story!

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Bike Ordered

Pretty darned excited about the new bike I just ordered. I had my rider interview with the guys from Seven the other day. Talked directly with the folks making my that was a totally new experience! The amount of attention they already have paid to the minor details makes me think I'm going to be overwhelmed with the new ride. I can't wait.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Taking it in Stride

Today I ran the Heart Mini. Leading up to it I toyed with the thought of running with someone else and just running at their pace. Just have fun. About a week and a half prior I really practiced hills up at Red Bird Hollow. I destroyed myself anticipating the Heart Mini's climb up Torrence Avenue.

So during the race I once again thought about running with someone. I forgot my Nike + which serves as my speedometer. I saw an acquaintance early but realized that (after hearing their breathing) that I best be on my own. Like one does in a bike race, I targeted someone performing aggressively that I felt I could match their tempo even if it is above my comfortable range. I did this most of the race. I am very happy to say I dropped them as we climbed Torrence. I was so happy I felt so good. I crossed the finish with an average pace of 8:02 per mile! I never trained that hard, but then it was winter. Also, I had that weird sensation where my legs did not want to stop running — I walked awkwardly across Fountain Square.

To sum up, I feel like just when I began to loath running the Heart Mini provided me with such a great experience I have to say that I have fallen in love again. To accomplish your goal, and to perform better than imagined, I'm running on air!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to Dismount a Mountain Bike

Man, Tuesday night I tried my hand at mountain biking for the first time since last Summer. I am hoping to get into some races this year. Also, I hope to improve my handling skills for a more successful season at cyclocross.

Unfortunately I think work has me a bit stressed out. I intended to go out easy and just get a sense of cornering. But then I wanted to keep up with the group — so I kept pushing my skills to my limits (which are low...). I made it through the first two trails at East Fork without difficulty.

But then the last trail is a bit more technical. Rolling out I immediately (like in the first ten feet!) flipped over the handle bars. I was making a sweeping downhill turn as my front wheel went wide and ran into a sapling. I went over the handle bars and my elbow smashed into my ribs as I hit the ground, knocking the wind out of me. Ugh. But I dusted myself off and got back to it.

Then I did it again rolling onto a bridge... This time I found myself lying on the bridge as my bike was clipped into one leg hanging off the side. As I remounted I realized my brake was rubbing against my new wobbly front wheel. I realized I left my tools back at the car. So I kept on.

After riding a few logs well in the first couple trails I thought I was better than I was. This time there was a downed limb hanging just off the ground. I can bunny hop it right? Wrong. This time I hurt my pride.

I became a crab and began to doubt my abilities as a cyclist. "I don't belong here. I am a hack. You have trained so hard for nothing. You're not even a road cyclist. Just go back to riding the bike path. That's all you can hack."

So I officially had a meltdown in front of everyone when they stopped to wait for me. I AM SO SORRY. I need to channel some CHI or ZEN or LOVE. My hopes were dashed back there... But Joe and Kurt and the others eventually dusted off my shattered ego and once on the easier trail I did my best to crush it. THANK YOU HOMIES! I look forward to riding behind you again soon!