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!