Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend Races

A weekend of training races for me, really fast training races. One thing about racing underpowered, it forces you to ride smart or get dropped. Good time to practice pack skills. Had a few epiphanies regarding my training, and the solutions promptly presented themselves. I've got a pretty good idea how I'm going to get where I want to go now.

Other than that, I had loads of fun hanging out with friends, hardly drove my car all weekend, and kept all my skin where it started. Special thanks to Tracy Thompson for housing and transportation between races, and Sydney Brown for all the good cooking. Not too often we get a catered breakfast in this group, sweet.

Slide show. Lots of pics of races I wasn't in, but friends were. Had a little fun with the continuous shot mode, speed up the slide show and watch 'em go.

For more hilarity you should check out the local videos on the sidebar here and check out the audio clip here.

Good job to all those who raced, and I hope for a speedy recovery to all those who found the pave.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Ramblings of The Good Life

Spent the weekend hangin out with Sydney and Marc. Good times. A little TT action at the NE State 40k TT Saturday, another spaceship sighting in another rural town.... Giggle all you want about my 30mph wind gust induced wobbling, but it sure was fun cresting hills at 40mph ;) 40K@43:20 in the streamer.
Syd kicked some ass with a 1:03 40k for this hilly, windy thing. Good thing I was cheatin, she would have handed me my ass as well. Nice.

I opted to stop at Swanson Sunday for a little dirt. Almost made a meal of it a couple times, where'd the training go? Went for a ride, finished 7th Expert open.

Ah, 'bout time to reboot the training plan I'm thinking. Next level please...

Memorial day weekend races next weekend....road rash roulette or world domination? Right.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I really dig this photo

This is Dave Balfour's Sourcerer streamlined trike at Casa Grande. More of that to be found here


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Calvins Challenge/Indy HPRA

This Past weekend was the Calvin's Challenge 12hour road event. Calvin's is an open road, drafting legal event, that hasn't had a solo rider claim a victory for more than a few years, maybe ever. Always a group finish. Basically you do a big 50 mile loop as many times as you can before 7:00pm, and then they switch you to 7mile loops till the finish. The 50 mile loop has 36 corners, a few gnarly little hills, and two checkpoints that you have to stop at every lap to have your mileage card punched. The seven mile loop has six corners, one hill, and one checkpoint. Kinda like a giant crit course with checkpoints.

The plan was to show up on my Bacchetta Corsa and play the team effort game with the rest of the Bacchetta crew. You know, pacelines, team tactics, organized pits, working for a collective goal and such. I wasn't sure how much I could help out with my knee giving me crap lately and simply not knowing how I stack up against the big names of unfaired ultra cycling, but I was prepared to give it a shot.

I was lined up in the front row with John Schlitter, JV, Troy, and the rest of the big dogs. I had my crap together, bike was in good running order, 53t chainring freshly installed so I wouldn't spin out, pit was ready, informed, and organized. Well, other than I forgot to bring my speedometer with me, but I figured I'd just keep pace with John and that would keep me where I needed to be.

So the pack rolled out, roughly 200 riders, at what I would guess to be around 25-30mph. I was rolling along in the front group and gaining where I should have been. And then about three miles out, before we even made the first corner, pow. My front tire blew. I worked my way out of the pack to the opposite shoulder of the road and bid my farewells to the people I was supposed to be working for. At first I thought I would just change the tube and try to bridge back up somehow, but after closer inspection I found a three inch rip in my new Michelin pro2 sidewall. No dice. And no spare 650 tires in my parts selection yet either, so now it was time to change bikes. I rode back to pit on the flat, had the officials move me into the HPV category, and unloaded the streamliner. I figured I had my work cut out for me If I wanted to catch the lead pack, but at least in the streamliner it would be a little more entertaining.

So after a bit I got back on the road in the streamliner, still no speedometer to gage my speed, and it rolled right along. The corners were marked alright, but I took it a little easy on my first lap to make sure I didn't miss any turns. The wind was mild and the roads were still wet from the previous night's rain. The second lap went a little faster as I was getting a hang for the course, and I caught the lead pack before the halfway checkpoint. I don't think they knew what hit them as I went by them going at least 15mph faster than they were moving. By the end of the second lap I had an 8minute gap on the lead group.

Third lap cruised by. Fourth lap the wind picked up and it started misting just enough that I was having trouble seeing through the canopy. If it would have rained any harder or any less it wouldn't have been a problem, but as it was I was forced to hold the canopy up a little and peek underneath to see what was in front of me.
This got to be a little annoying as the winds would gust and try to yank the canopy all the way open, so I was holding the canopy with one hand and hanging on to the steering bar with the other. Always a good sign to see flags that were hanging straight down the lap before whipping off the pole the next time around ;)

Fifth lap the wind remained, but the mist subsided. Made good time. Another bit to note, I think I spent more time airborn in this event than I have in any other in the streamliner. There were these little dips that would preload the front fork and as the rear wheel hit it would just launch me. I could have done without that, but it sure made me appreciate that fork more.

From there it was on to the seven mile laps. The one hill on that loop was gradual enough that I could carry good speed all the way up. I was making the 7mile laps in 15minutes a piece, and maintained that till the finish.

I finished the event with 297miles in 12hours, minus however much time it took to ride the Corsa back and change bikes. JV, John Schlitter, and Danny Chew finished up next with 267miles. And then I belive local guy Larry Ide finished up just behind them. Not too bad considering the conditions, all the corners, and stopping for checkpoints. It was a fun event, even if it didn't go quite as planned (I swear I didn't flat on purpose John! :) FYI:The previous course record was 264miles, the previous hpv record was 256miles, the previous recumbent record was 235miles. Lots of new records set.

I did have a few complications with my knee, starting around the third lap. I tried to keep my cadence up and the pressure on the pedals as low as I could, but I still had to use a couple IB Profin to keep the pain controlled. Lots more streaching, icing, and maybe a little time off the bike in store this week. The plan to make it to Platte this coming weekend for the 6hr is starting to sound a little less likely. A weekend off to help get myself out of debt physically and financially would prolly be a better idea, but we'll see.

O yea, on the way back from Calvins we stopped at Indy for the second day of the Indy HPRA. I was smoked before I started racing, left my legs in Ohio(duh, right?). So I handed Sean Costin a couple wins on the stock bike, left Rick Gritters have second in stock as well, and somehow pulled off a win in streamlined class. Hopefully I will be a little fresher for the Waterford HPRA next month.