Monday, October 31, 2005

Anyone got an extra $240 they want to spend on me?

How about these lusty brakes? Spooky Carbon cross canti's. My Bday & Xmas are just around the corner.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Pics are filtering in via email here's another. Me attempting to hold the Greekers wheel. Posted by Picasa

For some reason Huff feels the need to crash me

Nice cross weather today, little drizzle, little sun, little overcast, & lots of wind. Everyone & I mean everyone showed for today's race. Must have been the potential for rain. Skip finally got rid of the veil & put on his cross kit(& had a fine ride). Cale gave the deer a week stay of execution & came out. A gravity challenged Super G made his season debut. JJ showed from the far north of Bolivar. M2 the mileage machine made an appearance on a ridged 7 spd MTB(to punish us all!). Even the legendary National Champion Brad Huff riding a single speed 29'er. Next week I think he needs to put knobs on the track bike & ride like a man. I'm guessing in all there was close to 30 people out to race with almost as many people cheering.

Rumors spread like wild fire before the start. A joking comment about me racing B's had everyone up in arms giving me sheet about being a sandbagger(I just wanted to make Skip feel @ home). But all was for nothing since I lined up with the A's. The pace @ the start was not too out of control so a BIG group went into the first turn. I'm not sure what course VanFasten was riding but it involved a left turn where everyone else went right. After sideswiping Super G & taking some grupetto heckling he quickly caught back on. For the first lap a group of 7 or 8 rode together. This was really fun though the barriers got a little crowded. After some singletrack in the woods & a leg sapping climb to the road section Super G decided to crash on the road section? Got me guess he felt the dirt would have soiled the fancy Tomac kit. I tried & tried to avoid his bike but after it chased me to the other side of the road I said F'it & rode over it. Sorry Jim.

This caused a little gap where I got left out behind Greeker & VanAsten. A lap later I sat up to let the chase group get me. The Huffster was in this group & decided to do a rolling handling check on me & stuck his front wheel into my pedal. I passed & stayed up(later on cooling down he tried it again so watch out when riding with Huff). It turned out to be the smartest thing I've done in awhile since I was able to recover & not fight the wind on my own. The group slowly shrank till it was just M2 & me closing in on VanAsten. As it turns out he was riding a slowly flatting tire. Getting little carried away chasing I came into a corner wayyyyyy too hot & my brakes finally decided to work & I was sliding @ about 20mph for 50 feet or so before I knew what hit me. That pretty much sealed my fate to fighting of VanAsten for 2nd while M2 powered away to never be seen again. One more lap I would have been toast & would have ended up 3rd.

Quick results: A's M2, Me, Van Fassten B's Sandbagger, ICC C's I think the Natural once again.

Friday, October 28, 2005

My home made chain keeper. Some sheet metal cut out with a plasma cutter & ground smooth. Then a very old XT deraileur cut off to guide the back & top of the chain. Posted by Picasa

close up of what I can do with some spare time Posted by Picasa

Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D

Last night I was supposed to meet up with ICC, SDJ, & Stoker Ace to ride. When I got up I had emails from ICC & SDJ backing out of riding. So being pretty tired I decided to go to Plan B & head back to bed. Well Plan C quickly materialized Dirt roading, which would require some quick tuning on the cross bike but the time frame worked out nicely. Well then Plan D happened. Turns out dirt roading went to the side & crossing @ the lake was were it was @. So I quickly put on my new home made chain keeper on & off to the lake.

I got there a little early so threw in a few quick warm up laps while waiting for Porn Stache, Super G, & yes the ever elusive Skippy. Believe it or not(& I'll believe it when I actually see him with my own eyes) Skip's making his cross season debut. The chain keeper seems to work several hot laps & it stayed on.

I'm looking forward to Sunday. Amber gets to see her first cross race. I stopped after work this AM to buy her a cowbell. So those of you who don't know her look for the girl making lots of noise & walk up & introduce yourself.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Tracking Blogs

I count 3 other blogs about last nights track workout. So I'll keep it short & sweet. The Scott's with 3 T's did 8x800 with goal pace of 2:58. With 400 recovery(which I did 3 times before I started waiting for Scot to jog his lap). Splits are as follows:

2:52, 2:54, 2:52, 2:51, 2:54, 2:52, 2:50, 2:35

Not too shabby. The splits actually have me contemplating a 5k before the Sat AM ride to test my legs for the Turkey Trot. Which it looks like my parents are in for sure to walk with Amber while I go for time. Now if we can talk her parents into it it will be a family outing to make room for the stuffing later in the day.

Next week I'll be absent from the weekly track workouts to go to AR Nationals. Scot has informed me that he plans on making it really hard for everyone else so they can see what it feels like to get punished by SVA like I have been for the last 4 weeks.

If Scot wins again Sunday he has to put his winnings towards a few pints for us mere mortals so we'll continue to come out & let him destroy us in cross.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Chasing Stoker Ace & Documentaries

This AM got ahold of ICC looking to do some hard efforts on the Cross Bikes. Turns out though Stoker Ace was looking for some company riding so got up a little early & went over to chase him around. It never ceases to amaze me with his ability. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall it doesn't matter he's in the 53 hammering nonstop. So your guaranteed a hell of a workout trying to keep up with him. I'm guessing its a good thing he's decided to skip cross season since he'd give everyone a real run for their money.

Today was one of the great temp rides of fall. This time of year is one of my favorites & today was about as good as it gets. Hardly any wind, low 50's, & plenty of sun. We even ran into SDJ toward the end of our ride. Freshly tanned from his fly by of Florida, in & out before Wilma. Oh the life of the jetset.

Tomorrow is track day. This week I'm sure will be a real tester with the ever increasing distances. So I'm not really looking forward but I'll be there to take my weekly beating.

When I got home tonight I got drawn in for the 2nd week in a row by Nova. I really enjoy documentaries & Nova has some of the best. Nova is great since 1 its on PBS & 2 its varying topics. Last week was the chronology of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, this week its about the Coelacanths(the living fossil fish). There is something about the way they put their documentaries together that just sucks you in.

Got to go to work early tonight so that's it for now. Latter.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Spring Cross #1 Sac River

Almost perfect cross weather. 40 degrees lots of wind, all we were missing is sleet and mud. I sure that will be around the corner though. I was a little worried about the parcours going into Sundays race with all the grumbles & rumors. It was a little mountain bikie but was a fairly good cross parcours for what Sac has to offer. My only complaints were the sharp right hand before the triple barriers which made you scrub off all your speed & the rough first section which actually smoothed out once everyone rolled the rocks out of the way. I guess I have El Presidente to thank for this with his double flat effort to move the bigger rocks in the first single track section.

We had a pretty descent turn out with 20 total & almost as many spectators. I liked the mass start format with the groups going off 1 minute apart. Nice to see people on the whole course aided by its figure 8 design. A big thanks to Shane for the fire, beer & the big black wieners.

Next week I should be back out for Spring Cross #2 Lake Homo unless my dad is stuck in KC then I'll head to the Boss Cross so he can spectate with my new wife.

Following this post is some pics from Mrs. Pettus. Once Shane gets around I should have some more.

UBallez on the tops for the log drop. How he didn't go over I don't know? Posted by Picasa

B's State Champ 2005? Posted by Picasa

Me riding to a hard week of of training 4th in A's Spring River Cross #1 Posted by Picasa

Scot V Lapping B's Winner ICC in Spring Cross#1 Posted by Picasa

This is how it would end up 1-2 Scot V & The Greeker in A's Spring Cross #1 Posted by Picasa

CMac on his way to 3rd in A's SpringCross#1 Sac River Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Urban Legends

I guess the myths about my ability to suffer have reached mythological proportions. I guess the Maori are telling tales like I can run 10 miles barefoot over burning coals & not break a sweat. In her travels Christine VanAsten must have gotten wind of the folk lore & passed it onto Scot. He has bought into the stories whole heartedly.

So this week for the track session he decided to see how much he could get me to suffer. 3x 1200 in 4:30, 3x 800 in 3:00, 3x 400 in 1:30. OH MY GOD BECKY they hurt!!! I got a little delirious in the middle & convinced myself I'd already run 3 800's & stopped @ 400. Oops. In effect spotted Scot 50 meters & hand to put in a big surge to catch back on. So I guess I felt the need for a little added suffering. I've pretty much given up on the prescribed 400 recover & wait patiently @ the line to jog his lap. I just don't have the miles in my old legs anymore to put that many laps in @ once.

Just one more track session for me before taking a week off to go to AR Nationals. Look closely @ some of the names & you'll recognize a few pro MTB'ers. Yikes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

OB Visit #2

For those who seem confused by the previous posts pics yes I got married. Very easy in the State of Arkansas. 5 minutes @ the courthouse & $58 cash(& they stress cash). A quick question about if your related(turns out in AR if your related they don't have to perform a ceremony) & off to get a quick 20 min ceremony. Amber went & bought a BEAUTIFUL dress Friday & I went and rented a tux(contrary to popular belief I do clean up nicely for a die hard Dirtbag)(& yes that is 3 sentences in a row with things in parenthesis, & I know that is bad grammar Skip).

Yesterday was our first meeting with the OB Doc. We got to "see" the kiddo for the first time. For you readers with kids you know what my reaction was. I saw a beating heart & mine pretty much stopped. Was overwhelmed with joy. Was also relieved to find out no twins(twins run in both our families). I also got to see my first GYN exam. WOW! Am I glad I'm a dude. That medieval torture device they use is one scary Mother F'er!!!!!!!!

The morning/afternoon sickness has started as well. Amber the trooper has only puked twice but is fighting constant nuasa. Which made the trip to eureka Springs to get married very interesting.

On the riding front the Lead Sled is trying to kill me. My back hurts, my knee hurts, & a few other unmentionables. I just can't seemed to get it dialed in. Reset it up again this AM, so will see what that does.

Finally found online results for the Laterne Rouge Cross Race.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Hogan's Dirt Road Follies

Tonight I got a preview of The Cut Grass Farms Cross Race. For all you crossers out there put it on your season to do list. Its going to be fun with a capital U! Sweet dirt double track, a brutally fast grass section, & a fast paved section. Plus its almost 100% spectator viewable. So if you don't race you need to @ least come out & watch.

Tonight I attempted to follow along on a fast paced dirt road ride with Super G(riding EmDogs old crosser) Hulk Hogan, & the ever elusive Skippy(who was packed for an expedition length ride). Hogan has some great dirt roads near his house. After a little paved section to spin up the legs the hammer was dropped on a fairly smooth dirt road section. It didn't take long for Super G to take over where he left off the road season, making me chase for dear life. Poor Skippy carrying 50 pounds of supplies got dropped like a porn star on her 3rd week, used & abused. He did manage to catch back on after I dropped my chain. Having no respect for his elders he gave me some verbal abuse has he sped by.

We had to pick up a pretty good road climb to get to the next dirt road. Super G has learned to climb. I set a pretty good tempo, I thought. About 3/4 of the way up here comes Super G & the Hulk flying by. I ran out of gear with a 38x12 spinning frantically to stay on their wheels. From there we dropped on to a freshly graded dirt path where things got a little out of control. Sliding all over the place speeding out of control. Hogan hooked a big ole rock & flatted. Luckily Skippy had a mobile bike shop in his camelback so we were good to go.

I was calling my bike the Green Machine, but after today I think I'll call it the Lead Sled. It goes down hill with some serious weight induced inertia. So all you boys with sub 21 lb cross bikes watch out.

Track still sucks

Yep it still sucks. 3 miles of intervals last night did nothing to change my opinion of it. Now Scot says we're running too fast so it must be easy so time to up the anty. I'm thinking he really wants to kill me so I can't give him a run for his money in cross. Well that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger(or limpy as I am this AM).

Last night was 2x400, 4x 800, 2x 400 all in 1:30 pace.

1:24(400), 1:26(400)

2:54(800)1:26 avg, 2:55(800) 1:27 avg, 2:53(800) 1:26 avg, 2:55 (800) 1:27 avg

1:25(400), 1:19(400)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Lanterne Rouge

Cross Season started for me & most of my fellow OCC Crossers Sunday in Leavenworth, KS. The weather was perfect & the course A++! Really fun & fast. KC has become my cross destination of choice. The day started for me @ the Ass Crack of Dawn @ the strike of 4:45. WOW that makes for a looonggg day with racing & then going to work.

John Jones fellow Masters racer extrordinaire rode up with me to hit the early Masters race. SVA, El Presidente, & SDJ weren't far behind showing up in time to watch us race to a 2-3 finish. Not bad for my first cross race since 1995. Plus I raced on the green machine which didn't take full life till 6pm the previous night. So its initial ride was the warm up laps. It did pretty good except for some chain throwing issues.

My dad is working in KC right now & his campground where he keeps his 5th wheel is only 11 miles from the course so he came out & cheered us on. My mom is starting to rub off on him after almost 35 years of marriage. He was all over the course shooting pics like a mad man. Each lap I'd see him in a new spot. But that is the beauty of a well laid out cross course its highly spectator friendly.

I was pretty tanked after the Masters but needing bike time John & I both ponied up to the start line of the B's race. I figured I had 2 all out laps left in me so @ the gun I got the hole shot & a little gap. I figured 1 of 2 things would happen: 1 I'd wear out some people for Scot & Cale or 2 I'd help pace them out to a lead. Well the plan sounded good till I dropped my chain in a turn. But a 3rd unplanned thing worked out. Some goof crashed into me on the side of the course. This gave Cale a gap which he stretched to about 15 sec. Then Scot bridged up & from there it was pretty much over. Scott TT'd to a solid win(I'm not sure but I think this was his first cross race) & Cale came in a strong 3rd. John rolled a tubey & had to bail. I lost count of the number of times I dropped my chain & my motivation with it. I did end up getting in 18 laps plus 4 warm up so was a good day training. Just worked myself into the ground in the process. But the plan is to keep doubling till I'm in shape or my legs revolt on me.

The C's race earned SDJ Skips title of Sandbagger(you have to race to be a sandbagger). SDJ beat up on the women & children to win his first cross ever on the 6 million dollar(bionic) bike. All that effort to win a lovely commemorative coaster. But I won't hold him to catting up since I now expect nothing less than a C's State Jersey. El Presidente got to share in some of my chain drop paradise of his own but held on to finish 8th on the day.

Next week is an off week for me but I'll be back in full racing mode the following week. So this week is going to be a week of beating myself up with intervals on the bike & on the track(workout in writing up front). I've now been almost 29 hours since I got up with only an hour nap so I think I'll go to sleep. Nighty Nighty.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Round & Round we go only Van Asten knows where we stop

Yesterday marked my return to the track after a 11 year hiatus. Somehow I convinced myself it would be a wise thing for the rest of the season. I am looking into laser tattoo removal though. I'm thinking I need to get that "Sucker" tattoo removed from my fore head. Once again I got suckered into a longer run than I normally would have done on my own by VanAsten. Six 400's somehow became 10. I had to cut out the recovery 400 lap on the last 3 but I finished them all in under the 1:30 prescribed time. I think next week I'll demand the laminated audible wrist band in advance.

1:26, 1:28, 1:24, 1:26, 1:27, 1:24, 1:26, 1:24, 1:21, 1:21

The cross bike is coming along. It now looks like a bike. Fork is installed, along with the stem & bar, plus brakes & left brake lever. If need be Sunday I'll race it as an 8 speed.

Yesterday was also a red letter day in the Amber & Scott story. It was our first baby Dr. Appointment. Turns out Amber gets to pee in a cup everytime we go from now on out. I hope her aim improves or I'll have to get her some gloves.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Tour De Springfield

With my cross bike missing a few essentials(Fork, shifters, crank) I decided to skip the Sunday Cross Camp. Instead I took advantage of the wind & sun to ride a loop around Springfield solo inspired by Bettini's ride in Zurich. That's one of the great things about living here, you can ride completely around town never hitting a major road & always have a bail out. My loop took me on a scenic & hilly 56 miles door to door. I could have easily stretched that out to a hundred if my legs & lungs would have been willing. The great thing about a nice long solo ride is the mental cleansing it gives you. No matter what your worries they melt away & the world starts to take on a little order.

This week sees my return to the track; ICK! But its a necessary evil with cross season officially starting Sunday. I'm thinking of racing the Master's & B's @ the Lantern Rouge. If my fork comes. I can cobble the rest together to make it work for weekend but can't fake the fork. I thought the yellow & red Tufos were going to look funny on the Green machine but it is actually pleasing to the eye. With some mud it will look bad ass. The pleasant surprise is that it going to weigh a hell of a lot less than I thought.

This week is shaping up to be a hard week of training & work so better get my rest. Later