Monday, March 30, 2009

MTB Race#2 quick update

Quick update more later:

Freezing cold(did warm up some after I became mildly hypothermic), 4" of snow # the start, mud, about 30 freezing creek crossings(most DEEP). After about 6 miles I had two gears, big ring & middle ring(you have to love that 90's era XT stuff). 4 Guys in my division. I finished the first lap fast enough to make a 2nd but said screw it & took 3rd instead of 2nd(cost me a series point & some cash). SOmehow bruised the hell out of my right palm. I am now 2nd overall in the series(not for long since most of the remaining races are in the STL) Now I have to get a new drive train & brakes but the air stayed in my tires & my bike mostly worked. Continental Speed King work great in the mud FYI.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Great Genetics

It pays to have great genetics. I'm thinking about suing my parents for giving me non world championship genes. I know there is a lawyer out there who'd take the case.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lost Valley MTB

Can you revirginize? Well 13 years is a pretty good try at it. Sunday I popped my recherry & toed the MTB line. Let me go on record as saying I know for a fact MTB racing didn't use to be this damn fast. But I digress, let me back track a bit.

First & fore most I grabbed a ride with JJ & Ira(sandbaggers the pair; 2nd & first in their sandbagging cats) to the STL. Got to whip out by brand new Cat 1 license; not really it turns out you don't need a license to race the Midwest Fat Tire Series(Oh well I can at least say I'm a Cat 1 for all the load of crap that is).

If you can have zero expectation for a race I was at -5. I just wanted to get on some dirt @ speed & see how I did. I lined up with the old fart Experts. And we're off! Oh shit flat Katie trail start means drag race pace line to the ripping fast 58KPH descent to the finish area climb. I slotted in & started climbing. Felt pretty good but realized my HR was WAY too high for March(read Max HR). After some double track pace line action we hit the first single track(new section read rough). I had forgotten how fun it is to ride single track blind @ race speed. Four guys got away & I hooked into the 2nd group which had four of us taking pulls like a freaking road race. I felt pretty good for the first two laps even though my HR was way too high for March.

In the back of my mind I had a plan of going semi hard for an hour or so then limping in. Well I pinned it for two laps(screw the plan) & fell to shit. Going up the climb at the start of the third lap I had to let the other 3 go. I did manage to get back on on the double track up top. I went onto the single track after recovering only to watch the other 3 ride away for good. They were on fully suspended bikes which let them ride across the rough new section while I got beat to hell on my hard tail. Oh my aching old back. I put it in survival mode & rolled in about 2.5 minutes down for 7th(or 6th depending on which results you look at). I'll take that after only riding my MTB 4x this year & not having raced MTB in longer than some of the guys on the start line had been alive.

Good news was all the air stayed in my tires for the first time this year. Tribute to Continental tubes & tires. Damn good German rubber. My bike also stayed in one piece for a change. No small victories in themselves. Now my dilemma is Dogwood or Rim Wrecker? I'm leaning Rim Wrecker I think the MTB bug has bitten. Road racing is soooo boring, plus I'd have to build my road bike back up or be snubbed for racing road on a cx bike.

This will really piss you off

As most of you know Roger Hinson got hit by a truck while riding in North Carolina recently. I got this link sent to me today. Absurd is all I can say. Long live the Good ol Boy network it'll be the death of this country yet.

I love the end where the Sheriff says:

"In Hinson’s case, Dendy said there are “two ways to look at what caused him to hit the ground so hard” — be it the truck’s collision with the bike, or the rate of speed at which the bike was traveling.

“He was injured because he fell to the ground,” said Dendy. “The car didn’t run over him ... I feel like he was very lucky to walk away from that. But just because he was on a bike doesn’t mean I should treat him any differently. Isn’t that singling out a particular group, bikers? The guy feels terrible about what happened and has been very concerned about Mr. Hinson. What would it have done for his accident for this guy to get a ticket?”

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Low down on the Job Front

That's that folks another casualty of the recession mess. My place of employment is suspending operations permanently on March 27. The bankruptcy papers are filed, the plant dis-assembly has started. Fortunately I have another job @ a division of the parent company. I'll have to tighten the belt since I'm taken a pretty good step down in pay, but what the hell a job is a job in this market(rent a racer program). Hopefully on to better things. To make up for the pay cut they are going to send me to all kinds of schooling. Who knows maybe I'll get my official engineering pocket protector instead of the home made one I use now(yes I wear a pocket protector). I'm taking a week off then starting my new J.O.B. as a flunky. No decision making for this kid, that'll be a nice change of pace.

First MTB race in 13 years Sunday!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

TT Tech

Photo ©: James Huang/

Photo ©: James Huang/

Why didn't I think of that? But it will be done on my TT bike.
I've seen a few other little tricks for TT bikes on some other PRO bikes I'm going to have to incorporate. Like this one. Shrink tubing for cable routing. Which I like better than the tie wrap on Basso's Bike.
Photo ©: Shane Stokes/

My new Hero

Wally Wallington

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Allen Lim interview

Great interview: snippits that I found interesting. Warning interview is a bit long but well worth the read. Search around on the site & there is a great Davey Z interview as well.

AS: So you don't run into any of the guys saying "I just want to ride by feel, don't give me all those numbers?"

AL: Not that it's a problem. I actually, believe it or not, encourage guys to train by feel, listen to their intuition as much as possible. In fact, I'm almost the guy on the team who's more into the guys telling me how they feel, what are their sensations, what do they perceive, what are they thinking, how'd that last interval set feel? The key here is that when you get the guys to really think about feel in an organized fashion, and you're able to give the feedback of those numbers and testing and all that science in tandem, then what ends up happening is that they actually learn how to train themselves, they learn how to coach themselves. They learn how to understand what their body needs at any given moment. Because the fact of the matter is, we don't have them wired for sound the entire time, and the power meter and other technologies really just give us a sense of the output. There's still a big black box in between whatever comes in and whatever comes out. So the athletes and their ability to articulate is really the little black box that helps us put the pieces together. The whole "I just want to train by feel" has never been a problem, because I encourage that.

But what I do say is, "Hey, we're going to train by feel, we're going to train by intuition, but you're going to teach me as much about what your body says to you as I hope to teach you". But we're going to use technology to make sure we have an objective stance about what we're thinking. We have a history, a frame of reference, that allows us to continue to learn and organize in a constructive and efficient manner.

AS: How much do you monitor the riders? How many of them do you coach?

AL: I primarily work with the Tour guys, oversee their program. I've kinda stepped away from writing programs, because it doesn't suit my philosophical approach. My philosophical approach, even with the guys that I do coach, is to make them write training programs for me, for themselves. If they say, "What should I do next week?", I'll say, "Hey, dude, write me a program. What do YOU think?", you know? And they'll write a program and I'll end up editing it. And I'll end up being Socratic with them, in terms of saying, "Why the hell do you want to do this?", or "This makes no rational sense", "If you can justify why you want to do this I might agree with you", or "Have you thought about this?"

What's it's really akin to, when I was in grad school writing papers, it was never a situation where a professor wrote a paper for you, right? You did the work, you wrote the paper. But what those professors did, they did a great job of editing your work. So I'd submit a paper and he'd say "Gosh, your hypothesis here is totally wrong", or "You have no real rationale here", and I'd go back and re-craft it, and he'd re-edit it. He'd make me go through three or four runs before a piece of work was good.

I find the same thing happens with training programs. If they write the first draft we might go back and forth three or four times before we have a good program, and then I'll finally give it back to them. But the great thing is because the athlete has gone through the editing process with me, because they were the ones who wrote it, if something comes up, if something changes, they can improv, they can adjust with a greater level of precision than if I had just written them a program and they didn't understand what it meant.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This Sucks!

***Bone Bender Postponed***

The official word from the trail boss....

Well folks, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this latest round of rain just put us over the top on soaking the trails and making them un-rideable for this coming weekend. Sorry but we will have to postpone the Bonebender MTB race until the scheduled make up date of April 18th comes around.

I am just as bummed as you are about this but the volunteers who build and maintain all these sweet trails will appreciate your respect of the trails by not wanting to damage them with a race in muddy conditions.

Thanks for your understanding and I look forward to seeing all of you at the Bonebender MTB race on April 18th!

John Harter,
Trail Manager Smithville Lake Trails

I was looking forward to racing on the dirt. Oh well I need more 3+ hour rides anyway. What is bad is the make up date is the day before the Tour de Tick MTB race in Neosho. That would conflict with my one race a month policy. HMMMM

Sunday, March 08, 2009

With this wind it must be Kansas?

Holy Crap I thought the SPR had been picked up & plopped down in Kansas. 20-25mph winds with gusts to 35+. Normal everyday winds for KS, suckfest for me. I did use the block headwind from the West to get in a 20 min FTP test, identical to the ramp test results(actually thought it might be lower). No wonder Tilford is so damn strong after fighting winds like that for 90 years.

Good ride all in all except for the 45 minutes or so when the sun went into hiding & I would have killed for my vest or a section of newspaper(your not wicked old school if you have to ask what its for). Halltown, Lawrenceburg, BFE dirt road near Comet to make TK happy. Actually the dirt road was the highlight of the ride. Ripping downhill with a tail wind on 23's equals big shit eating grin. Then over to Phenix, down to just east of Ash Grove, to Center(wind damage to the church), back side of Bois D'Arc via Mountain Lion Conservation Area, then Elwood & home. All that for 107 kilometers, wind made it seem farther. Actually topped out not far from the southern arm of Stockton lake. Never ridden all the way up to it might have to do that in the near future.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Why buy it if you can make it?

During the 07 cx season I ruined a few BB's. I decided that it was easier to buy bearings than whole BB's. A little searching & I figured out what size the bearings are in Shimano outboard BB's. A little more searching & I found a place to buy replacements on EBay. I bought about 10 sets of bearings. I rebuilt two BB's using some very crude methods. Last CX season I made it without having trashed a single BB. Espenkotter managed to trash one recently so I decided it was time to make my version of the Phil Wood tool. I downloaded the tool instructions, broke out the calipers & did a lot of measuring. I could have gotten really PRO & drawn up the prints on Inventor but decided reverse engineering Phil Wood's tool might get me in a little trouble so I did it by feel. A few hours on the Lathe & below is my rendition.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Dave Wiens:Mountain Biker

This is a bit old but worth the 5 minutes to watch. Dave & Susan are two of the nicest people on the planet. Dave is a Gunnison Icon. Didn't get to ride with Dave too much but logged miles with Susan & Jason Stubbie who is also in the video. A little brief footage of some bad ass trails @ Hartman's as well. Makes me want to call up Irwin & do a little rode trip.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

POS Field Service Technicians provide scheduled service work

"POS Field Service Technicians provide scheduled service work." Hell I can do that. Turns out POS is something to do with computers. Here I thought I found a job where they tell you how they are going to treat you up front.

Yes I'm looking at again, bad news here on the work front. Can't say more till later.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Don't like the weather? Wait 5 minutes

Saturday AM I woke up @ 6 to let the dogs out. No snow as predicted. Came back 30 minutes later to let the dogs in.

In an hour 2.54cm had piled up on the deck. Guess the weather guys were right just off on the time.

Sunday I decided since the sun was out I'd head to Sac for some frozen trail time. Got in a couple hours before the thaw started & started freezing mud to the bike. My toes froze so it was time to head home to a bowl of left over chili from Saturday.