Monday, July 25, 2011

Travel, hotel, food

Took off to FL. Friday late afternoon and made it to the motel at 10:30. I was instantly po, it was a dump. I had heard from reliable sources that Americas Best Value was good and cheap. Well this place wasn't and we couldn't go anywhere else. It was like watching a Jerry Springer show. Never again, $86 for a dump. I'll pay $150 somewhere else. Saturday we were out of there by 7am and drove 14 hrs and both my wife amd my back are killing us. We soon realize we are not that young anymore. Yesterday I took my niece and husband to Santos for their first ever mountain bike ride and they loved it and I knew it. The bike store didn't open until 1 so she rode her street Hybrid like somebody that has done it before. They were already taking about taking their kids and nephews there to ride again.
Last night we went out to eat and when we go out I normally order my favorite, "ribs" eat half take half home. Not last night, everything went including 3 glasses of lemonade and boston cream pie. Paid dearly for it at 3am and I will not go into details. Was planning on going to the Croom trails today but I'm doing whatever the wife wants to do today, it's her turn. Right now I'm at Starbucks drinking tea trying to get my stomach settled.
Talk ya later.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Down in the valley

After Sundays race I took a day off and rode on Tuesday night and my legs were still very sore, so I took a couple more days off. Actually with the volume of work i got at work this week and getting ready for the trip south, I hardly had time to get on the bike. The wife and I decide that it was best for me to ride to work Friday morning so she could pick me up at 5 and head south from there. Just my luck that it was my Friday to be the whole day person in the office this week. Anyway, I rode the 29er to work since I'm only taking the mtb's with me. I haven't been able to hit the river ford by the train station since the heavy rains that we had this week and today I could see why it is still closed. the pics dont really show how bad it is, they only give you an idea. Jeff A had told me and sent me pics, but you have to see it with your own eyes to imagine how hard the water was running. Just look at the pic where the slab of pavement seemed to float away from the ford.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Going South

Florida bound on Friday to visit my niece and sister at their Florida vacation home in Celebration. Is just as hot here as i tis there. Planning on hitting Santos a couple of days and turning the two roadies (niece and husband) into mountain bikers. Taking both the geared bike and the SS. Probably just ride the SS at Santos and let my nieces husband ride my geared bike.
The more I ride my Jamis 29er the more I like it. It just ate everything in its way during Sundays race. Have two Schwalbes rocket rons on order and should put them on tomorrow night, 560 grams each.
Stopping in Asheville on the way up and meeting Ken and Karen there. Riding Pisgah, Dupont and Bent Creek pllus hitting the town for the Belle Cheree Blue Grass festival.
Should be a good time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Iron Mountain race report

I'm way behind blogging, tooo much to do at work and when I go home I'm either riding cleaning bikes spending time with the wife, taking care of the garden/yard, or driving 14 hrs round trip on a weekend to go to a race. Yes. I'm busy.anyways, left Friday at noon and arrived in Damascus, Va. around 7:00.
Got settled at the "Inn" 1920's home with beautiful hardwood floors and very old windows, right on main street Damascus. Went out for dinner to a "bistro" that look more like a backwoods country restaurant. The food was good but when we got the bill I almost choked on it. $45 for the two of us with only one beer. Reminder to self, when in a country "bistro" check the menu for prices.
Next day for breakfast we went to another country place and it was the same thing. It is a small town and once you are there they got you. One thing I did like was the fact that there was no restaurant chains or Starbucks anywhre in town and they want to keep it that way.
On to the race again; a light rain fell all day Saturday with temps in the 60's, I kept looking at the weather and it was 86 and sunny in northeast Ohio with the knob double enduro going on in my back yard. Sunday race day came dry and cool. We took off at 8am, 105 racers with an escort through the center of town and the race began once we turned unto the Virginia Creeper trail which is a rails to trails kind of tow path trail, 2 miles here before hitting the single track. I paid the price for not paying attention where I was in the "peloton" and as soon as we hit the VCT I fell behind the single speeders and slower riders and then it was a time trial trying to catch up to the main group. By the time I did catch up it was the start of a very tough longer that a mile rocky rooty single track climb and I was half gassed from TTing the trail. Rode up it a little bit and had to dismount and walk the rest of the way because I was slipping all over the place and the long line of people pushing the bikes. The rest of the race it was either up or down, whatever was flat it really wasn't flat, it just looked that way. Flew past station one and on to aid station two where I refueled for the long "journey" to station 3. 18 miles of climbing, rock strewn downhills 3-6 mile long grinding gravel climbs. Rode with a couple of guys for a while but most of the time I was by myself. Between 2 and 3 I was on a long gravel climb when I heard something rolling down the mountain, not 50 feet in front of me a baby bear popped out of the woods, stopped for a few seconds, looked at me and kept going. I'll be honest, I got scared thinking "mama' bear is somewhere near here. That was the best I climbed all day, tour the france style, standing up dancing on the pedals, wings on my back, take me home country roads flying up that road like I had a "Cancellara" device in my seat tube (for those of you that follow road racing in Europe). anyways to long of a post makes it boring so I'll finish/ Rode by myself until the end from there (about 20 miles). The race ended down one of the most fun trails I've been in a while, fast, rocks, roots where I hit a rock so hard I burped and slashed the rear tire. 3 wasted co2's a blown tube later I thought "I'm walking down the rest of the way" Another racer stopped gave me his spare tube and even waited for me to make sure I was going to be able to get going. Flat fixed, I take off and to my surprise a 1/4 mile later there was the finish line. I could have run the bike down and finish in under 7 hrs. 7:06 with over 7500 feet of climbing, 55 miles for the day. Great trails, lots of climbing, pain, a few cramps I was able to fight off but a great time and for all the rain we got on Saturday, the trails where in great shape and only a few mud holes. I'll post the few pics I have later when I have time.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Friday night game, Saturday morning pain and Sunday relief

Working in International Sales has some perks once in a while. A freight forwarding company that my company has been working with for over 20 years, celebrated their 25 birthday  at Progresive field on Friday night.

 They always invite several people in my company and I was one of the lucky ones. Two suites, lots of good food and drink. My lovely wife and I mad the pilgramage to the ball park for the first time in about 4 years. I forgot what a beautiful ball park it is. I don't eat hotdogs but it is Un-American to go to a game and not have a hotdog and a beer, so I had two of each.
Didn't stay for the fire woks and went to bed at 11pm to get up at 5am and be at Mohican ready to ride at 7:30. What a pain when the alrm went off, I almost stayed home thinking I could go later. But I couldn't pass off a beating from Ken and Ray. We took off and luckily Ken always sets a good warm-up pace for a few miles instead of taking off like a maniac like "others" we ride with do. Once they felt warm enough the pace started to pick up but not me, I needed the whole damm trail to warm-up. I would have been happy to ride at the warm-up pace the entire 25 miles. Very little sleep and food you are not used to eating the night before will do that for you. I was in pain, my back was killing me but there'was no way I was going to let them know I was suffering. If I did, they probably would have picked up the pace to make me suffer more, they are real nice guys I swear. Once at the top of the mountain I found some relief and was able to recover some on the way down. Every little climb was starting to bother me now and they pu a little gap on me on the last rock garden strech and I thought about bagging it there and just ride at my own place but I refused to quit or slow down, I chased hard for half a mile until I caught up and rode together the last few miles. Good hard ride with good company. At times it was like a freight train going through the woods, each one of us glued to each others wheels at race pace. 
Today I just went out for an easy 1.5 hrs at Reagan park to strech the legs and recover from yesterday. I was able to just enjoy the ride at an easy pace. And I'm glad it was arecovery day, it was 91 when I rode today.
A couple more semi-hard days this week and then slow it down until race day on Sunday in Damascus, Virginia.

Have a great week.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Rolling along getting ready for the Virginia race. Rode in to work Tuesday and again today. Riding through the Bedford Reservation is one of my favorite rides in the Cleveland area. Specially as early as I ride through there. The roads are good, very little traffic, very scenic and you get a great workout.
 Bedford Reservation
 By the train station in Brecksville
Wild flowers are growing "wild".

Monday, July 4, 2011

Week andTwinn Sizzler

Haven't been blogging much because I've been on my bike, what have you been doing?
Had a good week of hard riding getting ready for the 100K mtb race I'm doing in Virginia on the 17th og this month. Friday I was off from work and headed down to Mohican for a a full loop with Ken and Ray. The trail was in great shape, a little dusty in some places where you had to be careful on fast turns, other than that, very fast trail. We had a lot of fun with Ken making Ray and I chase him on hi full suspension 29er rig.

Today we all headed to the 36th annual Twinn Sizzler road race (26 miles). This is a very low key race with very high attendance that's a lot of fun to do. They fo every five years in the age groups and all age groups get quite a few racers. My group had over 35 when we lined up. I always take this race as a good workout that you are not going to do on your own. for some people is their highlight for the year and that's fine with me as long as you know how to ride in a big group. The first few miles are flat or rolling until Kennard hill where Ken set the fast pace up the hill and then I took over. We kept it fast over the hill until we started to go down and I looked back and only 7 of us made it all the way up. After I barked a few times that we needed to get going and not let anybody join us, we seemed to get organized for all of about 10 minutes. Way to long pulls and one guy putting one accelaration after another, I decided I was going to sit in and just cover a few moves. Henry put an accelaration that hurt everybody and my legs were screaming at him but a great move to see how everybody was doing.  Once on Smith road on the last incline I put a long hard pull  and everybody was there over the top. Ok, time to move back and rest the legs for the end.The s turns came and I had the best position I've had in the last few years of doing this race, second around the corner, but I hesitated a bit at the railroad tracks and that's were I lost the wheel and ended up chasing and finished second by a bike length. I don't do a lot of road races but in my age group there's a lot of good riders out there. Yeah you are wondering about my age right? I'm just going to say 50 and over. for the day we ended up with almost 24 mph avearage for 26 miles, that's according to my Garmin