Thursday, June 30, 2011

Who's Idea was this?!

Suck it up Buttercup!

Hilly Billy- yes thanks to the awesome cross tires that Kenda spared us, I can tack you on to my list of fantabulous finishes this year and best of all I didn't have a single flat!!

I was worried silly trying to decide between using a mountain bike or cross bike. The chosen mountain bike last year felt great and was a fun ride until I scored a three inch slice in the center of the rear tire. DNF. In the end, because of gearing and a comfy saddle I should have rode my mountain bike again.

I can't honestly say that I enjoyed myself entirely. My legs still felt a little tired from Lumberjack the weekend prior, and pre-race jitters inhibit any ability to consume calories in the morning. So I ate a banana and was riding gears that left me struggling up even the 'easy' climbs on the course. Before the first aid station I was hiking up punchy hills, just destroying myself trying to mash up long easy road climbs. Climb, climb, climb!
"JR, Stop treating us like a bunch of babies and add a few more hills next year. Sheesh." - Ryanne Palermo

I was at the unofficial aid station contemplating why in the world I do this to myself, and praying that I wouldn't get any flats when Robbie and James rolled up behind me. "Hey Buerkle!", they shouted... I barely had the energy to muster out a hello, was puzzled to see them behind me and then several miles later, super thrilled that they were dumb enough to ride at my pace realized - Hey, this is what teams are for. At aid station two, Robbie looks at my bike and says "well that there's yer problem, see that ring on the front of your bike, well its not small at all... you need a compact!"
I can't thank them enough for pestering me, and riding alongside up the following climbs. They promised that no matter how hard I tried to sneak off the back of their train they weren't going to drop me. Well, that was until I had to stop and pee. I couldn't wait longer. I promised that I would hang on, and muster my way to the top... at this point our friend Stick passed by and I felt a little more confident that I was going to actually finish this thing. When I finished walking up the hill, I found them picking rhaspberries. We continued along through aid station three. After a half dozen glazed oatmeal cookies and lathering the chains with lube, we rolled out for the last leg of the ride. It was all I could do to keep my legs moving. I had at this point surrendered riding up hills and just walked up most of them. By mile 57 or 64 or whatever it was my stomach was just pissed so I started belching like a fat kid living at McDonalds. Gross. Poor guys. I guess this was the final straw because when we got to the next hill, they finally stopped waiting. The course doubled back on itself at this point and I heard them yell c'mon Buerkle, but when I started up the dirt double track they were out of sight, out of mind.

Something happened when I hit the dirt though. It was dirt, I know what to do here- and I started climbing again. The pedals got a little easier to turn over and only momentarily did I have to walk again when I hit the 'wall'... After getting to the top of a steep section of road and hearing some construction workers laughing at us mustering up this thing, the rest was smooth sailing. I refused to walk up the road to the finish line, ending up 8th in six hours flat. Beer seems to be a fantastic recovery drink, so I had two glasses and went home with a buzz that lasted several hours.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

BONK! at the Hilly Billy Roubaix

So, I missed last years Hilly Billy Roubaix with much displeasure. I don't remember why specifically, but I know that all I had to ride was a road bike or a 29er with fat tires. This season has been a blur as the races seem to come by faster than I can prepare. Knowing full well I wanted to race the HBR, I hadn't planned very well to race it.

Two weeks before the race I decided to visit the crew at PathfinderWV about getting a cyclocross frame and cannibalize a road bike for parts to prepare for the HBR and the upcoming cyclocross season, neither of which I had any experience. So, with one week before the race Robbie rolls out my new matte black cyclocross machine....Sweet! Now I just needed a ride or two to dial the fit.

The HBR started out with a downhill start and quickly enters some gravel roads. Before long we were drudging through some seriously deep muddy water holes. Not to worry though, I was sporting my ultra-comfy Swiftwick socks, which would soon dry once we had a few miles on the road again. As concerned as I was about the race beforehand, I was thinking to myself this race couldn't get any better at this point, combining road and mountain bike racing for over 70miles.

I was feeling pretty good through the first half of the race. I passed up the first aid station with plans on having my lunch at the second station. I had spent the about 8 miles riding one in sight in front or behind. I was beginning to think I had missed a turn. Then, thirty-some miles in I roll in to the second aid station for a little lunch. The volunteers were great. I didn't even get my leg over the top tube of the bike before three different volunteers were grabbing the three bottles I had emptied and filling them with water and energy drinks. A forth handed me some electrolyte capsules. A big thanks to the crew at the second aid service.

A quick bite and I was rolling on to catch teammate Nicole D. who had rolled on past that station. After about 15-20 miles of riding with her and local Scott B., I was beginning to feel the effects of riding distances that I had yet to ride this year. It was obvious that my performance was beginning to dwindle away. I noticed my average speed was falling off quickly even though my effort hadn't let up.

Somewhere between 50-55 miles into the race I hit the "wall", which turned out to be a steep, pea-graveled climb. I felt like I had eaten plenty and drank enough fluids that I couldn't be bonking. I realized halfway up the climb that I could walk faster than I was riding. Besides, walking should allow the numbness in my feet to go away. Once I reached the top and look down to the next checkpoint, I noticed Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling teammate Derek C. and Anne directing the racers on what would soon become the toughest section of the race. Derek (who wasn't racing, but did finish 2nd in the M'town Tri the next day) gave me some sort of energy waffle...tasty...and some fluids.

After about 10-15minutes of hanging out at that checkpoint, the race course turned into a deeply rutted muddy mess of an ATV trail. I was all over the place on that trail. Apparently the newly consume energy hadn't kick in yet. But, at the next checkpoint I would consume a soda (from a crazy hillbilly holding a skunk and a beaver!) before the last 10-12miles. Finally, I had some energy and the last miles rolled by quickly. Although I didn't ride my best, I finished ahead of my first HBR goal of 6 hrs. The race was a blast. Mylan Park was the perfect place for a start/finish. And my new bike may have become my favorite.

Congratulations to all Dynamic Physical Therapy Cyclists for completing this race, as well as some podium finishes by Nate, Gunnar, Betsy, and Nicole.

Thanks to JR for putting on a great and challenging event. A big thanks to our team sponsors, especially PathfinderWV for building up my new race machine. And the biggest thanks to all the volunteers. Aid stations 2 and 3 rock! I'm already looking forward to next years race.

C. Jones

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Smoked that Tygart!

Saturday, June 18th brought the 4th round of the 2011 ABRA Road Race Series to Philippi, WV for a hilly 33-mile loop. There were only 3 of us in the 3/4 field, so they combined our start with the 4-5 and 5 racers making our overall field a decent size. Last year, I was dropped on the climb out of Belington, so this year I went into the race knowing I had to be near the front at the start of the climb if I had any chance to claim victory. Teammate Derek Clark, my good friend Billy Slutz and I made up the 3-4 field, and took turns dragging the combined field up the long climb out of Philippi. I had mentioned to Derek before the race that my right knee just didn't feel right - no real pain, but just discomfort. We rode at a moderate pace up the first 3-mile climb, and heading towards Belington, Derek got a nice gap so I sat up at the front of the field and let Billy chase for a few miles until he reeled Derek back in. Once in to Belington, we took a right turn, followed by another right and then across some train tracks. At this point, we all felt bad because the local authorities had actually held up a funeral procession to let us the pack we all thought that the race should've been neutralized to let the funeral procession have the right of way - it would have been the right thing to do.

Anyhow, as we rolled through Belington, I rode off the front as we approached the climb that I had trouble with previously. Two 4-5 riders came with me but Billy and Derek did not. When I realized this, I really pushed the pace at the base of the climb, trying to see if my knee would be okay with a vigorous pace. It seemed to be doing okay, so I kept it red-lined up the climb. The race really got strung out at this point, so each time I would steal a quick glance over my shoulder and see people trying to catch back on, I would up the pace a little more, knowing that I am a good decender (I think it has more than a little to do with my weight...). I knew that if I could be the first to the top with nobody in sight, I would have a good chance to keep going in TT mode for the rest of the race. With the combining of the fields, one of the wheel trucks became our lead vehicle, so I just spent the next 20 miles with my head down following the blue and white truck in front (team colors, right?). I was guilty of checking my progress on each straight stretch, but luckily did not see any wheels behind me when I did so. Having done this course twice previously, I knew that there were only a few small rises in the final 10 miles, but mostly it was slightly down-hill until the final 2-mile decent to the finish back in Philippi. The last little uphill did give me fits, as I pushed a huge gear to try to maintain my speed. Luckily, with that out of the way, I was able to decend into Philippi at top speed with no traffic, very unlike the previous two years. As the lead truck crossed the second covered bridge into town, I knew I had the victory, and was even able to raise my arms across the line!

My wife, daughter and parents were all in attendance and all cheered me across the line - I was very glad they all decided to see me race this day as it was my first road victory in 2 years. A big shoudout to Derek for stringing out the field from the gun so I could time a counter-move near the base of the big climb of the day! On the day, it was very successful for the team with Gunnar also winning solo, as well as Nicole (nice bike!) taking another victory in her field and Betsy finishing second in hers!

Post by Ben K.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lumberjack 100 DONE!

I had zero anticipation for Lumberjack while driving through Torpedo, OH and up through Michigan with all of its flatness. My knees bothered me a bit during Stoopid 50 a week before, so I was also worried about doing my first century this year-in the woods. I basically rolled off the couch in April the morning of Mountwood and decided to start riding my bike again.

I can't count on both hands the number of races I DNF'd last year due to mechanicals and flats. I spent most of the eight hour drive reminding myself that I quit Tour de Lake, Stoopid 50, Hilly Billy Roubaix, bailed on Shenandoah for financial reasons, quit Iron Cross and finally just stopped riding altogether after Thanksgiving. We took a trip to San Francisco for Turkey Day, rented bikes and rolled around the city some, but I even crashed riding up a sidewalk near Golden Gate bridge and got food poisoning from some bad fish we had the first night we got into town.

The night we hopped on the train headed back to San Jose for our flight, my Mom called and told me a good friend of mine had died over the holiday somewhere in Georgia. This really hit hard because of how long I had known this person. He taught me how to drive a car with a 'stick shift' and was a great movie goer person.. just fun all around guy. We were the same age- he died. So, I learned way too quickly that life is very short and I decided that I wasn't making the most of mine and set goals for this year.

Finishing Stoopid 50 was my first goal. Mission accomplished! Lumberjack was the dreaded goal- along with Wilderness 101. I finished Lumberjack. Thank God.

Friday night we pulled into the Big M ski area just outside of Manistee, MI. Immediately we were mauled by skeeters and horseflies. I look like someone was shooting golf balls at me and have the bruises to prove it. We were getting ready to do an easy pre-ride of the course when a group of folks from E. Pa rolled up. I turned around, and Vicki says in her adorable Scottish accent- 'Hello Chrissy, hows it going?'.... I felt like she was saying 'Hello, Chrissy.. I can't wait to beat you by 2 hours tomorrow...' and off we skedaddled into the woods as quickly as they could possibly roll. My legs weren't feeling it. It finally hit me that there were some incredibly strong women here and I really just needed to focus on finishing the race.

Just one glitch... my bike developed the most ungodly ticking noise from around the bottom bracket area. It was aweful.... I fell behind the group in the pre-ride and just started crying. So far from this point, the course looked really boring, sandy and flat. I was positive that this was going to be a bust. I was so livid that my bike was broke again that I bailed on the pre-ride and headed back to the car.

Later that evening we checked into our hotel and headed to town for dinner. The burgers were good. Beer was better. I started to calm down a little and decided that I would just ride the course as far as I could before my bike broke and then buy a new one next week. My goal was 9.5 hours.

I woke up feeling good about the race. I wasn't sold on a hundred miles yet, but I was a little excited to get out and just ride my mountain bike. I lined up somewhere mid-pack among 350 racers. Bottles check. Flat stuff check. Computer check. Song stuck in head check.
We started with little warning and began a one mile race along the road- 25mph on mtbikes then suddenly- singletrack. We herded ourselves into the woods like cattle. If you stepped out of line you were screwed, so I pushed as hard as I could for the first lap. I made a mistake and didn't grab water at the first check point and really cooked my legs on the second half of the course. I was averaging almost 12mph and really happy with how great I felt. I had no idea where I was compared to other women. Daniel Musto passed me on her single speed like I was standing still and I just snickered a little. I was surprised at how much fun this course was.

We weaved in and out of massive pine forests with a carpet of ferns and pine needles cushioning the ground. There were only a couple small sections of double track snowmobile roads, and the only rock garden I rolled through looked like someone dumped a 5-gallon bucket of gravel on the course. There was a surprisingly large amount of climbing- just short steep punchy climbs with fun flowey descents to follow. I was really having fun.

A friend of ours from home who had recently moved to Michigan and runs XXC mag caught up to me and pedaled a good bit of the first lap and a small portion of the second lap.. It was nice having a wheel to follow through the woods and a little motivation. When I know someone is watching, I tend to be a bit more critical of how I'm performing. I felt aweful my second lap though. The pine forests started to feel like being trapped in a cedar chest and my eyes were getting sore from all of the sand. It was all I could do to keep grabbing wheel after wheel and roll around the course as quickly as possible. Normally, I'm busy getting sidetracked looking at the scenery, but it really never changed. So I kept pedaling.

The ticking noise bothered me little. I rolled across the lap line at 6:28 and happy with that I found the motivation to head out for the 3rd lap. I was really having a great time! To top it off, I found Mahokey at the tent when I rolled in for water, happy to finally catch back up to him. The little things right! To my demise, he stopped at that point, happy with the 66 miles he'd already pedaled and I was on my own this lap. Shoot! There goes the tandumb again... I hopped back on my bike determined to finish in under 10 hours and not get beat by the tandumb. I felt great on the 3rd lap. I rode conservatively during the second lap and decided it was easier to run up some of the punchy climbs.. I watched nervously as my average speed continued to drop and an alarming number of welts formed under my kit from skeeter bites. I tried to scream "WHEEEEE" on all the fun little descents and after scrambling up what would be the last climb of the day I gave it everything to get back to the finish line in 10hrs. I was solidly disappointed after how well the first lap went that I came in this late, but I finally crossed the line at 10:06 with the biggest grin on my face. Not only was this my first 100 mile mountain bike race, but it the first century of the year for me. I finished. My bike was still ticking and I got attacked by another horsefly at the finish.

Some guy congratulated me and handed me a Lumberjack 100 patch. Finisher. I drank the first cup of beer I could score in less than one gulp, downed a burrito, a second cup of beer and hazily headed to the lake for an ice bath. I think 27 women started the race. I finished 12th.

The next morning we drove down the western side of Michigan for a change in scenery and stopped for breakfast and a peak of the lake. Water temperature was a whopping 52 degrees. There was an old army tank parked along side one of the roads... I should have climbed underneath it with my jersey on and got a photo taken to demonstrate how my arms felt after riding the entire course rigid. I wasn't incredibly sore... just stiff and amazingly now just a couple days later I feel great.

Post by Chrissy B.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Tale of Inspiration and Woah

by Gunnar.
For Jim Cummins, the rest of the folks that help put on the Dirty Kanza 200, and my own well being.

Maybe I've told the story too many times now. Maybe I've not told it enough, and now don't know where to start.
But enough waiting around, might not be the tidiest, but here it is.

I will tell you right now, from the beginning, that I did not finish this race. It was no fault of my bike or equipment. I did not finish because I went turned down a road that I shouldn't have taken, ignored some signs even when they smacked me in the face, really had no alternative but to stop at mile 162, Checkpoint #3.

You can read Betsy's story for why we and how we got there-
Sun-up to Sun-down

When folks ask me what it was like, I usually start off by saying that beyond the heat and wind, it was not the KS that I thought it would be. Big wide gravel roads, rolling hills, some "unmaintained gravel roads" that included some decently gnarly little fields of strewn rocks and ledges and the occasional stream crossing, free ranging cattle, and in quite a few places hardly any trees or "civilization" to be seen. Most definitely less paved road than any (save one) of the 100 Mile MTB races that I've done. Probably more rugged than quite a few MTB races that purport to be "Ultra".
And of course there was the wind and the heat.

It was totally Betsy's idea to be there, but I was mostly in charge of bike preparation, tyre choices, what to bring on the bike, and gear selection. A tall order when wading in such foreign waters.
We heard stories of folks shredding tyres, some running CX race tires, some MTBs, folks walking the hills, of how the race really starts after mile 140. These were things that were part of the daily morning chats, kept us both up late at night, staring up at the ceiling, but ultimately it was to be my call.

I settled on the Kenda Kwick Tendril 700x38c tyres. No knobbies (why do we need knobbies on dirt/gravel roads?), more rubber on the tread and on the sidewall and I really couldn't imagine needing more volume than 38. This was a good choice.

Betsy ran her stock "special purpose" CX bike. Which is really just a CX bike except that she really prefers racing on her SS CX, so the geared one just sits around waiting for things like Iron CX, early season road races, and other what-not. 44/34 in the front, 12/25 in the rear (no need for the 27).
Through chatting w/ folks via the DK200 discussion forums, I decided that I'd probably be fine running somewhere around 42x18. I would opt for the lighter side of this at first just to be sure. Thanks be to Matt Brown and folks at High Gear Cyling, for on our first day in Emporia he kindly chatted w/ us about the course and gave us a map of the DK Lite, which he explained would be a good representation of the roads and hills to be found on the DK200 loop proper. He also gave us a thumbs up on tyre selection.
So off into the windy abyss we rode, me sporting a 44x19 gear, but in our spares I had everything from a 40 on up to a 46 just in case.

Big wide gravel roads, and not just a few, but many. Stress-free riding as Betsy put it. Fields on the left, fields on the right, eventually making it to the tree-less zone too. Riding south was the worst, then west, east wasn't too bad and going north made you feel like a hero.
It was on that first ride that I first felt the twinge of excitement, and the pang of angst or something else too. "These tyres are rolling fine, this gear if anything might be a little light, even after two days of driving, I bet I can do really well."

After that first ride Betsy had decided that she could definitely move here and spend the rest of her days riding these gravel roads.

So the evening was spent excitedly talking and thinking about the other stuff, like how much water to bring, what extra supplies to carry, what to do at the checkpoints, how could we keep my mammy busy all this time, and what the crap is up w/ Pizza Ranch being open till 10 but closing the pizza bar at 8?
We decide to carry the minimum of "stuff": Compass, cycling computer, little headlight, rear blinky light, 3 large water bottles, multi tool, pump, 2 spare tubes, patch kit, chain tool, tyre boot, tyre lever, some gel-type stuff, a Raw Rev bar and a banana. The checkpoints weren't *that* far away from each other...

Friday I finally decided on the 45 for the front. Slightly heavier than then 42x18 but not quite into 42x17 range. This was going to be it, "look at how large that combo looks!"

Friday evening riders meeting, meet & greet and fun time!

Me and Abe, both w/ our trading cards!

Saturday morning rolls around soon enough, but after doing quite a few 100 mile MTB races while camping this is a piece of cake. "Cheese cake, popcorn".
Fresh coffee, oatmeal, other sundry snacks and tidbits and the fast has been broken.
Drive into downtown, find a most excellent parking spot, unload, stuff pockets, make sure mom knows where to go, make sure Betsy and I know what we should do at the checkpoints. Find a spot kind of near the front to start.

And off we go!
Rolling out of town, then onto the first gravel road that we rode on Thursday, it feels good, able to ride near the front, this is gonna be fun! This is gonna be good.
Roll, roll, roll. Folks w/ lots of equipment, folks on road bikes, folks on MTBs, some talking, some looking around, some trying to avoid smacking into the cows.
Somewhere around mile 35 or so some chap says something about the hills and climbing. I reply "These aren't hills!" he counters "Where you from?" to which I tell him "West Virginia", he offers "You don't count" and we laugh. Shortly after that I ride off the front on a climb. Just to see if I can and somewhat cause I can only go so slow w/ the 45x19.

On the way to the 1st Checkpoint, rolling it out
There are people back there beyond what you can see...

Photos stolen from the Chamios Butt'r Facebook page

Around mile 40 or so the hills start coming around a little more in earnest and regularity. I soon find myself w/ one or two riders, again off the front. Fast downhills, carry the speed up the other side and soon enough the first checkpoint is upon me and I'm all alone. Sure was fun getting to the first checkpoint, seeing Jim Cummins there, and being so excited, having a school-girl-giggle moment.
Took some time to eat and drink, like we had planned. Washed my hands, glasses, and legs, then took some time to fix a ding in the rim. I wasn't the first one out, but I wasn't too far behind the leader.
Then the gravel started heading north. That means I'm all spun out and a few folks just blow by me. One fellow is seen fixing a flat not soon after that, but the big buy in dark blue is gone. He came by me in top gear and moving! I felt a little doomed. At that moment I knew I had somehow planted it in my head that I was trying to win this stupid thing. Trying to win a 200 mile gravel road race on a singlespeed. What an idiot, what a buffon, what a ultra-moron.
Off in the distance I could see the guy in dark blue. I had been checking my map and even though the intersection wasn't marked, I knew I needed to be turning left, and soon enough another rider comes up and is wondering what to do, he wondered about the fellow in front of us, going straight. "He is going the wrong way" was all I could say, he was too far off for him to hear a yell.
My fellow rider (we being in 1st and 2nd now) wasn't too awfully sure about all this, course he wasn't carrying a map either... But soon enough Lance Andre and Barbi on the tandumb roll up, we again check our maps, and after verifying and confirming some little bends and a confusing "turn" we were convinced that we indeed were on the right course.
And this is how we 3 (4?) rode for quite a while.
Some fun little side roads, some stream crossings, some chatting, some places where I was hanging on, some places (mostly the climbs) where I would walk away from the others. A lot of pedaling.
Getting to the 100 mile mark I realize that we're going to hit Checkpoint #2 slightly prior to the cut-off for the fist Checkpoint #1, little over 100 miles in about 6 hours! w00t. Lance assures us that we are mostly likely very far ahead of anyone. We decide to ride together.
For whatever reason, I guess another little hill, I ride into Checkpoint #2 first again. Not that it mattered, but it again felt real swell.
Find mom (who now is setup a bit better than the first one, quick learner she is) clean my face, ask how Betsy is doing, eat some, fiddle w/ something, fill up bottles, then I see my comrades getting ready to leave... Noooooo!
This is where the dream turns to nightmare, but only in hindsight. This point, right then. I can remember it very well, those instants.
If only I could relive this moment or the one in 5 minutes or so. If only.
I hadn't drank my large bottle of water, hadn't completed my little "to-do" list. Caraapp.
I was drinking a diet Coke (don't ask) when I saw them leaving, and got too rushed. Finished the Coke, gathered everything else up and off I went. Not to be left behind. I was in it to win it. Go big or go home. All that crap that I usually make fun of.
And I left the map on our little table.
In about 1/2 mile or so, I realized that I left the map. This was my second chance. How far can this false dream drive you Gunnar? How much can you ignore?
I kept going. I can ignore a lot apparently.
Our spirits were high in our little group. A little more chatting. The course also started heading north more. Much to my chagrin.
I was starting to not be able to hang on so well going north, and on the hills I was keeping up w/ the group fine, but was no longer charging up them. Then my belly started feeling non-good. Soon enough I wasn't able to hang on and the belly went to double-plus non-good. This was somewhere around mile 118.
So I go slow, drink some, eat some, go slow some more.
I know that I don't have a map, so I tell myself that I will only go on if the intersection is marked and/or I can see tracks, otherwise I will simply stop and wait for the next rider. No use in doing too many dumb things out here I tell myself. Unfortunately the dumbest things had already been done. As it was, the course was marked and I could see little tracks.
More going slow and feeling bad. So I waddle into a little stream and sit for a bit. Hoping that cooling off will return me to my once vigorous state. My water is almost all consumed and I know that I can't drink from this stream. Any stream around here will be coming off a fertilizered field or cattle grazing areas. No more dumb things...
Enough waiting, I'm not feeling too much better, so I start riding again. It is hot, it is windy, and there is little shade or respite from any of this.
About an hour after getting dropped a rider comes by, I believe it was Dan Huges (ended up winning the Open class, 2nd overall), he says hi or something, I grunt and soon enough he's out of site. Also around this time I find that I can't pedal unless I'm in the drops or sitting real tall or hands-off, such is the state of belly. Just ducky. But I'm still in 4th overall and all this bad feeling will soon pass... Right? Right?
Time doesn't matter anymore.
The belly is really aching and showing no sign of stopping. I have about an inch of water left. I have hopes of walking a little, maybe that will help the belly. Those hopes are dashed as I simply cannot walk w/ my bike. Weirdest thing ever. Whether or not I'm hunched over or standing tall I can't walk while holding my bike. This probably isn't good nor does it seem to be getting better.
Are you tired of reading this? I'm pretty tired of writing it too, but bear w/ me won't you?
So after some shuffling, and trying to get back on the bike and riding some more I pretty much give up on both those notions. My haven is a little rise/climb, a few little bushes around, and it's hot and feeling very exposed.
I try laying down, but can't get comfortable, so I stumble around. Then I take off my helmet, cap, glasses, and jersey. I just *gotta* get comfortable again, cripes! Nothing is working. Some folks ride by. I'm either sitting there, laying there, or stumbling around.
It's at this time that I find that my voice has gone wonky, how can I tell? Because folks are now coming by asking if I'm okay. Talking is a bit difficult, but more so it's really high pitched. I tell them I'm okay. No one has extra water and I'm not begging for it either. I'm gonna be feeling better here anytime now...
Betsy comes by soon enough, she's in 7th or so. She doesn't look very happy. She's shocked at my appearance and then at my voice. She asks what she can do, "there is nothing you can do right now honey". I stumble around some while she's there. Try to poop behind the one nice bush. I can't, everything is bound up and very hard. So I send Betsy on her way, "don't come back for me yet please". So I go back to trying to poop. cause it just *has* to make my stomach better. I'm finally able to "move" a bit, but not w/out "coercion" (ask my friend Scotty Benson about that), but my belly still hurts. And now my little spot to lay in the shade smells bad. Just ducky.
But I still just lay there. Hopeful that things will get better... any day now...
Some guys walking give me a sip of water and some E-tabs. Another fellow gives me some cola-fizzy tabs, says they always make his belly better. One guy asks if he should send someone back, I tell him thanks but not yet.
Lay down some more. Time passes.
I've had enough. Put the now extremely stiff jersey back on, put on the cap and helmet, find my glasses (I was smart enough to put them on the crank, prominently, so as I wouldn't lose them) and start pedaling. 17 miles to go to Checkpoint #3, mile 162.
I make it to the top and can pedal some. Not as awful as it was, but not great either. I also find that besides my voice, I now have a hard time opening my eyes, hard to focus quickly, and my ears feel like they have water in them, swishing back and forth, hearing and not hearing. This is probably a sign of things that I don't want to know about.
Pedal, pedal, pedal. I can still pedal. Counting down the miles, very slowly but counting them down. I decide that if I pass a big truck w/ a contractors water jug on it, that I will ask them for a drink. Other than that I'm still doing it on my own. Some clouds start rolling in, feels like a little rain and I hope, hope, hope that it starts raining. It starts raining very little, not enough for me to stop, lay down w/ my mouth open, open all the bottles and let Mother Nature help me out. She doesn't extend her hand today.
Pedal, pedal, pedal. It feels like uphill, but I'm still moving. Finally I reach mile 158 or so and some road. I'm going to make it.
Soon enough I see a little red Prius. I just shake my head. Mom and Betsy have come back for me. I'm not pleased, I told Betsy to not come back, I told her I was going to make, I shake my fist, I'm gonna make it...
So I do make it. Then I just lay down behind the Prius. I can't drink, can't eat, but I can lay there like a champ. "I'm gonna be okay, I'm gonna be okay." "Betsy or mom, can you take a picture of me please? Thanks."

In a bad way, but out of the ditch

Can't really remember what happened next. Betsy is worried, mom is worried, I just want to feel better. Eyes don't open, ears are swishing, voice is not my own. Get in to the Prius, turn on the A/C and try to drink a little and cool down. Rains start in earnest, some reports coming in of folks finding refuge under trees, hunkering down. We also get reports that the storm is heading a bit north. Some guys are getting ready to go back out and I tell Betsy to "get going, go w/ those guys, you gotta go now." And she does. It's a bit before 6 pm I think. Still plenty of time...
So I txt my buddy Scotty, then phone him, we talk, nothing emotional, I just tell him what's going on, how I feel. We finally agree that I can't go on and he urges me to get to a hospital and get some IV fluids. We talk some more, I get off the phone, tell mom to tell the folks at the Checkpoint that I am retiring from the race. Mile 162, that's it, no mas.
I start txting things to facebook, it passes the time.
We start packing up in the rain, the rain that now doesn't matter to me. I don't even care enough to shake my fists at the sky for not raining sooner. I know whose fault it is.
Then I start puking. Puke, rain, it's all pretty much water. Puke, rain, repeat.
Yes my race is over.
Prius is packed, me and mom are heading back to Emporia. I'm trying to drink, gonna be okay. "Just get me back to the hotel, turn off the A/C mom I'm feeling chilled." Txt Scotty as mom drives- "No Scotty I'm not going to the ER, yes Scotty it would be the best thing and if you were here and could administer an IV I would take it, but I'm not going to sit in an ER, sure Scotty, you're right, but it's not gonna happen, you know that. Yes I'll keep you posted, yes mom has your number, thank you..."
Make it to the Best Western, I puke some while driving around back. Gonna be okay. Take another photo.

Zombie eyes

Shower feels good, then I get the chills, crawl under the covers, I hate those chills. The chills like when you're sickly and it just comes over you, like some badness. Hate 'em, they are an aquaintence but not a friend.
"Yes mom, I'm gonna be okay, thank you. You need to get to the finish line for Betsy, but before you go can you go out and get me some Ensure? Yes I know you don't want to leave me here alone, but I have my fone, just make sure you have yours on, yes you have Scotty's number, I'll be okay, just need some food that will do me good. Thanks mom."
So I'm sipping water and Ensure. Takes me about an hour to drink one of those small bottles as I writhe back and forth on the bed, pillow on the belly, legs in funny positions trying to keep my legs and things from cramping.
I send the photo out to some friends, then to facebook. It passes time.
Mom calls, makes sure I'm okay.
Soon enough right before dark mom calls, Betsy is in, she finished 9th overall and of course 1st Women. Yay Betsy! I txt her mammy, txt some others. I'm a txt and tweeting fool.
I finish another bottle of Ensure.
I doze off and on, still writhing w/ the belly pillow and legs in funny positions. Mom calls, "yes mom I'm okay, just stay there, you guys just stay there, take care of Betsy, get some photos of the awards, I'm doing just fine, thank you."
And that's really it. Betsy and mom came back, brought some food that I was able to eat a little of, had a little ice cream, listened to Betsy's stories, saw the nice photo on canvas she got for the David Pals Sportsmanship Award, the award that she got cause I buried myself and she was willing to stop her race and try and come back for a stubborn me (ed. note; I had ungrateful in there, but I don't think I was or am or have been ungrateful for her actions :) ). Then we all went to bed.
Woke up the next day, ears, eyes, and voice still a little wonky, but not too terrible. I ate, we packed up eventually, and then started driving. Driving away from KS.

Looking back on it, it all seems so clear and straigh-cut.
Should I have tried so hard? Maybe not quite so hard, but I don't regret that, it's how I am, it's who I am sometimes. Just need to be a little smarter about it.
Should I have left Checkpoint #2 before I was ready? No. Plain and simple this was the decision and moment that sealed my fate and put me in the ditch.
Should I have gone back for the map and finished my refueling? Without a doubt it was my second chance and I completely neglected it.
Next year we plan on taking the Camelbacks for that leg. Next year...
Bottom line is I didn't respect the course enough. It is a long haul from Checkpoint #2 to #3, it's the heat of the day, you've already gone over a 100 miles. No need to be in a super rush right there. Right there, *that* spot. Ugh.
Some folks that I tell the tale to say things like "I can't believe that they don't have a water station out there", or "They need to have more water stops", "they need to do this, they need to do that." I tell them, "no, that's not what it is. They make it clear from the get go what type of an event it is. They're not there to hold your hand, you just don't get it do you? I made the mistakes, me, me, me." Would I ask the event to change the way they do it? No.
As Lance Andre said, somewhere out there "I just love these attrition races!"

Also on post-race reflection and analysis 2 other items are established-
1) Betsy ended up finishing w/ the 1st place SingleSpeed fellow. What if?
2) Looking at the profile of the course it appears that at the top of the hill that I was hanging/lying/stumbling on, the rest of the way to Checkpoint #3 was pretty much all down hill. All I had to do was get to that top... Like the Twilight Zone episode "A Hundred Yards Over the Rim".
(The elevation actually may be a bit off, as the temps were falling from the storm coming in. But it makes for a better story that way... )
Dirty Kanza 200 GPS

The Dirty Kanza 200 is an amazing event. The day before, the way the whole town gets into it, the way the people treat you, the course, the maps, the post-race party (well I wasn't able to attend, but I heard it really was something), the whole dang thing was amazing.
Thank you all that have anything to do w/ this event!
And thanks Mom. That really was super time and I'm so glad you were there.

Will I be back? You can count on it.

Betsy's award and my reminder

Thank you Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling Team and all our great sponsors!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Big Bear 2X12

Nicole Dorinzi and I were the perfect pair to take on the 2X12 Women’s Duo Sport. We are the only two team members so far who have cracked their team helmet due to spectacular crashes. We pre-rode the course several time in order to get ready for the big event. This would be Nicole’s second mountain bike race, but I knew she was ready for the 2x12 because she is a total rock star. I was really worried it would be hot and humid the day of the race since we were experiencing a serious heat wave in Morgantown. Being from Southern California where humidify is pretty much zero, I completely melt into a useless ball of suffering and sadness in the worst WV summer days. I have proof-- my DNF in the Tour of Tucker County. I overheated on the first climb to the point of chills and poor James Braswell had to drive me home after the awards while I sat with the race bag in my lab hoping I wouldn’t empty my stomach into it. Anyway, enough about my lameness…Nicole and I decided I would do the first lap. Wary of coming off the start too hot, I held back on the first climb up the gravel leading to the single track and soon regretted it. I was the first women in our category into the woods, but I found myself battling to get past crashed riders on the first section of trail and really couldn’t get any kind of flow going for several miles. Plus, the super dry course we had been pre-riding was now slick from the recent rains. I finally started to feel good and I began to pass several male riders on the climbs leading up to the pines. Unfortunately, most of them past me back on the downhill section. Needless to say, I am not fearless or particularly skilled on mountain bike, which makes me pretty slow on the descents. I past them back once we started climbing again and kept my lead until the end of the first lap. I gave the baton to Nicole and she went out for lap #2. I went back to camp dynamic to rehydrate and eat a PB&J. I realized that I felt pretty good and I had perhaps held back a little too much due to my heat paranoia.
Nicole came back in with a great time, but it was obvious she had crashed from her coating of dirt. I made sure she was OK and then headed out. This lap was way smoother and much more fun. I fell into my groove right away and just tried to keep up some momentum. I had watched some of the riders I had passed on the first lap go out just before me, and I made it my goal to pass them. I was feeling better on my mountain bike then I had in a long time. I again passed several riders on my way up to the pines and decided that I wouldn’t let them catch me on the decent this time. Luckily, I was able to hold them off, and I finished the lap faster than my first. Nicole put in another fast lap for us (minus the crash this time) and we clinched 1st place. I don’t really think I need to mention how many teams were in our category.
I was in a great mood and was ready to have some fun and cheer on the rest of Team Dynamic. We had a huge presence this day. Betsy and Gunnar Shogren claimed 2nd in the Coed Open category just one week after the Dirty Kanza 200. Robert Loehr and teammate Marc Glass finished 2nd in Single Speed, and James Braswell and Todd Latocha came in 5th in the Men’s Open. It was really nice to hang out with my teammates after the race and enjoyed the “free” beer and the live music. As my move to North Carolina gets closer and closer, I realize how much I am going to miss the mountains of West Virginia and all my friends who enjoy riding those mountains too. I have one month left. Next week…The Hilly Billy Roubaix

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mountain Bike Hall of Fame

Big news from the Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling. This week we have learned that our very own Gunnar Shogren has been nominated for the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Lets all wish him luck in the hopes he becomes a 2011 inductee. Want to vote for Gunnar? Well you can? You can Join the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame as a voting member and help our local cycling hero calm his spot in mountain biking history.

Good luck Gunnar! You deserve it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ohio State Road Race Championship

I raced today in Shreve, Ohio in the Ohio State Road Race Championship in the category 3 class. Since I had broken my Fuji frame during the Tour of Tucker County, I was racing my brand new Scott Addict R15. I finally figured out how to shift with the SRAM Red shifters (duh!) And went out for a 20-minute warm-up. There were 35 entrants, with 2 teams (Lake Effect and Kenda) with 6 riders each, as well as 4 from Stark Velo. The route was 8.5 miles with a half-mile climb at the start of each lap. The first lap was at a decent pace, as many racers had never been on the route before. The second time up the climb, though, we were really on the gas. At the top, there was a group of around 25 of us and the tempo didn't let up until we crested the hill the third time.

Since I had been without a road bike the past 2 weeks, I wasn't sure how the legs would feel, but so far, so good! I quickly realized that I was clearly the second-best climber in the field, but, being Ohio, the finish line was 7 miles after the climb. On the back side of lap 3, 2 racers attacked and got a good gap. For whatever reason, the 3 teams with numbers decided not to chase, so we kept a high pace, trying to shed riders each time up the climb. On the final run-in to town, I was still feeling good so I worked my way to the front - second wheel with 2 miles to go. One Stark Velo rider poured on the gas up to 500M to go. From there, he pulled off so I gave it full gas, knowing the big teams were massing behind me. The finish was fun for all the spectators, but I finished 12th. I was happy with my result considering I was solo against a lot of the big Ohio squads, but took some solace in knowing I made them suffer each time we went up the climb. Next up - racing in WV the day before Father's Day!

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dirty Kanza 200, Sun-up to Sun-down

by Betsy Shogren, aka Bunny.

For the past couple of years, I have wanted to do the DK200. However, Gunnar (Nars) and I were busy racing the NUE series or planning for our attack on tandumb nationals, or some other such silliness and it was never the right time. This January, I campaigned heavily in the Shogren household that 2011 was our year for the DK200. My relentless nagging finally wore Nars down, and we signed up. To say that I was excited is quite an understatement, so much so that Nars created a House Rule that I was not to speak of the DK200 until much closer to June. That does not mean I did not go to sleep dreaming of it, though.

Sometimes when you look forward to an event so much, it can be a letdown when it finally comes. This was not the case for our adventure to Kansas. It was everything I’d hoped it would be and so much more. In the weeks leading up to the event, we both felt fit and adequately prepared, until the inevitable summer cold struck 2 weeks before. This, in combination with a difficult work trip, left us both disgustingly snotty and plumb-tuckered out. Confidence sunk. Gunnar assured me that all that fitness had not left through our big toes, so we packed up his parent’s Prius with an unreasonable amount of stuff, plus two dogs and our support person, his 79-year old mother, Donna Lee (DL). We left Morgantown Tuesday night, and made our first pit-stop in Dayton, OH to drop off our dogs at my parent’s house. The departure of our hairy shedding panting beasts made DL very happy. Wednesday we made it to Columbia, MO, site of an amazing cicada infestation. Finally, Thursday we arrived at our destination of Emporia, KS! JOY! After settling in a bit, Nars and I suited up and headed down to High Gear bike shop where we met the super helpful and friendly Matt and Stephanie Brown. Matt did wonders for my psyche by uttering these beautiful words – "Those tires should be fine." Whew! I’d heard so many horror stories of tires shredding and whatnot that to say I was a bit worried about our tire selection is to put it mildly. Our Kenda Kwick Tendrils worked beautifully; thank you, Kenda!!!

Off we went on the DKLite course to explore these infamous gravel roads. The wind blew, the hot air shimmered, and our apprehension grew! Our two pre-rides out there could be summed up as such: Southbound = Hell; Northbound = Heaven. Overall, though, we were thrilled to be there riding stress-free under that big blue sky, endless gravel roads, and rolling plains. We were super excited to see our first field of wheat!

Saturday morning finally arrived, and after a not-too-stressful morning, we lined up near the front of 325 racers. Perfect! Off the crowd went, and it was just following wheels for the first chunk of the race. I felt pretty comfortable in the pack and happy with my spot. Around mile 30 it started to get hillier and I didn’t want to bust myself trying to stay with the leaders. So, it was almost a relief when I decided to not dig deep to stay with them and thus I started my own race. This was such a gorgeous leg and it went by way too quickly. Some of the people I rode with on this leg were super funny and I regretted not sticking with them longer. However, one needs to ride her own race at the DK200 and I moved along. I was in and out of CP1 very quickly, thanks to DL’s excellent support. Leg 2 was going swimmingly and I felt like a million bucks flying along, until I see a crowd of people coming back towards me. We’d missed a turn! DOH! After backtracking and much map consultation, and even a stop at a local house for directions, we got going again, though I was still concerned. However, soon enough one of the Jeep Club members came bouncing along the road honking his horn and smoking his ciggy. It was like something out of Tremors, and he looked like he was having a grand old time. He assured me I was on the right route and my spirits improved immeasurably. One thing I learned is that these things are going to happen at the DK200 and it’s better to be delayed by map consultation than it is to go several miles off course. And, it’s no use getting bummed out about any of these small delays.

I was quite happy to arrive at CP2, as I desperately needed a bandaid on my lower back. My third water bottle that I had in my back pocket had gradually worn a big bloody hole in my back as I bumped along those gravel roads. I’ve never been so happy to have a bandaid in my life. I was again in and out quite quickly and rode along with a nice fellow named Bruce for a bit. I am more of a lone wolf, though, and not a big talker, though you’d never guess it from the length of this tome. Soon we were both riding our own pace, though I could see him ahead of me for miles. About this time I saw a small figure off in the distance "walking" up a large hill. I just had this sinking premonition that it was my hubby, who had been having an awesome race, as far I’d heard. As I watched this poor person staggering around the hill, it became clear to me that this was indeed my betrothed and he was in a bad way. Bad bad bad. Let’s just leave it at that. After about 15 minutes of hanging out with him and trying to figure something I could do to help (beyond giving him my water), he told me to carry on. I told him I would send DL back, but he said "not yet." So, I carried on, worrying obsessively and trying to formulate a plan of action. Somewhere along this section I was also passed by Bruce again, who had apparently taken a wrong turn somewhere. Or I had, I still don’t know. After being lax on the 2nd leg about reading the map, I was quite obsessive about following the map on this leg, though. Another guy passed me on this section, and gave me half a water bottle of golden nectar, aka water. Bless that man! We had a discussion about Nars, and he agreed that I needed to do something, as he was in such a bad way. Did I mention he was in a bad way? So, I hustled myself to CP3 and had to break the news to DL that her eldest son was lying in a ditch in the middle of nowhere. We decided that I would wait at CP3 and ask subsequent riders coming in if Nars was up and moving yet… After about 30-40 minutes of this, it was apparent that nobody could say they saw him up and moving, plus a storm was starting to roll in. So, DL and I loaded my bike up on her Prius and we planned to backtrack until she couldn’t drive anymore, then I would ride backward on the course until I found Nars. Fortunately, we found him trundling along in a foul mood (haha) just a mile or two from the CP. I am super impressed that he was able to drag his water-deprived body out of that ditch and make it to that CP on his own volition. After some more time spent hovering over him, taking his picture and just generally worrying, I realized that I better get moving if I wanted to finish and outrun the storm. When I left him, he was lying spread-eagled in the parking lot, looking like a decrepit old man (a preview of our golden years?). However, he was in good hands with his mom. As I left this CP, I was nearly giddy as I had previously come to the conclusion that taking care of Nars was more important than finishing. Unexpectedly being able to ride this last leg made me so happy!

I completely forgot to grab my helmet light, so I was not going to be able to dilly-dally on this last leg. This last leg was absolutely gorgeous, despite the sideways rain and packed-up tires. This only lasted a few miles, though I could see storms off on the horizon for the duration of the leg. Amazing! The rain also forced me to put on gloves for the first time all day. I had started without gloves and didn’t need them until ~ mile 175. Apparently my hands are like rhinoceros hide as I’ve heard some awful stories of blisters and such, though I had no issues at all. I seesawed with Peter the singlespeeder quite a bit during this leg, and the company was nice to have, especially since reading the map became more of a mental challenge at this point in the game. We also rode with the impressive recumbent guy (John) towards the end after we stopped for awhile to consult the map. As we approached the finish and I knew I had less than an hour to ride, I got very sad. I didn’t want it to end! The sun was going down as a giant red orb and I just didn’t want the day to end. If I could just have a pair of shorts with a different seam pattern, I felt that I could ride forever. However, being welcomed across the finish line after 208 miles by what felt like all of Emporia certainly lifted my spirits! I will never ever forget this.

It turns out that Nars had starting throwing up shortly after I left the CP, and thank goodness he did not try to finish. DL took him back to the hotel and then got back to Emporia just in time for me to finish. We had a nice time waiting for the awards ceremony and much to my surprise, they awarded me the David Pals Sportsmanship Award for going back for Nars. If Saturday was a sundae, then this was the cherry on top. I was shocked and thrilled and I still am. The terrain of Kansas could not differ more from the hills of WV; I cannot explain how vast and humbling it is and how much I did not want to leave. This gorgeous canvas picture from the Adventure Monkey is a welcome reminder that this land is out there, just a short 16 hour drive away. Until I can find the time to return, gazing at this canvas will have to be my "fix." I certainly never expected to win this award, but it meant the world to me, way more so than winning the women’s race. My final time was 14:47 for 9th overall; actual riding time was ~13:20, with some time being lost at the checkpoints and map consultation, but most of that downtime spent fretting over poor Nars.

Just saying THANK YOU to Jim, Emporia, Eric Benjamin, Rob, Angela, Joel, The Mohn’s, Lelan, and all the other people who created the DK200 and keep it going for all of us crazies doesn’t seem like enough. I want to give you all a big hug and take you out for ice cream. Also, thank you to all the sponsors for making this event even more special, and to my team sponsors (especially Dynamic PT, Pathfinder, Kenda and Swiftwick) for letting us be a part of it all. Mom and Dad get a giant thank you for watching our sometimes unruly and quirky dogs. Finally, to Donna Lee, thank you for your support! We could not have made this trip without you. Please mark your calendar for next year. :o)

Nars and our wee little support person

We have arrived in Kansas and found it to be windy!

Riding in the Big Sky

Downtime for nanny!

Nars in a bad way, but out of the ditch


The David Pals Sportsmanship Award

Zombie eyes

All this crap was in the Prius!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Swiftwick comes out with a good "Vibe"

I am sure it is not a surprise to any of you out there that we love our Swiftwick socks and arm warmers here on the DPT Cycling Team. Swiftwick's keep our feet dry and comfortable at the races and our training rides. I personally will wear nothing else. Now guess what?! Swiftwick as a new line of socks that I think are their best yet!

You asked for it, we created the most inspired compression sock on the market. Plush, colorful, and agile for performance, the Vibe mixes every element for an optimal finish. The Vibe shares the linked toe heritage of the Aspire, but adds a little color to your life. Who doesn't want that? Look for the white label on our packaging - after all, the sock has all the color.

Get a pair and try them out! They even guarantee you'll love them!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dentist to the Cyclist Revisited!

If you're a big baby like me the thought of the dentist's drill always sends a shiver down your spine.
That was the case for me until last year when I needed my first root canal. I was so worried about how much it was going to hurt I almost didn't want to get it taken care of, however the pain from the tooth made me go through with it. Luckily I knew of Dr. Mike Miller from bike racing over the years. Dr. Miller has been around the cycling scene for many years. I first met him as a mountain bike rider as we both competed in the Clydesdale class in the late 90's. I also have to credit Dr. Miller for giving me the idea to finish a road bike race at the top of Sugar Lands Road which is now the Tour of Tucker County. However this was going to be my first visit to see Dr. Miller the dentist, not the cyclist. After that day however I became a big fan of him as a dentist.

He completed the root canal for me and I felt zero pain during and after he was done. It was a miricle in my mind. I had heard some horror stories from other folks about their root canals with other dentists, but my experience was a walk in the park. Between his solid work and his really warm and friendly staff I gave them two thumbs way up!

Fast forward to 2010 and Dr. Mike Miller Dentistry is a sponsor of Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling. Not only is he a sponsor but we are clients of his because of his great work. Unfortunately this week I had a tooth crack in half and another trip to Dr. Miller's office was in my future. I was able to get right in to see him and you are all in luck because he agreed to take some photos for the blog!

"Mike you sure you need that big of a needle?"

Luckily for me he said that he would be able to save the tooth after a quick look over the x-rays. However 1/4 of it was totally chipped off and was only held in place by my gums. "That is going to have to come out!", he said. After my last trip with the root canal I felt pretty safe with whatever he said and wanted to do. "Yank it Doc", I told him.

Just like with my visit before I felt nothing. I was not even sure he had taken it out till he said something about it. Dr. Miller is 2 for 2 when working on me. I will have to go back and get a crown on the tooth and I am thinking a gold crown would be cool. It is all about the bling ya know.

Take my advice, if you have a need for a dentist or know someone who does, it is well worth your time to visit Dr. Miller's office. Dentist to the Cyclist!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Full on racing!

Cranky Monkey
It’s been a while since I have blogged so I'll go back a couple weeks to 9 Hrs of Cranky Monkey just outside of Cumberland, MD. I originally had planned to race Dirt, Sweat, and Gears in TN as a duo with my “Superstar,” I ride his coat tails to a win J.Pok that weekend, but it was canceled. This race was much closer and didn’t look like it had much of a payout, but there wasn’t nothing else going on so it got the pity vote. I arrived on Saturday morning around 8 o’clock and met up with him and some other P-burg guys and chilled out till start time. I was originally going to do the run and go first but my drunken teammate had a last minute change of heart and decided to go anyway. He came in on the first lap with Montana leading, and made a hand off to me. It took a few seconds, and allowed Montana to get a little bit of a gap. I chased hard, and got the legs firing. Within about 5 minutes I closed the gap on him. We rode together hammering for a while and in a little rock garden I dabbed, and he got another gap on me again. I chased hard toward the end of the lap, and missed a poorly marked turn and went up into a pavement parking lot. As I circled back I get passed by the DCMB team. I made it back and went out for my 2nd lap. It went well and I get us back in to 2nd place overall. I handed off to a sobered up JPok. He went out turned some Smoking Fast laps to put us back in the lead. I then went out for my 3rd lap and about half way threw Ian from DCMB caught me and stepped it up to a blistering pace. We were flying by a lot of lapped people. As we came to the end of the 3rd lap, in a tight spot he got to make a pass and accidentally startled the guy. As that rider jumped off, he kicked my 705 off my bars. I chased it down over the bank into the edge of the lake. I got back on track and finished up the lap. I went out on my 4th lap and just tried to keep the pedals turning and staying smooth, but still managed to flat the rear tire on a long rocky downhill. I hit it with air and it wouldn’t seal. I changed it, but still got passed by DPow in the process. We were in 3rd again. I finished that lap up with 15 psi in my tire and sent JPok back out. He put us up in 2nd, and we stayed there till the end of the race. He did 7 laps and I did 6. Good race by the DCMB Team and Montana and Dpows team for keeping us in check. It started raining after the awards so I decided to go home.

Tour De Lake
I wasn’t planning on racing because my Grandpa was in Hospital and I had been in Cleveland earlier in the week, but at the last minute the wife told me to go for it so I made my way to Spencer WV. I arrived about an hour early. I got registered and got a little warm up in on the SS. The race started and we climbed up the pavement. I got into the wood 2nd behind Brad Schmalzer. We climbed for a bit, and then it flattened back out. I rode 2nd in a small group of about 5 riders for the first 20 minutes. Brad asked if I wanted around and I said sure and laid a small attack down and was able to get a good 30 seconds on the group. I continued to keep the pace high finishing the 1st lap. The 2nd lap had a bit more climbing. As I’m nearing the finish I hit a switch back, and crashed pretty hard. I dusted myself off and finish the race to take the overall win. Good day for a race and the driest I have ever seen it there.

Tour of Tucker.
I hadn’t raced the road bike in about a month going into this race, but I made my way to Tucker County WV for the soon to be famous Tour of Tucker ABRA Road Race #3. The race started a little bit after 12 and off we go. We started from the bottom of the climb on Sugarland Road. The pack of 20+ 123 riders started off at a good pace and reached the bottom of Location road. Shifters clicking, we started climbing up, up, and up. The pace never really was too high. We reached the top, but I miss judged the KOM prime, and somehow a small group got off the front. The group I was in never really worked together very well so it took a while, but we caught them all but 2 riders. We hit the fast down hill and I hit 48.8 mph on it. As we went out for are second climb back up Location road, the moto was telling us splits of 1 min 30 sec to the 2 riders ahead. Bob S of team Gop and I were doing most of the work and no one else was really helping Nearing the top, Bob put in a big dig, and I tried to follow. He made about 10 second gap on me and I had about 10 seconds on the pack. As we got closer to the top, they reeled us both back and we continued to ride at a slow pace around the loop. We hit the down hill and back toward Sugarland we went. As we came to the base of the climb we all stayed close for the first few minutes and then that was when I decided to not dig any deeper and just started spinning my way to the top. I finished 13th on the day. Check out the Link to my GPS data. 7333 ft of climbing in 54 miles.

Race Data!

Next up the Mohican 100 this Saturday in OH.

Post by Nate