1. the session at ray's the other day was quite fun but beat me up a little bit. upper body really took a beating as i am not used to all that jumping around. thanks to chris/beth at the 'goat for letting me ride that sweet santa cruz jackal. wish you could see everybody's face that asked me about the bike when i replied, "oh, i don't really know about that part - the shop let me borrow this demo bike for the day." it was a pretty sweeeeeet bike - really like the bike.
2. seems like i got a little bit of a cold, so i don't think i will be riding out in the rain today. today is also the last day of any major intake of bad stuff for me - alcohol, soda, snack foods, etc - until after october of 2006. weight is not an issue for me right now, but it is a lot easier going into the season at lighter rather then heavier. (ideally, i should be around 135-140 pounds - race weight)
3. asylums - getting painted. think they are going to be blue. dan the man is fully in charge of getting them stripped down, painted and put back together. we are making some little changes to the components, but not that much. stay tuned for details.
4. asylums - next shipment is coming in soon from what i hear. get 'yer orders in quick as i am sure they will be taken really fast. we've had a ton of people asking about them, so i wouldn't wait around if you really want one. oh, and don't forget to a limited edition silver head badge when you order yours.
just wanted to give a quick shout out and year end thanks...
speedgoat.com for all the parts and providing dan the man at the races, asylum for the super sweet 29er frames, tifosi for my optics, light & motion for my hella bright lights, hammer gel for all my food and supplements, and fsa for my bars/stem/cranks. schwalbe tires in 2006, for my tires.
tom at wobblenaught: thanks mucho for the support and fits
jim at wobblenaught: good friend, fit expert, coach with mad skillz
dan at speedgoat: great friend and mechanic. thanks for putting up with my "yelling" oders during races and not flipping me the bird.
pit crew 1 and 2 consisting of my family and dan. thanks!
chris/beth at speedgoat for supporting my racing habits for the past 4'ish years, even when i was not racing that well.
everybody at the 'goat you know who you are. thanks for taking time out for some guy who doesn't even live in the same state. you guys rock.
fans of the goat: thanks for shouting words of encouragement during the races, the emails, the blog posts.
i'll have to say, it has been a pretty surreal racing season - and i am hoping to top it next year. roughly, i am looking to add a few more 24 hour races next year and get out to a few NORBA's, so it is going to be an exciting year.
with that, i gotta roll - coffee is brewing and i need to get a 2 hour roller ride in before tonights craziness begins.
hope you had a good 2005 - see you on the trails in 2006.
12.29.05 - rays mtb indoor park pic 002
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
this is the expert section. got some crazy parts including a double teeter tooter, a section that you stop and then slide on (have to see it) - and that's just to name a few.
classic west coast gone crazy - but it is crazy fun.
12.29.05 - rays mtb indoor park pic 003
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
this was some of the expert section. i tried riding it earlier in the day and was not doing so well as i was on one of the new santa cruz jackal's and i never ridden a jump bike before.
they also had a really fun rythmn section too, with crazy fast corners and speed bumps. think of a bmx course on cement and wood.
i was able to clear some of the sections later in the day, but was having way too much fun catching what air i could without getting myself freaked out.
it was actually fun and got me thinking that i may come here a few times a year just to brush up on skillz.
12.29.05 - speedgoat justin at rays
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
pic borrowed from mike over at the goat - he downloaded the pic onto the speedgoat blog via the wireless internet connection at rays.
don't have cool computer stuff? go to rays - they got an xbox, tv with cable right over the fireplace, and a computer to check your emails so you can "work" from rays.
'bout the only thing you'll be working on is your mad skillz, yo.
oh - and don't forget your jacket! it's cold inside!
12.28.05 - wobblenaught fit 06
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
ah, perfection! with this fit, we tried two different stems, and probably 4 or 5 different height adjustments on the stem to get it just perfect.
jim is very particular about his fits and his setup. during one ride with him a few years back, we stopped no less then 3 times to adjust his cleat on his pedal.
my background is in accounting, and a few years back, i got my cpa. i am certified in Pennsylvania - and you need to get so many continuing education hours to remain certified. well..
i had to go get my 8 hours of required tax CPE today and as i waited until the last minute, i had basically no choice in the class i took because it was the only one in my area. so - i had to take this course on fringe benefits, which has very little to do with the type of work i do day to day (other than great plains has a payroll modules) --- but...
i couldn't get it out of my head today - that commercial on TV - i think it is for FED EX - where this guy is telling a co-worker that it's not "french benefits"..
guess you have to see it...
i see eddie-o has a nice write up on the 24 hours of conyers from last october on his blog. very nice write up. i believe he is attending jeff kerkove's trans iowa race in '06.
the boys from SPEEDGOAT.COM are invading ohio tomorrow. they are heading up to ray's indoor mountain bike park to do some crazy jumps. supposed to be a really cool place to ride - ramps, west coast style built all over. very cool.
what bike will i be riding there? i am taking my pink surly single speed (pics will be up soon of it), but the other bike will be a demo santa cruz jackal, like the one seen HERE. i haven't ridden one of these yet, but from what i hear, they are the bomb as far as jump bikes go.
jeremie, craig, justin and michael are all heading over - should be good times.
i'll have some shoots up tomorrow of it, time permitting.
nothing really new in the 24 hour/enduro news. adrenaline is going to be posting dates/info for the canadian series soon, along with some possible info on some changes they are making... hmmmm....
saw on mtbr.com that the wilderness 101 may change dates because of conflicts with 24 hour norba nationals. chris, please accomidate us east coast guys and change the dates! please, please, please!
other then that, been getting out to ride - weather here in ohio is wacky, it hit 50 today. had to ride in the rain for the last hour today, but that's OK - i just pretended that i was back in whistler and it was OK. hell, as long as i can ride outside this time of year i am happy.
that's it - gotta run. trying to get a ton of work done tonight/tomorrow morning so i can a vacation day on friday and a half day tomorrow.
ride to live - live to ride.
12.25.05 - merry bikemas pic 03
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
sologoat wearing jennifer's merry bikemas hello kitty hat.
hello kitty will be one of my main sponsors for next year and will be featured on my jersey and will be the main "theme" for my new pink asylums.
happy holidays sologoat fans!
12.25.05 - merry bikemas pic 01
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
gift from sologoat's sister.
thanks to the folks over at grannygear.com for sending her over some of the old flyers from this year's 24 hours of big bear and last years 24 hours of snowshoe.
i won both of these events...
Dear Adrenalin Participants,
we are still waiting to finalize a couple of dates / locations and do not wish to hold off on Part 1 of our schedule. Sorry for the hold up but Part 2 should be ready in the next couple of days, plus a great deal more information on a number of fronts.
Part 1 of the 2006 24 Hours of Adrenalin Schedule
Hurkey Creek Park, Idyllwild, CA April 28th – 30th, 2006
Laguna Seca, Monterey, CA May 13th – 14th, 2006
Hurkey Creek Park, Idyllwild, CA September 15th – 17th, 2006
Conyers International Horse Park, Conyers, GA October 6th – 8th, 2006
team twenty4 sports
interestingly enough, i do NOT see anything about whistler/worlds - and i don't know any more detail about part 2 - but i am guessing that maybe worlds will not be at whistler? it's a wild guess that will surely start rumors a flyin' but worlds has been at whistler for years so i don't know why they woudln't announce it....
and word on some new fronts? hmmmm.... interesting.
that's it - gotta run. house stuff. and more house stuff. and more house stuff to do.
gotta run - sologoat out.
cool thing too is that the house has one of those old school intercom systems with these old mod speakers all over the place - was thinking of keeping the mod looking speakers but hooking up a newer intercom system that has a cd player/radio in it. and, was thinking of maybe hooking up my old computer to it so i can have some streaming audio pumping techno.
biking news - not mucho going ono. guys from the shop are coming out ray's mountain bike park on the 29th. if you want to see the crew from the goat, stop on out - we'll be doing some photo's of the guys showing off their mad skillz.
might be going south soon - got an invite from mr. davis to go down to the 12 hours of razorback in florida. heaven knows the weather is going to be sooooooooooo much nicer down there in february. he'll be getting ready for transiowa, i'll be gearing up for the granny gear series and 24 hour nationals.
should be an interesting 2006 season.
and in other news - congrats on all y'all getting into transiowa. should be a fun event - jeff layed out the course real nice last year, so it will be interesting to see if the cross guys come out to play again.
gotta run - my old main computer died the other night and i am running late buying gifts for the holidays. crazy.
heard from the guys over at SPEEDGOAT. we'll be doing a little photo shoot at a secret location in ohio later this month, should be cool.
not much news on the bikes for next year, but we have been discussing them off/on ever since worlds last year. probably switching stems/bars and doing some other top secret stuff to lighten them up, and then switching to the newer trigger sram lever on the right and the twist shift on the left. that setup seems to work the best for me, and i think it's just a tad lighter... but don't quote me on that...
JEFF KERKOVE has the start of registration for his race TRANSIOWA this coming saturday - limited to 70 wakco's who want to ride accross the state. UNASSISTED. good luck to all those attending - i am not attending due to some conflicts with race schedules, but i really like what he's doing with that event.
that's it - gotta sneak in a ride tonight before i make another run over to the old place. hopefully only 2 more trips!
oh - also, next week, i'll have some pics of my last wobblenaught fit up with some detail on how the fit works. exciting stuff.
12.16.05 - Jim Baldesare - Wobblenaught guru
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
coach, friend, bike fitter dude, jim baldesare.
jim has fitted up my race bikes for the past 3 seasons and has coached me since day 1 of me starting my serious enduro racing.
past former national crit champion and pro, jim is now racing as a cat 1 on the road and has well over 100 wobblenaught fits under his belt.
does jim know what he's doing? hmm. took an average inconsistant rider from an expert to a pro in three seasons.
1. house move almost complete
2. i have too much stuff
3. got my moots road bike fit completed
4. next bike to be fitted - my karate monkey
5. wobblenaught pics - to be up in the next day or two
6. number of christmas gifts bought to date - two
7. number of gifts i still need to buy - 7
gotta run - about to be late fer' work.
house is going good - hope to get some riding outside this week, weather permitting!
if i wouldn't of taken all my vacation days racing around the world, i could of used one today.
but that wouldn't of been fun.
gotta run - going to be late to work as the lake effect snow is hitting cleveland today.
hope you are all loving your rollers/trainers these days.
24 HOURS OF CONYERS - GRANNY GEAR
date is set for may 20th - be the first to sign up as i see nobody is registered yet. should be interesting to see how different the events between the two big dog organizers of 24 hour racing really are.
ANRENALINE SCHEDULE TO BE POSTED
next friday on the 16th. it has been super hush-hush from them lately as to venues, schedule, etc. this should also be interesting to see if anything will change going forward into the 2006 race season. new venues? paybacks? hmm...
as far as schedule goes for me next year, it is NOT 100% set yet and will probably change. all i can say is at this point, game plan is to concentrate on the major races and fill in the rest of the season with local races or those that catch my eye.
early season will see me at the local cleveland road races and will have me out of the category 3 races as i somehow managed to get a category 2 upgrade this year based off of all things, my cross results from last year. i have actually raced on the road longer then i have raced on the moutain bike, but i could never really sprint all that well. at the end of 2-3 hours of racing on a road bike, i noticed that i didn't feel all that worn out - but i never finished well. so i got into mountain biking.
first real race was at the ramble gramble down in (i believe) west virginia - and this was years back when i was racing a low end schwinn 696 mountain bike with a rock shox quadra 21 fork. the next year, i raced my first 24 hour race at canaan. actually have some pictures of it, i'll post them some time after the fiasco with moving is done.
in fact - i just looked at them the other night. you will note when you see the pictures, that while i was far from being overweight, i was definetely heavier. from what i remember, i was around weighing in at 160'ish back then. this year, i was racing at 140 pounds. (related funny short story - cameron chambers told me at the wilderness 101 this year that i should eat a burger. i was walking around without a shirt at the time...)
ah, the memories...
gotta run -
not mucho going on these days. taking a few days off to rest up from the long season and get things moved into the new place.
went to check it out last night as i got the keys about 6'ish. nothing too exciting, just walked through the house. kind of cool thing was that they left the orginal plans for the house. didn't get a chance to check them out, but thought it was kind of cool of them to leave it.
so, the movers are helping with the big stuff this weekend and then i am going to try and get all my stuff over by the 15th. it's going to be hella hectic the next week or so and i may not get to update too much.
in bike news:
tom over at WOBBLENAUGHT is setting me up with some bike fits for the remaining of this year and next. Jim Baldesare (firstname.lastname@example.org) has been doing my fits for years now and we are going to change a few things up a little. nothing crazy, but it should help with the overall picture kind of thing. i have been running the wobblenaught fits on all my bikes (road, cross and mountain) and i can tell you that the fit seriously had mad a HUGE difference. jim is in the kent ohio area, but i know he travels around a bit if you can get him 2 or 3 other appointments at the same time. he's a good guy - cat 1, former pro, former national crit champion. hella fast guy.
speaking of hella fast, the garbage guy is going to be here hella soon.
got to get the hella out o' here.
12.05.05 - final cleveland cross race pic 05
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
this was early in the race, first lap.
in third spot was zak whom must of went down or was having a difficult time with the bad conditions early on. he was somewhat close to me, and then the elastic broke and the gap got bigger.
12.05.05 - final cleveland cross race pic 04
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
shawn leading down the final straight. little did he know that 20 minutes later he would be laying oh his back on this same section.
and - little did i know, i would be on my back 10 minutes after shawn.
12.05.05 - final cleveland cross race pic 02
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
gun goes off and rudy from bike authority gets the good line.
ice covering the first corner made for a switch from the original start line. ice covering the entire course made for what seemed like (at times) a very slow race.
12.05.05 - final cleveland cross race pic 03
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
ernesto sliding on the ice.
opted for my older moots cross bike because i had my tufo cross tires on it. thought they would hook up a little better in the snow, but as the temperture dropped and the snow got packed down, the course was covered with ice spots.
notice my high tech gloves - they are actually ski gloves over top of a very thin liner. my hands can't stand being cold!
1. GRANNY GEAR AT CONYERS
yep, saw this one on the mtbr forums, and quickly emailed karl over at ride424.com and he confirmed. set your calanders for may 20th as granny gear is hosting a 24 hour event at that venue. hmmm. should be interesting to see what kind of caliber of an event they could put on at this venue.
2. adrenaline series no more?
saw this one on mtbr too. funny how the web really spreads words really fast, as i just literally received an email from stuart about 15 minutes ago. yes, they are still alive and kicking and will have a series in 2006. the email noted that there will be some changes for next year, but did not go into detail.
now you know what i know.
that's it for tonight - gots some packing to do tonight as my adult life starts in 10 days when i move into my first house. finally, my bikes will have a place to call home.
at sign up, the word on the street was that paul was NOT going to show, but in classic paul style, he showed up with about a half hour before start time. other noteables at the start was jerry pflug and shawn adams. this was going to be a fast race.
conditions made for an interesting race - one to two inches covered the course, and either was hard packed and iced over, or it was soft and muddy. most of the mud was on the straights and most of the ice were in the corners. interesting.
pre-race laps were done with jerry and we quickly decided that 50 pounds of pressure was just too much as we kept sliding out (i even fell once). i lowered my pressure down and did another lap with jerry.
gun went off and pretty much paul took off with jerry, myself and shawn quickly putting a good gap on the small field of fellow cross freaks. paul soon put a good gap on the 3 of us, while shawn and i took turns chasing jerry. i checked out the situation behind me - zak was locked into battle with the second place finisher from last sunday.
about half way through the race, while behind shawn, he went down on a hard packed icy flat section that was made difficult because the field had ruts that were frozen and it made your rear tire slide a little. well, his slid a little too far and he went down.
two laps later, as i was wondering how the hell did he go down on a staight section, i did the same thing. after this, i must of went down about 4 more times before the race was over. i got closer and closer to shawn, going hard where i could. i managed to get the gap to within striking distance with two laps to go - and aslo put a really good gap on eventual 5th place finisher zak.
with two to go, i went hard on a couple of straight sections and closed down the gap on shawn. i figured he would slow down thinking that he had third all wrapped up, but i knew that it would come down to taking some chances on the last lap if i were to catch him.
so on the last lap, i went hard on the first flat/climbing section - i was getting closer. some short single track sections and two barriers later, i was closing in, but i would have to take a chance with two sections. one was a slight gradual off camber section that lead into the flat section where i had previously went down.
so i put my head down, went as hard as i could, and just as i started the off camber corner when i could see i was closing quickly on shawn, my wheels slipped out from under me. as i layed on my back holding my bike in the air because i was still clipped into my pedals, i said out loud, "i guess i'm not catching shawn."
oh well... fourth place in todays race, but it was enough to seal the victory up for the series. because today was DOUBLE points and that paul martin finished four places ahead of zak, that gave paul the second place in the series over zak by ONE POINT. zak looked pretty PO'd after the race - he had a few good races and was in what i thought his best fitness for cross season that he had ever been in.
some possible pics up maybe tomorrow - one of the bike authority guys took some pics at the race, so check back.
for now, i can rest - for a few days, i suppose. this may be the end of the 2005 season, but i also see it as the begining of the 2006 season.
mucho lucko to all those heading out to cross nationals next weekend - pflug, rudy and the bike authority guys and gary dugovich. ride hard guys (and gals!)
i am sooooooooo glad that is over. got a couple of emails/posts about it - ya, i guess i could of just walked away from it all and that is what i said to the real estate agent on the last call i had with him. it's just that i have absolutely no time to screw around with it and i didn't understand what the hell they were doing. every story i heard when i talked to people about buying houses was that it was all done with in a couple of days. not here...
anyhoo - i plan not to go off on it again. i'm tired of thinking about it.
taking the day off tonight from riding to do some on-line shopping and maybe do a few blog entries for speedgoat's blog. came up with the title last night - it is going to be called "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil".... assuming my battery on my el cheapo digital camera doesn't die on me tonight, it should be up tomorrow. it's going to be a secret what it will be about, so you will have to check out the SPEEDGOAT.COM BLOG to see what it's about...
i'm also thinking of doing some quick holiday gift review type blog entry for the shop as well, so i will keep you posted on that as well.
thinking of random stuff, you 29er karate monkey fans get yer' order into the 'goat cuz there are some coffee colored monkey's in stock now from QBP. not very many around, so you may want to call in soon if you are looking for one.
and, jeff kerkove announced the date of december 17th as the offical "start" date for registration for his second edition of TRANSIOWA. NO outside support on this little ride across the state of iowa on gravel country roads. new sections for this year include some single track which will be put in to weed out those pesky cross bike riders who spoiled the party last year. get your entry in early if interested, field limit of 70 riders. (just an FYI for all you blog readers - i will NOT be at this event for 2006)
hmmmmm.... that's about it - gotta run.
so.... at this point, the sellers have said "no" about 10 times too many and i made my last offer and told my real estate agent that if they say "no" at this point, so do we... what a nightmare.
oh well, on to biking news.
not much of it. it's cold in ohio, but we don't have too much snow so that is a good thing. this weekend is the last cleveland cross race (which is double points) and i have a slight lead over 2nd place. i don't have a choice this weekend, got to race well.
next year, i see there is a potential conflict with the wilderness 101 and the NORBA 24 hour national. all yin's wanting to hit them both up may want to contact chris scott (organizer of the 101, and fellow enduro freak who used to race with schwinn). don't everybody hit him up at once as i am sure he is aware of it by now. i hope to do both, but with nationals being on the east coast, there really is no choice to make should the dates stay the same.
i did see the NORBA series made a change to their schedule (they moved the date of the first race) but wish they would move the date of the NORBA on the east coast so that it doesn't have a conflict with the big bear 24 hour.
and for you TRANSIOWA freaks, more mileage with no support. mike curiak must be loving this format.
and - no race pics from last weekend. was hoping to get some good mud shots as i was covered from head to toe. and as a side note, i must say i am surprised my how good the ritchey cross tires are hooking up this year. pretty nice tire.
that's it - gotta run.
may your day be filled with happy biking memories.
turkey day was good - got to see my family. and jennifer made her world famous chocolate cake, not to be topped the pumpkin and apple pie. mmmm... yummy.
ok - cleveland cross race updates at ya now..
winds at 40 miles per hour, temps in low 20's and about 10 inches of snow was enough to have the race cancelled for the day.
temps warmed up to the mid 30's and the winds died down, allowing us to race. i was 2 points down on zak from bike authority in the series at the begining of the race, with myself in 3rd, zak in second and paul martin in 1rst.
jerry pfluge turned up from pittsburgh (old buddy from my days down in pittsburgh) with a cross single speed and took off from the gun never to be caught. paul would get second MINUTES down on jerry.
i battled on through the mud and melting snow and managed a 3rd place - zak had a little bit of a rough day and ended up 5th on the day, thus putting us in a tie for second after the race.
temps in the low 40's melted the snow and made the course a total mud pit in some sections, and thus must of been a factor for some people not showing up today. with only 9 racers, the most noteable "no-show" was paul martin.
gun went off, and i got a good start. i was first into the woods of what would be a 12 lap race (with a total race time at one hour two minutes). i was careful not to show my good lines in the technical areas and stomped down hard on the gravel and road climb sections.
soon, i was off the front with a good gap with another rider. we would switch the lead back and forth for about 6 laps, but i sensed he was not climbing well as i kept on catching him on the climbs.
on about the 7th lap, there was only one dismount on the course and that is where i made my move. i dismounted, ran and jumped back on the bike with a little gap. with this gap, i then showed my good lines and put more time into before the first little gravel climb where i put more time into him.
the gap stayed steady at that point and we were never out of eye sight of one another, but i was holding the gap. i lapped a few riders, won the race and now have the lead in the series with one race to go.
that's it for race updates - just one to go in the cleveland series. for the last race, we are back down in the akron area for the flat cross course that i always seem to have issues with. the course is rough and with all this snow/rain, is sure to be muddy.
also wanted to say thanks to brett and his crew this weekend - they stuck around after their race on saturday and were screaming their heads off on the gravely/ice covered climb. made the climb a little easier...
that's it - gotta run. hope you had a good turkey day, and for all you guys heading out to cross nationals, rest up -- i hear there are a CRAZY field sizes already.
one detail to note - they will be on the "ernesto" asylum jersey for next year. this jersey is still a big secret, but the jersey will be available only to yours truely and will be sporting my main sponsors of the year.
TIFOSI OPTICS, Schwalbe Tires, and Light & Motion are the others that are pretty much 100% at this time.
still working on helmets/shoes and clothing. major clothing (jerseys/shorts) i am good on, but i would like to maybe get some other sponsors for base layers, gloves, knee/arm warmers.... don't know how far i'll get with them though..
24 Hour MTB Nationals move to Wisconsin? dates on this is july 29th-30th. i am pumped that is on the east coast for once, BUT i hope that chris scott notices this and moves the date for the wilderness 101 because i would really like to do both.
and speaking of wishing, i wish NORBA or grannygear would switch their dates for the NC NORBA or the Big Bear 24 hour race so i can do both of those too. man, don't they know i am trying to put together a good race schedule? jeez....
bike maintenace day at ernesto's - the k monkey has a new chainring, rear derailler, tires and cables to get me through the winter. trying to get all bike maintenace stuff done soon as the house move is going to suck all my time away from my girlfriends.
i mean bikes.
that's it - gotta run.
quick update from saturday's cleveland cross race. small field for the a's, but fast as always. dry conditions made this course fast when the wind was blowing you around. one runup, one double barrier, tons of switchbacks to take your speed down to zero.
i got the lead quick, then paul came up and put the hammer down. i tried to stay within myself as i have been coughing up stuff and had a sore throat since wendesday.
zak and rudy stayed with me, zak pulled ahead and then rudy stayed with me for awhile. i lost rudy in a switchback area and tried to catch zak, but my lungs were not going for it. they felt like they were burning, so i turned off my attempt to catch zak and just rode conservative to the end. next week there is 3 races in a row, so i need to be healthy. i'm hoping that the points that i am down on zak will be erased next weekend as i hope my enduro riding during the year gets me through the 3 back/back/back races.
that's it - gotta run. ton's o stuff to do and no time to do it.
11.19.05 - cleveland cross race #3 - pic 02
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
first lap. lead rider is paul martin, former pro for the navigators and cat 1 road champ from a few years back.
seriously, the nicest guy to
race against. but...
if paul shows up, paul usually wins.
one side note - what bike shop did paul buy his tufo tires and his spooky brakes from?
hmmm.. one guess... speedgoat.com
1. two different guys on the same mountain wearing full bunny suites
2. one guy wearing a superman outfit, complete with cape
3. one guy wearing a spiderman outfit, complete with mask
4. too many euro's wearing speedo's
the dvd seems pretty good so far - they really skip through the flat stages pretty quick and concentrate more on the mountain stages.
interstingly enough, paul and phil mentioned that the average tour rider is 5 foot 9 inches, 70 kilograms in weight (about 154 pounds) and has a resting heart rate of 50. so that would make sologoat about 15 pounds lighter then the average rider of the tour (to note - i am 5 foot 9 and resting heart rate is 50). thought that was an interesting factoid.
another intersting fact - you know how paul and phil seem to know everything about where the riders are racing through? well silly, the tour puts out a book before the start of the race for the commentators. it is sort of like those trip ticket things that AAA gives out that shows the map, where you are and interesting facts about the cities you are driving through.
enough of tour talk (my favorites for the 2006 tour - basso and rasmussen)
i have made some more blog entries at the SPEEDGOAT.COM BLOG. these are way back from the vegas show, but i 3 recent posts (with pics) of the 29er/26er mixed up castellano (got to see it!), and crazy carbon from control tech and san marco. go carbon, go carbon.. i like carbon, but it should be on road bikes only...
that's it - early night tonight for me.
tufo's - i have been running the tubular clincher version of the tire ever since they came out a few years back as my main cross racing tire. a lot guys will switch tires out due to dry/muddy conditions, but i got sick of taking them on/off so i ended up just running them for the entire year.
as far as rolling them, i have heard of people rolling the tires using both the tubular and the clincher tubular -- but both were because of incorrrect installation. the tubular incident happened because the guy had some old tubular glue around and glued the tires on less then 12 hours before the race... dah.. the clincher incident happened because the rider didn't check the bead and it was never was on the rim good in the first place.
if you use the tubulars, use the tufo tape. if you use the clincher, make sure you have a good rim that can hold the clincher properly.
i haved used the following tufo cross tires:
Tufo C Prestige Tubeless Clincher Cross Tire
Tufo C Elite Tubeless Clincher Cross Tire
got a new post up on the SPEEDGOAT.COM BLOG. it's a little write up on the asylums, 29ers, etc. got a cool pic from last nights ride too - if you check it out, you can see the full moon in the background.
no speedgoat cross race this year - guess the only weekend that was open to have it at the college conflicted with some major MAC series races so they decided not to have it.
and speaking of which - talked to gary dugovich about his cross race that he had a few weeks back. a TOTAL of 31 riders showed up. what the heck? i just don't know what people don't show up to his races. thinking about helping him out next year with his event, so if you are reading this and race cross you are hereby obligated to race it. just joking...
own an asylum? well i got a cool part for you - it's a Sterling Silver Asylum Headbadge! check them out - they are pretty sweet. and just to note - these were made by the same designer who did the custom head badges for single speed worlds. and further to note, if you look through some of the old bike builds that speedgoat has done, you will see another example of her work on a custom single speed moots. yowza.
and since everything happens in 3's, i got to mention this cool frame up for sale...
i forget the whole story about how chris at speedgoat actually aquired this sweet ride, but we got one of Steve Larsen's Custom Titanium Frames. the shop only has one frame and it comes complete with his autograph.
that's it - gotta run. check out the goat stuff, while i sign away my life at the bank to buy a house.
just got done with the 2nd race of the cleveland cross series - it was at a farm near akron ohio. this course has historically been not a good one for me as it is very NON technical and has very long straights and usually heavy winds. the course usually favors the roadies because of this, as i can't use my mad cross skillz to get good gaps.
race started hectic as usual, was in 3rd place for awhile and then was caught by two bike authority guys. i thought i could ride them off my wheel, so i kept the pace high and led them around for two laps. then they both attacked me - one guy i would catch, the other i would not. i ended up 4th behind paul martin, jerry pfluge (pittsburgh rider who i used to race a lot with years back), a bike authority guy who's name i always forget, and then myself.
key to these races is at about 45 minutes into the one hour race, the roadies usually crack a little bit. if i can ramp up the pace at the moment they are having difficulty, then i have a chance to catch them. the third place guy was cracking, but i ran out of time - just as i got the gap down to under 10 seconds, the race was over. oh well... good race though...
the new moots - wow. all i can say is that the combo of the oversized salsa bell lap cross bars and the new all carbon alpha q cross fork not only lightens the bike up, but is also hella stiff. within 2 minutes of getting the new bike on the road i was already thinking that i am going to switch out forks/bar/stem on my other moots for next year.
in other news, i see the NORBA schedule is up and that the series is cut down from 8 races to 6 - and no news on nationals or the marathon races yet unless they posted something recently. snowshoe is no more, and there is two races out in utah. i think the snowshoe race was moved to a new location further south. and... i guess one of the races is on the same weekend as big bear.
wow.... news update as i was just checking the NORBA web site.
holy cow, road nationals is at SEVEN SPRINGS IN PA!
WOW, i really can't believe it. that's cool - too bad mountain bike nationals are stil out at mammoth... looks like the date is july 20th through 23rd. dad and dan, get your bags ready to head to cali next year.
and - 24 hour nationals, dates are not set yet... hmm....
2006 NORBA schedule is up as well. bummed out that they are having a national race in NC the same weekend as big bear...
that's it - gotta run. looking like the schedule for next year will be pretty cool. looking forward to it already.
ride your bike at night - sologoat out.
has come on for my optics sponsor for the 2006 season. you'll see me running the new Q3's and Quams in some crazy bright colors (which may even include pink!). been running these glasses for years and i love them. inexpensive and functional at a price that won't set you back a ton of cash.
i've said it before, i'll say it again - if it doesn't work, i won't use them. i am very particular about my tires and all i can say is that Schwalbe has come up with an awesome tire for 29er's with their LITTLE ALBERT tire. i've run them in all kinds of soil conditions and they have performed flawlessly.
that's it for the sponsor updates - gotta go ride.
see the lineup of Schwable tires at Speedgoat HERE
see the Tifosi lineup at Speedgoat HERE
11.10.05 - my new stock moots compact
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
looking at a stock 53.5 compact moots, standard tubing.
parts not on - thompson post, san marco saddle, crank brother pedals.
thompson stem, salsa bars, ultegra shifters, king heaset and hubs. alpha q fork, ultegra crank/bb, sram chain, ultegra 9 speed cassette, new dura ace rear derailler.
ultegra front derailler, king stainless cages, ultegra brakes.
11.10.05 - my new custom moots cross
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
stock 53.5 moots cross with two exceptions:
1. 135mm rear spacing
2. NO water bottle mounts
running single 42 ring up front, 12x26 9 speed rear cassette, single ultegra rear shifter, cane creek front brake hood, no front derailler.
spooky brakes, alpha q cross fork, king headset, salsa skewers. san marco saddle, thompson stem and post and salsa cross bars.
dura ace rear derailler and ritchey tires. old school square taper race face cranks with race face ti bottom bracket and eventually, crank brother pedals.
not much going on lately, just trying to get things organized for next year, get out some last minute resumes and what not.
speaking of which - looks like schwalbe is going to be a new sponsor for next year as we are hammering out details with them, and hammer gel is on as well. lights in motion and tifosi proposals just were sent out and i am pretty sure they will be a "go" for next year as well.
few others are in the works, michael over at the shop is working his magic on them. we are tying to get things better organized for next year and i am hoping that the added support from the sponsors will help me get to the bigger races. i would really like to get to a few more races and maybe get to a few more of the NORBA's. i have a tentative schedule set in my mind, but i don't want to jinx things at this point.
house hunting is for the birds - this whole offer and counter offer stuff is so not fun. made an offer last week on a house and it's gone back and fourth 3 times now - i made my final offer on it this morning and i am still waiting to hear back.
and tomorrow i am off to the 'goat to pick up the moots and do some work on them. for me, christmas comes a few months early this year.
and - the asylums are going in to the shop for some maintenance and updating. yahoo!
that's it - gotta run.
raced on saturday at the cahoon park venue in the series on what was to be a very long and fast course. for some reason on friday night, i decided to drink some wine. and more wine. and a little more.
tummy didn't like this for the first half hour of the one hour race.
paul martin and shawn adams set a pretty furious pace at the begining. i was able to hold them real close, but my stomach was getting all notted up. for some reason during some cross races, my stomach gets really upset - especially if i had certain types of food/beverage within the last 24'ish hours or so. (for example - beer, soda pop, wine, coffee, etc...)
well, my stomach took a turn and i couldn't hold their wheels. so i rode on, until one of the lake effect guys named zak caught me. i pulled for one lap thinking i would just pop him off my wheel, but he didn't budge. so we went back and forth taking pulls - the wind was pretty bad, so this gave me a little break. zak looked pretty good, but i could hear him breathing really hard. when i took pulls, i would try some of my mountain bike skills to gap him through the corners. it hurt him, but he kept up with me.
the last corner was very sharp, and the sprint to the line from there was only about 50 feet. basically, the first man into that corner would get third. zak actually was taking a pull on an earlier lap when he made a really good line through it and went through it a lot faster then i was making it.
so, on the last lap, coming into the straight before the last corner, i jumped really hard and got a gap. (i would later learn that i surprised him and he didn't think i would go from so far out). i held the gap, took his line in the corner and beat him to the line for 3rd. tough day.
so, today i ended up riding in the 30-60mph gusts that hit the kent ohio area. really wasn't that bad as i stayed to the trails and got some protection from the trees.
ebay items all sold pretty well, so the cashola will go to the new moots which i am hoping to pick up this week -- and that's when the asylums will go in for their updates for next year, more than likely.
that's it for today - next race is this sunday, another cleveland cross series race. thinking of heading out east for some of the month of mud series races, but we'll have to see. i wish they would bring back the moraine state park race in PA. that race was hella cool. climbing, rocks, a little mix of everything. I hear they got some new trails there in the last couple of years, but i haven't ridden on them yet so i would like to go out some day and check them out.
gotta run - thanks for checking out the blog. keep the rubber side down.
you can see the show HERE got to check out the venue. it's in this huge church with all this crazy stained glassed windows.
and - you may want to check out the SPEEDGOAT.COM BLOG for a picture of how i train in the winter and also another rider winning a 12 hour on his asylum. sweet.
oh, and also new to SPEEDGOAT.COM is the fact that they are now a dealer for maverick frames/forks. they don't have them up on the site yet, but you can call in and tell the guys to order one up for you. and if you don't dig the frames - got to check out the forks. could it be that the owner of the famous speedgoat shop currently has one on his bike? hmmmm....
gotta go - update on the cross race tomorrow late sunday.
the goat called this morning, BOTH moots are there, now i just need to go out and pick them up/work on them. i usually get the help from dan the man, so i need to figure out when i can get out there, when he will be there....
which this is all good as my ebay auctions are coming to a close within the next day or so. selling off a bunch of old stuff and the wheels i won at georgia. need to fun the moots frames and this whole house buying adventure i am going on tomorrow.
speaking of which, i got to pay my late rent and run to the bank.
cross race this weekend - on saturday. just got my new TUFO's, so i am going to be able to corner a lot better this weekend.
gotta run - gotta ride - gotta drink my latte
went to get some 'grub last night and nothing was open, so i went down to the local tavern (yep, they don't have bars 'round here) and open entry, turned right around and went up the street to get something to eat. locals were totally hammered and i had to find a place that i felt like i wasn't going to get my arse kicked when i walked in.
cleveland cross race this weekend - right after i meet with the real estate guy joe. should be an interesting day to say the least.
got the word on my moots frames - road frame is on the way, cross frame is another week and half out. hmmm... seem i ordered the cross frame perfectly in time for the season to be over. BUT i do have some new TUFO's coming, so that will be cool - got the blue/black ones.
no word on sponsors yet - still sending out a few. speedgoat/asylum are 150% though we haven't come up with a color yet on the new frames. mostly looking for some clothing sponsors at this point. 3 changes during a race, cold/wet/hot condtions to deal with.... to be set up perfectly with clothes, you have to have at least 3 sets of all types of clothing and that can get expensive as all hell.
especially when you gotta have the bling bling italian mountain bike shoes.
gotta run - must sleep.
other than that, been getting in rides pretty much every day, trying to stay fit for the cleveland cross series and get in as much riding as i can before the white stuff hits the ground.
gotta run - my class starts in a little bit. job cost and service management software class for the next 8 hours. should be fun. hope that it ends a little bit early again so i can sneak in another ride on the karate monkey.
solo winner got 2 sets of wheels - one was a set of 29er mavic speedcity's. nice set of wheels that you can run with either v-brakes or discs. the other was a disc set of crossmax xl's. sooooooooooooo.... they are going to be used to fund the "ernesto moots part order." speaking of which, parts are ordered.
now, just waiting for the frames to get here.
other than that, not much going on - but my lights & motion vega and lithium ion's are getting used more then ever. daylight savings time is going to kill me. that and winter.
new race resume looks awesome, michael over at the shop has worked his magic. looks really nice as he used some high resolution pics that we took back at the time of the speedgoat photo shoot.
bikes will be handed back over to the 'goat here soon, we are still thinkikng about paint scheme/color/etc. need something super flashy that can be seen a mile away. these frames will NOT be sold to the public, nor will they be available. we are just painting them up crazy like to get the word out on the asylums. but you know about them already, don't you?
jeremy over at the shop ordered up the alpha q forks i'll be running on both the moots, super pumped about those. if you are ever over at the shop, got to check his ink out. really nice work. and if you think you know everything about bikes, jeremy knows about a billion things more then you. bmx, cross, track, old brooks stuff, jump bikes, road, downhill.
gotta run. off to milwaukee next week for some training for work, and maybe some fun training too. they have some kind of low key trails around the hotel that i am staying at - by far nothing technical, but there is a lot of mileage there. it's like heaven compared to paved stuff that i ride here all the time -- but then again, when it is wet and cold outside, i still have a place to ride. and not have to deal with dodging traffic.
that's it - gotta run. riding and checking out houses this weekend.
barrett and the guys/gals over at light & motion did an interview with nat ross after moab. they asked him this:
Were you surprised to see Ernesto Marenchin in 2nd?
Yeah. He’s ridden some laps with the elite riders before, but now he has the confidence to ride the whole race. So much of this endurance game is psychological. Ernesto really stepped up at the World’s and now has the confidence to win.
wow. if you are out there nat, thanks!
check out the LIGHT & MOTIN article, and read nat's write up on the mtbr site.
NATT ROSS MOAB WRITE UP HERE!
danny chew. former race across america competitor/winner that resides in the pittsburgh area. yours truely has gone on many a ride with him back in the days when i first stared long rides with a group of guys of zelienople PA.
danny was also a former member of the US national road team as a junior, but was kicked off the team when he challenged everybody to a water drinking contest two days before the national road race. he won the contest and proceeded to get everybody else sick. he also got kicked off the team because of it.
well, without going into details, he is just a little "different"..... kind of annoying when you first meet him, but after awhile, he sort of grows on you.
any hoo, he has this lifelong dream of riding a million miles before he dies and has this website that has tracked every mile he has ridden since 1978. yep. 1978. longer than some of you pups out there.
any way, i am going to post his last email just sent today... it is entitled "Longest Ride With No Food & No drinks (including water)"
Last week on Friday, October 21st, 2005, I set a new record for my longest ride ever With No Food & No drinks(including water). This means nothing but air got into my
mouth. After eating a huge pancake breakfast, I rode 181 miles from my Pittsburgh home to a Cleveland, Ohio suburb. The weather was cloudy all day. The temperature ranged between 40-50 degrees F, with a cold rain freezing me the last 3 hours. I rode my first century at an average speed of 17.5mph, but the weather and forcing my body to eat itself for fuel slowed my average speed down to 16.5mph by the end of the classic, memorable ride!
I do not recommend that other cyclists try going for this record - as I am a very experienced ultra-cyclist who knows his body very well. I did the record to teach my body discipline, and I beat my previous record of 170 miles by 11 miles! I will most likely someday extend my record to over 200 miles in the future. It has to be done an a cool day so that you are not that thirsty.
10.24.05 - random pic of the day - picture 03
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
another old shot from the month of mud series in the pittsburgh area. mostly mountain bike races that are held late in the year, for two seasons we changed the format to all cross races. this was taken during one of those years at the grove city course.
if you look closely, i am riding my second custom indy fab cross bike. this one has track drops and is a single speed with 135 rear spacing (standard mountain spacing).
also went true cross on this bike and have no water bottle mounts. by far, this is probably one of my favorite race photos.
10.24.05 - random pic of the day - picture 02
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
a shot from a few years back at one of WVU cross races riding my old indy fab custom cross bike.
if i remember correctly, there was one race in this series where we did a total of over 100 dismounts in one hour.
DIRECTIONS: Park is located on RT 18 in Raccoon Twp. This is NOT the Raccoon State Park. From Rt. 60 north, exit Shippingport/Monaca, take 18 South 6 miles to park on left. From Rt. 60 South, (ignore Raccoon Park signs) take Aliquippa exit, turn left, drive past Green Garden Plaza, across little bridge and up hill. Stay on that road for 6 miles. Turn right on Rt 18 (north) ¼ mile, park on right. Use 100 Winford Lane, 15001 for mapquest.
races start at 10:30am, last one is at 2:30pm.
i have a flight leaving cleveland at 8:30pm, my race would be at 2:30pm. hmmm.....
not 100% sure if i am going because of this, but go out and support gary. should be a good course and lot's o fun.
gotta run - some pics up tonight.
weather here in ohio stinks - cold and raining yesterday. the ride was prety hard to get through after my hands went numb from the cold rain. i hate cold hands and feet.
been looking at the schedule for next year, saw that there is rumors about 24 hour nationals coming east and that snowshoe is no more. guess the rumor is somewhere in north carolina? and i guess nationals are still out west for both the 24 hour race and the marathon. this is all just rumors though. i wish they would move some of those races east, but i guess the east coast guys can't race in mud and fifty degrees.... just joking... though it would be nice to do a few more national events if they were on the east coast.
oh, and my dad just gave me some pictures from the conyers 24 hour and i'll be posting them this week. think i will do two or three a day, or something of that nature....
and if any of y'all are can get to pittsburgh this coming weekend for a cross race, there is one happening on the 30th. i'll have the link up tomorrow, but it's put on my a long time pal of mine gary dugovich. gary is a big cross freak and does a lot of the races in the MAC cup and tried to get something of the sort started out here in the pa/ny/oh area but it was not to be this year. i wish i could help him out with the series, but i have so much stuff going on as it is. anyhoo, i'll have the flier up tomorrow - and, while i do not know the exacts of the course, i can pretty much bet a million bucks that it is going to be an awesome layout as usual because i have done a lot of his races and it's all good, yo.
gotta run. pics/flyer up tomorrow.
speaking of which - i know i never addressed the "why go pro" question awhile back from one you guys out there. i'll get to it - i didn't forget.
some links at ya:
JEFF KERKOVE BLOG
jeff is up to his antics again and is organizing TRANSIOWA 2006. two big changes to the event - about 30 more miles and the fact that it is going to be TOTALLY unsupported. drop site at the half way point - you are NOT allowed anybody there. only the serious need apply. or should i say, enter.
FLAT SALLY BLOG
i had to get on her about not posting. once she saw my pink surly single speed, all she has been doing is riding all day while i am at work. and then she eats all my food.
LIGHT & MOTION
Multi Chem Fast Charger is in the house. (click on the "chargers" section on the link above). Why is this cool? Well, I will tell you why.
Why it is cool reason #1 - 50% faster than 2004 (1-3 hours charge times).
Why it is cool reason #2 - Auto selects between Nimh and Li-ion.
Why it is cool reason #3 - 110/220v compatible.
Why it is cool reason #4 - backwards compatible to year 2000 L & M batteries.
SPEEDGOAT.COM should have these in too, but i haven't talked them about it yet and i don't see it listed yet. as always, if you don't see something on the page, you may just want to call and ask about it. the shop is a dealer for L&M, so they should be able to get it in.
has a little mention of ernesto in the last endurance news issue. they usually are posted on the link above, but the PDF version just came out today so i don't know when it is posted.
in other news...
been trying to find out some info on some local cross races in orville ohio. guess they are putting on two cross races, but i cannot find info. if anybody knows a website, please pass along the info!
that's it - gotta run.
10.18.05 - my fuel at the 24 hours of conyers
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
all of the pictured was downed during the race.
red bull - 12 cans
coke - 4 ice cold cups. yummy
consumed after race before going to sleep:
3 pieces of pizza
1 cup of soup
5 coca cola's
1 burger and fries
3 oatmeal cream pies
5 reese peanut butter cups
1 small bag of chips
5 glasses of water
salsa road bike is now all apart - parts are going on the moots cross/road bike projects which are coming up soon (i hope) and what is left is going on ebay. alpha q forks are being ordered by jeremy over at the shop and whatever parts i need will be ordered within the next few days.
riding is going good, just trying to keep some fitness for next year. nothing exciting, just some cross races - 6 in the cleveland series, maybe a few others here and there, maybe even one over in PA and a couple down in the carolina's. the down south is a double race weekend, free place to stay.... very tempting.
congrats to the newest edition of future employees to beth and chris - very happy for the both of them and glad to see everybody is doing good.
mmmmm.... that's it. gotta run - have a TON of on-line courses to get through this week.
oh - and i have some new pics up at the SPEEDGOAT.COM BLOG. if you are a cross freak, you may want to check it out. have some pics up of the sibex, IF, cross bikes. and i'll have some cross forks up in the next day or two.
and - i also have a review of the TIFOSI OPTICS line for next year on the blog as well.
one crash, 5 stops to fix my dropped chain, 5th place.
started out feeling ok, then i didn't. cross race is just super high tempo for an hour and my body is not really made for that. my heart rate gets so high i see double and my lungs want to burst. i had a good start, but i didn't start feeling good until about 15 minutes to go when i moved from 9th to 5th in about 4 laps. if i can hold on for 40 minutes, that is when most people snap and the enduro freak in me kicks in and i start motoring. i was just too far back this race.
had it been another hour long, i may just of won.
paul martin won.
in other news, nat ross ended up 2nd and sloane anderson was 6th at moab. cameron was back at 14th. looked to be an epic solo class with something like 50 riders? kind of bummed that i missed out on this race. next year, you will see me out there. location, location, location. moab is the just the meca of 24 hour races.
that's it, short post tonight. i may just get to sleep before 11. yipee!
sorry for the lack of posts, been trying to catch up on things this week.
race resume and such will be worked on next week, going out by the end of the month.
cross race today, will be leaving shortly. legs are beat down, but i am going anyway. should be fun.
24 hours of moab - nat is currently in 2nd, sloane is in 5th and cameron is way back in tenth. looks like cameron is not having a good day.
my two frames - no word on them yet. will be ordering up some parts next week for them. think i am going to with alpha q forks for the both of them, and also just run 9 speed on them too. it's a little cheaper and then i can also swap parts between the two if i need to.
that's about it - gotta run. cross bikes need a little TLC before i head out.
just wanted to say thanks to all those who were at conyers who gave a shout out to me during the race - i honestly wanted to thank all of you when it came time for speech time after the race, but i was so out of it that i was having a pretty hard time forming any time of sentence. seemed like a thousand people were cheering me on during that race and if you were one of them, thanks!
pit crew - dan, dad and jennifer. couldn't of done it without you guys. seriously, a good pit crew can save you minutes every lap. compound that by 25 laps - and that is A LOT of time. hats off to them and every member of both crews this year.
sponsors, yep, you know who you are. i'll be giving the shout out soon on you guys, and expect a little write up this week on some of my hammer gel secrets.
in other news...
working on my race resume and proposals, will get them out the door by the end of the month. got an email already from crank brothers, so that is cool. they have some new pedals coming out next year. not much has changed for the cross country guys (spring is now anodized) but they have some new platform pedals for you guys who like to jump their bikes. how silly.
cross season is coming up - guys and gals, i know it is late in the season. i know you are tired. i know you want to sleep in and drink coffee and watch football on sunday. i know you have a fantasy football team and you must keep up on your team points. and i know you are totally sucked into the abis of ebay and that auction that you have been watching and is ending in the next 23 minutes and 24.65 seconds.
get out and race cross and support your local race organizers. the races are fun, they are short, and racing in knickers in the snow is really fun.
10.06 - Travel day to Georgia.
Two short flights this day, but a one hour delay in Washington doubled with another one hour wait in the plane made for one unhappy camper. Good thing they foiled the mutiny on the plane by serving us water.
Got to the hotel and got one bike together and got a spin in for about an hour. My legs and body have been feeling tired for over two weeks. Worlds and Interbike really beat me down and I was starting to worry that I was a little fatigued during my spin in the dark.
10.07 - A ride in the rain.
Rain was the menu for today and we got several helpings. With temperatures in the high 60's to lower 70's, this somewhat unphased me because of the low 50's and heavy rain we saw a few weeks ago at Whistler. 65'ish? Jeez, that was balmy.
I waited until the rain lessened to a drizzle and went out for a ride on the course. It was a basic figure eight course that started right in front of the hotel we were staying at.
The first of the figure eight's was less grueling than the second. This was filled with lots of fun/fast single track, super short and steep climbs, switch backs all over the place. Nothing too bad, but the tendency of all the climbs were that you came into them with absolutely no speed. Flying down a section at twenty miles an hour you would come up on a sharp turn that would scrubs off all your speed and then shoot you straight up a climb.
Second section was a ton of rock. Imagine riding on a huge rock that is bumpy and unforgiving and throw in some silly drop offs. One rider told me that the 24 Hour course at Moab had a ton of this stuff too. Up and down on the rocks. Seemed like (on this section in general) that whenever you went up, you went down. And the single track on this side was much tighter.
Still feeling tired, I opted out of the travel to pick up Dan the Man and Jennifer and had my dad go solo. During my trip to Whistler in 2004, I went with my dad to pick up Dan and it turned into a nightmare. On the trip back the road was closed - completely. Yep, construction crews had the road shut completely down for something like 3-4 hours. Totally sucked. So, feeling the need to rest, I stayed at the hotel and slept.
Woke up and got the free breakfast at the hotel. Legs were feeling good, pit crew (Dan, Dad and Jennifer) were busy getting things together after breakfast. We went over my magic potions that would get me through the upcoming 24 hours which consisted of mostly Hammer Gel products, Coke, Red Bull and two cans of Campbell Chicken Soup. Yummy.
Clothes packed and sorted, bikes checked, everything seemed in order. Signed in and talked to Rob Lichenwalter for a bit - I race against him a lot. He was actually surprised to see me at Georgia, he said he thought I was going so good that I would be going to Moab. Rob is a good guy and it would end up about 22 hours later that I would ride my last two laps with him.
Line up for what I believe was about a 200 mile run before we got our bikes. Seriously, this was by far the longest run to the bike I have ever done and it had to be at least a 3-4 minute run from my recollection. Had a really bad run, but got on the bikes and sprinted past most of the riders that had passed by me in the run. It is critical to get in front of slower riders before the trail gets into singletrack. Otherwise, they stand a good chance of slowing you down and letting other riders you catch up to you.
Lap times were blazing fast and my heart rate was screaming. At one point I looked down and saw my heart rate at 192, average was at 182. I can hold a 185'ish average if need be, but this was a little too high for my comfort. This course was grueling and it was going to be hard on the body, and temperature was getting warm. Or at least very warm for this Ohio'ian, as I was sweating like a maniac and had several little twinges of cramps. Luckily, I had some Hammer Endurolyte tables packed with me and I downed 3 of them every time it happened. I took this super dose two more times during the first 10 hours.
Eddie O was flying, I caught up to him around the 5th lap, then passed him, but was having a hard time loosing him in the fast single track. He seemed to know the perfect lines. (I didn't know until after the race that he had raced this course before and that he is somewhat local to it) and when I was trying to follow him, I washed out and went down really hard and bent my rear hanger. Derailler was OK, so I reached into my saddle bag for my spare hanger, installed it and continued on.
Fifteen minutes later, I flat. This actually was somewhat a good thing as it gave me a break - the heat was hard on me and I really didn't feel good. Most races, I get into my "race zone" with a couple of hours after the start. This is the point where I sort of feel out of my body and I am just concentrating on going as fast as I can. Pain is pumping through me, but I seem to feed off of it and go harder. At this point, I was in a "I feel like hell" zone and was having a hard time wanting to put myself through more pain.
Temperatures start dropping, and my spirits start lifting as I was picking riders off one by one. My goal was to hopefully lap everybody by nightfall, or shortly thereafter.
As nightfall came, Dan put on the lights and I put on some dry clothes and had some Chicken Soup even though I was literally eye sight distance behind lapping Eddie. Dan and Dad got me through the pit stop super fast and when I got back on the trail, Eddie was just in front of me. Eddie was still riding the technical really fast, but he looked pretty tired on the climbs. I rode behind him for a long time and towards the end of lap (I think this was about the 8th lap) there was a really tough climb that some riders couldn't make, so they had to walk the last 20 feet or so. When he got off his bike, I made my pass. Good guy, though I really don't know him very well. And his support crew was cool too - they even cheered me along several times during the race. Hats off to him and the Kona boys.
The dreaded night. Well, this felt like my best night riding I have ever done in my life. The big thing with 24 hour races is that when the night sets in, lap times go up because your vision is drastically cut down (dah). So with that in mind, one of my goals is to literally memorize the course in my head so that when I am riding at night, I know every little rock and root that can take me down during the night. (This tip I picked up on in an old interview Tinker Juarez that I read years back).
Well, I must of memorized every pebble on that course because I was riding at high speeds and never went down. I was loving my Lights & Motion Lithium Ion battery setup too, a lot of light with not a lot of weight. I think I made up a lot of time on a lot of riders as I think I ended up lapping the field again during the night.
Daylight comes and the lights go off, along with my sweaty clothes I was wearing during the night. This would be my last clothes change. I was still going at 100% race pace as I was feeling really good and was somewhat thinking of Mark Hendershot's 25 laps on the course last year. I was offhand thinking of going for 26 laps so I could joke with him next year about beating his course record.
Good thing is, temperatures stayed cool for the rest of the race. When it is in the 60's, it is the best for me as I do not have to worry so much about dehydration and it also provides a little more fuel in the fire to keep my tempo high so that I will stay warm as I tend to dress pretty light. Sounds odd, but it works for me.
At this point, I am starting to get a little out of it. Riding, I am fine. Whenever I get off the bike and my feet touch the ground, I feel a little dizzy. And the bottom of my feet feel like they are on fire (I guess this was because I was climbing a lot out of the saddle and was pushing down really hard on the pedals).
I start having dreams of ice cold Coca-Cola and tell Jennifer to get me some for my next two laps. For the entire 23rd lap all I could think about was an ice cold Coke. It was going to be like heaven, I just knew it. For some reason at this point, I was still in my "race zone" and going hard. Towards the end of the this lap, I went down really hard on a bridge. I go flying and so does my bike. Bike is OK, I am bleeding and I get a wake up call to slow down and play it safe.
I log my 23rd lap, and plan on stopping at my tent to pick up my fresh water bottle and Coke. Just as I look up, Rob L was telling my pit crew that if I keep on with the pace that I was on, that I would pass him a third time. They all laughed and pointed to me about 15 feet behind him.
So, I ride the next two laps with Rob. Nice guy. He is from Pennsylvania and this was really the first conversation I ever really had with him. We were both pretty beat at this point, so riding with him was a nice change of pace. I normally don't like talking during a race, especially when I am going hard, but conversation was taking my mind off of the pain.
We log my 24th lap, and Rob's 21rst lap and find out that Eddie is close behind and turning one hour fifteen minute laps. Not much difference to me, but Rob my have to go out again after this next lap. Dan the Man tells us that he will give Rob split times at a point right before the start/finish line to tell Rob whether or not he has to go out again. I down another Coke and grab a bottle of Heed. Rob downs a vegan donut.
We talked constantly the previous lap, but we don't talk as much this lap. I kept the pace somewhat moderate as I just wanted to get the lap done as safe and as fast as we could.
We get out of the last section of woods and Dan tells that Rob is done.
I ask Rob if he wants to sprint to the finish line and he agrees. We pick a spot to start our sprint and let loose, but it pretty much ends up a tie. I end up with 25 laps and Rob finishes in second with 22 laps. We were both happy to be finishing at around 23 hours and 40 minutes.