took the SQL exam today - didn't pass. wasn't expecting too, but it would of been a nice surprise. i figure within two more tries i'll go postal - oops, i mean pass. no, seriously, i was pretty close this time and even did "strong" in a few sections, which is way better than i did before. guess i have until the end of december to pass.
stopped in a work - the big boss man doug helped out this year and picked up my clothing and my flight to whistler. more on this stuff later, but you can check out their web site here: XPERT BUSINESS SOLUTIONS!
they are an accounting software reseller in the akron ohio area. we carry great plains (what i am consulting on), mas90, mas2000, and a whole bunch o' other stuff. check us out. if you need help with your riding or your software, i am your man.
or if you just want to go for a ride, i am your man too.
hey, gotta run - maybe a few more notes before i ship out. leaving on a jet plane tomorrow AM for the non-raining town of vancouver where i will be eagerly greeted by canadians with free starbucks coffee and choclate chip cookies. oh, and free maple syrup.
or maybe just canadians asking for my passport.
this week will be all pretty much short rides, low intensity with a short double workout tomorrow that will before and after my SQL exam. this is the second time through with the exam - hoping for the best. i think i have a shot, but i think realistically that i need some more time with it. it's finally starting to sink in and now that the season is kinda sorta wrapping up, maybe i'll have some time for my cross bike. oops. i mean, for studying microsoft SQL.
actually almost bought a nikon d70s today, but the local shop didn't have them in. they are the campus store in kent and it was crazy over there - jeez. crazy kids - i think they were all drunk or hopped up on coffee from starbucks. anyhoo, i think i may stop at two other shops tomorrow after my exam and see what kind of pricing they have and if they have any in stock. wanted to go local so if it needed servicing....
I HAVE to take a picture when i get into vancouver of the crowd of people picking people up. it's friggin' crazy. seriously, i got off the plain, went through customs, picked up my bags and was walking out of the airport and saw this huge mass of people probably at least 15 people deep on each side. signs were waving, people were pushing each other, flash bulbs were going off. it was very surreal and i thought for a moment that they were there to great the racers as there was so many flash bulbs going off. for a moment, i felt like a rock star.
and then i realized i am just a skinny bike rider in another country.
anyhoo, gotta bolt - maybe one more post later on, for sure another post before i leave. and, hopefully some posts/pics when i get out there as i am taking my laptop.
in case i forget as i was thinking about this earlier today - for all those racing over the weekend, good luck, be safe, have fun. remember what we do this for - we need to keep it real and remember all the cool things we have seen, the places we have rode, the people we have met, the things we have done. i still can't get over some of the places i have been in just the last two years.
wheel boxes are just as nice - wheel box takes place of one of your bags when you check in, but it can be sent for free! FREE! oh my gosh, did i say "FREE"... oh my gosh, i think i did say "FREE".... ok, ok... so the wheel box holds two wheels, minus your tires. looks like you can pack some clothing in there too, but i didn't get that far yet.
the asylums seem to fit in nicely, though i had to take off the saddles and rear cable hanger. then had take the bars off. nice fit.
batteries charged too. whoa, i am so far ahead of where i was packing for this last year. helps too that jennifer pretty much took care of all the grocery/dinner stuff tonight, she's the best.
didn't race today as i pre-rode the local yocal course and i just wasn't feeling it. the course was really tight and i didn't want to whack my hand off a tree or something - just thought it was a little too risky. nice course though and i wanted to support pretty much the only local mountain bike race, so i made a drive by and watched the race for a few minutes and talked to brett davis whom i happened to see when i riding by. made possible tentative plans to do the iron cross race next month depending on how i feel after the georgia 24 hour the week before.
so, that's about it. maybe a post or two more before i bolt out o' town. thinking of getting a better digital camera before i head out, but i don't know if i have time to shop around or not. think i procastined too long on this one.
oh, and dan the man is bringing his bike. cool. why cool? dan rides an asylum. so what you say? well, should something happen during race time, we can cannibalize his bike for parts. this will be pretty nice seeing that my bike uses unconventional wheel size of 29 inch and the fact that bike shops are hard to come by that are open at 2am in the morning.
oh man, i can't wait to get there.
gotta get going - we picked up "old boy" to rent tonight. got good indy film reviews. oh, and if you haven't seen bill murray's work lately, i would highly suggest "lost in the translation" and "life aquatic". life aquatic was pretty cool - they had a guy that did not actually speak at all during the movie but played david bowie songs in the backgrund during some of the scenes. and he sung it in portugese.
awesome dark comedy. oh, and i saw "noi" recently too - highly recomend seeing that too. but my recomendations usually don't have happy endings as i believe they are too boring and predictable.
anyhoo, i ranting on tonight. gotta run sologoat fan. hope your riding is going good - and that you are on a 29r.
my opinion, well, i don't think it is too fair and i think he is being made an example of. not cool.
i have been on both sides of the spectrum as a race organizer back in my college days and now as a racer. guys, we need to keep this all in perspective. be cool to each other, seriously.
with that being said, i hope at least this starts to open up the minds of everybody in general - there has to be some common ground here. i can see the sides and pro/cons of everybody involved here. bottom line, both sides love the sport or else we wouldn't be involved.
hopefully there will be some good to come of all of this - jeff, i wish you the best the rest of the year.
i would update you all today on my training and upcoming stuff, but somehow it doesn't seem right.
be cool - race smart - stay upright - have fun.
08.25.05 - moots and ernesto
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
short training ride today on the moots cross bike - been riding it a lot lately.
worlds coming up fast - new course, great venue.
not much going on tonight, just laying low until next wednesday when i depart out o' town for vancouver and then the 90 mile drive up to whistler. beautiful drive, but i hope to get up there fast so i can get a pre-ride in on wednesday, thursday and friday. i'm going to concentrate a lot on picking some good lines - need to be all business for this event, have too much of everything wrapped up in it.
solo elite atheletes just received their race packets today - trying to figure out how to get it posted so you guys can take a peek at it. it's full of elite racer secrets and coupons for thousands of dollars of air line flights.
no.. just kidding...
thinking of doing a local yocal mountain bike race this weekend as long as the course is not too nutty. some of the courses around here are stupidly dangerous - fun to ride, dangerous to race. don't know why the organizers do it either. they just had a guy get pretty seriously hurt a few months back and it took him a few weeks before he could start forming WORDS. jeez.
well - gotta run. getting some little things together tonight - new toe spikes in the northwaves, maybe checking the lights and getting the hammer gel fuel in order.
lots of things to do. for all those driving out to whistler, i wish ye fast and safe travel. i can't wait to get there. bears, bikes, mountains, glaciers, downhillers, snow, sweet single track... ah... heaven...
08.20.05 - suicide 6 write up
6:30am - alarm goes off indicating that i got 6 hours of sleep. wonderful. with the thoughts of hearing years back in a greg lemond interview before his time trial when he won the tour by 7 seconds that the sleep the night before a race is really not as important as the sleep TWO days before a race, we pack up and head out to the local yocal diner for some grub.
8:15am - after downing some OK coffee, a few bites of burnt pancakes, eggs, toast and some bacon, we make our way to the race.
9am - make it to the race and meet my family there (pit crew #2). register and by the time i get back to the car, bikes are unloaded and bottles are already being prepped by my dad. i make the joke that my pit crew needs training too - but i am serious in that the faster/more efficient they are, the easier it will be overall. your pit times will be faster, things will run more smoothly, nothing will be chaotic. try to expect the unexpected and will you get through the situation very quickly. if you don't, you'll loose valuable time.
so we prep bottles, get my magic pills together and give the pit crew some last minute instructions. i even have time to sit down and relax a little.
9:45am - line up at the start line. i notice some of the guys in the NY series is not there, but don't think too much about it. get race instructions from the organizers and wait for the start. 5 minutes before the start, a young girl walks up with a photo from what i believe is the race i did earlier in they year up in canada. i sign my first official autograph and wait for the race start.
10am - race starts. i put the hammer down not knowing how long it would be until i hit the first single track and when it comes, two guys are ahead of me. we bomb down some technical rocky/rooty/tight stuff and fly out onto a switch back that climbs straight up. by the time i reach the top, i catch the leaders. i pass the one guy but the other guy presses on. i find out on lap two that he is on a team.
just crusing - i am flying and am now in the lead ahead of all teams and solo riders. some of the team guys catch me, but then i catch them back on the next lap. i am in the "no-pain zone" and the gaps between the tight trees seem to be 5 feet wide and the lactic acid rushing through my legs seems more to push me on then to hurt.
still just cruzing along, though it is getting warmer and i am starting to wonder how the hell the one solo guy is staying within 3-7 minutes of me as my pit crew tells me. not really wanting to know the details of whom the rider is, i push on thinking that my pit crew is telling me the wrong times to keep me going hard. i tell myself, "maybe he is that close" and i keep pushing it.
i now get splits that the second place solo is over 10 minutes behind - i grab two red bull flasks and hammer on.
another two red bull flasks. confirm with pit crew that the second place solo is now over 13 minutes behind. i play it safe on this lap, taking my time as i do not want to get in before 6 hours. i feel that i am strong enough that if he catches up to me, i'll go out again and trounce him on one of the early climbs - i need to save my legs for whistler and i don't want to go out again. i come in at 5 hours and 56 minutes and wait for the clock to read 6 hours. i cross the line - win the race, win the NY enduro series.
thanks to the organizers of the races/series - great job, great courses.
thanks to all those who said hello/talked to me - didn't get a chance to talk to all of you, but i have a hard time talking sometimes when i am going hard and when i am in the "zone" i don't like talking for some reason. thanks for the support.
that's it - got some studying to do!
8.16 - travel to morgantown
after my AM early spin, work and a brief ride later in the day to work out some minor shifting issues on one of my bikes, it was time to make the way south with jennifer. got down to morgantown by nightfall. did this so i could pre-ride the course at snowshoe early in the day on the 17th and rest up for the remainder of the day.
8.17 - arrive at snowshoe
arrive at the venue a little later than i had planned, but late enough that we could check in as soon as we got there. we stayed at rim fire which is "the" place to stay there - underground parking, outdoor hot tub, etc. it was nice to get there - i think both jennifer and i were ready to strangle each other as my pre-race nerves were at an all time high. so i went for a ride and she hung out, rode the chair lift and walked around a little.
the course - well, some people don't like snowshoe for every reason i love it. rocks, roots and climbs. oh, and throw in some mud - lots of it - and then make everything really slippery. it's the kind of course that is very unforgiving and can make a bad day seem even worse. pre-riding the course i discovered that it covered a lot of the old snowshoe 24 hour course, and the remainder of the course i had ridden in a NORBA race a few years back -- so in my mind, i had a pretty good advantage. i had raced well in very bad conditions here before, so i could do it again.
course was muddy, but the air was cool and the sky was blue with some light fluffy clouds.
oh, how that would change.
8.18 - race day
awoke to misty thick fog and about 60'ish temps - you could maybe see 100 feet max as the fog was so thick. weather channel so no rain until after 1pm - ya, right.
we line up, the gun goes off and the rain starts almost immediately. rain was slow at first, then harder. the pace is blistering, and the small open pro field is shattered almost instantly. i make it into the top 5 and i feel like i am flying when all of a sudden i come up to a mud pit and my front wheel gets stuck. somehow, i manage to stay upright but my pedal hits the back of knee REALLY REALLY REALLY hard and it sends a shooting pain down my leg to my foot like the pain when you hit your funny bone really hard. almost immediately my foot goes 100% numb. i try to take a step and i nearly fall over. i take another one and then really do fall over. at this point i think my foot is broken and i start having thoughts about how the hell i am going to get out of the woods, i can't believe this is happening to me, etc. so i start to think rationally and then remember that i didn't hit my foot - so i try to start walking it off. i walk for no less then 3-5 minutes, get passed by about 5 riders, and then hop back on when feeling comes back to my foot.
i pass all the riders that passed me - but now my chain is skipping like crazy. i pedal on.
at the half way point i am about 20 minutes behind the leaders and still in the top 5. after the feed zone, i drop the other riders that were near me only to get caught by them again as i have to stop to adjust my now skipping like crazy chain. i stop again for at least 3-4 minutes.
i catch everybody that passed me AGAIN. i then get into some of the old snowshoe course and my pedal starts feeling funny - i at first thought it was my ankle. i looked down, saw that to my relief that it wasn't, but was bummed out by the fact that i wasn't going to be able to finish.
in the end i pulled out when in my mind i feel like i could of came up with a third place finish. yes, it stunk, but i would of rather it happened at snowshoe then two weeks later at whsitler - and at least i didn't get hurt as well. it could of been drastically worse, by far.
8.19 - dan the man works his magic
get to shop later then what i wanted due to the fact that we had to travel back roads to get to the shop. wanted to get there by 10:30am and we got there at 12:30. dang.
i got the bikes in the shop, dan stopped what he was doing and looked at the bikes immediately. after a minute discussion with shop owner chris, he came up the steps with my saviors - two XTR cranks.
MAY THE CYCLING GODS BLESS SPEEDGOAT.
new SRAM chains on both bikes, new brake pads, new cassettes, new rebuild kits for my crank brothers, new schwable tires, new lever on the one bike, new cables - and probably 100 other things dan didn't tell me about. by 6:30pm, i had rides in on both bikes and the bikes were 150% working super duper fantastic. now the bikes would be ready for tomorrow AND whistler. yowza.
and, then the long back country ride to syracuse. we didn't get to sleep until 12:30am and had the alarm set for 6:30am. tomorrow was going to be a rough day.
but that story is for tomorrow. gotz to get some sleep.
08.18 - snowshoe norba marathon race
legs felt good, but mother nature was being mean and poured down on us for the race. mud and fog were a plenty and after 4 hours one of the inserts for my pedals decides to come loose - had to pull out.
08.19 - SPEEDGOAT fun
dan the man had some major repairs to do and he acomplished them in lighting fast time. snuck in rides on both bikes and then headed up to NY.
08.20 - suicide 6
last race in the NY enduro series, about 40 minutes south of syracuse. gun went off and i put the hammer down. i came in at 5 hours and 56 minutes and decided to wait until 6 hours passed becacuse i had a huge lead and so i didn't want to have to go out again - need to save my legs for whistler. won the race and won the series.
gotta run - jennifer is back with food. more on monday!
08.21.05 - snowshoe norba marathon #2
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
the most major issue i pulled out was because of this - the threaded insert was pulling out of the crank itself. by the time i got back to the start/finish i could of literally pulled the pedal off the crank.
sologoat fan brett passed along some pics from the wilderness 101. i went with brett out this race so we both enjoyed in the fun of that day. really nice event - highly suggest attending that race next year even if you are not an enduro freak. very epic - nice trails, nice people. sort of like a full supported fun ride and race combo. hammer gel/food stuff all along the way and when you get to the finish line, pick up your free pint glass, your free burger and your free beer. it's almost like heaven.
and - thanks to sologoat fan ian for picking up my mistake on the new sram stuff. it's the XO that got updated, not the X9. and as a funny side note, yes, i do use and race on the XO, and yes, i have short term memory issues. long term too. what? i can't remember what i was talking about, except here is some links to some sram stuff that some guys use on some type of mountain bike.
SRAM® X.0™ Trigger Shifter
SRAM® X.0™ Rear Derailleur
and - another link for 29er REBA owners/29er riders/asylum owners whom are having issues with the top cap hitting the bottom of their frames and possibly causing frame damage. speedgoat came up with a fix - check it out:
RockShox Internal Gate Damper Assembly
you may want to check out their blog for the full write up on it.
jennifer is coming out to pick me up in a short bit - she's kind of bummed as the pink rockymount trays i got for her are having some install issues. we'll have to order some more parts, but i'll get it to work. they look super cool.
anyhoo - we'll be off to WV in a little bit for the NORBA. looks like everybody is playing games and registering on-site because i see the rider list is rather short. i think there was only 8 riders registered the last i looked. kind of wished i could hang out a little after the race, but i need to start heading north and then finish up the NY enduro series on saturday. should be fun.
so, with jennifer driving, i hope to snap off some pics, maybe take some of the course on tomorrow in WV and maybe some more in NY -- though, i am not making promises.
gotta run - wish me huge lungs, good legs and no pain.
08.16.05 - Ernesto at the Wilderness 101 #2
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
going across a bridge during the final miles of the 2005 wilderness 101. almost all the way over the bridge.
told the guy taking the picture that it was kind of freaky. kept thinking i was going to hit my bars.
saturday, got out late again and just when i was totally soaked with sweat from the humidity, the rain came in. fun, fun.
so, it looks like i have my bad weather training right on schedule.
other than training, not much going on.
the shop has the new sram shifters in, but quantites are super limited for some reason. they are the new x-9 carbon shifters and new rear derailler. supposidly you can adjust the shifters somehow - not exactly sure how this is done. the newest dirt rag has a little write up on them, may want to check that out.
new tires on the k-monkey on saturday - these tires are 100 grams lighter then the other ones i had on so it seems like i am flying on my 35 pound light weight surly karate monkey. well, maybe not that heavy - but i have to admit, the bike rides really nice. not what you would expect for the cost, and probably rides just as nice as some frames that cost 4 or 5 times more.
well - gotta run. meeting at the office today and hopefully picking up an expense check so i can buy some pre-race goodies (red bull, oatmeal creame pies, etc).
gotta go! sologoat out.
some pro's/interesting riders i have raced against (please forgive spelling errors!)
1. rob acovati - fast pro road rider. used to race a ton of crits with him at the old pittsburgh zoo courses. was sponsored by khs at the time.
2. matt eaton - super fast previos pro. claim to fame was the first american to win the milk race over in britian, i believe. was a khs rep for years and also raced against armstrong, lemond, etc. used to do these super long road rides with him and a group of guys from pittsburgh and then be cooked for days.
3. gunnar shogun - west virginia pro mountain biker and cross freak. used to race with diamond back, now races for fort. had this cool vw bus and was the first pro i ever met and raced against. the first time i beat him i talked about it for weeks.
4. kyle dixson - super fast pro mountain biker. used to race for jamis.
5. danny chew - mega mile nut case road biker. think he used to be pro at one time and i know he was once a member of the US national team as a junior. he is such a fruit cake that to call him a fruit cake would be an understatement. he won RAAM once, maybe twice. he talks so loud that i think you can hear him in the next state. one of his claims to fame is that he has recorded EVERY SINGLE MILE he has ever ridden, whom he road it with and the EXACT route - this is so he can document his journey to ride a million miles in his lifetime. if you think you are nutty, this guy has you beat. by a million miles.
6. joe papp - pro road biker. crit specialist. used to race a ton against him in the days of the old pittsburgh zoo criteriums.
hmmmm..... more on this subject later.
so - NORBA next week. kind of pumped up for this race being a national event and such. since ESPN is going to be there and the marathon is going to be the race, i hope SPEEDGOAT/ASYLUM/ERNESTO gets some good press. jennifer is going down with me, and pit crew member #1 (otherwise known as "dad") is coming down to make sure things run smoothly. then, off to the folks to crash out and then up to the rochester new york area to race the suicide 6. as this race is near my sister's condo, the entire family (honorary pit crew members #3-#8) will be there to see the new york enduro series come to a close. and just to note, dan the man (pit crew member #2) has been tapering up his work schedule so that he can get extra practice for the trip up to whistler next month. there he'll have to fight off nasty bears and deal with a freaked out goat high on red bull and hammer gel.
anyhoo, bike washes tomorrow and some minor repair stuff on the bikes. been thinking a lot on the upcoming cross season as well and have been thinking of selling off my giant cross bike to pick up another moots cross.
why another moots? well my friend, i think the question should really be, why not?
and with that - i depart. thanks for checking in sologoat fan.
looks like the rest of the year for me is panning out as such:
08.18 - NORBA - SNOWSHOE MARATHON
08.20 - SUICIDE 6
09.03 - SOLO WORLDS 24 HOURS
09.28 - INTERBIKE
10.08 - CONYERS GEORGIA 24 HOURS
10.15 - IRON CROSS - TENTATIVE
probably won't do the 12 hours in vegas as that is way too close to the georgia race, which is really not too much of a bummer because i can do the iron cross on the 15th if i want. not holding my breath on do it though - we'll have to see how my body is holding up at that point. from what i hear, it's a pretty cool event.
and then, cross season starts.
i'll be doing the BIKE AUTHORITY series again. here is the schedule:
10/23/2005 Bike Authority Cyclocross Series #1 Vermillion, OH
10/29/2005 Bike Authority Cyclocross Series #2 Bay Village, OH
11/06/2005 Bike Authority Cyclocross Series #3 Broadview Hts, OH
11/13/2005 Bike Authority Cyclocross Series #4 Broadview Hts, OH
11/19/2005 Bike Authority Cyclocross Series #5 Bay Village, OH
11/27/2005 Bike Authority Cyclocross Series #6 Copley, OH
check out their link above for all info. in the "a" field, the most noteable rider showing up is former national road champ paul martin (formerly of the navigators). last year i finished 2nd in the series to him and actually had one totally super awesome cross day where i riding like a man possessed and i actually beat him for my first ever "a" race cross victory. i was so super happy that day.
i'll also hit up 2 other local cross races as well - one i believe is around the interbike time and the other is a friends race that may happen on october 30th.
that leaves me like one month where i can sleep in past 7am on the weekends. jeez, i think i should of picked an easier sport. ah, but our sport is so much fun. it's like a drug and i'm an addict. as i have said before, if you don't have the passion for it, it probably won't work out - whatever that "IT" may be.
oh, and a few more links to throw at ya'.
i think JEFF KERKOVE may have mentioned these article on his blog, but my buddy trissy tris (formerly roommate and member of the irma street posse) filled me on these links. here they are.
CAMERON CHAMBERS 29er
complete specs on cameron's 29er. please do note that the VW bus in the background belongs to my buddy billy alcorn (fellow speedgoat teammate) and the pic was taken at the wilderness 101.
CAMERON CHAMBERS INTERVIEW
this is a link to an interview he did. cool article - check it out.
that's it for tonight - sologoat out.
the newest adventure sports has the speedgoat ad with me in it right before a little 1/2 page article on big bear. has a pic of cameron right next to it.... hmmm...
oh, and thanks to sologoat fan jason for pointing out that the latest edition of Endurance Times has a little blurb about me and big bear. actually, it is pretty much a thank you letter that i forwarded to them. i'll have the links for this up tomorrow, along with a scan of the adventure sports article/picture.
was this the weekend of "lance is so cool, i'll by a trek bike and race every body i see on the bike trail" type guys, or what? i've must of been raced at least 5 times this weekend on the hike/bike trails. jeez. i had this guy riding a cross/road lower end trek racing me today - i had sort of cut him and his wife off (they had matching bikes) when i dove off a little off road trail onto the bike trail.
i shifted up, went hard for a few seconds, then reached down to grab my water bottle when i caught a glimpse of this guy looking like he was ready for action. i calmly put my bottle back in place, and without standing, i unleashed a fury of power. he somewhat stayed with me for a minute (leaving his wife well behind). when i turned around the next time, he was way back - probably was his rest day or something.... ya...
oh, any my favorite of the weekend:
i see this guy way up the bike/hike path and i know he is going somewhat hard because i have seen this guy before. i didn't do enough high heart rate riding that day, so i used this guy as my fitness carrot (so-to-speak). so, for the next 15 minutes, i am about a 170'ish heart rate chasing this guy down (lactic acid kicks in around 187 for me), so i am going pretty good on my asylum. i finally catch this guy when the trail turns to ash.
he's on this prestine super high end calnago road frame with all kinds of fancy schmancy parts on it, including some high end vittoria road tires. i think this guy is going to turn off the path - what kind of nut case would ride his road bike on a ash trail covered with some sections of rocks about the size of quarters? well, the nut case saw me, noticed in horror that i was on a mountain bike and decided to race me when i was really wanting to comment on his nice bike. so, he must of felt like a complete dork when i passed him 10 seconds later.
Testosterone - makes us guys total nut cases sometimes.
anyhoo - links and pics up tomorrow, along with a short recovery ride with teammate EJ down near the 'burgh area.
thanks again solo goat fan jason - and if any of you guys/gals notice any write ups that i don't mention, please pass them on to me. mucho thanks in adance!
gotta run - sologoat out.
it's no secret that i use 99% hammer gel products during race and training time (with the exceptions to red bull and chicken noodle soup) and i am a very firm believer in their products. overall, they have done wonders for me and my stomach as they don't seem to cause me any "issues" from other high simple sugar products.
here's the HAMMER GEL PRODUCTS that i use:
preferred flavor for me is choclate and espresso. usually buy the gel in the jugs and then water down the gel (half water/gel - then shake). this makes it a lot thinner, easier to digest and to squeeze the flask and slam down when you are in a hurry. prefer hammer gel as it doesn't give you that sugar high/sugar low effect that is common with some other gel products out there.
HAMMER GEL FLASK
these little babies are awesome (actually, just bought a DOZEN of them). great for their intended use for HAMMER GEL, but what about long enduro training rides? well, these little guys are big enough to keep a couple of servings of HEED in powder form. now, instead of walking into some random store to get some off the shelf sports drink, all you need to do is find some water, dump in your HEED into your bottles, shake up - and you are ready to roll.
before i found this product, i had tried about every product out there but was finding myself having to dilute their product - which usually means less calories, making it harder to get through a long ride, let alone an enduro race. with this product, no worries - don't have to dilute, calories are good, easy on my stomach. and as an added bonus - this product also contains some of the endurolyte product. so what you say? well, this may be the reason your not cramping, pal.
HAMMER GEL SUSTAINED ENERGY
i call this "my food" to my pit crew during racing. at roughly 350 calories and with complex sugars, this lactic acid buffering drink mixes up thin and goes down easy. i often times will mix in a full mixture of HEED to change up the taste a little and to add a few more calories.
HAMMER GEL ENDUROLYTES
if you could buy only one product on the entire list, this would be it. say good-bye to cramps and muscle spasms when you take these little capsules. usually take at least 2 of these guys an hour, but when it is hot, you may need to up your doseage to up to 5 caps an hour.
E-CAPS: RACE CAPS
here's what they say on the web site about this product: More complete and efficient energy production higher energy level throughout training and competition, improved cardiac function, more complete recovery from hard training, improved immune system function. i have been using a very similar product to this last year after my coach mentioned it to me - and i have been using them ever since. mostly used only on race days, i also use these for long enduro training rides or on shorter recovery rides after long training days.
E-CAPS: MITO R CAPS
started using this product this year after reading an article from the hammer gel guys. this product enhances fat burning utilization and helps recovery, along with improving your cognitive funcitons and helps you stay awake and alert. hmmm... may come in handy at 2am during a 24 hour event when you are thinking about nappy time.
E-CAPS: ANTI FATIGUE CAPS
fatigue - i never fatigue! well, maybe a little... well, through countless hours of research, the hammer gel guys figured out that your body produces a lot of ammonia during endurance activities, making one feel fatigued, worn out and also helps out with an added bonus of having fun of dealing with cramps. try this product during race time and you will flush out all that bad stuff and keep more alert so you can dance on the pedals for longer hours.
that's it for my hammer gel secrets - and now, here is my discount:
CLICK HERE FOR YOUR SOLOGOAT DISOUNT!
any questions, feel free to shoot out an email:
now go get some magic at e-caps.
check out the registered riders here: SNOWSHOE REGISTERED RIDERS HERE
you will have to make a selection to see what class - choose "marathon open male"
and, cool thing is, brett sent me a link to an interesting article about this race. seems as if ESPN is going to be there. sweet. i'll wave my hand obnoxiously at the start line so all you guys can see me.
oh, the article can be seen here: ESPN AT SNOWSHOE
after this race, off to the goat and off to the SUICIDE 6 on the 20th.
this be the final race in the 3 race new york endurance series. i won the first two in my age group earlier this year.
and... whew... the links are getting crazy here.. one more...
seems i am rock star again. was talking to michael at the shop the other day (he does their graphic, web page and some of the database admin work) and he said that SPEEDGOAT has a new ad in ADVENTURE SPORTS magazine featuring none other than myself. went to borders to see if they had a copy, but they didn't. guess it's carried a lot by athletic shoe stores and the magazine is geared towards the advenure racing crowd. AND, the ad appears a couple of pages before an article/blurb about the big bear 24 hours and it even mentions me by my real world name (ernesto marenchin).
so, check it out. and if anybody has it and could scan in a pic of the ad and forward it to me, that would be super cool because i haven't seen it. send it to email@example.com.
oh, and good luck to michael at the shop because he is going to WV and competing in that crazy wilderness 100 race. 5 check points, lots of trails - and no markings inbetween. when i told him that he should of done the 101, he said that it was too boring and predictable because it was marked. guess this race took him 14 hours last year and by night fall, there was still 6 riders on the course and everybody was starting to leave or go to sleep. race organizers were leaving too - they told everybody that they had to prepare to race all day. sounds like fun - NOT.
gotta run - sologoat out.
Been wearing the Q2's all race season with clear lenses, switching to the crystal green with the green lens on overcast days. my opinion, tifosi make some pretty nice glasses for the price. decentered vented lenses gives you a non-distorted view without fogging up, and the frame of the Q2 allows for max periphial vision -- very important features when you are screaming through tight single track. also use the quam 1.5's when it gets sunny out as it comes with 3 lenses and the sweet adjustable nose piece they just added this year. check out the link above for the tifosi site, or do yourself a favor and just order up a set at SPEEDGOAT.COM
you can also check out the speedgoat blog (and do a search for "tifosi") and you will find my full blown review of both the Q2's and the QUAM 1.5's.
found some new pics of big bear from one of the granny gear guys by the name of harlan price.
harlan price pics here
i slightly blew up the pics and attached to blog - i bet the originals looks super sweet.
love both pictures. due note that i went with defeet arm/leg warmers as they as kind of thin and i wanted to finish out the race with knee warmers as they get pretty sensitive after riding for that long.
i'm such a delicate flower.
gotta roll - bossman about to pick me up.
08.04.05 - harlen price - goat pic #2
Originally uploaded by solo_goat.
shot from big bear. this must of been taken sometime after 6am (just before hendershot pulled out) because i switched to some super thick gel-type gloves as my hands were getting pretty beat up by that point.
list o' topics for tomorrow:
1. snowshoe norba
2. suicide 6
3. adventure sports - big bear article/new speedgoat ad
4. schedule update and misc fun!
gotta run - gotta eat!
Packed and got picked up by Brett Davis around 2’ish after I had just completed a short recovery ride. As usual, I packed a ton of stuff, but I tried to keep things to a minimum. Temperatures were calling for low 80’s for Saturday, so I didn’t bring rain/cold gear at all.
Got to the State College area around 6:15’ish and hung out and made minor repairs as my buddy’s Bill Alcorn and Richie Rich got their stuff together so we could grab some grub. During dinner, Bill calls his buddy/roommate Jim (organizing the single speed world championships this year) and tells him to pick up our race packets as he works near the race site. Nice. We wouldn’t have to drive a half hour to pick up our race packets.
Get back after dinner and our race packets come home with Jim shortly thereafter. I start my ritual of getting my Hammer Gel products figured out for the drop zones and tomorrows little jaunt as Bill’s friends start casually stopping by. I think my rituals start freaking everybody out as I get 100 questions as to how I prepare my bottles, where/what I carry with me, how many tubes I carry, etc. Most of these questions are followed up by some kind of comment like, “man, I don’t think I am ready for this.”
Distances between aid stations -
#1 is 19 miles in
#2 is 40 miles in
#3 is 60 miles in
#4 is 74 miles in
#5 is 89 miles in
finish is 12 miles from #5 @ 101 miles
Talked to Billy about the course and he said that sections 3 and 4 are the worst ones as far as “flat” potentials were. So, we were allowed to two drops of our own stuff at two of the stations. I packed bags for #3 and #4, filled them with 2 gels/2 red bulls, one tube and co2 and either one small camelback receiver or a bottle of HEED.
7.30.05 – Saturday
Arrive at venue with approximately 250 other racers, get ready and put down my bags at the pick up area for our stuff.
Line up and race announcements from race organizer Chris Scott. He introduces Eatough, Hendershot, Skip Brown, Cameron Chambers and saves the last introduction for the “real world champion at big bear”, myself. Felt very cool to be included with the ranks of those guys.
7’ish: Race to Aid Station #1
Race starts through town and then goes straight up a climb for about 15 minutes. Right before the climb, I talk briefly with Chris Eatough and am blown away that he knew me. (Later figure out that he has heard about me from Chris Scott, Cameron and Hendershot).
This first “section” is basically wide-open jeep trail (no single track) and everybody has informed me that the first section is basically a road race. And it is. But somehow those dang single speed guys were setting the pace high as they need to keep that single gear a movin’ or they are a’ hurtin. This strings the field out and drops probably at least 200 of the approximately 250 starters by the end of the first aid station.
Just before aid station #1, one of the guys that were in the main pack was a rider who I raced against during a few 6 Hours of Power races named Garth (don’t know the last name – sorry!). He said the next split would come right after the 2nd aid station as it immediately climbs upward was basically a rocky jeep trail that was not super rough, but it was far from smooth.
Grabbed a bottle of water coming through the aid station (didn’t stop – took it on the fly), drank about half of it in about a minute, and handed it to another rider whom needed it.
Race to Aid Station #2:
By this time, what was left of us was strung out. And within 10 minutes of leaving station #1, gaps had formed and Chris E was in full flight.
After the first climb after the station, I was now in a small group that formed and reformed after every climb. In it contained some locals, Hendershot and Garth.
The first little section of single track came up and Garth came to the front. As I know from racing against him that single track is not his specialty, I don’t know what I was thinking by letting him lead this single-track section. We went slow.
We came out of this section and into a ton of gravely jeep trails.
At the aid station, I picked up a bottle of Gatorade and filled up my flasks with gel.
Race to Aid Station #3:
More fun climbing split up our little group that swelled up to 5 or 6 riders and then was dwindled down to one as I came into station #3 feeling like I lost a lot of water and not feeling too swell.
At the aid station, I grabbed my stuff. I got a new camelback full of Sustained Energy, 2 flasks of gel, 2 flasks of hammer gel (one of which I slammed down), and a new water bottle. A volunteer gave me a swig of coca cola, and off I went.
Race to Aid Station #4:
And about 40 feet later, I was going up a double track rocky/rooty climb. And just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, I flatted. I fixed it, got passed by two riders (Hendershot and another), and then caught one of the riders within ten minutes of remounting my bike. Bummer was that I was within eyesight of eventual 3rd place winner Mike Kuhn (known as the “visit pa guy ”) when I flatted.
So I rode and rode, within eyesight of Hendershot whom passed me when I flatted, up until the 4th aid station.
I had placed my stuff in the pick up pile, but my stuff was not there. (Volunteers just got there and had not placed it out yet). So I quickly drank two red bulls as I watched Mark ride away, and then got my camelback and water bottle filled up. Just as I was departing, Skip Brown pulled into the station. How the hell was a single speeder so close to me at this point?
Race to Aid Station #5:
I am chasing Mark when I am informed that I am in 6th place. I catch Mark and now I see Skip is hot on my trail, maybe 15 feet back. Having felt the first signs of leg cramps about twenty minutes before, I just rode my own pace. I dropped Skip.
Cramps were now setting in like crazy. Both calves and inner thighs were cramping very badly, so I would drink as much as I could when I could, and took my Hammer Gel endurolytes as well. Nothing was working, so I would stand up and try to move around to positions that were a little easier/different on my legs and I would eventually have to back off a little so that they wouldn’t get any worse. This would plague me until the end and can easily say that it cost me 3rd place, if not second.
By the end of this section, I got through the worst of the single-track rocky sections and had left behind all the riders whom were chasing me by minutes.
I got into the 5th aid station, grabbed a red bull, another full Hammer Gel flask and a large bottle of water.
Race to the finish:
Rails to trail sections with a climb, two tight wooden bridges, a few rocky single-track sections and two tunnels – the last of which came two miles to the finish.
I rode the first rails to trail section at blistering speed, thinking that it was rails to trail the entire way into the finish, but it was not. There was yet another killer climb and fast downhill.
After that, I soon came upon a single-track section that paralleled a stream where people were fly-fishing. They all had this look on their faces when I glanced at them like, “what the hell is that guy doing.” I laughed to myself and kept going.
I came out of the last tunnel and turned around to make sure nobody was chasing. I zipped up the jersey, put the Tifosi glasses on and rode on in around 55 minutes after winner Chris Eatough has finished.
Immediately got cleaned up and starting putting my stuff away. Race venue was fully stocked with food goodies and even a hot outdoor shower. Oh yes.
Then I waited for the others to come in and for the race to finish. (Brett would come in under 10 hours for 48th place). In the meantime, spent a lot of the time talking to Cameron and Chris about their year, upcoming races, etc. First time I ever really talked to them for an extended period of time.
Cameron was telling me that he felt a little fatigued and was going to maybe take some time off. He looked pretty beat. He asked about the asylums and how the 29r thing is really taking off and that it’s good to start seeing other 29r’s placing well in the results. Nationals was a big deal to Fisher, so he has a little bit of stress off his shoulders seeing that he has the current stars and stripes for 2005. Great rider, hope he finishes out the year strong. Next on his calendar are the single speed world championships.
Chris looked like a million bucks and is fully recovered from the heat of Spokane back in May. He’s going to basically do every NORBA marathon this year, Whistler and a few other races. Overall good guy, pretty down to earth – he even checked out the asylum and noticed the similarities of it with the racer x.
Awards were late, and we got home even later. I think I got to bed around 1am’ish.
7.31.05 – Sunday
Easy recovery ride with Jennifer. Legs super tight and were still feeling the pain of severe cramps the day before.
I’ll be back next year – the open/long climbing really suited me. I think I’ll make some slight changes to my nutrition plans and that’s it. Great course, great race. Check it out next year.