taking a reader poll

Originally uploaded by solo_goat
pretty uneventful in ohio this week other then a ton of rain hitting the area - with two long events under my belt for the past few weeks and marathon nationals coming up next week, it was time for a weekend off of racing.

big debate for mathon nationals - which bike? riding for speedgoat has given me some options as i can ride any bike in the speedgoat stable.

and with lots of climbing, some rocks (nothing too major) and some high speed decents, bike choice is going to be key.

salsa el mariachi - super light climbing bike with no suspension. full rigid ride - light and snappy. will be a huge advantage going up, disadvantage going down.

speedgoat asylum - full suspension sweetness. weight difference is minimal due to the super high end part setup. going up will be a disadvantage compared to the salsa, going down it will be the best bike overall.

moots mootoX - soft tail ride. component setup overall is new, but not the lightest, and weight range comes inbetween the asylum and the el mariachi. best compromise frame-wise for this course by far.

cast your votes now - sologoat out


next up - firecracker 50

07.17.06 - ernesto breck
Originally uploaded by solo_goat
out to breck for the next bike game session next week as i make another stab at racing at altitude. coming from the east, the standard is to either get to venue the day before or two weeks before.

since work actually likes me to work, i am opting to get there the day before.

will be spending a few extra days hanging out, will be a nice to actually train a few days absorbing the views. last time i was out for the breck 100 (before i got altitude sickness), i stopped a few times to take in the scenery during the race.

not this time - field is starting to looked stacked already and there is only 12 or so guys singed up so far.

also - news on the calendar - the last race in the endurance schedule in cali was canceled a few days ago. bummer as it was on the radar for many a rider - big cash and what seemed to be a good venue.

but - word on the street was the course was hellishly hard and things in general were not laid out very well.

and - news from the 'goat - soon to be a few new 29er's in the shop. an offering in scandium form coming from Salsa Cycles and what has to be one of my favorite crazy designs out there is a 29er from Eastern Woods Research is in prototype. And due note you fellow PA natives - EWR home base is in PA.

on a side note, it was pretty funny that a forum post on the net inferred a connection to EWR/Speedgoat and that the 29er EWR has the same effective top tube of the asylum.... dang, they got figured out!

with that - gots to run. short recovery ride in store tonight.

sologoat out


cowbell - long write up

Arrive at venue around 6pm, course is marked and super dry. No signs of a race going on other then a sign at the front gate. Ride the trail and run into a local that had a Garmin 705 GPS unit - course is roughly 6.5 miles long.

Course starts out in field, twists and turns down, twist and turns up, through a few single track sections, into another grass section, then back in for the 4 miles of single track.

Single track is tight, twisty and turny with lots of tree roots - but oddly enough, flows very well. There is a few technical sections that are really short and a few short power climbs - this was a course to ride entirely in the middle/big ring.

Out of the woods, into the grass again. Trail hugged the tree line at the bottom of the park, then shot up a small climb, back down a slalom course of sorts, and then back up the other side of it into where the pits/start area would be.

Run into Yuri in the AM, find out Nat and the Toast Man (Josh Tostado) will be attendance and are on the way to the venue.

We set up the tent, waited for Nat and Josh and rode out as a group. We did one lap, then I went back out to ride some of the single track again.

Mass start, no run - which is a good thing since I bashed one of my big toes on a rock a few weeks back at Big Bear. Pro Solo's all get a call up and get on the front which was a good thing since the single track really didn't happen until about 1/4 mile down the trail.

Pace starts out hot, I get in the top 7 or so and there is a huge gap already on the first climb back to the main field. By the time we get to the real single track, the field is out of site.

By the time the single track is over, the gap is formed on the main riders - Nat, Brandon, Josh and Chris are in full cross country pace, and then a few others, then my little group of three others.

The laps pass, I am now sitting in 5th after about 4 hours or so. Heat soars up to the mid 90's and I start feeling it.

4 hours later, I got a bad case of sports induced asthma - same thing I had at Moab last year. I have been riding with signs of asthma for over 2 hours, at this point it's getting very hard to breathe. I'm well over a lap up on 6th place, just a few minutes behind Brandon who is having stomach issues.

I contemplate stopping as the asthma never goes away - should of went to the doctor about it after Moab, but I never did. I was kicking myself as I sat in the pit while one of the other solo riders who was also taking a break asked me if I was OK as I was not looking too swell. Told him I was having asthma issues.

Two seconds later, his mechanic handed me his inhaler - 5 minutes later, my lungs felt like two huge balloons as every sign of my asthma went away. 20 minutes ago I could barely push a 130 heart rate - I was now able to go full out.

I went out decently hard for the next few laps, eventually catching Brandon who had also had a long pit. Brandons stomach issues were not getting any better and he stopped just as I was going out for what would be my final lap.

Once again had to fight off the inner demons as the heat kicked in and to be quite honest, I vaguely remember those few hours when I wasn't feeling too swell.

Thanks goes out to Dad (solo pit crew member) and Brandon's parents for keeping me in the game and the random mechanic with the inhaler that opened my lungs.

Sologoat out


cowbell - short write up

Originally uploaded by solo_goat
sorry for the lack of posts - internet connection at the hotel was pretty bad..

temps shot up to mid 90's and the pace was just as hot - got sports induced asthma about 7'ish hours in. took a few hits off another solo riders enhaler and 15 minutes later went out feeling 100% better.

came in 4th.

1rst - the toast man
2nd - nat
3rd - chris from florida
4th - ernesto
5th - brandon

josh was flying - safe travels back home and congrats go out to the colorado native.

now - gotta unpack and prepare for the work on monday/.

long write up tomorrow - pics up on FLICKR.

sologoat out


gerry 6th at the lumberjack

congrats goes out to fellow speedgoat enduro freak gerry as he took 6th at last weekends lumberjack. he celebrated by popping some caps out of his state police issued gloc while slamming down a founders ale.

just kidding - read about it here

sologoat out


i need more cowbell

Originally uploaded by solo_goat
in my life so off to the 12 hour cowbell in a few days. heading down with a trimmed down pit crew chief of staff ernesto sr (otherwise known as dad).

as such, i'll be packing light but heading out with three bikes (2 race asylums, 1 backup moots mootoX) and the vibe.

travel and budgets this year has been an issue for many a racer this year - even has me contemplating a possible THULE cargo trailer. at a weight at around 400 pounds, you can get a 4x7 trailer - add in optional extenders for the sides, and you can get the height up to around the point where you could get bikes in upright with fork mounts.

and my Vibe can pull it - getting over 30 miles a gallon.

and with mileage in mind, hats off to Dave Nice and all those freaks doing the Tour Divide. 2711 miles on dirt, unsupported.

and dave is doing it on a rigid fixed.

that just makes my head hurt thinking about it.

sologoat out


sunday pre-easy ride

marks dog - emma
Originally uploaded by solo_goat
is consisting of some eggs and a good cup o' joe...

been a pretty slow week, fixing and somewhat un-packing as i need to get prepped for next weeks adventure.... i think i need some more cowbell...

my i9's need some repairing - snapped a spoke up near the hub. and wouldn't you know it - i did it on the first lap, before i even got to my pit tent. had me having flashbacks to two years ago when i snapped a pedal in pretty much the same location...

that's it - must drink more coffee and load up the ipod.

sologoat out


big bear long write up...

is now up on the speegoat blog

you can also check out the article/pics from harlan on Cycling News

also, a few other mentions at wobblenaught, ergon and from the p-tech boyz.

and just a shout out to everybody who cheered me on or talked to me briefly during the race - thanks for keeping my spirits up and my head in the game.

gots to run - work stuff to catch up.

sologoat out


big bear short write up

Originally uploaded by solo_goat
hot and muddy - finished 2nd to tinker.

many dnf's due to heat - a lot of riders having stomach issues. i had some issues about 10 hours in, made some fuel changes and was good from there on out.

caught tinker around 7am'ish and that was the last i saw him until the end.

longer write up later - about to head back north.

sologoat out

also - tons of pics loaded up on flickr - check it out.


big bear pre-ride #2

Originally uploaded by solo_goat
looks like the course is starting to dry out as riders start filtering in - high temps have started to help on the course which has improved a ton in the past 24 hours.

night laps should get interesting - typically the course gets a little damp at night and makes dry roots a little slippy.

most of the solo's are parked down in the same area i am at - rob and myself have decided for a 2am picnic... NOT...

good luck to all racing - see you on the flip side of the next 24 hours.

sologoat out


big bear pre-ride

Originally uploaded by solo_goat
got to the venue today for a pre-ride and tent setup - anybody in my neck of the woods, stop by and say hello - i'm set up in the same spot as always.

course is surprisingly dry considering all the rain the area has got - not going to comment too much on it, but granny gear is busting their butt's on the course. needless to say, it's going to be an epic weekend. high temps, possible rain and plenty of single track, roots and rocks.

that's it - time to rest up.... (additional pics up on my flickr site)

sologoat out

off to big bear

Originally uploaded by solo_goat
about to make the venture down for my first 24 hour of the year.

field looks stacked - tinker, steve and rob... and also looks to be the biggest solo field since the old canaan/snowshoe days.

weather - who knows. rain and heat and humidity. a little bit of everything - should make for an interesting race... experience is definetely going to be a factor.

i'll be running a 6 man pit crew to get me through the 24 hours - thanks well in advance to everybody.

got to run - a few more brief posts before the race, then it's rest time.

sologoat out


final prep before big bear

ah... yet another trip to the 'goat.

around the shop are a ton of homes that house people with waaaaaaaay too much money. waaaaaaaaaaaay too much money and waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many dogs.

my typical ride up linn run to hit up the trails was tons of fun as i had a partner for most of the ride: rain.

that is, until i headed down off linn run. suddenly, the sky cleared to awesome blue sky and a warm sun.

sunday then saw me someplace else:

all i can say about this location it is the same layout as last year - and that's about it as i have too many "race day enemies" watching the blog... wink, wink...

thanks to dan the man for yet some more miracles worked out on the bikes this weekend - and thanks to all the crew at speedgoat.

oh - for those ti freaks out there who admired the jeff jones work of art i posted a few weeks ago - read the tag.

yep, this $5k worth of bike is heading out to switzerland.

that's it - sologoat out