Monday, September 15, 2014

Lake Geneva Cross '14

I raced cross this weekend.  It went pretty well, I took 8th of 74 riders in Cat 4, which earns 0 upgrade points.  After the race we ate lunch and watched the Cat 1's, then I raced the single speed class on my mountain bike.  I was 30 seconds a lap faster on my mountain bike than on my cross bike and that was good enough for a win.

I have never won a bicycle race so I was pretty pumped about that.  About 3/4's of the way through the last lap, a bee flew in under my glasses. It stung me just below my eye, and I must have looked like a crazy person punching myself in the face to get it out.  Luckily I was far enough out front that it didn't matter and I finished it out.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Treadfest 2014

Every year for the last few years or so I have gone to Treadfest in Lake Geneva, WI.  It is less than a half hour from my house and is a lot of fun, so it would take a pretty important event to keep me from returning next year.

I felt like I ran a pretty good race, pushing balls to the wall on the start and getting into the mix, but that quickly caught up to me and the second lap was very, very painful.

I was a little surprised when I finished and saw I was in 36th place, and last in my age group, but I guess that is how it goes sometimes.  I did really well in cat 2 last year, but the cat 1 is a different game.

Evan got to do the kids race, which is a pretty cool event.  A whole pack of kids on striders and little bikes.  They said ready, set, go! and he looked around confused while everyone else took off.  I had to remind him its go time.  He weaved through the crashed kids and had a great time.  So that was pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wausau24 2014

Pre race light figuring outing
     I have been planning on racing Wausua 24 since early this year, but somehow it showed up before I was fully ready.  I had been doing a lot of riding, but the fun kind, not the training kind.  In fact I remember realizing that it was coming up soon and decided to go do a long ride on the road.  Thus starting and concluding my endurance training.

Wausau in the morning

     Christina and I drove up Saturday morning, and for some reason I was awfully grumpy for a guy that was about to spend the entire weekend riding his bike.  That's just how I get sometimes I guess, I don't like rushing to a race, and next year we will be showing up the day before instead.  

     Once we got up toward the venue my mood instantly changed.  I felt good, it was foggy, and cool.  I could smell the pines, and feel the excitement. Something fun was about to happen.

Why is everyone in such a hurry?

     The start was pretty crazy, I don't know the total number of riders, but trust me, it was a lot.  I sprinted hard in the lemans start and ended up with a great start.  Top 10ish, which when it comes to racing single track in the woods getting out front of the slow guys and bottlenecks early is always a bonus.

     I pushed hard through my first lap, then backed off a little anticipating a long ride.  All was going well till about 4 hours in when the heat was getting to me and I got a flat.  The flat happened to be in an area of no shade and I got hot.  I drank two bottles while changing the flat then, refilled at the checkpoint and drank another two before getting back to the pits.

     I put in a couple more good laps, but something was coming undone.  Around dinner time I was ready to quit, Chris Schotz was also having a hard time and said "if you go back out, I'll go back out." I changed my clothes and was getting ready to go back out, but Chris seemed to be hoping for a partner to drop out with.  We both went back out.

     About half way through that lap Chris stopped and said he was feeling "bonky."  I laughed thinking "bonky" was awhile ago, we are trashed.  He told me to go on without him, he would finish the lap, but not without stopping for some brats with the spectators.  

     I did a couple more laps and stopped in the pits to get some food.  Christina was sleeping by this time as it was 2 am ish.  I grabbed a sandwich and sat down, then fell asleep.  I didn't want to sleep but it really wasn't up to me anymore.  The uncomfortable chair was too comfortable. I ended up sleeping for 4 hours.

     I woke up and rode two more laps to finish out the race.  I was the last finisher in the single speed class.  Considering how long I slept, I didn't finish too poorly.  I got 6th in single speed solo, and 15th solo overall.

I spent the entire weekend riding the northwoods of Wisconsin, and it was absolutely awesome.  I forgot how bad it hurts to ride that long, but when I look back the night laps were really the most fun.  I will be doing more rides under the headlights.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Productive Sunday

Crystal Lake Crit

Tour de Crystal Lake

Crit race in the morning, century in the afternoon.

The crit went pretty well, I am still learning this road race thing.  It all comes down to the end, and if your not in position to strike it doesn't matter how strong you are.  I ended up 4th in Cat 5, I had a strategy to win, but as usual I grew impatient and took off to early.  I do love that style of racing, diving into the corners, watching for the guy skidding across the road in front of you, then an all out close your eyes and sprint for your life at the end.

After the race, I didn't really feel I got a full workout.  So I headed out with a goal of 100 miles, but I told myself if I fell short no big deal.  Luckily it was a beautiful day, and I kept a good pace so I felt fine the whole time.  I headed into Wisconsin and found some hills, and didn't have any route planned.  

I ended up finding some great roads that I will definitely be returning too and some decent hills.

Oh I forgot to mention, all on heavy ass a cross bike.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Pisgah National Forest Clawhammer

Before we headed south, I looked around online and found the "clawhammer."  It was incredibly difficult, and if you get the opportunity to go down that way I would highly recommend it.  I would not recommend taking a single speed though!

The trails were very eroded which made it extremely technical, as you can see in the first picture.  If I had gears, with one of those newer 40+ tooth rear cassettes, I could have ridden a lot more, but with the tall gearing I just couldn't maintain enough momentum to climb.

Even with the recent switch to single speed I still had a great time in the mountains.  I just parked on the side of a forest service road, rode for a bit until I took a right on the single track, then climbed and climbed and climbed.

I hung out at the top lookout for awhile, then headed back down.  Coming back was much easier then headed up.  My brakes were cooked by the time I got back.

My only complaint was I didn't spend enough time out there.