Friday, August 29, 2008

Looking forward to next season.

Well, my dad and I set off for Iowa on Saturday morning for the 24 Hours of Seven Oaks.

My goal? The $1,200 first prize in the solo category.
My concern? I suffered (and I do mean suffered) heat stroke 2 weeks prior. Weather for the race was set to be in the high 80's.

We got to the race with 2 hours to spare. Got everything set up and sat in the AC in the chalet to chill out before the start. My game plan was to attempt to stay cool until night fall.

The lemans start had me losing my bike briefly. After mounting the 69'er I found myself waaaaay back. The organisers had us going up a gravel hill just to break everything up and I ended up moving into 3rd overall without much effort. That is how I rode the first lap until a team racer passed me at the end. I ended that first lap with a gap of a couple of minutes.

My pits were taken easily. I would fuel up and try to cool off. My effort the entire time was controlled significantly as to keep the body temp from blowing up again. I was deeply worried about the heat. I would stop almost every lap in the middle of the course so that I could take my helmet off and cool off.

The second lap the chasers brought me in after I ripped open my tire. I would spend the next four hours following the top 3 guys as we were all within a minute of each other. My legs said they could go harder, but the heat and humidity did not. I was suffering from the heat, but looking forward to night fall.

On the fifth lap the temps seemed to cool some (about 5pm). I continued my same pace, but others seemed to slow down some. Withing 2 laps I had built up a 25 minute lead. Starting out for lap 8 I took time to change out of my soaked clothes and put on my lights.

The temps were still high, but the humidity seemed to sky rocket at the start of that lap. My body felt like it was on fire. I stopped and dosed my head with the ice water in my camelback. I significantly slowed my pace at that point. Eventually I layed down on the ground. I was seeing stars, I was disoriented, and shutting my eyes would cause my head to "swim". It was very scary. After a long period of laying down I saw Andrew Carney come by to move into first place (which he would keep until the end).

I got going again, but I could barely keep the tire on the trail. Every 20 feet saw me hit a tree or my front tire wash out. The odd thing was that my legs still felt great, but at this point I was very worried. Then I got a flat again. That process took a very long time and I saw the third place rider come by.

My day was done. I had clearly not recovered from my heat exhaustion in Lacrosse 2 weeks ago. My body was very prepared for this race except for the heat, but I was literally worried for my safety at that point.

When I have a race like this I like to focus my sights on the next one. With my first child ready to come out soon my plans for racing go to next year and Transiowa. I think I may be back to Iowa next year to give it another try.

Some notes:
-It is always interesting to watch solo riders at the beginning. I successfully picked out 2 riders that would suffer badly after several hours from the way they rode in the first couple of hours.
-The race was fun, and the organisers were cool.
-The course was about 8 miles long. Had about 1,800ft of climbing per lap. The number of switchbacks were immense.
-I had to dry out my tent and chairs from the race as the humidity had soaked them.
-Except sensitivity to the heat, I felt fine the next day. My body did not feel like it rode for close to 8 hours.
-My bike was awesome except for the tire.
-My dad was great in the pits.
-My wife is huge, um, I mean the baby is growing!
-You get paid to work, not blog surf.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lacking the blogging skills.

Something is up with my computer so when I go to enter a post on the blog the window shuts down. It is very odd, but that is why the drought. This message is brought to you from the work computer.

Here are some brief highlights in the last couple of weeks,

-The kid is growing well if the wife's stomach is any indication.

-Raced 12 hours of the blufflands in Lacrosse. It went something like this; feeling great, build 25 minute gap, start feeling hot, feel really hot, suffer heat exhaustion with emptying of the stomach, rest and cool for 90 minutes, get mad, ride despite very nauseous and not able to eat much, move up into 3rd and almost overtake 2nd, get a mechanical, proper inflation missing, and body shuts down from lack of food. 5th out of 10. Good news is I rode strong when I was riding. Bad news was I could barely eat for 3 days.

-I went to Trek's dealer show which kicked butt. Got to talk with Travis Brown and ride awesome bikes (no lie, they were amazing). Mark fell down, banged up his ribs, and Gary Fisher fetched him some margaritas for the pain (no lie, Fisher was Mark's errand boy).

-Went to the cabin and did work with the old man. Raced the Pre Fat in Seely. I rode the hour there on back roads from the cabin and back. I left late so I actually had to TT it to the start to make it on time. My muscles pleaded for a warm up in the 50 degree weather, but I could not oblige. Got to the start with the field already lined up. I picked up my timing chip, used the bathroom, and pulled up to the start with a little over a minute to go. That was the time I could get a little stretching in. The start hurt a lot with the muscles so stiff, heck the whole race did. Four hours of riding with the first 3 at race pace. I ended up 19th out of 90 in the expert field, 2nd in my age group.

-I planning on racing the 24 Hours of 7 Oaks solo this weekend. I may or may not have support. Wish me luck.

Just a couple of pics.

Trek built up a sub 20 pound Top Fuel without getting too crazy with part spec.

Your boss appreciated the fact that you had nothing to read on my insignificant blog lately. Maybe you should get back to work.

Monday, August 11, 2008

See ya

I'm off to Trek World. So while you look for your red Swingline stapler and threaten to burn the building to thje ground, I'll be riding Trek's 2009 bikes in Madison for 3 days. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A race, a vacation, and a race

Time for my belated recaps. By the way, thanks everyone for the words about the back. I have been stretching, working, massaging, and applying icy hot to my back. It finely is feeling good and I was able to crank out a harder 4+ hour ride today with no pain. Yes Dan, I hope to defend my title in Lacrosse. I have another 24 hour race in my sights so stay tuned (as if you really care).

Race #1 Duluth, Spirit Mountain

This was to be a last minute race a week before the big race at Nine Mile. I lined up at the front as it was either that or the way back. The race started at the base of the hill with NO lead up, and I went for it at the start. My first race at Spirit Mountain and I got the hole shot to the singletrack . Having never ridden here, all I knew is that the next section of trail would be singletrack and descending for the most part. The singletrack instead was a gnarly, rocky, no good line, rock'em sock'em trail. With my too hard of a start and getting whipped around I went backward fast. The race would be 2 laps and it took me the first 1/2 lap to recover. As a teammate said the descent was harder then the climb.

Second lap was going well. I had passed some guys on the main climb and I was feeling much more comfortable in the singletrack. A blow out of the front tire required a new tube so I flipped my bike over and went to work. Somehow I managed to drop the wheel and it rolled a good 20 feet down the hill. I did manage to find that comical at the time. When I hopped on the bike I found that I managed to leave my bottle open and the contents of said bottle were now hydrating plants. Oh well. I rode the last 3/4 of the lap with no water on a super hot day. Got a chance to talk with some guys and I rolled in for 25th place. Ben rocked it for his first MNSCS race. Now pics.

Move over suckas!

Who got the hole shot? I got the hole shot.

And a pic after I went backwards, hard.


Front load and I headed up to the cabin in Cable for a week. Yeah, I did some riding at Rock Lake which is da bomb. Mostly we hiked, canoed, and chilled though. We had a blast and cannot wait to spend more time up there.

I believe the state park we went to was Granite falls. Nina liked the river.

Is someone tired?

Yeah, it was as fun as it looks.

Hmmm. Maybe you should NOT be looking at the candy. Picture taken at the candy shop in Hayward that has a crazy large selection. This picture was just the tip.

Stopped here in the middle of on canoe trip for lunch. Good stuff.

Beavers, geese, loons, and eagles (especially one huge bald one) were just part of the wildlife that greeted us on our canoe trips.

Oh, and begging little ducks as well.

24 hours of 9 Mile
I sorta gave my recap on this. I looked back at my lap times and was happy with what I saw. Thanks as always to the wife for coming out and crewing for me.
Do you really spend this much time reading blogs at work?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

24-9 prereport race report.

Well the 24 hour national championships did not go as planned. I was having some unexplained problems with the muscles around my left knee the day before the event. During the event the muscle was tightening up. It got to the point where I was only getting about 50% power out of my left leg during the race and I was starting to have problems with my upper back. During the 3rd lap I stopped twice to stretch out the muscle. After the 3rd lap (in which I was running in the top 10 without over exerting myself) I pitted to massage out my muscle and to take a break from the increasing heat (my body doesn't do well in the heat). After that my upper back went haywire and the pain was too much to take anymore. I had to pull the plug. Even now as I type this my back is not in any shape to ride hard. I have been to the chiropractor (who was amazed out how messed up my body was), and I have been stretching. Hopefully I can get some redemption for my early dismissal.

Pictures and more to follow.

I work now.