Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Guest Blogger

Everyone give a warm welcome to J-No and his Tuscobia 150 experience. I stole this from a group e-mail he set out. We here at the XRC are pooling together money for him to get his own blog.


My plan was to leave Rochester at noon on Thurs. I ended up going into work Wed overnight, so I slept for a couple hours in the am and headed out. A quick dinner, bike set up, and I went to bed at 2100. Temps at the start were about 10 deg F, lows were 0-5deg at night. The start was pretty mellow with Buffington, Lance, and Farrow taking off. I rode solo the entire ride. The trail was flat and fast. I cruised along at 7-8 mph. Much better conditions than we usually see around here.
The first 75 miles were pretty uneventful. I stayed no more than a few minutes at each of the 2 rest stops, just long enough to refill my camelbak. Mid afternoon I started to get sleepy despite having added some caffiene to my Infinit on my last order. I took a No Doz and felt better. I reached the turnaround (75 miles) in just over 10 hours. I started to think I had a shot at a 24 hour finish. At this point Buffington and Lance were a couple of hours up on me, Farrow was about 30 minutes ahead.
Three miles out from the next checkpoint (mile 88) the wheels fell off. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea were the name of the game. I took a wrong turn and realized it about a mile and a half later. It was a gravel road. I have no idea why I did not figure it out. I stayed at the checkpoint for a while, trying to settle my stomach down, ate some soup. I started to feel better and set out again. I thought I would just drink water to see how it worked out. Miles 90-100 saw more diarrhea and vomiting. I tried not eating for drinking anything for an hour, but that was not going to be a long term solution. At mile 100 I decided that maybe I needed to sleep for a few hours. I bivvied for about 3 hours and slept. My stomach felt better, but the tank was empty. I fired up the stove for some oatmeal, and started riding. It was about 4am at this point. I started to feel better and rode to the next checkpoint (mile 120). I saw Farrow's bike outside. There was a note from a volunteer stating that I should help myself to whatever I wanted, Farrow had dropped and she was giving him a ride. The next 30 miles went without incident aside from the overall fatigue from so many hours on the bike. My 24 hour finish turned into 31 hours in the end.
Most of the gear worked well. I'm not sure about the front compression sack. I had to run it length wise because of the drop bars. It obstructed my light and I was unable to see my front wheel. I found this to be a problem when I was trying to follow tracks. Farrow and Buffington used front panniers. I may try those. The compression sack is also cumbersome to quickly add/take things out of. The drop bar pogies worked fine, but are not ideal. There is no storage for food. My hands and feet stayed warm. Layering system worked well. The only thing I added at night was a vest. Temps were pretty warm, another 20 deg colder may be a different story. I will bring some heavier mittens for Arrowhead.
The only thing I did differently before I had GI distress was add a can of sugar free Red Bull to my camelbak. I was feeling sleepy and I thought it might help. I drink it all the time with no ill effects, so who knows. I am also lacking in training hours compared to last year. I have another solid month of training before Arrowhead.
There were only 7 riders who started the 150. There also were 5 runners/skiiers. I'll be back next year.
I'm planning on riding long next weekend. Arrowhead is looming...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Getting back, Tuscobia 75 miler

Tuscobia Trail Race, 75 mile recap:

They left us in Rice Lake, WI expecting us to make our way back to Park Falls, WI on our own much like you would do with a homing pigeon. The Flattop rims got moving on the Bontrager equipped 9:ZERO:7 they would say at 9:20am. Chuck Lindgren would lead for a bit on our snowmobile trail back home until a soft hill had us pushing. I ended up in front, and after awhile there was a gap despite keeping my vitals in check. Off the trail, over the road, to the motel for the first checkpoint at mile 12 and back left just a view of an empty trail behind me. The pace would slow some as the pressure didn't seem to be coming from behind me and we still had a ways to go.

Roughly at mile twenty, I called and reassured the wife that I was not going to die that day, took a couple of pictures, and day dreamed. My daydreaming would end when a soft spot of snow caused a dab, and the image of a figure far down the trial behind me appeared. Race on.

The figure would disappear as I upped my pace. Forty Six miles in and time for a check point. Off the trail, over the road, into the motel room, and back. I adjusted what I realized was a falling seat post as well. A look back soon after being on the trail I would see the figure again. Hmmm? Race on still.

With 11 miles to go my legs were hurting in spots I was not accustomed to and that is when the trail decided to crap out. Stopping 3 times to drop pressure finally saw me being able to ride the mush that was a trail. After roughly 6 miles the trail hardened some. All this time I knew my seat was dropping on it's own. Not wanting to see the figure again I refused to stop and just pushed through.

I would stop the clock sometime before 5pm. Heading into the warming hut for some food where Tim would pat me on the head and say good bird. A first place for my efforts. I would pack up and leave the parking lot 90 minutes later, still no sign of the figure.

-My seatpost had dropped a full inch again by the finish
-I suspected during the race that "the figure" may have not stopped at the mandatory checkpoints, and Tim more or less confirmed that. I figured those checkpoints cost me about 10 minutes each.
-I am now the record holder for the 75 mile race (sub 8 hours), but it is only in the 2nd year. Last year Dave Pramann won on a slower course in 10:19.
-Big Buff was able to fend off the Porn Stached Orange Squeezer for the win in the 150 in 17 hours.
-J-No overcame some serious troubles to finish out the 150 in 30 hours.
-Graveyard Napper would succumb to a previous illness. His body was properly buried next to the trail, valve caps were saved and then given to his wife.
-Tim Roe puts on a great event. Stocked rest stops with food and beds, sweet finisher medals and trophies to people that placed, transport to the start, and awesome hoodie. All for not much more than an XC race.
-Thanks to Tim, Chainreaction, and the 29crew.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A ? for a ?

Is the pope Catholic?
Is a Zebra black and white?
Is Elvis dead?
Does a bear crap in the woods?

These are all appropriate ways to answer a question with a question and the point is made.

Well, what if you just want to say "kind off"? Well now you have that chance. When someone asks if you like their outfit and your are indifferent, just ask "Does Charly Tri have a beard"?

You see Tuscobia is this weekend. I'll be racing the 75 miler. I don't technically qualify for the 150 miler. Arrowhead 125 approaches as well. These both have the potential to be very cold, thus my attempt at facial hair. Check it. Not really a beard, not a goatee.
Now I know you're wondering where to get the sweet Chain Reaction Cycles/29er crew shirt. Sorry, I had it custom made for me. I am contractually obligated to show both labels in every picture of mine on the blog. There are lots of other rules, they are thick contracts. One thing I slipped in though, is every time I visit their headquarters they need to have bowls of M&M's ready for me sorted by color. Also, when I visit they need to play this video on TV no more than 10 feet from the entrance.

As always, you should get back to work.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I have 3 brothers and 1 sister.

Or maybe it was 2 brothers and 2 sisters.  Hmmmmmm?


Riding the 907

So I have been able to take the new bike for some shake down rides and to say that I am impressed would be an understatement. The lightweight, frame stiffness, and handling are simply spot on. I was also excited to get in my first sub zero ride of the year in just the beginning of December. There is something surreal about riding for hours at a temp that keeps people from taking out the trash.

This night was after 16" of new snow. The only way I could ride the trails was with the tires almost riding on the rim from the low pressure. The trail would firm up farther down, which is where this pic was taken. Comparing the non compressed tire to the width of the actual track was something unique. Thank goodness for the wide rims, but it had me wondering about the 100's.

16 inches of snow makes for fun sidewalk single track on the way to the snowmobile trails. I would spot Kuske clearing his driveway soon after this. Deep snow is his Fargo's kryptonite. As weird as it is to say, the Fargo could have a flaw (said with tongue in cheek).

This was taken on a previous ride as the storm started. Although you can't make it out well, my shoes brushed the snow with each revolution. This section was an exercise in resistance.

The bike rocks and I would not be doing it justice if there was not a shot of the logo while riding.

So that is it, tomorrow we will discuss Grizzly Adams.

Back to work!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Ultimate snow trail rocket

So you all have been on the edge of your seat to know what my new ride is, I know, I know. As you and your friends gather to watch the latest episode of "Glee" the conversation instantly goes to "what is Jo Mama's new sponsor"? Well, question no more.

To build the ultimate snow trail rocket you need to start with wide light rims. Something in the 80mm width at a hair over 800 grams is certainly a great start. I think these may be about the lightest wide rims you can find. Both of them weighed in the exact same, 807 grams and 0 calories!!

Next, how about a super light alloy frame with big beefy tubing to make sure every watt of energy gets to the snow covered trails? The frame is first class all the way, and the third bottle mount is rare in the niche of snow bikes. I plan on using this spot for storage at the big snow dance.

So you have to fill those holes on the super awesome rims with something cool right? The banner from my daughter's first birthday party fit the bill. Light super shiny Mylar looks futuristic and cool. If you look close you can see the reflection of the rest of the wheel in the Mylar.

Now this is not a sponsor thing, but can you guess why this crazy gringo is drilling holes into his fork?

Bam! Here it is. 9:ZERO:7 frame, 80mm Flattop Rims, 2X9 set up, no front der to freeze, Old style Suntour xc pro shifter. As always my contact points (seat and bars) have to be wrapped in Bontrager as they fit so great. I love my Bontrager Evoke saddle.

Thank you, thank you, thank you guys at Chain Reaction Cycles! My 9:ZERO:7 frame and rims are awesome!! I hope to not disappoint, speaking of which I should probably go for a ride.

So there you have it. I am very spoiled. I have an amazing snow bike, 9:ZERO:7, and mountain bike, Trek/Fisher Superfly 100. My stable is stacked and I am grateful.

Also, special shout out to Matt at Rochester Cycling and Fitness. Sure I work there, but he never winces when I work late into the night after hours on my own stuff. First class shop, top bikes!

Less bloggy bloggy, more worky worky.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

For sale: the Super Pugsley,


My new bike is a hair's breath from done, but here is the 18" Pugsley that is for sale (missing cassette in picture). It is much better in spec than what you can by new, and most of the parts are new or close to it. Much lighter than the stock spec and you get a custom 100mm fork with dual bottle mounts on the back with custom superlight racks(all recently powder coated). Are you looking to do an adventure? This is your bike.

$1,350 with racks, $1,200 without.

About the 100mm front fork. The idea of 2 rear wheels sounds great, but in practice the "other" rear wheel never gets used. Using a standard front wheel you get a much lighter set up and can install it on a fork mounted rack without adapters.

charlytri (at) yahoo (dot) com

I bolded the upgrades you would find over stock:

FrameSurly Pugsley , Surly 4130 CroMoly steel. Main triangle double butted. TIG-welded. Purple. Custom removable rack. Frame Saver applied.
Fork Custom 100mm front fork with dual bottle mounts and custom removable rack. Frame Saver Applied.
Seatpost Clamp Surly Stainless , 30.0mm. Black
Crankset TruVativ , 22/32/44t. Black, BRAND NEW
Bottom Bracket FSA DH, more durable than the Truvativ, BRAND NEW
Cassette Sram (forget the model)
Front Derailleur Shimano LX E-Type , FD-M660. Topswing, dual pull
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore , RD-M591 SGS Top Normal. Black
Headset WTB Greaseguard
Stem Bontrager , 1-1/8" threadless. Forged. 31.8mm clamp
Handlebar Cannondale house brand, small rise, pretty wide. New
Grips Pro lock on grips NEW.
Brake levers I forget, something basic
Brakes Avid BB5, Cable-actuated disc. 160mm rotor
Seatpost Truvativ Team Issue
Saddle Bontrager Race Lite
Shifters Shimano XT, Older style.
Front Hub100mm Shimano XT
Rear Hub Shimano XT
Rims Surly Large Marge DH , 32h. Custom Drilled saving 100's of grams, but still more than enough strength.
Spokes DT Comp, Double Butted
Front Tire Surly Larry , 3.8" Black, Brand New
Rear Tire Surly Larry, 3.8" Black, Brand new
Tubes I forget, not those heavy Surly's though.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Goodies are a coming!

So, 6:30 this morning my "package" got scanned at the local UPS. I don't think it will make it out for delivery today, but tomorrow I am sure. Then it is build time for the ultimate snow bike.

Edit: "Out for delivery." Nothing like getting here early!!

Here is a little preview.


Monday, December 06, 2010

I don't smoke pot,

but I roll fatties. We finally got some snow which meant I finally got to take the fat tire snow bike out in the white stuff. We got 8-10 inches of which I got in a fun ride mid snow dump (with my feet scraping the snow with every pedal stroke) and a few snow machine trail rides after it all settled. The fat tires are sure nice when the snow gets soft and hard to ride.

Snowmobile trails were shown who the boss is. Those would be custom drilled large marge rims on my "later this week" for sale Pugsley. The blob on the right is a water bottle on the custom fork. Thursday comes the new goodies, and Thursday night is BUILD NIGHT!!

The bad picture from my phone does not do these neat little snowflakes justice. These collected on my poggies during one of my rides with Kuske. It was weird to get in a 3+ hour ride again when the temp hovers close to 0 degrees.

You may think the boss does not know you are blog surfing, but it is known. You should get back to work.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Bullet point updates.

-About this time next week you'll get some pics of the new ride. Clues? New complimentary sponsor, light, fast, fat, ideal. Excited would be an understatement. People at Arrowhead will shake in fear.

-Until the new goodies come I will be prepping my 18" Surly Pugsley to sell. Think XT components, custom fork, custom front and rear racks, ie. good stuff. Pics and official spec/price to come early next week.

-I realized now why I have been having such a hard time on the bike recently. With the recent drop in temps my asthma has kicked my butt. A refill of the 2X daily inhaler last night and my breathing is already showing improvements. I am supposed to use this set up when my breathing gets really bad, like recently. I'll get back to full strength and good to go. This asthma stuff is still new to me.

-My tenure as a Indoor Cycling instructor at the RAC has come to an end. The last few years I only taught in the winter. There was a 50% increase in dues with Abi turning 2 and now we are considered a "family membership". It was already not cheap, but a switch to the YMCA is really saving us some cash. It is really hard to spend $50 for a 2 year old that doesn't even come in.

-Before I left the RAC I noticed the temps were starting up. The temps? They are the people that work out for a month or so until they get burnt out. They come every year, January being the biggest infestation. Some ways to identify them include; new fancy workout outfits, lifting gloves when working on simple weight machines, special non breathable tops designed to make you "sweat off the pounds", doing a 10 rep set on a weight machine and then sitting there trying to look pathetic for 4 minutes until your next set, bouncing up and down doing the "touch the toes" stretch, hitting the ab machines especially hard until you realize that it hurts after a few reps, constantly looking around to see if others approve of your ability to work out, and spending half your time fumbling around with you ipod. Do you have other ways to identify the temps?

-Christmas is coming. I guess I am hard to get a gift for as I only want bike stuff and usually get what I need. Getting presents mean very little to me. I enjoy giving them and the family time. Two years back I got almost nothing at one gift opening (for a special reason) and did not even notice the lack of gifts. It is just time to hang out with family members, and I hope all members on both sides of our family make it a point to come out. Moral of this story, everyone can just send me cash.