Monday, December 24, 2007

Steady state

Saturday's gravel ride: 3 hours, 30 miles. and half of that was pavement. Gotta love headwinds and mud. I'm happy to see snow and ice again.

Subaru is in the break in period. Only a couple of minor leaks. I think I've got them all dried up. Gauges are en route.

The next project is almost together already.

The moon is out bright, beautiful night for a ride. Time to go burn off some cookies.

Happy Holidays,

Friday, December 14, 2007

Off to Nationals we go

The Subaru is oh so close to being back together, should be back on the road next week. I should have the fuel pump back in the Fox and be well under way on the Jetta rebuild then too. Then all I'll have left to do is fix the carb problem and brakes on the Microbus and start on the Syncro project. It's always good to have a money pit or five...

CX Nationals is this week. I'll be heading down for the SS race Sunday. Conditions look to be just super. I had also signed up for the U29 race Thusday, but my late season financial and pysical status didn't permit any of that nonsense. The good news is I've been off the bike for two weeks, so I should be super fresh....


Sunday, December 02, 2007


Yee haa, we're havin' fun now! One more paycheck and I should be cookin again.

Want a tour of what the internals of a WRX looks like? Pics here.

In other news:

Jingle Cross was a blast. Great course, great fans, super cool humble elite racers both local and not so local. Thanks to all who help put it together, and thanks to John Meehan for starting it in the first place. We'll miss you're enthusiasm John.
It was great seeing a slew of friends I've not seen in awhile. Thanks to Kyle and Robin(or is it Robin and Kyle?)Williams for hosting me. Good times.

The midwest winter training weather has officially arrived. Ice and rain, 30-40degrees, 15-35mph winds, perfect.


Thursday, November 08, 2007


So much for my travel budget.

P0303 is the Subaru WRX check engine code for a #3 cylinder misfire.
217,300 miles, 5 years trouble free outside of scheduled maintainence. The rest of the motor is suprisingly wear free. Really an impressive little car. I can rebuilt you'll be stronger....faster.....stupid gearhead....


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Fall rides and Scheduled Maintainence

Due to a discrepancy in finances and time management I've missed a few races. Here's what I've been doing to cope.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Radiolab. Stumbled across this cool little radio program awhile back, kinda like This American Life meets Science Friday. I really dig it.

Here's another bit I ran across recently on risk management. Well done. - Watch more free videos

Ah, yes and as Squirrel said this is just too damn funny not to read. I particularly enjoy the the descriptions of the 24hour racer and the CXer's.


Monday, October 22, 2007


CX season is here. My fitness, not so much. Back to the grind stone.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Useful objects

Some neat stuff I've come across lately: Aixro XR 50 rotory 30lbs/50HP perfect motor for your daily driver....streamliner.

And if you insist on owning a car, at least make it a streamlined one: Loremo

OLPC A good cause and an innovative tool. Perfect self contained bike tour tool for the tech long as you don't mind Linux. Quarq Another powermeter, only this one is actually being built with data management and compatability in mind. Pricy, maybe I should ask for a sponsorship now. And please make one for the Rotor RS4X thank you.

Dark Roasted Blend
Not exactly a recent find for me, but if you don't know about this site you should check it out. Hours of entertaining and interesting stuff. Best collection of art and car chases I know of.


Oh yea, last weekend was the second set of IA CX races. Saturday was a plague of off camber, walnut covered, endless switchbacks and I finished well and felt strong. Sunday was a wide open mostly simple smooth course. I started with nothing in the tank, fell on my ass, dropped a chain, and finished poorly. Both days were fun and painfull. Can't wait till the next one. Hopefully I recover by then.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Random points of interest






Cross season starts now.


So last weekend was my second year of promoting the Hawkeye Downs HPRA race weekend. It went well. Participation was up from last year, good competition in all categories, great weather, and almost but not really ran on schedule.

My sprints this year were a little better than last year. The faired 50 lap race was way faster for me, real close to 40mph avg(why go all the way to AZ again?). My increase in speed in this event from last year is due to running with the top on the Cuda (I was still a greenhorn to this bike at this time last year), and it didn't hurt that Warren was on my tail the whole time. I just couldn't get rid of him this year, good work Warren! I need a faster bike.....and better training. At least I've got enough time in the bike to have the handling down. I scraped the bottom on the corners more than a few times during the 50 lap race, nothing like tempting a slidout at 40mph. My stock race performance was less than stellar. Granted I still averaged 27mph or so, not bad considering how hard the 50lap race was directly beforehand, but Sean smoked me. Seans had a great year, setting the unfaired recumbent world hour record twice, and winning every race he's entered this year. So now I have a new benchmark to train for.

and her son Eric, and his friend Eric came over. They were a little late for the sprints Saturday morning, but with much help from Rick Gritters we got them set up on bikes, fixed a few problems(but not enough of them)on Syd's lowracer, and got them into the shortened hour race. Eric Brown did great, everytime I went to pass him I kept thinking "damn, shouldn't I be catching him quicker?". And that was with him racing in jeans, on a bike new to him, after learning to ride recumbents three days beforehand. He's gonna be real fast with a little more time on the bike. His friend Eric struggled a bit, but by the end of the weekend he was getting it down.
Sydney Stuggled a bit on Saturday as well, her lowracer had a rough week of learning to ride and was subsequently falling apart. Thankfully Rick Gritters made many pit stops to help her out with fixing the many mechanical issues. I don't know what I would have done without Rick, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Somewhere in the rush of Saturday's happenings I managed to misplace my debit card, yay. So I spent a little time digging through my car, clothes, trash cans, and generaly searching everywhere to no avail. Luckily Sean Costin graciously offered to share a motel room with me so I didn't have to do my race tabulations and prize divying by headlamp. Saturday night's dinner gathering was entertaining and informative as usual, just hearing about Aaron Stiles adventures with offroad inline skating made it worth the while.

Sunday morning I overslept, waking up a 8:15 when I wanted to be at the track by 7:00 to work on Syd's lowracer and take care of the rest of my race director duties.
Turns out this is still a recumbent race and not too many people noticed. So I did a bit more maintainence to Syd's lowaracer and she lit it up. What a difference the details make. She laid down the second fastest ufaired 3/4mile tt time of the day (only seven and a half seconds slower than me) and then went on to win the womens lap race, nearly working her way into second overall till she had a small bout with dropping her chain multiple times(due to the missing chaingaurd that fell off the day before). Needless to say Sydney is also going to be very fast with a little more time on the bike(if she can get it away from Eric ;)).

The Hour faired race. Well, I was pretty tired from the day before. I think we went faster this year than last. Warren was stuck to my tail the whole time, but he was getting better at hiding from my mirrors. Rick found some leftover stock car shrapnell on the track(as did a few people) and flatted.

Oh yea, and I almost forgot to mention the Rose Hulman kids came out and made a good showing. A couple of U of IA kids came out Saturday as well. I hope to see more of that next year. Gary Toy did a better job sticking to Sean's wheel Saturday than I did, put a hurt on the Superstock race Sunday, and did a fine job entertaining my parents. Hope to see you(and Wendy) here again next year.

Many, many thanks to my parents for helping out with everything and especially to my mother(Mary) for providing the baked goods(the real draw for this event). Thanks to Luke and Warren for providing the timing. Thanks to Don for running the flags and lapcounting.

Race Pics and Results


PS:Thank you to Garrie Hill for bringing the Kett out for my parents to play with, it's amazing how many people in my family have been riding that thing lately. I would have never guessed.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Ultra Midwest 24hour

More fun in the streamliner.
465 miles, 1st overall.
Forgot to swap the 12-27 back to the 11-34. 53x28 for a low gear is not kind. Had to stop every two laps to try to keep from bruising my feet. At least it wasn't the old course, that would have killed me.
Too much pre-race fatigue added up to me taking a nap at about 2am, no good for me during a road ultra. Spent three solid laps sleep riding after that, ping pong off the lines.
I've regressed on my fueling. 465 miles on half the Sustained/Heed mix I should have consumed, half pound of grapes, and a small tin of caffinated breath mints(who knew?).

I should have finished well over 500miles, but I just didn't play it right for that.

Well run event as all Ultra Midwest events are. Lots of fellow Bacchetta and ultradistance friends present. And for once a decent number of under 40yo folks. Even a 13yo in the six hour!

Next up: Hawkeye Downs HPRA September 15-16th

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

6 Hour bean bag champion

Yea, thats right. Bean bag champ. I'm thinking about following the pro bean bag toss circuit. Pays better than racing. Well, it did two weeks ago anyways.
I think I'm going to include something like this in my race on the 15th and 16th, not sure what exactly, but it's gonna be fun.

The Manchester Medly HPRA races in North Manchester, IN were a blast as usual. It's not the fastest course, but it is a really cool little town and the people are great fun. Just watching my friend Reena bounce off the walls is worth the drive :) It's too bad the second day got rained out, but thats how it goes.

The drive out was my first expereience using my Tom Tom navigation system's "shortest route" feature, that was entertaining. Definitely saw some backroads I wouldn't have seen otherwise.....

Well, that was two weeks ago. I spent the last week burning a whole bunch of midnight oil finishing up Syd's new lowracer, which I then delivered Friday night. It came together pretty well considering this is my first attempt at a two part frame, and it is by far the most adjustable bike I have built thus far. I should have spent a little more time smoothing out my fillets and prepping before throwing paint at it, but I was pretty happy to have it all together by 3:30pm Friday. Didn't even have to breath drying paint fumes on the way out. I'm pretty excited to see what she can do with it, after she figures out the basics of course.

So, Saturday morning we loaded up the Suburu with three Badgers, a KM, two Browns and a Grelk, and headed for Doug Palen's farm for the Cruise the Blues six hour mtb race near Tipton KS. I kept hoping to see dry soil as we got closer, but it just wasn't happening. As a matter of fact I learned another lesson with the Tom Tom. When the nice lady tells you turn in KS, you'd best turn. The next road might be more path than road. Good thing this car is rally car inspired.

Sydney's mom, Nancy, was set to compete in her first mtb race ever, in the mud, at a a six hour. How's that for a cool mom? Well, I'm coming to expect it from the Brown Family, but thats still pretty damn cool.

There were over 150 participants this year with over 30 in the solo Glory six hour division. I saw a few familiar faces, but I didn't really know who was racing team and who was racing solo. I planned to race the 29er for the first lap to make sure there weren't any CX flat inducing sections on the course(no preriding a muddy course) and then switch to the CX bike and finally get some ride time in on that thing. Well that first lap was plagued with a about three derailments(one on the start line), which led to a whole bunch of time stuck in the mid-pack bottleneck(did get to see a guy fly off a bridge though). And with my recent upgrade to the wider Stan's Flow rims (hence making my mud clearance disappear, duh) I burnt a bunch of watts peeling mud off the tires with the chainstays. But hey, those wheel are noticibly stiffer now.

Lap two: switched to the cross bike. Man this thing flies, sticks to the corners, accelerates great, even handles the slimy stuff with confidence. The only spots that felt slow this lap were the loamy dirt sections along the fields where I could feel my 32c Speedmaxs sinking in.

Lap three: ok, I'm on a cross bike, the soft trail is drying, and I'm starting to fatique a bit. Lower back is kinda complaining. I think I'm gonna switch back to the 29er next lap. Then I hear this perky voice behind me say "Hey, is that a Badger on your ass?" Hello, Sydney. Well thats cool, at least the first person to pass me is my team mate. Damn she's strong. I let her go and roll on in only to find her sitting in the pits with a bag of ice on her toes. Sit and chat, eat, swap the race number plate back to the 29er.

Lap four: Roll out a little faster, new goal, stay ahead of Syd. The 29er definitely feels faster on the loamy stuff. Try to spin more and mash less. Roll throught the pits fast.

Lap five: Crap, I'm getting a little bonky now. Keep spinning. No sign of Syd yet through the halfway point. Maybe she slowed down. Then out on the final two mile streach on the switchbacks in the pasture, I look back and there she is, kicking my ass up the climb. So I crank it up, two mile dirt tt. Finish up my fifth lap at 5:47 in 5th overall with Syd coming in at about 5:48 1st place woman and 6th overall.

Nancy finished up two laps on the Joy course for second place in the womens +51 category. Badger teamates Cameron Chambers and Josh Patterson took first in Glory team overall.

A great weekend with great folks and well run event.

Now it's time to try and recover before the Labor day weekend's fun, the Ultra Midwest's 24hour RAAM qualifier(no I'm not doing RAAM)


Friday, August 17, 2007

State chimp

Things I haven't updated on:

State Road Race:

Don't get dropped from the 1/2/3 pack.
Confused the state road race with the state time trial, rode 20 miles off the front, and then promptly shot out the back after mile 35. Dumbass.

Metamora 4x50:

Sub 7 hour double century in the streamliner.
Foggy first lap kept me from closing the canopy and building any real speed, not to mention the endless turns and stop signs that turn this event into an acceleration fest in a 70lb bike, 27.2mph avg by the the 85mile mark where I cut the sidewall of my front tire. Hot enough already that the pavement is melting. Changed the tube and limped it in the rest of the second lap, find I have no spare tire for the streamliner, swap to the lowracer. Ride one lap on the lowracer in which I learn that it's not much cooler on the unfaired bike, my headrest is definitely not adequate, and the lowracer doesn't handle loose gravel anywhere near as nicely as the streamliner. Spend alot of time in food coma on this lap since I have no way of carrying food or much of anything on the lowracer, and the added stress of holding my head up doesn't help my avg speed either. Wonder why no one has caught me yet, sure would be nice to have someone to draft about now. Stop in the pits once more, boot the tire on the streamliner and hope it holds for the last 50 miles. Temps outside in the mid nineties, highs inside the streamliner somewhere around a good broil. Holy crap my feet are hot! Tire blows out half a mile from the finish, ride it in. Finish up the 200 in 9:11, a little faster than last year, but it should have been oh so much faster. At least I didn't do any extra miles this year.

State Time Trial:

Sub 40 40K in the streamliner.
Since I cut the sidewall of the only front tire I have for the streamliner yesterday, I'm forced to race the lowracer. Yay, pain is my Friend. I'm Paul Deninger's minute man, yay. I didn't charge the battery on my gps so I have no speed reference, yay. Paul catches me at the turn around, I keep him in sight all the way back, but I'm still feeling the effects of yesterdays dehydration fest. Lost a couple of minutes, finished with a 56:20.

Damn, I'm so weak this year. I want my fitness back. I'm slowly getting my base back, my weekly miles are coming back up now that I've been off the fifty hour weeks for a month or so, but I've still got alot of work ahead of me. I need to get the Powertap setup in a lowracer before this winter, and I need to be working with a Training Peaks program before then. I'm just now getting enough info built up to get a hang of where my current power range is. Makes me wonder how strong I used to be.

Cx season is coming.

Beauty. A few more sneak peeks in here. I'm still tweeking fit and waiting for a couple choice components. Should look pretty slick when I'm finished. Tire clearance is awsome, I think I could almost run Nanos on this thing. Awsome work Rob. Oh, and yes I have been busy in the workshop.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dog days

For more reasons as to why my blog posts have been few lately look here.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Repeat after me "Rubber side down......"

Good luck to those at Stupor week, er, Super Week.

Unfortunately I'm super weak this season, so this is not my ball game. Not that road racing ever was, or will be, as I'm also chicken of large packs and tactically retarded.

Race smart, race safe, have fun.


Also good luck to JS and SK on RAO this weekend.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New news, well not really

Blink, two more weeks gone by.

Last weekend were the Northbrook and Kenosha HPRA races. I went into them feeling less than up to par fitness wise. Especially considering that I was going to be up against Sean Costin, who has always been the man setting international records in stock class sprints. Only now he's trained himself into international stock class hour record setting shape(which he now holds as well at 28.4mph for the hour).
At least I don't have to race him in the fully faired category anymore.

So I started out by doing a pretty crappy job with the 200m sprints, getting second in fully faired and fourth in stock. Then after lunch we proceeded into the lap races. Temperatures were hovering in the high ninties which is always a thrill in the streamliner.

Next up was the 100 lap fully faired race, in which there was a whole herd of streamliners on the track. None of which I had a good feeling for what they were capable of, but most all of their riders have proven to be quite fast in the past. After wiping out at Waterford two weeks before I wasn't too sure how much I could trust my own streamliner on Northbrook's shallow banked velodrome, and it didn't help that I witnessed Warren and Rick crash here last year when there were a heck of a lot fewer liners on the track.
Anyways, I lined up behind Rick who got about a quarter lap jump on all of us right off the start as usual, and Warren got stuck in traffic right away, so I was off to chase. I worked my way up to Rick while testing my comfort level with the corners and dodging lapped traffic every lap. Then Rick tried to cut through some traffic towards the inside and got stuck, so I passed on the outside and maintained my speed. A few laps later I was riding Warren's tail about to put him a lap down. Eventually I made it past him, and lapped Rick as well. Frank, Jason, Rich, and Dave were doing a fine job handling their liners and staying low out of the way. The heat was taking it's toll on everyone and I was starting to get chills in the last dozen laps or so. I finished up in first with about a 36mph avg speed according to the chips, but that was actually closer to a 38mph avg since I was having to run above the blue stripe for most of the race due to traffic.
I'd post a GPS profile of this race but my Garmin was losing gps reception every lap for some reason?? Maybe I'll figure out how to run my Powertap and post that, I think it said I avged like 265watts and maxed out at about 780 or thereabouts. Like I said I need to get it downloaded, but I've yet to get that fiddled with and I'm not sure if the data is still on it since I cleared it to record Kenosha the next day.

20 minutes or so after the 100 lap race was the 50lap stock race. Lots of fast folks here too. Warren and Dave were the only other ones to do both races(Dave did the trike races as well). So we all baked on the starting grid for awhile for good measure, and then finally we were off. I stuck to Sean's wheel like glue trying to recouperate from the 100lap race. Lucky for me he was only holding 28-29mph.....I felt kind of guilty for staying back there so long, so at about lap 30 or so I came around and cranked it up to 34mph or so for a lap. Sean stayed on, I slowed back down to keep from wasting myself completely. I stayed on Sean's wheel again till the last three laps where I cranked it up again, but I could feel I was dying off. Sean made his move on the final streach and managed to beat me by .001seconds. And then he swung out and then swung back a little too quick, slid out and smashed into the wall at about 35mph.......err?? crap, Sean. 2nd place for me with a 28mph avg, thought that was mostly drafting.

Sunday was Kenosha. Like Saturday only hotter and windy. Sprints were crap again, but since fewer liners were racing due to the wind I finished first in Fully Faired and third in Stock. The lap race results were similar to Saturday's, only I had very little in the tank to start with and blew up immediately in the shorted stock race, bonking pretty good about 5 laps in, and then getting lapped by Sean once or twice, I don't remember. Still finished second, but that was a crap effort on my part. I felt faster after Calvin's. I wheeled the streamliner up to the track and stood there awhile trying not to black out. Crawled in the streamliner and rode around in circles trying not to get blown into the fence or the other liners till the fully faired lap race was over. Scraped the ground once, buzzed the fence once, 1st in the fully faired category by outhandling my liner in the wind.
Cripes, I've been doing ultra's for awhile now, you would think I would know how to avoid bonking by now wouldn't you? I will say these races were running waay behind, we didn't start the lap races till about 1:15 when the faired race was supposed to wrap up about then. But I still know better.

Some fuzzy pics of the races can be found here I can be found in the white and yellow streamliner, and in the red skinsuit behind Sean on the lowracer.

Anyways, that was that. My fitness needs improving. The good news is I have been making progress since then. I'm finally back down to working fourty hour weeks, so I've had enough energy to ride three times this week instead of the once a week ride I've been scraping by on. My blog is still suffering, and now I've got like five 80t chainrings to make in my "spare" time, but at least I've had some time to rest in the mornings.

Oh, and as of today I am a twice born again improved driver. Thank you IDOT, I highly recommend the drivers improvement course to all of my friends. It really is good really, it is kinda fun.

Newest training tool, mmm...fixed, lugs, and chrome


Monday, July 02, 2007

Time Warp

Man I'm losing time lately.

Three weeks ago Saturday I raced the Crowder Crank and Cruise, one of my fav MO mtb race courses, and had a decent time other than losing my water bottle on lap 2 of 4. Finished fourth in the expert 19-29/pro/semipro, top ten or so overall. Good steamy weather and no rain for a change here, good times.

The following Sunday I lended some trail guide services to Amanda, Tracy, Dominic, and Andrea(for a little bit) at Decorah. Lots of riding, pizza, and ice cream. Real good times.
Two weeks ago I raced at the Waterford Hills road course in Michigan with the streamliner, lowracer, and Corsa. Which other than wiping out on the off camber corner before the hill when I bottomed the streamliner out on lap 4 and riding the first three laps with the rear brake dragging, went alright too. Thats what caused the road rash and body damage to the streamliner in the previous post. I would have been unscathed if the canopy would have stayed shut as I was sliding off the track at 30. Oh well, I'm getting quicker at doing body work. Time to rethink my canopy latch system. I managed to pull off a overall win in stock class and a second place in streamliner despite my crappy sprinting.

The following Monday I found a cut in the sidewall of my right front tire on the WRX. Went damn near all the way around the bead.....not sure how that happened, random vandalization or freakish road hazard, it sure did piss me off. I just bought those tires.....
Tuesday I got a letter in the mail from the IDOT stating that I won another chance to take the Driver Improvement course, yippee! One 72 in a 65 on the way to work late last winter, one 72 in a 65 in IL pulling a trailer where I should have been going 55(now I know), one going way too fast 2miles from my house at 5:35am on the way to work. I think it's time to rebuild the VWs, I never had this problem when I was driving 36hp.

Last weekend was supposed to be Landahl(or Proctor), but somebody left the water running down there and I ended up in Boone. Conditions were perfect, great turnout, great company, fun race. I have no idea where I finished other than slightly ahead of Squirrel and Pete, behind Maharry and the rest of the pros, and I had to work pretty hard to stay ahead of Meyers and Patty. I need to fire my mechanic and buy a new cassette, and knees after bashing them into the stem numerous times. The good news is I figured out how to keep it from jumping about a lap and a half in...just put it in the big ring to increase the chain tension and pretend it's a muscle tension workout. Oh wait, I'm at Boone, it already was.

Sorry about the lack of posted pics, but I've got to get back to sanding the streamliner for this coming weekend's high speed affair at Northbrook and Kenosha Velodromes.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Freshly painted last Thursday

Rare on me

Attempted murder

There's a couple of nice weekends to post about despite these setbacks, but at the moment my mood is boiling in dark blue.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Balltown, Hummer, and Katie Degoursey

Yes, I'm getting behind on event posting. Now get your mind out of the gutter.

I did the Balltown Double Century June 8th in the streamliner, and it went...well...mostly wet, windy, hilly, and bumpy enough to shake my bike apart, but what would you expect? I took a 14mile detour, spent an additional half hour trying to figure out where the heck I was, broke my landing gear, watched my water storage system fall apart, and my GPS went dead all by mile 60. Oh, and it rained from 5:00am - 11am. Then I proceeded to walk the streamliner up about seven long arse hills, catch the lead pack, beat the sag vehicle to the 150mile checkpoint voiding myself of the other 50oz I should have been drinking, and finished about half an hour before second place. Aerodynamics, who knew, eh?

I did the Hummer Hammer June 9th and outsprinted Satan for third place cat3(though Satan is not in my category, mind you) and yes we were both off the back.

Last weekend was TOMRV and the weather was the best I've ever seen. My first time doing this ride on a recumbent(took the Bacchetta Corsa) and it went pretty well. Roadie hunting in the hills is fun stuff. And as a bonus I made some new coastline state dwelling friends(well two of them live in QC now, but anyways...) Be nice to girls from Florida.....


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend Races

A weekend of training races for me, really fast training races. One thing about racing underpowered, it forces you to ride smart or get dropped. Good time to practice pack skills. Had a few epiphanies regarding my training, and the solutions promptly presented themselves. I've got a pretty good idea how I'm going to get where I want to go now.

Other than that, I had loads of fun hanging out with friends, hardly drove my car all weekend, and kept all my skin where it started. Special thanks to Tracy Thompson for housing and transportation between races, and Sydney Brown for all the good cooking. Not too often we get a catered breakfast in this group, sweet.

Slide show. Lots of pics of races I wasn't in, but friends were. Had a little fun with the continuous shot mode, speed up the slide show and watch 'em go.

For more hilarity you should check out the local videos on the sidebar here and check out the audio clip here.

Good job to all those who raced, and I hope for a speedy recovery to all those who found the pave.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Ramblings of The Good Life

Spent the weekend hangin out with Sydney and Marc. Good times. A little TT action at the NE State 40k TT Saturday, another spaceship sighting in another rural town.... Giggle all you want about my 30mph wind gust induced wobbling, but it sure was fun cresting hills at 40mph ;) 40K@43:20 in the streamer.
Syd kicked some ass with a 1:03 40k for this hilly, windy thing. Good thing I was cheatin, she would have handed me my ass as well. Nice.

I opted to stop at Swanson Sunday for a little dirt. Almost made a meal of it a couple times, where'd the training go? Went for a ride, finished 7th Expert open.

Ah, 'bout time to reboot the training plan I'm thinking. Next level please...

Memorial day weekend races next weekend....road rash roulette or world domination? Right.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I really dig this photo

This is Dave Balfour's Sourcerer streamlined trike at Casa Grande. More of that to be found here


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Calvins Challenge/Indy HPRA

This Past weekend was the Calvin's Challenge 12hour road event. Calvin's is an open road, drafting legal event, that hasn't had a solo rider claim a victory for more than a few years, maybe ever. Always a group finish. Basically you do a big 50 mile loop as many times as you can before 7:00pm, and then they switch you to 7mile loops till the finish. The 50 mile loop has 36 corners, a few gnarly little hills, and two checkpoints that you have to stop at every lap to have your mileage card punched. The seven mile loop has six corners, one hill, and one checkpoint. Kinda like a giant crit course with checkpoints.

The plan was to show up on my Bacchetta Corsa and play the team effort game with the rest of the Bacchetta crew. You know, pacelines, team tactics, organized pits, working for a collective goal and such. I wasn't sure how much I could help out with my knee giving me crap lately and simply not knowing how I stack up against the big names of unfaired ultra cycling, but I was prepared to give it a shot.

I was lined up in the front row with John Schlitter, JV, Troy, and the rest of the big dogs. I had my crap together, bike was in good running order, 53t chainring freshly installed so I wouldn't spin out, pit was ready, informed, and organized. Well, other than I forgot to bring my speedometer with me, but I figured I'd just keep pace with John and that would keep me where I needed to be.

So the pack rolled out, roughly 200 riders, at what I would guess to be around 25-30mph. I was rolling along in the front group and gaining where I should have been. And then about three miles out, before we even made the first corner, pow. My front tire blew. I worked my way out of the pack to the opposite shoulder of the road and bid my farewells to the people I was supposed to be working for. At first I thought I would just change the tube and try to bridge back up somehow, but after closer inspection I found a three inch rip in my new Michelin pro2 sidewall. No dice. And no spare 650 tires in my parts selection yet either, so now it was time to change bikes. I rode back to pit on the flat, had the officials move me into the HPV category, and unloaded the streamliner. I figured I had my work cut out for me If I wanted to catch the lead pack, but at least in the streamliner it would be a little more entertaining.

So after a bit I got back on the road in the streamliner, still no speedometer to gage my speed, and it rolled right along. The corners were marked alright, but I took it a little easy on my first lap to make sure I didn't miss any turns. The wind was mild and the roads were still wet from the previous night's rain. The second lap went a little faster as I was getting a hang for the course, and I caught the lead pack before the halfway checkpoint. I don't think they knew what hit them as I went by them going at least 15mph faster than they were moving. By the end of the second lap I had an 8minute gap on the lead group.

Third lap cruised by. Fourth lap the wind picked up and it started misting just enough that I was having trouble seeing through the canopy. If it would have rained any harder or any less it wouldn't have been a problem, but as it was I was forced to hold the canopy up a little and peek underneath to see what was in front of me.
This got to be a little annoying as the winds would gust and try to yank the canopy all the way open, so I was holding the canopy with one hand and hanging on to the steering bar with the other. Always a good sign to see flags that were hanging straight down the lap before whipping off the pole the next time around ;)

Fifth lap the wind remained, but the mist subsided. Made good time. Another bit to note, I think I spent more time airborn in this event than I have in any other in the streamliner. There were these little dips that would preload the front fork and as the rear wheel hit it would just launch me. I could have done without that, but it sure made me appreciate that fork more.

From there it was on to the seven mile laps. The one hill on that loop was gradual enough that I could carry good speed all the way up. I was making the 7mile laps in 15minutes a piece, and maintained that till the finish.

I finished the event with 297miles in 12hours, minus however much time it took to ride the Corsa back and change bikes. JV, John Schlitter, and Danny Chew finished up next with 267miles. And then I belive local guy Larry Ide finished up just behind them. Not too bad considering the conditions, all the corners, and stopping for checkpoints. It was a fun event, even if it didn't go quite as planned (I swear I didn't flat on purpose John! :) FYI:The previous course record was 264miles, the previous hpv record was 256miles, the previous recumbent record was 235miles. Lots of new records set.

I did have a few complications with my knee, starting around the third lap. I tried to keep my cadence up and the pressure on the pedals as low as I could, but I still had to use a couple IB Profin to keep the pain controlled. Lots more streaching, icing, and maybe a little time off the bike in store this week. The plan to make it to Platte this coming weekend for the 6hr is starting to sound a little less likely. A weekend off to help get myself out of debt physically and financially would prolly be a better idea, but we'll see.

O yea, on the way back from Calvins we stopped at Indy for the second day of the Indy HPRA. I was smoked before I started racing, left my legs in Ohio(duh, right?). So I handed Sean Costin a couple wins on the stock bike, left Rick Gritters have second in stock as well, and somehow pulled off a win in streamlined class. Hopefully I will be a little fresher for the Waterford HPRA next month.