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.