Thursday, April 23, 2009

Not dead yet

Blog posts have been lacking due to lack of free time and dwindling internet access.

Some of what I've been up to but likely won't get around to writing much about:

Bone bender 6 hour mtb race. Raced SS solo. It was gumbo muddy to the point of taking nearly all the geared riders out on the first lap, had to wash my freewheel out with heed nearly every lap to keep it going. Finished 2nd SS and 4th overall due to my outstanding walking skills.

Wilson Adventure Race.
The day after Bone Bender I headed over to Wilson for a super fun sprint adventure race with SK and Scott. No orienteering, but two "mystery events" one involving ropes and one with a blindfold, 3foot swells and whitecaps on the paddle section, and all the running and biking was on the Wilson trail system. I'm ready for another trip out there already.

Indy HPRA races.
Another breezy weekend, but otherwise good weather. Set a new streamliner course record on the velodrome and got my but handed to me by Sean again in stock.

Weather was mild, course was good, but I didn't keep track of my hydration well enough. Fried myself by the 2nd checkpoint, crawling along at 7mph on the flats, peeing brown. Dumbass.

Almanzo 100.
Brisk and breezy on great roads. I could see my breath when we started, wind felt like TransIA last year. 20mph winds with gusts to 30. Started this race on the winning end of a gnarly cold, so breathing wasn't going so well yet, but I didn't want to miss the race. The roads up there are super buff and the event organization is top notch, it was a good ride even though my results were were some what mediocre.

Memorial day weekend.
Sat: Cobble climb 3rd place. Guess I should train or something. Watched A damn near lap the field in the Womens open. Caught up with all the bike race people.
Sun: Forc trail Trifecta. Dirty good times with the FORC folks at Sylan Island, Sunderbruck, and Scott Co park. It's always good to ride new trail, even better when you riding with a super cool group of folks, and you add a picnic in the middle.

Odds and ends taking my time:
The microbus is back on the road. Still ironing out a couple details, but it should be fully roadtrip-able by the end of the week or so.

The WRX is re-assembled and running, but I've still got to get the turbo rebuilt and finish the gauge install before it's road ready.

I moved, am still moving. Two miles from my prior location. It was overdue. Unfortunately I've moved into a black hole, no tv(yay!), no internet access(maybe a good thing, too easy to lose time there), barely any cell reception.

Hobie. New hobby.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Random roundup

Lots of random thoughts and happenings as of late.

Explored Wildcat Den state park Friday night and Saturday morning. Another Mississippi river valley gem.

Nice sunrise.

It's a long fall from here.

Rode a 200k Saturday on the Bacchetta. First outing with the new wheels. A little faster and a little lighter. Thankfully no flats since I've yet to acquire an inflator to fit the disc or a spare tubular tire. Rode fairly strong, but my knees were giving me some trouble by mile 100, so I backed it way off. Even walked one of the longer hills. I need to take a closer look at my bike fit on that thing. One IT band injury is one IT band injury too many. Really don't want to go through that again, and I really want to be able to ride the Corsa a bit more this year.

All it's missing is a CinQo Saturn and a Garmin 705.

I think Im going to use my Karate Monkey as my official adventure race bike. Simple, dependable, fast enough. Maybe I'll swap the tires out for something a little faster. The Nevegals are overkill for the terrain most adventure races see. I'd use the Pugsley, but it's pretty much my full on touring bike at this point, and I'd prefer to be ready to roll out on tour at a moments notice.

I'm going to try to do a few Orienteering events to hone my navigation skills. And maybe try a thumb compass.
Kinda suprising just how competitive some these orienteering events sound. I suppose people think the same of cycling.

Our guest speaker at Adventure camp, Robyn Benincasa, was singing the praises for this ultralight set of "RAID trekking poles", which appear to have been updated to standard weight poles since hers were made. I'm pretty sure hers were made of four sections of Easton tent pole, a carbide tip, foam grip, and small accessory cord and lock to hold it all together. Sure sounds like a MYOG project to me.

The Subaru is coming together, very slowly. Hope to have it back on the road by the end of the month. I'll miss my cheap insurance, though.

Hoping to get back to bike commuting soon, but the weather's not cooperating. 30degrees, plus a 25mph wind chill, plus a good chance of rain, is not much of a fun commute.

The new streamliner is slowly starting to take form. Ideally it would be built already. I've got all the parts, Actiontec fork, Scalpel rear triangle, Rotor cranks, wheels. Front frame's built, just gotta connect the rear triangle, build the seat, and start the shell. Maybe a Zote shell.

Normal weekly training is starting. A little more overall fitness than normal. Race group/intensity training on Tuesdays, ride/run on Wednesdays, upriver paddle on Thursdays, long race/ride on weekends.

Race season is pretty much here. Bone Bender 6 hour mtb race this Saturday, Wilson Adventure race Sunday, Indy HPRA races next weekend, TransIA the weekend after that, Quad cities 300k brevet, Almanzo 100, Dirty Kanza.

Busy, busy, gotta go. Woo hoo!


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Adventure camp

I attended the High Profile Adventure Camp this past weekend. The goal was to try conquering my fear of heights(again), work on rope skills and climbing, get some more time practicing my UTM coordinate plotting/navigation/terrain contour reading, and gain some general adventure racing tips.

It was a two and a half day camp. Friday night was an introduction and navigation seminar. Saturday was a trip to Mississippi Palisades for navigation practice, back to camp benson for a ropes seminar and ropes practice (including 3 rappels, 2 accent's on accenders, 2 top roped climbs, 1 wire ladder, 1 travolian traverse, and 1 zip line). Then after dinner there were seminars on poisonous plants and treatment, Adventure race tips by Gerry Voellinger, Adventure race tips by Robyn Benincasa, and 8 essential elements of human synergy by Robyn Benincasa. Sunday included a seminar on cyclocross, a seminar on foot care, and concluded with a short adventure race. The adventure race included a really strange cyclocross race(~120people on a .4mile long course, most of which are not cyclist by nature), a bike navigation course on paved roads, and a trekking navigation course that included about 20 shallow river crossings, 1 rappel, 2 caves, 2 stair step waterfalls, one 80' tall zip line, and lots of really cool terrain.

This was a great experience. I came away feeling it was not my skills that needed improving, but more so, merely my confidence. Adventure racing feeds right into the positive/self starting mindset, exploring/adventure seeking, problem solving, total fitness ethos. Pretty cool group of people.

Deb and Shaun, my team mates for the adventure challenge.

The bigger cave. Getting in this one involved a waist deep river crossing, the deepest of the race.

The spring fed staircase waterfall, really cool.

I'm definitely looking forward to more of this.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009


That was fun. Next?