Monday, July 30, 2007

Poor TBB

24 Hours of Nine Mile has come and gone and, unfortunately, it kicked Team Brown Bear's ass. Trent and I got there decently early on Friday and picked out our campsite for the weekend. We also did a pre-ride of the course. It was the same distance as last year (14 miles), but featured a lot more singletrack and hand-numbing rock garden sections. Later on that day, Rick, Vino, and Jen arrived and then on Saturday morning the rest of our support crew, Tonia and Heather, arrived as well.

Here are the four wide-eyed Brown Bear's right before the LeMans start. Vino took off in a full sprint like we expected. :)
The first lap went well...a lot of congestion in the singletrack but eventually I caught back up to sprinter Vino and we finished the lap together. The second and third lap went by smoothly (I think it was the 3rd lap where Eatough lapped us for the first time and where Vino cracked his saddle rail).

Here's a pic of Vino and I before taking off on another lap. Notice the nice new EZ-Up canopy tent and Team Brown Bear banner that Tonia made.
On the next lap, Vino snapped his saddle completely off. Pretty humorous. Luckily Rick packed a spare seat, so Vino got to ride the rest of the race on a sweet Velo Plush saddle. Here's Trent gulping down a Starbuck's double shot while support crew member Tonia gazes lovingly.
On the sixth lap was where it went down the crapper for me. Just like last year at Afton, my knee started to flare up to the point of where it killed to push down on the pedal while standing on a climb or powering thru a rock section. Oddly enough, it was my right knee this time...last year it was my left knee. I really didn't want it to be like last year, when I pushed it to the point of not even being able to pedal at all, so I decided to end it there. 10 hours into the race after already completing 6 laps and 84 miles, and it was over for me. That sucked! The rest of me was feeling strong; legs, lungs, mentally, etc. Oh well I guess.

Vino did one more lap after I called it a race, and then cramped really hard in his leg. His race was done as well after 7 laps.
Rick went out for an early morning lap and was having cramp issues as well. He called it after 5 laps.
Trent was going strong for awhile but then hit a wall and needed a break. He went out for a lap in the morning after a good nap and ended with 6 laps.

Here I am after my sixth lap, icing down my knee and squinting at the bright ass camera flash.
The results on the 24-9 website for some reason don't list one of the laps that Trent, Vino, and I did, so the 3 of us all show up on the results page with one lap less than what we really did. So with that, it shows that I finished in 26th place.

That sucks that for the second time I had to end a 24hr race when I was otherwise feeling fine because of my knees. It feels better now, so I don't think it should affect any other races this season, but I'm not sure what to do with 24hr races now. I love the camping atmosphere and being able to meet up with friends and family. I don't know. Maybe I'll do more of them as a 4-man team instead of solo or something. We'll see I guess. We've already signed up for 24 hours of Afton for later this year, where the 3 of us will be taking it easy and having fun because that course is uber hard. Maybe we'll take a picture of us having a picnic on the course like we planned. :)

Big thanks go out to Heather, Tonia, and Jen for their great support! The best support crew out there!! Also, Sears and Kim made an appearance on Sunday morning, so it was good seeing them as well.

Up next is a WORS race near Milwaukee on Sunday.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Time for 24-9

Trent and I take off for Nine Mile tomorrow morning. Race starts at 10am on Sat. I'll be back on Sun and post a full recap. Go TBB!

Here's a video to enjoy in the meantime...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Prep for National Champs

Hello all. Just doing some prep work this week, getting ready for 24-9 this upcoming weekend. Got the 9.9 all ready to go, charging the lights, buying food, gathering all cycling clothing, etc. I was home alone with the kids this weekend while Heather was racing the Half Ironman triathlon in Racine for the 2nd year in a row. Her overall time was within 30 seconds of where she finished last year...that's amazing over the course of a 6 hour race! Both her swim and run were a little slower than last year, but she killed her bike time, averaging a full mph faster! Nice job Heathrow!!

I decided to switch up the look of the X0-1 a bit. Here it is before the changes:
And here it is after. Added new handlebar tape, new Flite saddle, and some new tires to replace those crappy Michelin's that were on there. Black, red, and gold. Beauty. :)
I've been watching a lot of the Tour. What is everyone's predictions? Will Rasmussen hold onto the yellow, or will Evans, Contador, Levi, or Kloden dethrone him in the mountains or TT?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Flower boxes?

This weekend we had Eric, Katie, and Hayden come and pay us a visit. We had a good time, watching movies, playing with little Hayden, checking out downtown, etc. Eric fixed a section on our living room wall that was messed up from previous water damage and hung up Heather's beloved flower boxes. It's amazing to see how much Hayden has grown since the last time we saw him. Heather's aunt Linda and Phil also swung by on Friday evening to check out the house and eat chicken tacos. They are riding their motorcycle to Montana and then going thru Canada near Banff. Fun fun.

Here is little Hayden driving me around in a jeep at the Children's Museum in downtown Madison.
On Sunday I took off for a few hours to race the WORS marathon mountain bike race in Suamico. The course was an 11.5 mile lap that we did 4 times for 46 miles. It was a very fast course, probably about 9 miles of big ring doubletrack/fire roads and 2.5 miles of smooth, winding singletrack. The race started very fast, with pacelines forming like a road race on the big ring sections. I latched onto the leading group of around 20 or so riders and settled into that pace for the next 2 laps. On the 3rd lap, the front of the pack started to get separated during the singletrack sections and I ended up in a group of 5 chasing to get back to the leaders. About halfway thru that lap, we were lapping a Sport racer in the singletrack. She got completely off the trail to let us pass, but then started to get back on the trail right when I was going by her. My front wheel plowed into her rear wheel and I crashed on my driveside. My bike was ok, but when I went to stand back up, my right leg started to cramp. I continued on and took it easy for awhile so that my leg wouldn't fully lock up on me. But that meant that I also lost contact with the group. By the start of the last lap, my leg was feeling better and I was pushing to try to catch some more riders. I crossed the finish line very dusty (any exposed part of me was covered in a film of dust) and tired after a very fast 46 miles. I ended up in 4th place (only 22 seconds behind 3rd) in my age group and 26th overall out of 130 first podium appearance while flying the TBB colors. :)
When I went up to the podium, the announcer said that I was on Team Brown Beer, but then corrected himself. :)

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Dad and Danette paid us a visit this weekend, making a quick stop on their whirlwind vacation tour. On Saturday, Heather and Mary took off for a Danskin tri near Chicago (they did VERY well for TBB, with Mary getting 2nd age group, 14th overall and Heather getting 21st age group, 115th overall out of 3919 women). Great job ladies! With Heather off playing, we decided to get some work done around the house. My dad and I installed a new door in the garage (with Danette supervising) and also re-glazed some windows. It turned out quite it just needs to be painted. Thanks for all your help, Dad and Danette!

Today I wanted to get in a few miles on the road bike since I didn't have a race this weekend. I wanted to go a little further than normal with the 2nd WORS marathon race next Sunday and Nine Mile 24hr race a few weeks later. I had planned to do 50 miles or so...but that ended up not happening. I got lost not once, not twice, but three times...on the roads that comprise the Horribly Hilly Hundreds...ouch. Lots of climbing.
Some stats from the ride:
  • 95 degree temps with lots o' humidity
  • 6 water bottles gulped down (144 ounces)
  • 5 hours of saddle time
  • 82 miles covered
My arms and legs are the only parts of me that see the light of day. Yes, those are crab boxers.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Kwik Trip

I had a fast-paced weekend. I left on Saturday morning for the Cities (leaving Heather all alone with 3 dogs...we were dog-sitting Sampson for the Leedahl's while they were in Missoula for Scotty's wedding). I hung out with Foxy for a bit, and we killed a chicken six-pack at Taco John's. It was good to see had been far too long. I then proceeded to go to Aunt Alane and Uncle Dick's...had to drop off her Team Brown Bear wind jacket! After a fun visit with them, I went over to Brandon and Gillian's house to catch up with them and spend the night. Extra cheese pizza, indeed! In the morning we went to a diner for some good breakfast, but I was running a little late leaving for Eau Claire for the WORS race. I rolled onto the race site just after race was starting at 1:30 and they close registration 1/2 hour before race start. After some pleading with officials, they let me race. I had just enough time to change, pin my numbers on, and head to the start line before the Elite's started. Close call.

We had to do 3 laps on a 8 mile course. It was a fast course, no real climbs to speak of, just lots of sandy doubletrack mixed with fun singletrack. I had a great start, avoided a crash at the beginning that caused a split in the group, then hammered to catch onto the back of the leading group of around 10 riders. Once we entered the first set singletrack, I got caught behind some slower riders and lost contact with the leading group. I settled into a good pace for the 1st and 2nd laps...had some chain skipping issues in the 2nd lap (I think I bent my rear derailleur or hanger with all that chainsuck in the last race) that miraculously disappeared after a creek crossing. The legs felt very strong for the last lap and I was picking off riders until a big group of us got caught behind 1 slow rider in the singletrack for the last few miles. I ended up getting 5th in my age best ever WORS result. I was only 25 seconds behind 4th (medal) and 2 min behind 3rd (podium). I feel encouraged with how good the legs felt.

Heather thinks that I have too many Flites. I think that one can never have too many of a classic saddle that is being fazed out of the Sella Italia lineup. Here is my current collection, not including the yellow all-Kevlar one on the Trek 970:
In other news, today was my first day at my new job. That's right. I moved from the Ascend dept to the E-Trek dept. I will be in charge of loading bike images onto Dexter (dealer ordering website), maintaining data on a geographic program that we have, and other such computer geek functions. The good news is that means no more customer service calls and no more on-call. Yippee.
I hope everyone has a good 4th of July.