Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Frame Didn't Break! (yet)

Wow, Afton seemed actually fun this year. The 7 mile course didn't seem as hard and I think the entire TBB had a better experience than last year. That's good news.

Both Dave and Trent had great races. Vino nailed out 11 laps, and was hovering in the top 10 overall for a long time before he called it on Saturday afternoon. Trent bettered his previous Afton best by 2 whole laps, finishing with 7 laps. Great job guys. Tonia, once again, did awesome as a solo pit crew, and even found time to sleep in on Saturday morning.
Trent, wondering exactly was IS in Anti-Monkey Butt powder. The world may never know.
I stuck to my plan of taking it easy and gauging how the knee felt after each lap. I kept the chain in the granny ring up front for the entire race. The ENTIRE race...all my shifting was done with the rear derailleur. They said a high cadence should help with knee pain. I also took drugs after every 7-8 hours or so, and took a good break in between laps.

The first few laps went by pretty uneventful. Simmons and I finished the first lap in around 58 minutes, pretty quick for taking it easy. My knee kept feeling fine, so I kept plugging out the laps. I was done with my goal of 5 laps by 3am, and decided to sleep for a few hours in the back of my car. In the afternoon, my lap times kept getting progressively faster. My 2nd to last lap I rode a 54 min lap, and then my last lap I brought that down to a 52 min lap. Not bad for keeping it in the granny gear for the entire lap and just "taking it easy". I finished off the race with 8 laps and no knee pain at all. So I'm really happy with that. I'm sure that I only finished somewhere in the middle of the pack of the 77 solo starters (no results posted yet), but I got some great training for Chequamegon in, and at the same time realized that maybe my 24hr solo racing career isn't over yet. :)
Thanks to Tonia once again for the pit support, thanks to Auntie Alane and Dick for visiting and bringing deviled eggs, and thanks to Brandon and his dad and bro-in-law for dropping by for a bit. Also, thanks to the WI State Patrol for not pulling me over as I flew home trying to stay awake on Saturday after the race.

This weekend Heather and I head to ND for a nice long visit with the family and friends back home. Plus, we have to drop off Trent's new pimpy road bike!

More pics posted over on the TBB blog!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


It's nice to wind down from the craziness that is Trek World. All those hours in one week, and then you still have to go back to work on Monday. It was good seeing Pat and Andrew from the SBS and catching up on all the latest shop info. Heather and I will be heading back to GF over Labor Day weekend...it's been awhile since I've been home, so I'm excited.

Non-stop rain (with some huge storms) has made things in WI very...wet. Lots of towns were completely flooded out, and almost everyone had water in their basement. We were no exception:

We can be thankful that we just had a bit of seepage though, as some people from work had a foot deep pool in their lower level. My bike shop carpet remnants got wet, so those are outside hanging on the deck until they dry out.

Afton is this weekend. I'm looking forward to taking it easy and keeping my knee fresh for the rest of the season. My goal is to do a whopping 3-5 laps, depending on how it feels...quite the change of pace being that my best is 15 laps there. Might be fun to just chill.

I didn't get a frame from the warranty dept in time, so I decided to take matters into my own hands for this weekend. My solution: 3 layers of electrical tape should do nicely. :)
Hopefully it holds up! I also put on my new Mythos tires. The difference it made in tire clearance was amazing:
Heather and Mary are going to the Chicago Triathlon this weekend, so hopefully both of them do well.

Monday, August 20, 2007

More mud

I had another mtb race this past Saturday. It was muddy again. It was raining the entire day, so I knew it would be, but I wanted to do it regardless since it was a qualifier AMBC race for next year's nationals. I just needed to get top 10 in my age group, and that would qualify me.

It was a new course for this year, and would have been really cool if it wasn't pure mud. Lots of flowing singletrack and more climbing than most WORS races. I made the mistake in not switching my tires before this race. Really, I should have switched them out at the beginning of the season after the first muddy race, but I'm not smart evidently. Mental note: huge 2.25 semi-slick tires suck in the mud. I'm putting my new set of 1.95 Mythos on ASAP. A narrower, more knobby tire would have made a big difference.

The start went well, most sections were still rideable at that time, and I was sitting fine in the group. About halfway thru the first lap, most of the singletrack sections became completely unrideable, and everyone was forced to run their bikes for many parts of the course. It got even worse as the race (and the rain) continued. Every lap (we had to do 3) more and more sections had to be run. I bet I ran over 5 miles in my stiff carbon cycling shoes! I could feel it the next day too, with my feet and ankles all sore.

Unfortunately, once again, when the mud hit...so did the chain skipping. Heather, showing off her excellent photographer skills, actually caught the chain skippage in a pic (you can see the chain wrapped around the chainring and the rear derailleur jammed all the way forward):
The bike and chain in better times:
Check out all that mud packed into my rear tire/seatstay area!
Navigating down a sketchy muddy singletrack section.
Cruising thru an open, soggy field.
I ended up getting 6th in my age group, so I already qualified for nationals next year! My legs felt fine (no issues with my knee, so that was very good) even though I couldn't really push them too hard because of the muddy conditions. I think with a better tire selection I could have done better, but I accomplished my goal, so no worries. :)

There is some bad news though. Upon returning home and starting to clean up my bike for Afton this coming weekend, I took a look at my chainstay that takes all the abuse from the constant skipping. More carbon was chipped away, and you can now push with your finger on it and make it flex in and out. So essentially, my frame is destroyed. Stupid carbon mtb frames! I am bringing it into work tomorrow to see if I can get a warranty replacement or something. I doubt I could get one before Friday though, so I am weighing my options. Possibly switching a bunch of parts onto the 970 (and running disc front/v-brake rear), or just putting the chainstay protector back on the 9.9 with a lot of tape again and hoping it holds out for a few laps at Afton. We'll see what happens...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Trek World in Pics

Some fun goodies from Trek World:

Alberto Contador's bike right from the Tour de France.
The Trek 8900...possibly the mtb to replace my 9.9, with some upgrades of course.
Pimpy new Aeolus 5.0 ACC wheels...carbon with aluminum rim. Lighter, stronger, and cheaper than my Cosmic Carbones. Might have to make the switch.
The redesigned Race X Lite wheels. Brand new hub body, white spokes, red nipples and freehub body. Lighter and stiffer than Ksyriums.
Top Fuel 9.9 SL, now with disc brakes instead of v-brakes. Evidently it remained the same weight despite that change.
The 69er line has been expanded to include a geared hardtail (pictured) and a Top Fuel model.
The Lemond Tete de Course with SRAM and Aeolus carbon clinchers.
Gary Fisher Superfly 29er...all carbon and very light.
This year's version of Trent's bike, and the official endurance race bike of TBB, the Top Fuel 8.
The Trek Travel area contains a 20-foot high banner that has this pic on the back:
There are a few familiar faces on the far right there. :) That's us at the top of Alpe d'Huez last year. I also recommend checking out the Trek Travel website and looking at the France classic climb trips' galleries. There are lots of pics from our trip there, including a funny one of Heather riding thru a pack of sheep.
Unfortunately my camera battery died, so I missed some other fun stuff (like the new cross bikes and the SRAM Red Project One bike painted with a bunch of frogs). Maybe I will post pics of that stuff later this week.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Trek World 07

Well, it's here, the busiest week of the year for Trek employees. We've been going to seminars and things like that since Saturday, but the real fun begins tomorrow when the first dealer show begins. I've wandered thru the showroom floor with all the new bikes and products...there is some really cool new stuff coming out for 08. Lots of products got complete overhauls, including the new Madone, the cross bikes, and the Bontrager wheels. I'll try to get some pics posted of some of the new goodies later this week.
This past weekend Heather and Willa went to Michigan to visit Heather's family. Word on the street is that Heather's parents finally sold their house. Good to hear. So Vontoux and I had a bachelor's weekend.

We also got our new furnace installed last week, getting rid of the 30-year old, non-efficient piece of junk that was downstairs. Our new Goodman is 95% efficient (compared to our old one, which the furnace guy said was around 65-75%!). We will save between $1,000-$1,500 a year in just heating/cooling costs. That's crazy. Heather will post some pics of it on her blog shortly...

It's amazing to look back at how much our house has changed since we bought it six months ago. The new roof, furnace, ceramic tile, painting, cleaning up the backyard, etc. It looks so much better than when we first moved in. We have a couple more projects before summer ends...finishing the pavers underneath the deck and I would like to get the driveway re-asphalted. Then in the fall/winter we'll have lots more painting to do.

I got out of working Trek World for the afternoon this upcoming Saturday so I can go race the WORS race in Mt Morris. It happens to be an AMBC event, which means that it is a qualifying race for 2008 Nationals. Hopefully I will do well. :)

Monday, August 06, 2007

2008 Goal

Hello all. I didn't race the WORS race this weekend. I decided to take the weekend off...rest my knees up a little more and to just relax with Heather. We don't get many weekends to just chill during the summer, so it was nice being able to hang out, especially being that it was rainy for most of the weekend. Speaking of my knees, Dr. Heather determined that I have Patellar Tendinitis. I compared the measurements on my road bike and mtb to see if they were off, and they were actually spot on with each other, so I doubt that is the problem. My guess is that I messed them up a little bit in France last year from riding so many miles up those climbs, and that makes them easier to aggravate when I do the long miles during 24hr races. It appears that the treatment for it consists of icing them for 15min a day, taking Aleve, stretching, and spinning an easier gear during those long races. So for Afton, I plan on icing them down beforehand (and maybe during), taking (legal) drugs, and spinning easy up the climbs. I hope that helps!

In other news, I have set my main goal for 2008. Looking at the USA Cycling website, I found out that with my results in the WORS races, I actually qualified for the Mountain Bike National Championship race (another familiar name appears 7 rows below mine)...which unfortunately was 3 weeks ago. NORBA doesn't recognize the Comp race category, so they just put those racers into the Sport category for National races. In this year's race, there were only 10 racers in the Sport 25-29 age group, which makes for good odds. So, next year I will try to qualify once again, and then travel to CA or VT or wherever it is held, and attempt to win myself one of these:

Next week is Trek World, our huge product show where all the new 08 bikes and parts are on display for the dealers to come and oogle over. It's a good time...alot of hours to work but fun seeing all the cool new stuff coming out. I hope to see a few SBS employees there... :)