rickshead

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sometimes I race and sometimes I blog.

Over the last few years, the blog has pretty much died.  It just became too difficult to come up with something interesting to write about on a nearly daily basis and it became even more difficult to find ways to grammatically bludgeon the english language.  to add to the dearth of interesting stuff to write about, Strava came along and made me not care about racing as much.  I've always had a competitive itch and, for the longest time, racing is what temporarily satiated me.  But, with the invent of Strava, nearly every ride has become a race of sorts and I can quickly see how I compare to other folks.  Is it the same as lining up toe to toe with a pack of shaved leg, 140lb wunderkids?  No, but based on the lack racing in the past couple of years, it must be just enough to keep me satisfied. 

That's not to say that I don't ever race.  I do, just not as frequently.

I already blogged about race numero uno (just read below) but I never did for race number 2, The Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge And Other Various Things.  It's been a long time so I'm going to do the cliff's notes version.

Lined up with the pro/expert class and got a good start for once riding with the elites for the first 5-6 miles of technical singletrack and xc ski trail riding.  I was digging a bit hard for so early in the race but it was fun to hang with the actual fast guys for a while.  Eventually, though, my senses returned to me and I let them slip away.  It was at this point that team manager Big Al caught me and we started a multi hour ride together.

Things were going swimmingly until I had a couple of mechanical issues with my bike and I had to watch Al ride off into the sunset, I assumed never to be seen again.  thankfully though, near the mid-point of the 60+ mile race, I saw him ahead on one of the races longest climbs so I dug in a bit to close the gap.  Again, it felt like I was going a bit hard for such a long race but I figured having a drafting/riding partner would pay dividends later in the race.

At this point, Al and I were the top two experts overall and looking like we'd have a pretty good finish (foreshadow! foreshadow!).  things get a bit blurry from here on out but I do remember at some point on one of the hut to hut trails that Al started to pull away from me and I didn't have the gas to pull him back. Crap.  In the back of my head I hoped I'd see him again but knew it wouldn't happen.

Shortly after losing Al, I noticed Tyler ( read here:   carrabassett 50 part duh ) and a single speeder catching up to me.  Ruh roh.  When they got to me, I literally had nothing left to give and had to sadly watch my 2nd and 3rd place finish disappear right in front of me.  Luckily though, that was the last of the passing and I was able to slowly plod my way to the finish as the 4th non-elite.  Not bad but not quite what I was hoping for. If you are interested, you can see the rest of the results here:  results 

As always, thanks to Team Bikeman and Bikeman.com for helping make this nonsense happen. 

Bradbury 12 hour recap to follow shortly. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Maine Sport Mayhem!

Well, it had to happen sometime.  I knew that despite my believed lack of fitness or technical skill I'd eventually need to toe the start line at an XC race if I hoped to ever jump start my "season".  my first real, and logistically easy, chance was this past Saturday at the Maine Sport Mayhem!  (their exclamation point, not mine).  As usually happens for this race, the weeks leading up to the start had primo conditions which meant that things were dry and fast but, on race day, things changed.  In the form of rain.  lots of it in fact.  This quickly turned a pretty nice course into a quagmire that was barely rideable in lots of areas.

There was a small but strong turnout for the race and a missed clip in saw me enter the woods 5th wheel with my main competition, Tony, getting the hole shot.  By the mid way point of lap one I had passed all but Tony but he already had a comfortable 45+ second lead on me and with the conditions quickly worsening, I didn't have the mental fortitude to drill it to attempt to catch him.  Guess I need to work on my mental game!

Anyway, after two of four planned laps, the race promoter asked Tony and I if we wanted to shorten the race to 3 laps which we were both happy to do because we could hear our bikes being ground into submission.  In the end I finished 3-ish minutes back (i'm too lazy to see if results are posted) but felt good to get the season going and finally have a burning desire to race! 

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

It's Almost Go Time


It seems like forever but my first race of 2013 is just around the corner, The Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge (aka - the longest name in the world).  I had other, earlier, races slated but some I skipped because I just didn't have the speed or skills back yet and others like the Maine Mayhem! got cancelled because of torrential rain. Pushing my race start back probably wasn't a bad thing since it gave me more time to feel like an actual bike rider but having my first race after smashing my hip to bits be a 100k mtb affair might not be so wise. 

Fortunately for me (and you if you bother to check back in a couple of weeks to read the report) I am not always prudent and lets face it, a total meltdown during the race is much more interesting to read and write about than something that goes smoothly.

According to my Strava account, in the last few weeks I've gone from averaging 3-4 hours a week to almost 8 so things are shaping up but how much real endurance will be in my legs by next weekend is the real question.  I crumbled on a 3+ hour road ride over the weekend and my best case scenario at the CBCC is 5 hours.  Egad!
To help prepare for the post race keg, I've been training my liver and dancing legs. Proof.

Marcy and I renewing our vows at Pop the Cork:

sealing the deal



and then party all night



I don't know about you but I'll be ready.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Riding With the Crissman




It has been AGES since I last posted.  Why?  Well a number of reasons really.  I haven't raced yet so it didn't feel like there was much of interest to write about.  I've also been super busy on the work and home fronts so there has been no time to squander.  At least not on the semi-regular basis required to keep a blog going.

My "training" continues to improve and I feel I'm this close (if you could see me, you'd see me holding my fingers this close together. Damn-it!  you can't see that either...) to being in good shape again and my hip has been feeling really good.  Some days I have a bit of nagging achyness, usually after a long run, but otherwise it feels good so who's to complain?  Me, that's who because that's what I do. 

The video above?  That's a poorly edited (ie - not) video of Mr. Crissman and myself tearing up my home turf on Sunday.  Still not faster than him but he has Enve rims and luscious chest hair so I don't expect to be. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Words cannot express just how awesome this v-day card from my daughter is.  It makes me smile every time I look at it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Slowly but Shirley


Hip progress continues to be made.  For a while there, I foolishly thought that after a couple of months of activity, I'd be back to close to normal but that definitely isn't the case (ah, duh!).  You'd think I would have known that it would take a long time to get back after several months of complete atrophy.  I'm sure that part of me knew but I was hoping that it would come back quicker.  Thankfully, though, there's still several months before the real season starts so plenty of time to get my sorry excuse for legs going again.

thule 917xtr t2 + fat bike = semi success
The road bike is out for two reasons right now.  1, I'm much too stretched out on it with my current hip impingement issues and 2, I can't risk going down on a gravely/icy/slick corner and re-injuring the hip.  Lucky for me though, it's winter and I've got a snow bike clad with studded tires (thanks to Marcy for both of those things) and a somewhat upright position so I'm still able to get some decent riding in.   Snowmobile trails are my playground and when the conditions are right (like they have been recently) singletrack can be had as well (once it's somewhat packed down). 

snowmobile trails in Damariscotta



Monday, January 28, 2013

Brynna Needs Friends

How do you know when a kid needs friends?  When she starts making her own.  In this case, she used a rolled up yoga mat and a foam roller.  At least these friends don't eat much and you don't have to worry about them coloring on the walls.

Not at all creepy.  I just hope I don't wake up one morning to these bastards sitting next to the bed.

Speaking of coloring, I just came across this book that B made me for christmas. 

Notice the "bike race" shirt I'm sporting.  not sure why I'm wearing a toupee...

and a surprisingly good drawing of our living room as I fly her like a plane. 
Laters.