Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Gravel Grovel Slop Fest 2018

After last years record time and the fact that for most of the year I was riding stronger than I can ever remember, I had some high hopes for putting in a really good ride this year. But, I did a good job of making sure that didn't happen. The last 3 months leading up to the race it seemed like I had a lot of conflicts and issues that kept me from getting a lot of rides in. My monthly mileage for September was an all time low. I did a little better in October, but still way lower than normal. November was also busy, but I did my best to try and get my legs to snap out of it and let me finish the year strong.

The last couple rides leading up to the race didn't really make me feel any better. I was still riding the climbs, but I didn't have any pop. I had a bigger gear on the Spot than last year with the thoughts of going faster. With my weaker state of riding I made a last minute decision to change the gearing back to what I had ran the last couple years. This was a very good decision for my legs. I figured if I am going to have a bad year, why cause myself any more unneeded pain.

I got there early enough on Friday to get checked in to my cabin and all settled in. After Bushong got there we went for a little ride to loosen the legs up. We just did the small loop from the start area. This also let us see how some of the roads were looking. The legs were not feeling too bad, but still not where I had hoped they would be.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Fools Gold 55

I did this race last year for the first time. Last year I had a really good race and it solidified that I should be riding my SS for a lot more things. This year after my plans changed about going to Marji Gesick, I knew this race would be an easy substitution for me. It is a lot closer and should be some great riding or at least I hoped. This year that race started at a different location than last year and very little of the trail was the same that I was on last year.

Leading up to the race I didn't get in the riding that I would have liked. I hoped my fitness was good enough to get me by. I had a lot of ache's to go along with the lack of riding, but still thought I could at least have a good day on the bike. I was not sure how fast I would be. We headed down Friday and picked up our race packets. We only had so much daylight left so we didn't drive anywhere to ride, we just rode the start section out for a half hour and turned around and came back. We made it part of the way up the first big climb so it was a good warm up.

After riding we went in to town for a bite to eat. There seemed to be a lot of people all around down town. The down town area was pretty cool and reminded me a little of Nashville, IN with all the shops and people walking around. We found a nice little place to eat and headed back to the hotel to get things ready for the morning.

Monday, June 11, 2018

2018 Mohican 100

Before all the pain. Photo by Tammy
The week leading up to this race I had looked back to two years ago at the blog I posted from the Mohican 100k. I found it interesting that I mentioned the split at aid 3 and said that I didn't think I would ever be ready to take the right for the 100 miler. Maybe I should have read that report before I was talked in to signing up for this race but, it seemed like a good idea at the time. After being talked in to signing up for the Marji Gesick 50, all the decisions for the 2018 year were made with that race in mind. I am trying to put events in to my calendar that would be good training points to get me ready for the MG50. I had several friends that were doing the 100 miler and the time it would take me to do the race would be more conducive for what it will take to finish the MG. When you consider that Jeremiah Bishop won the Mohican 100 in 6:57 and also won last years MG100 but it took 10:24 it might help that previous statement make a little more sense.

Friday, May 11, 2018

PMBAR 2018 - Team People's Brewing

Picture credit: Icon Media

The last time I had made the trip south for PMBAR was 2010. I have changed a lot in the last 8 years, but so has my amount of riding in Pisgah. So, I am in a lot better shape, but not as familiar with all the trails. The only time that I have actually finished this race (4 check points in less than 14 hours) we grabbed 4 check points and finished with 20 min. left on the clock. My goal was just to finish and hopefully in less time than that. My teammate had a little more aggressive goals, but we both gave some and came up with a goal somewhere in the middle. We figured that 4 check points in 10 hours should be possible and to try and go for 5 check points if at all possible. The ultimate goal was to finish before dark. That should be fairly easy right??

You need to be prepared for anything

I ended up sleeping pretty good for most of the night, but I did wake up about 3:30, hit the bathroom and had trouble falling back asleep from there. Eventually it was time to get up and get ready. The morning routine was pretty typical and soon enough I was loading up to head out the door. With all the traffic at the start finish area, we decided to park at the ranger station and ride over. We got there in plenty of time and waited around until it was time for Eric to give out all the pre-race info.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Pre-PMBAR 18

With Saturday being a rather large day on the bike I thought I would get some of the pre-race info put down in a post. Thursday after work I headed in the direction toward Pisgah. I met up with my PMBAR teammate just east of Louisville. I parked my jeep in a hotel parking log, moved all my stuff in to the van and headed down the road. We stayed north of London to break the drive up some. The next morning we got up and headed south. The best part of the drive was running in to Dolly Parton at one of the rest stops.

Once we got in to town, we went to the house to unload. After we were moved in we kitted up and went out for a ride to loosen the legs up. Since we were pretty close to downtown, we decided to head over to Bracken and do an out and back. It was a lot warmer than Indiana has been and the climb up Bracken was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Heart rates were elevated and pedals were turned so we only went part of the way to the top and turned around to head back toward the house.

Sporting the new Carbo Rocket jersey

It was a shorter ride than I thought it would be, but honestly it was probably all we needed. After we got back, we cleaned up some and headed over to get checked in. Check in went quick and we were just hanging out for a little bit before heading back to the house.

We got a bite to eat at Big Mikes, relaxed for a little bit and then made our way over to Brevard Brewing for a little bit. Good times were had and beers were drank. After we got back to the house we got things ready for in the morning. We also looked at the map and discussed route options and pros and cons of taking certain trails. This was good for me just to get things refreshed in my head. I was trying to keep hydrated by mixing in things other than beer. I did an ok job of it and slipped away quietly to try and crash early. There was going to be a huge day in the woods tomorrow, so I might as well try to be as prepared as I can.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Barry Roubaix 2018

In somewhat of a last minute decision, I was talked in to racing the Barry Roubaix in Michigan. I have always wanted to check this race out, but it just seemed like a long drive to a race that has a history of bad weather. Part of what talked me in to going was the fact that I had a ride for a little over have of the drive. This makes traveling a lot easier. It also helped that there was a group of people going that I always have a lot of fun around.

Hard to believe that in a 7.5 hour drive I could end up behind someone I know, who is going to the same race.

One thing that I didn't realize when I started to commit to this thought was that everyone was signed up for this new race class this year. The Psycho Killer 100 mile class. I really wanted to race the 62 mile class, but with the start times being different and making logistics more trouble, I reluctantly signed up for the hundo. I was thinking about racing the SS, but once I entered this class I figured there is no reason not to take gears. I had also heard the race is pretty fast and flat, so spinning my brains out for 100 miles didn't sound like fun.

Not a bad place to be for a long trip

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Team People's Pisgah trip

The last couple years I have joined some friends on a trip to Pisgah. The trip is filled with some big rides that include plenty of elevation. With the races that I have planned for this year, I decided to take my SS for the trip. I normally have a hard time keeping up with the group, but if I hope to have any chance at finishing a couple of the races on the list, I knew I needed to see what I could do.

This year we did things a little different and rented a house so we could all stay together. The group was bigger than the last two years and the house worked out great. It let us all start together easier with out having to meet someplace and it also gave us some more hang out time in the evening. We could also fix what each of us wanted for breakfast and not having to put up with hotel food. It also helped to have a full size fridge to hold all the beer too.