Friday, May 10, 2019

PMBAR Monsoon of 2019
Pisgah Productions

After last years race we quickly wanted another shot at this race to see if we could do better. We had a lot of time that was wasted and figured we should be able to get all 5 check points. So, when it was time to sign up, I didn't waste any time to get us signed up and its a good thing since it sold out very quickly. It is amazing how many people sign up to do this very difficult race, but here we were right with all the other crazies.

The house had a great set up for bikes

We got there on Friday and went for a short ride after getting settled in to the house. We took the 8 mile climb up to Bracken and enjoyed the trip down. We were a little worried about the trail conditions with all the rain they had had, but everything was in pretty good shape. The weather also kept changing for the weekend, so it was hard to tell what Saturday would hold for us. The most recent forecast showed the rain holding off a little while and we hoped it would hold off long enough for us to get finished, but we really didn't think we would be that lucky.

Climbing to Bracken

Friday, April 19, 2019

Boondoggle Forty 5

The Boondoggle Bike event in itself is an amazing thing for me to see. This is what bike racing needs. Grass roots feel events that don't cost you an arm and a leg and can still pull in some serious talent. For an event that some might thing is not big enough for them, just look at the list of names showing up at the starting line. This field seems just as deep as any NUE race at least as a percentage of racers. Last year was the first year for the Forty 5 race. I really wanted to attend, but that weekend just didn't work out for me. I will say that at the time, it didn't seem like that big of a deal, but after the race was over I could tell that I really did miss out on something good. There was no way I was going to miss out on this years event.

This race was going to be a little change for me. Becky was going with me and we were camping. I felt like I was packing to be gone for a full week. I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed and anything that Becky might need, so the car was pretty full. Living the van life would have been really nice for this one, but we made it work just fine. We headed down Friday afternoon hoping to get settled in and go for a little ride. We got away a little later then I thought we would, but it still was not that late. We rolled in to the Sheltowee Camp and got set up.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

April Fools Gravel Camp

April Fools Gravel Camp

Leading up to this weekend I was not really sure what I was going to do. There was a new race in eastern Kentucky called the War Daddy. It sounded really hard and probably more like a gravel race where a mountain bike would be better used. This is the weekend before the Kentucky mtb race that I was planning on attending called The 45. It sounded like a great adventure, but I was hesitant about doing something this hard the weekend before the mtb race, then in conversation it came up about this Gravel Camp race. The name didn't really lead me to thinking it was a race. It sounded more like a weekend of good times and a good gravel ride. This was kind of true since there was a fun ride option and the atmosphere was set up for a full weekend of fun. Since I had someone to share a ride with to this race and also the fact that the drive was 1.5 hours closer each way, it was not that hard to talk me in to checking it out.

We got there on Friday afternoon, checked in to the lodge and went for a ride. I had never been to this part of the area before. The walking/bike paths were really nice and the gravel roads were too. The area is very pretty and there is a lot of different outdoor things to do there. After the ride, we grabbed a bite to eat and tried to get things ready for the next day and relax. The week before this one I ended up getting sick in the middle of the week. I was pretty wore out and out of commission for several days. I was really needing to step up my training and not take a week off of the bike. I was feeling better, but still coughing a lot and not really sure how deep my reserves would be for a 60 mile race.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Death March 2019

I'm running a little late on this race report, but this was not a typical race for me. It took me a couple days to digest what all happened and then I was just busy and didn't get back to this. So, now it is even a little later than what is should have been, so I am sure I will miss some highlights. This year for the Death March I teamed up with the bearded wonder, Bushong. The plan was to get all the check points and see how we could finish. This remained our plan for the day even after Brian announced some changes to the race. He has upped the cemetery count to 18. There are still 5 mandatory check points, 3 known ahead of time and 2 pulled at the start. But, the big change this year was he also pulled out 2 dead cemeteries. This means they are not worth any time bonus and depending on what is drawn our route could change quite a lot. Let me start by saying that when I made my original route plan for all 18 check points, it was going to be about a 84 mile day. So, I was in for a pretty long ride. I was hoping that what dead cemeteries pulled would be ones that would help make the route a lot shorter.

Since I was the navigator and there were several new check points, I made a trip up to the area a little before the race. I rode out to a couple of the new check points and the one that I didn't really like at all was Cain. It was pretty far out there and just an out and back. It seemed like it took me forever to get there. I thought about this cemetery the whole week leading up to the race. I was really dreading the trip out there. Race morning I was really hoping that this cemetery would get drawn for a dead cemetery.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Dirty South Roubaix 2019

Friday afternoon we headed toward Alto Pass, IL for this years Dirty South Roubaix. There were a few people camping so we got a cabin at the same park. The weather was not going to be good enough that I really felt like camping and we were not like the rest of the group who are living the van life. We were able to check in early and then we headed out for a ride. It was great to stretch out the legs and take in some of the views.It is also good to see new areas.

The area was very nice to ride around. It was a little different area then I have ever rode, but it was still pretty nice. I had really slacked off the training the last month and a half after doing really good up to then. I didn't feel too bad for most of the ride, but the steeper sections hurt more than they should have. We then went in to get our registration packet and eat some dinner. St. Nicholas Brewery was a pretty nice place, but very busy. It took a little bit to get a table, but not too long.

After that, we took the longer than preferred drive back to the cabin. We had a cabin at Giant City state park. The cabin was really nice and I can definitely. see myself going back. It was a really nice area and had a lot of options for things to do. We finished getting our stuff ready for the next day before hitting the sack.

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.