my blogging is retired. see ya'll out on the trails!
no time for the blog, barely time to ride. been a touch burned-out the past cpl wks, riding in the cold just isn't doing it for me these days. i worked winter over pretty good, came into spring ready to ride, but just ain't into it right now and when i am, it ain't worth bragging about.
the day before a big ride, especially early in the season, is always exciting. after a winter of indoor trainer and studded tire, freeze-my-feet off rides followed by a few wks of mild temps (and longer spins), the fitness seems to be returning. constant soreness is a good indicator that i'm doing all i can (or that i'm getting old and not stretching). that aside, it's time to turn up the volume, it's time to get this party started w/a solid century. tomorrow's route is a favorite, the 100.1m backroad trek from waitsfield, vt to campton, nh. 3 big ass climbs to get out of vermont, then tired legs pushing hard across 50-60m of rolling terrain. early morning temps barely above 10 certainly aren't optimal, but at least the dirt gaps will be nice and hard vs a soft mucky mess - and by the time it warms above freezing i should be crossing onto the smooth roads of NH... i love the day-before feeling before a big ride - on a day you know will be sunny and bright - on a route you love - for the first time (or anytime) of the year... the season is on!
"Democrat Elijah Cummings on AIG announcing $160 million in bonuses for top execs after receiving $180 BILLION in bailout money:
my ride streak ended at 10 or 11, but was replaced w/an unbelievable 4 day powder streak. we've gotten 6' of snow in the last 4-5 days; in unfrequently traveled glades it is bottomless, elsewhere just epic. where are we again!? talked daren into driving over from the north conway area to enjoy today's pow-pow feast only to have both mtns shut-down for wind. we rose above, strapped on packs and got-in some amazing tracks. unfortunately, life calls and my powder streak will end at 4 days... might as well start-up that riding streak again, battenkill will be here before i'm ready...
no complaints today!
regular trainer time at 8,9,10p is never fun.
since it's not (bike) riding season, i haven't felt compelled to write in the blog, but the jonsing has begun - the need for ribbons of dirt, long climbs, and technical descents has set into my thoughts, except when out on the snow - it can temporarily quench the need to pedal. luckily, deep (for us east coasters!) untracked lines are plentiful outside the resort boundry if you know where to look - or are willing to explore. i rarely take my hands out of the gloves to snap a shot in the stuff and when a mature grove of trees opens up a few dozen perfect turns, stopping to take a photo is the last thing i'm thinking about! here's a crazy bear-den "breathing hole" mikey-j pointed-out on last wk's woods-woods run:
"I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." - George W. Bush, Washington DC, 12 May, 2008
it's over. 2008. my nearly 3 month break is over. time to get pedaling for '09; back to cramming it all in. work. school. training. family. sleep. and some partying. after the break riding is fun again, sometimes even on the trainer. but not tonight. my legs are hurting, hard to ignore the pain w/typing or youtube, had to grab a beer. it works for me.
i've had indoor trainer writer's-block and more notably, indoor trainer rider's block. since almost all my posts, no matter the season, take place on the trainer, this blog has been sidelined.
magic snow. on friday you could see the cloud line hanging across the much higher western ridge, moisture getting run-out of the air and stretching for only a mile or two as a wall of cloud before dissipating into rolling squalls, blue sky in spots above our house on the eastern slopes only a few miles from a solid dump in the mtns. saturday it clouded up and snowed in earnest up high, then on sunday blue skis greeted us in the morning. i was all smiles knowing a patch of powder may still be left for those desperate enough - and a minivan packed full of fanatics would be by shortly to take me to it. with only a few runs open the lower groomed slopes were crowded, but one moguled black was ready; the organgrinder was sweet! snow guns were going full bore, making the snow thick; get too far forward on the board and it'd take you down in a spiraling cartwheel, too far back and you're flying full-out, legs not quite ready this early in the season to get on the brakes. 2hrs was enough for my first day...
things have been hectic, not a lot of riding, it's weird without it, without the quiet time, the efforts, the need to eat everything, but it's coming back around. i started working here
my head is still clearing, my legs still aching. 103 riders set-out to conquer the fabled trails of boston's north shore; crippler, ancient line, g-spot (to name a few). beverly to gloucester all on singletrack, not a lot of miles, but this isn't ordinary singletrack. the night before andy, thom, daren, brad, ken and i decided emptying andy's fridge of beer, including the hard lemonades that have been sitting waaaay in the back since '89, was a great idea - and it was - until 7a the next morning - after hitting the sheets at 4. but we were all smiles on this one. even when running into the woods to rid ourselves of the poison or managing bonks that became frequent and harsh come afternoon. these are the trails - and the guys - i learned to ride a bike with. insanely technical rock gardens that resemble bouldering fields more than mtnbike trails, mingled w/flowing ribbons of dirt punctuated by steep climbs and brown-eyed brake descents. if your stomach isn't against the back of your seat, you're not far enough back. awesome stuff. we had all sorts of bikes out there - from fully rigid ss, to 6" travel, we "rocked" the kahuna, arriving nearly last to lobsta'land for the haddock we'd been dreaming about since 7a... good times. thanks for another great ride! and thanks to andy (and his neighbor's patience) for the pre-kahuna party! can't wait for next yr.
i won the fifty!!
check it out all you bostonians:
fired-up the woodstove this morning,
most of you have probably already seen this. those on high in colorado springs have decided there will be no more beginner, sport, expert, semi and pro, now it's 3,2,1,pro. makes sense. bigger fields at national events, more chaos for national caliber pros and up-and-comers. why not? my only comment is that they should just force all semi-pros to become pros (to get the field sizes up) instead of giving us a choice between 1 (age class splits) and pro. or at least added a "NO SANDBAGGIN!" comment or something. maybe something like, "if you sandbag, we will be forced to tattoo the letter L (for 'loser') to your forehead for the rest of the calendar yr."
veiw from my art class
the millstone grind course was superb; classic new england singletrack, rooty, rocky stuff. great fun, test of skills, hard to ride on "the limit", had to be in control, cheating corners usually had me dabbing or on the ground, baby-heads would jump-up and grab a pedal, but mostly i was loving the ride - the rigid fork was great, really fun in the rollers, pump-track riding. worries evaporated and my only regret was forgetting my gloves at home. a last minute 2nd wrap of gel tape on the bars was great, almost completely eliminated the usual vibrations and subsequent hand numbness. the lack of long, rocky descents helped a lot too as those are usually the downfall of the rigid fork. on friday's pre-ride, the course was crazy-dry. rain showers sat changed things-up a bit, bridges got slick, as did roots and goat climbs. skid turns and rear root-slides were in order, this was old-school ne singletrack at its best.
the Millstone Grind is tomorrow - 34m of good 'ole fashion technical, swooping, twisty-turny vermont singletrack. pre-rode the course last night w/shawn and can sum-up the 8.4m loop up in one work - AWESOME! maybe two words - FRIGGIN' AWESOME!
Labels: millstone grind
when a big 'ole bike race comes to town (GMSR), and you like racing bikes, it makes sense to race yer bike! but, i needed proof i knew how (to race road); at least a cat 4 license. i asked my regional usa cycling rep for a cat 3. denied. asked for a 4. approved. since i don't have any real road racing experience, figured the 4 made sense... and was hoping to really crush it! i won't lie, i wanted to win this freakin' race.
my dad's been hanging in VT, destroying projects for us, getting his spin on. i had a great ride w/him for the mad river century. perfect day, 75, sunny, nice breeze at our backs for the home stretch. then instead of relaxing at the house, going for rides, he's been crushing projects. i can't be slacking in front of j sr, been doing my best to keep up.
yesterday may be one of the most horrible experiences i've had on a bicycle. harry went for it from the gun, winning in strong fashion in 6hrs and 10mins later - sweet!
Labels: hampshire 100k
the low pressure systems just won't budge, the rains have been persistent, following us up into new brunswick then back home again. a bunch of old friends were up this wknd, good times were had and the sun finally broke free for saturday afternoon (on my riding day off of course). I'm not complaining one bit, was stoked for some sun, it just figures that as dr mike and his lady rolled out mid-day sunday that sky was boiling once again and thunder rumbling all about. riding inside just wasn't gonna happen, not again, too much of that crap the past 10 days. of course, i could take all this rain as a sign and just work on the house, but the racer in me is desperate to turn the "base miles" of the co trail into power and speed. if i thought for one moment this season that i wasn't a real racer anymore, those thoughts are gone, replaced by a desire to do intervals and hill repeats on a quite dirt slope where haggard breathing and blood pounding in my ears is almost like music, a pain symphony. the season is already coming to a close, but there are a cpl more months of good racing to be had and a desire to crank-up the speed is unquenchable. this happens every year at different times. duration gets cut back by 25-50% and it feels really great to open it up.
Colorado feels like a million miles and a thousand days away as I sit on an old dock jutting into Cassidy Lake, New Brunswick Canada. Its planks, white paint flecked and peeling, sit atop ancient rusting steel dollys, possibly previously used to cart massive trays of food to inmates in some mental institution. It would seem fitting. Now retired and rusting their days away in a small spring fed lake near the Bay of Fundy, serving one last function. Eventually the flecking paint and rust particles will make their way down the 30 miles of creeks and streams into the Bay, exit into the deep ocean, dillute into particles and molecules and possibly someday make their way back onto dry ground as rain drops, maybe even falling on the head of some intrepid traveler on the CO Trail who is probably just a little bit nuts for making the journey.