Showing posts from April, 2008

Fat Tire Classic Race Report

Warning: This post may be intermittently self-congratulatory, because my weekend was hardcore and I'm pretty pleased with the results.

Saturday I ended up deciding to ride the Shelburne Falls 200k at the last minute with my Dad. Thanks to the fact that there's still skiable snow at his house in Maine and that I have a 30 year age advantage, I wasn't in danger of getting shelled on this ride, but still, 125 miles? That's really far. The ride started in Westfield MA (6 miles north of the Connecticut border), went all the way to Vermont, then came back. I didn't know Massachusetts was only 60 miles across! And seeing the Vermont state line sign makes you feel like you are a long way from your car.

I should have brought a camera to take some pictures, but all I have is the GPS data view of the ride. The first 40 miles were pretty easy, we had a group of nearly 30 people riding together so I got to "practice" my pack riding skill(z). Not being a race, w…

One Reason I Prefer Mountain Biking

Below is the latest post to the New England CX Yahoo Group. The bolding is my addition.

These deep-dish (50mm) carbon tubulars from Shimano have never been
taken out of the box, and sadly, I need to sell them. Raced a set of
these last year, and they're some of the fastest and strongest wheels
I've ever ridden.

$1500 or best reasonable offer. Can send photos, and can likely
deliver to many New England races.

I would just like to point out that for $1500 you can build a good enough mountain bike that you will never be at a significant competitive disadvantage. You'll never stand on the start line and look at the guy next to you, and think to yourself, "wow, he bought himself a significant advantage."

I blow enough money on bike parts as it is. Thank god I don't road race.

Winsted Woods MTB Race Report

This year's Winsted Woods MTB race turned out to be a fun reminder of just how much of an idiot I can be in a mountain bike race. Basically, it was a classic dual-suspension kind of course and I brought a hardtail. Reasonable people might recognize that a 1% bike disadvantage is not really a big deal and get over it -- but bike racers are far from being reasonable people. How else can you explain the fact that people pay for XTR? So the predominant theme of this race was me being a drama queen about having to ride a hardtail over rocks.

Anyway. Me, Thom and Linnea did a quick half-lap preride and it was bony as hell. I dinged my rear rim a couple times without pinch flatting, but it was obvious that four laps at race pace would do me in. So I went back to the car to "air it up" (bike pumps are XTREME!). I was running around 30 psi so I upped it to 40 just to be safe. "At least I'll finish," I said, forgetting for a moment that having fun is actually…

Good Places to Have a Mechanical

Wednesday night I headed over to the Mecca of Bostonian weeknight cycle-training, Eastern Ave. Riding over, I seemed to have some shifting problems going on -- pedal, pedal CLICK pedal pedal CLICK pedal pedal CLICK. For some reason my bike felt like it wanted to shift gears every other pedal stroke. Weird...

Of course any mechanic should have read that last sentence and thought "bad link" to themselves. I got exactly four hard pedal strokes into my first interval, and since my legs were putting out 2000+ watts at that point, BAM, no more chain.

Since I'm too dumb to ride with a chain tool, it looked like my day was over, and I'd be scootering home like the chump I am.

But wait!

What is that I spy in the distance?

A figure, clad almost entirely in white, why, it must be a guardian angel!

And indeed it was. Yash is the man with the tool that saved my day. Tell your (lady) friends!

Just Another Project

Hey Nordic Fans! Yeah, both of you who are still reading, even though I haven't mentioned skiing in several weeks and probably won't again until the fall.

At least not here, anyway. That's because my e-friend Chris and I have started a new nordic skiing project -- -- and that's where I'll be spouting nonsense about the world of professional cross-country skiing. Throw it in your RSS-reader and I promise there will be the occasional nugget of mind-blowing analysis.

Since it's the beginning of the offseason, you might think we're idiots for starting a blog that will probably have no new news to examine in the next six months. And you're mostly right! But, we are intrepid idiots, so we made our own content. Part 1 of the 3-part 2007-08 season recap podcast is up now, with the rest following soon.

Yeah, that's right, a freaking podcast. Do I take myself too seriously or what?

Head on over if you want to hear my…

Hopbrook Dam MTB Race Report

This Saturday it was time to get the real (full-length) MTB season started down at Hopbrook Dam, so after a quick game of "how much do we have to disassemble 4 bikes to fit them on the roof" me, Linnea, Thom and Greg were off from cold and rainy Boston.

Unfortunately I based my clothing selection around the current conditions in Boston, and it turns out than in a 135 miles a lot can change. We showed up at the race and it's a scalding 70 degrees, all I had was knickers, maybe I should have tried to trade the winter gloves and winter hat from my pack for a real pair of shorts.

We lined up with 18 guys in the 19-29 Expert category, and when I looked around I was the only guy with hairy legs. Since when do mountain bikers shave their legs? Am I going to have to cave in to peer pressure on this one? Crap, I think so.

We get rolling and since it's my first mass start since cross season all I could think was "wow this is slow." My legs were only 50% present so …

King of Burlingame Race Report

After 13 days without racing I was getting pretty antsy, and more importantly, I was running out of blog fodder. There's only so many ways to write "I freaking love riding at Otis," you know?

Fortunately, today brought the King of Burlingame MTB TT to me, a very different and very awesome kind of mountain bike race. Being an individual start and only 7 miles, it had a lot in common with a 10k ski race and bore little resemblance to the 2-hour, soul-crushing beatdowns that most mountain bike races are. Given that I've done a ton of the former and tend to suck at the latter, I considered this a good thing.

It turns out I was lying big time when I said it was only an hour from Boston. It's actually closer to two, and I can never make another "LOL RHODE ISLAND IS TINY" joke again, because I got up at 5-freaking-30 to drive down there.


The early departure was worth it for the preride, since I really wanted to get 14 miles in for a 3.5 hour round trip…

Vaguely Resembling a Big Deal

Just got my "late winter" copy of CX Magazine -- apparently they made some bad decisions regarding bulk mail -- and was pleased to see that I (well, was featured.

Ok, not featured like the ebay sandbagger guy ... but blurbed in his section.

Check it out.

Like any magazine copy, it's an approximation of what I said in a few emails to the CXMag editor. The "encourages hecklers to hold their tongue" bit is from Gloucester -- I told him about Cort's ride and how, having a total of 5 upgrade points before the weekend, he couldn't possibly have ridden the 2/3 race.

This past Saturday Linnea and I went for a ride with some people from the internet. It turns out that they have been doing exactly that which I mock.

It kind of became a "get shelled" contest for the two of us. Linnea won.

In other news... 4 hour Otis ride!

More fun than real training. Biking riding ain't my job.