Showing posts from June, 2008

Mount Snow Short Track/Hill Climb Report

After the morning's shenanigans it was time to attempt to refuel and race some short track. I've gushed before about how intense/awesome the Mt Snow Short Track course is, but it should be noted that I had never raced it, which is probably why it seemed so cool.

Anyway, it's completely non-technical, big ring all the way, with one loose climb that you can just get over by standing and flailing. Well, the first five times up it's easy, then you start to flail more, then you try the middle ring once and notice that you went way slower but still hurt equally, and then you go back to suffering in the big ring until the race ends.

We had a field of 20 or so Semi-pro/Experts and it went out hot. My first lap was 1:30 and that was at the back of the main group. The only people behind me were the two women and a guy who had dropped his chain.

But, since I was in contact and we were hauling, I could get my draft on. I clung to Ben C and the same Bliss junior that I raced at t…

Mount Snow Super D

The first stage of the four-race-weekend saga was the Super D. I've never done a Super D but I do like going downhill, so hey, why not? I have four inches of travel in the front and 2.3 in the back, that's pretty good, right?

Maybe if you're Greg Carpenter.

Thirty minutes before the start, I was up top with fellow IBC'er and 6-inch travel biker George for a Super D practice run. Ten seconds into the run my seat was in my stomach and I was reminded that nothing at Mount Snow is easy. A minute later George flatted and now it's panic time. He headed back to the top, I headed for the bottom to grab him a tube and CO2. Gotta hurry to get back up in time for him to change it...

Of course five minutes later I crush a rock I never even saw in the high grass they call a trail and now I have a flat too. I ran all-out to the bottom of the hill (ow), got Thom to change the tube and put a little air in, wasted a ton of time trying to find George's tube before just grabb…

Mount Snow Garmin Pics

I am way too defeated right now for a proper race report. The short story is, I did four races in two days an all but one of them were total failures. Here is the tale of the Garmin for now, I will write about my numerous calamities later.
Super D
Short Track


Bonus Content

I know there's some nordies still reading this, and I'm sure many of you enjoy opportunities to read/pick apart my best attempts at prose. So, you might be interested in an article I wrote on ski throwing over on nordic commentary project.

In other boring commuter news, anyone remember that crazy thunderstorm that came through Boston around 5:30 yesterday? Yeah, I was trying to ride home in that. I was not successful.

It was a cool experience, since I didn't get electrocuted. It wasn't even raining in Inman Square at 5:30, but when I looked up Hampshire Street toward Somerville I was like, "hmm, I can't really see the buildings down the street so well through that fog."

Then I noticed the "fog" was coming towards me at 25 mph, and was actually a wall of rain.

I couldn't find an overhang in time so I ducked behind the downwind side of a building. For the first few minutes, it was raining sideways so hard that I fared much better than the ma…

Putney Race Report

Sunday found me at the end of a predictably unsuccessful rest week, having just gotten my legs eaten for lunch by Matt M on a 2-hour MTB beatdown Saturday. Yes, you read that right, a guy who rides his mountain bike once a month (at best) thrashed me all over the woods behind his house. Despite my claim that I didn't want the ride too go "too fast" I managed to put in over half an hour above 170 bpm... for reference, my max at Putney was 183.

But it's all good because that was just an "opener," yeah, that's it. More importantly, after 2 hours of fighting my hardtail around singletrack at near race pace I realized that my current style is just incompatible with that bike. It's fun to ride, but when I get some lactic a-flowin' I start to lose my ability to bike handle with it, I ride poorly and get more tired because of it. So the hardtail is officially off the bikes-I-race list, and I switched over to the Scalpel for Sunday's race.

We ro…

A Possible Scoop

Hey blogosphere, am I the first person to embed video of Frank Schleck eating it big time at the Tour de Suisse? Am I?

Another tragedy that could've been avoided but for the UCI ban on disc brakes.

The ProTip to end all ProTips

Alright, so usually when I say I have a protip for you it's something stupid. It's often barely a tip and certainly not pro. But this time it's different, ladies and gentlemen. This tip is wicked pro.

Ok, so it's summer in Boston. You're commuting to work, you finish your ride and think, damn, I'm wicked haaaaht, I can't roll to my cubicle like this. Some people solve this problem with a shower, but I bet most of you lazy-asses solve it with the ubiquitous Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee.

Since 50% of Boston businesses are Dunkin Donuts shops, you're never more than a few steps away from that iced goodness. You drop your $2.50, get your drink, start guzzling and head to work.

The problem is, it's cold. It's refreshing. And it's chock full of ice. You take a few, nice, deep swigs, and then it's kicked. If you're like me, you're already making that empty-drink-gurgle with your start before you even sit down to work. And to think …

Kingdom Trails

As previously mentioned, I really think I need to take a break from training. My frail body cannot handle any more 10 hour weeks on a diet of pure coffee.

The thing that sucks is that after 60 miles, 9000 feet and 8 hours of Vermont singletrack this weekend, I really want to ride more! Maybe a nice drizzly commute with cure me of that desire.

Saturday Linnea and I rode with Rich Blair and Mike and Sara Zocchi for four hours at a smokin' pace. As the guy with the most Kingdom experience, I was leading or near the front calling turns (of which there are many) for the whole ride, and every time I looked back there would be four people right on my wheel. It was a great group, I don't think we had to do a single regrouping stop for the whole ride. Of course the downside to that was that I had to actual exert myself for four hours straight, which is hard.

We ended the ride by going to check out a trail called "Moose Alley" that I had never ridden. It looked wicked fun, …

Time for a Break

Last night I rolled down the to Dover TT with the IBC mountain bike team. There's no particularly good reason for a bunch of mountain bikers to want to go do an eight mile time trial, but our collective reasoning seems to be "Thom does it and he's faster than us." Thus, you get a bunch of hairy legs without aero gear mixed in with the TT-bike crowd.

Five weeks ago I clocked 20:06 here, my first time ever seeing the course. Surely another month of training plus knowing the course would make me go faster?

Ugh... If only. This time around I tried a few things differently, and either due to or in spite of these changes, I was 13 seconds slower. I lucked out with Linnea starting right in front of me, but it took me 12 minutes to catch her and she almost passed me back on the long, gradually downhill second half of the course. For some reason I just can't power along at 25 mph like everyone else. For now, I'm blaming the cross bike and being grateful that I do…

Channel 3 XC Race Report

Oh man.

Seven days before the race, I had just finished freaking out in the heat at Pat's Peak, and I checked the forecast. Sunday was the hottest day of the coming week -- 84 degrees predicted in Andover, CT.

Gee, I thought, that's gonna be tough, I don't think Pat's Peak even broke 80.

Three days before the race the forecast was up to 91.

Two days before the race the forecast was up to 95. Tough doesn't even begin to describe it. I started hydrating Friday. I drank a Pedialyte Saturday. I picked up some Hammer electrolyte pills. I was prepared... and terrified.

Somewhere along the line, I forgot that I needed to prepare my bike as well as my body. I showed up at the start line on the Scalpel with a bunch of parts I threw on the night before and rode for all of ten minutes before the race started -- a new Reba Race and a crappy old crank stolen from Linnea's old bike. Two minutes to start and I notice that my headset is a bit loose -- so I borrowed an all…

Critical Posting Mass

Alrighty, none of these things are blog-worthy on their own, but when you throw them all together they become just barely worth the effort to write down. And read. I think.

1) I had a motorist say "thank you" to me the other day, no joke. They wanted to go right on red, I was in the way, I moved, they thanked. It's almost like we were sharing the road. And yes, that's why I'll tell you how to ride in traffic. Hint: not two abreast.

2) My friend Alex has this insane scheme to make money by selling baked goods at Wells Ave on Sunday. This strikes me as a lot of work for a little money, but that's because I consider baking work. I am, however, intrigued by the idea of a person become a professional bake saler, and I know that I am easily separated from my cash when offered post-race snacks. Perhaps it will be an inspirational story of how one girl exploited hundreds of hungry cyclists to fund a ski career. In any case, if you're one of the few Bos…

Pat's Peak XC Race Report

Hills, Heat, Hardtail, Happiness -- pick any three.


So Pat's Peak was going to be the race where I followed the lead of my sensei Thom and rocked it pro-style, that is, ditching the usual camelback and heavy dualie for a hardtail and a single water bottle. We're talking about probably 4 pounds in weight savings here, which I ordinarily would scoff at, but I did have to climb 3500 feet during the course of the race. Maybe Hill Junkie could tell me how many seconds 4 lbs is worth over 3500 feet of climbing when you're putting out, like, 150 watts, but I think it's a lot.

Last year Pat's Peak was a mudfest. I remember the downhill was smooth and slimy. Who needs dual suspension for that, I asked? Well, this year it was bone dry, rutted into washboard by the 24 hour race and sport/beginner classes. I needed dual suspension for that, it turns out.

Last year Pat's Peak was a thunderstormfest, so climbing in the open on ski slopes wasn't super hot. This …