Showing posts from March, 2009

The Helmet Cam Is A Harsh Mistress

So I did this wicked awesome ride down Mount Wilson with Linnea and my brother last Friday. We climbed for three hours and then dropped over 4000 feet in 45 minutes, with 2600 of those feet coming on an awesome sidehill singletrack run, full of crazy-tight switchbacks and steep drops on the low side. Obviously we totally ripped, and I was only scared a few times, when there was a hundred-foot precipice to the left and the trail was only six inches wide.

Then I watched the helmet cam, and it turns out I'm kind of a wuss.

Hoegee Trail Mt Wilson Helmet Cam from colin reuter on Vimeo.
I was just complaining about how cameras don't adequately convey pitch and speed, or maybe it's just that by 2009 we've all seen so many insane bike videos that every time we shred the tiniest bit of gnar we think it's gonna come out like this.

In other words, I feel Thom's pain, but here is a video with some stuff I did set to some music I like, I hope you like it too.

King of Burlingam…

This One's For Hill Junkie

Update: Now with pictures.

My traveling companions have tired of my neverending prattle about vertical feetages and percent gradientage. This is because they are simple folk who cannot appreciate staring at a map and calculating slope. And then calculating it some more. And then talking about what you calculated.

Anyway. Today we went to go ride up this mountain, because we saw a road up it on Google maps, and we had been riding in its shadow for several days. And doing a ride with a 5000 foot climb is pro.

Let me just say, we should have looked at it in Google Earth or something else that would have let me calculate just how steep this thing was, because we epically failed in our ascent.

The approach was a dirt road grind across the plains, steadily increasing in pitch, big ring into middle ring into little ring, until you're climbing at 3 mph on the loosest dirt road ever created and you still haven't gotten to the actual mountain. For thirty minutes we could look up at t…

Tan Line Update

In true amateur-blogger fashion I dropped off the face of the earth after the Inferno. That kind of thing is pretty easy to do when you get a weekend without racing and a 9-day trip to Las-f'ing-Vegas.

There are a lot of things wrong with Las Vegas -- golf courses in the desert, slot machines in the supermarket, underwater mortgages, housing developments up to the mountains, eight lanes everywhere and a million traffic lights -- but all that does give you an appreciation for riding 30 miles at a time through the desert.

When it comes to vacation reports, I don't know what to say unless something insane is happening. Nothing insane is happening here. I am sleeping a lot and riding a lot and programming a lot. Standard issue bike nerd lifestyle, or so I've been told. On the insane front though, things are looking up, because I just found out I will be flying to Charlotte at 6am next Monday, after landing in Manchester at 12pm Sunday night.

Soooo yeah. I did some cool ri…

Sugarloaf Inferno Race Report

When I went to bed Saturday night, I was pretty fatigued from a classic 50k, but I figured that shouldn't be too much of a surprise. I set the alarm for another stupid-early time and lay down, falling instantly asleep.

When I woke up, I was still in the same position I lay down in, but I had apparently aged 50 years overnight. Either that or my spine had been stolen by elves while I slept -- in either case, my hip flexors, groin and lower back hurt more than I can ever remember. These muscles are integral to pretty much anything beyond sitting down, and definitely a big part of "skating" (but apparently not enough to be trained by it...), so I was in for a rough day at the Inferno.

With several days of above-freezing temps and below-freezing nights, the conditions were going to be loose granular, which is to say "fast as hell." Given that the race starts out going straight down an intermediate alpine trail, the name of the game was going to be risk management…

Bretton Woods Marathon Race Report

Stage two (out of only two, thankfully) of the don't-embarrass-yourself Marathon Tour took me to Bretton Woods on Saturday for a 50km classic. I prepared for this event by classic skiing exactly once between the Flying Moose and race day. I can't even say "whoops," like I didn't mean to, because it was all part of the plan to ride briskly at an undefined point in the future. Sacrifice your hip flexors in March, pedal fast in April, that's how it goes?

The event had an 8:30 AM start time, which could be interpreted in a few ways; either they were trying to do us a favor by ensuring the race ended before the hottest part of the day, or they were trying to push as many people as possible into having to stay locally the night before, stimulating the ole economy and whatnot. I foiled them by staying 1.5 hours away at my parents' house, which seemed clever, until I did the math and realized the alarm would be set for 5am. Turns out that 5AM March 14 is abo…

Obligatory March Training Post, Round 2

So last year I made fun of the interblogs with the Do It Yourself March Training Post. It was a huge success, except that it only alienated a few readers. Let's see if this year's edition can succeed in going even more negative!

Even Earlier, Much Whinier, Spring Training Post Template

Alright, it's early March and I am just SO SICK of winter. I'd like to [do something horrible] to that [unoriginal personification of a season]. I mean, it was [high number] degrees last week, and now it's only [seasonal average] degrees now, what gives? [Global warming|my trip to Tucson] can't get here soon enough! Every time I think [it's spring|winter ended 6 weeks early], it comes back with a [vengeance|completely normal weather pattern], like last week when we got [number less than 3] inches of snow. I just [don't understand|can't take it|love complaining]! I've been riding the [trainer|rollers] at night since [November|December|January] because [I hat…

Rangeley Lakes Loppet Race Report

After an entirely ski-free weekend, I headed up to Rangeley to see what kind of fitness 10 days away from skate striding had left me with. I've had a secret goal (or did I forget about the secret part and mention it here? I can't remember) for the XC ski season that was "don't do worse in the marathons than you did last year," the reasoning being that if I can ride more without getting slower on skis then I must be getting faster all-around. That, or I've entered the magical master skier "lifetime of base" state of fitness where you can just bust out respectable 50ks regardless of training. Either way it sounds like a win to me.

Things got off completely on the wrong foot when I ran into Blazar in the parking lot and he was like, "wait, you're here?? I didn't see you on the prereg list." I came back with "of course I registered, don't be stupid," but then I started thinking about it some more and realized I proba…

How To Ride Otis

(Rosey was nice enough to write up my latest trip, so that freed me up from my intense e-commitments to write a less "this is what I did on Sunday" kind of entry.)

It's March again! That magical time where I stop training for ski races, but manage to hang onto ski fitness for another few weeks of mediocre 50k racing. This freedom from ski training (I was actually ski training at one point, despite what my results may indicate) mean it's time to make a trip to Otis AFB every chance I can get. I wrote about Otis last year, which has led people to think that I am some kind of Otis authority.

While I enjoy the perception that I have some kind of jedi-like knowledge of Otis, I'd like to dispell the myth that you need to be a jedi -- or know a jedi -- to ride there. After all, how hard could it be if the trail map looks like this:

Just commit that to memory and you're good to go!

Ok, so it looks pretty daunting. Otis is a small and confusing place to ride, sure, …