Showing posts from August, 2009

Wellington is Hilly

There's about one flat acre in all of Wellington and they put a rugby field on it, then decided to hang houses for 300,000 people on the surrounding hills. This place has no business being a city. It's a stupid and extremely charming location.

This is Going OK.

I don't think the lorry drivers appreciate this scenery.

Always. Be. Practicing.

None of the interesting roads are paved. I'm ok with that.

Outta Here

Since this blog is mainly rearward-facing I didn't yet mention that I'm heading to New Zealand for two weeks, starting tomorrow. Since I only do vacations involving bike races, Linnea and I will be hitting the 2nd-ever New Zealand Cyclocross National Championships while we're down there. Since it's late winter/early spring, the riding should be perfectly miserable preparation for the cold and rainy cross season we won't have.

Posting frequency here will either go way up or way down, depending on how much internet access I can get and how much awesome stuff we do.

Superfan Weekend/Darkhorse 40 Race Report

I raced the Darkhorse 40 this weekend. It was an awesomely eccentric event. There was a lot of beer and a lot of prize money given out. I would strongly recommend this event to anyone slower than me or not in my age category. If you're a 16-29 Cat 1 racer, though, this race sucked, stay far far away!

Before the race though, lots of other exciting stuff happened.

Saturday was the final US Cup of the season over at Windham, and since Linnea wants to sign up for a lifetime of getting beat down upgrade to pro, so it was a big event for her. Meanwhile, I am content with my faux-pro status and wanted nothing to do with an 8am start time, $60 entry fee, and $0 payout. Does this make me spoiled by Root 66 Pro/1 races? You betcha.

Of course I was still on site at 7:50 to be a superfan. Good times were had as Matty O and I ate breakfast sandwiches in the woods and I cheered for New Englanders I knew by name while hiding behind a tree. You could tell who was serious because they didn…

24 Hours of Great Glen Race Report

That's right, too big to fit in a single day and too big to fit in a single blog post, the 24 hours of Great Glen report rolls on...

So this was Kevin's first 24 hour race. He went out on his first ever 24-hour lap 2:20 behind the leaders and head-to-head with Thom's team. Thirty-six minutes later, he had dropped Thom's team and could see the leader, so you have to forgive him for being a little excited, with a scant 22 hours and 45 minutes left until the end of the race.

I was there to take the next lap and Kevin comes flying into the tent, totally out of control, throws his bike down (the officials start asking him to pick it up), tries to get the baton out (drops it on the table), grabs his RFID card out of his pocket (I pick up his bike so the officials will stop yelling at us), tries to swipe the card but is in such a hurry it ends up flying across the table, hitting the timer-lady, and falling on the ground. Much to my amazement he didn't dive over the table…

24 Hours of Great Glen Pre-Race Report

The 24 hours of Great Glen is pretty much the highlight of my mountain bike season. It's not a question of if I'll do it, but how. Last year, Linnea and I pushed our relationship to the limit (by 10pm), and while were reasonably satisfied with the experience, she was smart enough to say "never again" the following morning. So, I started planning a 4-man expert team, last August.

I know a lot of people who race bikes, and since I like 24-hour racing I assumed they all did too. I made a list of candidates in my head (still in last August), but held off on proposing it to anyone for six months. Even I could tell that asking my friends to do a race 11.9 months away would tip them off that I'm crazy about this race, and maybe not in a healthy way.

To make a long story short, it turns out that a lot of my so-called "friends" don't think that staying up all night and racing your bike as hard as you can is a great idea. I found this disappointing and c…


I've done Great Glen enough that I really ought to have less enthusiasm for this event by now. Every year it goes the same way -- I spend a whole week getting hyped up, losing sleep, super excited -- and by 6pm during the race I'll be shoved in the hurtbox, praying for it to end.

This year I'm on a 4 man team, which only sounds easier. Longer breaks just means you have to hurt more when you're on the bike. With five other expert teams and a pro team out there, suffering, intensity and focus are gonna be the name of the game.

So why am I so excited?!

Spectacross Saturday Race Report

After Friday's mudbath, the big question was what would happen to the course when "normal" August weather hit it on Saturday. Peanut-butter death mud or hard and fast autobahn? Fortunately for the elite race, we had some crash test dummies, er, novice racers, out there packing it down in the morning and by the time 2:55 rolled around it was hard and fast, except for that one small lake in the tractor-pull arena that was somehow holding out against the heat.

Oh yeah. The HEAT. Did you know August cross is hot? Really hot? Yeah. This race shoulda been at night, because the night races were cool (in both senses), and 50 minutes in the sun sucks. Still though -- it's the same for everyone, right? Shut up and ride.

The start was just as important as the day before, but this time they elected to start us with a quiet horn pointing away from us. The starters said "10 seconds..." and then there was a little "tweet" sound in the background. Was th…

Spectacross Friday Night Sprints Race Report

Some people are cross purists, and think that 'cross in August is the end of the world.

Some people will drive a long way if you comp their entry and put $2000 in prize money up.

Turns out I'm in the latter group. The Spectacross promoter decided to stage via points, aka mah shit, and decided to comp me an entry to his event because he's nicer than he has to be. Cool. A cross race on July 31st? That's the right kind of wrong, if you ask me.

So Linnea and I did the (surprisingly short) drive down to Jer-zee to throw down at the state fair -- because nothing says 'cross like food on a stick.

The drive down was slowed by multiple tornado-quality thunderstorms. We arrived to a mostly deserted state fair (even carny folk won't run the Ferris Wheel in thunder like that) and a soaking wet cross course. Bunch 'o cars parked next to the course, all full of riders peering apprehensively at a the one guy preriding, who appeared to have been spray-p…