Thursday, February 26, 2009

A reprieve

Temps ballooned into the upper 50s on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, giving me ample opportunity for post-work bonus miles. The two days of riding into and around after work with nothing more than a base layer and a wind break on have done wonders for my psyche. My legs weren't initially sure what to do once they were allowed to see the sun and have the wind directly on them. That issue soon passed. 2.5 hours of post-work ride on Tuesday and about 3 hours on Wednesday were the result. My legs are feeling the results of time spent on my Singlecross, but I have an appointment scheduled with Cindy at Hands On Sports Massage tomorrow over lunch, so I should be feeling great for our team training camp in Arizona next week. The last ride schedule has us down for 450 or so miles for the week, with climbs up both Mt Lemmon and Kitt Peak. This will be my first time climbing real mountains, so I'm expecting to come back home cooked, but stronger. I plan on taking a rest on Saturday and finishing the Karate Monkey so it's rideable. If I'm lucky, I'll get to take a short test spin on the new drop bar set up to see what changes I want to make. That's about all that's going on right now.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ravings of a lunatic

A hard Metallica driven workout can do wonders for one's psyche. Just what I needed to clear out some mental cobwebs, and prepare for two tough races in May. I'm writing this here as a way to hold myself accountable for my results

I am going to start TransIowa V and finish it inside of the time cut off.

I am going to finish the Dirty Kanza in less time than it took me last year.

I am in better shape now than I was at this time last year, I'm losing weight, and I am focused. Nothing is going to deter me from meeting these two goals.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

3 hours of gravel

Met up with Webb, Sedore, Resse and Benson at 6:30 this morning for some snowy, gravelly goodness. Ended up with a little over 27 miles and 3200' of climb. With the Monkey waiting on a fork, I took the Singlecross sans studs. Once the sun came up and I could see the road clearly (since I was too dumb to bring lights), the ride wasn't too bad. The knee held up OK to the hills and the stress of the single speed, despite me having to diesel up some of the hills. I couldn't find my shoe covers this morning, so the 18 degree temps made for some cold toes. A well placed set of toe warmers fixed that issue once we arrived in Van Meter.

Photos are here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Going to run with the dark side this year

Since Leadville is off the radar for the year, I thought I would look at other options for the summer. Think I'm gonna join the road guys this year to see what the paved side of life is like. To that end, I've got new road shoes and pedals coming thanks to Rasmussen's.

I'll probably still run some of the IMBCS races this year when possible, but this seems like a good time to see how the other half rolls.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Back in the saddle

Two hours at Lou's Garage tonight. Zone 3 and zone 4 ladder workout for two hours with spots of recovery after each interval. Knee feels fine. Legs feel like rubber after a week off and getting hit with an interval workout. I see what it feels like tomorrow and then decide on doing a snow ride on Saturday or sitting on the trainer in the basement. Oh, and I got my flush letter from Leadville today. I was informed that if I signed up for one of the Carmichael Mountain Bike training camps, that it includes an entry into Leadville for next year. While I'm all for stuff like volunteering to help and getting preferential consideration for entry, the thought of getting a guaranteed spot by paying to attend a training camp chafes my hide a bit. The entry fee is already pretty steep for Leadville, I definitely don't feel that it's worth any more than they already charge. I know there's some race organizers out there that don't make a dime (and even lose) money on their events that might deserve my money a bit more.

And now, back to my regularly scheduled race prep.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Preliminary rider list for Leadville was posted to the event web site today. My name isn't on the list for this year. I had really psyched myself up for riding the event, so I'm disappointed that I'm not going to be there this year. On the other hand, it opens up the rest of the year for pretty much anything that I feel like doing. Maybe this is the year to do some bike camping instead...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Down but not out

Decided to drive into work Friday since I was running a bit late, and I wanted to give the legs a break before riding to BRR tomorrow. Got out of my truck and walked into the office and *BAM*, down on a patch of ice on the sidewalk. Felt something from my calf up into my thigh as I went down. I waited a minute to get up, and then hobbled my way to my desk. Some ice during the morning, and a visit to Cindy at Hands On Sports Massage over lunch for some immediate relief and a suggested course of action. That turned out to be ice, ibuprofen, generous applications of Trameel, and no biking for me this weekend. Needless to say, I'm not happy right now. Had I ridden into work, this wouldn't have happened. The oddness of the situation is not lost on me. I'm not happy about it, but there's not a lot I can do other than taking it easy, let the swelling around my knee go away, and then ease back into things. I might be riding with a knee brace for a while, but I'm going to be riding as soon as I can so I can keep the joint loose. If it's not better by Monday, I'll like have to see a physician since it happened on company property.

So, rather than riding to Perry (or driving there and drinking a bunch) I spent today working on my bikes. I drove over to the shop to pick up cables, housing and chain lube, then set the work stand in the driveway, cracked open a beer and went to work. I cleaned the winter dirt and grime off of the Karate Monkey and then stripped the handle bars, controls and cables off for it's drop bar transformation. I cleaned all of the crud off of my cross bike, then re-tensioned, cleaned and lubed the chain. Last, I removed the interruptor bars off my LHT and ran new brake housing out of the levers. Afterwards, I rewrapped the leather tape around the bars and then finished the tape off with some twine.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Indian Spring?

I'm heading out after work for some riding while the weather is warm. I know Taylor is interested. If anyone else out there wants to join me, post a reply, call, FB, or email me. It's crossbike weather, so ride em if you got em.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Congratulations to my friend, endurance riding companion, and fellow Iowan Dennis Grelk on his 3rd place finish at the 2009 Arrowhead Ultra 135 today. I don't know how he does it.

Been a while

Nothing terribily out of the ordinary going on, so no posts recently. been getting in lots of "subsistence miles" and getting longer rides in when time and weather permit. One of those long rides occurred on Saturday the 31st. With temps projected to hit the mid 40s, I took off from home around 6:30 to meet up with Tom, Scott, and Will at Tom's house and head towards the Booneville gravel loop. We met up with Squirrel and Rick near the X avenue traffic circle cemetary and proceeded to let Squirrel pound us into oblivion on the first lap of Booneville loop. Squirrel, Rick, Scott and I pulled into Rasmussen's at 9:35 and waited for others to show up for the 10:00 loop that we had mailed around earlier in the week. Tom and WIll phoned Squirrel to let him know they were calling it a day. I took off with the group towards Booneville again, and parted ways at X avenue and rode home. With a long ride of 30 miles since the new fit, I decided that 100K for the day on the MTB was going to be enough. I shifted into the big ring and removed the gloves for the tailwind ride home, making a quick stop at Tom's house to make sure he and will were OK.

Sunday, I met up with my friend Lacey and we took a relaxing two hour gravel ride out towards Dallas Center and back. This was Lacey's first gravel ride, and her first chance to finally try out some of her winter gear. I'm not sure if she's caught the gravel bug quite yet. The scenery is a little bleak this time of year, and the winds work their hardest to zap you of your strength.

Plans for this week are either an indoor spin at Lou's or an outdoor ride on Thursday evening. I don't really care which, as long as I get on my bike. Saturday, I'm working to get a group together for the Gravel Road Ride 2 BRR (GRR2BRR) 1. We'll be leaving from my house in Johnston and working our way to Perry for their annual BRR ride. If you're reading this, you're welcome to ride along. MTB or cross bike would be the best ride to choose.

I'm still working on getting the parts together for the drop bar conversion on the Karate Monkey. My plans for mounting an IGH based wheel on the Singlecross fell through as soon as I started researching the width of the rear stays. Not enough room. At this point, it appears the Monkey is going to be my weapon of choice for both TransIowa and Dirty Kanza. I'm hoping to ramp up the mileage a bit more this month. TI is only 3 months away, and DK is 4 months out. I am probably in better physical shape now than I was at this time last year, but I don't feel as mentally prepared. I'm sure some of it has to do with the cold weather, but I also think I'm more conscious about how much time I'm spending on the bike vs doing other things this year. I haven't gotten to a balance that I'm happy with as of yet. Hopefully that changes soon, or I will find myself calling for a bailout in the middle of a gravel road in Iowa or Kansas in May.