Thursday, January 31, 2008

10 Days of Hell

Since last weeks Full Moon Mountain Bike Ride I have been out of commission. First I get the flu then this darn Sinusitis that it appears I contacted from someone/thing has really beat me down. I tried to train some (like last weekends ride with Dan and Randy), but my body was having nothing to do with it. The worst part is the migraine type headaches that came with it. After 10 days of hell I finally broke down and went to the doctor yesterday. It is amazing what some Rx, a sinus wash and 12+ hours of sleep will do for least my problems are not as bad as my teammates perirectal absess. Don't worry I will not post a picture of it.....

My brother forwarded me an email from one of our old classmates that lives in South Florida. Joel, who during school didn't even know how to ride a bike, is now an avid cyclist down in Florida. Apparently a car pulled out in front of a small pack of cyclist and several of them went down. Mark Hewitt took the worst of it going through the windshield of the car. I don't know which is more dangerous, riding in Kansas City or Ft. Lauderdale. After thinking back on several near death experiences that I had when I used to train on those crazy Florida roads I vote on Florida :-)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

2008 Tour of Missouri

The 2008 Tour of Missouri is coming to town again. Looks like this year the event will start in historic St. Joesph, MO with a stage finish in Kansas City. Last year's Tour of Missouri was a blast. We are planning on taking a few days off this year and watch more of the event. Not often an event of the level comes to town.....even got the old Cow Town Bus fixed up and ready for the trip.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fat Tire Awards Banquet

After a brisk 40 miles morning ride with Randy Cartwright and Dan Gierer the family headed to The Resort at Port Arrowhead for the Midwest Fat Tire Awards Banquet. 2 1/2 hours later were arrived and checked in. After another what seems liked 2 1/2 hours, Carolynn was finished with her hair and we finally headed to the banquet room....

First up was a fine dinner followed by the awards and some swag from series sponsors Maxxis Tires, Chamois Butt'r and Hammer Gel. Heather Jordan ran the show for the last time as she is stepping down as Chairman and Barbie Miller is taking over to run the Fat Tire series for 2008 and 2009. Barbie will be joined by Todd Fridley, Kevin Carder and Andy Schuette as the Midwest Fat Tire Committee. Expect good things from these guys in 2008.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Both Christopher and Carolynn won their divisions. Christopher won the Kids 12 under division and Carolynn won the Beginner Women's title. As an added bonus our team also won the Team Award. This makes the 3rd year in a row that Cow Town has won. This year team was made up of Carolynn, Christopher, Damian Almanza and myself. I accepted the award on behalf of the team. At least I took home at least one 1st place award :-)

The big surprise of the night was when they announced the Sport's Woman of the Year award. I was actually shocked when they announced the winner as Carolynn Locke. People voted for her because she is always so positive and happy. And why wouldn't she be, she is married to me :-)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bike to Work Week - 2008 Commuter Challenge

I received an email from Eric Rodgers this week that planning is underway for the 2008 Commuter Challenge which is annual held during Bike to Work Week. Check out KCBike.Info for more information.

Last year I actually won the Commuter Challenge. Mostly because I was one of a few that rode everyday no matter the weather. There is always a day during the challenge that has really bad weather. This year I was one of only a few that rode on Day 2 which brought us heavy down pours and lighting.

The Commuter Challenge is held during National Bike Month. If you have never tried commuting before I recommend you give it a try. Not just for fitness, but to save money. I calculated yesterday that I save $49.00 a week in fuel (at $2.90 a gallon) by commuting to work. $49 x 48 weeks (4 weeks off) and I would save $2352 a year commuting. I am fixing up the old commuter rig this weekend....

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Midwest Fat Tire Championship Series

I would like to congratulate my wife Carolynn and my son Christopher on winning their respective classes during the 2007 Midwest Fat Tire Championship Series. This weekend we head down to the Lake of the Ozarks for the 2007 Awards Banquet

About this time last year we all sat down and decided on what our racing goals were. Carolynn wanted to win the Beginner Women's division and Christopher said he wanted to win the Kids 8-12 division. Well actually Christopher said he wanted to win every round, which is really hard to do in a year long series.All winter and spring they both trained really hard and the results speak for themselves.

Christopher's hard training especially showed at the Ride w/the Devil event. His time would have beat the majority of adult riders - top 15 in the Beginner classes, which is very good for an 11 year old. At God's Country MTB Classic he really showed his desire to win as a crash at the start put him in last place several minutes behind. Christopher came by me crying and bleeding out of an injury that he just sustained. I could tell he was really upset not only because he crashed, but that he most likely was not going to win today. As he passed I encouraged him to "just do your best, keep trying, you are doing great". At this time I am thinking there is no way he can catch up. About 25 min later Carolynn comes out of the woods to complete her first lap. And guess who's next? Christopher. He had done it! He had bridged up to the leaders and was now in the lead.

Great job you guys. I Love you both.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Full Moon Mountain Bike Ride

To celebrate the Full Moon, John Harter called a ride up at Smithville Lake. The only catch was no lights were allowed. He mentioned that we would be able to see just fine with the Full Moon and the snow on the ground. Let me be the first to say that John is FOS. You couldn't even see two feet in front of you. Not to go against his rides rules of no lights we pressed on....Most of the trail was in o.k. shape. Other parts were really hard to ride and made a really challenging ride. On the way back we (Tige Lamb and Mark Studnicki) somehow lost Harter, Puglsy man and the others. They might have done the smart thing and doubled back on the packed trails. We on the other hand peddled our bikes through several inches of deep snow. We only rode one lap which took nearly two hours (this included a stop to repair Tige's flat tire).

We decide to hit the Subway on the way home, but we never made. My trusty 1996 Ford Aerostar had a little mishap on the way home. I started hearing some loud noises coming from the front end. Come to think of it, I have been hearing noises for the past week, but thought it was something to do with the transmission. We stopped and tried to figure out what the problem was. I decided I was just going to park the van overnight in a nearby construction area because I just had this feeling that something was not right. I go to back up and turn around to park and the darn front wheel falls off. I lost all control of the van and thought for a second that I was going to hit Tige who was behind me. The van finally came to a stop several feet from a nearby ditch with my tire still in the middle of the road. Thanks to Tige, he ran out into the road to grab my tire before it was run over by an oncoming vehicle. I guess I should be very thankful that the tire didn't come off while traveling 70 mph. I could have wound up seriously injured or god forbid dead in a Smithville ditch. Thank you God!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Winter Wonder Rides

Today was a little a hard getting up. Yesterday's crash was a little worse than I thought. I could hardly move my neck this morning and all the muscles in neck and upper shoulders were really sore. After about 30 minutes for stretching and yoga I felt better.

Sunday's planned ride was out at Clinton Lake. These trails can be hard to ride when it is dry let alone with 2 to 3 inches of snow. Randy Cartwright, Shad Schreiner, Gerard Arantowicz, Mark Studnicki, Jeff Arnaud and myself got in about 2 1/2 hours of riding. We we out there close to 3 hours, but about 1/2 was fixing all of Shad mechanical's (2 flats and a broken chain). Luckly I had my cool Crank Brothers multi-tool to get em going again. Another good base ride in the books.

A fun day of riding out at the Landahl Winter Wonder Ride. We got in about 3 hours worth of riding. Conditions starting off were a bit cold - 5 degrees, but we quickly warmed up. I for one felt very good in the cold conditions. My clothing was a base layer, long sleeve jersey, winter jacket, base layer of tights, winter riding pants, Lake winter shoes with booties, baklava and a pair of lobster gloves.

The ride was going well and I felt good on the bike. The only exception was the rocky technical sections. Every time it got rocky and technical Rich picked up the pace. Or I guess it could have been I slowed down and it just seemed like he picked it up :-) About 1 1/2 hours into the ride we entered a section of Landahl called Rim Job. This sections is rather technical and has a just name, but after a header that I took (because my winter riding pants got caught on my seat) I think we should change the name to Head Job. End result was a cracked helmet and a broken ego....

Heck, even my Brother Joey went riding in the snow today. And he lives in Florida.

Here are today's top 5 Do and Do Nots for cold weather riding:
  • Do fill your water bottles/bladders with hot water before your ride.
  • Do run your tire pressure as low as possible - 28/30 is best.
  • Do wear your camel back under your jacket to avoid freezing.
  • Do not wear baggy winter riding pants.
  • Do not leave soda's in the cooler (which is in the van outside) overnight :-)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Racing against Floyd.

Check out this Landis to race NUE series.

I'm going to put my Hole shot face on and stuff em in the first corner :-) Just like Mark says "Neutralize him in the single track"

Training is going well for my first 100 mile mountain bike race. The Cohutta 100 is planned for April 19th. My base miles are adding up and I am feeling very healthy and most importantly motivated to do well. Still undecided if I'm racing my Anthem 1 or my Single Speed. Weather is crappy here in Kansas City, but I still plan to put in some heavy training this weekend. Temps are fore casted very cold (10 degrees on Saturday) which will keep the trails frozen. Hopefully Landahl did not get a lot of snow and Saturday's planned ride will be a go. Sunday we are heading out to Clinton for a 1:00pm ride.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Test - Nightrider MiNewt. X2

I just got one of those new Nightrider Minewt.X2's from The Wheel Cyclery. Decided I would give them a quick test during an impromptu night training ride with my teammates - Randy Cartwright, John Harter and Rich Anderson.

Ride: 37 Miles/2 hours 47 min on the Smithville Lake paved trails.

Conditions: Butt arse cold, windy and very dark. What did you expect it's winter in Kansas City.

First Impressions were very good. Installing the Minewt lighting system was very easy. The two headlamps mounted with rubber straps and the battery uses a nice wide Velcro strap to secure it to the stem. I had the system mounted in about 2 min. The X2's are bright enough to ride single track for sure. I was a little worried about getting a LED based system, but the X2's are very bright. I tried to take a picture of how bright they were, but I didn't have the settings correct on my cheap Samsung camera. System worked great for the next hour, but then went dead on me. I guess I should have charged it before I went out to test :-).

Luckily I had my backup from Night Sun and completed the ride with no problem. This is a good reason to never leave home without a backup. I will do a complete test later this week on our next night ride to see the burn time on both high and low settings. If you are thinking of getting a Nightrider Minewt make sure you get a X2 dual system if you are going to use on single track. For commuting a single system would be find, but for single track you need the dual model.

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Hobby

Christopher's new found hobby. For some reason he keeps finding very expensive hobbies.....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

1st Annual Frozen Lamb Ride

The First Annual Frozen Lamb Ride

Sunday, January 13th

Meet at 10:00am at the Lamb's (7769 Rose Hill Rd, Lenexa, KS 66216) If you get lost 913.915.4671

Ride pace will be easy (I hope) as we need to build up those base miles. Ride time around 3 hours. Course: rolling hills.

The Cow Town bus leaves the Northland at 9:30 a.m. if you need a ride.

Update: A small hearty group showed up for this fine ride and put in about 50 miles (Studnicki put in about 70 or so because he rode to the start from his house) Tige lead us out a maze of roads that eventually brought us out South West of the city. Not far into the ride Randy flatted going over one of the numerous rail road crossing in Lenexa, KS. I have never seen a city with so many RR crossings and what is up with all the pot holes. I thought Kansas was suppose to have better roads the Missouri? Well based on the roads we went on they don't....Tige promised some hills and on the way back in there were plenty of em. Ride back was helped with a nice tail wind. The only stop on the way back was to fix Damain's rear tire which came off the rim only because that boy can not change tires to save his life....

Thank you to Tige Lamb, Mark Studnicki, Damian Almanza, Mark Sperl and Randy Cartwright from making the 1st Annual Frozen Lamb Ride a success :-)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2008 Race Schedule Taking Shape

My 2008 season is taking shape. So far I have three key events that I am focusing on: the Ouachita Challenge, the Cohutta 100 and the Ironman 70.3 Kansas. Here is a preview of the Ironman 70.3 Kansas which will be my "A" race for the year. I would like to do at least 1 or 2 more 100 mile races. Either the Wilderness 101 with Gerard or the Fools Gold in Georgia where I could visit my sister. Maybe next year I will try the Colorado Trail Race.

I don't know if I will do much XC racing this year. Sort of changing focus to longer distance stuff. Maybe I am just getting older and enjoy riding longer distances. We will see. Jan/Feb will be plenty of long rides/runs. March I will some intensity with Jim's Spring Flings out at Lawrence. In the past the crits have been a good way to build some race form.

On some recovery weeks I also plan to participate in some Hare Scrambles. I say participate because I am not taking it to serous. It has been since my brother got injured back in 1991 that I raced a motorcycle. With time I have realized that accidents happen and that I also could have a serous accident at any time just commuting to work on my bicycle. I had some fun riding with Christopher and we plan to hit the trails and MX tracks this Summer, especially after my 1/2 Ironman.

Speaking of schedules, the 2008 Missouri Race Schedule is out. Still waiting for the Kansas schedule.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

De Stad Series Single Speed Champion

Today's Grote Prijs was the final round of the De Stad Series. I needed a little help to win the series title. I had to finish 4th or better and I had to beat Cameron Chambers or have him not show up. Well, both happened today.

Course was about the same as it was two years ago when I promoted this event with Mark Thomas with the exception of the gravel road section through the 'Old Town Shawnee'. I expected really bad conditions given all the snow we had and recent warm weather, but what we got was a course that just muddy enough to cause your wheels to sink in about 2 inches. Not good conditions for a single speed.

Today there were only 6 other single speeds. I started off in third behind Jim Cogans and Bill Anderson. I soon passed Bill on a slick muddy corner and was by Cogans on the next straight. I lead for about a lap when Joshua Stamper came by like I was standing still. Cogan's and Anderson also came by and I thought I was getting a flat tire on my new Kona SS rig because I just could not turn the gears. Once I got back to the wheel pit I traded bikes for my Airborn SS mountain bike that I had been using all cross season. I was soon up to speed again and was closing in on Anderson and Cogan's when it happened again. Darn chain derailed. I could hear Carolynn in the back ground urging me to get going because 5th and 6th place were closing fast. I was soon away again and decided to get back on the Kona even if it did have a low tire. There was no way I was going to reel in Bill or Jim, as both were having very good rides. The rest of the race I kept in 4th just enough to win the series title. Free entry next year for me :-)

Supercross Season Begins

It's Supercross time!.

While it is down time for me with mostly easy rides as I slowly build up my fitness for the 2008 season, the season is just getting started for my second favorite sport -Supercross. To get us ready in proper style, the family meet David Wathen his family at Kemper Arena for the Kansas City Round of the Toytota Arenacross While all the big boys were not at the race as there were other rounds taking place, it was still a fun filled evening.

The Round 1 out at Anaheim took place last night also and I stayed up late after we got back from the Arenacross to watch all the action. While the track was a little muddy and created an interesting race, it was not muddy enough for my favorite ride Kevin Windham did not win. Past champ Chad Reed pulled out the win over James Stewart.

And what is this? The Dakar Rally Cancelled! I usually spin on the trainer while watching this every January. What is the world coming to?

Some pictures from Saturday's Kansas City Arena Cross Below.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Seven Oaks Ski Trip

Christopher really enjoys skiing so we planned a trip up to the Seven Oaks over the Christmas/New Years break. A cool little place up in Boone IA that has 7 runs and a crazy tubing ride where you get going up to 70 mph.

This was only my second time skiing and it showed. I stuck to the bunny slope for most of the first day to try get balance. Once I did I ventured up the hill to a so called green run. Carolynn and Christopher had been on this one and said it was easy. After I figured out how to get on the ski lift and I successfully got off the thing I gave the run a try. "God please help me" was the last thing I could remember saying before I went down.....I spent the rest of the day on the bunny slope.

Christopher talked me into trying out the tubing hill. I don't know which is worst. Not having any control on skis or not having any control flying down a hill in a small tube spinning wildly. Lets just say I was glad to leave Seven Oaks in one piece. Hopefully the slopes out in Colorado will have some powder and not be all iced up when we go out and visit Good Ben.