Monday, December 29, 2008

Beaches and Bikes

Our winter vacation has been going well. It has been nice to visit my family and catch up with some friends. I am glad I decided to bring my DEAN down with me. I usually borrow a bike, but having your own bike that fits is sure nice. It is also nice to be riding in 80 degree weather and feel that warm sunshine and cool Florida breezes....

Our next beach we visited was Deerfield Beach. . One of the local favorites. It has a good mixture of surf, sand and fine dining. ..Just as we found a spot on the beach Christopher started to head into the water to begin enjoying the day. Within minutes a large crowd started to gather. Someone said they saw a shark. Sure enough as I observe the breaking waves I saw a 6 foot Lemon Shark. Shortly after the life guards starting yelling for everyone to exit the water. Some swimmers did not want to leave the water. All I know is when I see a life guard waving his arms and blowing a whistle my butt' is heading to shore ASAP.....Christopher and I ventured about 1 mile South and decided to check out the waves. They were just too temping to pass up. We had a blast and really enjoyed the day.

Saturday I met Joel and Moe on one of their morning training rides. They are on Team zMotion based out of South Florida. Today's ride was about 70 miles long with an out-back on A1A up to Palm Beach. I don't know if it's the free buffet breakfast that is served after the ride, the beautiful ocean view or the team motor scooter that paced the group, but over 50 riders showed up for a nice early morning ride. It was nice to get in some good quality miles and the ride brought back some fond memories of when I called South Florida home.

Monday we headed to the Florida Keys for 2 days of snorkeling and sea kayaking. We got a nice room at Key Largo Resort at Manatee Bay. It is only 500 yards from John Pennekamp State Park which is a great place for snorkeling and kayaking among the mangrove trails. We tried to go today, but the park was completely full so we headed down south to find a local beach. Much needed testing was needed on our equipment. We finally did find a beach, if you want to call it that. Harry Harris Park was a site to see. It was like a miniature little island with a lagoon. We made sure our masks and snorkels were in good working order. We saw some very cool looking fish and a few lobsters. Carolynn had a little accident on the way down to the water. Those rocks were a little slippery.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas we decided to head back home to Florida to see the family and enjoy two weeks of sunshine and a much needed vacation. Getting here this year was a little challenging. I guess flying on Christmas Eve and bad weather will do that. After a 6+ hour delay, we finally got in to Ft Lauderdale a little after 2:00 a.m. That is really late for me. I am just not a night person. Neither is Carolynn. Christopher on the other hand seems to be able to stay up all night long.

Here are some photos from today. Check out my redneck bike rack. Drivers down here in Florida are crazy and I just did not want to take any chances.

Speaking of drivers. I sure do not miss riding down here. Even with light holiday traffic, it is just crazy. Some guy nearly attacked me because I actually made him slow down and wait to go into the turn lane. When we got to the light he started to scream at me and get out of his SUV. Luckily, the light changed and I told him "Merry Christmas to you to" and proceeded to ride. I am just glad he did not chase me down. I hate when drivers yell at me and beep their horns. I usually just ignore them and all ends well. I don't want to give cyclist a bad name....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

One Last Ride

Got in one last ride before we leave for two weeks in Florida. One to two inches of fresh snow fell overnight up at Smithville. Trials were in good condition for the most part. Anyone out there that is looking for some sweet trails that are a blast to ride in the snow head up to Smithville. After tonight's regular Wednesday ride they will be that much better - packed and ready for you.

I made some adjustments to my new SS rig. Joshua and Mark recommended lowering my tire pressure. I rode today at 25 psi and it was much better. Also moved my seat back in the rails some and added a spacer to my handle bar height (yes Mark I am now more upright than ever...) These three adjustments made a world of difference. I also rode at a faster tempo for most of the ride to stay on top of the snow and the Mary seemed to come alive at speed.

Off to work on my tan lines....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

First Winter Ride

I finally got to hit the trails for my first winter ride in the snow. I planned to meet a couple of my teammates at Landahl for a couple of hours of fun, but I was the only one to show up.....

Today was also my first ride on my new Mary SS. She sure does look perty and smooth, but she rides like an old broken down mule. Even with the soft snow I was getting beat up. Maybe it was just me or I had too much tire pressure. I will give her another go tomorrow morning. Got in 2 1/2 hours before my toes started to go numb.

29er??? Not so sure about this either. I guess I need to get used to it. All I know is that my Giant Anthem sure seems to ride a lot smoother than these big old things...

Maxxis Ardent Tires. One word - SWEET. They hooked up very well in the snow. I can't wait to try them in some other types of terrain.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bone Bender 3/6 Hour

I have been wanting to promote an endurance MTB race for several years. Well, It is official.

Big time racing returns to KC! Mark your calendars because you will not want to miss it.

Bone Bender 3/6 Hour MTB Race
March 14th, 2009
Smithville, Missouri.

Come enjoy some of the sweetest trails in the Midwest. Party with your friends and just have a grand old time.

Official website (for now) at

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2009 Fat Tire Duathlon Series

It is back on!

I loved the Black Locust Duathlon so much last year that I invited them to be part of the Fat Tire Duathlon series. Things are looking sweet.

Devil's Revenge
March 7th, 2009
Clinton Lake State park, Lawrence, Kansas

Black Locust
March, 29th, 2009
SAC River Trails, Springfield, Missouri

God's Country
April 25th, 2009
Lawrence River Trials, Lawrence, Kansas

Series Website:

Volunteers and coordinators are needed. Please email These events can not take place without your help.

Sponsorship packages are still available :wink:

Info on a new exciting "Epic" event in the Metro area and a new MTB Series will follow shortly

Sunday, December 14, 2008

2008 Cyclocross Championships - Day 4

My favorite class was up today. About 90 of my single speed freaks were on hand for today's fun. I say fun because I actually had fun riding today. Except that hill...

I got an o.k. start from the 4th row. I guess I had more fun because I was actually able to race some instead of just getting blown away. For some reason I always seem to ride my single speed bike better and harder than my geared bike. I almost made the complete race, but the leaders just got by me and I ended up 1 lap down. Those guys were hauling butt as they passed me. They also all seemed to be 20 years younger than I :-)

Thanks to everyone out there who cheered me on. It was really cool. It seems like every corner I had someone cheering for me.

Here are some pictures that Carolynn took today.

Off to watch the big boys and girls...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

2008 Cyclocross Championships - Day 3

Masters Men 40-44 today. Another stacked field of riders from all across the USA. I just hope I can keep from getting lapped. My starting spot for today is not very good. By the time I hit the first corner I will be at least 2 min behind the leaders.

The course was basically dry today. A few damp spots that you had to watch out for, but otherwise a vast improvement from Thursday's mud. Of course, I kind of wish there was some more mud. At least something to take some power away from the other riders. Today's course was all about fitness and speed. Both of which I have none of....

We got to the course early to watch Tige race in the 35-39 division. On the first lap I was shocked to see that he was near the tail end of the pack. This has been where I spent the entire day. Turns out he went down with some other riders and started near dead last.

Not much to say about my race. I just had nothing in the tank. I was near empty at the start with very little energy or motivation. Every time the course went up or you needed some power, I had nothing for it. I got lapped and they pulled me after 4 laps. I was actually glad they did. It is embarrassing for me to be that far back in the pack. What a humbling experience. Those top guys are just so fast and strong. They just motored on passed me and were gone.

We stayed a bit after my race to watch the 50-54 division and the legend Ned Overland. That dude is just incredible. Henry Kramer bridged up to him about 1/2 way through the race. As soon as he did, Ned attacked right after the climb up on top. You could see the look in his eyes as he just put it down - he was after another championship jersey.

Here are some pictures that Carolynn and I took (mine are the good ones...).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2008 Cyclocross Championships - Day 1 Report

Men's 40+ B class was held today. As I lined up I saw a lot of Cat 2 riders. Darn Sandbaggers....

I lined up in the 7th row which put me just around a 60th place start. There were over a 100 riders signed up. Luckily it was not that cold today and the long wait to start was actually pleasant compared to last year. As we waited the last 60 seconds before the start, I was just hoping that no one would tangle their bars and crash on the starting straight. The first 50 yards of the start was clean then someone tangled on the left of me and went down causing several others to crash. I got out clean, but my position left me on the inside of the first turn which was a slimy mess. I remember Tige (who got 4th today) telling me to take the outside of the corners because the insides were just too slow. The first couple of corners were very nerve racking and caused me to ride very tense as riders kept crashing and bumping into me. On the first climb things started to spread out some. This was only good for everyone else as with my present form I am climbing very poorly. I think I got passed by 10 riders on the first trip up the hillside. I tried to keep positive and relax on the way down, but I was just not flowing very well. I did pick off some riders on the way back down the hill. Especially in the turns. But those same guys would pass me back on the way up. You get the point. 45 minutes later I finished in about the same place I started - 66th place. At least I did not get lapped by the Sandbagger Cat 2's up front :-)

Here are some pictures Carolynn took.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

3 More to Go!

It is hard finding motivation to line up for tomorrow's Cyclocross National Championships. If the event was not in KC I would not be toeing the line for sure, but because the race venue is only 10 miles from my house I really don't have a good excuse not to race.

I rode the course last weekend and let's say that I was less than impressed. Perhaps it snowed enough yesterday to make the course more interesting. It seems that if it snows and the course conditions are muddy/icy that's all it takes to make a "great event" or a "great course".

Packet pickup was today. I foolishly signed up for 3 classes earlier in the year. B Men 40+ Thursday, Master Men 40-44 Saturday and Single Speed on Sunday. On the way home I recalled how "festive" packet pickups are for events like the Ironman Kansas and even at the MTB National Championships that I went to a couple of years ago out in Sonoma, CA. The events made you feel like something special was taking place. Today's packet pickup had some tables and boxes....

Goals? Only two. Have some fun during the last cyclocross race of the year and not get lapped...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Should I Quit?

Should I quit racing or promoting? I cannot do both. After today's mid-pack finish in the Missouri State Cyclocross Championships I have decided that one has to go. By promoting the De Stad series this year I basically lost 3 months of quality training. Sure I got some training in, but not enough to get me on the box on a weekly basis. And that is what I desire to get. I am just not happy getting mid-pack....

Today Carolynn and I headed East to Hermann for the 2008 Missouri State Cyclocross Championship. Goal was to get top 3 in the Men's Master 40+ class. I knew if I had a very good day I could. When I was applying my Embrocation cream prior to the race Carolynn finally noticed the nice bruise that I got from last weekends crash in the first turn of the muddy Platte City race. I guess I hit it really good because I usually don't bruise easily.

Conditions for the 2.1 mile course were good. A little slimy on top in some corners, but the 25 degree temps kept most of the course on the lower sections frozen. Otherwise they would have been a lot more muddy. Course was a good solid design except for it being a little long (bad for spectators) and getting silly with too many twisty turns on a hillside at the far end of the course - two would have been fine, but 5 was.... After a short, but sufficient warm up I went to the line to start my 45 min event. Legs felt good. Back was not hurting. Motivation level was high. All things looked good for a strong race.

I got a good start and was 7th overall (Masters 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 all raced together). The plan was to ride at a very hard race pace, but not do a first lap burnout. Only problem was my race pace was slower than the top guys. I slowly fell back a place or two each lap. After reviewing my Heart rate data, I was only able to reach a HR of 168. I usually race with a HR in the low 180's. I just don't know why I can't get my HR up to that level anymore. Like I said at the beginning, something has to go - racing or promoting. I just can not do both anymore.....

Complete results HERE.

Carolynn took some pictures:

The first lap of the Men's Cat 3 class over the barriers:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2009 National Ultra Endurance Series

I might do up to three 100 milers this year. Plan on racing my new Single Speed. Heck, at Cohutta I was in one gear most of the time anyway. I want to earn a few more finishing mugs :-_

From Cycling News...

The National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series, a popular American series of 100-mile mountain bike races, will return for its third season in 2009. Organizers announced the complete schedule, again with eight events as in 2008.

Winners will be tallied from the best four event results compiled by each racer. Ties will be broken at the finale in California.

Unlike some events and teams which are facing sponsorship shortages for 2009, the NUE will carry forward its current support. "All 2008 sponsors are returning in 2009," said one of the co-organizers, Ryan O'Dell, who also promotes the Mohican 100 in Ohio.

Jeff Schalk and Cheryl Sornson (both of Trek / VW) won the men's and women's categories of the series in 2008.

NUE Series for 2009
Saturday, April 25: Cohutta 100 (Tennessee)
Saturday, May 30: Mohican 100 (Ohio)
Saturday, June 20: Lumberjack 100 (Michigan)
Saturday, July 18: Breckenridge 100 (Colorado)
Saturday, August 1: Wilderness 101 (Pennsylvania)
Saturday, August 15: Fool's Gold 100 (Georgia)
Sunday, September 6: Shenandoah Mountain 100 (Virginia)
Saturday, September 12: Tahoe-Sierra 100 (California)