Monday, April 21, 2008

Cohutta 100 Race Report

My 100th post. Fitting I guess that it is for the Cohutta 100.

Quick results: I finished in 11 hours 31 min. It was a long day in the saddle for sure. I just did not have good legs today and with over 14,000 feet of elevation gain that is one thing you need for the Cohutta.

I finally found the energy to download my Garmin 305. The battery only lasted 89 miles, so the last 11 miles of single track are missing. If you are interested, the Cohutta 100 map and data can be found at http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/5480388

Everyone on the team did very well. Joey and Selby completed the 35 miler ~ 5:30. Randy did great in the 65 miler and finished ~ 5:57. Tige got just outside the top 50 and finished ~ 9:30. Eric did very well on his single speed and finished just over 11:15.

Still working on my complete race report.....

I posted some pictures on http://www.flickr.com/photos/clocke/

Official Results are up - 2008 Cohutta 100 Results

Offical Pictures are at - Blue Basin Photo

Here are some pics. When I get back into K.C. I will update....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cohutta 100 - Am I Ready?

My first big objective for the year has finally arrived. The Cohutta 100 is this weekend. Am I ready? I asked myself this very question this past Sunday during my last training ride.

As I stood at the entrance of Tiffany Springs Park eating my last bit of food and filling up my water bottle I came to the conclusion that I am no where near ready. I was just under 50 miles for the ride and I was wiped - cold, tired and very hungry. My legs were toast and my motivation level was zero. For the first time in my life I actually thought about calling Carolynn and have her pick me up. I still had about 15 hilly miles to go to get home and all I could think about was how nice it would be to be in a hot bath right now.

That thought of a warm bath and a post ride massage was enough to motivate me to continue on. After the ride Carolynn worked on my cramping legs. On Tuesday Betsy from Back and Body Works spent a lot time on my legs and today they feel a lot better. I am hoping that by Saturday they are near normal. At least then I know I can at least finish strongly.

I am excited about riding some new trails. The TN/GA area is at the foot hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and offer some great views. For some pics from last years event check out Blue Basin Photography.

After Saturday's race we are all heading to the Ocoee Whitewater Center I have not been whitewater rafting in years and look forward to it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Maxxis Tubeless System

One of my teams sponsors is Maxxis Tires. They have a very cool product that allows you to convert a standard mountain bike rim to a tubeless system - Maxxis Tubeless system

I have used these trips for the past year with great success. Christopher ran them last year during the Midwest Fat Series and trained on them all year with no flats. Now I have the entire family running them.

They work great and install very easily if you use the right technique. Some riders I know have had some issues mounting their tires using the strips, but if you follow how 'The Master' does it you will be tubeless in about 30 min and for only $5.00 a wheel.

What you need to complete the job: Bucket of warm soapy water, two tire irons, a TS Rim strip for your size rim, a UST tire (preferably Maxxis :-)) and a set of strong hands.

Step 1: Begin removing the old rim strip from your rim. I have tried mounting the rim strips with leaving the old rim strip on in case I ever got a flat and had to remove the rim strip, but it works much better if you take it off.



Step 2: Clean the rim, rim strip and tire with the soapy water. Don't be afraid to use some soap. You want some suds so it is 'slippery when wet'.




Step 3: Now it is time to mount the rim strip on your rim. Apply some more soap and mount the rim strip valve stem first. Gently work the rim strip on by slowly working around the rim. Make sure the strip goes down into the groves of the rim.


Step 3A: Make sure the lip of the rim strip goes over the edge of the rim. This is a key step. If the lip is not over the edge the tires will not be able to form a good seal against the rim strip.


Step 4: Now it is time to mount your tire. Get that soapy water out because you will net it the most now. You must be careful to keep the rim strip lip over the edge of the rim while mounting the tire. Be patient and slowly work the tire on. Since the fit will be tight, you may have to work the rim strip back on in some places once you get the first side of the tire on. I usually put on some more soapy water at this point and slowly work the rest of the tire on.

Step 5: Hard work is done now. Do one final check to make sure the rim strip is over the lip of the rim. Time to air her up. I use an air compressor, but have also used a floor pump. The good thing about these rim strips is it is rubber against rubber and they inflate very easily. I usually inflate to 40 to 50 psi to make sure they bead has seated and then reduce the pressure to 28 - 35 psi depending on course conditions.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tagged

I was tagged by "Shane Jones" to play a little game called "six word memoir".

Here are the rules:
1) Write your own six word memoir
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links
5) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Here is my six word memoir:

"Chased the Devil, Married an Angel"

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ouachita Challenge Race Report

The 7th Annual Ouachita Challenge was held this past Sunday. This was my first big test of the year. If I were to give myself a grade it would be a C+. A combination of changing my race day strategy, overworked/overtrained and just not having good legs for the race. In reviewing my data from my Garmin 305 I will change some things for the Cohutta 100 which is in two weeks. If you are interested in the course and the data you can view/download at Motion Based (best viewed in IE). Pictures can be viewed at Phillip Walrod website. Phillip did an awesome job and got some great photos as you can see by the two trail photos below.

I met my teammates Randy Cartwright, Rich Anderson and Mike Classen the morning of the race. This was everyone's first Ouachita except for Mike who had raced here I believe twice before. Before the race Mike gave me some tips which I appreciated. The race started with a roll out.

There was suppose to be a "bang" to start the race, but I never heard a thing. It was full on from the moment we left the parking lot. I got boxed in and fell back toward the end of the pack, but quickly started to work my way up which was the first mistake of the day. My heart rate was in zone 5 around 180 before I knew it. I should of backed off then, but I kept pushing and soon bridged up to the lead pack of about 30 riders. Gerard told me to "save something for the last half and don't be a hero", which I did remember at about mile 45. Once we hit the first section of gravel road I decided to ease off some and wait for Rich and Randy. They were both soon on board and we road together with some other riders until we hit the Womble trail.

I for one was very glad we were finally on some single track. Course conditions were good in most parts, but due to some heavy rains in the area some parts of the course were very muddy. I was o.k. with this as I am usually good in the mud. Rich, Randy and I rode the Womble together and worked our way around several packs of riders. The overall pace was still a little high for me and I was really trying to pace myself and make sure I drank and ate enough. This event was really just training for Cohutta 100 and our pace was too high for a 100 mile event so I started to back it off some.

After crossing some very wet muddy sections including about a dozen creeks we finally got to the first rest stop. Rich's friends and Carolynn were there to give us some much needed support. Rich was first to the stop and was gone just has I got stopped. Randy worked on his slowly leaking rear tire. I got a fresh bottle of Accelerade which was my main supply of food for this event. I took off at an easy pace as Randy finished pumping up his tire. He bridged up to me, but still was having tire trouble. I did not know if I should wait for him or just keep going. I decided to keep going and steadily brought back Rich who was long gone by this point.

After a long section of road we were on to the Ouachita trail and more climbing. I signed up for the event to get in some serious climbing and I got just that. 6,636 feet according to my Garmin. I finally caught back up to Rich, but by then my stomach was not feeling very well so I was just looking to finish the event. What I did not know was the hardest part of the race was just coming up. Sections like Blowout Mountain just kicked my butt. Team Seagal has a good post on the race and these trails. I ended up passing Rich on a climb and rode some of the harder sections by myself. I started to get some serious leg cramps and was having trouble keeping everything in my gut. In the beginning of the race I did not drink/eat enough and I tried to make up for it which was a mistake. Now my stomach was full of my drink mix and was not digesting very quickly. This was my second mistake of the day and I paid for it dearly over the last 20 miles of the event.

In the end I finished with a ride time of 5 hours 33 min and 34th place overall. I learned some lessons and feel I am ready for my next big challenge - The Cohutta 100. Rich did awesome and finished in 29th. Randy came in 53st and Mike finished in around 6 hours 15 min.