Monday, August 31, 2009

Break Pads

Norcross Scurry race did a number on my break pads…

Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 29 Norcross Scurry, Ashford, CT

Almost missed this race; I assumed it was on Sunday because most races are.  I figured it out the morning of while reading Thom parson’s blog (thanks for mentioning it Thom).

This was a new race in the series, it was windy and pretty fast with some rock gardens thrown in.  It would have been fast if the trail wasn’t covered in in mud from the tropical storm that had been going on all day.

Turn out was the lowest I had seen all year.  The rain I'm assuming was a large contributor to that (only 9 in the pro/cat1 open category).

I was in 5th for the first lap then moved into 4th after John Foley flatted.  I finished in 4th.

I think Mike Mooradian won again.  Honorable mention to John Foley for getting two flats and not finishing far behind me in 6th.  John is good at riding in mud; it seems like every muddy race we do he finished like 10 min in front of me.

I took a dip in this pond after the race. The water was surprisingly warm.
After the race
After the race

I had made plans the day before with Andrew Freye to put up some of my art work in the Starbucks he works at but when I made the plans I didn’t know that I was going to be racing that day. So after the race I rushed home, took a quick shower, unloaded all the bike stuff packed all the art stuff. Drove to Starbucks an hour north and had just enough time to get my artwork up before they closed at 8 pm.

I think it turned out good (thanks Andrew)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Case Of The Flat Tires

Did some detective work to figure out why I had a flat issues at my last race.  I checked the two tubes that went flat and discovered that one of them was from a puncture on the outside (thorn glass or sharp rock) and the other from the inside (a problem with my rim or rim strip).  I thought I was dealing with one serial puncturer but I was wrong two puncturers had been responsible for foiling my race.

I did some more sleuthing to find a sharp area where the loop of the wheel came together.  I sanded down the sharp spot. put a new rim strip on and checked for sharp objects in my tire

Hopefully this mystery is solved.  If I get another flat at the Norcross Scurry race this weekend I will reopen the case.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bike For Bovines Mountain Bike/ Day Hike Race

Stonewall Farm,
Keene, NH

I think it was a pretty nice course.  It kinda reminded me of races I’ve done out west in Colorado.  Long gradual climbs and descents but there was more roots and mud than the CO courses I had done.

We did 2 laps on a 13 mile course.  I flatted on the first lap most of the way through.  I had been doing ok up to that point I was in the top 5 (I think).  I fell to last after the flat.  I fixed it and still had motivation to ride fast.  I felt I might be able to pick off one or two other pros before finishing.  Then I flatted a second time half way through the second lap.  I had used up my tube and co2’s so on the first flat so I was unable to fix it.  There must have been something wrong with my rim strip because I had had a flat a few days before on the same wheel.

I felt it was bad luck to get a flat in the dead center of the longest course I have done in years. If I had known a way to cut the course, DNF and get back to the start/finish faster I would have done that but I didn’t so I walked the course. I tried running a few times but its pretty annoying hitting the back of your leg on the pedal.  The last few miles were on really flat old rail road trails that I felt comfortable slowly riding on with out messing up my rim.

I came in about 50 min after everyone else.  As soon as I came through the finish officials announced that results were now posted for the men pro category.  It was nice of them to wait for me.

I think 12 pros started , 3 DNFed, I came in 9th and Mike Mooradian won

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Race Reports...Why?

Race Reports?

Sometimes writing race-reports make me feel like a needy child ”hey mom look at me look what I did, I finished 38th at a bike race” (said in a squeaky high pinched voice).

I hope that one day I won’t be at the mercy of needing others approval.  I don’t want to be doomed to a life of feeling the need to flex in the mirror and google myself all the time.  I don't want to constancy feel the need to determine my self worth based on how popular I am or how fast of a bike rider I am.

I’ve got this counter on this blog so I can check to what degree i am accepted on a daily basis.  It is just another example of how I am at the mercy of others view of me.

My conclusion… Race reports are cries for attention.  Personally I am using them like training wheels till I can accept myself with out the approval of others. But I'm not sure if it is possible to change the way humans are wired as social creachers who want to be accepted.  

Sunday, August 16, 2009

U.S. Cup/Windham Cup, Windham, NY

I stayed with Brent Mellen, Andrew Freye, John Burns Hattie and Ben in a condo.
The condo was only a few miles from the race venue. We played some monopoly, and ate a pasta dinner Friday night before are race (race wasn’t till 2 on Saturday).  It felt weird to not be in a rush before a race.  I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I played some solitaire, watched a documentary on bigfoot, took a nap and played some more solitaire.  It only took me an hour to get ready for the race.

part 1

part 2

part 3

I felt fine going into this race, I had a decent call up (fourth row), my start went ok (I wasn’t in last place like last weekend at mount snow).  I kept myself in the top half of the field for the first lap.  On my second lap climb the heat started to get to me;  it was about 90 degrees and the climbs were on fire roads with no shade and I was wearing a black jersey.  Everyone was dealing with the same heat but I don’t think I was doing as good a job of dealing with it.  I started feeling nauseous and light headed.  My will was broken and I was very seriously considering dropping out of the race.  I decided at the pace I was going I would be pulled soon anyway so I would just keep going.

I eventually started feeling better part way through the 3rd lap. Still not 100 percent but good enough to get my will back and repass about half the people who passed me when I was feeling ill.  I was pulled after 4 laps of a 6 lap race.   Again, same as last weekend at mount snow I was very close to making it out another lap but this time I wasn’t too bummed about getting pulled because I really wasn’t having to much fun (not on the climbs anyway) it was just too hot to ride hard.  I didn’t have any mechanicals, injuries or anything seriously bad happen to me.  Under the conditions I think I did as good as I could do. I came in 38th out of 73 starters (all results)

After the race took a dip in the river with Burns Brent and Ben.  it felt awesome river was fast moving but only about a foot deep.  We laid down on are backs and let the cool water roll over us.  I will defiantly be visiting that river again the next time I race at Windham.

Overall a fun couple of days but I did regret not having the opportunity to play mini-golf at the super sweet mini-golf course in town with out teammate Sean Daley’s wife, kyla.

melted pre race gummy bears

Monday, August 10, 2009

U.S. Cup/Snow Shootout, Mt. Snow, Dover, VT

I stayed with Andrew Freye his girlfriend Hattie (thanks for the feeds) John Burns ,Macky Franklin, Jaime Dinkins and Kat (real name?). In a nice place with a rustic wilderness/ US Marine Corps theme. It seems the owner of the house was a former Marine and posters and toy army men hidden in every all over the place.  It was like an Easter egg hunt trying to find them all.  The house was way nicer than a hotel or sleeping out of the car which is what i probably would have done if Andrew didn’t set this up. Thanks Andrew

Even though I get schooled at these big national races I enjoy going because I like the big event feeling. there are more people around to see me riding fast and more people who look at the results.  Those seems to be important things to me (as I mentioned in a previous blog entry).
The race was dryer and shorter than it was for the regional race two weeks ago.  It was about 65-70 degrees. The terrain was typical ski resort type of course; steep climbs and steep descents.  This year entire thing was rideable as compared with some previous years when it wasn't.

I felt ok at the start but I found my self in last place going up the first climb (that's pretty normal for me; i always seem to do poorly at the start). By the end of the second stair step of that climb I had reeled back about 10 guys and needed to wait a bit as riders had bottlenecked at the start of the single track.  I passed a few more guys on the decent.  Teammate John Burns and I were riding together at this point and we stayed within eye shot of each other for a while.

On the third lap decent I caught up with my root 66 buddies Brent Mellen and Matthew O'keefe on one of the cut across sections of the decent.  Brent is normally way faster than me on these ski mountain courses and Matt is normally faster than me on every type of courses so I felt like I was doing good or they were doing bad? Either way it was nice to see some familiar faces.  I led down the decent and i could hear Matt right behind me making comments on my foot out approach to the corners.  At the bottom of the decent we regrouped so we could work together on the dirt road that goes through the start finish.  Matt put in a big pull and wasn’t pulling off so I went around and let him ride Behind me till we started going up again.

I passed another rider on the 4th lap climb and another on the decent and was closing in on a third on the start finish dirt road but as approached the finish line I saw a man step out in front and motioning his arms for me and the rider in front of me to slow down.  The 80 percent rule was in effect; meaning if your more than 80 percent back you get pulled.  I was a bit bummed I was so close to making the cut.  Oh well; I had a good race; mechanical free and I felt strong through out so I don’t have much to complain about.

I finished 34th out of 71 starters; that’s top 50%. That is Way better than my normal bottom 25% I do at these national level races.  I think the biggest contributor to my better finish this year is the fact that the pro and semi-pro categories were combined.  A lot of gentlemen who were slower than me moved into my category.

Next weekend is Windham... I'm looking forward to it!

aqua-car i saw at the gas station on my way up to the race

getting ready for the start of the men's short track

men's short track start

Andrew and Hattie

Results of the men's XC

Sunday, August 2, 2009

August 2 2009 Annual Hodges Village Dam, Oxford, MA

Participation this week was not as good as it has been through out the year (low twenties I am guessing). It was cloudy and about 75 degrees.

The course was very unique.  It reminded me of a steeple chase.  A lot of dirt roads and deep puddles.

One section in particular was about 25 ft long and about 22 inches deep.

Their was also a bridge that was floating in the water.  As a person ran across it, it sank down and tipped.  Reminded me of the moving platforms in super Mario brothers

I pretty much spent the majority of the race riding alone.  I wouldn’t see any one till the last lap.  I passed a couple of guys and was closing in on a third person.  I was trying to pull a ninja stealth attack on the third person.  My goal was to catch him off guard and make my pass before the quickly approaching finish line.

But my ninja skills were lacking today.   He noticed me 200 ft back and started hammered.  I tried but didn’t have enough time to close the gap.  I finished 7th

It felt good to take a dip in the pond after the race with Wheels. The clean up /swim after the race has because as important as the race itself.  I am thinking about creating a blog that focuses post race swimming places.  It is going to be called mike joos post race swimming places blog (my towel is better than yours).

Today i swam here...