Enjoying The Ride
...and the challenge of ultra events, especially muti-day races
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
I met Jennifer Yanazoo, the Sho-air sponsorship contest winner, and her husband at today's photo shoot for Mountain Bike Action. She's a perfect fit for our jocular team. I like her view on mountain biking: "Riding is about looking where you want to go."
On a different note, smiling for the camera isn't easy especially when a photo shoot lasts for more than an hour and your facial muscles are totally fatigued! Hopefully the photographer can photoshop a grin or something on my mug for several images where I didn't have anything left, not even a fake smile.
I bet she practices that smile
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Smile for the camera
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
I wasn't too happy when I learned about the details of Lynda's crash at the OP race and that she won't be able to ride for awhile. In her words, "I have 2 palm fractures on my left hand, a crushed knuckle and a broken finger. My right collar bone is in 8 or so pieces – the Dr couldn't even tell. Pre OP tomorrow and surgery on Monday. "
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Anything can happen
That was the frame of mind that I wanted my Sho-air teammate, Bernice, to have during her second 24-hour solo race, the Kona 24 hours in the Old Pueblo. The week prior to the race we went over all the details of her entire game plan at Starbucks while we waited for Lucky, aka Gilly, to join us for an evening spin. She'd be racing a couple of the strongest female endurance racers around: Monique and Lynda, our coach. We went over numerous scenarios, but in the end it all boiled down to her just racing her own race and not worrying about things she couldn't control. The most important thing was for her to keep going because twenty-four hours is a long time and anything can happen during a race. Bern finished in second place. Woohoo!
Unfortunately, Lynda crashed and that took her out. Former teammate Monique rode for only a couple of hours before calling it a day--virus thing. It's early in the year so no big deal and I'm sure both will be back to rocking endurance events in the near future. I expect Monique to be on fire at the Vision Quest in a couple of weeks.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
In the moment
There's a myriad of possibilities during every moment of a race. At least it seems that way when I'm fully rested and prepared for it. Then I can be a little more creative on the course. I can respond to surges off the front or attack to find weaknesses. When I'm not feeling it then I don't have much choice but to hang on at a pace I don't like, one that I can't keep. There's not much freedom in that type of race and the fun factor isn't what it should be. It's more comfortable to be a master of one's own race than to be a slave to the whims of others and the temptation to stop racing creeps in. Fortunately, that doesn't happen except for some training races. It happened last weekend at the Boulevard road race.
I knew it was going to be a tough day when I was nearing the venue and I saw a sign about high winds for the next 30+ miles. The array of large power-generating windmills along the ridge across from the start/finish area wasn't encouraging either. That's about the time I saw riders from an early race heading out for another lap leaning about 75 degrees into the wind. Not looking good.
I was hoping for a gradual increase in pace off the start but it started out at full speed. I was about mid-pack and steadily falling back. Before I knew it I was DFL. I couldn't help but laugh since that's never happened before (well it has but it under different circumstances and it was only for a couple of minutes.) The only person behind me was a race official on a motorcycle. =)
The pack was flying in tight formation weaving its way to the base of the first climb. The first casualties were flats and dropped chains. I'd move up a few spots when I could, but it wasn't until the climbs where I could get up into the first third. Once we hit a flat or some rollers I'd start falling back again and I'd start praying for some climbing. My legs could handle the climbs, but they didn't have enough juice for all the surges...left everything at the Torture Clinic. Anyway, I lost contact when I slowed up to take a short breather in the feed zone. I tried to catch back up to the pack and for a moment I thought I had. They were only fifty feet in front of my wheel. For a brief moment, when time came to a standstill, I had a thread of hope -- the possibility of possibilities. The reality of the situation sunk in when the group began to pull away and the motorcycle passed me by. It was game over.
I made a few mistakes, learned a couple of things and I'm looking forward to the next one.
DFL isn't the best place to be
Sunday, February 11, 2007
There's the ever popular
Ride Ride Ride
ediR ediR ediR
RIDE RIDE RIDE
EDIR EDIR EDIR
Domestiques have no choice but to
RIDE RIDE RIDE
edir edir edir
Crit racers have to
RIDE ride RIDE
EDIR edir EDIR
and of course everyone wants to avoid
RIDE RIDE RIDE
What's your style?
Saturday, February 10, 2007
The new bike that the team provided was sitting at the shop since late November, but I was too busy to pick it up until last Friday. Since then I've been putting it through the wringer with some hard riding on some of the rockiest, most rutted, stutter bump hell trails and fire roads around. This bike sails over stuff that my S-works Epic has trouble with. It's not the climber that carbon hardtail is, but it's not bad with the brain.
I took it out on the Counting Coup course today and had an absolute blast. This bike needs to be rocked long and rough for an optimal fun factor. I'm looking forward to riding this bike at a few solo races this year.
Thanks to Specialized, the folks at Rock N' Road Cyclery and Sho-Air.
partner in crime for leisure time
Friday, February 02, 2007
I'm headed down to San Diego tomorrow for a whole new experience. I've never raced road before. Everyone has been telling me to stay in the pack, suck wheel like it's going out of style and then go for it on the last climb right before the finish. Sounds simple enough.
Like the other two races up to this point the main goal is training, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to be taking it easy mid-pack. I prefer to be near the front. That's going to be a challenge in itself considering that my training this week has essentially been, "work your legs off at the Torture Clinic - save nothing for the road race." I like challenges.
I'll be keeping the following quote in mind, "while we stop to think, we often miss our opportunity." So no stopping, no thinking, just riding. =)
The plan: fly with the pack