Sunday, March 22, 2009

French Creek group ride...

This morning I headed over to French Creek to meet up with BP, Kim, Dan K, Scott Alden, and a guy I never met Bob (fast rider from Beans). I was warned this wouldn't be a race, although Bob set a pretty quick pace. I was doing my best not to push the pace, and keep my effort in check.

This place it fun, with some nice quick singletrack with some rocks thrown in. I don't really know the loops over there, so I recorded the ride for future rides. We did a loop from the new Shed Rd parking area, and it was just about an hour and half back to the car where BP and Kim headed home. The other Bob and I headed out to the White/Red loop, Dan and Scott were gonna do the same. They decided to hang back a bit, thinking our pace would be a little quicker than they wanted.

They were somewhat right, until I got a rear flat down a rocky decent. So I took quite a while to change the flat - I really need to get quicker at these trail side repairs. By this time I was kinda slowing up a bit, and Bob seemed to still have a ton of energy. That changed really quick, as he kinda hit the wall and I hit a second wind. We climbed back outta the woods to the car, I was getting changed and saw a buddy Jose from the Bikesport team. We caught up for a few minutes checking out what everyone is up to, his wife is having a baby really soon - so he's trying to get as much riding as possible right now.

As much as I kept my effort in check, I'm still pretty damn tired. I crashed for about an hour and a half, now we're gonna grab some Chinese food.

I closed out the week with just under 10 hours of riding, with some of that being actual structure - kind of. I gotta start ramping up the actual workouts rather than just riding, if I want to be competitive in the expert class. The first XC race is gonna be a real eye opener!


First day of spring ride...

Friday was the first official day of spring, yet there were flurries when I started my ride. My plan was to hit up Sals then ride over to Lehigh for a loop. I started at Dodson and busted out my fastest lap at Sals (unintentionally though). I didn't want to kill it so early in the ride as I was gonna be out for awhile.

Down through Lehigh campus area was interesting, as all the kids are running around and driving their parents expensive cars. I haven't seen so many BMWs, Mercedes Benz, Lexus cars in one area - mostly outta state tags.

I pretty much a full loop at Lehigh, and only stopped for a quick pic at the Witch trail. This is a pretty rocky section which I still have only cleaned a handful of times. I was pretty tired by this time so I only tried it twice, that's the last thing I need is to get jacked up in a pile of rocks 2 hours into my ride.

Finished up the loop with just over 3 hours, 23 miles and 4000 ft of climb. A pretty solid effort, so I enjoyed some food/beer at SMC. Everyone was getting back from Laroo's birthday booze cruise.

Bowman and TJ were heading out to South Mountain Emmaus for a loop, which I decided to join them on. I know its not the same doing all three places back to back while riding between them. Another just under 8 miles and 1500 ft of climb, made for a big day.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring has sprung? and climbing...

It was sooo nice out today, that when I raced outta work at 5pm, I headed over to Lehigh for some climbing. My plan was to do repeats of Deer Path and the Jeep road and back down. I was gonna try to do 4 repeats, however there were other plans by Vegan Rob & Dakota.

Rides with Rob will come to an end soon, as he is starting to ramp up his intensity (which means normal humans can't keep up). Fortunately he was riding a 43 lb. Cannondale Perp which helps me keep up a little bit.

I thought I would get a little warm up ride in, nah - just start climbing up to the water tower over to the jeep road. Oh great I get to ride down Snake on my 29'er hardtale playing chase to Rob on a DH bike. I guess it wouldn't matter if he was on his 29'er, it would've probably played out exactly the same.

We hit 3 good climbs, while I was trying to keep my heart rate right around my LT hr. First climb was about 10 minutes, second 16 minutes, and the third big climb 23 minutes. The total ride was only 11 miles but with 2200 feet of climbing. I'm really trying to train my weaknesses. But the cool thing about this loop, was that along with the challenging climbs, there were some cool rippin' downhills and a few technical sections mixed in.

Time for some sleep, yes I'm actually gonna go to bed tonight as opposed to falling asleep on the couch. Waking up at 3:30am on the couch with the TV on really sucks, especially when ya can't fall back to sleep.



Monday, March 16, 2009


Not this Mash... But the Michaux Mash 4 hour lap enduro race, at Michaux State Forest near Shippensburg was held yesterday. This race was put on by Zach Adams aka. Fast Forward Racing Productions.

For those that haven't ridden this area - you are definitely missing out. I entered the Masters 35+ category, with my only goals being - complete 4 laps, be consistent on my lap times, and not bonk. I would say I pretty much completed my goals, I guess the times could've been better :)

The loop was approx. 9 miles of some fire roads, really sweet singletrack, a killer downhill, and a b*tch of a doubletrack climb - total elevation gain of about 1200 ft. per lap. The race brought some Pro's to the area - Trek team members Chris Eatough and Chris Beck locked up 1st and 2nd in the Men's open, both completing 5 laps in just over 4 hours!

I completed my 4 laps in 4:51 - securing a 16th place finish of 41 racers in the masters category. I wasted about 8 minutes of my 4th lap with a flat that unfortunately wouldn't seal with Stan's. There was a cut in the tread on a brand new Crossmark, which I hopefully can salvage. After the race they had some good food and beer (oh they gave a pint glass too).

Guess it's time to really start working on climbing, as there were quite a few people I had no problems walking away from on the flats and downhill, that proceeded to climb right past me on the long climb. But, this was some good training for Leesburg Baker's Dozen in April - with trying to pace myself and eat / drink more frequently on longer rides.

They should have some pics from the race up soon, that I'll post a link to.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Daylight savings!

This was my first DST ride. I got outta work at 5pm, and shot over to Gold's Gym for a quick back/biceps workout. My ride plans were to be on the bike by 6:45 while it was still light, I was out the door at 7:03pm - still light!

I was gonna just hit up the Schuylkill River trail, but as I was riding by the Hamburg watershed I decided to head up to the Pinnacle. I hit up some of the double track stuff that Jay DeJesus showed me on the New Year's Day ride, down into Eckville. Then I hit up the road for about 35 minutes back home.

It was a good ride, with some climbing, some dirt and some road. I need to get some more time on the bike, other than on Friday and Sunday. I gotta get back to at least 4-5 days on the bike, and in keeping with that plan I'm gonna try to hit sack soon and get up early tomorrow and hit the rollers for some high cadence drills. 'night all


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cooked by Crits...

I tried to make it out the Derby, but thankfully I was running late with a rear flat. Apparently there were two crashes and a pretty good pace. So I decided instead to head to SMC grab a couple of tubes, fix my flat and head over to the March Training Crits.

I got there early enough to get registered, and like a total noob I put my number on wrong. Not just once, not twice, but three times. So after screwing around with number pinning, I caught up with Flask, Swiatek, Kuklis, and Bobby. They had all done the Derby and were doing the B race, since I didn't do the Derby, I chose to register for the B and A races. Later I would find this to be a mistake.

The first race started pretty hard, and seemed to accordion back and forth a ton. This was my first crit after upgrading outta Cat5. Quite a difference, but there still was a crash on the 3rd lap - looked like about 4 people were involved. Apparently there were two crashes in the Derby as well, must be everyone just excited about some decent weather? I got lapped (a few times) because I only completed 22 of the 25 laps.

I rolled around and cooled down a bit and contemplated whether I was doing the A race. Since I already paid for it, I figured I would go out there for a bit and see how long I could kinda hang. The start was a little more tame, with much more a pack of riders rolling together. I only made it 16 of the 35 laps, when I decided to just bag it for the day.

That is some serious intensity for early March. Not sure if I should just keep riding or throw some intervals in, to handle the pace requirements of this kinda racing.

Food and sleep should make it all better! Oh and don't forget about this Friday the 13th and the roller races.


Friday, March 6, 2009


The weather forecast was looking great for the Camp Hilbert enduro near Richmond, VA. Unfortunately they got 5-7" of snow still on the trail, and with the concern for a bunch of racers on a muddy course - the promoter postponed the race until early April. Bummer!

Today I met up with a bunch of people in Emmaus for our long ride Friday. The plan was for 3-4 hours out to Lake Ontelaunee. As usual I was a few minutes late and was told by Bill "that bike is not nice enough for this ride" Apparently the Bicycling magazine editors are testing a bunch of new bikes - some pretty pimpy stuff compared to my Cadd9.

So after being late I had to run into the shop for a gel and Clif Bar, gathered up Laroo to play chase to the group. They headed out towards Sauerkraut and it to till the Emmau High School for us to catch them. Apparently this would set the pace for the ride. F A S T

A few flats (not mine) later we rolled back to SMC for some after ride refreshments. 3 hours 50 minutes total time 68.75 miles. So it was in fact a pretty quick ride. I'm definitely pretty tired, but had some good chinese food as a reward for the hard ride - though I probably consumed more calories than expended. Oh well, there's always Sunday. I hope to hit up Jim Thorpe for a few hours.


Monday, March 2, 2009

B.E.L.S minus B...

B.E.L.S is a ride that a few guys have down, which includes riding from Emmaus to Bear Creek for an XC loop, back to Emmaus for that loop, over to Lehigh for a loop, to Salisbury for that loop and finally back to Emmaus. That's a pretty ambitious day of riding!

Sunday I was all set to ride the Emmaus, Lehigh, Salisbury portion. I met Vegan Rob at SMC and we rode over to Alpine St to meet Bowman for the Emmaus tour. There was quite a bit more trails than I recall over there - I think we ended up with about 10.5 miles of just Emmaus.

We headed over towards Lehigh, stopping at a convenience store for some water. We started at the top and decended down to Stinger, out through Crazy Bones and up Ono and Superman - where Rob split off to ride back home to Nazareth. Once we got back to the top we headed down through campus out towards St Lukes for our Salisbury lap.

We kinda cut this one short and Mark and I were both kinda tired by this point. We cruised out Constitution towards Allentown, and picked up the parkway back to Emmaus. Pretty fun ride with only one issue - I tried to roll over a rock/boulder that I probably shouldn't have tried to roll, and I faceplanted into a pile of rocks at Emmaus only about an hour into the ride.

Stats for the ride:

5.5 hours, 38 miles, almost 5000 ft of vertical gain. I think if you do the full B.E.L.S. loop its around 70 miles. Though I don't know if I'm in for the whole loop, we'll see.