Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fair Hill....

The M.A.S.S. opener is on the horizon, Bikeline's race at Fair Hill. Fast, Relatively flat and short (Only 22.5 miles), Fair Hill offers a formidable challenge. The challenge will be in the form of 50+ riders to start the elite race. With names like Eatough, Schalk and Price the race will be competitive to say the least, with me most likely not even sniffing the front.
So why would I go you ask? I love the big fields. the feeling of racing wheel to wheel in large packs of riders is exhilarating. Back off one pedal stroke...Bam someone goes by. Plan your attacks wisely because cracking will leave you at the back. Drop a bottle? Forget it... Who has time to drink anyway?
Two years ago I was 27th, last year 9th, This year who knows? But I will tell you, it'll be fun.....

P.S. Fair Hill is a fair weather race only. So if it rains I will go to Hop Brook (where it will definitely rain) See you somewhere soon.

Monday, March 22, 2010

It came to me in a dream...

I woke up the other day with a new training loop in mind. It would include all of the elements that make up many of the races we do. Fast swoopy doubletrack, fun technical singletrack, a steep and long access road climb, some super raw hike-a-bike stuff and of course some low lying swampy areas.
So this week I made some calls and set up a ride for Saturday. After applying mucho amounts of peer pressure (often relaying false trash talking between them) Chris, Jim and Gerry joined me on this beautiful day. I warned everyone to bring supplies because although I rode the loop in four hours the day before, with a group this large you never know. Fortunately there were no issues to slow us much.
Anyway, without giving away too much... The first real mountain bike ride of the 2010 season went off without a hitch. We all learned in what areas we need to make improvements, and adjustments will definitely be made before race season starts.
Soon it will be tough to get people out on rides like this. The race season will be under way and everyone will be protective of their fitness, not wanting to stretch it on a long adventure trail ride. I for one will continue to ride my monster loop, because I love the epic days...It's what I live for...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Working on the mud skills!

When you go for a mountain bike ride the day after a Nor'easter, only one thing is for sure...Your gonna get wet...Mud flavored Heed...Yummy
Jars Of Clay

Rain, rain on my face-
It hasn't stopped raining for days-
My world is a flood-
Slowly I become one with the mud-


But if I can't swim after forty days
And my mind is crushed by the thrashing waves
Lift me up so high that I cannot fall
Lift me up
Lift me up - when I'm falling
Lift me up - I'm weak and I'm dying
Lift me up - I need you to hold me
Lift me up - Keep me from drowning again

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Aversion training....

On each occasion that thou art betrayed into thinking that thou art sworn to avoid, cut thyself sharply upon the wrist or forearm with a razor; even as thou shouldst beat a disobedient dog. Feareth not the Ox the Goad of the Ploughman? Thine arm then serveth thee both for a warning and for a record. Thou shalt write down thy daily progress in these practices, until thou art perfectly vigilant at all times over the least thought that ariseth in thy brain.

Jumping in with the roadies this weekend. Punishment miles are mandatory!!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cabin Fever

After shoveling for just about all of Thursday, Friday morning I woke up to this.
And this.
The road is out there, somewhere.
Sometimes I start to wonder if I'm training for mountain biking or if mountain biking is training me for life.
When mother nature throws 3 feet of snow your way over 48hrs the word "training" takes on a new meaning. Two a days become three and four a days, "strength" becomes snow removal, A long ride becomes a four and a half hour snowshoe epic just to get a cup of coffee. These are all workouts, shit you not and it is one of the reasons the strongest athletes come from the higher elevations.
I was not aware of the toughening I would experience by moving here. The forced workouts have hit me hard. Lying on the couch last night with my legs throbbing from the 20hr training week I just completed I came to the realization that the mountain will make you strong. It's not the Jersey Shore "look at my pecs" gym type strong. It's the farm boy strong, that the Canadian kids use to kick our asses in hockey strong....
Just hope it works for me....I'm not Canadian ya know.....hoser!

When the dog starts complaining. That's when you know it's been a hard winter.