Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just a couple random thoughts...

Cheap imitation: Not cool!!!

Way tasty after a long ride!!!

Recent addition to the quiver!!!

Gonna hit some of these, Super stoked!!!
Goal is to hit this level again, Or better???

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I love my bike!!!!

It feels so good. The handling is telepathic. It's not a piece of inanimate metal and carbon. It's a living thing. I can feel the frame flex. The tires have nerves in them...

It's nice to try something new and have it work for a change. There have been many failures. Some came highly recommended. Some were complete disasters that I'd rather not mention.

Lemmus lemmus

You see, a bike is a personal thing. What I think is good you may find unridable. One of the most popular bikes on the market today, I wouldn't ride it if you gave it to me.
Try something new, You may get lucky. Or maybe not...

Don't be a lemming!!!

I could tell you what bike I'm riding, but I won't...

Only that I'm loving it to death...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Today I rode my bike

This morning I had a plan.

I've been dreaming of this for a while.

To get on my bike and do a real training ride....

I was successful.....

I'm going to do it again tomorrow. and the next day, and the next.

I'm loving it....

It's the time of year.....  

See you out there  -M

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Reflection and Rebuilding....

Now that I am officially out of the game and have pretty much been forgotten.
I feel like making a comeback....
I've learned a lot in the last two years. Strengths, weaknesses, what works (and doesn't work) How to do it, how not to do it. I won't bore you with the details.
My big mistake was not realizing how special of a thing I had, when I had it. Hindsight is 20/20...LOL

When I set out, I had no delusions of grandeur, just to get in the best shape I could with the body god gave me. Somewhere along the line, It all got out of hand.
I think that it's pretty clear the direction I need to head in now....

The bottom line is: It's just riding a fucking bike!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hurt and Burnt

Have you ever broken up with someone only to get back together with them a few months later? At first it's all great and maybe even better then it was before. Sex is amazing and you can't seem to remember why you broke up in the first place....Only one day it comes to you? "Oh! I remember why we broke up"

I'm not quite sure if my HR is 189bpm because of the dificulty of the race or the fear factor?

That's what I'm going through with the single speed, and more specifically the 29er.

Now I know I'm gonna get a lot of negative comments about this post. 29ers are the best thing since sliced bread, I'm told. And if it's said on the Internet forums, it must be true. I too believe, in certain situations a 29er and definitely a single speed can be the quickest option.


I'm now hurt, Again...And I'm blaming the fucking 29er!!!!!

At Fair Hill, while grunting up a roller. I hit my pedal on a small stump. This sent me catapulting through the air and shoulder first into a small tree. Even small trees don't give much when you run into them. At first I thought it was no big deal and the pain was just a bruise but as the days went on I realized I either broke a rib or strained the cartilage holding the rib to my spine. This is not the first time for this injury.
 I have a third degree separated shoulder from a crash years ago. My collar bone is no longer attached to my shoulder blade. When I fall on my shoulder now, the ribs take the brunt of the force....Not fun....

Getting back to the 29er Single Speed...

(1) I've not crashed all season on a 26er (8 months). In one month I've been thrown 3 times, with countless close calls on 29er. WTF??? with the bottom bracket height Mr. Bike Industry?

(2) I actually think I'm slower in xc on a ss. Mostly due to the start speeds. This is not true for endurance though where the pacing of the single speed is needed.

(3) Unless I awake on Saturday with some Pat Roberts type "You Are Healed!!" miracle, I'm gonna be pulling out of the Wilderness 101. Sucks!!! 2 years in a row I've donated money and not done this race.

On the plus side...
I've becoming reacquainted with my road bike. Doing a couple weekday crits and even registered for the Tour of the Catskills (3 day stage race).
My mtb season was scheduled to end soon anyway and it kind of sucks that just when I was hitting my stride I get hurt but thanks to the road bike I'll be using my fitness in another way. Maybe getting something I've been missing in my fitness too? Wanna sprint???

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bad Blogger!!!

Windham World Cup!!!!!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Lumberjack 100 recap

Jocelyn and I never planned on this race this year.

We had such a good time at Mohican 100 that as soon as we got home we secured transfer spots and began to plan our trip to Michigan for the Lumberjack 100. With only two weeks between these races this only gave me two days at the most to train on the steed of choice for Lumberjack. The rigid SS. I wanted to ride the single speed at this race. Last year I narrowly missed the win in as close to a sprint finish as I've ever been in in a hundred. Finishing only 13sec back from three time N.U.E. champion Gerry Pflug. I secretly wanted vengeance this year. Gerry was recovering from a tick bite so he didn't come, this left me as the favorite according to Cycling News.

Last year I wasn't prepared for the intensity of the start of this race, this year I went as hard as I could to be right on Justin Pokrivka's wheel entering the single track. After about 5 miles or so it became apparent to me Justin's pace was a little harder than I was willing to go for a hundred miles, so I sat up, took a drink and waited for the chase group of single speeders to catch me. Dwayne Goscinski, Trevor Rockwell, Hal Batdorf and James Harmon were in this group. We took advantage of the pace Jed Prentice was setting on his geared bike. James attacked on the fire tower climb, jumping on to Eddie O'dea's wheel, opening a small gap. I chased for a while, but sat up when I wasn't getting any closer and waited for my SS brothers to bridge back up. They didn't seemed too worried about James, and I put him out of my head also. Going into lap 2, I took some time at the feed to get my bottles straight and slam a coke. This calmed me down but left me alone to the pace making all by myself. I was in a rough place for the start of the second lap and thought about quiting but was able to find my flow after only a few miles. I was starting to pick people off and shortly after the fire tower climb went by James and got back up to Trevor and Dwayne. Hal, (on his way to the win) had checked out, we talked about catching him and Justin later. Often seeing riders ahead, thinking it was either one of them. Justin would come back at the final aid station, but Hal never did. The third lap, I had a rough patch (again) getting gaped on the early climbs, but I knew if I just stayed consistent I would shortly see those guys again. Eddie O'dea pulled me back up then made a kick with about 20 miles to go and Dwayne jumped on for the ride. Trevor and I thought it was too early, but after a few more minutes I started to get the sinking feeling that I missed my chance. Chasing Dwayne for the final 10 miles was fun and exhausting all at the same time. In the end, I was less than a minute back from him but 5 minutes off the win. Hal had the winning move of the day early. He took his shot and it payed off. Great racing with you guys....  Results, Race finish interview

Next up: Some XC racing at Windham in early July and Fair Hill classic soon after that. Oh, and some W101 training rides. That reminds me, Need to E-mail the promoter about a category change....

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Decisions, Decisions....

Live by the sword, Die by the sword...

2011 results

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

SS'er for a day....Sort of???

Photo: Thom Parsons, Cycling Dirt
Started front row this time. Didn't want to get caught up in the craziness of 600 plus riders all going for the $200 dollars at the top of the first hill. I didn't even know where the prime was won, I just go with the old adage that if you are not passing people you're going too slow. That put me right behind Jordan Wakeley (he won the $200) going into the first single track. I rode well for the first 20 miles in a group, running in the top 15 or so at this point. When I stopped at aid one to top off my bottles (mile 20) a bunch of guys rolled by, including N.U.E. SS champ Gerry Pflug. I made a couple dicey passes to get on his wheel and parked myself there for the rest of the opening 33 miles of singletrack. Gerry always finishes well overall and I know if I just stay on his wheel, I will too. So I follow him like I'm marking him. After a short time I realize that I haven't shifted in quite sometime. I'm riding like a singlespeeder, only I'm on a fully. Gerry stands, I stand. Gerry coasts, I coast. Gerry walks, I walk. I'm staying with Gerry and I'm not letting him out of my sight. Hell, If he pulls over to take a piss, I'm pulling over too. This style seems to be having a calming effect on me. I'm enjoying myself. Matt Ferrari and Dwayne Goscinski (both SS riders too) are with us also, so when I look back and Gerry is no longer there, I decide I'm staying with these two from now on. Just before Aid 3, Ron Harding catches us. He had a bad start and is looking to make up some time so he rolls on through. I race Ron at the M.A.S.S. series and the fire ignites in me as I take up with him on what turns out to be the race saving move of the day for me. The next 60 miles or so we ride together, helping each other and keeping us motivated. At some point I decided "I'm working for Ron". It kept me going when I really wanted to sit up. We never pulled SS winner Justin Pokrivka back for Ron but he finished strong with a second place in the SS anyway. Oh! and me, I managed a 7:20 and a 12th place overall. I'm pretty happy with that....

Arriving home on Sunday we instantly cracked open the laptop and secured 2 spots for Lumberjack...
Guess who's coming to the singlespeed party?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stay the course

Been doing a bit of endurance work of late. My lackluster performance at the Cohutta 100 had woken me from my slumber. I had dreams of doing only XC this year, but with all my teammates getting ready for the Bearscat 50 it seemed stupid to just do intervals and preride race courses. The epic rides are fun. So that's what I'm back to. Was one month enough to get ready for the Mohican 100? Maybe. Maybe not. Did I work hard enough? Who knows. The one thing I do know is that the Mohican 100 is most like home, Topo wise. Fast single track and short steeps are my specialty. I won the SS (4th overall) in 2010. Seems like a dozen seasons ago now. And I plan on winning this year too. Crazy to say? What do I have to lose?
I almost got back on the single for this one, until a friend snapped me out of it. "Why would you change everything up, just when it seems to be going so well?" He said... It's true, I seem to do that. So I'll stay the course and do my best to do what I have to do to get up front on Saturday. Will I stay there? That remains to be seen. Sometimes in order to win you have to risk losing.....Miserably

Monday, May 14, 2012

VTC @ French Creek

French Creek was a team race for us. Unofficially that is. Fueled to the max on Friday night (it's a real perk to have the top chef in the country on the team) and with the whole team in attendance to add inspiration I managed to pull out a win against some stiff competition. After 4hrs and nearly 50 miles it came down to the final climb. In the end, the top 3 were separated by only seconds. My strategy was to make the lead group and stay there as long as possible. In the middle I ran into a rough patch but was able to recover  and catch back up for the final lap.  Stephan Kincaid and Harlan were pulling away on most of the downhills all day so with the final 3 miles either being flat or downhill, I knew, if I could get there, I'd need a gap on the final climb. The moon the stars and the sun were all in alignment, so with the shot of adrenaline that you always feel upon getting back into the fold, I made a move.
I often don't understand what makes one race so miserable (Cohutta) and the next one so fun but I can tell you to ride with some of the most talented guys in the country keeps you super focused and the time just flies by. Lap races can be tedious sometimes. Get up front, do your best to stay there and once in a while you get lucky....      Results 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cohutta 100, or maybe 105?

Where "Pop Tarts" is a food group
Jocelyn, Jane and I made the trip to the famous NUE opener (Cohutta 100) this weekend. Even though I thought I may be able to be somewhat competitive (hopeful for a top 10) the course, coupled with my lack of any real endurance training handed me my ass. The start was pretty slow compared to what I'm used to. Makes total sense, considering there is a hundred miles ahead. I entered the single track in good position and felt pretty good for about three and a half hours, often working with others all the while trying to not go too deep. At aid #4 I stopped, ate some jelly beans and let a bunch of guys pass. If I was going to finish I had to chill the hell out. Probably spent 10 minutes at aid #4 before I began my limp to aid #5. Right before aid #5 Cheryl Sornson came by looking very strong. I was still in the pain cave so I just gave her a shout and watched her ride off into the sun. Aid 5 finally comes and I'm off the bike again, pondering my future involvement in this sport, when I see eventual masters winner Ron Sanborn. Ron and I rode together for a while at Lumberjack 100 last year so I figured I'd latch on and ride the mother of all 2012 Cohutta climbs with him. Ron was suffering from cramps and I was just suffering, so it seemed like a good match. We would talk, trying to keep my mind off the miles of climbing ahead. Once in a while a rider or two would pass and I was okay with that. About mile 70, NUE champ Amanda Carey caught us, with about 10 guys sucking her wheel like a shark with a bunch of remoras looking for a free ride. Not wanting to be another slimy sucker fish, I said goodbye to Ron and set out on my own. All of a sudden I'm racing again. Passing loads of riders like I was on a relay team and had just started the race. I felt great, I was gonna finish strong. The mileage on the computer was clicking off fast 95, 96, 97. Then it all fell apart again. That moment was going into the final single track. Computer said 97 miles, but the marshall said I had 7 miles to go. I had a meltdown, SHITTTT!!!! It seemed like it took forever but soon I rolled over the line, SHOT!!!. Need to do some serious training before the Mohican 100 or it's gonna be a painful day.

 Jocelyn, 14000ft on a SS...Rockstar!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hop Brook-April Fools.....Not

Seamus may have one the race but Doug was the talk of the venue. He's riding this contraption to the races this year.
The start means so much at a cross country race. Click here to watch

I slam a GU gel at the line and go through my pre race check list. Seconds to go, and nerves were a little high for this one so maybe I was slightly grippy. I missed the pedal off the start and that means despite my best effort, I never made the lead group. At a race like Hop Brook Dam (Root66 #1) that means everything. The trails are fast (Schwable Racing Ralphs perfect today) and if you can't find a wheel it makes it a tough race. Definitely don't want to fall into 'no mans land' here. It's not that I'm saying I would have been able to stay there long but one of my goals for this race was to try to make the lead. Other than that I felt pretty good. After getting things sorted out in the first lap John Foley and I made up the group I'll call chase #2. John and I have been here before. Two years ago on this exact same course he got 5th and I pulled 6th (25sec back). This year we were five minutes faster and I was 15sec closer but he still managed to out kick me for 6th, I got 7th. What does this all mean? It means that EVERYONE is fit as shit right now. A mild winter will do that I guess. "I'm ahead of schedule but so is everyone else", was the topic of the day. Many people I talked to said "I had a great race and was still mid pack". Ha Ha!! Welcome to the big show.
With all the endurance stuff I'd been doing in the last few years I'd forgotten how fun it can be to go the max till the wheels fall off. I'm dedicated to XC this year and with the super light Tomac Carbide and the expertise of Bicycle Tech I'm more relaxed about the adventure.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Walter's No Frills Short Track...

MTBNJ course design always has some air under your tires at some point. Without it, how would Luke get such good pics?
A nice Northeast day, a race close to home and a nice size open men's field was all I needed to make me want to be here. Unfortunately this was the last race in the series of 4, all held throughout the month of March. Not only the last, but the only one I was able to attend. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't green with envy watching all you guys racing while I was out West. But all is good. Hell, I was on vacation after all.

In my effort to focus on cross country this year, I've learned that being anaerobic for short periods of time is not necessarily a bad thing and once you get used to it can be quite 'fun'. I'm reconnecting with my middle distance past and enjoying the shit out of it. Sometimes just getting the perspective of another racer can change things radically for you. James and I spent a few days in the desert together and I hope he got as much out of it as I did. Thanks Bro! I owe ya one....ST#4 results

Friday, March 16, 2012

Arizona trip wrap up...

Homesick would best describe this trip for me. Since I got here on the first, I've been missing my 'Jersey style' singletrack and my home life. Sure the desert is fun and it's nice to see the sun once in a while but there is no place like home. Ripping around the desert in 85* sounds great when there is snow on the ground at home but the conditions have been perfect in the Northeast and I'm green with envy.

My first Pro XCT at Bonelli Park in California was an amazing eye opening experience. My results were less than stellar but the racing was so hard and just great to be a part of. After being in a field with 70 of the fastest guys how could I go back to racing 5 to 10 at local stuff. I'm skipping MBAA race Foray at the Fort this weekend to go work on some stuff but mostly because there is only 3 racers preregistered. My next race will be at home next weekend, Walter's no frills short track #4. The Short Track series has been pulling some decent fields and I'm looking forward to it.

I'm going to do my best to make it out to Ute Valley for Pro XCT #3 and I'm pretty sure I'm going to nationals this year. In order to prepare for this I need to race against bigger fields so I've decided to concentrate on the M.A.S.S. series. Both races at Fair Hill, Iron Hill, French Creek, Neshaminy, D&Q summer sizzler and Bear Creek are all on my schedule. Gonna do some roadie stuff to fill in the gaps. Oh!!! and a couple hundreds, just for training of course...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hard as all hell...

I fought tooth and nail for 48th place. The bottom line, I need to get faster....

These guys are mutants....Results

Friday, March 2, 2012

Just call me shorty....

A hazing incident capped off last weeks ride. Urinal flavored recovery cakes anyone?
Yeah, I'm in the land of the Grand Canyon right now, but I keep reflecting back to last weekends team ride at Allamuchy. Actually a lot of this winters rides have been great for many reasons, more on that some other time. The reason why I'm looking back is because it's been my dream of mine for quite a while to be involved in making racing in New Jersey a much more competitive venture. I like to travel to races and one of the things I hear over and over again is "why are there not a lot of strong guys from N.J.?" I'm embarrassed by this. We have the best trails in the country. Lets represent!! Correct me if I'm wrong but my thought is, we avoid each other...We need to work together to make ourselves stronger. This is why it gives me great pleasure to announce that I have teamed up with the strong men of team BTR. It's about the rides, races and working together to make sure we all hit the podium. Lots of raw talent I see over here. Bicycle Tech Racing plus my existing sponsors Tomac Bikes, Gu energy, Schwable and Industry Nine I see a great 2012 ahead for us all....

BTRVTC26DIV2012.......Dominance in sexy Italian shoes!!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Groundhog day...

La Milagrosa awaits

Winter has been kind to me this year. All of us really. With temps in the 40's and 50's, we've experienced the type of winter reserved for the Mid Atlantic boys not us Northeasterners. It's rare to be in normal riding shoes in winter, let alone without shoe covers. Even more rare to be in the woods still. Yesterday on my ride I only had a base layer and a vest. Trust me, I'm not complaining...

My winter will officially end March 1st. Soon I'll be hitting the sweet trails of the Arizona desert. Originally I was going to go to the Pro XCT opener in Texas March 3rd but I'm registered in California the weekend after (Bonelli) for the triple crown, and with a lack of any real training I'd rather get a few days of riding instead of the race. I'm already regretting this decision, often checking VZ navigator for the best route from Tucson to Texas. At 14hrs drive time, It's probably not gonna happen.
So I'll go to Arizona on the first, ride for a few days, drive to Cali for Bonelli and then back to Arizona for a few days of rest before James comes to town. We have tentative plans for the 14th to the 20th. I wonder if coach has any idea what pupil is in for? I'm hopeful to be recovered enough to race the following weekend. MTBNJ short track and maybe the MASS endurance opener. It's a busy March and April for me. Some have said "I'll be toast by July". I say "I don't care". Improvement fuels the fire and this year I've been improving. I think. Either way, I've been having fun....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just a few that I'll be attending...

I will not be doing this...
Bonelli Park (Pro XTC) March 10th - March 11th, 2012 - SAN DIMAS, CA

SIERRA VISTA (MBAA) - Mar 17, 2012

Weekend of March 24th, Bagels and Bacon Short Track or
Tuscarora MTB Enduro (MASS Endurance #1)

April 1st, Bunny Hopbrook, Middlebury Ct.(Root 66 #1)

April 22nd, Bike Line @ Fair Hill (MD) (MASS XC #1) or
Chainstretcher @ Blue Mtn (N.Y.) (H2H #1) or
Winding Trails (Root 66 #2) Farmington, Ct.

April 28th Cohutta 100. (NUE #1) Ducktown Tn. (I got a mention)

June 2nd, 2012 Kenda Mohican 100 Mile (NUE #3)

July 28th, Wilderness 101 (NUE #7)

August 19th, Hampshire 100 (NUE #9)

September 2nd, Shenandoah 100 (NUE #11)

There are a lot of gaps, I know. The one thing I've learned over the years is you have to allow for some flexibility. I don't want to say I'm going in one direction and midway decide to scrap the whole thing. I will be attending local and regional XC races. If I have the chance to win a series I may decide to go that route. I've set myself up so I don't have to decide what series it will be, If any. In between the big events I've picked, I may race every weekend or not at all. Hell, I may race twice in the same weekend. I may decide to go to nationals. I may decide to do some 50s. I may just race local events for fun.
Race hard, have some fun, keep it light, and let the path lead you to where ever it feels good. After last years bullshit and stress fest, who needs another year of that crap? -M

Monday, January 30, 2012

Wake up call....

OTB in the creek,

First of all....If your not having fun, it's just not worth it...

Gerry said to me sometime last week "What the hell ever happened to all of us just riding together?"
It's true... There was a time when you could just show up at a ride. It didn't matter what jersey you were wearing or what shop you were representing. Roadie or mtb'er. Or what clique you belonged to. Mtb rides of over 20 were common and these rides were fun.
Gone are those days. Everybody seems to be worried about series points or specific training intervals. Or worried about burning out too early. At what point did it become a sound training strategy to isolate yourself for months at a time all while staring at a power tap? No amount of intervals replaces the pain of hammering to keep up with a group or drilling it on a climb to maintain your position. When was the last time you felt the stress of having to "make" something or get the hell out of the way quick? Not by yourself, that's for sure.
Riding with others is fun and having fun keeps you interested and fresh. Going into a race season it's better to be having a good time and to be motovated than to be super tuned and completely burnt.
On Sunday I headed up to Ct. to meet with Charles, Josh and James. We played a little. Some on the bike fartlek. The trails at Case Mountain are sweet and to be with some like minded people for the day was refreshing. This is what it's all about.

This past week has taught me plenty. And I feel wide awake now:-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Put away the Advil and give that boy some Pamprin...

With morning temps in the single digits and a total lack of time on the snowshoes this year (I'm not complaining), The gang and I decided to put the bikes aside and revisit the hike loop from hell. Four hours of fartlek was on tap. No mercy, run/hike. It's a total drop ride with this group, only no bikes. There is sure to be some bitching. Who would be the first to crack?

My better half. A female point of view...

You might be a redneck... Once the snow comes the trail becomes harder to follow...
On the ridge, the "trail" becomes a little less defined...

Greenwood Lake...
My favorite pic from the bunch...
It's steep and icy at points...
Dreaded but beautiful, Frost Heave...
Happy trails means I can open it up...

Monday, January 9, 2012

I'm so glad to have a cog changing chick...

She's taking a single speed to Arizona. Not wanting to be stuck with only one gear option, we knew this day would come. Wrench turning independence. After a short tutorial, Joc is changing cogs like a champ...
Now if I could just teach her to bleed brakes I'd be set...