Monday, April 18, 2016

Stage 4 &5

 Friday, Stage 4 came.  It is a big stage but one of my favorite routes.   Sundra, who got on the podium yesterday, and I decided that Cam should get a chance up on the box, so we assumed a steady pace and Cam took off.  I was able to slowly reel him in all day but he got up the road and I didn't see him again until after the finish.  Congrats man, nice ride! 

Stage 5 is always bitter sweet.  I wanted to party pace, but I also wanted to get it over with.  I was so excited that I had trouble sleeping.  Everytime I woke up, I got a rush of adrenaline and the voice in my head kept saying "Go for it". 

After surviving the logistical pain in the butt shuttle to the start and standing in the gap freezing, we finally started, and I took off up the first climb, a long steep gravel road up to Farlow.  I was having fun and focusing. If I had been paying attention, I would have noticed that I passed my rabbit,  2nd place single speeder: Mike Montalbano.  But I didn't,  so I kept plodding along, thinking I was in no man's land again, between 2nd and 4th.   At the 2nd creek crossing on Farlow, I turned around and saw Mike.  Whoa. 

I put the hammer down and dropped him like..... something. 

I had the fastest rest stop ever,  rolled up, the girl had my bag ready, I asked for "one bottle please", and I was out of there faster than you read about it.

Spinning my way down Davidson River Trail I kept looking back but saw noone.   Through the gate and onto the long slow climb of death up to Bracken.  I kept the pedal to the metal. 

On the last little grunt, I turned and saw Mike charging up the hill.  He caught me in the exact same place that I caught Michael Cosgrove 2 yrs ago. 
Mike:" Man, I've been chasing you for a long time"
Me:" I know, I've been running from you for a long time!"
 He ripped down Bracken and I didn't see him until the pavement before the finish.  We rode through the finish together, and I climbed on the 2nd step for the day.  Thanks Mike.
 I stayed in the 3rd overall position and won the coolest hand made trophy I have ever seen.

Pisgah Stage Race #8 for me.  Each one has been different and taught me something new. 

Can't wait until next year.

Thanks Todd Branham and The Blue Ridge Adventures Crew for another great week in paradise.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Pisgah Stage Race 2016 Stage 3

 Long day in the woods,  4.5 hrs for 29 miles.   2nd place is so far ahead, and 4th place is close to an hour behind,  I wasn't motivated to be "racey" today.  So, I took it easy and enjoyed the scenery. 

It was a beautiful day, with temps climbing up into the 60's by the end.  The forest is waking up from winter slumber and green plant sprouts are popping up everywhere!  Such an amazing time to be out there.  

And then I started thinking about racing, and podiums and what is really important to me and those around me.  I thought about my kid, who often and selflessly passes up opportunities to score goals in an effort to assist teammates to score.  I thought about life, love and how grateful I am to be riding a bike.   I thought about all of the people who have worked with me and given me  a helping hand to get where I am today. 

I'm not going into the details of what happened next, but Sundra got the 3rd step of the daily podium for stage 3!   (I wish I had a pic...)

Live, Love, Give!



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pisgah Stage Race 2016 Day 2

No pics cause my camera is broken....   Awesome day in the woods, dry and cool conditions.   Got 3rd for the day and stay in 3rd overall in the Single Speed Category..... 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Pisgah Stage Race, Stage 1: The Miracle

The short story:

I pulled my mid/upper back muscles 1 week out from the race.  Tuesday, the day before I was feeling about 90% and re injured my back while working on my bike to get things ready.  The pain was so bad that I could barely get around and while laying on the couch, I decided to post on Facebook and ask for prayer.  Wednesday, I got to the start line, pain about a 5 on a scale of 1-10.  I felt ok on the bike and decided to just ride and enjoy the scenery. 

I believe in miracles!


Thursday, April 07, 2016

Spring Break: ATL

 Spring break trip to Atlanta has come and gone.  The family wanted a taste of the city and they got it.  I would have rather gone other places, but they have been talking about the GA Aquarium and the Coke museum for years.   Thanks to some guidance from Eddie O, I booked a motel near Kennesaw, one that was less than 15 minutes from Rope Mill and Blankets Creek MTB trails!   I got to ride a little bit each day and that kept me from going totally bonkers. 

I can maneuver through a city just fine,  but I'd prefer not to.

 I was impressed with the kid,  we took his bike just in case, and he eagerly joined me on two separate rides.   One 4 miler and one 6 miler.  There is hope! 
 We did the hike up Stone Mountain. I used to run up this mound of solid rock.  I thought I was cool.  We walked today but it seemed easier/shorter than when I was in college.  Maybe I'm stronger/smarter now....maybe not.
 One highlight of the trip was meeting Roy Faulkner.  Roy was the guy who completed the relief carving on the side of Stone Mountain.  For history buffs (Mike Keeley)  click this link for a great article: Roy F Article
And of course,  a person does not go to ATL without going to The Varsity.  "What'll ya have"!!   After this I went and rode the trails for 1.5 hrs.... so its all good! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Stage Race Looms

The Pisgah Stage Race is right around the corner and I'm hoping I'm going to find some confidence in my fitness there too.  

On my training ride today, I got off and walked a couple of climbs that I would normally have ridden.  I started thinking about my gear choice and realized that I am riding a stiffer gear than I was last year at this time.  That explains why I am so worked after each ride.  Combined with a couple of long races and inconsistent training......  and you get out what you put in, right? 

I don't regret the time spent with my family though.  It would be nice, just once to block of 6 months and do nothing but train,  I'd be interested to know what I could do.   I would probably not like it too much,  maybe a 2-3 month block? 

I like variety. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

That Weekend Tho

 That was a great weekend.  Nothing epic, just some ride time and family time. 

After the kid's soccer game on Saturday, I got in a quick ride before taking the family out on the sailboat.  The winds all but died when we got on the water, but we farted around for a bit before heading back to land for some Rocky's Hot Chicken Shack! 
 Spring is here in the mountains and it snowed Sunday night.  No school delays which is good. 


 I got out Sunday morning for a good mountain bike ride.   The Pisgah Stage Race
is in 3 weeks and I'm not ready!  Of course not, it is barely spring.   Due to sickness and other day to day excuses, I haven't spent the time on the bike that I had planned.  On the upside, this will be my 8th year and I'm pretty excited about that.

I'm thinking about adding a dropper post to my ride, but I'm having trouble finding one within my price range.  It's gotta be a 27.2 diameter too which limits my options.   I'd love to get the Thomson Dropper Post , but....  
Hopefully something will turn up, if not,  I'll still have  a blast!