Monday, April 24, 2006

Embrace the Wind!

While some whimper, whine, and snivel about riding into headwinds I typically embrace it. I have found a few others out there that are as odd as I am. For example there's one insane Iowa boy, Jeff Kerkove (that's Mr. 24 to you) who thinks it's a fun time to time trial for 70 miles or more into the wind - talk about ouch! He's not the only Iowa nut that rides into the wind for a fun training session - did you see Iowan Jason McCartney (Team Discovery) smokin the field in the recent Tour de Georgia? He commented that wind training in Iowa is good.

Just to show my love for Washington wind on Saturday I did a 60-mile sprint ride (that means fast and often painful) with 30 miles of it into a 15mph head wind (that means even more painful if you want to do it fast - uh what does slow mean again?) and the ending 30 into crossing headwinds. The hard part is finding distraction from the pain while maintaining good pedaling technique - hmmm

Whoa where did that distracting image come from? How about something bike related...

Stupid car just about hit me...Grrr!!!

Think happy thoughts (and I will fly)....

Nice! (The "Twisted Shifters" - my buddies from last year's 24-hr race - Thanks guys!) Now how about some motivating happy thoughts....

Yeah, baby now that's what I'm talking about...the spoils of fitness...

60 miles later in 2hr 50min...what wind? The next day the Dos Niner ran a 42 mile sprint ride on the local backroads into more "training" winds. Embrace the winds with a smile.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Single Speed Cloverland Loop

Took my way-cool Fisher Rig Single Speed on a sprint ride today around my 40+ mile Cloverland Loop (the same one I did last Sunday (04/09) on my Supercal). Well I can tell all that the SS (that means single speed to you) was not quite as fast, but fast on a SS is almost a paradox. Even so I was only 10-minutes slower on the SS vs. the gearie (that means geared bike to you). Maybe if I'd quit looking at all that beautiful scenery up there (you know the stuff a few local road toads call ugly and boring) and concentrate on riding faster, then I'm rather sure I would have made the same time...

Some of the locals guarding the hilltop... The 1000' decent in 1-mile...with Asotin Cr. and Lick Cr. drainages in the background...zoom, zoom!
One more thing, I've been catching some crap (that means pure negative shit) from a local road toad about my's a message to you that don't like what I write here...Don't read this, don't look here, go away and keep your negative crap to yourself! And if you become too full of yourself (as in full of your own negative crap) then go somewhere else to explode! There I'm done ranting...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Waiting Out the Rain

While out on a "short" ride I kind of got "stuck" on the dryish side of a line of squalls that were dumping the rain-of-life into the Valley-of-Hell. I got a few drops, but 50 yards down the trail was a wall of rain and a mud fest...I rode on the dry side until there was a break in the storms then slid down the hill and made it home before the next dump from Heaven...
The Salsa was a bit hot today - just the way I like it...
Looks tasty doesn't it?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sprints and more

I did another bad thing by going to B&L Bicycles to look at (drool all over) everything. Well some how a new set of carbon cranks just jumped onto my new Trek Pilot......oh they are so soft and smooth. I just can't seem to understand how things like that happen everytime I go there. I have a very bad bike addiction I know and B&L is helping me with it-thanks guys!

I have been trying to ride on good days so I am sneaking in a few nice rides between school work. Since it's spring I decided to restart one of my favorite kind of rides...I call them sprint rides (the SeanMan remembers these I'm sure). In short it is a fast paced ride that focuses only on speed or getting there as fast as I can (mileage is for weenies, time is everything). Of course wind can make a sprint ride into a force/power ride in a hurry. So on Friday, a spectacular day, I jumped on the Pilot for an 85-mile sprint to Wawawai, up to Pullman and back around to Clarkston. I call this ride the Steve Largent Trail of Tears ride because everytime he rides this route he snivels about how boring the incredibly scenic landscape along the Snake River canyon is. I arrived at the Wawawai grade (30 miles) in a smooth 1:12 (the winds were really swirling down along the Snake River - I got everything from headwinds, crosswinds and yes even some butt pushing breezes - not to be confused with the jet propulsion of a good fart). Heading up the long Wawawai grade is where my ride went from a sprint to a pure power workout and remained a power ride for 50 miles...yes I had a smokin headwind going up hill and nearly all the way home. I made a pitt stop a B&L Bicycles for water and found (no not more bike parts) a slice of the SeanMan's Pizza waiting for me - Thanks SeanMan I really needed that. The ride was history after 4:30 in the saddle and yes the wind kicked my butt. The good news is that I was still feeling quite comfy on the new Pilot - truly a sweet riding machine. I wonder what a Madone would ride like?

Today I thought another sprint ride was in order to break in my newly rebuilt White Brothers fork... ...truly a sweet riding fork. The planned route today was climbing up Cloverland Grade--> Cloverland-->Campbell Grade down (1000' in 1-mile = steep!)-->down Asotin Creek and home. Overall it's an easy MTB cruise at just over 40-miles. Here's a pic from Cloverland Grade looking over into George Creek (another nice climb out of the valley)... My sprint was delayed a few times by some heavy winds on top, but other wise 40-miles passed with a ride time of 2:20 - not bad on a full knobby MTB, but nowhere near a record in my book. I wonder how fast I can do this on my single speed...hmmm...Anyone want to go with me and try?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Another adventurous week

The week started on Sunday with the Devil's Slide MTB Race, in which I rode like a slug aboard my Salsa Dos Niner. Long after the race was over I decided to look up my results from last year and found that I rode the course 1.5 minutes per lap faster on my Gary Fisher single-speed the previous year...hmmm and I really thought about riding the SS this year again. Lessons learned I guess or maybe the lesson is being fat and sassy or the lack of training due to school or my allergies...blah, blah, blah...excuses never change things. Some of the guys that helped with the race put out a cool little video (click here to see it). I spent the remainder of the week agonizing (riding the dog out of it) over whether or not to buy a Trek Pilot from my favorite bike shop, B&L Bicycles.

The Pilot rides like no other bike I've been's not a racer, but it is incredibly smooth on the roughest roads which means less fatigue - especially on long rides. In the past, after 3-4 hrs on my roadbike I was typically ready to stop and throw it in the ditch never to be ridden again. I think the ride of the Pilot will give me a few added hours of time in the saddle before I get this feeling. It comes with a 10-speed drivetrain (which I think is nothing more than a Shimano conspiracy) that I am still trying to get use to. I put a few "test" miles on the Pilot this week (like, cough...287 miles) on the worst, roughest roads I could find. The Pilot rode ever so smoothly on the worst chip-seal I knew of. I would take my Kestrel on the same roads for comparison only to find that I instantly wanted off the rough road. This comparison is what convinced me the Pilot was worth it. Yes, my fat butt likes some cush which I know will let me ride longer with less fatigue. A word of advise: Don't ever test ride a carbon Pilot unless you're ready for the sweetest ride ever and ready to pay for it! Yes, it's that good.

Yesterday I spent some time at B&L goofing around and the SeanMan made me buy a new jacket (it was on sale of course)...Thanks Sean the jacket got a good workout in the rain this morning and I'm happy to say it was nice to have it and worth every penny you said it would be.