Saturday, May 30, 2009


I showed up at the race with one bike on top of the car - a Huffy (Go Team Huffy!). It was a ploy to psych out the competition...they were so scared that they rode faster so maybe it back-fired. The Huffy is actually Jeremiah's (and it saw some serious use over the weekend).

Scott, from Ride-On-Bikes, my solo support person came in with my equipment later. Scott had told me I was famous on the phone, but I was not sure what that meant until I saw his vehicle that had my name on it...a cool surprise to say the least.

Scott once again proved to be a valuable asset and truly kept me and the bike going. I had to do nothing but ride, drink, and eat...I can not thank him enough for his support, efforts, and friendship.

Scott was up the whole time...well except for one short nap...

Dave Parkins, another ace-mechanic, of Sandpoint was also in attendance at my pit area and he was instrumental in us all having some fun. Plus, he kept many of my competitor's bikes rolling when they had major malfunctions...most people would not think of this as a good thing, but I'm perfectly happy that Dave and Scott had fun keeping other people riding...the nature of this event is to have fun and to help others plus I really like all the competitors I have met...all good people.

My performance in the Spokane 24-hr race turned out a top-10 finish (literally I came in 10th). Even though I took precautions to avoid dehydrating in the heat, it proved once again my biggest downfall. During the first 4-laps I was downing 2 large bottles an hour (a typical maximum for me, but after 4hr-10min, 60-miles) of riding I was feeling the symptoms of dehydration and I had to start taking extended breaks just to let more fluid absorb.

The good news is that I did not puke this year. I'm starting to think that my genetic makeup will not allow me to do this kind of event and/or intensity in hot weather. Once the temps cooled down I was feeling much better, however it took most of the night to catch up on the fluids. At some point around mile-90 I made a decision to ride just for myself instead of for the podium and to simply have some fun while doing it...and fun I did have.

In the end I rode for 14hrs-40min for about 195-miles during this event. The course was not disappointing in providing a thrash test to both body and butt is sore even with the super cushy ride. The Ellsworth (#21) survived perfectly, but after the race I noticed my bottom bracket is in need of has just over 3000-miles of use, which is not bad for an outboard BB on a MTB. I do miss the internal BB's that I typically got an easy 10-15K or more. My Ay-Up lights were awesome all night and I never once found myself needing so slow down due to lack of light - in fact my lap times at night were nearly the same as my lap time in the day.

After the day after the race Donna, Jeremiah and I all went for a sweet ride on parts of the course (Donna on the Ellsworth, Jeremiah on the Super-Huffy, and I was on the Think Pink SS). Riding the SS was all fun and my legs seemed to have plenty of GO still.

The event was fun as usual and more pics (some are probably rated PG-13) can be found at my Picasa Web site.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's Time...

Yes, it's time once again for some pure self torture on the mountain bike, time for the ultimate equipment thrash test, time for a body endurance checkup, time for psychological self examination, time for a sore bottom....time once again for my annual 24-hr race.

I've even been growing my hair out to fit in with the theme this year and I'm sure you will find me in some hippy-looking casual clothing at the event (which is actually my preferred everyday clothing).

This will be my 4th ride at this event as a solo rider (I have several team entries prior to that). Every year when I finish I say I am never doing that again, but it seems that time make me forget the torture this event provides since I continue to sign up for it annually and I get giddy with anticipation to start riding the race. I have butterflies now and the event is still 3-days away. Plus, amazingly, I already have plans to do it next year solo on a single-speed. Yes, I'm insane.

This year the Ellsworth 650B/26 will once again be my primary ride and the fully rigid Gunnar Think Pink 650B/26 will be the back-up ride (either bike will be fun). My training this year is truly in the toilet for a long endurance event like this, so I'm just going to punt and do the best I can.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spring Adventures on the Ellsworth 650B/26

I have a good habit of choosing my Ellsworth 650B/26 (that means I run a 650B wheel up front and a standard 26" wheel in back) for day-cruises in search of adventure, speed, and fun. This is one bike I've absolutely no desire to get rid of anytime soon, which is rare for me...those who know me well enough are shocked I'm sure since I have a bad habit of owning and riding a new bike for a short time (typically less than a year) then selling it for some other bike I'm lusting after. Since I built up the Ellsworth (aka the Black Pearl) in October 2007 I have had no desire to get rid of it, in fact I think I'm finally done with the crazed need to buy-and-ride-every-bike-ever-made (yes, I am shocked myself so close your mouth and wipe that stunned look off your face). I can't help it - I just love riding this bike and it feels new to me every time I get on it.

Spring weather has been rather bipolar this year, but the rides in the back-country are good as ever right now (up to the snowline that is). The field flowers, which always make me happy, are out in force as are other spring things - like Steve Largent repellent, a.k.a. snakes.

Get out and ride!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Glass + Tires = Shredder

Some times people question why I buy Bontrager's kevlar belted road tires...I have some difficulty convincing them (or maybe they have difficulty believing me) that many of the roads down in this valley are lined with broken glass (typically beer bottles). There is no getting around the fact that at some point on any road ride that I will incur direct glass-to-tire contact. The Bontager kevlar tires have saved me from more flats than I can count...I'm always digging glass pieces out plus pieces of metal. The wear factor of these tires is also quite good since I typically get 4000-5000 miles from a set. However, on occasion a tire gets so shredded that it needs an early this tire (after only 1800 miles) that sustained a direct impact with a rather large chunk of glass that I simply did not see in time to avoid (because I was looking around trying to enjoy a boring road ride).

I rode this tire home and 38-miles later it was still was a bit annoying to ride.