Thursday, June 18, 2009

Evening Rides

The single-speed (SS) bikes are back...the Ellsworth has been hogging all the action lately with my race events, but now I'm happy to be riding my SS bikes again.

Lately I've been going out later in the day for some cool sunset rides up in the local mountain areas. The life up there is quite different this time of day and the views are spectacular.

Of course I have a hard time not stopping to look at all the beauty around me...

However, all rides must end sometime (got to sleep sometime to get ready for the next adventure)...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

B-day Riding

I've been told by some of the locals that on your birthday you're supposed to double your age and ride that many miles...well I think that is a cool idea, but I have not accomplished such a ride this year. Instead for my birthday I rode the Think Pink SS for a nice long MTB ride up some 6700 feet over 71-miles just for fun. I loved every minute of it and enjoyed the wonderful scenery along the way.

The flowers once again provided some great uplifting sites...

At the high point of the ride I celebrated briefly then turned it towards home for the sweet, fast downhill ride.

I did stop once to check out this little guy...

Small, but powerful I'm sure (I did not provoke him to find out). Rattlers up in this area are quite small for some reason (this one has 6-rattles but was all of 13-inches - note the Ponderosa Pine needle beside it).

Monday, June 08, 2009

8-Hours of The Mad Dash

In my last post I eluded to my next adventure, which was the Mad Dash Mountain Bike Race I did this last weekend. The Mad Dash is a short 8-hour mountain bike race and part of a week long series of events put on by Adventure Sports Week (do click on the name and check out all the incredible events they put on - biking is the least of it). I did this race even though my legs were telling me that they were not nearly recovered enough or ready for this so soon after the 24-hr race a few short weeks before.

We (Scott, from Ride-On Bikes, my trusty friend, mechanic, support-person, chauffeur), arrived the day previous and setup camp with some good friends from Sandpoint, ID, Chris and Leah.

It was another great time around the fire with friends.

The next morning we set up our pit area in the choicest spot there. Scott once again provided support to others, since that is in the spirit of these events and besides we really like everyone we meet.

The background scenery at this venue was the best, most distracting ever...I constantly wanted to stop during my ride (uhhh..race), lay in the grass and just take it all in...

...but instead, I rode for 7-hrs 44-min. during the 8-hour period for a total of 85-miles, which placed me 3rd in my highly competitive age category. What is up with all these 40-49 year old biking animals?

I fueled with real food (home-made bean/rice burritos, some potato chips, and a few datenut bars) and hydrated exclusively with ELETE, an electrolyte suppplement added to water giving it a nicely plain, simple "water" taste. I've gotten to where I hate anything sweet in my drinks and I seem to survive best on plain tasting foods and drinks. I've used ELETE to finish many long events when the sweet drinks were making me want to barf. So this time I decided to start and finish with ELETE and I must say it worked so well that I am having a hard time figuring why it took me this long to just drop all the other sweet stuff my body always seems to reject. Hmmmm...

I had one mechanical, an unsealable flat from a monster nail, which set me back on my 5th lap far enough that I never really recovered from time-wise. This is the second time I've had a large nail puncture that my tubeless sealant (Stan's NoTubes) just could not seal up. Both times the tire was a Bontrager Jones ACX - a super dependable tire for traction, but seems to be a nail magnet. In fact this same tire type, I've had 3-other nail flats when tubed. So the end result is that I'm a bit wary of using the Jones ACX anymore in an event even though I love the consistent traction it provides in corners. Hmmm...I have the think about this some more.

I truly had a great time during this ride, the course was fun, as well as the friends I had time to visit with. I did end up getting some time to lay in the grass...caught a little nap also while enjoying the ultra eye-pleasing background, dreaming of my next little (non-racing) adventure...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Finding My Legs Again

Now that my bottom is feeling better, several days after my recent painful adventure, I'm back in the saddle trying to find my legs again. Warm, sunny days and fields of color definitely help distract from any pain and provide the motivation to keep going.

I just can not say enough about how uplifting a field full of flowers is to me...I could ride in such scenery all day and never feel tired.

But every blissful, flowery day must end for the there is always a need to return home. It's always a dreadful trip since it seems that the route home is always a hot one via one of several blast-furnace pipeline options...the roads home become stupidly hot, parching experiences starting this time of year.

The good news today is that I found Jiminy Cricket alive and well...time for some song and dance, just in time for the next little adventure...