Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Pfoodman Blog

I'm moving my blogging to the new Pfoodman Racing blog. New entry just posted.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bubba Opener

Bubba series kicked off Saturday night. Wasn't sure what to expect from a racing stand point, but I knew it would be hard and fast. the course was flast, had gravel, fast sections, and some tight stuff.

Lined about a few rows back. Off the start the rider in front of me stalled and plowed into him which wasn't fun. Meant I was going into the first 180 about 20th. Sweet! Two words summarize my night: crashing and chasing. I can recall clearly 6 crashes that occurred 1 or 2 riders in front of me. First lap to last lap and every lap in between. In 180 corners, sweepers, left, rights. Didn't matter. If there was crash in the B race it happened just ahead of me. And of course each time it caused a gap which then caused me to chase. The lead group of 8-10 riders was continually about 20-50 yards ahead of me. To me the course was in two parts. Flat, roadie friendly to start. then a tight twisty section for dirt heads. One rider and I passed back and fourth several times. He would pass me on the open sections, and I would repass in the twisty section. Finally made it close the large lead pack with 1 to go but I was gassed from chasing all race long. Overall came home 8th.

I was happy with the result. Little frustrated because I felt like I could done better, but not disappointed because haven't really "trained" a lot this year. Just worked on riding when I can and having fun. The CX season is nearly 2 months long so hopefully can build some form as the season progresses.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Unanticipated Race Report

This past week I got back to racing on fat tires. The plan going in was to race as part of a 3 man team in the sandbagging Fast class at the 12 hour race at Council Bluff. Friday morning I went out for a quick ride with the wife on our single speeds. Nothing to big, but a short ride of the front side of Castlewood. Then back to home to pack 2 cars to head 2 different directions for the weekend.

Arrived at CB in plenty of time to setup camp and then head out for an easy 7 miles. Then fellow Shark Pfood teammates and I ate like kings, drank like fish, and planned the assault for Saturday's race.

Wake up feeling good about our team's chances in the sand bagging class. Then at 8:10 I received a message on my phone. My 3rd teammate was out. Couldn't make it. Too late to find someone so I opted to switch to the solo 6 hour category. So at 8:25 I was getting dressed, slamming calories down my throat, and applying liberal amounts of chamois cream.

Line up for the usual run to your bike start and at 9AM we were off. Since I was not to mentally prepared for
A) a 6 hour solo race &
B) had no plans to start the race
it made for for an interesting start of the day for me. I basically followed wheels and took it easy and took my place in line as we entered the single track. I was feeling pretty good and was glad I road the first 3 miles of the race course the day before. There were a couple near misses, a few folks decided to check out the woods as the blew corners, and a lucky flew got to change their tires after only 4 miles.

About half way into my first lap I thought, "Yeah I can do this for 3 or 4 more laps." Really didn't press to hard I. Took the long climbs easy and just road a comfortable pace. Coming around to the end of the first lap I hit the climb back up to the camp ground. A few riders that had just passed me were slowing up the hill so I went around them and arrived back to the timing line at 1 hr 16 min according to my watch. Not bad for opening lap. After I looked at my watch for a lap time I saw my other potential 3 man teammate, Struckman, at the top. He finished a few minutes ahead of me. He proudly announced he was done, "One and done. Time to drink beer." So we chatted a few minutes. I grabbed some shot blocks from him, at a Z bar, new bottle of electrolights and a fresh camel back. Then I went around and officially timed my 1st lap at 1hr 25 min.

Round 2. Feeling confident my newly secured two wheel friend I started to go a little harder on lap 2. At mile 3 there was a fix a flat clinic going on. I swear I saw 6 folks all within about 100 yards fixing flats. Dry trails are fast by the make the rocks come out in force. Then about half way around I felt the first twinge of a cramp. Not a big one. Just a slight wake up call from the legs. From then on I realized that making 6 laps would be about taking care of myself. Eating plenty. Drinking plenty. Not crashing, not flatting, and not cramping. I also replayed all that I ate and drank that previous 48 hours and began to realize that I probably would of eaten differently if I knew I would be racing for 6 hours.

Came around to finish the 2nd lap. A little slower than the first, but not surprising given I was trying to spin more and not have as much tension in my legs to avoid early cramping. My team of support crew were there with my requested turkey sandwich and coke. Slammed that, fresh bottle, and camel back and I was off again for 3rd lap. The third lap was uneventful, which was good. I began to run numbers in my head to figure out of I could make 4 laps or 5. Somehow I reasoned that I could complete 3 laps by the 3 hour 10 min mark I would be able to make 5 laps. Well that I didn't happen. I was at the boat launch ramp at 4 hr 10 min. Right then and there I figured I could take my time and plan on making 4 laps total. As I finished my 3rd lap my PRO support crew again had a sandwich coke, and fresh drinks for my final lap. I just enjoyed the ride and focused on not stuffing my face into a rock or a tree. I hit the base of the climb to the campground as the clock ticked over the 6 hour mark. In the end I had 4 laps, 6 hours 10 min. 6th out of 30+ starters in 6 hour solo.

I ended up riding less laps than I thought I could do at the start of the day, but not bad for me. I'm sure some folks planned for a while to ride the 6 hour class. They probably did long rides on the trail and or the road to prepare. They may of even drank less than 6 beers and 2 rum and cokes on Friday night. Me I did none of that. I rarely ride mountain bikes for more than 1.5 hours. I get in a road ride of 50 miles once every two weeks. Most of my riding is the 1 hour pain train variety at Castlewood or on the CX bike. So making 4 laps in 6 hours at CB was fine by me.

Upward and onward with the CX season. StL kick off race is under the lights. Should be a good time.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Back Racing

It has been awhile. A while since I've been back racing and back blogging. I'll keep this brief. The past month has been a return to cross racing. I haven't raced much this year. Doesn't mean I have stopped riding. Just that most weekends are now filled of two hour rides with the trailer, a CX bike and 1000 feet of climbing. Good muscle tension workout. No real intervals or specified riding plans. Just plain riding.

All along I this year I was planning to do more racing in the fall, because as Jeff Yielding says, "There is only one race season. CX season." As a kick off I raced the Jeff City 6 hour race over Labor Day weekend. My teammate and I ended up fastest of the non Cat 1's in the duo category. Not too shabby all things considered. Would of liked to get a top 5 but there were some fast folks there. Just happy Matt and I didn't crash, have any major issues, and put in a solid training effort.

CX got started September 18th in Herman at the now annual night CX race. The fields were respectable and the fans were numerous. I wasn't sure how I would fair but ended up scoring at top ten in the sand bagging class of Cat 4. Time to upgrade.

From there I sat out a few local races. I did manage to make it to Carbondale last weekend for the CX race at a winery. The course was laid in the wine and apple orchards. Talk about bumpy. Was hard to work on corner speed when each lap meant another rut or clump of grass caused your bike to move around a lot during high speed off camber turns. In the end I had another top ten in a B race.

Two races, two decent results. See if I can continue to build on this over the Bubba series. Next up is an assault on Council Bluff for the 12 hour race.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2010 State Mountain Bike Race

The 2010 Missouri State Championship Mountain Bike Race is in the books. I didn't race. Others did. 162 actually. Sorry for those who couldn't make it due to work conflicts.

Also if you have been up to speed on Dan Miller you can appreciate how great his victory was. Guess anytime I hear from someone "I can't" I'll tell them two words, "Dan Miller."

Also there was a small controversy in the Men Cat 2 30-39 race. Plenty of banter on the local racing discussion website.

Here are some reports:



All around badass

Boat Racer

Mr Herman Cycling

Big Red

Monday, May 10, 2010

100 Miles to Nowhere

A while ago I signed up to be an official participant in Fatty's 100 miles of nowhere race. A race where everyone wins. I had never ridden a 100 miles before. Neither had my wife. Something we were rather proud of actually. I have done some 6 hour mountain bike races and 12 hour team races so the 100 miles at my own pace wasn't too much of a daunting task.

However, I wasn't too fired up about riding 100 miles inside in the spring so following the lead of St. Louis locals Team Seagal from a few years ago <http://teamseagal.blogspot.com/2008/01/100-miles-of-forest-park.html> and I mapped out a 4 mile loop which I could repeat 25 times. <http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/mo/chesterfield/594126901957571966>.

This route went around Lone Wolf Coffee Co. <http://www.lonewolfcoffeecompany.com/>. in Ballwin, MO.

It headed east down the ever popular Clayton Rd. bike lane and then west through a quite neighborhood which featured several rollers. The route around Lone Wolf was key to my success in this event due to their outstanding support of me during this event with platter full of wonderfully tasty granola bars and fresh roasted coffee.

Preparation for an event like this is key. First, I asked my wife, The Pro (she's a Professional Engineer), if she wanted to ride with me in an unofficial capacity. She agreed even though she was unhappy I didn't sign her up to race officially. After she finally calmed down about not getting a t-shirt we then set Friday May 7th as our race date because we needed to honor some family commitments on the official race date of May 8th. The night before I did the normal pre-ride checks including a quick recable on The Pro's bike, cleaning my bike, mixing up my packets of Carb Rocket and putting beer on ice. Also, heeding Fatty's recent I checked The Pro's cycling cleats to make sure they were tight after I had checked my cleats. I also noted that we too could compete in an Ironman because we apparently (by Fatty's own fake statistics) have the two most popular tri bike brands: Trek and Cervelo. Road bikes not tri bikes, not that there is anything wrong with tri bikes.

Race day. We arrived at our start to see nobody around except The Pro and I.

Despite the lack of prerace ceremonies we started our ride. We had a strong tail wind as we headed east down Clayton which turned out to be a good thing. We also enjoyed the full use of the bike lane on Clayton Rd.

The turn south off Clayton we encountered our first city limit sprint, which I handily won. I ended up taking 20 out of 25 in total.

The turn east meant a head wind, but it was reduced due to the homes, rolling hills, and big trees we passed on Claymount. Next a short trip on Kehrs Mill and we back to the start. 4 miles down, 125 ft of climbing complete. 24 more laps to go!

10 laps into the race our fans came out steal our tasty tray of granola bars from Lone Wolf Coffee. Each one of our fans said they would ride with us, but came all up with multiple excuses as to why they couldn't. One said he had to meet his boss later in the day. The others are self employed and don't have bosses. One spouted some babble about growing "O" sports in St. Louis. The other whimpered about taking care of his wife who had the flu and his kids. The final one said he was racing the next day and Friday was his rest day because his coach told him to rest.

The 50 mile mark was a big milestone because after that the Pro and I were in a rhythm. Ride 5 laps, stop and get some food and drinks, get going again.

We did encounter a few folks who live in the neighborhood. When I asked them if they were going also participating in Fatty's 100 Miles of Nowhere they all got mad because they thought I said, "You are fat and are pedaling nowhere." Other than that is was business as usual for the final 50 miles except for the tree trimming crew who started to give us dirty looks the 10th time we passed their tree trimming operation. By the time we passed them a 12th time they FINALLY offered a friendly wave hello.

Other highlights from the ride were I got a fairly good look at the outside of the four homes for sale in the neighborhood. 2 for sale by owner, and 2 with agents. I think I know which one I would buy.

End of the day came and we officially finished with 101 miles in 5 hr 51 min of pedaling with 35 minutes of stoppage time and my first century complete.


Thank goodness for Lone Wolf Coffee Co's support of the Pro and I for this event.

PS-Note of the laps have inconsistent lap distances because I forgot to push the lap button on my Garmin or sometimes pushed it by accident while riding but the total distance is correct.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Well thanks to the most excellent frame warranty from Trek I now have my replacement Rig frame. It was a sad day to take the old frame down to bare metal. That whole process took 10 minutes which included the 5 minutes I spent finding a shoe box to put the parts in. Add another few minutes for drinking beer and really it took about 3 minutes to strip the frame.

One last look at the old friend.

Here is the new frame when I started. It is pretty bright. Ready for a snow ride.

A few things stand out different from the original Rig. First, all the frame tubes are a quite a bit different. Gone is the 2" extension of the seat tube above the top tube.

Second, it is no longer a single speed only frame. Yeah it has an eccentric bottom bracket, but also has all the frame mounts for adding a full compliment of gears. The original Rig frame has a vertical non-replaceable drop out. You bend it you are screwed. But how could you bend it if you don't have a rear derailleur? The 2010 spec model has a replaceable drive side drop out that can swapped for one that has a derailleur mount. Might be useful down the road, or trail.

The next big difference is the 2010 headset has an integrated headset. No more Chris King for me. I now own a Cane Creek AER integrated headset that has the fancy new bushings. No more traditional bearings. A sealed bearing's job is now being performed by a super slick low friction PTFE bushing. Pretty cool and hopefully it holds up over time. I think it will based on some knowledge I have of PTFE.

The final difference is in the bottom bracket. The 2010 uses a narrower bottom bracket than before. Not a big deal. I could of used my old eccentric but opted to spring for the new narrower one. The two pretty much look the same.

Much to my surprise the new one had another big difference when you look at them at a different viewpoint. It appears that folks Trek learn the librally use an end mill.

That mass of metal removed is approximately 50% reduction in mass. Not too shabby.

I think I'll try and locate an end mill and hog out the my old one to retrofit Sara's Rig with a lighter enccentric.

In the end I was happy with the build. It was pretty painless really. In case you were wondering, yes, I did install the flask first. Now if the trails would either A)Freeze or B)totally dry that would be swell so I can ride my new ride.