Sunday, February 25, 2007

Uh. No thanks, I'll pass

Yesterday was to be my first big race of the year. The Valentines Day Challenge at Tahuya State Forest. My sport race was not to start till 1:30 so I woke up casually and looked outside.... Pouring. Absolutely Pouring. My friend J was already over near the race staying at an in laws place. I patiently waited till 8 to give him a ring. I did manage to reach him as he was driving through town out to the course. "An inch of snow on the ground, but it's melting" was his report. I looked at the Doppler, I looked at the forecast, I remembered that Tahuya is moto territory and I bagged it.

My psyche was shot. I knew I wimped out. I knew J would give me loads of grief, but I didn't care. I was warm by my fireplace with my family.

J called later, and to my surprise, he told me I had made the right decision. Much of the course was covered in over 6 inches of water. He froze solid. Many people made the hour or two drive and didn't race. Many who did dropped out, and many many bikes were trashed by the grit. Here is his report:

For those that missed the first Indie Series race, the skies parted, the sun came out, a warmth filled the air as smiling racers maneuvered over dry packed single track. Then I woke up...

The day started out with a small dusting of 1 - 2" of snow on the ground. As I pulled into the camp at around 8:00 the rains started and it rain like a monsoon was going through, but without any wind. At the start of the beginners race it had warmed to a balmy 34 degrees and there the temp sat for the duration of the day. Many huddled under tents, sharing heaters or around the large bonfire. The downside to the bonfire was having to deal with the rain.

The trails were a swamp with massive puddles and running water every where. Luckily there did not seem to be many hidden roots in the puddles, or I was lucky enough to miss most. Most puddles were not too (used with hesitance) deep, but a few seemed to sink to hub depth. Since most of the trails are hard packed the water seem to hold well and grow deeper as the day progressed. It also seemed to be warmer with each lap. I think the water helped keep the frost bite away. Some of the newer trail that was a mushy mud that was near impossible to make it throw, but all was ridable. If you happen to steer slightly off of the main mud trail you would find yourself stopped instantly. The whoops that are a lot of fun when dry were filled to the brim with water. It was the wettest race I have ever seem. The day saw many racers drop out due to conditions and mechanicals.

I'm traveling all this week, so I hope to get a run or two in and that's probably it.

Date: February 21
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Rail Trail-Road/Tricross
February mileage: 143
Year to date mileage: 310

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Monday, February 19, 2007

The sun is a tease

Friday's weather was insanely beautiful. It hit 66 here and the ride was great. Ton's of hikers out climbing to Poo-poo point. I took 5 minutes off my climb. Got it just under 50 minutes. No hang glider launching though. Probably still a little cold for that. Today was back to normal. 44 degrees and rain. I got out and rode outside though because I needed a long ride and I wanted to get used to it for Saturday's race. I did a 37 mile road-rail trail combination to take me to Black Diamond where my girls picked me up. Saturday is the first Indie Series race over on the Olympic peninsula. It's going to be nasty wet and cold. Hopefully the bike and body will hold up.

My buddy Z has one of those really cool Garmin 305 GPS units. Here is the ride to Poo-poo point in motion!

Date: February 19
Mileage: 37
Ride type/Bike: Rail Trail-Road/Tricross
February mileage: 123
Year to date mileage: 290

Date: February 17
Mileage: 15
Ride type/Bike: Mt. Bike Poo-Poo Point/Pisgah
February mileage: 86
Year to date mileage: 253

Date: February 16
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Hwy 18 Road Loop/Tricross
February mileage: 71
Year to date mileage: 238


Monday, February 12, 2007

First Race - Ouch

Light outdoor riding last week. Did hit the trainer on the 4th and 6th, but I'm only going to record "real" outdoor riding here. Thursday I did some hill repeats. Short ones that took under 60 seconds and were all out. Got my heart rate up to 186 for a change. Sunday was the first Budu Mountain Bike Race of the year at South Seatac. It was warm wet 50 degrees. It didn't rain, but it was very muddy. The mud there is a sandy drivetrain eating hell. I finished 12/19 in Sport Men 30-39. I thought I did better, but I guess I was mostly passing folks in different categories. Some of my racing friends say I need to push a bigger gear, and my heart rate data would seem to confirm that so I'm going to try it. My friend Accretion has one of those cool new Garmins that maps routes so you can check out the course. It's pretty cool to look at the Satellite view of the map and see that it looks like there is a race being setup on the day this image was taken.

Date: February 11
Mileage: 13
Ride type/Bike: SeaTac Race/Pisgah
February mileage: 51
Year to date mileage: 218

Date: February 8
Mileage: 12
Ride type/Bike: Misc. Hill Repeats/Pisgah
February mileage: 38
Year to date mileage: 205

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Showing Off

Let me tell you, I know how to break the ice when it comes to riding with new folks. Friday I met an old friend, and two new ones to ride an area I'd never visited before. Griffin Creek. It was cold. 37 Degrees. I'm warming up in the parking lot and start riding wheelies. I push one too far and topple over backward landing squarely on my butt. Ha ha ha. Very funny. Let's ride now. Griffin Creek is definitely a fun place and I'll have to get back there.

Saturday I rode with Doug W. from the hwy 18 parking lot to Poo Poo point where the hang gliders launch from. It's a great training ride with two hill climbs both ways for a total of almost 2600 feet of climbing in just 15 miles. I'll definitely be doing that one again too. I love getting out with people. I ride solo so much, I forget what fun it is to ride with friends.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday. Can I say that? The NFL will probably send me a cease and desist letter for using their trademark. Stand by!

Date: February 3
Mileage: 15
Ride type/Bike: Fire Road (Poo Poo Point)/Pisgah
February mileage: 26
Year to date mileage: 193

Date: February 2
Mileage: 11
Ride type/Bike: Mountain Bike (Griffin Creek)/Pisgah
February mileage: 11
Year to date mileage: 178