Friday, June 26, 2009

The 70s memories are fading....

A sad passing came upon us this yesterday as one of the great all-time icons for men (and women too) succumbed to cancer. Farrah Fawcett was one of the greatest all-time pinup girls. Adolescent boys as well as men had copies of the famous poster that sold more than 12 million copies. Her stint on Charlie's Angels cemented her into pop culture and her hair was copied by women all over the world. After dealing with her personal relationship issues over the years, she wound up dealing with cancer. I won't go into any special eulogies for her as to how she dealt with it as that is a personal thing, but everyone who lived through the 70s will not forget who she was as well as that famous picture.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

24 Hours of Big Bear

I did my first 24 hours MTB race this past weekend as part of a relay team. The Highland Pirates were Danny Welsch, Steve Green, Rich Raesly, Sara Lampo and myself. We started out well and were holding down 3rd and were pretty close to 2nd. I was on my lap when things started to go awry. I was plowing thru the course and feeling pretty good. Just when I felt like I was at the height of my hero status, I flatted for only the 2nd time in 3 years of MTB racing. Damn, I was just at the part where the downhill was really starting and to lose my pace there really hurt. After getting it fixed, it took me a bit to feel the flow again and I didn't really get it back til I was almost all the way down the hill. That was the first time cost for us on the day. As the night settled in, our second rider Steve took a few tumbles and gashed his knee. Our third rider Rich lost both of his lights and had to follow a junior rider in. I lost one of mine about 30 minutes out. I also had to learn how to ride in the dark. It took me half of the lap to realize that it's best to have the handlebar light positioned right in front of the bike and to use the helmet light to scan ahead. That probably cost me about 10 minutes alone as I was sliding off the trail and bumping around into things that I shouldn't have been. One benefit of the dark though was I wasn't thinking like a single-speeder. I wasn't getting off the bike before I felt I had to and therefore got up some of the bigger hills that I'd walked earlier in the day. It helped that I'd geared down for the night run though. I wound up feeling like I'd gone at least 10 minutes slower than I'd hoped. The girl on our team Sara, unfortunately had issues that were hurting her pedaling and she really had a time of it getting back in on her night run. After the first riders came up for the 3rd round, we were about 17 minutes down and in 4th place. We lost about 4 more then we started a comeback. Steve and Rich got us to 11 minutes down and I began what wound up being our final lap. I did an all or nothing lap. I went out hard and just kept the pressure up being careful not to send myself anerobic. I'm not sure if I lost my bottle or it was yanked from the cage, but I found myself without water for the first 3 miles which later would hurt me. I found a discarded bottle on one of the bumpier sections and stopped to snag it up. That saved me as the day was definitely getting warmer. Unfortunately, the gas was running low and towards the end of the lap, I got into the very technical rock garden and on the climb out, I began to cramp up and popped completely. i did recover but the legs were hurting and i knew that i'd come up short in the attempt to get one more rider out on course. In the end, we wound up 5th overall. Without the miscues and injuries we had, we could have easily been 40 minutes faster. Well, next time, the Pirates will do better.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Making old man noises.

Today, I've spent the morning making old man noises anytime I've moved out of the desk chair. Yesterday's race was a tough one made tougher by the mud on the course, the mud in my eye, the many crashes because of the mud in the eye, no water on the course and the many crashes because of the mud in they eye. Did I mention I crashed a lot yesteday? I was a bit pissed with the race organizers who failed to have an aid station along the course. The reason given was 'well it was cool in the shade when I was up along the trail'. Ummmm, guess what dude.... There were plenty of parts where there was sun on the course and also, it's just a bit different when you're on the bike than when you're just standing watching. I wound up catching a clop of mud in the eye about an hour into the race. It made it completely impossible to ride with any speed as the eye would tear up as soon as I'd get any speed. I stopped at least a dozen times to try to get the dirt out. If they'd just had the water jug out on the course, I could've irrigated it and been on my way. So I had to fight a nasty muddy course without being able see out of one eye and constantly stopping. I was completely unable to open things up on the sections of the course where my bike typically flies. In the end, I wound up wrecking about 6 times. I would figure I added on at least 20 minutes onto my time. I wouldn't have won but I would've been top 3 or 4. Oh well. I guess nothing works out great all the time.