Tuesday, May 29, 2007

IMBA Virginia Mtn Bike Festival

Some pics around the Stokesville campground from the weekend. Got some good shorty rides in, and was really cool to see all the VA folks again (at least those not at the Giro).

Oliver and his cousin Tiffany had a blast playing with all the kids and in the river. Bikers had a blast playing on these features built by Rich Edwards and Dan Hudson. Rich and Dan will be coming to Raystown Lake later this year to start building the proposed 30-miles of flowy goods there, in PA.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007


I headed up to the State College, Rothrock State Forest area this weekend for an annual event put on by Griz. We were joined by some of the Stoopid 50 organizing crew, some State College locals, Karl, fast Jamie , and his buddy, Dean, the Dutch Eagle. EDIT: Dean easily gets the tough guy award after eating it hard, endoing on an elevated skinny rock ladder that wasn't too well constructed, and wasn't scoped or spotted in advance. After his biff, and some reconstruction while we waited on a flat to be fixed, he hopped on and nailed it. The only one of us to even try it.

Ray gettin' skinny (not the same one Dean biffed on)

We rode some great trails, a lot of which will be in the Stoopid 50, at least the ones we rode on Saturday will be. Sunday we rode some classics like Tussey Ridge Trail, Wildcat, John Wert, and The Edge. I've only ridden up there for a couple of the 101s, and most of that riding was done with head down and tounge hanging, so I really didn't get to appeciate how cool some of those trails are. A lot of it reminded me of the sticky green, boggy parts of the Monongahela like Slatyfork, and most others were more like the high dry and bony GW Nat'l Forest. Tussey Ridge Trail was sublime, and the new trails we rode on Saturday are beyond my wordsmithy abilities to describe. I think the coolest of which was called Chicken Peter, and it was recently built by one of the guys on the ride. Incredible rock work, flowy, contours, groooovveee stuff. Every single guy uttered "wow" as soon they exited that trail, and singletrack salutes, promises of riches, beer, and future earnings were bestowed upon the master trail builder. Let's all hope this trail is in the 50!

the 4-H Camp near Penn-Roosevelt that we based from.

the windiest part of the loop is not the best spot for a safety meeting

custom holiday lights, Rothrock style

I met some more really cool PA mountain bikers. Hope to ride with them all again.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Help a friend fight the fight,

Go here to learn about brother Elk and his girlfriend Samantha's battle.
Go here to buy some tickets and win some swag. Like an IF rigid fork.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Michaux #1

This is a pretty wordy post for me, but a lot happened. I'm sure it'll take less time to read than it did to experience, so if you're inclined, endure and enjoy.

The word of the day was WOW.
Though it took about an hour less than I thought it would, it hurt a lot more than I thought it would.

My Michaux adventure actually started on Weds night at 7:15 PM with a bonehead move involving my Subaru, and my bike laying on the ground behind the car (instead of it being on the roof where I thought it was). A HUGE thank you to the The Bike Lane's Loren for quickly building me a new rear wheel, and to JoeP for delivering it my house on Sat. night. Seriously, home delivery. The Bike Lane folks make us feel like we're pro riders or something. Thank you.

Seems both Joe and I have trouble falling asleep the night before these early, big races. I saw 4:30 on the clock before I finally fell asleep, and Joe said he saw 3:30. Oh well, just like Shenandoah I figured.... Oh yeah, and then Joe locked the keys inside of his car, right next to his front wheel and helmet. Nice, at 6:30 on a Sunday morning. I called a locksmith in town who actually answered the phone, he said he'd be here in 15 minutes. He was here in 10, and got the job done. For only $40.

I lined up at the start of the race well away from the front of a huge crowd of 100 Monsters. My strategy was to start slow, stay slow, ride with friends, and finish strong. I also wanted to try to conserve some energy for the fun sections of trail, and not blow myself on some meaningless fireroad grind or something. Have fun wherever possible is what I wanted, particularly, Grave, 3-Mile, and Rattlesnake. The pace around me was pretty much like a SM 100, more casual pace. At one point early on, Joe and I were joined by Albert and Andy for a while, which I thought was fun. But those guys didn't want to be as social and chatty as I, and they all dropped me. My PA friends were all way out in front, all of 'em, Dr. Tom, Tomi, Pete, Bender, Joel, Buck. I rode briefly with Martin and Cheryl, but Martin got out for good after Dead Woman. Albert dropped me for good standing up and hammering up the Dead Woman Hollow climb, mashing his SS in 2 gears harder than I had. Good for him. I thought Albert would eventually come back to me, but he never did and had a great finish. I had Joe in front of me and in my sights for about 35 miles. I'd see him turn into a tiny red & yellow dot way off ahead, and then he'd occasionally come back toward me.

Joe and I rolled into the 3-Mile Trail aid station together, w/ Cheryl close behind, and we got ready to enjoy one of the coolest stretches of trail. But, Joe dropped back, not having the gas to enjoy anything at this point. When you exit 3-Mile, you stare right at the face of a soul-crushing road climb to get you to Rattlesnake Ridge, another primo trail to enjoy. I don't think Joe liked this much either, and I pulled away. Joe caught me at the last aid station where I was having some Troegs Pale Ale with Travis and crew working the aid station. That beer was reaalll nice, even better than the Miller High Life at the previous stop. Joe rolled in, had a little beer, and we took off together. The last 7 miles were pretty easy, and a nice gentle climb. Gentle enough that I knew it suited Joe's bigger gear more than mine, and I just knew he'd catch me after I opened a little gap. He'd been trying to drop me all day. I kept trying to look over my shoulder without being too obvious. I never saw Joe, and he rolled across the line a minute or so after I. Right before the finish, I spotted the 2 McClain kids standing on a berm on the side of trail. They were welcoming the finishers with thrown objects, and I got a direct hit to the helmet and some giggles. Then they ran off to find Oliver yelling that 'daddy Camp' was done. Oliver immediately said, 'can we go home now...', to which I said, yeah sure, right after about 3 or 4 beers and a massage.....

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Don't mess with this guy

Gratuitous, narcissistic intense glare shot. Taken by Kevin of velophotos.net. From the start line at Greenbrier, right before I crushed my field, coming in 18th out of 28. The Bike Lane is gonna start wanting their money back soon....