Friday, October 29, 2004

when it's not one thing it's another


The mother in law saga has improved considerably. I'll have to give all the credit to her as well. She talked to my wife and pretty much had laid out (on paper even) all the things that she has been doing bad that have contributed to a very stressful situation. And she held her tounge and didn't make a huge arguement out of anything, and then asked my wife is she thought that they should leave.

Wife agreed, and her husband was looking for a place for them up in NY right now. So all the tension has been diffused. Yes she still does lots of annoying things, but it's liveable knowing that she is going to be leaving on good terms.

BUT!!! And there is always a but, things seem to be dragging on them finding a new place. Wife started to get annoyed again at all the little shit. They talked again and the plan is that come Dec 1 whether their house is done or not they are leaving.

I guess I can deal with that. Wife also said that sometimes we just DON'T WANT TO TALK. We are tired from work, and the kids and we just want to chill and the last thing I want to do is get into some discussion with the woman on some topic she thinks she is an intelectual about.

But now that that is done with, there is always other things to deal with. Like we are looking at getting a new car. Talk about a drain on time and being stressful.

I research things to lots of detail, and am always stressed when it comes to dealing with salesmen and the negotiating process.

So far we are leaning towards a mid sized /small sized SUV. We have a 98 Legacy wagon totally base model, not even auto door locks. love the car for the most part but the clutch just went and it has 82k on it. Sadly, vehicles like this hold crap for value. I think we could sell it for $3000 if we were lucky, but it is really a fun nice solid car.

This new vehicle we are looking for is going to cost anywhere from $17 to $26k depending on what we get and if we go new or used.

Sadly, I came to the conclusion to sell my current truck and take over the subaru. Mainly because the truck is a 4x4 extended cab and it hold much more value than the car. the reality is, that we got it because I missed having a truck. Got it from a friend for $12k. 1999 Dodge Dakota 4x4 extended cab and he put all sorts of mods.--Headers, cat back exhaust, mod chip, off road tires, grill guard, big Dodge Ram mirrors, and I put in a spray in bed liner. It is a nice truck....LOUD as shit.

but you know I'm a small guy. It is nice to roll around in a big loud truck. Get's me some stares. I've got a short torso, so I actually look pretty stupid in it!. Wife looks hot, petite girl in big loud truck= schwing.

Anyway, I will be giving up some of my manhood to make this new car purchase more easy to deal with.

We have two boys and lots of stuff, they are growing, and the current wagon is a tight squeeze to get a 5th person in between their car seats, and the cargo room is maxed on trips. So we want something bigger.

But I get fundamentally torn over the American way of huge SUVs to go to the grocery store.

And the wife REFUSES to consider a mini van. They are Not cool. If we had 3 kids she'd probably do it. But her 40 year old mid life crisis is calling for an Xterra or other SUV.

But giving up the gas guzzling loud ass truck makes me more able to deal with getting an SUV. But like I said I am torn, because driving some of them I love how nice they actually are.

We've driven
-Honda Pilot(overpriced-ok), CRV(POS, felt cheap, overpriced for what u get)
-looked at Sante Fe (tiny cargo area)
-Driven Toyota Highlander (over priced, helicopter affect when driving with rear windows only open-enough to make my ears hurt, light colored interior cloth just begging for juice stains, but otherwise very nice, easy to drive good visibility)
-Mitsubishi Endeavor (best value, good engine, tons of storage space around driver/passenger, great cargo room, good room in back seat, funky stereo console)
-Xterra(fun, good exterior styling, pitiful storage area around driver, weak interior styling, excellent cargo room, lots of aftermarket accessories, crappy gas mileage like them all, they we trying to get rid of 04's before the 05 redesign due out in January)
-05 pathfinder (WOW, incredible redesign, tons or room, 3rd row seating, sweet engine, looks bad ass, can you tell I like it. It's also expensive and there are no rebates on this 05)
-04 Cherokee (crap!, they had to jump start the battery because it had been sitting idle for so long. It felt loosey goosey even when going straight. Jeep is offereing something like $5000 off sticker. No thanks)
-looked at outback and forester (Really LOVE the new interior styling, makes them very snazzy. But they are just a tad on the small side. Plus we already have a 98 legacy, and wife thinks it's wierd to have the another of the same vehicle. Regardless, I'd buy another in a heartbeat if it wasn't for the size issues we'd run into.)
- I get Gm supplier pricing but we are not considering the Trailblazer or Envoy because they just 'seem' too big and the GM reliability is questionable to me.

So far the wife LOVES the xterra. I am quite impressed with the cargo room, as much as the 04 pathfinder and as big as any of the other mid sized we looked at. She sits real well in the seats and has great visibility which she is just so happy about.

I loved the 05 pathfinder, blew the pilot away IMHO. It is on the big side though. Do we really need something that big?????????

The 04 Endeavor is to me the sleeper value. A used one with 10k miles lists for like $10k or more below sticker. For whatever reason it takes a huge hit the first year, where a used Highlander or Pilot is almost as expensive as a new one. Wife doesn't like the seating and her visibility.

So it comes down to spending a lot on the pathfinder or spending a lot on an exterra

Oh well, it's only money as they say!!!

Just started the hypertrophy phase of my lifting, more details to come.


Saturday, October 23, 2004

45 and wet is colder than 20 and dry

It's one of those days. 45 and misty. Not raining, but lots of moisture in the air. The kind of cold that kind of permeates to your bones. I know you mid westerners and northerners are poo-pooing this Virginia cold day. But I think I'd much rather it was 20 and cold rather than this wet cold.

I did get on my road bike and get out though. It was pretty nice. Though it is amazing how quickly the riding legs go. It has only been a few weeks since I was at my best in quite a while, and it's gone. Well not riding hardly all and lifting will do that to you.

But it was quite fun to just noodle along, daydream. 1hr 1/2. Nothing too dramatic. I was pretty comfortable the whole ride except I didn't put anything on my feet. I didn't want to wear the full on booties, and I didn't have any toe covers. They didn't hurt till I got in the shower later.

I realized, that this was the first time I'd ridden my road bike outside and not on the trainer in quite awhile. Recently I'd wanted to take any opportunity for outside riding to be on my mountain bike to regain any semblance of skills.

It was nice to get on it. I love that bike. It's a little hard to go back and forth between this bike and the cross bike. This bike just feels so much more lively. Well DUH. The road is what it is designed for. the cross obviously is designed for other things, but I get jaded on the cross bike because I ride it 90% on the road.

I have long legs and a short torso. The legs of someone 5'7" but overall height of 5'4". So I've been on custom bikes for years.

This road bike is a custom steel frame made by Richard Moon out of Folsom, CA. Classic lugged steel. Painted by Brian Baylis. I often times just sit and stare at it. I come to cycling through mountain biking, so it is kind of funny how much I love the classic lugged style of bikes. This ride is part of my fascination with frame building.


I bagged those yellow cages and put them on my mtn bike and the tires are yellow right now. I want to build up a set of Speedcific wheels with the IRD rims that are the same as the American Classic rims, and then put these Cane Creeks on my cross bike.

A combination of reynolds steel and Bocoma lugs I believe. Sure in these days carbon fiber this and that, and Scandium it isn't super light, but the components mix is pretty decent so it's not a pig.

In all honesty, I don't take near enough care of it as I should. It has internal cable routing for the rear brake (probably the only thing I would change). Where the cable enters the top tube, is a prime spot for rust to start if you aren't careful. Well since kids, I usually ride it and put it away wet, with very little maintenance, and I've got some rust starting. Cripes, this is a $300 paint job alone, and look how I treat it.

I remember the days of totally breaking down the mtn bike after every mud ride, now adays if I just get to the chain and pedals it is a good day.

I can tell I've been doing hamstring work, because the road bike saddle is 1cm higher than the cross bike, and I could feel my hamms stretching at the start of this ride.

Anyway it was nice to get out into the fresh air and just cruise.

Friday, October 22, 2004

And the saga continues

So the saga with mom in law continues.
She had set up a trip before the blowout to go see her husband up in NY and is leaving today at 10am for the airport. She's been on my wife to talk about the incident the past two days but my wife is still SOOO steamed she just doesn't want to get into it with her till after this trip so she has a chance to calm down.

MIL is such a sociopath. Not like a serial killer, but just that she lives in her own little world and has no concept of how her actions affect others. So she fucking accosts me this morning. Wife is at work early, I'm getting the little one ready to drop off at preschool.

But man it is going to be so good for her to be gone. When she gets back I suspect it will blow again when we finally make a decision about what has to be done, cause I don't think wife can take her living with us anymore.

She went out of her way to pick a fight with me. My heart was pounding, my head started to feel lighter, even my back started to hurt. I was so tense. I got a small taste of the hell my wife went through earlier this week.

Later, I realized I'd witnessed her transformation from just being annoying to the truth of how mean and spiteful she is. It's a side she tries to hide and not show, but man it was pretty crystal clear to me, and my wife. The way my wife describes the incident in the car, the mom kept pushing and pushing until my wife was reduced to a raving lunatic.

But that face of hers. It will haunt me for the rest of time. As we were getting into it, each line each fold of her face hardened and got etched deeper. And those eyes boring into me. Of course she is the one who was being attacked. I'm such a BAAAAD man.

She reminds me of this one Star Trek episode where this entity thrived on stress and strife, and it goaded the crew of the Enterprise and some Klingons to hand to hand combat. The finally banished it by all laughing it away.


She feeds on the stress she creates. But the next day she doesn't have a clue of the hurt she causes. She wants to talk about it, work it out, basically she won't stop harrasing you until you agree that you were wrong and she was right. She just creates a bad situation so that she can try and fix it and be seen as the saviour for fixing the situation.

She is gone for the weekend up to NY. It so so amazing the calm in the house now. Grandma is still here but she is so polar opposite of the mother in law.

But even in absence she creates stress. I had a hard time sleeping.

I HAVE to get on my bike today. road cross anything. It's amazing how sometimes I can go for such a long time and not ride. It's so easy to get out of the swing of it, and every day that goes by that I don't ride, the easier it gets to not ride. Gotta stop the negative slide. Esp. since in a few more weeks I need to start some endurance riding.

Still lifting 3x a week right now. One more week of transitional lifting then into the Hypertrophy. This phase takes a long time per session. when you get into 4 sets per exercise + warmup plus the rest between each set, it adds up.

I really like liftin. Been doing it since highschool. Typical small person thing, got into lifting. used to do it like 2 hrs a day in later part of highschool and college. Got pretty big and strong too.

It's one of those things that I want to do for the rest of my life and it is so good for overall well being. I just love putting the mp3 player on to some good pop punk and doing my thing, being in my little world.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Well it hit the fan.

Well, things with the mother in law (MIL) hit the fan yesterday.

Yeah I know this isn't about riding, but this situation affects the entire stress level of the household which directly affects my time and motivation to ride/train.

plus it is just so DAMN funny that I can't just keep it inside. It's also about as bad as it is funny, so it kinda equals out to this just blah haze that you wade through every day.

MIL and wife had huge blowout yesterday, while driving in the car and younger son (4yrs) old in back. Wife wanted to drop it, so they don't get in a car accident and didn't want to argue in front of kid..MIL wouldn't drop it, ended up with wife dropping her off at grocery store to 'check her blood pressure' and wife going to library parking lot in tears to meet me. MIL had said in a huff the she and the grandma were leaving. HURRAH!.. But I bet she was just getting my hopes up.

I called her husband who is a great guy, down to earth, rational. And just gave him a heads up on what happened. he knows how she can be, so he wasn't totally defensive about the situation.

This woman is just a piece of work. Passive aggressive, talks non-stop, all the time, in your business, constantly on my wife about this and that.

Let's see, she has 5 kids. One son hardly talks to her, she put the other son's wife in tears, she butts head with her other daughter, is at major odds with daughter's boy friend, was despised by daughter's original boyfriend, just put my wife in tears, so that leaves one son, that she could 'possibly' deal with. She doesn't get along with her new husband's daughter, daughter-in law, or sons. MMMMMM? let's see. common denominator here---HER. In her mind EVERYONE else is hard to get along with..EVERYONE else needs counseling.

Anyway, so last night she just sequesters herself in her room. doesn't talk to anyone. We have no idea if she is staying or going. tough call here. enjoy the silence, or break it to ask her what she is planning on doing.

But it doesn't look like she is packing. awww she got me hopes up.

Anyway, I'm hardly riding at all. Just doing some transional lifting at the gym. I want to get out but just having a hard time finding time. Can't even seem to commute with errands that need to be done. Between having to work in the field and picking up/dropping off kids at daycare, it's like I have to drive.

The less I ride, the harder it gets to actually motivate to get out there. It's like a negative momentum that occurs. During the 2 week hypertrophy phase that starts after one more week of transitional lifting, I won't ride at all maybe some commuting, as that phase just WORKS your legs.

But during the strength and power phases I need to start my endurance work, so man, i hope that I can motivate to get out in the cold and just get some of these miles in. I'll take some of my vacation time during the day to bust these rides out.

Last year, my endurance phase came at the absolute worst part of the winter here in VA. So I didn't do squat. It really messed me up I think for the first race in April. I so want to destroy that race. In all my years here, I've never had a good race there.

I am sending my 2004 Black 80 SPV fork back to Answer today to check out some play in the bushings. It's funny, some people would be turned off to a company for having to send fork in. But I dunno, I've been on Answer forks since my very first suspension fork -the manitou 3. And they haven't always been foolproof, but through it all, their customer service has been great. Fixed for free reasonable amount of cost. They sponsored our team for years and years.

Easy to work on, and tune. So I guess I'm brand loyal regardless of the inconvenience of having to take the fork off and ship it and be w/o a mountain bike.

We'll see what happens with the home situation. Ahhh.. in the words of some wise person.

take a deep breath....This too shall pass......

Friday, October 15, 2004

Started to lift again

I started to lift again. Thank god for the advice in Dave Morris's book to do a 3 week transitional lifting period. this first week we are talking 2 sets of 8 at super light weights. It is so tempting to rush it in order to get to the hypertrophy phase. But I have to calm myself.

Even at super light weights I am still getting soar, and my knees are feeling it. In looking back at last years transitional lifting it does ramp up pretty fast but just gotta be patient.

Went on a ride with the cross bike yesterday. Just can't get dialed into that bike. Still not sure what it is. When I am on it on the road I wish I had my road bike and when I offroad with it I wish I had my mountain bike.

Part of the problem is the handlebar I am using. On the road bike I have a TTT morphe which has supper short reach to where the hoods are placed. I had a narrow morphe on the cross but it was tooo narrow. Now with a regular bar on there the reach to the hoods is too long and I don't like it. But regardless I just am not comfortable offroading in the drops or on the hoods. I am just a mountain biker at heart.

I've tried putting a mountain bar on it, and it was fun when climbing but other than that it was too scrounched. I am going to try a 150mm stem with a mountain bar to see if I an get some more reach to make it doable with a mountain bar.

Interesting that there is very little written about this on the web. I'd think there would be way more customs of this type of bike- a cross bike with a longer top tube designed around mountain bars. You just can't slap on a mountain bar onto the same road geometry and really make it work, I think. There are lots of these flat bar road bikes making their way into main stream by the big name builders, but it is just a flat bar/stem placed on the same geometry as their road or cross frames.

But with a road frame you use drop bars, and 90% of the time you are on the hoods. climbing is done on the tops. So just putting a flat bar on puts your hands at the position of the bar tops an even more inboard of that because of the bend in flat bars. So you really need like 10cm of extra top tube in order to use the same stem length to place the mountain bars in a similar reach position as your mountain bike.

I sooo much want to learn how to build frames and this is the first one I'd try. The Ritchey Mount cross and a custom from a builder name Judkins are the only real ones I've seen where they took a cross frame and specifically designed it around flat bars.

thing is with my long legs and short torso, I might have been able to find a stock cross frame that has a longish top tube and made it work for a flat bar. Wish I knew this before I had my custom made. I might as the builder what he'd charge to swap out the toptube/down tube for longer ones, might be worth it. who knows.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Finally did it

It's been more than a decade in the making. I finally made the podium in the VA state series race.
Podium shot of the vet Sport Class at the Virgina Championship Series

I am still can't believe it. Do you know how long I have been envious of anyone making it onto the podium?

Ever since I did my first race so long ago in like 1989 or something like that, I've wanted to so bad make it on the podium. Over the years the few times I've done it have been the 2nd place at Canaan that we got in the 5 person open team. But I am not sure if I've ever really done it as an individual competitor.

I did get a 3rd place at the Wolf gap race, but we left before the race awards so that doesn't really count.

This 1st place in the VA State series was a total surprise. I only did 3 races in the Vet sport class. A 5th at the Hoo Ha, a 3rd at Wolf Gap and a 4th at Rowdy Dawg Yesterday.

Oh most def. I had been checking out the points series and seeing who had been doing which races, and who I was racing against, I just didn't want to think about it too much and jinx it. One success I've made this year is to try and not think about results too much and focus only on the moment and what is controllable. but still it is hard to not dream a little.

So at Rowdy Dawg, I so much had wanted to just rail that course. I knew almost every inch of it very well. I did have a pretty good race with a 4th place. But I could tell from the get go that my legs were just not there like there were for the last race. On every section I think I was pushing at least a gear lower, or bogging in the gear that I had ridden in training. If I tried to push too much I knew I would cramp, so I backed off.

I was slightly dehydrated from wine tasting the night before. I forgot how much wine really dehydrates me.

I also totally stacked it on the Beast. I've ridden that think a hundred times and never really rolled it until yesterday. I went over a drop off on the far right side, and my bars clipped a small sapling which totally threw me. Luckily I didn't get hurt too bad, it could have been far worse. John crashed in the same exact spot.

I could just tell that I wasn't able to hold the speed and momentum through sections to really feel like I was going fast.

It's ok cause I still got 4th, but I wanted to break 2:10, I got 2:15 or so and just know that if I was on that I could have easily kept the momentum going and broken 2:10.

Brian and this other local rider were 2nd and 3rd. So inside I really wanted to beat them, but I couldn't hang with Brian's and the other guy John downhilled like a maniac.

But it was a total surprise at the end when they did the Series awards. I had moved to 4th after Wolf gap in the overall series, and with my 4th yesterday, I moved into the series lead because none of the guys ahead of me were there, or I had beat them.

It was a shock. And just so awesome.

I've wanted this for sooooo long.

I got to stand on the podium, and got a sweet plaque that is going to go in my office.

I don't think I am a sandbagger, cause I never smoked anyone in the races and never got better than a 3rd. Nevertheless it was so cool to win it with only 3 races.

I was looking through my old logs, and saw that my overall weekly hours on the bike were like 3-5 hours less per week than what I did years ago. Credit any success to some more maturity on my part and the Dave Morris book Performance Cycling

Performance Cycling

So what now?

I'm going to join the gym today, and start some transition lifting. I need to do 3 weeks but I might shorten it to two. then start into 2 weeks of hypertrophy. Not too much riding during that,

Than try and combine strength phase with some long rides. We'll see how that works out..if the weather holds and my motivation holds.

It's nice to be done with racing though. Puts a lot of general stress on the mind.

I've also got tons of little bike projects I need to work on
-finish rear wheel
-sell Hugi wheel
-swap out to the new wheels
-put old wheels on karen's bike
-return Karen's old wheels to Nashbar
-move cleats back in road and mtn shoes
-set up new mtn shoes
-set up spare road shoes
-measure road bike
-try and change position on cross bike, and/or swap it over to flat bars

lots to keep busy with.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

working out details of last race

Really stoked with how things went with the last race, especially being sick.

What worked, what didn't.

My orthotics were ok. They still feel awkward, and might have made my knees hurt a little. The didn't do squat for the numbbess though. Might have been because it was slightly cold and they got wet, but still. They do improve power output by a lot. sort of kicking myself that I returned those other ones now. Because both seemed to increase power output by the same and neither fixed the hot foot, the other ones did not have the neoprene top coat and did not take up SO much volume in the heel.

My Specialized shoes that I'm wearing now don't have that deep a heel cup. The orthotics take up a lot of room now which raises my heel and promotes heel lift, exactly what I was trying to avoid.

I need to give them more time, and probably need to try more shoes again. Oh well back to the round robin of buy/sell ebay shoes again. they seem to work with the DMT road shoes well.

I think I was a lot better about drinking from the camel bak Having the cold forced me to drink more to wet my dry throat. This might have been the reason why the cramps weren't as bad.

Still used the song from the WHO Tommy, to help maintain focus. That and the 'right around the corner' mantra worked pretty well.

Biggest problem was with the downhill. Just could not go fast, and ended up grabbing so much break and almost going too slow, which is more dangerous in the end. I lost so much time on that thing.

I go back and forth on the disc brake issue. had a bad experience with the Hayes several years ago. They have got to be better by now, but they are so heavy. plus I need to build a new front wheel.

My back didn't hurt too much during the race but afterwards it felt fried. Need to keep up the lower back stretches.

I fell into the lemming trap sometimes by walking sections because others were walking, or slowing down my speed to match someone else near me. Need to be more aggressive with that.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Wolf Gap Race report

Wolf Gap (aka Liberty Furnace, Dante's Inferno, Race 4 in the VA State series) was this past weekend. This race and the hometown Rowdy Dawg have been on my calendar for a long time.

And to think that I almost didn't even go this weekend. On Friday at work, I started to feel a cold coming on. Sinus congestion, aches, chills. What! How in the world am I getting sick today. Last week was a total rest week, and this week was just short stuff to get my legs going again. It might be because I hardly slept earlier this week.

But what a bummer. By Friday evening coaching K soccer, I was definitely sick. Saturday morning I was able to hide in bed till 10am, and still felt like hell. My mother in law suggested a "tonic" of Vitamin C. I say what the hey. But I forgot about what one of the side effects of high dosages of Vitamin C is. Let's just say it keeps Pepto Bismol in business. So on top of being sick, I now am in the bathroom every 10 minutes setting myself up for dehydration.

Should I go, or should I not? I was speaking at a conference in DC in Monday and Karen and I had been planning to take Ansel to the race then up to DC for some education at the museums. So we decided to drive up to Harrisonburg on Saturday evening and stay in a motel and make a decision in the morning. If anything, I'd drop of race flyers for Rowdy Dawg and maybe just do a short ride and then head up to DC.

That evening while waiting for dinner the chills and aches came back. After a good nights sleep, Sunday morning I actually felt halfway decent. Hacking every few seconds, but at least the aches and fever were gone.

Driving up to the race sight, the mountains in the area got bigger and bigger. I decided on the spot to just do it and pay the price later.

I was really nervous on the line, not so much because of thinking of how I'd do but thinking if I'd finish at all. Being sick and dehydrated the day before and given a predisposition to leg cramps, and knowing how epic everything is around Harrisonburg what was I getting myself into.

My goals were simple:
-Don't crash
-No flats or mechanicals
-Don't bonk
-Don't dehydrate
-stay focused ( I have a tendency to start thinking about the training I'm going to do NEXT year rather than staying focused in the moment)

I'm learning to avoid goals based on results because who shows up to the races is totally out of my control. Keep goals limited to things within my control.

The race was very low key. Small fields, few marshals, no water stations, but it was very well marked with arrows, and Forest Service blazes. The race was a mass start so I had no idea who or how many were in my class.

It started on a gravel fire road. 4 miles of climbing. The field spaced out shortly, and we climbed and climbed. I was riding along side some experts so I knew that my timebomb was ticking to explode. And sure enough I had to back off or risk blowing sky high.

The road climbed and climbed then topped out into big ring fire road. My legs were coming around, but I was hacking a lung up the whole way. We took a right onto a grassy downhill that turned into a single track downhill.

Wouldn't you know it...ROCKS. There were some pretty good rock gardens on the downhill, and I looked at one crevice wrong and it grabbed my wheel in a slow speed endo. Nothing major, but it woke me up. Several rock gardens had running water on them from all the rain. I walked those for sure.

This downhill dumped out into a campground before turning straight up a shale jeep road. About as steep as the steepest part of the horse trail except for a mile. I was stoked to spin the granny up most of it with just some small hikes.

This topped out into a big ring fire road, before heading onto a technical ridge. I saw a glimmer of a sweet overlook, but couldn't enjoy it between hacks. This ridge had been on my mind for weeks especially with Massanutten clear in my mind. Thankfully it was much more rideable than the HooHa. With enough momentum a lot of the rock gardens were rideable. But hesitate for second and your front wheel would get swallowed and throw you. There were a couple of super steep pitches that were hikes. The muscle cramps started on the ridge about 1:50 into the race. Amazingly enough I was able to ride through them and they went away. First time for that!

The ridge ended with some big-ring singletrack that was a blast then went into the downhill.

Everything is big out here. The climbs and the downhills. This rocket run went on FOREVER. I used to love downhills like this. Sad to say not anymore. JANE, get me off this crazy thing. Everything was hurting, my hands, arms, feet, back. Being tired and fatigued, I was grabbing way too much brake and went slower and slower, which of course made it harder than it should have been. I saw Todd Reighly after the race, He had a high speed ultrasonic leaving the bike episode on the downhill, and the rips and rash on his side attested to it.

Finally it dumped out onto the final gravel fire road. Hey! Wait a minute, this is supposed to be downhill. Not! Well at least it was big ring gradual rises followed by some downhill, till it finally went down the rest of the way. On sections like this I wish I had 50 more pounds for gravity to work with.

Last course marker : "1/2 mile to go" And finally the finish was there. Ansel and Karen were waiting for me and it was wonderful to have them there.

2:32. Thankfully Chris Scott had pulled out a super steep single track because it had turned into creek. It would have been a lot longer with that in it.

We left before the results had been posted and didn't know the results, but was very happy with my performance especially given the cold. On Monday morning I proceed to lose my voice completely. I had to give my presentation in a whisper combined with pantomime and powerpoint.

I just saw on the SMT web site that I got 3rd out of 11. I had no clue at the time, but 2nd place was just 1:30 in front of me, and 4th was 1:10 behind me.


Thanks to Chris Scott and Shenandoah Mountain Touring for putting on a fun race, and thanks to the East Coasters Cycling team sponsors