Thursday, July 31, 2008

You warrie

Was down in NC near Albmarle, and Troy this past weekend. Found a little jewel of a trail system in the Uwharrie National Forest - Don't ask me how to pronounce it. Hit the Woods Run parking lot and the the Supertree and Keyauwee loops plus a little connected trail off Supertree.

Got lucky and hooked up with some local riders on Friday and rode till dark one day. What a fun little trail system. A little chattery with lots of small rocks and exposed roots. Depending on the direction you go some hard short climbs.

Keyauwee loop Counter Clockwise was a hoot. I mean the kind of fun that begs you to go faster but you have gotta be on your toes cause the loose rocks, off camber and stray trees will get you.

There is this small connector off of Supertree that was also primo single track. Having the local riders to show me the loops and also provide some backup let me loosen up a little and rip it with less fear of being left out in the unknown alone if something happened. Chasing and being chased was fun.

Trail systems like this remind me that the best mountain biking is wherever you are. It might be a little small, but these guys rip it up and make the most of it putting together some cool loops. IMBA is going out there and putting in some more which will be great.

It also reminded me that if you can ride Brush mountain and SW Virginia, where I live, you can ride a lot of stuff pretty well sight unseen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No Rhyme, No Reason. Feeling good

No Rhyme or reason these days to the training/riding. The past week has been topsy turvy with wife out of town and having the kids and work. It'll be another week till things settle down as I go out of town.

There have been no events on my calendar to work towards which leads to non-structured riding. Typically this leads to noticeable fitness loss, however this time around things seems to be going great. In fact I'd almost venture to say I'm riding as well if not stronger than last year.

It's been so lax that I haven't even been keeping a log of the rides, rest, etc. There are a couple of basic observations that seem apparent though.

First is my eating plan and weight. The Paleo Diet for Athletes plan seems to be working well for me. It's become general sort of plan that is followed about 75% of the time. While riding I'm typically using only energy drink and am riding pretty strong for up to 2.5-3hrs as long as I've scarfed well 3 hours prior. Sugar spiking is under control more. Appetite is down in general. Weight is stable and lower than in the past. Though for sure it's got some downsides.

It's only a few pounds but it sure seems to be noticeable on the bike. I feel more 'punchy'. My riding style seems to include more out of the saddle efforts than in the past. It's kinda fun. Dancing on the pedals a little. Not for very long or very fast but it feels fun.

Training rides have been shorter and with some good intensity. Can't bring myself to do any intervals on the trainer, but outside I just try to find some hills and hardly ever more then 1.5-2hrs If I ride at lunch, it includes the hardest route back to the office. Then a few days without anything, maybe a commute on the bike. A day to get the legs back and then a couple of short hard rides. Every 2 weeks a good MTB in there.

After a few days off the bike, it's a little mentally hard to actually get back on sometimes. Which seems ironic to me. I'd think I'd be pining to get back out but it seems to take a little effort to make the time to get out.

So all in all riding is fun and I feel fit

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Carvin's Cove and upcoming race

Made a trip down to Carvin's Cove today.

The cove is a wonderful place to ride. It has an incredible variety of terrain that ranges from flat gravel road to smooth flowing single track to technical VA rooty, rocky and loose downhills. The flow of the trails is incredibly well done.

The parking lot was full and it was great to see people enthused about mountain biking. There is some great developmental terrain out there that can get people exciting about mountain biking without killing their spirit or body.

Next week is a sweet sweet race with a hillclimb Saturday and XC at the cove on Sunday. Wife is out of town so I might not be able to make it, but this is a jewel of a course put on by some great volunteers. The course has everything in it. Fire road climbing technical descending, and just incredible single track.

Always a nice treat to go down there, and kudos to the crew down there for turning the Cove into a destination riding spot. They have all the ingredients to grow mountain biking out there and it's great to see the energy.