Friday, March 28, 2008

Thursday Night Lights

Yesturday was the third installment of the Thursday Night Fast Rides leaving from Black Dog Bikes. A great ride on great roads with great turnout made the ride well "great" The ride last night was also good for me in that there were quite a few workhorses up front doing the pulling out in the wind and I was able to tuck in the back and ride in their wake.

I am told that Patricio slammed up Mt Pisgah in his big ring, but I wasn't anywhere nearby as I was back there spinning out my compact crank 34 x 25. I gave the finish run into the city limits my all but still didn't have enough to get out front on the city limit sign.

I hope the turnout continues to be good for this ride, it sure is more fun when there is a big group to ride with.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shenandoah Fitness

A new site is up and being updated to list events in our area here in the Shenandoah Valley. The publisher sent me a link and graciously added info about our clubs Century, Queen City Century, that is coming up May 18th. Check it out to get info about races, clubs, info on fitness events in the Valley.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Great cycling safety advertisement from England

Check out this video. Click on the link above and it should open in a new browser window. Be sure to follow the instructions to see how attentive you are.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I hate it when things don't work the way they are supposed to, or the way you hope things are supposed to work. It can ruin your day! damn it! :)

I did a ride with Pat and Ron S. yesterday and we headed south out to Miller Farm Road. On one of the many rollers out there I shifted to my small ring to climb up the other side and POP BANG DING BAM BOOM. My chain sucked up behind the chain rings from below and was somehow sucked down between the front derailleur and chain rings from above crossing the chain coming up from above. If someone had brought a bike into the shop with the chain like this I would really disbelieve that it would be possible to happen while riding.

Well I am still not used to the compact crank on my new road bike and find when I shift to the small ring it is too big of a jump down in gearing so I double shift to a few smaller cogs at the same time to make the gear change mesh a little better. With that much shifting going on at once I have to soft pedal a couple of times to make the shift happen without any bad things happening in the drivetrain.

I read before buying last years Sram Force group that a lot of people thought the chainrings were not stiff enough. Well.....I thought how stiff do chainrings need to be......and....well...I bent my outer chainring, sheered off two teeth on the outer chainring, broke my chain, and chipped a piece of clear coat of my pretty new carbon frame......DAMN

I fought the bike and the bike won. Next time I will softpedal when shifting both front and rear at the same time, instead of trying to stand and hammer to catch up to Pat and Ron.
Touche' Bike, we fight again tonight.
To be continued

Monday, March 10, 2008

Camp Hilbert

The first Camp Hilbert mountain bike race was yesterday. Staunton and the valley was represented quite well. Mark R, Jonathan Evans, Single Speed Joe, Matt T., and myself were there representing Staunton. Gene from W'boro and the entire Bike Factory crew from C'ville were also there riding strong.

The course is a fast six miles of single track with lots of roots to tire out your triceps. There are only a couple of fairly short puncher climbs each lap, but they definitely take there toll after quite a few times up them. The trail was fairly dry despite heavy rain the day before except for two major mud holes in two different low spots on the course. Mark, Jon, and myself did the enduro class which is a five hour race format where you complete as many laps as you can in five hours.

I felt good for the first three laps taking it real easy and slowing passing people as I got caught up in a wreck in all the traffic from the first lap and ended up in the back of the group. After three easy laps, I decided to lay the hammer down as hard as I could for laps four and five and ended up catching up to Mark R. ( who later rode away from me on a climb). Mark and myself rode together for around a lap and a half and then I called it quits a Little early after my seventh lap at 4:40hours. I probably should have went back out for one more lap because a few people I had passed went out for an eighth, so I gave away a few spots. I do think though that it was a wise choice to stop when I did because at the end of the seventh lap my legs were beginning to get the twanging feeling that cramps were on the way. I think an eighth lap would have taken me to a new category in pain where I could no longer call the race fun.

I was able to sit and relax while Jon and Mark finished their last laps and when I stood up to change into dry clothes those cramps started in my quads that I thought were coming. To fight them thankfully Mark had left out his bananas and cokes. Mark somehow was the only one of us smart enough to bring food, so there were a few other people I guess scavenging his food. (AND SHAKING UP HIS LAST COKE :) NOT ME) (really!!).

I didn't hear how Matt and Gene's races went but it looked like everyone had fun. I saw Matt's girls at the start/finish cheering and supporting all their peeps, and saw a lot of familiar faces from C'ville and abroad. Camp Hilbert is a fun venue. I will definitely try to be there for CHRS #2.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Itching to ride

I posted the regular Staunton group rides on Queen City Cycling Club's message board forum today and am itching to get out on some good group rides starting next week. The Thursday faster ride turned out to be a great ride last year and hopefully we'll get everyone back that rode last year plus some new people. I am really looking forward to both rides and know that everyone will beat me up for the first few rides before I get back into a little shape.

The route of the Thursday ride will not change this year and we'll do the same route each week. Last year I thought doing the same route every Thursday would eventually get old, but I found myself looking forward to it every week and it was nice to know what climbs were ahead on the route so I knew when I could push myself and when I needed to hang on to other peoples wheels. The great turnout made the ride fun each week, and made it interesting when some people sprinted to city limits signs and the tops of some of the climbs. I'll probably be hanging on to the back as much as I did last year, but hopefully I look real fast while doing it with my new road rig.

See all you guys out there!!!!

Sunday, March 02, 2008


(LONG SLOW DISTANCE) Mr Russell, our new Vermonty python friend Matt, and Myself went out for a long slow ride today and hit some sweet gravel road climbs and descents South and West of town. We were pleaseantly suprised by snow up on the north facing roads and got a little mud in our faces on the south facing roads.

The ride made for a great elevation profile with three big gravel road climbs and descents on Troxel Gap Road, Hite Hollow Road, and Old Parkersburg Turpike. Those roads are great climbs and scary descents but I have decided I need to ge tout and more rides like the today as it was fun to have a lot of variety in the road surface. 65 miles in March felt good and should be a good leadout for the five hour Camp Hilbert enduro next Sunday.