Monday, October 29, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Ari is a tiny neon blur in the background, horrible hill
Our latest edition of Iowa riding was the most scenic and most brutal. What started as a fun day with great friends ended with two wimpering baby boys who were walking their two wheelers up monster hills in the whipping wind of the Iowa countryside. The only thing that kept us going was our determination and attitude that we will never give in and always finish a ride that we start. Ari proved this attitude last year on the DK200. We laughed as we bonked so hard, SO HARD, there was no power in my legs and we were utterly destroyed from the Iowa rollers. The sick thing about this was that we were laughing about it and ENJOYING IT!!! what the f@#k.....we like this kind of shit I guess. I really enjoyed riding with my buddy Rob who left us 30 miles earlier out of the total 85 that Ari and I completed. Rob had a look on his face that he was shut down as he headed 20 miles back to the car (of course I think he gave some trucker a "favor" for a free ride....sicko). I also enjoyed the company of TJ and Gumby. The men of our TI support crew. I always enjoy hanging with these two and I knew we were in for an awesome day. And don't forget the bonk king. This guy just shows up and goes. He lives for the gravel rides....he breaths it.....he never claimed to be fast but you sure as hell can always count on that bad MF'er to get out there and ride. I commend him for this and enjoyed time spent drinking beers and talking about life with him. What a great day we had with....truly....some of my best friends.
Riders: Rob from J-ville, Bonk King, TJ, Gumby, Ari, Cookie
Miles: TJ & Gumby....60 ish, Bonk King 50-55 ish, Rob...75ish, Ari and Jay 85'er bonker
Planning another trip, sack up
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
- Cookie Fungus
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Had a nasty little crash on Friday of last week. Spent the weekend recovering. I was riding from home to the bike shop to meet my friend Todd and my boss for a cyclocross ride. I was running late so I took the shortest route I knew. I was booking it and keeping speeds from 18-22 mph on the Gunnar. I was passing a small farm and a red pick up truck was passing me in the other lane. Before I could blink....a dog from the farm ran out into the road 5 feet in front of me to bark at the passing truck. What a smart dog.... I had no time to react and T-boned the dog going 20 mph. The dog yelped and ran back to the farm as I went over the bars and landed on my shoulder, elbow, hip, and ankle. The truck stopped and so did other traffic in the other lane. It was only 8 am, and I was only 3 miles into my ride. My handlebars had been rolled down, both hoods got scraped up, the brooks saddle got very scraped, computer mount broke, and my fork has a stress on one leg where the paint is miss shaped. I was fine and got up and continued to ride to work very sore. As the day progressed my ankle got worse and worse and by the end of the day I could hardly move it. I took the entire weekend off of the bike and had my first ride today. It is healing up nicely and the Slender Fungus is planning a great ride for this weekend in IA. Back on the bike....
Friday, October 12, 2012
The legs were pretty rough after the previous weekends Heck of the North race where I destroyed my body to take 25th place overall. I was very happy with this result and let the legs rest for most of the week with the exception of a few commutes. I spoke with Ari and he wanted to get out in the saddle for a long day of riding. I agreed and we decided to ride at a middle location inbetween our homes because we were both on a budget and hate driving places to ride our bikes. The first time we spotted each other was 40 miles into the ride along the fox river trail. We then nodded at each other and kept riding west out to our old backyard Sycamore IL. I had no intention of riding this far and the half way point was 56 miles. I was starting to fry up and thankfully Ari is a better planner than I with sandwiches and gels in his ancient jandd frame bag aboard the heavy steel beast he was riding. We ate, planned, laughed, and never warmed up on this frigid day. Ari ended the day with a solid 105 miles and I bonked home with 112 miles. The rest of the day was spent drinking beer.
The cooler weather is finally here and the Slender Fungus are stirring about as we come alive this time of year from our hibernation in the heat of the summer.
I had a bad crash on the bike this morning involving a poochy. Will post about this later.....am very sore but no broken bones.
IA ride soon, get at me if you are coming.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Getting ready at the start
Double checking everything
Rolling alone on some beautiful gravel
My camera got all foggy cause it was in my jersey pocket
At the finish
My Good friend and organizer of the race: Jeremy Kershaw
The drive to Duluth was great. It only took 6:45 and was very scenic. I had the tunes pumping and was thinking of all of the little race details from last year. I rolled into Duluth and stopped at my favorite spot the Burrito Union for some pre race fuel. I then headed over to the local shop SkiHut and signed in and greeted my friend. I also saw Mike Johnson from Iowa and we talked a bit. I then set up my camp site in Jeremy's backyard and got everything ready for the following day, had a beer with Jeremy while thinking back at our Trans Iowa experience this past April, then headed to bed.
I got up at 6 am and got dressed and made sure to drink plenty of water this year. Last year I got dehydrated and there was no drop bags. This year I made sure to drink a lot of water and to pack an extra gatorade in my drop bag. I loaded everything into the car and arrived at the checkpoint an hour early. I made sure that everything was perfect and was ready when the roll out came. The morning was cool but as soon as we started to roll out of town I warmed up. My computer wasn't working and I looked down to see a crooked computer magnet on my spoke. I left my cushy spot in the front of 150+ riders to turn my magnet because I knew that navigation is key on these long gravel grinders. I quickly made my way back up to the front of the group. I saw my friends Tim Ek and Charlie Farrow towards the front of the group and said hello to them. Charlie asked me how I felt and I said pretty slow and that I had felt like I had no power in my legs the past two weeks. He agreed and said that he hadn't been on the bike in a few weeks. We quickly rolled into a bottleneck as there was a bridge out/new pipe going into the ground. We had to grab our bikes and walk a short stream to get to the other side. I quickly lost valuable time as people took their time crossing the "dangerous" and cold water....what the hell....just jump across. I rode with a guy (I think the owner of Burrito Union) for 10-15 minutes alternating pulls to catch back to the lead group. We looked at each other when we finally latched on and agreed that we were warmed up. We continued to roll with no more than 30 of us in the lead group as we headed into the first trail section. The race quickly broke up and I nailed a hidden culvert and my handle bars slipped in the stem. I readjusted them and got back on the bike and took the trail section a little more cautiously. I was alone for several miles and tried to keep my speed around 19-21 mph. I looked back on a short paved section and was caught by 3 riders who were pushing pretty strong. We then hit another trail section and dropped one of the riders. The 3 of us cruised into the halfway check point rolling between 20-25 miles per hour on the brutal wash board gravel. The gravel was dusty and dry but very rough and chunky. The wash board was so deep in some sections that my bottles flew out and I had to stop and get them.
At the halfway point Jeremy greeted us and told us we were doing great. We didn't stop for more than 5 minutes and I ate some sunchips and unloaded some garbage and my long sleeve jersey and gloves from my back pack. I added a gatorade to my bladder and grabbed two extra granola bars. We then left in the same group we rolled in with. My legs were starting to burn a little bit and I knew that I couldn't hold the previous pace that we came in at. Another trail section and I was with Peter who I had ridden with earlier. We had dropped a few other riders but gained another. I felt confident through the trail section and as we left we had dropped the rider we just picked up. My legs were burning and starting to cramp up. I kept fighting the cramps throughout the rest of the day. The wind never really seemed to be at our backs but constantly in our face or at our sides. A quick re-route at the end of the course gave me a fright as I had been dropped by the group that I was riding with even though I could see them in the distance I knew that my directions had totally changed and I needed to follow where they were going. The course looked like we were back on the same route that we started on and we skipped the final hilly 3 rivers section. A short trail section later and my legs were full on cramping. This was bad news because I knew that the final huge hill lay ahead. I rolled out of the trail section feeling like a slug. I went to take a drink from my bottle and realized I was completely out of liquids. I had planned perfectly as I was almost to the finish. The last hill I popped my gear in the 34-34 and just spun as easy as I could still trying to fight off the cramps. I was at the top and never happier to see some familiar faces cheering me on. I cruised to the finish and asked jeremy what my time was. He said he didn't know but that I was in the top 30. I couldn't believe it. I had done way better than I thought. I was handed a beer and layed down in the sun to relax and finally take in the beautiful day without worrying about time or wash board gravel or drinking electrolytes or any crap like that. Just drink my beer and chill.
Thanks to Jeremy for organizing this great event and making me feel so welcome at his home. This is one of my favorite events and is always so well organized. I love the Duluth area and the whole downtown. The after party was at a classy bar where we had drinks and dinner and talked about the great race and beautiful day we had just experienced. Thanks to all that helped with this.
The next day I experienced one of the best places on earth:
You get the picture.....
Best weekend of the year???
The Slender Fungus is preparing an Iowa training ride in the next week or two if you are interested get at me or Ari.
- JB, SFCA