Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spring? and Volunteering

Last weeks weather was pretty amazing. Sydney was very happy to get in a couple of bike rides and several trips to the park. I have quickly found out that she has NO FEAR when it comes to bike riding and playing at the park. She rides as fast as she can and climbs as high as she can. She even watched an older girl hang from her knees on the monkey bars and proceeded to perform the same feat herself. I try not to freak when she does this stuff. I was once like this too. Unfortunately, as I have gotten older I have developed a huge fear of heights.

Dont tell Syd, she will be rocking a new bike for the spring. Jeremy Bock gave us one that was his daughters, we have it hidden in the garage. We have lots of things hidden in the garage, so i hope we can find it!!!

This weekend I had the pleasure of volunteering at The Bonkhard Chill. I love to give back as much as I like to race. Karma Baby. At the racers meeting, the night before, it was awesome to see the usual peeps. The racers were informed that there was a short stretch of hwy they were not allowed to get on, must stay in the ditch, or they would be DQ,d and pulled from the race. For some reason I knew this is where I would be. And I was, The Ditch Witch. I was lucky to be paired up with a great guy named Jeremy. We hit it off immediately and worked well together. No one did get on that hwy. The rain started to fall in the early afternoon and was present for about an hour. The temp did not hit the 50's like the forecast said either. All in all I had a great time.

Here are some pics of those who were there:

Alpine Shop is soooo fast I could not get them in a frame
Teams walking across The Swinging Bridge

All smiles BEFORE the race

Not so much at CP13

And somehow these four fellas got parole and finished 2nd in the 4 person male.

Congrats to all who finished this race. Team Trail Monster received 12th overall and 4th in their division. Fantastic result since it was my brothers first race. He is hooked and talking LBL in April. Guess I have to find another team or we need to find another player and go for the 4 person coed. Special congrats to Team Viruts who drug along a photog and reporter. They finished under their own power, and had roughly a 14 mile walk to the finish. Watch for their report here:

Are we there yet? was the reporters mantra

Hats off to this fella , Travis Hammons. He jumped at the chance to be a part of Off Road Fixation team, since one of their teammates was injured. I hear they had a great race even though there was a derailleur issue. Who carries a derailleur in their backpack? Apparently Kelly Sumner does...

Up next: Death by Hills Ride with Team Seagal. What a way to go huh?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ridin' with the Boys

Mother Nature sure sent us some spectacular weather this weekend. Jim and I were able to take advantage of this since Syd was at a party. We hopped on our JTS' and headed out to meet three of Missouri's finest cyclists, who were putting in some base miles. Mr. Busken, Pryor and Stitz would be riding about 50 miles. Roads that I had not been on, but want to go back to. Before clipping in I noticed they were on road bikes with super skinny tires. Jim informed me of "the differences" in their bikes/tires versus ours. I didnt really get it until we started riding. I have never been on a road bike or used skinny tires. Now i get it. Those three jerks seemed to be riding effortlessly, they were not struggling on the hills. Hell, they werent even breathing hard.When I realized there was no way I could keep up with them I just tried to keep them in sight.When that also failed I just kept pedaling. I cursed the fact I did 25 miles the day before.

Almost 90% of my rides are done solo. This ride was a nice change. And i have a new route with new hills. Plus when I ride there should be minimal traffic. I hope to get invited again, maybe on a recovery ride, { for them } Jim and I rolled home with just over 41 miles. We decided to ride to the library since it didnt make sense for us to drive there in our bike clothes. After all was said and done we rode 53 miles for the day.

This ride gave me an opportunity to try another flavor of homemade energy too. Vanilla and Almond together. YUM. I also did this ride with a "runners fuel belt" that held 2 bottles. Barely noticed they were there. Good to know with Dirty Kanza training right around the corner.

This weekend I am volunteering at Jim and my brother are doing this one. Should be great weather and probably muddy.

If you are looking to ride a century next weekend, details here This will be my first. Felix is ready so I guess I will give it HELL.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New gear for a new year

My past experience with backpacks has not been pretty. They have been too big or too small, which becomes a huge problem when you are wearing it in a 8 or 12 hour race. My neck, shoulders and lower back would suffer due to the ill fitting pack. I have tried several in the last 3 years. And I am pleased to announce , I have finally found " THE ONE". The Osprey Talon 22, size s/m, which weighs only 1lb 12 oz. , and has a roomy 1200 cubic inches. Jim is the proud owner of the black one that weighs just 1 ounce more and has 1300 cu. in. I fit the pack to myself and realized right away that it fit. It actually fit. It even seemed to mold itself to my back. It fit my hips perfectly and did not rub my lower back or my neck. This past weekend we did a casual 35 miles, mostly through subdivisions, while wearing our packs. This pack is so light and fits me so well that I actually forgot it was on my back. As an added bonus,this pack did not pull my hair. I usually have to wear pig tails while wearing a pack , since a pony tail, down the back, interferes greatly and pulls my hair. Long haired folks know what I am talking about. I look forward to doing more bike/packing and adventure races this year.

I purchased this Osprey pack at the here in Ofallon. They were having a huge sale and these packs were 50% off the retail of $99. It gets better. If you do not , you should check it out. Jim and I each scored a $30 Groupon to Backwoods for $15. After all was rung up my total was $23. Not bad huh?

I am impressed with Ospreys All Mighty Guarantee. At any time they will repair or replace any of their products , no matter when they were purchased. At no charge. Wonderful. Sometimes we are all a little hard on our gear, but with a guarantee like this I have no worries.