Sunday, February 26, 2012

Found some genius wisdom about doing hard long distance events from:

Charlie Farrow's Amateur Bike Racing Website

this guys blog is totally wierd and awesome. There is a whole subculture of Midwesterners doing crazy races like the Arrowhead 135 and many others....awesome! I used to think I could never ever live in the Midwest. As long as I got to hang out with these guys and do these types of things I think I could now!


Lesson 2: Sell your rollers. Go outside. Ride in rain, sleet, snow, wind, and darkness. Ride on gravel, mud, snow, and ice. Run through mud and creeks, and over roots and rocks. Ski in the rain and on ice. Your races will be like this. When everybody else stays home or bails at the halfway point you will laugh and know that you've been through worse. 

Lesson 3: Eat food, drink water. There are lots of expensive gels, bars, and powders out there. You don't need them. Sure, they probably work, but there are tastier, cheaper options. Fig bars, peanut butter sandwiches, trail mix, pizza, cheese and sausage. Energy drink? Ensure, Carnation Instant Breakfast, and soy milk. Chocolate covered espresso beans can save a race. Eat! Drink! Use them! It is better to stop and pee than stop and pass out. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Regression to Rigid

Just ordered this fork from Surly 1x1 100mm corrected rigid fork. Going to slap it on my hardtail crap bike and relive the glory days of pre-suspension riding. That bike has a old Marzocchi z1 on it, that was bent years ago in a crash and has never run the wheel straight since. It also barely moves anymore unless its a big bump, and it virtually useless on the vast amount of gravel roads I ride in the winter season. So it is going in the recycle bin and the rigid fork is going on. I really want to get a new hardtail 29er, but can't afford it at this point, so this will do for now.  Simplicity itself.  It's really about adapting your bike to the stuff you ride. Right now all I ride is dirt roads and some pavement. It will stay that way till some time in May when the snow melts out of the mountains enough to get on some real trails. I like it. I like this simplifying the machine. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Better Than Not Riding

Made it out late last night for a tiny ride. It was 7pm and dark and cold out and I was not excited to do it. Figured it was better than not riding at all. It was chilly and windy and spitting snow. I hammered up the climb to the Circle House as hard as I have ridden in a long time knowing it was going to be a short ride. Strava is really causing me to step it up in intensity for things like this. Being able to see all your times for certain segments is awesome. I am thinking my training is going to be off the charts this year in comparison to last year. This means nothing but good things for my plans to beat my previous time at the Butte 50.

Winter in Montana this year has been incredibly mild, as it has across much of the Northcountry from what I can tell. This has been great for biking much more than I have in prior winters. I exclusively ride my hardtail mountain bike this time of year, even if I am riding on the roads. This is for a number of reasons. It goes slower which reduces wind chills. It is harder to pedal so for a given amount of time I am getting a harder workout compared to a road bike, which is important when I am racing the coldness of my toes to get a ride in.  I don't really care if it gets covered in frozen road slime since it is my beater bike. And it's got fenders and my lights all rigged up already.

I sometimes wonder if it is hard for everyone else that does these types of sports to get out and do the training as it sometimes is for me. I would guess it is easier for some because there are plenty of people out there who are doing amazing amounts of training. It has always been a little bit of a struggle for me. My inner lazy-ass does it's best to keep me sedentary.  Nights like tonight though are encouraging where I may not have made it out, but somehow managed to do a little something.