Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wow. Where to start? So, the race was finally able to go on after being postponed for two weeks due to excessive amounts of rain. It probably wouldn't have been a huge problem since the sun came out each weekend but since one of the trails was only built a couple of weeks prior, the rain turned it into a soupy, slippery, dangerous mess. Suffice it to say that it was a good idea to postpone the event.
An interesting day for us as well. After what was a good morning we ended up leaving quite a bit later than I wanted. This resulted in my starting with the 40+ group which was 2 minutes back from my class. Not really a problem since I'm not yet ready to stand on the podium.
The trails at the park are pretty amazing. HMBA is, again, to be commended on their trail building, especially when you consider that all or most of it is volunteer work. The trails also integrate some of the unique features of the park, including what's called the Waterfall:
As you can see, this is just exposed rock and the trail follows along a natural ledge. Pretty amazing but can be quite slippery.
Since I'm not much for planning, I didn't give much thought to making sure I was fueled up for the race. This was evident about halfway through when I felt like I was going to bonk. Luckily, I seem to have a good size reserve since I made it through to the end. I even passed somebody right before the finish line! I finished 10th out of 12 in my age group (wow, top ten!) and 21st out of 31 for Cat3 (results). Even with my 2-minute deficit, it doesn't change my results at all.
Overall, I thought it was a good race that could have been better had I done a better job of planning and preparing. This weekend is race #6 at France Park. I have to redeem myself since I DNFd last year. And I'll have a bigger cheering section, my mom and sister will be there!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Although I don't show up on the results (the person running the computer missed me as I was riding by but the backup didn't), I did end up 25th overall for Cat3 men, 12th out of 14 for my age group.
As usual, the second half of the race is always my better half. There are several short but somewhat steep climbs on the trail that, if you're not ready, will require you to get out of the saddle and hike it. Basically, the first lap I had to hike it, the second I was able to stay in the saddle.
Overall, I thought the course was really nice. It's been a very wet Spring in Indiana but the trail, except for a few soft spots, was very nice.
Since the family and I will be on vacation, we won't be attending race #4 at Muscatatuk Park. But we will be at Versailles State Park for #5.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009
Yesterday was DINO Race #2 and what a day it was. Temps in the mid to low 70s and low humidity. And excellent day to race.
And a pretty good weekend to go camping. Yes, Dana and I took the kids camping at the State Park. It was at times a bit hectic but overall a lot of fun and the kids seemed to enjoy it, especially the s'mores.
Anyways, here's the race results:
Last year: 68/80
This year: 55/70
Last year: 30/32
This year: 22/25
Last year: 1:10:17
This year: 1:01:52
Doesn't seem like much of an improvement until you consider that I shaved off over 8 minutes on my time. I would attribute this to the condition of my bike more than any improvement in fitness. The differences on my bike from last year to this year are significant. A working suspension fork, new bar and stem, new brakes, wheels, tires and crankset. The bike is much easier to control and smoother on the trail.
Also, there's something to say about pre-riding the course. I remembered that there was a steep climb early on and was able to stay in the front pack, but I forgot that there's a second one right before you enter the woods. I ended up walking up the last 100 feet or so and lost any advantage I had from the first climb. Also, on the Aynes Loop, there's a sustained climb for what seems like a mile or more and I had to do some walking for that as well.
Because my suspension fork worked this year, it was a more enjoyable race on the downhills. And if my fitness was a little better I might have enjoyed the uphills. Eh, maybe not...
Up next is Franke Park in the Fort Wayne. The course looks to be very fast with some short, steep uphills. I can't wait!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
So, what was to be the highlight of my week has been canceled due to the weather. Our wetter than normal (so far) April has turned the bike trails into soup. Funny thing was, I was on the trail yesterday and it was 95% dry.
I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. Prior to this week, I had been commuting by bike 4 out of 5 days a week. But this week started out with a chance for snow, then rain, a nice day yesterday (60 and sunny) and now rain again. Other than riding the trails yesterday, I hadn't been on the bike all week. Still sucks though.
Also, I was going to be debuting my new duds. The extremely thoughtful wife picked up some new riding gear. I have now have a long-sleeve Oakley jersey, a Zoic short-sleeve jersey and Zoic mountain bike shorts. Ok, so I wore the Oakley jersey and shorts yesterday - couldn't go out looking like a total doofus. Oh, and they were very nice - puts all of my old stuff to shame. Thank you honey!
All of this means I have to wait another 3 weeks for the next race. Hopefully this year it'll be a little warmer and a lot less windy at Winona Lake.
Friday, February 27, 2009
I can't recommend this site highly enough for the monthly collections of desktop backgrounds. They usually post these on one of the last days of the month and the collection for March 2009 is outstanding as far as I'm concerned.
The site also has excellent articles on web design as well.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I'm not sure how I like the winter season here in Indiana. When I lived in Michigan, especially in the UP, there was a definite start and stop to winter. Once winter started, you knew it was there to stay. Here in Indiana, the average daily temperature for January is 34 degrees. That means it can be winter during the week and spring on the weekend. I don't mind the part where I don't have to shovel the driveway much, but it can screw with your brain if you're not used to it.
But spring is on the way and that means bike riding. The DINO Series gets started earlier this year with the Tuneup on the second weekend of April instead of the last. And I can't wait.
Have you seen the cover of the March 2009 Bicycling magazine? I think I may have found my new road bike. I haven't really thought about much about getting a Giant but this one looks quite nice. I haven't ridden one since I had my brothers old steel Rincon. I rode that around Marquette quite a bit along Lakeshore Blvd.
Other things I've been thinking about are getting some new bike shorts and possibly a new jersey. All my stuff is as old as my bike is and it sure would be nice to get something more in fashion. I really like the Mountain Tee (long or short sleeve) from Performance. What I'm trying to figure out though is, would that jersey still go with regular bike shorts? Or would I need to get something like their Mesa short. I'll have to think about that.