Friday, June 19, 2009

Back on the Wagon

I definately fell off for a while.

I went well over a month without riding the mountain bike and was not getting much time in before that. A few random road rides on the weekends is about all I could fit in.

Saturday I rode on the road with the Montevallo Riders. It ended up raining on us pretty good and near the end it poured so hard I was having trouble seeing the road because my glasses were fogging up. However it was nice that the temperatures stayed more in the 70-75 range instead of the 90+ they have been.

Last Tuesday I rode a lap of Oak Mountain Counter Clockwise by myself after work and rode a fast but comfortable lap. I did legs at the gym that day during lunch so I knew it was just going to be a casual ride. The temps were in the 90s so I know that wasn't helping either, but still managed a respecful (for me) 1:35.

Wednesday my legs were aching all day. Really makes me realize how long it has been since I have pushed myself at all. I was planning on trying again for Thursday but if they kept aching like this, there was no way I could ride.

Thursday came and the aches were gone. Once again work agreed with me and I was able to get out at a decent time and headed to Oak Mountain again. I headed Clockwise this time off by myself (even there was a group ride) so I could just ride. I have been so stressed with work and everything that riding has not really been fun lately. Riding by myself, I can just push myself and relax and not worry about anything. The only problem came while I was descending the hill after blood rock. I got a stick caught up in my back wheel wrapping itself around my hub by the brake rotor. I know I was pushing myself a bit, but apparantly my brain was not working as I put my thrmb on the rotor while trying to pull the stick out. Of course the rotor was still scalding and I have a burn line on my thumb. The rest of the ride went OK and I finshed with a 1:32.

I at least have a baseline for each direction and my goal is to try to ride every Tues and Thursday after work in addition to a something on the weekend.

Hopefully this will be me getting back into it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

T-Ville Thurs night

Actually got out for a second night ride this week. I actually left the office at 4:15 and still managed to be late as we didn't arrive till a bit after 6 but everyone waited on me.

The ride did not start off well as I was trying to reset the bike computer in the parking lot and somehow fell over and bloodied my elbow as well as scratching a hole in my seat. I wish I could say I only wreck while going less than 1 mph, but that was not the case for tonight. We rode a lap clockwse and I was definately having trouble keeping up on the technical downhills. I need to ride out there more to get to know the trail better.
I actually met Eric Glidwell out there and he was in our group for the first lap. I have not really seen him since high school other than a brief encounter on the trail at Oak Mountain. We played soccer together growing up in Trussville (He was on my team almost every year from when I was probably 8 years old through highschool).

Most of the group took off after the first lap, but a couple of us decided to get one more in. This time we headed Counter-clockwise and things were going well untill I got to the new technical section. I couldn't make it up the rock and at the top I tried to jump back on and ride, but the next thing I knew I was in a nice endo. I though I could bring the back down, but I slowly went over and had to bail over the bars down the rocky hill. I must have missed the rock I was trying to put mu hand on because I have a bloody scratch from my wrist to my elbow. (I did not realize it was so bad till I got home and in the shower and it started burning pretty bad). We stopped to play in the camp area and I just didn't have it in me to do much. I tried to ride up onto the rock, but somehow bounced off and ended up with the front wheel in the air and my back against a tree. I decided to not try anything else at this point as apparantly my skills dissapear with the sunlight. We rode on out and I did make the slightly technical climb from the road to the top of the hill without dabbing. It was a nice ride and I definately want to get out there again for a Thurs night ride.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Night Ride at Oak Mountain

I finally made one of the "Full Moon" night rides at Oak Mountain. The weather was beautiful being in the mid to low 60's. A couple of things I noticed from this ride: I know Oak mountain so well that even if I couldn't see very well I knew where the roots were. The headlight (which I kept on low except for the downhills) did seem to flatten the trail. It seemed like the climbs were not as long or steep as well as the downhills. I don't really know why this was. It may be that I was just riding slower so I was not as tired. Lastly, I freakin love riding at night. Hearing the sound of the stream beside the trail, but not necessarily seeing it; and seeing the city from the top of the mountain at night are two things I really liked.

Hopefully this went well and Oak can see the potential to make a little extra cash and open the park up in the future to more night rides.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Brian is now a roadie

Last minute decision to head to Chief Ladiga had me rushing this morning to get ready and meet everyone in Anniston. I met Brian at his house and we headed to the trailhead. We met everyone there and had a nice ride heading for Georgia. The weather was about 70 degrees and was perfect for the ride. Everyone else decided to head back about 8 miles from the Ga Line, but me and Moran decided to ride the whole trail. We practiced drafting and generally just had an enjoyable ride. My legs were starting to burn near the end, and were much more sore than I thought they would be for such a flat ride.

However I looked at the Garmin after the ride (as I wore my heart rate meter) and it said we rode 66.5 miles and I burned over 4500 calories. Me and Steph went to Iguana Grill or dinner and I decided to try the Flan for dessert after Balliet talked about it the whole weekend before. I was a bit skeptical on the custard thing, but it was really good. It had a bit of bourbon splashed on it and reminded me of Christmas Egg Nog.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Another Great NC Trip

Had a great trip. The riding was once again incredible and once again Jay's choice of trails was definately the best Pisgah had to offer. Hopefully I can give a brief rundown on the trails later, but pics are currently uploading.

Should be able to see the folders as they get done at:

Still trying to catch up on sleep

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Trying to stay in Shape

Well, I know this is not exactly in chronological order, but early this month I drug out my rollers to try to get in some riding and stay in shape. I have been consistently riding about 2 to 3 times during each week. I was riding one day and the belt for the headwind (resistance unit that blows air at you to keep you cool) broke. I would like to think it was from the massive amount of power I was generating, but more likely one of the cats decided it would be fun to chew on. I sort of like it because I have to put it in a much higher gear to get the resistance. that makes my mileage look better when I am done. The first few times I would get so tired I would usually fall off and that is when i knew to stop, but lately I have been getting a bit better even being able to stand and peddle and stay on (I can't just start hammering, or the surges will kick the bike off the front of the rollers). I have been turning the TV to one of the music video channels and cranking the music while I ride. It has actually been quite fun.

Also, in purchasing the replacement belt, I priced a set of rollers and I paid less than half of what they cost now (of course that was close to 10 years ago), but I think this is the first bike related item that has increased in value since I bought it.

I got this picture off of their website, and don't think this is for personal gain so hopefully they won't sue me for stealing their pictures.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rough Day

Well it seemed like it was a rough day for quite a few people, but I will start with my day.

Went to Oak Mtn. for the BUMP third Saturday ride. Started off well except it was a bit chilly. We rode a loop heading in the clockwise direction. It was a nice lap with Me, Chip, Mark, Jim, DeShazo, Micky, Dee, and Hambone. A change I noticed was that someone added another large log across the trail right before camp road. I was not expecting the this and didn't quite make it over. Didn't wreck, but my back tire started spinning and when I tried to hop it over I had to unclip a foot. I actually like this better as both logs are over a foot in diameter, but about a foot of space is between them. This stepped up the challenge a bit, which is what I needed.

We were actually moving at a slightly faster pace than normal and I took the lead on the "Cat, Dog, Snake" section right before the North trailhead. The second to last bridge before the North trailhead has a rooty section leading up and it is a sharp lefthand turn onto the bridge. I was moving through pretty good (just having a good time) and hit a root wrong and my front tire washed out a bit. Trying to not miss the bridge, I ran into a tree that was immediately to the left of the bridge. I didn't think anything about it at the time as nothing really hurt and I just remember putting my hand out and my shoulder hitting the tree (not very hard), so I just kept going. After cruising up to the top of the jeep trail and heading down toward blood rock, I tried to brake and noticed my left finger was a bit sore and I couldn't squeeze the brake easily.

Anyway, we started down quarry road and I was once again having a great time. At the rock jump at the bottom, I jumped it and noticed someone had piled a bunch of rocks in the trail where I wanted to land. I jerked the bike and managed to land on the side of the pile, but shortly afterwards my rear tire went flat. I tried to look at it, but due to the rain I couldn't really tell where the cuts were. I tried to put a CO2 cartridge in it and it wouldn't hold. I assumed there were a few cuts, so instead of putting a tube in it there as I no longer had enough CO2 to fill it, I just decided to walk it back to the car. It was only about a mile on the dirt road and I was meeting others to ride later, so I was not worried about it. I walked/jogged a ways and Mark had gone back and gotten his truck to pick me up. He gave me a ride back. Thanks Mark!

I took the wheel off and checked it out and it had a couple of cuts including a larger one on the sidewall (that I don't think Stan would have sealed) so I just put my spare tube in it. I didn't have another spare to carry with me, but I figured with the tubeless and the tube, I would be fine.

I met Jeremy and Mark and we rode a biot while waiting for Chase to get there. We rode aound and then rode the family trail a couple of times to stay close to the parking lot. Chase showed up and we headed down to the Trail starting across from the canoe rentals. We rode out and had about 2 hours before dark so we figured we would ride for about 45 minutes and turn around. On the double log crossing before camp road, I sucessfully made it over both logs this time (not the most gracefully, but stayed on the bike). We got to the top of the hill before Garrets gultch and Jeremy decided to head back. Chase wanted to keep going, so after chatting for a few minutes we headed on. At the bottom I jumped off the log and of course popped my back tire. I had only put about 45 lbs in and I should have put closer to 50. As that was my last spare I decided to once again walk back. I headed back and once again walked/jogged back to camp road and to the road. The front of my ankles started hurting so I had to walk (biking shoes were not made to do much hiking). I made it almost to the trailhead by the lake when Chase drove up. We threw my bike on the back of his car and he took me back. Thanks Chase!

Of course All this came at a price. When I got home and showered to warm back up my finger turned a nice purpke blue color and swole up. I guess being outside effectively kept it iced all day. I also had bruises on the front of my ankles from trying to run in the bike shoes. As well as being sore from hiking I guess. I feel like I am getting old!