Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Those that have been there can appreciate the above picture of the chicken chute runout. Last run of the day after coming down west ridge. My legs were turning into jello. A few more pics on the Flickr page.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
"I'm dreamin of ways to survive, and I like deer meat with my minimum wage, it helps keep the dream alive."
"Meats in the freezer lets go skiing..."
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I did go ride this morning for an hour looking for a clear route to work. 60th streets bike path is mostly clear and rideable, but EP True trail was not. I ended up looping back towards Jordan Creek and Ashworth to 156th and home. Somewhere near a 12mile loop. I hadn't ridden in 9 days so it was nice to get out. I spent the rest of this morning getting the rollers out and ready for training.
The pic is of the house and showing those out of state the remnants of the storm.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
We did get temps over 55 on Monday and Tuesday, but otherwise it was been closer to 30 or 40. My new shoes are working great, but the fingers are still blocks of ice after an hour. I'll be pulling the mountain bike out and installing the pogies as those are the only way for me to keep warm.
Squirrel - saw at 4x4 pt buck on the ride home tonight. Behind the school just north of Walmart on 72nd. Could have been a 5pt, he was at least 6ft tall and my first instinct was "Elk", but then I realized that I was in Iowa. Tried to get the camera out in time, but he wandered off.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Today I rode north through and past Grimes towards the mile long bridge. Time wouldn't allow me to cross, so I went south on Beaver Ave. I haven't been on this road since we moved here so it was a nice change of scenery. Turned west on 62nd and back home just under 2hrs and 30.5 miles.
One last weekend day for more training hours. Dirt or road? Dirt if it is dry.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The ride was good. The route down 62nd was new to me and I haven't ridden from the Trestle trail to downtown in a year or more. After hitting downtown, I decided that hot chocolate was in order to make it home. Caribou coffee on Ingersoll was the saviour and I warmed up for 20min.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Found this clip from Audi. Note the knoll jump at :40, the weights at :48 and the balance ball skilz at :55, great athletes.
No updates from the weekend yet. Hopefully soon with photos. I took 2nd in the 45+ state cross race. Beat several others that had gotten the best of me earlier in the year, just decided that I had to go harder from the gun. Stayed with Todd G. for the first lap, then watched him ride away from me. Then was a volly at the Dirty-Du on Sunday. The girls both did the kids race. Maddie won the girls and Hannah did well (I think she was surprised at the pace). Pics coming soon.
Friday, November 13, 2009
State cross race this Saturday and then Dirty-Du (volunteer) on Sunday.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Saturdays racing was on the north side of Living History Farms. The course started by entering an easy looking field. However, once you entered the field, you find out that it had 4-6 inches of standing water. We are the 1st race of the day and by the end of the race, this section had 4-6" mud holes. The rest of the course alternated between fact MTB and fast roady conditions. Overall, I think this course favored a MTB rider and handling skills. I started near the back but quickly found myself in 4th or 5th position at the end of the mud. I decided to push ahead and wound my way through the field. I felt good during the race and actually worked my way up to 10th in the cat 3 field (they started 1min ahead of my group). I ended up 4th for the day in the 45+ category.
Sunday was at the main Living History Farm site. This course was longer than the previous days and appeared to favor a power rider. This time, they started the 35+ and the 45+ fields together. When the gun went off, I took advantage of the majority of the field fumbling for their pedals and took off. I quickly decided to throw caution to the wind and started sprinting. I figured, what the hell, I'll go out front and let the others chase me down. I was 4th going into the first field and only lost a few spots on that lap. I think that I finished the first lap in 6th and mostly held it there. I lost a few positions in near the 30 minute mark and ended up 9th out of the combined group. Another 4th in the 45+ group.
After these two races I ended up in 2nd overall in the series (45+). However, there were a few other fast guys that just didn't get the minimum number of races done. I'll remember their names for future races and try to pass them in the future to make my overall finish legit.
Cross is a lot of fun and I'll definitely continue to work on it. I need to work on increasing my pain threshold as my perceived pain is higher than the actual heart rate. Still a possibility of two more races. State Championships are 11/14 in Altoona and Jinglecross is the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Maddie ran in the 6th grade cross country meet at the end of September. They had 40-50 girls on the line and a cool course that ran around one of the local elementary schools. Once lined up, the coach fired the starting gun and they were off. Another coach was driving the leadout Gator and lead them through the course. Maddie ran hard and slowly worked her way through the field. I think she ended up in the top 15 and ran a little over an 8min mile.
2/3rds of the way through the course.
Monday, October 26, 2009
The drive was quick and the location was easy to find. I quickly registered and changed, grabbed the bike (had to quickly change out a flat front tire) and did a single recon lap. The course had us weaving across a shallow ditch a few times, then into and through a muddy cattle chute. After that it was another 150 yards into what I think was the horse barn (soft sand surface that required a short run). After that, there was one hurdle and mostly wide open through some grassy areas. A good course that I thought would favor the road cyclists and put me at a disadvantage.
The cat 3's took off, followed by the 35+ (10sec later) and finally, the 10 of us in the 45+ category (10sec later). As we sprinted the initial 100 yards towards the 1st ditch, I was sitting around 8th spot. I passed 1 or 2 and counted myself in 6th spot (I have this habit of counting my position from the leaders in the 1st couple of corners, it helps keep track of my placing because the various classes usually end up co-mingled). Then I had a bit of luck, Kim West had something happen during the 2nd ditch crossing and he took a hard left into the course tape, that caused a pause in the group and I was in 4th (what happened Kim?, I didn't see any raccoons). We headed towards the cattle chute and I was able to get past Laugs for 3rd. Steve Fleagle was leading (haven't caught him in any of the previous races) and John Adamson (Mr. 10 Leadville belt buckles) was in 2nd. I bridged up to John by the end of the lap and we had a good gap on those behind us. I drafted John in the one longer straight and hung onto his wheel to recover some.
I've been hoping/waiting for a race in which I could try to use tactics in order to decide the outcome. Thus, when John said that he was slowing down and suggested that I should pass if I wanted a chance to catch the leaders, I was leery. Was the older veteran using his knowledge to sucker me out of my plans? Should I just wheel suck and recover? I thought about it for what felt like an eternity (5-6 seconds) and decided to go. I put in a hard effort to get a gap (I've read about that in Velonews) and looked over my shoulder. I had shaken John, so I took off after Steve.
Now in our conversation, John had mistakenly thought that we were in 3rd and that 2 others were up the road. With us hitting the back of the 35+ racers it was hard to tell (was it his mistake or more cunning deception?). I went hard for another 2 laps and then started to die. Of course, John had probably planned all this and caught back up to me. He passed and I tried to stay on his wheel. It was just too hard and I looked at my watch. We had 25min to go in the race. I decided to let him go and save it for the last 15min.
When I finally decided to go, I was fortunate to be lapped by the cat3 leader. I caught his wheel in the fast section and used his momentum to make up some serious ground. I did try a bad line in the barn and lost some time, but thought I might catch John for the finish. It was fun chasing him down and we were both making time on Steve (who I could see looking over his shoulder). We had caught the guy that John thought was in our class (and confirmed he wasn't). At the end, I waited a lap too long. Steve won by 100 feet or less to John and I was another 50 feet behind John.
What a fun race! It's been at least a decade since I've been at the front of the race and fighting for a final podium spot. I enjoyed the mental aspect of this race and was glad that my form came back. I hope to carry some of that into the final races this weekend. Spookycross on Saturday and Sunday. Too bad that we are mixed into the other groups, because I bet the small but vocal crowd didn't realize how close our race was.
I do realize that the fastest two riders series (of the 45+) were not at this race, but it gives me hope that if I find a little more speed that I can still make it to the front of the field this weekend.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
My bike was in the shop to replace some spokes and subsequently the tubeless tires that I run were having problems holding air. I decided to burp the bead, add some more Stan's liquid and re-inflate. They seemed to have a slow leak so I thought that I would pump them up past 50 psi to make sure the bead was seated. Pump, pump, pump, 50 looks good, so 60psi must be better....pump, pump, pump......... BLAM-O
Can I hear you now? Only if you talk to me from the left side :)
Monday, October 5, 2009
1) Has to be with Verizon as I need the coverage when I'm out west.
2) Good internet browser on a large screen.
3) Qwerty Keyboard or Qwerty Touchscreen, big enough for large fingers.
4) Good camera. I have a 2.0 which does fine. 3.2 minimum, but like some of the new 5.0mp.
I want to be able to update the blog, read and post comments to other blogs, take good quality pics and post to the blog or flickr, surf the majority of my internet sites. Music capabilities would be nice (on a 3.5mm jack), but I hardly use my iPod as it is
Oh, I would like to create/update Excel spreadsheets on the phone (bike training log, etc).
HTC Pro 2, Storm 2, something called the Imagio. All three are supposed to be out soon, but who knows. Anyone care to chime in?
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday night was fun with more friends over for BBQ and the Penn State vs. Hawkeye game. I dropped Seattle Matt off at the airport on Sunday morning. I hope that the race action put the drive to get back on the bike into him (I'm sure it will). I then re-loaded and headed to the Sunday cross race. This course looked flat and fast. We picked up two new riders in the 45+ category and 11 of us took the line. I decided that I needed to push harder if I was going to see 3rd or 4th place. We went out hard off the line and 1st and 2nd place checked out. It was a race for 3rd and I was in 6th. I jumped on a wheel and it felt like he was towing me around, but 3rd was getting away, so I moved past into 4th and pushed harder. I held it for a lap before I made a mistake and was paying attention to my cleat problems and just drove off course. Damm!!! Lost two places before I could get back on course.
I was also gassed by this point, so I slowed it down and maintained for 10min. I saw Kim West drop out, so that put me in 5th (flat tire or crash?). With 20minutes to go, I was 100 yards back from 4th and put in a hard effort to bridge across. I was within 30yards and headed into the barriers. They were a tricky off-camber, downhill double barrier. It felt like you were approaching at 20mph. I unclipped my right leg and swung it over the bike, tried to unclip the left foot and I was locked in. After a big "Oh Shit", I locked the brakes and laid the bike down, sliding right up to the barrier. That was it....4th place was gone and I was tired. I ended up 5th. Tired, but smiling.
Saturday's sand pit.Overall, it was a fun weekend. I learned a lot about racing cross and got a two really good hour workouts in. I need to get a smaller front ring and new pedals that shed mud better.
Next weekend is Take a Kid MTBing on Saturday and SugarBottom Scramble on Sunday.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Didn't spend much time at the tavern as it is a school night and Hannah didn't seem to like the taco. Thus we hit Wendy's on the way home.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
As I said, last weekend was the Sycamore and Hillside time trials. Both were IORCA series races that I needed to do well in. I started Hillside early in the morning by helping tape the course. Upon finishing, I had 45min before the start so I did a faster lap and missed any racer meetings. I lined up to be the 4th off the line and hit it hard. Previous years has this race as a 1lap race and I gave it all I could and really felt good about myself for leaving it all on the last climb. I sprinted through the line and turned left to recover. Then I heard the spectators and officials yelling for me to start lap 2. Huh!!!!! Oh well, it was my fault. The 2nd lap wasn't as good but felt OK. I think I finished 10th overall and around 6th in Expert.
The Sycamore time trail was going to be a 9min, all out sprint. I rode the course once and on my 2nd lap I hit the ground and broke a front spoke. Nothing hurt but pride. I went back to the car and removed the spoke and straightened the wheel. Shortly after the repair I hit the trail as the 2nd one out. I let it all hang out and felt pretty good about the lap. I ended up 4th or 5th overall and with that result, I believe that I secured the 35+ Expert point series. A successful weekend.
The rest of the catch up is in pictures below:
Maddie played goalie in soccer this weekend against Bondurant. They played well for the 2nd half, but were beaten soundly in the 1st half.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
BTW - congrats to Jason Dal for a 3rd place finish in the 12hr solo class.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Swapping most of the parts from the road bike. Other parts from Rassy's. Still need to decide on what to do about a crankset. Mine is an Ultegra 39/53 with Octalink bottom bracket. I could just swap the big ring and run 39/46 or something similar. But for the cost of a ring and new bottom bracket I could be halfway to a cross specific crankset with a better bottom bracket.
I also need a 27.2 black seatpost (hopefully lightweight). Anyone have a post, crankset or front derailler?
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Put the word out for a night ride to test the lights before next weekends race. Had two that wanted to join the fun. However Pete ended up getting out early which was a good thing because he called and informed me that Denmans was dry and rideable (thanks for the call, I wouldn't have guessed).
I rode from the house and met Brian in Denmans near 7:45 and then we headed towards the pool to see if anyone else had decided to join. We were a little late to the meeting spot but didn't see any signs of life so we headed towards rollercoaster with the lights finally getting turned on. Just as we started the climb, Jacob appeared out of the dark and joined in the fun.
Three amigos on the 1st night ride of the summer (for me). Coaster, extended hillside loop, Denmans, J11 back to a short hillside loop and done.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
The girls opted out of being my race support and I really don't blame them. While it is nice to have them there to cheer me on, I realize that they only see me for a fleeting moment and then sit and wait for another 45min until I come around again. Racing is exciting for the participants, but not so much for the spectators. I arrived at Seven Oaks near 10:30, registered and took my time getting ready. Jason and I headed out to ride the beginner loop and I stashed a spare bottle for the middle of my race. I felt good during the warm-up and thought I might have a pretty good race. Seven Oaks rewards those that have dirt skills and can stay on the bike the most often. I quickly drank a Monster (bad idea) and got lined up with the others.
The usual suspects were there including 4-5 really fast guys (I only plan on seeing Cam, Jed, Kent, Aaron and Jay at the start). I marked a few others that are in the 35+ category and we were off. The group spreadout quickly and got in line for the 1st singletrack climb. Funny how the experts really seem to understand where they fit in the line (speed wise). I was 12th wheel as we climbed and I felt good. All of us were still bunched together until the 1st switchback climb after the bridge on the backside. Bullerman was in front of me and riding strong until we hit the tight singletrack. A gap quickly opened in front of him and although Steve has the fitness, I could tell he wasn't comfortable on this section. I made a sketchy pass on the inside of a downhill switchback (thanks Steve) and pushed ahead to catch-up. I thought that I had dropped the group behind me, but on the next sustained climb I could feel them on my wheel again. Obviously these guys can climb better than me. I tried to push it harder on the technical sections and usually opened a small gap. Then Steve would power up to me. After awhile I asked if he wanted by, he stated that I was faster and would stay where he was. Wouldn't you know it, shortly after that I would bobble on a rooty uphill and have to hop off the bike. Steve got buy and I ran to quickly stay in touch. As luck would have it, we were just hitting the top/power section of the course and he motored away. I should have tried harder to stay with him, but I just didn't have it.
It was here that the Monster started to play with me. I was 30min into the race and couldn't tell if I had stomach problems or was dehydrated. I couldn't decide if I should drink or not. I paced myself through the start finish and was already behind Steve by 1:20. It took 1/2 of the next lap to get my body back to normal. In that time, Brad Patty had quickly caught and passed me. Again, I tried to stay with him, but couldn't hang on. Near the end of lap two I felt better and was able to push harder. I let it all hang out and thought that I was catching those in front of me. At the end, I don't think that I made any headway, but I did feel good about the effort.
Overall, I finished 13th out of 15. 2min behind Brad, 4 behind Steve and 6-8 behind those that I should be shooting for. I did get some small victories in this race. My lap times were consistent (something that hasn't been happening). 45min, 47min, 46min and my heart rates stayed higher for longer 173, 170, 169 avg for each lap.
I also learned to stay away from the Monster before the race. Overall, I'm happy with the way that I've been learning and progressing with each race this year. It was a big jump to move up a class, but I wanted the longer race times and in the end I will be faster/stronger for next year.
I couldn't figure out how to download the pic, but good race photos from Angy. I am photo #31.
Next up is the 24hrs of Seven Oaks. Racing with Rick, Nate and Jason. Looking forward to it.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Of course, the day went off without a hitch and they are now completing enjoying the new routine. Lockers (with locks and combinations to memorize), home room and class rooms to find for each period, Ala Carte lunch and larger menus.
Before we realize it, we will be planning for senior pictures and graduation. Time to enjoy them while they still let us in their lives.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I had hit a large hole last weekend and remember being surprised that I hadn't done any damage to the rim. Obviously it wasn't completely damage free.
I dropped it at Rassy's hoping it can be fixed by the weekend.
Laps were good and the course is in pretty good shape. Looking forward to a good course.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I placed 3rd in the Cat 1 Masters category and I think 10th or 11th overall. I did match my 1st lap goal of 32min, but lap two dropped too far in time. Lap3 was much better, 4 was ok and 5 sucked. I haven't seen the full results yet, but I think that I came within 3-5min of a few that I was marking. Everyone was hurting, it was hot and humid.
Congrats to Rick on the Cat2 open win. Has to be his best race yet. Also congrats to Jed, I heard a story of a two singlespeeder sprinting (uphill) for 2nd in the Cat1 race. Apparently they locked bars and both fell over. It turned into a running race for the finish. If this is true, I hope someone has video, sounds great!
I saw lots of photographers on the course, if someone knows of links to photos, let me know.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Let's just say that Bruce Brown (race director) has found another .5mile or more of trail and although you won't be climbing up the rr ties, you might be cursing him even more once you reach the top of that hill. A great addition to the course. :)
Thanks to Chad V, and Nathan C. for showing me the proper route. Can't wait until Sunday.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Overall, it went fairly well. The front tire, took a little over an hour. It would have went faster, but I forgot to read the directions on how to mix the soap/water testing solution. Maybe you could skip that part, but I was following directions to see how hard this might be. Since I was running across the street to the neighbors to use their air compressor, I made several trips.
Just about the time that I was going to give up, the bead decided to pop in place and hold air. As I was placing the Stan's liquid into the tire, I was wondering if the air-up was a fluke. Fortunately, it went as easy as pie and I was successful.
The rear tire was much easier and I completed that one in about 30minutes. By tomorrow morning, I'll know if I was really successful, or if I have two flat tires.
I'm looking forward to testing the ride. I've knew they would be slightly lighter (no tube), but it didn't occur to me just how noticeable it would be (I've forgotten that it feels like 29er tubes have a pound of rubber in them).
Possible ride at Denmans tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
We arrived near noon and checked into the hotel. The plan was for the girls to enjoy the pool while I went to the Ingawanis Boy Scout camp to check out the race course.
I happened to show up as they were starting the time trail. Race Director Jeremy asked me if I was racing, but I told him that I was only looking to pre-ride. I changed and hoped on my bike as the last rider headed out. 30seconds later, I heard "Tom, 1:30 to your start time". I figured I might as well test the legs and lined up with a grand total of 2minutes for a warm-up. I rode at about 90% and enjoyed the course. I ended up with a decent time, but the local hotshot "kids" turned in times near 2min faster. At least the Taco Bell that I had enjoyed 45min before didn't come back up......one more recon lap and I was back to the hotel for dinner.
We enjoyed a pancake breakfast at IHop and went up to the course. I had been talking to the girls about doing the Kids Race, but they were pretty apprehensive. Maddie had decided to do the race, but Hannah was against it. I took them on a pre-ride and it only took Hannah one lap to get into the mood to join in the fun. Holly quickly registered her and we put her number on the bike just in time for the racer's meeting. If you look closely, I think you can see butterflies in their stomachs on the above picture.