Monday, March 31, 2008

Never been 4 wheelin' but I've been 2 wheelin'...

Chickasaw Trace race conditions were less than ideal. The race started out with wet spray in my face from the riders rear tire in front of me as we motored down the 'road'. After the muddy drop in by the guard rail it was Tokyo driftin' for the next few miles. Then it got rocky, slick and technical and tough to click in the pedals, the suffering was beginning.

Roller coaster section was a lot of fun, then the trail went uphill. Either I had no traction, and even walking was tough, or I had a ton of traction in the peanut butter mud and my bike seemed to weigh 50 lbs. The suffering had really started kicking in. After a few more roller coaster sections, the other climb was upon me. I looked up and saw a train of 5 riders walking; alright back to struggling even walking in the slick muck.

By the time I finished the first lap, I felt like I'd already ridden two. I got a much needed bottle hand-off from Dan and I tried to recover and drink some calories. The second lap was more rough than the first as the thick mud was clinging to every part of my bike and my body. Strangely I even wondered how I would finish... this is only an 8 mile course. The mud was surely demoralizing.

The Yazoo team was setup by the starting line with tents, beer and socks. Sharpie was spreading the good word about Swiftwicks and Mark from MOAB had the trailer out. We all enjoyed some great Yazoo porter as we got cleaned up and then watched the awards ceremony. Thad showed up determined and won first place with the faster 2lap time of all the classes. Adam (MeanJoe, one of the newest Yazooers) rode very well and stayed on Thad's wheel through the finish line and got 2nd and the 2nd fastest 2lap time.

Every Yazoo rider rode hard, Thad, Mike N, Pumptrack Jim, Adam, Jeff (other newest Yazooer) and myself. Dan, Fred, Sharpie, Greg D., Hillary, Jeanie and PTJim's wife all did a wonderful job supporting us! Can't ask for a better team!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

great day to be inside

As the clouds loom and the temperature hits its peak for the day at 9am, it's nice to know I'm working inside. I was given another big project this morning which means I'll be working down here more next week. Maybe I can redeem my commuting aspirations and ride to work at least one day next week. Hope the weather is nice Monday or Tuesday. (looks like rain tuesday for now but you can't trust any weather people)

I received part of what I need for my new bike part acquisition yesterday. It's going to be tough waiting until next week to get the rest of it. Here's a sample....
I'm all signed up for the race sunday. It will be my first TBRA race in Single Speed class. It's going to hurt and I'm not planning on any great placement with sandbaggers like J5 in there. There is word that someone on the team has a free entrance.... I hope they man up and come out.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The 9 to 5 life

I'm getting a taste of what it's like to be a 9 to 5er this week. I've been coming into work early, and leaving by 5 and have actually had plans after work that I've been able to keep. It's a change from the normal feast or famine that I am used to. If I have to work I generally just accept that the day is booked and I won't have time for other things. This week has been great. I get the reward of working and also the time after work to enjoy riding and a bit of a social life, I get to have a cake and eat it to, or something like that.

Thad met me after work Tuesday and drove us to Chickasaw Trace for a couple laps. He had some equipment to test out and both of us wanted to reacquaint ourselves with the course before this weekends race. I hadn't ridden there since last year so it was good to get some time on the trail and remember the nuances.

Single Speed start Photo credit: DLeach

I saw the trail with a totally different perspective, post Snake Creek Gap riding. There were several sections where I chuckled to myself, remembering how I used to think it was a hill. After Snake, the trail looks a lot flatter. After suffering on climbs and looking up to just see more climbing as far as you can see, Chickasaw looked like a ride in the park. It was still a hard ride and is a difficult trail in sections. I still struggled on the two major climbs. Riding at Chickasaw I always think I should be riding faster than I am. It's good for making me push harder, but can be frustrating. Everything is so much easier if I keep my momentum, I just have to do that, even when I'm sucking wind.

I made an exciting purchase online yesterday. I'll debut all the news when the material has actually made it to my doorstep though it appears my ebay searching may have finally paid off.
Been thinking about this one for a long time.

Monday, March 24, 2008

another full work week

Last week has come and gone, clearly. It was filled with many things, but unfortunately not many that were cycling related. That's ok though, I've been overly fortunate with the amount of time I've been able to devote to riding and cycling related activities. It's time to do some work. Having to miss things due to work or any reason really just makes doing those things again that much more enjoyable.

I was able to sneak out for a long trip down to Fayetteville on Saturday to pre-ride the DSG course with Thad and gRant (who needs a blog). This was my inaugural ride and I almost bailed out due to work. I manned up and made arrangements for the work to be done later; meaning I told myself I'd rather ride and would stay up late working because of it. No regrets after a couple miles of trail. This trail is sweet and includes a bit of everything you could want, rolling trail through pastures, tight twisty single track, deathly steep fireroad climbs and a lot of rocky, rooty terrain. All four of us (including Clay) were on singlespeeds, with Thad and I being the idiots and not changing out gearing for the trail. Thad (34x18), Greg (32x17), gRant (32x20, 29er), Clay (32x22). hmmm we were in for some suffering.

We rode a full lap starting in the field and down by the road. This was good for a short warm up before the nasty climbs came. First fireroad climb and I quit immediately and walked thinking, "crap, this is gonna be a long day" After some flowing single track, gRant warned of the next steep fireroad so I was able to attack it at the beginning better and made this climb. My legs actually felt great and very strong through this first lap, but I was having trouble recovering at the tops of climbs. I just couldn't get my lungs and heart rate in check. I was happy with my gear choice for 80% of the course, only really suffering on the fireroad climbs and a couple switchbacks. I could of ran 32x18 and maybe kept my efforts more consistent, may try that next time.

We rode at a nice pace stopping a lot to chat and rest and also taking the time to try some sections again. There was a slightly uphill technical section with a sharp right turn that we sessioned a few times. It was a game of attack and careful line choice. Don't go too slow or you'll never make it past the rocks, but try to miss the big rocks and steer wide through the turn to keep speed for the next rocky section. When we finished the lap we stopped by the cars for me to change a flat and then headed straight up the 'poop shoot' to Clay's house for brews and pizza. We spent an hour just chatting and living the good life on the 'big hill', sitting out on the patio in the sun soaking up spring time. Our next plan was just to bomb back down the trail we'd just suffered up and head on home.

We ended up meeting up with a couple more riders when we got back to the car. Scott M from NMB and Kevin were finishing a lap and convinced us to get in some more mileage. We'd talked with Clay about riding backwards so we headed back into the trail with the plan to avoid the climbs and hit the fun middle flowy sections backwards. At this point I was just spent and my body was confused. It rested just long enough and was told we were done riding so it just turned off. Too much pizza and my energy level was nil. I sat on the back of the group and pedaling around, trying not to get too far behind. A few sections I really enjoyed, but overall I was frustrated with myself and couldn't keep any flow going.

When we got back to the cars again Clay and his family were suiting up the horses (and donkey) for a ride so we hung with them and chatted until they were ready to ride. Long drive back with some stubborn drivers in the fast lane and next thing I knew we're back at the farm. Temps dropped 10 degrees from when we left so I quickly moved my stuff from Grant's truck to mine and headed home. Great day in the saddle and I'm feeling it in the legs now. I felt great after the ride, but it was delayed pain.

I'm glad yesterday was Easter cus I used that as an excuse to rest all day and not move around much. I finished up some work in the morning and headed to the in-laws for lunch. Got to bed early and now I'm ready for a new week. This week is more filled than last week, but it's great! I have some editing to do on a Kelly Pickler project today to get it ready to mix then I am going to working down at the Bennett House in Franklin the rest of the week. I'm not sure what that will entail but I have hopes of commuting by bike at least one day. I'm thinking that Thurs will be the best bet so I can meet up with Thad and ride into the tap room after work. We'll see what unfolds when I start the work on tuesday.

Enjoy the beginning of spring and I hope you all get to ride ride ride!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

coffee at home... nothing finer

a very full day of work today, 3 whole hours in Franklin. My drive was almost longer than I worked. I was able to squeeze in a nice lunch and a pint with Thad, Troy and their work buds though. We even spied a sweet crosscheck outside Starbucks, not locked up even.

This week is slowly shaping up for an almost solid work week. Recorded background vocals yesterday, remastering work today, assisting on a mix for a Donna Summer song thurs and possibly fitting in some editing on a Kelly Pickler project sometime this week. It's strange but it's starting to feel like I'm gainfully employed!

Gas is up again, wait I mean gas is still going up, more. I'm thinking twice about driving to mountain bike 40 miles away. Thought about meeting some NMB folks at Chickasaw this morning but didn't feel up for the hour+ drive alone. Turned out great in the end as my phone rang at 8:45AM with some work for the day. We need to work out some kind of mountain bike car poolers system to save gas and money. Who's in? I drove alone to Lock4 last week and I'm avoiding it again at all costs. drive to ride.... like driving to the Y?

Anyhow, I'm back at home now, should start on some Google work and enjoy my cup of brewed goodness.

Props go out to the daily bike commuters out there! Inspiring!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dan, braggin' on his Walz cap

Dan, braggin' on his Walz cap
Originally uploaded by Chewieez
another fun night out with the Yazoo team.... I rode down from my house to Thad's and met him and Matt, The Manondale. We took a different route into town this time and rode in on Hillsboro Rd all the way to Green Hills then cut over to Belmont, down Music Row and into downtown and to the Tap Room.

Again, my legs felt tired from the get go. I wasn't sure I'd make it to Thad's without giving up, but I just kept pedaling. I'm starting to realize how my body likes to warm up and what hurts at first tends to just ease away as the ride progresses.

Thad and Matt were both riding their road bikes so the pace was faster than normal. It was a fun ride in and thankfully uneventful as far as ad drivers go. A few closer than comfort drivers but nothing extreme.

Everyone enjoyed a few beers at the tap room and then a group headed over to Mafiaozas on 12th for some dinner. After a detor with a flat tire we arrived at Mafiosos and sat down and ordered drinks. Pizza came and we scarffed it down while Sharpie was our explaining the teams inner workings with a couple fun young ladies. Thad went to help real him back in yet got sucked into the fun and let his pizza get cold.

Another uneventful ride back to Green Hills and I split off from Thad and Matt and headed home. Another fun thurs night comes to a close. Great riding, great people, great beer, great food and some fun pictures....not much more to ask for really.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

4 locks of love

I got the singlespeed out to Lock4 today for the first time since 2007, probably since November. It was a perfect day to get out and we took full advantage of it. Clear blue skies and temps in the 70s! A group from NMB met up around 11am and we were out there riding until 4pm. On par with the usual group ride, there were many stops and fun chats. We still managed to get in 24 miles though.

I had intentions of heading over to Cumberland Transit before the ride to get a spoke fixed in my rear wheel and also to switch out my Snake gearing (32x19) and put back my normal Nashville gearing (32x17). Well, of course I didn't end up with enough time so I just taped my spoke to it's neighbor and headed out. Man, riding 32x19 at Lock4 is a task in itself, trying to keep a good pace with it is exhausting! My first lap I started out strong, probably too fast, and wasn't feeling good the entire lap. We stopped back in the parking lot for a bit between laps and I had to do some quick maintenance to Reed's new $150 29er SS (craigslist special). Sweet bike and he seems to love it. Watch out, we may have a new 29er convert (maybe ss), though I doubt he'll be selling his two Ellsworths anytime soon.

We started our second lap and I immediately felt stronger and found a groove. We rode the trail over to the official race starting line and did an official length ride of the race course including the new reroutes to help David Hardin get a mileage reading. My computer showed 8.8 miles which is close to what it was before the reroutes. Speaking of reroutes though, there are a few sections that used to be eroded downhills and have now been rerouted with better lines for drainage. A few are very small but there are at least two major reroutes and they look and ride great. There are a couple bermed turns that are fun and hopefully they will stand up to the amount of riders Lock4 sees.

After being disappointed with our lap times, we rested for a bit and got some snacks before heading back in for a 3rd lap. This time we avoided the West loops as they are still a little wet and muddy. I was starting to feel the miles in this lap and we took it easy overall until the last 2 miles where Reed decided to just push it and see what he had. I of course had to follow so we sprinted it out to the parking lot. It's hard to keep up with a 29er running 33x18 when you're running 32x19 on a 26er. I stayed close to his wheel all the way until the last 1/4 mile where it levels out and is just kinda twisty. I slowly watched him pull away as I cussed my gear choice. After the ride we headed to Wendy's for food and a Frosty and some good conversation. It felt good to get back to Lock4 and ride some dirt with some old friends.

Overall my legs have felt dead the past couple days. I did a bit of commuting yesterday on the crosscheck. Rode into Music Row to have a meeting with a mastering engineer friend of mine and then met up with Beth for dinner and beers at Jacksons in the Village. Reed and some NMBers were out on an urban ride so after dinner, I met them over at US Border Cantina for another brew. I enjoyed riding around but there was not spark in the legs, no biggie for commuting around but it was frustrating at Lock4 today.

We'll see what tomorrow holds for my riding and legs. Plans are being made for riding into the Tap Room again and for dinner somewhere afterwards. Last thurs was a blast and I'm hoping for a repeat tomorrow!

I found out my pictures from last weeks tap room excursion were forwarded on to Jen at Walz Caps. I can't say enough great stuff about their caps. Since I got mine, if I'm wearing a hat at all, it's one of my Walz caps. I've been loving wearing my grey wool one under my helmet during colder rides. I didn't know what I was missing for too long! Can't deny the great comments I get from my wife as well when I'm wearing one. She likes the corduroy the best.

Monday, March 10, 2008

grinding some gravel

Had a great ride yesterday out in Fly country. Some of the same victims were present (Thad, Mike, Adam, Jeff, me) and some new ones were convinced to come out (Troy, Dustin G, Joe S). We decided to carpool closer to the gravel this go around and park on the Trace. We still road a fair share of pavement over the course of the ride, but it was wonderful getting to the gravel sooner. There were few tough gravel climbs that were easier for me this time, as they were earlier in the ride.

There was a good mix of knowing where we were and were going and having no idea and just riding til we could figure it out. We stopped again at the Fly General Store for a restock of fuel and for me, a ham sandwich. Oh my eye was on turkey but some selfish leader took it all for himself. Joe S. was having a heck of a time with the spoke tension on his rear wheel so after tightening them twice, he decided to call it a day. Jeff road with him back to the cars and we pushed up for try for a nother 20-30 miles. Troy had left us a few miles before the store. It was fun riding with him again as it had been since our Percy Warner/Brentwood ride since I'd seen him.

We ended up with just under 58 miles for the day. Very respectable and 18 miles more than I thought I'd be in for at the beginning. I had intentions of bailing after 40 but I was feeling pretty good, considering, and wanted more. Again, Thad was a our fjerless leader and didn't disappoint. He even found a way to get in 4 creek crossings in the last 10 miles to soak our tired feet in. Thankfully these were close to our cars as the water was frigid yesterday and the creeks were deep.

On a saddle front this was my second long-ish ride on the new Selle Anatomica saddle. I gotta say it is feeling really good overall. I was moving around a bit on it after 30 miles or so as my sit bones were getting a little sore. Overall though I had no numbness and I think the leather is breaking in so it should continue to get more comfortable.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Snow day

It started snowing early last night and was really sticking. By 7am this morning we had 3" of accumulation outside. Some texts and emails were shared about the idea of going along with the gravel grinder plans. The consensus was it would not be a good idea to be sharing the road with people who aren't used to driving in snow so the ride was postponed until tomorrow.

I stayed inside almost all day, getting a lot of Google work done and also some internet shopping and some much needed photos taken of my new crosscheck. What else do you do when it's all snowy and gross out? You spend money. I searched for things to spend my Amazon gift card on but wasn't able to find anything worth while yet. I'm holding out for my next giftcard so I'll have more money to throw around. I love the Amazon credit card point system!

I spent some time searching around for some riding knickers as well. I really hate to spend $150 on some riding pants when a lot of them seem like regular over priced pants, that happen to be slightly tailored for riding. I found what looks like a really nice, subdued pair made by a small shop in Portland called Portland Cycle Wear. Seems they also sell wholesale wool jerseys which look interesting. Chad looks to be running a cool little shop!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Thurs night shenanigans

Another great thurs night was enjoyed last night with the Yazoo crew, and their better halves. I got the itch for some longer miles and was thinking of riding a loop at Percy Warner before meeting up with Thad to ride in to town. After discussing many routes and finding out his plans, I decided to ride out to the farm and meet up with him. I had just been thinking about good routes the day before so this was a great way to test one out. I printed out my directions and hit the road around 3:30pm. I took a lot of back roads and ended up riding around Percy Warner to avoid getting lost in the park, and the hills. I rode some great country roads and the weather was perfect, short sleeves (wool) and shorts were all that was needed. I showed up at the farm right on schedule and Thad and I headed out to meet up with Manondale at his crib.

Matt was already ready to roll when we showed up so we quickly got back on the road towards the tap room. Since it was 5pm and traffic was getting heavy, we headed over towards Franklin rd and took that route into downtown. Everything was great until we got onto Franklin Rd, then it was headwind heaven the rest of the ride in. The sun was down and the temps were falling. I had arm warmers and was toasty up top, but realized I didn't bring any leg warmers. Thankfully the temps didn't drop too low but it was a brisk ride.

This was probably the earliest I'd ever gotten to the tap room. It was nice to visit and enjoy a couple, or three beers without worrying about the 'last call' pressure. We all had fun visiting, until the heater turned off. crap, it got cold in there fast. Beth was thinking of fish and chips before she even got to the tap room so she was spreading the word and trying to get people motivated to head to McGuinness. After giving her the bad news that I was going to ride my bike, she got real antsy and wanted us bikers to get going so she wouldn't have to wait on us at McGuinness. heh in the end we all rode right next to her, skirting highway 40 down to Demonbruen. Good times on the short ride, even almost got a free ride hanging onto the Explorer.

We all scarffed down some great food and beers while Beth snapped picture after picture. It was fun to let loose and not worry about driving home after drinking and the fish n chips were tasty.

Ended up with almost 40 miles for the day. My legs felt great on the ride and the new saddle is feeling pretty good. I'm still figuring out exactly where I should be situated on it and getting it positioned well. It's the most comfy saddle to date though right out of the box. It should break in nicely in the next 100 miles. There is talk of another gravel grinder tomorrow morning so it will get a lot more use there.

With the Metro Parks Master Plan meetings last week and some not-so-positive news being circulated through email about cyclist being left out of future land plans down highway 100, the local biking community is really getting up in arms and really voicing their opinions. This is great and hopefully we can continue to push and become more organized. I went to another local SORBA meeting this week were was very positive and showed up much people are willing to volunteer and do what it takes to further land access for our sport. Thad is very interested in getting Walk Bike Nashville and Mid Tn SORBA together to work together which is a great idea. It was told to me, third or forth hand, that Metro Parks are getting more emails from mtn bikers than there are horse owners in Percy Warner. Keep it up!! We need to continue to show Parks that we are a large user group and we are desperately under-serviced in Davidson County. Parks keeps saying how they want everyone to have an equal opportunity to enjoy the parks and we need to show them this is not currently how it is.

We will hopefully be working on an online petition that will be posted up soon. You'll definitely see a link for it posted here and I hope you all can help pass the word around.

Pics from the last night.... Thurs night shenanigans

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I see you....

I see you....
Originally uploaded by Chewieez
saddle arrived... looks like the crosscheck will have to come out and play for a bit today! I'm anxious to try it!

Sunday, March 02, 2008


8459.... that's my number on the Google Maps 'Bike There' Feature Request.

Basically they are petitioning Google to add a 'Bike There' feature to Google maps to go along with the current 'Drive There' and 'Take Public Transportation There' features. The idea is that it will favor roads with bike lanes and help the cyclist find the shortest and possibly, safest, route.

Sounds like a good idea eh? Now go sign the petition.

The Snake is over for the season

Another weekend of great riding, camping, great company and some beer drinking was had this past weekend. It was the 3rd installment of the Snake Creek Gap Time Trial series and the biggest one of the three. the NW SORBA crew had a great race planned and an awesome party afterwards with a live band, tons of food and some sweet give-aways and a raffle.

The Nashville Yazoo boys left for Georgia around 5pm with a yummy pitstop for some Cracker Barrel. We setup camp quickly and joined the campfire party already going on. Thankfully the temps stayed about 35 degrees this weekend so it wasn't as frigid as in Feb. After a few beers and a lot of stories I crashed around 1:30am and tried to get as much sleep as possible. I've yet to be able to sleep well before a Snake race, whether in a hotel or camping. Too much excitement to get unwound quickly.

We were up early the next morning and were welcomed to a bustling parking lot of activity. Everyone was setting up for the day's start, getting trailers backed in and registration started. Bruce Dickman was in attendance MCing the event again so we were treated to his banter all morning. I was on a mission to find some eggs for a solid breakfast so Jason G and I headed to IHOP early. I was determined to fuel myself better this race so breakfast was the best place to start.

We loaded up in Jeanie's box (Element) again and headed to the starting line. We followed the trailers of bikes this time and got to the line before the bus which was nice. We were off by 10:45am and starting the long journey back to the parking lot. I felt good at the start but was nervous about the first gravel climb. I feel into a nice easy pace and tried hard to control my breathing and just settle in for the long haul, determined not to quit pedaling until the top. Conditions were on par with the Feb race which meant quite a few soupy sections and some peanut butter climbs. I made it into the single track feeling great but immediately had to dismount and walk. This section of trail is just too steep for me, coming right off the long gravel climb. I proceeded to walk and ride the next mile or so then rode most of the rest up to the gravel decent.

For the next hour I felt really good and was keeping a great pace. About 20 minutes before the halfway point it occurred to me that I hadn't eaten anything nor drank much and I was getting tired and lethargic. Crap! I started off so well and was crashing. I tried to eat and still keep moving forward. I stopped at the halfway point and got some food down, refilled my bottles and shed some layers. It was getting really hot and I was sweating a ton, definitely over dressed this time. I started up the long climb after the halfway and tried to get my third wind. It took a long time for me to start feeling energized. I was trying hard to continue to get in some calories and drink as much as I could.

When I got to the fireroad section before the grassy gravel climb I was feeling great. I took this opportunity to fuel up and eat and drink while still traveling at a good speed. I started up the gravel climb feeling ok but started to feel some cramps coming on so I got off and walked. When I got to the 8 mile check point I stopped and refilled my bottles for one last time and got my food organized in my short pockets and started back into the single track. For the next 3 miles or so I was feeling great and was keeping a slow but very steady pace through the smaller rocks.

I pedaled on trying to keep a decent speed but not kill myself cardio wise. It just keeps getting harder and harder the more you ride this section so I was slowly slowing down and walking more. I met up with Chris from Tullahoma at the 8 mile marker as we have every Snake. He caught up to me at this point and we rode together with a really tall rider on a Merlin. I believe he's friends with Dan but I didn't get his name. The three of us played leap frog for a couple miles right into the hard section, the Wall. I still can't believe how anyone can ride this steep climb, let alone after riding the previous 28 miles. This is where the walking really begins. Ride a short section, walk a bit, then ride a short section and walk a bit.

When I passed the sign saying 4 miles to go I got this jolt of energy and this idea that, if I push it, I may be able to beat my time. I really had no idea what kind of pace I was on or where I was compared to my previous times but I just wanted to push hard and finish hard. I just forgot about any pain and pedaled hard through this section. I know I was riding sections that I walked previous times and I felt great. This lasted for about 1.75 miles of the last 2 miles then I hit the wall. I had the Tower in sight but it was still one small ridge away. I was spent and devastated as the Tower looked so far away! I continued to walk and push and finally was close to the Tower. Remembering how little trail was left and the lady with the cowbell, I got on the bike and tried to ride out the rest of the trail. I got about 5 pedal strokes and my entire lower body seemed to cramp at the same time. This was the first huge cramp that I had to deal with but it was crippling. I got my foot stuck on a very small rock and just sat there for a second trying to get going but not clipping out. Finally I told myself this was stupid and just walk and I got off and walked out the rest of the trail. There was no cowbell lady and no one to be seen anywhere. I knew it was all downhill from this point and I just bombed it as fast as I could. I flew through the last section of trail and then hit the paved road. I tucked in real small and just coasted down the hill, hoping I was ahead of my previous times. I even rode by a guy on the pavement and waved to him. He yelled "YEA! Get 'em!!" and I was gone.

I pedaled hard into the parking lot and crossed the line completely spent. I felt like I left it all out there on the trail and it felt great! They were busy computing overall times to get ready for the awards ceremony so I looked at the clock and guesstimated my time. I figured 20 minutes faster and I was quite close. 5:27:38 beating my previous best in Jan of 5:50 by 23 minutes!

They gave away red custom top caps to all the finishers of the third race. There was a woman right at the finish handing them out as you crossed the line. I about fell over, still clipped in trying to get off the bike, but I got it! I earned this top cap. I think it's going on the crosscheck and I'll get to look at it during all the hard gravel grinders and know what I'm training for. I'd put it on the singlespeed but I am running the nardguard and it would be wasted under there. It is such a great idea for a prize I bet more races follow suit.

I gotta give a big thanks to the NW SORBA crew and all the volunteers for putting on the best, hardest race I've ever ridden or been to. The support at this race is phenomenal, from the organizers to the racers to the spectators. Everyone that passes you throws out some great encouragement which for me is rare.

Thanks to Jeanie and Hillary for all the support, pre-ride, at the halfway point and after I finished!! You both rock and are very supportive and giving! I'm glad I was able to show Hillary how much sweat a helmet pad can hold and I'm glad Jeanie wasn't too grossed out to take my sweaty jersey. I rode in to the halfway point and they both jumped right up and asked what I needed and what they could do. It was great riding and knowing they would be there at the halfway point.

Today was a full on recovery, relaxing day. Stayed at home until about 1ish and then headed in to setup the studio for a session tomorrow. Beth and I went out to dinner at our old favorite, Jackson's and then came back to relax. I had intentions of going out on a short recovery ride on the crosscheck but never made it out. Maybe I get a ride in tuesday or wednesday. The new saddle should be here Wed, so I'll have that to try out.

Next race on my schedule right now is Dirt Sweat and Gears. I'm planning on ride any of the local TBRA races that I can. Looking forward to the next gravel grinder as well... I hear there is already a course and plan set up.

You can view my flickr set HERE.

Who links to my website?