Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Vacation til now...2 days left...?

So it's been a minute since my last post....I prefer photo blogging and I have been without a camera for a while...but thanks to Pentax I am back in business. I Crushed!err Drowned my Olympus Stylus 770SW back in July, replaced it with the Olympus Tough sucked in my book...toooooo many damn options and it seemed to always take low res pics... It's a point n'on. Time to Test the W90 it is...had it for 3 weeks...realized I did not purchase the protection plan from guess what...I am SOL....because like all things ....I must break them. Crushed the front lens on a bike ride....So on a whim I sent it to the Pentax repair...Next thing I know...they are fixing it and a part was backordered....well luck was on my/our side...the part came in and the camera returned home in time for our Thanksgiving Vacation.
So it's been a minute. Burning at the Bluff was awesome, Hell it was so awesome our teammate Keith decided to do a lap and a half on a broken leg. Super StuD! Awesome fast course for sure!

So Thanksgiving Vaca went like this so far....

Photo's from Stella
Just a statement that getting out there offers lots of different views..
Stitz, Busken, Pryor, Keevan, and TTM @ Middlefork

I had to explain the next...and yes I like sheep boots.
How else do you get the sheep to stand still...?

Oh and we signed up for the Castlewood 8 Hour Adventure Race 4th in a row for TTM. Best of all I found my most favored item, my Castlewood 8 Hour fleece cap. It was tucked away in my hunting jacket from Deer Season 2009. Yes another skunk....that makes several now...gotta get a better grip on hunting property options.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Burnin' is almost here.

Ah, at last!
Mountain Bike Season is on Full Tilt now!
Lake Loop lookin sweet.

Gotta Black Brew agein' in the oak chips and dancing with coffee from last years burnin'.

Summer has brought some new skillz and determination to the Trail Monster franchise.

I have felt the pain of recent weeks of ride time and trail karma.

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays....and any other

This pain train ensures I pull my share of the load.

Trail Monstering in full effect!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rapture In Misery

The terrain of the trail twisted and turned through shadowy field edges, amid stretches of completely sun baked tall grass fields, then slipped into the woodlands for an immediate test with slime covered roots and rocks, with a good measure of climbing on mixed surfaces of pea gravel, hard pack dirt, and shady north side slopes of some grease like mud before dropping quickly off of the ridges with sweeping turns followed closely by more rocks and dips in creek beds with stone bridges interconnected with a sweet ribbon of soul sucking river bottom loam leading to a loose rock and wet root series of switchbacks ascending to the false flat open field roads from hell before paying back the pain with a final rip through young forest on contoured bench cut single track with a pump track flow, ending with a massive field cyclo-cross tests weaving through the coolest pit setup ever.

The scoring system was top notch. Barcode scans as you crossed the line with your time, position in your race group, and time to the racer in front of you. That was worth the entry fee. Nothing like dropping a $100 bucks or more at a race and have to wait a week for the final scores because everything is done on cardboard.

This is on my must do list for next year to improve on my 8th Place in the 40+ 6 hour solo.
PS I am not selling my bike just yet. We are still on speaking terms.
Obviously this is way before lap 3 of 4 of the 8+ mile course.

In other news Wendy got a podium.
3rd Place 12 Hour Women's solo....7 laps.
I think she rode a different course...
I am sure she will blog it up in a day or so...check her blog Pabst Smear.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

On a horse with no name.

Saturday Sunrise Epic's
There are days when you know your gonna ride. When your me and you have the green light to ride why not make it an epic. Last Saturday was one of those to have your butt on a saddle. I sent out a few pings on Friday evening looking for interest in a Trail Monster Epic. It's not often that outsiders get the invite to tag along on a Saturday Epic. This one would be no different, as not a single soldier took the bait. So be it. TTM would go solo and roll the "Tri-fecta" as so aptly named by ... anyone? ok, so it was Craig Thrasher that threw the moniker on the ride that covers Lost Valley, Matson Hill Park, and Klondike Park all with a Katy Trail connection. There is one tiny difference to the TTM version. I ride from home. No loading up an automobile to go ride my bike. Saturday Solo's start from the front door and hopefully return there under my own power. This Saturday would be only different from the past with one exception, gears. Through a round about of crazy events over the summer I have totaled my Stumpjumper and replaced it with the Kona Hei Hei 29er Deluxe. Yup, it's got gears. So quick summary on the new ride. 09' Hei Hei Deluxe frame with the Fox fork, shifty bits are X.9 trigger shifters, X.9 FD, FSA Afterburner 2X, X.0 RD, XT Cassette, Juicy Ultimate brakes f/r, Custom Girls/Spade rotors, Velocity Blunt's 29er, Tubeless setup with Bontrager symetrical rim strips and Stans on the inside of a new set of Shwalbe Racing Ralphs, left over bar from the stumpy, loaner grips til I replace my Ergons that I destroyed thanks to cheap allen bolts stripping out. So that pretty much makes up my new "Horse with no name". The intent of the Saturday ride was to get to know the bike, tweak a few things, and well what else...RIDE~!
So off we go, 6am rollout from casa TTM. Sunrise over Bryan Road.
Summer mornings must make awesome balloon flights, as the two below were taking off from Research Park south of Hwy 40. The balloon on the left (blue/grey) is piloted by Frank Hines. Frank and I work together, and through round about Monday morning coffee we discovered we were both up and outside early Saturday. Of course the Red White and Blue of Remax is up and flying. I guess real estate still lines somebody's pockets well.
Shadow pictures always seem to intrigue me when riding. This is the Hamburg trail near the "mound". While riding the Hamburg I encountered a beagle pup. He was cruising like he was on a mission, I figure lost pup and whistle for him. He stopped and ran to me. Great now I have buddy for the ride...not so fast, collared and all something seems out of place. He is aweful small to be out running. It took a minute before I realized I had just interupted a training session. I took out my Ipod and that is when I heard the rest of the pack chassing rabbits. He resumed the chase, I hope he didn't get in to much trouble.
Ah, Singletrack at last. Lost Valley singletrack is home to the GORC Tuesday Night ride. This is where I learned to ride again. I took the trail in the counterclockwise direction and picked up the new section of singletrack known as phase 2. (PS...the trail names are the only thing that sucks at LV.) Lots of twisty ridge riding then a few rollers before the drop down to the doubletrack. This little bump below is at the bottom of the last major decent. I reached down and turned off the pro-pedal and let'r rip. Sweet 20MPH. BLAM What the?> Unwanted air, TREE, TREEEE Oh shit that hurt. Speed and direction change was more than the front tire wanted. I burped all of the air out of the tubeless and steering went left, then airborn. I clipped the little just left of center on the trail at the top and hit the big tree in the distance(center) with my left hip and camera which was tucked safely in the jersey pocket. It's 7:30am and 20 miles into the ride. Never crashed here before... Click the picture and look for the horizontal white slash in the center just left of the trail...that's my bike and where we landed. Good distance...poor landing.
So now how do you fix a flat on the trail with tubeless tire? Co2 x3 did it. reset the bead after cleaning dirt and moss out of it. I knew better than using the stupid handpump I carry. Somedays that thing won't blow out a candle. Time for more C02. All fixed and rolling a tad low, so I figured the lower lot would hold a few riders and possibly a floor pump. Just glad the three hotties running the trail had already crested the hill before I made my decent...that could have been not such a good introduction to mountain bikers in the am.
Upon borrowing a floor pump I noticed this fine antique that was being readied for a ride. Thanks for the pump. Time for me to roll to Matson, the rest of LV can wait til the return trip.
To get to Matson Hill Park and all 4.7 miles of singletrack, one must pay the toll and ride several miles of Katy Trail flatness and then earn your ride by climbing Matson Hill Road(SteepGravel).
Once on top there is a short ride down the pavement to the park. Good News on the Park...expansion plans are working! I heard about another 400 acres that were just purchased. This could be the destination trail. Thanks SCCP and GORC. So here is the one of two pictures I managed to get of Pete B (hiding behind the tree) and Jeff R(in the blue) while we rode together for a bit. Sorry about dropping you guys after we got split by the other group I passed. I was on a mission. Hope to see ya for another ride soon. When trails are fun I forget to take pictures sometimes.
If your gonna go big then you owe it to yourself to follow Duke to Terry and then down to the Katy Trail. Don't don't let the flatness fool you grasshopper.
You get paid for your efforts at the end, besides this is pretty much a rite of passage. Pick one, they all make it worthwhile.
When in the area one must stop in on "The Pimp's" proving ground. Word has it a local trail guru had this rocky edge of your seat trail named after him.
He made sure to watch over all the land. I still think I will have lunch under that tree someday.
So just because you are in Rome....look there are some things that at my age I just should not do. The large drop at the top of Donkey Kong is one of them. The trail to the right is there for a reason, sanity. So I took a look and remembered rolling down much bigger drops in Moab, and thought no problem, "Just roll it out". Damn if it didn't sound doable.
Umm...well not so much. I took that picture above to make sure my face wasn't bleeding. The side of my face was pretty much numb. Now looking at it, you think no big deal...ok. The shadow line is pretty much wear my front wheel hit and stuck. The larger of the two steps just above my helmet is wear my face hit, followed closely behind by my ass, feet, and bike. The helmet is cracked. Better than my head for sure! PSA! Wear your helmet!
Slight face rash and lots of sand. As you can see there is some serious thoughts rolling around in the mellon. Mostly trying to record a note to self not to do that shit again. I dusted myself off as much as possible and finished up this side of Klondike. Lucky for me there are showers here at the campground. I rinsed and rekitted, checked in at home, and knocked down a few snacks. Next plan was set for a cold beer. I may not of needed it, but I think I earned it. I was bound for "The Tavern in Defiance", the one across the street. They have PBR and really good food. I headed out through the park and up and over on hogsback down to the Katy Trail.
After a fine sandwhich of smoked pork loin and a couple beers. Pretty much the only food I have had today, save for a couple packs of 100 calorie crackers, and a peanut butter cheese crackers. So I finished up my Katy Trail ride and looped through Lost Valley for phase 1, a few more miles of singletrack. Next was the decision to put in a few miles of Hamburg and Busch gravel. While riding I tend to let my mind wander. Today has been no different. However, one thing that seems somewhat ironic is that while looking up this gravel I thought of Bob Jenkins and his quest for Leadville. It seems that Bob thought of me and my Cheerleader appearance at the last dirt crit whiling pre-riding one of the crazy ass climbs on the Leadville course. See I have watched Bob struggle this year, but not like last. He seems to have turned a corner. He buckled down and got back at it, cutting weight, and making the appearances. So hey BOOM keep it up! You don't have to finish Leadville, you just have to start. It's your race, ride, journey, only you can write the outcome. So with the thought of you making that journey given all the hurdles thrown your way, I looked up this road, and pedaled on. The Saturday Solo from here was driven by those thoughts. Hell I can't let Bob have all the fun. I wrapped up Busch with a loop of the bike path and some sweet nearly traffic free gravel time.
Sometimes you really have to dig deep. The following is crash #3. I hit the ditch at a pretty good speed and stuck the front wheel again. The only problem, I was still holding the handlebars when I stopped...when I say "stopped" well I mean landed...I ended up sitting in front of the bike while still holding the bars. The impact was so fast that I just spun completely over and landed on my ass in front of the bike. After dusting myself off again, I rolled on.
Brommelsiek was good. The park system has done a great job keeping the trails mowed this summer. The extra traffic from cyclists has helped as well. Seems the parks are really starting to get some fans. Hopewell and Hwy N...only one place to go from here.
A ride to Duello Road bound for Prospect. Lots of new work, do you think the county will proposition MoDot to add a bike lane? It does lead to a park. Reality is, they will raise the speed limit and tuck the white line as far to the right as possible.
Enough pavement. Time for some more singletrack. Hit the trail on the Westside. Trailhead is the sunny spot on the weeds just off the right center of the photo.
Whew, great ride along the creek and past "Wendy's Swimming Pool". This is the park that Wendy took her first mountain bike ride and made it 5 minutes before breaking her elbow. All the way to the ER she kept asking for a Do Over. Sick for sure.
As my taint is now completely sand free thanks to continued use of the VGS-12 I am headed home. The picture really brings out the reality of how I feel at the very end of the ride. Everything around me was fuzzy. I succeeded in my first South 40 - Century. Yes, you read that right! A Century, 100 miles, on two wheels, pedaled by me! 100 Miles Shit Yeah!
Coming Soon to a race near you!
Ps...still don't have a name for my new ride.
What I do know, if it throws me a couple more times, I will call it "SOLD"!