Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year

Said goodbye to 2014 by hanging out with some friends. When I finally got to bed on January 1st it was 4:15 am. I had to be up at 8 am to get ready for the Annual New Years Day ride at Fort Custer with the SWMMBA. I drug myself out of bed and left the house a little after 9. I got to the shop, Custer Cyclery, and a few minutes later Jimmy rolled in. Dan was there already and the three of us headed out from there.

It was chilly.....windy too, but the ride over was a solid warmup. We got to the trailhead right as the group was leaving. I coudn't really tell who was there because everyone was bundled up and had their faces covered. Anyway, off we went. It was fun to be riding Custer again after a long hiatus. The trail was like concrete....and it was actually a little dusty with the pace line we had running through the woods.

At a stop to regather...I saw a lot of the usual suspects. Good to see a lot of the people that I haven't seen in months. After a short break we started up again and just kept moving. It felt really good to be out...cold or not.

So the year started off on a positive. Last year was a decent year. Better than 2013 by about 300 miles. Not terrible for a hefty guy with 4 kids. I am thankful for each mile I can ride. Every pedal stroke....slow or fast.....thankful. 

So....2015 has started and I still can't make up my mind on what I want to do. Do I race clyde...or just age group....or do I even race at all. Only time will tell on this topic. But for now.....Happy New Year everyone.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Not good

Let me just put this out there.....I highly dislike this time of year. Not because of the season...but because of all of the food. It starts with the numerous Thanksgiving dinners and continues all the way thru Christmas until New Years day. The day that many people traditionally "start over" or "set a new years resolution" or whatever else. Blah.

At any rate.....this month has sucked (as far as riding goes). My last ride was November 29th. Yes....24 ride. Here is why....

We went on a cruise on December 6th. We left on the evening of the 4th. I planned on riding the few days before we left, on the trainer, but we were so wrapped up in getting ready to go that I kept running out of time. Then...we drove to Florida and I ate like a hog for a week on the cruise...then drove home. Well.....after being home I just couldn't find the motivation to ride. I was just tired from driving home. was tonight and I got thinking about it.....3 weeks off the bike. ugh. And I planned on it tonight....but then had to pick up the littles so Chelle could wrap presents. 

So.....clearly I am heavy. What muscle I had is turning back into fat and my body is just starting to hurt. will be a few more days before I will have time to ride. I accept that it is that time of year....but I have a lot of work to do when the Holiday ends. We have a party tomorrow evening and then another Christmas day and our final party on Saturday. Then New Years Eve...and as the story goes....time to reset.....and get on track.

On a related topic.....the actual size of 5 pounds of fat. The first picture below shows how large 5 pounds of fat actually is when compared to a dollar bill. Gross right....

So....that is what 5 pounds looks like....and the picture below is a representation of what 5 pounds weighs. Think about a 5 pound bag of sugar or flour. Pretty heavy....and when you think about the density of fat vs. sugar.....gross.

So...take about 10 of these bags of sugar and that is what I need to lose. Imagine.....a 180 pound guy with 10 of these bags strapped to his body.....from his waist to his chin. That is where my weight is. And slowly but surely i will take each of these bags off my body and throw them away. just like every year. starts.....yet again....

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 2....20 weeks to go until Yankee

Very good week. It was Thanksgiving on Thursday and my 16th wedding anniversary on Friday. Dang, time flies. Well....lets get to it...

Monday is a rest day on my regimen. I am glad because we are crazy busy on Monday. So, I did Tuesday, Wednesday and I did the Friday session on Thursday Morning. I was confident that I would burn enough calories to eat a piece of pumpkin pie...but more on that later. These workouts went well.....legs are getting that tension in them and the actual sessions are harder than I imagined they would be. Feels like they are working!

Thursday before we headed off to family festivities we figure out the furnace wasn't working. After some investigation I found the drive belt laying on the floor....motor spinning.....not blowing any heat into the house.....on Thanksgiving. Awesome. So, Friday morning I got up early....Home Depot opened at 5am for Black Friday. I left the house at 6:20 only to find out that they don't carry belts because of the vast variety. Try and HVAC place they I commenced my search. Found one....that closed on Wednesday and didn't reopen until today. I was then looking for a hardware store to check before 8am when all the HVAC places opened...I passed a car parts place. BINGO. 12 bucks later I was on my way home. Installed the belt....started to get dressed for the WMMBA Turkey Burner.

I have missed the past 3 years of Turkey Burners. Kiddos were little and a mix of weather and excuses kept me from going. This year I really wanted to go and a few buddies were heading up to Yankee at 10 for the ride so I joined in. There was a ton of people there....I estimated over 70. Reports were that there were over 40 fatbikes. Awesome. After a few announcements we broke into groups and headed down the trail. Today, we were riding the fatbike trail. A trail that the good people of the WMMBA developed so that people can still ride at Yankee....and not damage the regular trail. Nice. The ride was a lot of fun. New trail is always fun...but so many people made it more fun. I did upload a video here. There was a bit of snow on the ground and temps were in the 20's. Awesome day on the trail.

Saturday, it was mid 50's. I pulled the road bike off the trainer and headed out for a decent road ride....other than the wind. Ugh. I mustered a 16mph average on the Defy with the CX tires on it. Good to ride outside 2 days in a row.

Like I said....good week.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

2015 Training starts

I am going to take a different approach this winter. I usually do alright....I drop some weight....I ride outside when I can....and ride the trainer when I can't. I eat better. Yada yada.

I start the spring strong...and by middle of summer I am starting to lose fitness....and by fall I have gained all my weight back and I start back at square one......winter training. started again....last night.

I am 264 pounds again. Literally...starting where I was at this time last year. But instead of training to RACE next year....I am training to lose weight. Putting all race training aside....and focusing on riding the fat off of my body.

I am not racing Clyde next year so I have a lot of work to do. I have seen a glimmer of how fast I can be when I am 240.....and this year I fully intend to find out how fast I will be at sub 200.

I will either get crushed in Sport Men 35-39 or I will compete. All I know is that I am going to do my best to get this weight off. It started last night. And will continue until I am done.

I started some new supplements that will help me with this trip. I know they will work because after 3 weeks my brain is functioning better. Even though I haven't lost any weight yet I am feeling way better than I have all summer.

Just over 22 weeks until Yankee. 15 week training program. Go.

And....if I can figure it out....I will own a fatbike before too long...and then my adventures OUTSIDE will continue.

Monday, November 3, 2014

You are the weakest link.....goodbye

I haven't been riding much. These were my last few rides:

Kal-Haven 74 miles
Barry Roubaix 33 miles
Yankee Springs 11 miles

Not terrible...but that was stretched out over 5 weeks. I have been eating like garbage and have gained some weight back. I slowed down. Back in June I was getting faster....feeling awesome. But with that confidence I got the feeling that I could eat more and it wouldn't hurt me. I was wrong.

I loaded up my Trance this past Saturday and headed to Fort Custer. Dave W., Chris C., Jay B. and Jimmy K. were all at the trailhead and we headed out. I figured I had a fighting chance because Dave and Chris were on fatbikes......but it was short lived. We took a route that I had never ridden before. We broke out onto a road and I got dumped on the first climb. The second climb was worse. Good bye friends. They were waiting for me at the intersection mad we started back to the park. The downhill was Gravity loves me....and downhills are fun.

We hit the blue and worked our way back to the trailhead. Once we regrouped we headed out for another red loop. It wasn't long before they were gone again. Once again we regrouped and boom....they were gone. Goodbye. This is when I started thinking about that damn game show "the weakest link" and that awful host that tell the contestants goodbye when it was this time to go.

My issue is this.....I wasn't the weakest link for a time. I could keep the faster riders in sight and while I was getting gapped....I wasn't getting dropped. I felt more like a part of the chain...a stronger link. But here I am again....the weak link....struggling on every climb and feeling awful in the process. The good news is....I can do something about it. I can drop the weight. I can ride more. I can close that gap down. I can be a stronger link.

I was in a bad place mentally for quite a while. It sucks. Those commercials that claim depression hurts are right. You just don't want to do anything. You are sore and don't have any energy...which makes it worse yet. Thankfully I have people in my life that help me get out of those ruts. Help dust me off when I pull myself out of the rut. For the record.....I am feeling really good right now.

Rode a slow lap with Dan s. at Yankee last weekend. Got pounded at Custer this past Saturday...but still went and rode another tough lap at Yankee Sunday afternoon. Today.....I hurt. But the hurt I feel was my doing. One pedal stroke closer to where I want to be....

Monday, September 15, 2014

Addison Oaks Fall Classic (yep...another race recap)

It has been a while since my last post so I wanted to get this recap out before I blocked it out. So here it goes...

Zack and I got up and loaded up the Crosstrek for the long trip across the state. Knowing it was a 3 hour drive we left around 8:30. The drive over was uneventful and we arrived at Addison Oaks around 11:45. Headed to registration and it was time to get ready.

I went out and pedaled around to warm up and I was pretty relaxed. A fellow sport clyde rode up and we were talking about the course and who was racing, ect. I knew it was a faster course...and I was hoping that the entries would be lower as there was only 6 pre-registered. When we lined up to the start...there was 13 of us. Dang....

3, 2, 1...go....and we were off. The start was across a grassy area and then a short paved section right into a climb. I saw the 3 leaders disappear right away. But I was sitting in 7th or 8th at the top of the climb. I had a few guys behind me and was in a decent train for the first two miles or so. The train started to stretch out and there was a smaller group of about 4 of us. The guy in front of me was starting to pull away but then went down in one of the rock gardens. I slipped past him and another guy was on my wheel...but it was a couple of miles later when they both caught me and passed me on a short steeper climb....and I couldn't hold on anymore. I watched them disappear and settled into my pace.

I came into the open field and passed the pavilion where they had the grill smelled really good...but wasn't enough to make me ride faster. ha. I went thru the lap gate....31 minutes and some change. I didn't think that was a terrible first lap. Little did I know that the leaders were already about 5 minutes ahead of me. As I started my second lap I heard a voice behind me say "pull me up this hill Sean"....hahahaha...yeah right. It was my friend Dave F. wanting me to pull him up the hill. Not happening. He had a flat and had jumped back on his bike as I passed the chute for my first lap. Eventually he passed and I was blowing up.....forced to slow down. The second lap was I pretty much rode by myself and just found my rhythm. Just under 35 minutes for the second now....I knew I was way down the ranks.....but I also knew I was feeling better and my third lap would be stronger.

I attacked the climb...standing and mashing on the pedals until I reached the top....and I pedaled hard to keep the 29er wheels rolling. One mile down....good. I hit the 2-track section and hammered knowing that I had the strength to push. I was doing pretty good....just kept pushing. Eventually the trail hit a paved section and I was spinning as hard as I could. A guy was on the corner leading off of the pavement, who later I found out does a ton of the trail work, and he was yelling "good job way to push...1.5 miles to go"....and I went hard again. Then I hit the last section and it goes to grass again. The grass made me feel so slow....but I kept going hard to the finish. Ended up 9th out of the 13 in my class....19 minutes behind the winner. minutes per lap....dang. I have a lot of work to do. ha.

Zack did good....35 minutes on his first lap....and he finished 2nd. Pretty much solidifies his top 3 finish in the series standings....if he finishes his race at Pando. I on the other hand went from 2nd to 4th in the points. I figure if I can win at Pando (funny....) and nobody else shows up that I might be able to land in 3rd.

At any rate...Addison was a fun course. Wish it was closer.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BIKE REVIEW: 2013 Giant Trance X 29er Level 0

It is time. Now that I have some more miles on this is my review.

Dan (Custer Cyclery) sent me this pic when it was ready to rock.

2013 Giant Trance X 29er 0
Frame Large
Fox 32 Float 29 FIT CTD w/15 QR thru-axle, OverDrive 2, 120mm Travel
Fox Fload CTD Boostvalve rear shock
Thomson Elite Seatpost
Fi'zi:k Gobi XM Saddle (manganese rails)
Time ATAC Pedals
Shimano Deore XT 1x10 (w/32 tooth RaceFace front ring)
Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus (rear derailleur)
Shimano Deore XT brakes (180mm front, 160mm rear)
Chimano HG81 11x36, 10 Speed Cassette
Giant P-TRX 29er 1 Wheel system
Schwable Rocket Rons (tubeless)

RaceFace 32T ring. Blue. Bling.

Ok....this is the bike I have wanted for a long time. I was finally able to pick it up and haven't looked back since. I was loaned this bike for the Yankee TT but it had the Easton Haven carbon wheels on it was a bit lighter...but I fell in love with the bike at that moment. forward to when I bought it. I picked it up June 27th, the day before the Sweat Shaker race. If you know know that I took 3rd in that race. solidified the idea that I really wanted this bike.

Now, 2 months later I have had a chance to race it one more time and put in some solid training rides. Because it is a 29er it will roll over anything. The long travel soaks up the bumps. I have the fork and the shock set on the trail setting. Kind of the middle of the road setting. The bike rides smooth. Period. It is sluggish in the corners....and I struggle to keep speed in and out of the corners. I am still learning how to ride it, but I am getting faster and learning every time I am on it. 

Honestly....I really don't know how to review a bike....other than to give the pros and cons. It is light....for a full suspension bike. The wheels are strong....with their DT swiss hubs....and pretty light. The rocket rons hook up awesome. Once I learn how to push harder into the corners and trust the ride I will be faster yet. I like the ability of the bike to roll over anything that is in the way. What I noticed is that if I can keep the wheels rolling that the bike keeps rolling. I don't accelerate out of corners well....and the 29er really slows down if I allow it to. If I push into the corners and pedal quicker out of the corners then I can keep it moving faster. Again...still learning. I know it is a weakness.

Pretty good for a 5" Travel mountain bike.

But....I have a lot more confidence on the bike. I am learning every time I am on it how to push it harder. I am not a top notch rider....I would say I am an average rider. weaknesses might be highlighted a bit more by the bigger wheels...but once I get them rolling look out! I can fly on the flats with the 1x10 drivetrain. Next year maybe I will be strong enough to move to a 34 tooth ring on the front...but for now the 32 tooth is good enough. I am a terrible climber and I can clear nearly anything that I have run into with the setup I have. 

So....that is it I guess. I love the bike....and need to get better. that is all. Until next time.