Wednesday, September 29, 2004


The first 'cross race of the season is this Saturday, 10/2, the Ed Sander
Memorial Cross.
The forecast calls for rain so we could be in for some muddy fun.



Melanie is pregnant!

Her due date is April 20, 2005 so that puts her about 10 weeks along right now.

We decided to start trying while in Europe on our Tour de France trip and it happened right away!

We are very excited and looking forward to this new phase of life.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A long day in the saddle


The Shenandoah Mountain 100 promised to be a very difficult challenge and it exceeded expectations. I finished in 11 hours, 14 minutes for 109th place out of 281 starters.

Now for some of the nitty gritty...

So, I wore the HR monitor for the 100.

I don't remember all the details but I spent over 6 hours in Zone 2. Hopefully i'll get some aerobic benefit from that training. I'd hate to think that all of the suffering was for naught!

The first couple of hours were at close to race intensity, pretty close to AT...that felt pretty good...Bob and I were riding together and passing lots of riders, but then the adrenaline starts to wear off and you realize that you still have close to 80 miles left to race so you back it off just a bit.

We missed the start by a couple of minutes so that was a bit stressful! 8-) I woke up at 5am with plenty of time to prepare for the 6:30am start...or so I thought. I freaked out a bit wondering if I had stuffed enough junk into my camelbak & then had trouble getting the very full bladder into the pak. I could hear the announcer giving the pre-race instructions at the start area so I scrambled on my bike to get over there. Just a quick look back at the campsite and I noticed that one of the lights in the truck was still on. D'oh!!! A dead battery would not be good for morale after a full day of riding. I scurried back and fumbled around with the keys as I heard the race start. Eventually I got the door open, the light off, and the keys stashed back in the tent. At that point my HR was soaring and I hadn't even started the race! I sprinted up to the start and chased back to the pack after a mile or so. Then I picked my way through the field as far as I could before the first climb. This was not the start I had envisioned, but it wasn't too bad.

14k feet of climbing is sick sick sick! There was a good mix of fire road/double track and single track climbing with a bit of road (thank goodness!) as well. a huge chunk of the descending was on single track that seemed to go on forever. my hands, wrists, forearms, and shoulders are still sore thanks to the trail and a fork that stopped working. I'm really glad that I finished with plenty of daylight to spare because descending off Shenandoah Mountain in the dark (as many people had to do) would have been brutal.

I'm feeling better today, but I'm still kinda wrecked. I woke up drenched in sweat last night & I'm sweating sitting here at work right now.

My knee is still somewhat swollen and I have assorted cuts, trail rash, and bruises all over...and blisters on my palms. Gotta love it!

Here's a list of things i am done with...
1. rim brakes
2. the weenie sid fork
3. rim brakes

My drive train worked ghost shifting, slipping gears, or chain suck at all. amazing.
I broke a spoke on my rear wheel somewhere about mile 80 on a mildly rocky descent. it was actually an awesome section of singletrack, but at that point in the race with a worthless fork anything that wasn't paved felt harsh & i was getting sloppy.

I feel like I climbed well and consistently the whole race. There were times that I had to walk a bit, but everyone (aside from J. Bishop and a couple of others) was walking these sections. the areas I lost the most time on were the downhills and the rest area where the doctor cleaned and bandaged my knee.

With disc brakes and a decent fork I would have gone a lot faster on the descents. As it was I was going sooooo slow on most of the downhills. I'd pass a ton of people on a climb and then half of them would pass me back on the downhill. It was funny bcz you'd see and talk to the same people throughout the race...just leapfrogging each other. There were a lot of riders on singlespeeds and even 2 guys on fixed gears!!! nuts.

The race was a lot of suffering & much harder than I thought it would be, but overall a very rewarding experience. This event truly pushes your physical and mental limits.

Melanie got to mile 50, but had to drop out for health reasons. She was not feeling well all weekend and continuing would not have been a good thing. She's tough, but she's also smart and did the right thing.

Post-race there was a great atmosphere, great food, music, etc. and the finish line was right by the pavilion so you could watch people coming in for hours.

I ate a bunch, drank almost 1 beer, and got a 15 minute massage that was incredible. then we just hung out, watched some awards, and chilled before crashing. Bob had a couple of beers, but i could only get down most of 1. they gave all the finishers nice beer glasses which was cool. Like I said the food was great and plentiful. mellow, fun atmosphere with people drinking beers, but everyone was pretty tired. Everyone exchanged a lot of war stories from the trails!

There are a ton more stories of the good, the bad, and the ugly!

"Ride Lots" - Eddy Merckx