brickhouseracing

August 20, 2012

Next?

Filed under: Bike Racing,Trail Riding,Training — Andrea @ 7:33 am

So, now that I’ve conquered The Epic, what do I do for an encore?

I think that this trip solidified my wishes to (next season) leave 100 mile racing to people who enjoy racing for >7 hours at a time. I like the 3-6 hour timeframe. I like stage racing. I like stuff that’s really damn hard.

I’m entered in the Shenandoah 100 and Fools Gold 100 right now. Both are terrible singlespeed courses if you’re racing geared riders (especially the SM100). With races scheduled 1 week apart, I’m not sure which I’m planning on doing, but I’m leaning more towards Fool’s Gold. Both, you say? Yeah, of course I’m thinking about going to both. It’s sooooooo much driving, though…

Then there’s always the Pisgah Stage Race the 17th-22nd. I loved riding the tech stuff at Breck. Maybe I’d love Pisgah more?

I don’t know… I’ll probably figure it out the week before Shenandoah.

August 11, 2012

Day 12- to Breckenridge

Filed under: Trail Riding,Trails,Training — Andrea @ 2:20 pm

Ryan and I were up early to put everything in the car, drink lots of coffee, and get to the airport around 7:30. It was time to say goodbye to the Tetons and travel across the vast high desert/plain/whatever you call it to the real elevation. Sometimes, I get bored and take random out the window and self portrait photos…

 

Once I was in Breck, I had just enough time to unpack at the condo and get in a short ride on some “neighborhood” trail and (of course) the pump track. Even after hours in the car, my legs were still feeling great. I was cut a little short by rain, though that’s probably a good thing since I’ve vowed to eat most meals in my condo. So, I needed to get back and go to the grocery store for provisions. What I’ve realized so far is that being a mountain tourist town, groceries here are stupid expensive. I’m not sure that it’s going to cost any less to not eat out, but at least it’s a bit healthier since I won’t be tempted by some of the more delicious things like french fries and pie.

 

Day 11- more recovery (again)

Filed under: Out West Trip,Trail Riding,Training — Andrea @ 2:04 pm

Since I’ve fallen a little behind on the updating, I’ll keep 11 and 12 short and sweet…

With the advent of recovered legs on Wednesday, Thursday, I was itching to go back and conquer the moto trail that we’d bailed on the day before. However, under coach’s orders, I had to take it easy. So, instead, Ryan and I drove up to Targhee and rode the Rick’s Basin part of the PH course backwards (spoiler alert- it’s easier that direction!)

I rode the singlespeed and took it as easy as possible, though, relatively speaking, that’s not 100% easy compared to riding geared.

Afterward, I went back for one last dip in Moose Creek. I also tested the “underwater” feature of the new camera. It may not take the absolute best photos, but at least I won’t smash this one like I did the previous…

 

By then, it was time to start dinner and packing. Friday, I’d drop Ryan back off at the airport and make the 8.5 hour drive down (up?) to Breckenridge.

August 8, 2012

Day 10- Testing the Legs

Filed under: Out West Trip,Trail Riding,Training — Andrea @ 9:43 pm

Today was my only ride with much intensity between Pierre’s and the Epic. The mid-week workout on the training schedule between race weekends is never without a tiny bit of anxiety, because if it’s good, you know everything is on track, and the next weekend will likely be kickass. If it’s bad, then the next weekend is uncertain- I’ve definitely had my legs turn around by Thursday and Friday. I’ve also been in a hole.

Since Saturday, I’ve done everything I can to help my body recover from Pierre’s. Today, it was apparent that it’s paying off. I felt like there was no altitude.

We tried a few trails near Victor. I’d seen what looked like a nice singletrack climb on a local internet trail map. We rode several miles on a violently undulating powerline road before turning onto the real climb. It was incredibly steep, occasionally rocky, usually washed out, and covered in moto tracks. We alternated between pushing and riding for a half mile (average of 13% grade for the 1/2 mile). Unfortunately, we were low on water, and I was thinking about not totally wearing myself out. So, we turned and rode back down.

I hate that. Live to fight again, though, right?

Some people would have hated our ride today. We were on an exposed, steep powerline gravel road for a while. Then, we pushed and fought with a blown out moto trail. I don’t get why people hate rides like that. They’re hard. They aren’t flowy, smooth, or even technical in any sort of way that most people think of as rewarding. It’s a mountain bike ride, though. They aren’t always pretty, smooth, ride-able, or anything else that people long for when they come across trails like this one. I’m going to have dreams about what I missed by not fighting all the way to the top.

Ryan, picking his way down a sketchy, rocky/rolly descent:

 

The next climb:

Day 9- Tourist Day

Filed under: Out West Trip,Trail Riding — Andrea @ 8:20 am

Tuesday, I took a day off the bike. Ryan and I decided to indulge in some of the local tourist fare. Amazingly enough, he’d suggested going horseback riding. If you’re just now joining us here at The Blog, you should know that I used to be pretty damn good at riding horses. However, I’d never suggested the vacation trail ride since Ryan (according to his own account) “might have ridden once as a kid.” So, when he said something about going for a ride, I jumped on the opportunity.

On a related note, I’d like to officially thank Mitt Romney for being so obnoxiously, controversially rich, that NBC see it fit to show the Olympic Dressage competition in a stretch for ratings. I was getting sick of swimming, gymnastics, and beach volleyball. I digress.

Amanda suggested Linn Canyon Ranch. I signed us up for the 3 hour lunchtime tail ride. When we arrived, we met Melissa, our guide, and Ashley and Roscoe, the horses. The ride was a gorgeous trip on BLM land through Aspen groves (some of them had to be hundreds of years old), pine trees, and open meadows. Other than Ryan’s horse (Ashley) taking him off-road through some bushes on several occasions, everything went swimmingly. After lunch, we swapped horses for the ride back, though Ashley was wise to my experience within the first few minutes and never went bush-surfing.

Afterward, we ventured over Teton Pass to Jackson and checked the Aerial Tram to the top of Mt. Rendezvous. Tourist trap? Sure. Scenic? Incredibly so…

 

August 7, 2012

Day 8- More Recovery

Filed under: Out West Trip,Trail Riding — Andrea @ 7:07 pm

Monday was another laid back day.

After laying around and watching some Olympics, we went to late breakfast at the Teton Waters Ranch restaurant (they sell some amazing grass-fed beef there, too). Then, we followed that up with more laying around and watching Olympics while killing time before the tour at one of the local breweries.

 

After a little more snacking and laying around, we took off to explore some more of the local trails. I think I’m still dragging ass a little from racing on Saturday, but the scenery was worth it

 

August 5, 2012

Day 5- Pierre’s Hole Pre-Race

Filed under: Out West Trip,Trail Riding,Training — Andrea @ 10:21 am

The day before a race is always a mix of nerves and recovery.

Friday morning, after a few cups of coffee, I took the Enve wheels off of the singlespeed and readied the Jet for its first endurance race. The decision to ride that bike hinged mostly on the descents in the PH race loop- one 20 minute long downhill from the Targhee Ski Resort to the valley floor and multiple other fast, sweeping ski hill trails. The full suspension provided an extra band-aid for my unfamiliarity with prolonged high-speed descending.

After a quick spin (I found a pump track!!!!) and bike wash, Amanda and I drove down to Moose Creek, an ice-cold stream fueled by snowmelt. It’s colder than any icebath I’ve ever had back home. Then, lots of relaxing with podium legs, dinner, and Maddie the dog…

August 2, 2012

Roadtrip Days 3 and 4

Filed under: Out West Trip,Trail Riding,Training — Andrea @ 4:44 pm

Yesterday and today, my riding included a healthy portion of the Pierre’s Hole loop.

I’d previously been highly undecided as to whether I’d race the 50 or the 100 mile version of the race. Other than Amanda, the NUE-bound contingent at this one is thin. Not that I ever think a podium is inevitable, but the chances are better than usual for me. After a slow start to my NUE season, the points and press from a podium finish would be really helpful. The press, especially. Getting a mention in Cyclingdirt or Cyclingnews is always a nice ego boost.

However, looking ahead (and back, for that matter), my focus is the Breck Epic, which starts on the 12th. With my recent periodic bouts of difficulty in recovering from hard racing/training, the prospect of recovering at altitude from 100 miles of racing at altitude is a risk that could leave me starting a 6 day stage race with some leftover fatigue.

I made my decision while I was riding the singlespeed on Wednesday. Fifty miles, full suspension bike. Focus =self preservation for Breck Epic. I’ve learned in yoga class to not let ego take control and jeopardize well-being. Turns out, this can apply to bike racing as well (instructor Debbie is gonna love reading this one).

The course is a 25 mile loop based from the Grand Targhee resort. It’s beautiful, though I’ve figured out that I have little to no skill at negotiating the steep, groomed 180 degree switchback turns in the downhill direction. Those don’t exist in any place I’ve ever ridden (save the Super D course at Winter Park two years ago), so I just don’t have enough trust in the relationship between my front tire and the berms to maintain mach speed through them. I foresee a local person or two yelling at me on Saturday when I brake like mad and roll around them nice & slow.

Today, I rode the Jet. I’ve always thought it was fun, but I’ve never really pushed its limits. I probably didn’t on today’s ride, but I got a lot closer than my previous rides around Memphis. That bike lives for courses like this one. The PH50 might as well be billed as a Marathon super-D race. I’m excited.

Also today, there was a wildfire somewhere in the area. When I left for my ride, the entire valley was filled with smoke. Kinda reminded me of the summer haze back in Memphis…

April 6, 2012

Oops

Filed under: Bike Racing,Trail Riding — Andrea @ 6:43 am

As I mentioned in my Ouachita report, I have three injured fingers- a sprained middle one on the right hand, and a sprained/broken middle and sprained index on the left. The most painful, colorful, and most sausage-like one is definitely the index finger.

Following the race, Fullface Kenny texted me for a race update. The conversation went like this (I wanted to take a screenshot, but I just figured out that my phone doesn’t do that without downloading an app):

FFK: Finished Yet?
Me: Yeah. 3rd after a flat and a bad wreck
FFK: You OK after the wreck?
Me: I may have broken my hand
FFK: Minor details :)
FFK: A broken hand X-Ray is worth some free beer

So, the next morning, I went to the Minor Med place to get checked out, and was given the aforementioned diagnosis and fitted with some finger splints:

 

Surprisingly enough, I can still do prettymuch everything I need to do at work, with the exception of adjusting hubs and truing wheels… the little arms of the splints get caught up on the spokes. Also, I occasionally have to use a screwdriver to open up a tight quick release. I did get called Edward Scissorhands when I was trying to re-wrap an old gripshift cable.

Tuesday, I noticed that my middle finger is not healing straight. My days as a hand model are officially over.

 

Wednesday, Kenny kept with his promise, and I found this in the mailbox:

 

The healing process is slow. I can work or ride a little without my fingers splinted, but they start to get sore after a couple of hours. It’s going to be an indefinite amount of time before I can ride my road bike since I can’t operate the front brake right now. Luckily, I can still operate my mountain bike with no issues, so my training doesn’t have to take a break for healing.

Hopefully, the ortho will have a positive prognosis when I visit on Monday. I’ll update then.

 

 

March 17, 2012

Blogger Shenanigans

Filed under: Trail Riding — Andrea @ 1:57 pm

You may remember my post-SouthernX trip to the Southeastern Bike Expo a few weeks ago.

In my early-Sunday morning attempt to pack my bags without disturbing Dicky’s hangover by using the hotel room lights, I accidentally packed his Bike29 shirt in with my stuff. I let him know that I’d send it back to him, washed and unharmed, but that I’d likely corrupt it otherwise prior to sending it back.

#1: cat bed

 

#2: I can’t post it here. It involved a large, purple rubber object that a former teammate of mine found on the side of the road. Use your imagination.

 

#3: Poolboy Matt loin cloth

 

#4: Turbo shirt

 

#5a: also not postable here. It involved me wearing the shirt in a manner that Dicky thought may stretch it out in a way that doesn’t conform to his body.

 

#5b: the finale… wet T-shirt contest. Miller High Life was involved (photo courtesy of Ryan)

 

With the shirt now thoroughly corrupted, it’s currently in the washing machine. I’ll ship it back this week… unless, of course, someone comments with any more shirt-corrupting ideas.

 

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