Pop Quiz, hotshot…

You’re on the trail, and you reach this:


What do you do?

Caulk the wagon and float it across?
Pay a few dollars and take the ferry across?
Attempt to ford the river?

I had to dog paddle in the middle, but neither of the oxen drowned and none of the supplies floated away…

Weekend Roundup

Well, Ryan took off Saturday morning for the Tuscaloosa race. I rode with the small group from Trinity and we ended up cutting the ride a little short because we got drenched in the rain, and the wind was getting fierce (like, not uncomfortable fierce… more like “blowing you off the road” fierce). We still ended up riding about 50 miles. When I got home, I cleaned up, ate some lunch, and chilled out for a bit.

After luch digested a bit, I changed and headed back out- this time on foot. I ran (ok, jogged slowly) down the rail trail to Shelby Farms where I made a muddy lap of the Tour de Wolf trail before running home. According to mapmyride.com, it’s’ exactly 3 miles from my house to TdW, and the trail is 6 miles… 12 miles! I was pretty sore by the time I got home, but felt alright otherwise. This is my longest run of the year, and, considering it was also my 4th one of the year, I’d say it was pretty good, albeit pretty slow as well.

The weather got pretty gross overnight. The wind slowed to a “calm” 15mph, but the temps dropped into the low 40’s. The sun rose behind a solid blanket of clouds. Yuck! Nevertheless, I bundled up and headed to Outdoors Inc on Union to meet up with the 9:00 group. I enjoyed riding straight into the headwind the entire way- most of the time doing around 200 watts and only going 15 or so mph. With a lot of people gone to Tuscaloosa for the weekend, it was a small group. I was miserably cold, and my legs felt like they were filled with rocks from the rail trail the day before. Luckily, Henry and Dennis were also beat from battling with the wind yesterday and decided to ride about half way to the normal turnaround before heading back. I went for it- even after a nice hard pull down Mud Island, I still hadn’t warmed up (my hands had actually lost more feeling). On the way home, we took an alternate route up Central instead of Union. It was pretty cool to see some of the large, old midtown houses and boulevards.

Oddly enough, I’ve felt really strong on the bike this weekend. I happened to take a second look at the Tuscaloosa race flyer last night- I’d forgotten that they were paying the top spots of P1/2/3 women out the same as P/1/2 men. I probably could have made a little money. Oh well. I have had a good weekend otherwise. The break from worrying about racing is pretty relaxing, and I’m having more fun on my bike now than I have in a while.

Next race I do will be Ride to Live on April 11th- it’s on the Barbour Motorsports Park track, which is a freaking BLAST to ride on. It’s also nice because it can be made into a day trip… gotta keep saving up for that mountain bike!

Am I Crazy?

Ok, don’t answer that… I think that “crazy” is a reletive term, and, when you’re talking about me, I think this is one of my more tame ideas.

I was planning on hitting up the Trek demo day on April 18th & 19th because I’m MTB shopping. However, I’ve prettymuch got my sights set on purchsing a Niner Jet 9 frame, so the demo day isn’t really needed.

So, what to do that weekend?? How about the Ouachita Trail 50k? (FYI- 50k = just over 31 miles)

Sure, the longest run I’ve done so far this year is 8.5 miles, but I do plan on running 10ish on Saturday, and I can definately head out to Shelby Forest for a 25K the weekend after this one. The longest run I’d done before my first 50k was a mere 14 miles, and I still came in sub 6:00, and, even though I could barely find my tent afterwards and had some pretty severe GI upset, I was generally none worse for wear. I am more fit now than I was then, so yeah, I think I’m gonna go for the 50k.

If I were really cool, I’d camp out another night at Lake Sylvia and do some fire road running the morning after. Something tells me I’ll be a little bit wrecked, though. I’ll probably just go home and ride my bike 70 miles on Sunday…

Afternoon in the Park

Yesterday, Ryan and I rode the singlespeeds up to Shelby Farms. Even though it was a little windy, the weather was beautiful. After making a loop around the south end of the park, we rode back towards home. The resident bison herd was grazing near the fence, so we stopped for some photos…


I think the bison farted...
I think the bison farted...



Check out the new kit! Hopefully the rain holds off this afternoon so I can get up to Bikes Plus for a ride/run.


Take one part lost sleep due to bruised ribmeat and getting to bed a little late, add 8.5 miles of cold, wet running this morning, and you get some hardcore post-lunch napping with the kids… luckily, Ryan was around to take a photo. In case you’re wondering, the reason why my head is turned to the right is because I’m using Indy as a pillow:


Demo Report

What a day! I set out for Shelby Farms around 9:00 this morning. Once I arrived (via rail-trail!), I did a quick lap of Tour de Wolf. Awesome fun time!!!! It’s sooooo much nicer riding a badass MTB instead of the CX rig. I could have done laps all day, but it was time to move on…

After that, I rode across farm road and under Walnut Grove to the Wolf River Trails (I did my best to stay out of the “no bikes” sections). At one point, where the trail dog-legs across a levee, I made the mistake of entering the next section of trail (a steep downhill with sharply angled dirt banks on both sides) at an odd angle rather than straight on. I somehow caught my front wheel on a small fallen tree on one side of the trail, then lost my balance as the wheel slid down the embankment.

Left ribs, meet tree.

Did you know that your ribs can bend pretty damn far and not break?

I had no idea.

In case you’ve never compressed one side of your ribcage inward, just think of a baseball-bat type sensation. It actually knocked the wind out of me pretty badly, and took a few minutes of just sitting on the side of the trail to catch my breath again. There’s a bit of an abrasion there now- I’ll be sure to post a photo if it gets some nice color to it.

Anyway- I got back up and continued down the trail. Once I got to Germantown Parkway, I went under the bridge and headed towards Greys Creek. That trail is a lot of fun to run on, but it’s pretty lame for riding because the 4-wheeler people have made giant ruts in the trail. So, after about a mile, I turned around & headed back. The remainder of the ride was uneventful. I ended up getting back home around noon for some much needed lunch!

After a little food & rest, I loaded the bike in the car and drove up to Nesbit Park (a.k.a. Stanky Creek). Once there, I rode the White and Yellow trails a couple of times. I felt good! I’d kept the suspension lockout on during most of the Shelby Farms ride, but released it for the rootiness of this trail.

I would have ridden longer, but alas, it was time to get home, clean the beast, and return it to its rightful owner at Bikes Plus. All in all, it was somewhere between 4 and 4.5 hours of riding total. With the exception of the tree-beating, I had a great time. I can’t wait to try out a few more and make a purchase!

Demo Bike!

Yesterday afternoon I stopped by the shop to pick up a sweet 29er demo bike. I originally planned to get it for Saturday, but I figured since I’d already planned to be off of work today that I’d avoid some trail traffic by taking it out before the weekend.

So after learning about how to adjust the suspension (holy crap, there are a LOT of adjustments!), I wedged it into my roof rack and headed home. It took a while to get everything set up comfortably. Even though it’s a bit big for me, I ended up swapping the stock seatpost out for a Thompson setback post (luckily Ryan had one in the correct diameter on his CX bike) since the straight post required the saddle to be precariously clamped to the very front of the rails. Because the bike is kinda on the big side, I also lowered the handlebars. I felt pretty weird with them perched above the saddle.
When I took it for a test ride on a short stretch of rail trail behind my house, I was surprised when it felt sort of awkward and loose over the rocks… then I realized that the tires were inflated to what had to be the max possible pressure! Oops. I let a good deal of air out, turned around, and went over the same stretch again, this time to find the ride totally different. Ah….. nice!

So now I’m just waiting for the sun to come out & warm the air a bit before I head out to Shelby Farms. After that, I’ll go to Herb Parsons, Bartlett Park, and Lakeland Trails. Being in good shape is nice. I imagine that taking a bike to every trail in town would be somewhat impossible for a lot of people, but I’m looking forward to the workout :)




Things happen quickly

Right now, life is like the Honda Del Sol that I used to race around in- with the flip of a switch, the nitrous is on, the accelerator is on the floor, and suddenly I’m going waaaaaay over the speed limit with my head thrown back, laughing like a madwoman.

I talked to a few people over the weekend that wanted to know if I were going to be joining another team any time soon. I’d given it a little thought, but wasn’t in any type of hurry. I had a couple of guys say they’d sponsor me to get back into Memphis Velo (my first team), which would be cool, except that their main focus is road racing, which I still plan on doing, though definitely not exclusively.
I’d also considered talking to Paul w/Team Kenda Tire about the possibility of re-joining on the regional team. He’s a really nice guy, and the team has some nice sponsors, too (like SRAM!). I’d kinda like something local, though…

Then I went in to Bikes Plus to order some spare BH derailleur hangers. Karen was there, and she’d heard about my recent change of heart (word travels fast!) We started talking about my competitive plans… Then she offered me shop sponsorship! Woohoo!!!!!! She’s always been incredibly nice to me, and she helped me put together my Surly Cross-Check last year. So, I went in for hangers and came out with an awesome sponsor and some sweet blue & green kits! It’s really just what I need- something local and very supportive that still allows me to be very independent. Happy, happy, happy :)

Other stuff:
I’m demo-ing a Gary Fisher HiFi 29er on Friday. I’ll be taking it to every trail in the city!
The Blue Rc7 (54cm) frameset is for sale: $600
The Blue T16 (52cm) frameset is for sale: $600 or $950 with TT bars/shifters/brakes (I’ve got someone who is trying it out on Saturday, but if you’re interested, let me know in case it doesn’t work out)

Last night, after a fixie ride w/some friends, I ran my first mile of 2009 (barefoot!). It’s like that saying about a long journey starting with a single step. I think I’m there right now.

I think I’m gonna be sore

This morning I did a crossfit-esque workout. I haven’t lifted for a couple of weeks, and, even then, I just did some complex training (there’s a post about it somewhere a few pages back…)

So, today’s workout was 3 rounds/10 reps of this circuit:

Lateral Lunge
Assisted Pullups
Assisted Dips
Plyometric Single-leg Press
Leg Lifts

By the 3rd round, I was sweating my tail off. I did everything pretty light so I wouldn’t be totally wrecked for my demo day this Friday. Even so, since it’s been forever since I’ve done anything high-rep, I’ll probably be wrecked anyway :)