Road & Trail

What a weekend! Saturday, I rode 72 miles at RB’s Ride Into Spring. After some lunch and a change of clothes, I headed out to Shelby Forest for a 25k trail run (that’s 15.5 miles for the metrically challenged). It was a really good run because I finally got my downhill legs back. It took me right at 3 hours- which included a sort-of long break at the turnaround point so I could refill my hydration pack, dump the grit out of my shoes, and walk for a few minutes while I ate a couple of fig newtons. Oh yeah- and I stopped to get a photo of a little snake that was sunbathing on the trail:


After taking its photo, I grabbed a twig and encouraged it to move off of the trail so that it wouldn’t get stepped on (accidentally or otherwise) by the next person coming through. It protested a bit and struck at the stick a couple of times, but eventually decided that the stick wasn’t backing down, so it retreated into the leaves.

By the time I was at around 12 miles, it was getting tough to convince myself to keep running. It was my longest run so far, but still only half the distance I’ll cover in a couple of weeks when I go to the Ouachita Trail 50k. I ran my first 50k a few years ago w/my longest run beforehand being 14 miles, so I think I’ll make it…

Anyway, I was pretty beat when I got home. Ryan was hungry and wanted to know what was for dinner. With little hesitation, I told him to order pizza delivery. It’s literally been years since I had Pizza Hut pizza and even longer since it’s been delivered to my door, and, considering I’d performed about 7 hours worth of physical activity, I wasn’t concerned about calories. It was freaking delicious. I sprawled out on the couch and ate half of a medium pan pizza (cheese!) while watching Cops on TV.

So what does a normal person do the day after training for 7 hours? Trick question- normal people don’t train for 7 hours!

I woke up yesterday morning and suited up for our usual 70+ mile Sunday ride. It was tough- We rode in to the Outdoors store on Union with a breeze of a headwind, then rode out with a big group to the Shelby Forest General Store. I rode hard with the group part of the way, but then split off and did my own sub-threshold interval for the last few miles before the store. My legs felt surprisingly good considering what they’d done the day before.
On the way back, Ryan and I didn’t ride with the group. There were probably about 30 people out, and I don’t really like being with such a large group going 27-28mph down Watkins because the likelihood of hitting random road garbage and wrecking is higher than usual. This meant that we had to battle a pretty tough wind most of the way until we were back downtown. Ok, I’ll admit- we should have stayed with the group…

It was a tough ride back. I think I got close to my limit on physical activity for the weekend, because by the time we were a few miles from home, the power I was able to sustain for any period of time was about 50 watts lower than normal. Once we were home, I had leftover pizza and a protein shake and passed out on the couch with Indy for about two hours.

So this is probably going to be a normal weekend for me from now on. Hopefully it will prepare me for whatever long-duration endurance fun I come across- I just want to be prepared for whatever comes along, be it adventure race, MTB race, trail run, etc… you get the idea. I’m sometimes amazed at the capacity I’ve built myself up to while still being incredibly eager to see just how much more I can do.

Best graf EVER!

Here’s an article out of Denver. Seems there’s a new graffiti crew in town- The Ladies Fancywork Society. Their brand of street art includes hand-crocheted art attached to various surfaces around the city. Check it out: Channel 9 News, Denver

MTB Update!!!

Big thanks to Karen at Bikes Plus! I researched around online and decided that I want a Niner Jet9 as my badass offroad rig. Even though she wasn’t a Niner dealer, I told Karen about it to see if there was a chance that I could buy it through her. I stopped by the shop today and found out that she’s going through the process of becoming a dealer! Woohoo! Looks like I’ll have it in about two weeks.

Though I am sure that I’ll be building it with SRAM components, I’m not sure what fork and wheels to get. The I9 wheels look freakin’ AWESOME, but the cost would put the build off at LEAST another month, which would suck. I’ll probably end up getting something more practical for now and upgrade to those in the future.

So if you want to see me get this puppy up & running anytime soon, you’ll find someone to buy my Blue Rc7- 54cm: $650!

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, 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 :)