Monday, June 30, 2008


Logging Hours

Chris got a personalized training plan from David Grigsby this past week. I am following the plan only in the sense that I'm riding for about the same amount of time. Even though I'm not really using the training plan, I figure the extra time in the saddle alone will be helpful for me, or at the very least will add some consistency to my riding. Needless to say, I put in a lot more hours in the saddle in the last week than I have been in a while. Since the wedding, we've been lucky if we've gotten two days of riding in a week.

Chris and I haven't actually been riding together, although we've been riding at the same time and at the same place. At Burchfield, you can ride all kinds of different trails and hardly ever run into each other. For the sake of his training, I've been riding my own route since he has to ride in a specific way and he can't wait for me like he usually would.

I'm amazed at how much it's seemed to help already. Yesterday I kind of surprised myself with how I was riding over logs and log piles without even thinking about it. I'm also getting a lot more familiar with the trail and not getting lost as much.

Here's what this past week looked like:
  • Wednesday, 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Thursday, rest day
  • Friday, 1 hour
  • Saturday, 2 hours
  • Sunday, 2 1/2 hours

Monday, June 23, 2008


So, my exciting news is that I test rode a 29er yesterday (see how I dragged that out to heighten the suspense?). Anne is going to be selling a couple of hers and she let me take this one out for a spin. I locked out the rear suspension since the one I will be getting is a hardtail and I didn't want to get spoiled.

Of course, that also meant having to ride with Anne. I didn't even come close to keeping up with her and she made me ride over stuff like this logpile going downhill that I really didn't want to attempt. (So what if it took me about four false starts before I actually made it.) If I could ride more with Anne, I would have to improve. I think even riding with her that one time will help me.

It was very interesting and different riding the 29er. I thought it would scare me, and I did feel like I was riding a lot higher, but it was a good thing. That thing rolled over rocks and roots like they were nothing. It was also nice to ride a bike that was light, as opposed to mine, which weighs a ton.

Even though this is a blurry picture, it is photographic proof that I actually did ride it or at least it would be if you could tell it was me.

We had a good time and including the bit we rode before Anne got there, spent about two hours riding. That's longer than our usual hour or so and will help prepare us for what's to come. I'll talk about that a little later.

Thanks to Anne for being so patient but still pushing me.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My mom dances on tables!

I just have time for a quick post before heading out to do something very exciting and bike-related, which I will post about later, probably tomorrow morning. We had our at-home wedding reception Friday night. It was a blast. My mom was the life of the party as usual. Chris posted some photos on his Flickr page. Now that all this wedding stuff is well and truly finished, my blog can go back to its regularly scheduled purpose. I should have some interesting stuff to post in the next few days.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Good Times

This weekend we went up North to help out at Lumberjack 100 and gawk at amazing mountain bike racers in the hopes that some of their "fast" would rub off on us. Floyd didn't show, but this guy did, so we had a little brush with greatness. The one thing I learned is that endurance mountain bike racers are a lot of fun to hang out with. We had an absolute blast. Mr. KissCross showered us with swag (I scored new tires, which I needed desperately), the weather was good, the trails were beautiful and we met some great people.

We worked the last shift at the aid station, so the racers who came by had been out there a long time and were eager to finish. Almost without fail, though, they were nice and very appreciative of us being there.

You know what's really cool? Meeting some super fast and nice endurance racers (like Danielle and Namrita) after spending so much time on their blogs. You know what's kind of mortifying? The fact that your husband, who's knocked back a few Founders porters, has cornered them and put them on the spot by asking them to get their picture taken with you. Even so, it was a kick for me to meet them and they were both great sports about the whole thing.

Chris and I spent the first part of the day hanging out near the trail so he could get some photos. (Some are on his Flickr page, but he took almost 500, so he's not done processing them all yet.) I amused myself while he was taking pictures by yelling encouragement at passing racers, particularly those I knew by name.

It was a good way to see the race from a different perspective, and we got a little exercise on the hike in. It sounds like one of Chris' photos may get published by Michigan Sports & Fitness, which would be pretty cool.
On a final note, our friend Anne kicked ass at the race. This is her holding up her trophy for first place in the Women's Master's division. She also came in fourth overall out of the women and knocked 1/2 hour off her time from last year. We ran into her yesterday at the Mid-State MMBA Chapter Picnic and Poker Run and what else was she doing the day after racing for 100 miles? Riding her mountain bike. I want to be hardcore like her.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Success—Hanson Hills Race Report

I had a pretty good race at Hanson Hills. Yes, that plaque is actually mine. I came in first place in my age group. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that there were only three people in my age group. I also have to say that it was a somewhat hollow victory, since the person who should have beat me by several minutes, Sheila, was on the ground with a dislocated shoulder being tended to by an EMT when I passed her at the bottom of the last downhill. I did, however, beat the person who came in third by a substantial margin and she beat me by eight minutes at Fort Custer! That made me feel really good.

I didn't meet the goal I set for myself, which was 1:10. I did finish in 1:20 and some seconds, which really was not bad. I was pretty happy with how I recovered after my ridiculously cautious race at Fort Custer. I was taking the downhills so fast I was scaring myself.

The best thing about coming in first is that I get 32 points for the Championship Point Series! That puts me in first place (at least until the two people who were ahead of me before Hanson Hills race again), but at least I'll get to bask in my glory for almost a month and a half.