Friday, May 30, 2008

On to Mohican

I'm leaving in a couple of hours to travel to Ohio for the Mohican 100 with Robin, Shari and Ryan, the same trio that went to the Cohutta 100 with me in April. It looks like we are going to have the same weather as we did back then. Is there a connection somewhere?

I just hope it's better conditions than two years ago when the picture below was taken the day before the race.

Friday Night, May 30
Low: 60 °F RealFeel®: 59 °F
Couple of severe t-storms; t-storms can bring downpours, large hail, damaging winds, and a tornado

Saturday, May 31
High: 75 °F RealFeel®: 72 °F
Considerable cloudiness with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm; breezy

Friday, May 23, 2008

LOHS May 21st results

Here are the results for the May 21st MTB race at Lake Orion High School
Read this doc on Scribd: LOHS MTB May 21 Final Results

Finally, a Lake Orion High School MTB Race Completed

After being rained out two weeks ago we finally managed to hold our first race, the second one on the schedule, if that makes sense. Of course it was nice all week except on our race afternoon when the rain slowly moved in and was spitting on and off during the races. Fortunately the harder rain held off until after the races were over.

While we had a small student turnout, we had a decent adult group given the weather. The older Advanced Men class, which is mine, had the biggest group of the day with 8 racers.

At the start the front guys took off so fast the rest of us lasted about a minute before falling off the pace. I slowly worked my way back up to one rider and the my team mate Bernie, who was glued to my wheel, and I passed him 3/4 way through the first lap. Bernie stayed right behind me for 4.5 laps before falling in a singletrack section and I was finally able to put a gap on him. I ended up 3rd and Bernie was 4th. The races only lasted about an hour but it was at a very fast pace since it was short in comparison to weekend races. But that was the intent.

Everyone seemed to have a good time and the school was pleased as well. Hopefully the weather will be better for the next race and those who raced will spread the word. The next two races are June 4th and 11th. We have moved the student races back to a 5:45 start time to allow parents more time to get their kids to the races.

I want to thank Rochester Bike Shop for providing pre-race bike inspections and to Peppy's Pizza for their donation of pizzas for after the kids races.

Pictures from the race can be found here

Need to get caught up

I guess I've been slacking lately and not updating my blog. Both the people who read it are probably wondering where I've been.

Last weekend was the 6/12 hour race at Addison Oaks and I wasn't sure if I was going since I still had a cold. But since it's so close to my house it wouldn't be a total waste of time if I didn't race the whole thing. Besides it was being used as a training ride and not a priority race.

The turnout was the biggest ever for the Addison Oaks endurance races. That meant a lot of competition in most classes and a lot of the big guns came out to play. Probably because this race was close to them also. With the high gas prices the proximity of races will probably being playing a bigger factor in the decision to race or not.

I started off pretty fast for the first two laps and then dialed it back some. I was starting to feel the effects of the cold and ended up pulling in the pits after 6laps, thinking I was done. I stood around for a while and decided to go back out and did two more before really feeling lousy. But my laps were pretty consistent so I was happy about that. My ride time was 4.5 hours so it was good training for the Mohican 100 on the 31st.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

A big thank you to mothers everywhere on your day. And a special one to Emily as she celebrates her first Mother's Day with Oliver and Jason. Plus another one on the way.

The picture at the top is of Oliver and if you make it larger you can see that he looks full of mischief. I bet he will be just like his father so it should be interesting. It's funny but we were listening to a comic on the radio today talking about how parents enjoy watching their grandchildren putting the parents through the same things they went through.

Oliver is growing so fast but at least in today's digital age we can see him in pictures and video posted on the Internet. Jason has posted updates on his blog. It's not the same as seeing him in person but it helps. They will all be back in August to visit before their move to Spokane.

On the bike I've been putting in some bigger efforts leading up to the Mohican 100 at the end of the month. This Saturday I'll be doing the Addison Oaks 6 hour race as part of the training build. Then the next day is another long effort as well. The idea is to continue to build in time and effort up until a week or two before an important event and then taper.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Rotten timing

We had to postpone our first race today at Lake Orion High School. All week it has been nice, or at least not raining, including this morning. And tomorrow it is supposed to be nice as well. But a storm was building that finally moved in about 2:00 PM and we made the decision to not hold the race. But here it is 5:30 and it's not raining any more.

One of the reasons for the race was to get people out to try it and have fun. We didn't want their first experience to be in the rain or have the trail conditions be a problem. The ground is hard enough that it wouldn't be very muddy but it would be wet and we might damage some of the school's grass. Plus we didn't think too many people would show up with the threat of rain.

We will make up the race on June 11 but the next race will be May 21. In the meantime we may be able to find some more trail to add.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Ft. Custer Race Recap

It turned into a gorgeous day for racing at Ft. Custer. This is probably one of my favorite trails to race as it has lots of fun singletrack, moderate climbs, and a relatively shallow creek crossing on each lap. Many others think so too as the turnout is usually high for this race.

My race can best be summed up as I'm glad there were only three laps since each lap I lost a place, finishing third. I started out OK, cruising comfortably on the wheel of the eventual winner. I went around him just before a long section of singletrack so I could go my own pace but he later passed me back after we got to an open section and motored away. I didn't feel I could keep his pace so I let him go.

I had the second lap to myself but had caught site of the third place guy near the end of the first lap. I never saw him again until shortly after the start of the third lap. He caught up to me as I started to sense my power drop and he went around me and also rode off. I managed to finish a few minutes in front of the fourth place guy but in another lap he probably would have passed me also.

I think I may still have some residual fatigue from the Cohutta race which caused me to slow slightly by the time the race was over. But I felt like I was riding pretty well so I am not going to complain too much. But it definitely reminded me of why I prefer the longer races. I prefer to spread out the pain instead of feeling in all in just two hours.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Big and bigger news

First the biggest news. I am going to be a grandpa again! Jason and Emily decided that one child was so much fun that they wanted another to keep Oliver company. Actually they are planning for a large family so they are well on their way. From what we have seen so far they are great parents and really enjoying the family life. Anyone who has seen the pictures on Jason's blog can see how happy they are. We wish we could be closer to see them more often.

And in related news, Jason and Emily have decided to follow their hearts and faith and will be moving to Spokane to take positions at Mount St. Michael's Academy. Jason taught there a few years ago and he and Emily were married there last year. Jason will be teaching physical education and another subject TBD, while Emily will be starting a preschool at the Mount.

They have been offered living quarters in the school and in fact have the entire floor of one of the wings that was originally for housing the girls that lived on campus. They will have about 2500 square feet of space complete with kitchen, living areas, and several bedrooms. Plenty of space for two kids to run around and hide in. And they will also have space for guests.

While we certainly enjoyed visiting in Montana and the beauty of the outdoors, Spokane will provide them with quite a few options they couldn't really get in the relatively rural setting they are in now. And there are more flights into Spokane should we get the chance to visit.

We wish them all the best as they prepare to take on new challenges, both as a family and in their careers.

An aerial view of the academy, I think their new home will be the lower floor of the wing to the left.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Keeping it local

The team for the bike shop I work at part time, Cycletherapy, put on a MTB skills and race clinic as part of the effort to get the community interested in mountain biking and at the same time promoting the weeknight race series. Various topics were covered on bike preparation, what to do at a race, and how to handle various situations on the trail.

After the talk, conducted by THE Jay Jones, the attendees were split into groups by skill levels and taken out to practice what they had just learned. All the groups got a chance to ride the race course at least once, with some opting for several laps.

The mix of riders included quite a few students from all grade levels as well as adults. Hopefully they will go back and tell their friends how much fun they had and we can get even more next time. I think the instructors had just as much fun as the kids.

Next week is the first race in the 3 race series and we already have a good number of pre-entries. I think the course will be a good one for beginner and experienced riders alike. Race information can be found here.