Sunday, February 22, 2009

Strapping on the boards

Finally! We ended up getting a few inches of snow yesterday and another inch overnight so Sandy and I were able to get out and do some XC skiing. This was my first time on the new skis.

Comparing new and old skis is like comparing night and day. The old pair are old, old school. Three pin bindings, super long, and more ski shoe than boot. The new skis are significantly shorter, slightly parabolic with metal edges, step in bindings, and more like a hiking boot.

The new skis need to be skied a little more aggressively than the old pair to make the best use of the grip. I think maybe the old pair have been used so long that there isn't as much spring left in them so the kick area contacts the snow all the time. Which may also explain why the new ones are so much faster when gliding. And it was nice to not have snow get inside my boots for a change.

Earlier this morning I headed to Lansing for the MMBA annual meeting and expo to help set up the Cannondale display with our sales rep, Jason. This was a new venue for the meeting which previously has been held over on the east side. The Lansing facility was much nicer from a comfort and space perspective but the attendance appeared down from previous years. Especially the lack of swap meet vendors, usually a big draw for attendees.

I was able to score a few items at a good deal, all new stuff from the Cannondale area. Included in my deals was a sweet carbon BB30 crank for a new Cannondale frame yet to be ordered. I want to try something a little different this year along with my usual 29'er bikes. I can't tell yet what it is until I actually build it.

Yesterday I beat the snow and was able to ride outside for almost 3.5 hours. Not nearly as many miles as last weekend but I was riding several of the local trails instead of all the roads. Speaking of roads, most of the dirt roads were very icy and more than once my studded tires saved me from going down.

Hopefully they will get the roads cleared this week so we can get out again for some longer rides. It won't be too long before the racing season is upon us.

My new crank for a hopefully new frame.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Going Green

Much has been written about the need to "go green". If you notice, my blog layout has changed some to match the sentiment. But Cannondale is going green in more than just the environmental direction. While I haven't seen our new team kits yet I did see a sample team frame and Cannondale Factory Racing looks like it too is going green. Pictures to come when I get them.

Of course the big news around our area is the announcements made today by Chrysler and GM about their restructuring plans. It is of some concern that Chrysler has stated that if they don't get the money then they would probably have to cease operations as we know it. Now it is up to the government to decide our short term fate.

At least this week has been somewhat stable in terms of weather. Seven of us headed out to do a longer ride on Saturday in the middle of a snowfall but the roads were still manageable. I ended up with four hours and on Sunday got out for about another three.

Unfortunately we haven't had enough snow to allow me to use my new XC skis that arrived the Friday it got into the 50's. I hope we get some soon or I may have to take a trip up north just to try them out.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

LOHS Run Results

I finally got around to adding the results for the running race we had last weekend. Not a lot of runners this year even though we stepped up our promotion.
Winter 09 Run Final Results

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Race Results LOHS 2/7/09

Here are the results from the mountain bike race at Lake Orion High School on 2/7/09
Winter 09 MTB Final Results

Sunday, February 08, 2009

First race of the season is in the bag

Yesterday was the 2nd annual Lake Orion High School winter race that I help to coordinate. With all the snow we have had this year the school grounds crew and myself put a lot of time into trying to get the course ridable by plowing, compacting, and snow blowing as much of the 3.2 mile course as possible. The day before the race it was about 98% there. But the almost 50 degree temperature at race time undid most of what we had accomplished.

It became apparent on my preride that the course was quickly breaking down and would be difficult to ride. I made a decision to reduce the number of laps since this was supposed to be a fun race, not a death march. Although by the second lap I was thinking it was more of the latter. There were very few stretches of the trail that were ridable so the laps turned into 2.5 mile jogs. Some sections were better on the second lap, some were worse.

At the start our group headed up the school driveway and out on to the course. We immediately cam to the signature feature, the ride down the sledding hill. Unlike the day before it was now very soft so that we pretty much ran and slid down the hill to the next section of trail. It too was soft and we formed a line of runners pushing bikes. At times we would hop on only to ride about 100 feet and have to get off again.

Fairly early on four of us managed to separate ourselves from the rest of the field but by the end of the first lap two of the riders managed to get a small lead on myself an another rider. I raced most of the race with the other guy and we stayed together until I started to tire from running and fell back. I could tell I was tired because I would jump on the bike to try and ride and then fall over in the deep snow.

As it was, I finished 4th overall and not too far back. My calves are sore from the run and my back also from the pushing. Biking shoes are definitely not designed for running any great distance.

The attendance at this year's race was higher than last year and everyone seemed to have a good time despite the conditions. It was a chance to break the cabin fever and enjoy being back on a bike outdoors, no matter how much we were actually able to pedal.

We have a spring series of races at the school in May and the fall race is scheduled again for October. Hopefully we have good weather for a change.

Below are some more shots of the family in Spokane.