Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Landmine (destroy my hands) Marathon

Gearing: 34x17
Place: 4th SS
Time: 4:24:31

Went back to racing over the weekend.  I've been wanting to do Landmine for the last couple of years, glad I finally made it out.    I heard a few different things about the course from not bad at all to a pretty much rooty rocky sufferfest.  After actually racing it, I'm going to have to say it feel somewhere in-between the two. 

Lets start from the beginning.  As anyone around Southern New England may know the week leading up to the race was a bit rainy, and the night before/morning of the race was no different.   Now I should have checked the weather before the race but lesson learned.  So I did some tire swapping, I ditched the Bronson I had on the front and put the Mutano 2.4 up front then but my semi broken wheel with the 2.35 small block 8 on the back.  Which even with the rain worked out pretty good. 

Managed to get to Wompatuck around 8 plenty of time to get everything sorted out and pretty much kill time.  Ran into Sean Robar who I haven't seen since I used to climb.  Also ran into Carl who told me the course was rough at the start then a lot of roads/double track then rough at the end (he was wrong by the way).   Some dude was telling me he had only seen pink Bianchi like mine for sale out in P-town, don't know if it was a little dig but whatever.

Finally they called us up for the pre-staging staging.  So after the fast guys took off, us SSers lined up.  We got the go, I was fourth back through the field and made a comment to someone that we were actually having a civil start (no one was going for broke), that changed pretty quick once we hit the woods.  Moved up to 3rd and had Shawn in sight till the first aid station, all the while Will was gone never to be seen again.  The rest of the first lap involved riding with the back half of the Cat 1 guys, some where in goods moods joking about crappy line choices and the weather,  while others were not in the best of moods.  One dude from Bikebarn had a brain on his Specialized that was clicking and clacking all over the place rode with him for awhile.  Then moved one, heard someone yell my name through the woods when the course doubled back it took a few seconds to realize who it was but it was Rich Loring from NBX about 3 minutes up so that was a nice motivation to push it a bit. 

Finished the first lap around 2:07, went to the NEMBA tent and switched bottles then went out again.  About 2 minutes in I realized I forgot to change out my gloves out to the dry ones that I had sitting next to the my bottles.  That was pretty much the changing point of the race, my gloves were getting stretched out from being wet and were rubbing in all the wrong places.  This was pretty much the turning point in the race.   The gloves were bunching under my palm and after crashing in a corner after the only climb, and rolling down the hill through the woods (strange how 500 people can make a course change), they were now covered in mud.  This made holding on to the bars and hitting the brakes a bit pain full.  The good news was that it made me forget how much my lower back was hurting.

The rest of the second lap was pretty much me riding alone (again weird when there were 500 people out), until I reached down to grab a bottle at some point half way through the lap, hit a bump then hit the ground.  I layed there for a bit, looked down at my knee saw some blood but not too much hoped back on and heard on your left figured it was the bikebarn guy again.  Nope he only had one gear, it was too late the damage was done it was Arnold Roest ( he picked p 2nd) going by.  Not going to lie that was pretty defeating, I knew I was down to fourth may hands and know my knee were killing me so I cruised along for a bit, in not the best mood.  Then a geared rider came up, rode with him for a bit,  joking about the course and how we were both hurting, then moved on.  Once I hit the 4th aid station I figured it was only a bit till the end so I picked up the pace.  Ended up missing 3rd by 49 seconds.  I was happy with my result, but my legs had more in them I just couldn't ride full pace and hold on to the bars.  It may finally be time to get a fork for the Bianchi.  Does anyone even make 26" 80mm forks anymore?

The after math of the race,  actually have a bruise on my right palm (didn't think that was possible), some bruises on my back, and my knee is all swollen up.  Was it a good time, damn straight.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back at it

Signed up for the Landmine Marathon, first race since May.  Since then, lifes been busy, I had a fracture in my left hand that had me riding the road a bit and trying to tough out riding in the woods.  It finally got to the point that I haven't ridden in the woods in month, but it seems fine now so here we go. 

Now I just have to figure out the gearing for Sunday, and hope that my hand holds together.  I guess we'll find out Sunday.  See you all there.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Been a while

Things have been busy, not much racing, some riding.  A few weeks back me and Alby did the north south trail out and back, I should say Alby did whole shebang 156 miles, I did 106 miles.  Good times were had by all. 

Alot of riding down at Arcadia, some broken stuff, fell chipped my elbow bone last week, messing around at the ledges shit hurt.   Went to ride today, got stuck out in a thunder storm half way around Breakheart, it was probably the sketchest ride in a long long time.  Heard the crack of lighting then bang of the thunder all around me.  

I've been riding the semi broken Niner for awhile, it's time to bust out the Tranny again and see whats faster. 

Monday, May 14, 2012


Managed to get a bunch of riding in over the weekend.  Saturday the wife had to take the MTEL test up in Fitchburg.  Her sister lives in Gardner, and the plan was to all go eat after the test.  Problem was I was in RI and they were all up in Northern MA.  Didn't seem to make any sense to drive two cars up there, so the plan was hatched to just ride up.  Then Saturday morning I figured I had all day to get up there so why not ride the One 9 with knobby tires, stupid gearing, and a bag full of clothes. 

A little over half way there and my GPS battery died.  I really hate not knowing how much further I have to go, and this was no different.  Finally made it in a little under 4 hours.  Then the torture started, got to Gardner around 4, her test didn't end till 5:30 then she had a 30min drive to Gardner.  Then drive to the Ale House, order appetizers and food wait over a hour for the food to come so finally eat something at almost 7:30.  Then  proceed to eat everything in sight. 

Sunday, wake up realize legs don't feel like crap.  Know I'm going to be riding dirt roads, roads, double track, and single track.  Decide to swap tires for CX tires.  Drive down to Arcadia meet up with Brendan and head north on the North South Trail.   The CX tires were much faster than the knobbies, but made the bike feel weird.  We managed a good pace, no mechanicas which is always nice, but by the end my legs were a bit dead from 2 days of spinning 34x17 all over the place.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Got to Massasoit nice and early, went out and did a lap.  Already regretting not taking the time to switch out the rigid for some squish.  Gearing seemed OK (34x19) sucked on the few steep hills and to easy for the long fire road sections, but good on everything else.   Realized that I had not brought enough water, luckily I ran into Carl who said he would pass me a bottle and fill on up for me if I needed it.

Eventually we line up, take off, look down GPS says I'm going 27 mph, still managed to be at the back of the pack going into the woods.  Damn you road starts, stuck in traffic as the rest of the group pulls away.  Finally get around a few people but the damage has already been done everyone has already ridden off into the sunset.  Put head down and pedal, finally start to see glimpses of people through the woods, pedal faster.  Up a hill down the other side bouncing all over the place on the loose rocks.  Up another hill fly down the back side, this time to much bouncing not enough traction.  Hello tree my friend, smash into a tree with the left side of my body/head.  Sit there for a second winds gone from the lungs, finally get up.  Start riding but now I way to cautious in the loose sections, fun is gone.  On the fire road section leader from the group behind passes me, I'm doing 16-17mph and just can't spin any faster.  Come in for the lap, bag it.  Not having fun, heads in a mini fog.

Tried to ride yesterday down at Arcadia.  Couldn'y pull up on the bars to climb or lift the front end without a stabbing pain and the occasional pop click in my left shoulder.    Looks like I'll be riding the road bike for awhile.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Winding Trails

Gearing: 34x19
Place: 1st 19-29 Cat 2

So I finally did what USA cycling said I had to do.  So that's over with now which is nice.  Now to the actual race report.

Woke up Sunday morning and before hitting the road checked the weather, the rain was now supposed to hold off till about 1.    Hoped in the car and started driving.  I was in my wife's car which doesn't have a ipod hookup, and Sunday morning radio is probably one of the worst things to listen to when one you're tired and two you have to listen to it.  Acoustic rock and preachers preaching are pretty low down on my things I like to listen to while driving to a race list. 

Finally got down to Farmington and played the "hey there's someone with a bike on the roof I'm going to follow them" it worked I found winding trails.  Parked, got registered, went to get changed realized I had forgotten my towel, debated if dropping my draws in the parking lot would be in bad taste, went to the little boys room changed, came back ran in to Mike Samartano and John Sumner.   Me and Mike went to pre-ride the course. 

We got back at almost 11:10 and by the time I hit the little boys room again, everyone was already lined up.   I had no clue what order they had the groups in so I asked someone in the first group what age group it was and he said 19-29.  Ok found my spot, so line up pretty much back row.  Same kid turns to me and says "this is 19-29 for gears" to which I replied "I know" and again he "but this is for gears" again I said "I know", this exchange continued a few more times.  Finally some said go, we were going real slow up the hill, I had time to count and then recount how far back I was, 13 riders back.  All I could think was great this is ging to be fun. 

We didn't even make it into the singletrack before someone stopped for no reason.  Then when we hit the singletrack sections it was alot of stop go, followed by everyone sprinting like crazy men on the fire roads.   There were quiet a few people who "burned all their matches" in the first 15 min, then there was the kid who was determined to not let anyone past him swerving in front of people and throwing a few elbows.   Managed to get around everyone by half way through the first lap then it was riding by myself the rest of the race.  However I thought there was still someone up ahead who had gotten away when mister elbows was holding everyone up. 

So kept on riding looking for that mystery person ahead of me, started the second lap still no sight of them.   Going through the transition starting the third lap, they said I had a huge lead and there was never anyone in front of me.   Well thats was nice to know, soft pedaled the fire roads and worked my way through lap traffic.  Finished hung out for a few the person who came in second (sorry can't remember your name) managed to chip his teeth up pretty good trying to get his gel out of his jersey pocket,  Mike S grabbed 3 in the Cat 2 SS.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Leesburg Report

Gear: 34x19
Place: 9th out of 15

This is going to be a day late and a short.

Got to Leesburg set up, pre-ride, say to myself holy shit this is fast. Dried clay that was as hard as pavement. Drink some beer, go to sleep, wake up to someone setting their car alarm off at 5am. Seemed like as good a time as any to get up, just needed to kill time till the start.

So we line up and everyone gets in a line, then the people who show up 5 min late and line up on the side pretty much turning being in the 3rd row to the 15 row. Someone yells go the kid in front of me hasn't clipped either pedal in yet and just stands there. Great, get going try to get around as many people as I can, then we're walking. What the fuck this course is about as technical as a sidewalk what could be casing people to walk. Oh that's right there's a 1 foot maybe 2 foot step-up. So that means everyone gets to show off their best walking cx dismount. Damn some kid just said screw it and is riding through the woods to get around everyone, other people start to follow. This is like a traffic jam where the first one to drive in the breakdown lane makes it OK for everyone else. Manage to get around the gnar and work my way through the pine groves. Finish the first lap in 44 min.

Got out on the second lap things were much better, not as much traffic can actual hold momentum through the corners having a blast. Lap 2-6 fly by all around 40 min. Legs were feeling great I was eating & drinking. It was getting hot, and bit dusty from all the traffic.

Going out on my 7th lap and I'm stuck towards the end of a group going about the same pace as me, going through the pine groves the dust/dirt was just hanging around no wind to clear it out and being behind a group of 5 or so I was breathing it in. Didn't think to much of it till later in the lap when I went through another dusty section and couldn't really breath all to well. When I got back to the pit area I was weezing and coughing, it took about 15-20 min before I could breath normal again. Instead of doing the samrt thing and waiting a bit longer I hoped back on and went out again. When I came in from the 8th lap I knew I was done, samething weezing and coughing. It took almost and hour and most of the wifes inhaler till I could catch my breath again.

Still it was blast except for the first lap weirdness.