Friday, April 24, 2009

Still Obsessing

I am still obsessing over the 3 extra minutes it took me to do the time trial. You would think I get paid to race or something the way I worry about it. My average heart rate was 172; very low for a time trail. Either I lack motivation, raced too conservatively on what was a pretty tight, technical course, or I am just getting old. Probably a little of all three.

I may do a time trial in Pontiac Sunday. It wasn't on my list of races to do, but it is local and a beautiful course. It will be my first time trial on a single speed.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yankee Springs TT (Part II)

In a previous post back in February (Yankee Springs Time Trial) I stated:

I am shooting for a time of 1:46. Placing at Yankee Springs is out of the question but finishing in the top 50% is still on this side of theoretically possible, and that aint bad.

I did a 1:49 yesterday, placing me 22nd out of 39. Not horrible; I did both loops faster than the single loop I did in last year’s time trial. But the thing is, this whole blog was based on the goal of finishing in the top 50% at Yankee Springs for me to continue with my attempt for a top 5 place in an Expert race.

True to my word, I am scraping this goal and will drop down to Sport Single Speed. There are a lot of fast Sport Single Speeders so it’s not like I will be stopping half way through the race to have a picnic or anything. I think this class is where I belong.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Yesterday started the Thursday night Poto group rides. I lopped about 5 minutes off my normal time. I did an easy recover ride tonight. The plan was to go to Yankee Springs a day early to pre-ride the course but things got a little complicated; I will do a ride around Brighton tomorrow then will leave for the West side of the State Early Sunday for the time trial. I have a good feeling about this season.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

'Think I Need a Tattoo

Yankee Springs is only 3 days away. Some of my entries end with: “I have a good feeling about this season.” I didn’t really have a good feeling but I try to keep the sunny disposition of a high school cheerleader. I am pretty much the same racer I was last year, just a few pounds lighter. I need a quick fix. My bike weighs just under 21 lbs so I’m not going to be able to drop any weight there. Maybe I need those silly expensive ceramic bearing rear derailleur pulleys…those might launch me up the hills like I was being shot out of a cannon. Sure. I could shave my legs…no…I’m not that secure. A tattoo…that is what I need; in fact, now that I think about it, I can trace all my failures as a bicycle racer down to the fact that I don’t have a single tattoo. I made a sketch. It’s not great but I am an engineer, not an artist. Yeah, I can’t pull that off. ‘Think I will go back to the ceramic bearing rear derailleur pulley idea.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Grand Rapids

I just spent four days pre-riding Fort Custer and Yankee Springs while my family was in Florida. My lap times were not encouraging but I am glad I could spend some quality time in Grand Rapids before my races on 4/19 and 5/3.
I have raced on both courses several times but never rode there just for fun. I had a great time. I was amazed how nice the trails were. Someone there on the West side of the State deserves kudos for setting them up.
This new perspective on trails I raced but ever took the time to really look at got me to thinking about how many things in life I rush through and don't appreciate. Maybe I shouldn't spend so much time at 177 BPM.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

On the Road Again

Four posts ago, blinded by warm weather, the arrival of Spring, and the optimistic belief that global warming was more than a hoax, I said I was making the transition from the road to the trails. An early Spring snow has made the trails unrideable so I was back on the road. I wanted to do a long ride today so that was fine. The problem is, it was such a nice day and I was in such a good mood, I didn't ride hard. Well disciplined racers can choose a heart rate they want to ride at and ride at it. I on the other hand start off motivated then start looking around, taking in the scenery, plan dinner, try to take pictures while riding, then notice I spent the last 2 hrs at 145 BPM. I am never going to improve if I keep having fun. I am going to pre-ride Yankee Springs this weekend. Hopefully I wont have so much fun.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Are You F'n Kidding Me?

I read the blogs of elite racers. It is clear I am not that dedicated to the sport; their blogs read like: “today as part of my training plan, my coach had me drive across the country to do a 6 hr endurance race so I could figure out what nutrition works best for me under these conditions." Whatever. Given the level I race at, I really have made an effort this season. I got up and rode before work, I did hill intervals when it was 17 degrees out, I took vacation days to get in long rides, I did road rides on roads so icy that if you so much as hiccuped you would go down. My split times indicate I am faster than I was last year at this time. The final step before the Yankee Springs Time Trial on 4/19 is to pre-ride the course this weekend.

Normally I go to Florida this time of year but with the current state of GM, I figured I should stay around here so I sent my family off to Florida without me. An economic recession is no reason for my daughters not to have breakfast with the Disney princesses. I will have a long weekend to myself so I rented a cabin across the state near Yankee Springs. Kevin is going across state too and will meet me there. I plan on riding Yankee Springs non-stop for the better part of four days, rest the following week, and do a decent time trial on the 19th.

I woke up this morning to 7 inches of snow. This wasn’t in my plan. Mother Nature better get her act together before Friday.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Staying Healthy

I don’t get sick; I hesitated to post that incase I jinx myself. For some reason, flues and colds and other ailments just pass right over me. They always have. I really want to stay healthy this month so I can do Yankee Springs and Fort Custer without anything preventing me from turning in a good time. Lately I have taken an almost obsessive compulsive approach to avoiding germs. I bought Allie an ice cream cone this week. She was going on and on how good it was and gave it to me to take a lick. All I could see were her precious little germs infesting this half eaten Bumpy Cake ice cream. I felt guilty for not taking a lick, as if sharing germs with your child is an act of intimacy. Everyone at work is sick. After I shake their hands, or take a piece of paper from them, or touch their computer keyboard, I wash my hands like I am about to perform brain surgery. I have used so much Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer (“with Moisturizers” my ass) that my hands are dry and cracked to the point where it hurts to get them wet. But I am healthy. I need to make it 30 more days.