Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The bike of choice for the my endurance races

Many of you may wonder what kind of bike someone rides for 100 miles in the woods. I have ridden all kinds of bikes, and for now I've come to the conclusion that simple is better when your relying on your bike to get you through hours of riding in remote places. I picked a hardtail 29er for my endurance bike because I needed this simplicity but found the standard 26" wheels on a simple hardtail (no rear suspension) to have less desireable traits for racing 100 miles. After much debate I set my sights on the Sette Razzo 29er from Pricepoint.com. I have been impressed by the bike on all my training rides, and have now completed my first long race on the bike. The race was the annual Galena Grinder in Sun Valley, Idaho. The course involved over 3000 feet of elevation change on each lap. Riders in my race category complete two 22 mile laps. I can say that the bike performed flawlessly. With the bike taken care of, now I guess its my turn to make sure I'm ready for the challenges that lay ahead.
**UPDATE** I just made this video... sorry its lame, I'll blame my camera man :)

Galena Report and First Wave of Support

In my journey to complete the Mohican 100, I needed to complete some races to fine tune how I will approach racing my mountain bike for 9-10 hours. The race at Galena is considered to be one of the hardest races around... so naturally I found it hard to resist! It provided a great way to test my race strategy and build some base fitness going into next year. I guess I'm thinking long-term.
The Galena Grinder was one big challenge, partially due to its extreme course elevation starting at 7000 feet and going up and down a lot before climbing to 8,400 feet and then going up and down some more... Because I only trained hard for about 3 weeks prior to the race I knew I would be tested. I would have to go up to the race in the morning, ride for five-and-a-half hours, and then drive back home. I left the house at 3:30 AM and arrived at Galena Lodge by 7:00. The drive was beautiful but trechorous due to the animals moving about during those wee hours in the mountains...

At the start of the race, I lined up knowing that the next five plus hours were going to challenge me, and I was right. The race started quickly, and I raced conservative on the first lap. My heart rate was right where it would be if I were going for an easy jog, and I was able to keep it there until the killer climbing began. After pushing my body and bike up to an elevation of around 8,400 feet only to have to go back down and then do it again.

By the end of the first lap, I was feeling great. I met up with a strong rider who rode with me for the next 10 miles until I started to hit my limit around mile 32. Thats right about when I had to go back up the huge hill again, and I did all I could to survive. For the last ten miles, I simply held on and rode as hard as possible dispite some cramping and a minor mishap with a large stick... ouch! Finishing was one of the best experiences I have ever had on a bike... I'm so glad to have reached an important milestone in the preparation for the Mohican 100. I know what I can and cannot do during long races and how to push through when the going is tough.

After returning home and recovering, I found out that I actually placed third in my division... guess I should have stayed for the awards, but I was anxious to get home.
Some of you have received an email from me, please continue to think about how you can help me fight child abuse and neglect. Feel free to email me at any time...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Bike and New Challenges

I'm expecting a new bike tomorrow, and as I anticipate the arrival of the aluminum steed that will take me through the next chapter of adventures, I can't help but reflect on my spiritual journey that is already in progress.

Last night I was reading my devotions and Bible and realized that the journey I'm taking as an athlete is a very small part of who I am. I realize that without my Lord remaining as number one on this path I'm on I will quickly become lost. So I am beginning a chapter of endurance training and racing I am doing this as a Christian first and Husband/Father second.

I hope you will continue to follow me as I train both spiritually and physically for the challenges that lie ahead.