Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer 2010 Recap

Contrary to the post activity, it has been a pretty eventful summer.

A few highlights:

Wendell NEMBA MBAS the first week of July was a spectacular event on a spectacular day. Over 100 riders come out to sample our trails in this secluded, yet easy to reach park on the eastern ridge of the Connecticut River valley. I laid out loops for Beginners (well not really, over 1500' of climbing in about 7 miles), intermediates and experts that I expected would take each group a bit over 2 hours. Success on all counts if folks found and followed all the arrows. There were a few issues here and there on that count.

USA Cycling Nationals Granby CO
I took the kids and a few friends out to Granby, mostly so Matt could race, but Jeff and I entered the Sport class and did OK. Jeff flatted, couldn't get his pump to get any air into the rental bike's Schrader Tube, and rode the flat for a lap and a quarter. I finished a few minutes behind the guy in front of me feeling very much out of my Oxygen saturated element. Still had the best Sport time of any New England Rider, though I was DFL in my age bracket.

All the kids had a great time in Colorado, and it was a good way to get over the recent tragic deaths of my two labs.

Hop Brook Dam
The first Mass Race that I entered on the Zaskar this year, the course is bony, rooty and badly overridden by both Mountain Bikes and Motos. Even so, though it puts the hurt on the body, I rode OK finishing 4th in the class and taking runner-up in the Mass State Championships (In state riders only). The carbon hardtail served up the trails pretty will that day, though my body could have used a bit more cushion than was available.

Millstone Grind
I had a great time at this course, really enjoying the trails and having a pretty good ride. I was riding the On-One with the Hammerschmidt for this race and unfortunately the chain kept derailling inside the chain-guide. When I got home and pulled it apart, I found crap compacted under the chain all the way around that was keeping it from seating on the chainring. That added friction had to have accounted for the 8th of 12 in my class finish.

New Bike
Built up a Jet-9 with most of the parts off the Rush. One good ride so far, I'll hope to keep up more often.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Whoa - I guess I should update this once in a while

Been a really quiet spring/summer riding wise.

I've only entered two races so far and DNF'd both. One physical, one mechanical. Seems that everytime I get on a bike lately something bad happens. Derailleurs self destruct, Tubeless tires flop off the bead, chains break, or I notice the clamp on the Lefty has these little hairline cracks all around the bolt.

Been getting into the woods plenty maintaining the stock of local goods, lots of activity there due to the plethora of nasty little wind events.

Hoping to finally get some decent saddle time in in July and August

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wow - where has the time gone

OK - it isn't really peak riding season any more, and the Skiing has kept me away from the blog...

I did get out a few times on the snow last week with the dogs. PV NEMBA will be resuming weekly rides starting Saturday. More later

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It is Fall in New England

Racing Season finished up with a whimper (on my part) in Hingham MA at the Landmine Classic. I wasn't quite DFL, but sure felt like it. Mechanicals, Flats, and Physical Malaise led to a less than memorable performance. With that, I started in earnest on building and buffing up a small CX loop in the back field. No elevation to speak of, but lots of twisty grass turns to polish up the handling skills.

A couple of weeks ago at NEMBAfest at Bear Brook in NH, I demo'd the new GT Sensor. 5" of travel based on the I-Drive. Rides really nice. Have to look into adding one of these to the fleet if I decide to replace the incumbent 5" trail bike.

First opportunity I took to evaluate how CX racing is, was this past weekend in Providence RI. Havng never done this, I was surprised to do as well as I did, 42 and 44 of 60 odd participants in the Cat4 35+ group on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Aside from those two events, lots of local riding.

Lots of fun.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Bike is Back

Just after I was again well enough to ride, my frame was hit with a nasty skin condition. All is once again well thanks to the folks at GT and Highland Bike.

We should be back looking for a good time at the Landmine Classic in Hingham in front of the Golden Groupies on Sunday,


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Being sick is no fun...

Taking 2 weeks off from riding to recover from a nasty intestinal infection is no fun. From the morning ride with Kathy and John on the Deerfield Ridge, I hadn't ventured onto a bike until this past friday.

That drought was pretty well remedied in the past few days though. Friday the boys and I did a pretty quick spin through Robinson in Agawam. I really wanted to see if I was going to feel up to the riding I had arranged for this weekend. I felt pretty good, so the plans for Saturday would go forward.

Saturday morning, up early to get Matt off for the start of the 170K D2R2 (, then back to sleep for a couple hours until I had to leave for the 15 miles on the Road Bike up to Deerfield for the 100K start. The 170K is arguably one of the hardest organized bike ride in the country - 15,000 feet of climbing on the back roads of Franklin County and southern Vermont. (If you haven't been in the area, back roads usually means gravel or dirt roads!) The easier 100K ride, also on about 50% dirt, features only 7000 feet of climbing. Weather for the day was clear and hot, not too much humidity, but the few open climbs were particularly nasty with the afternoon sun baking us to a crisp.

In spite of the weeks off the bike, I rode pretty well, until I started cramping a little bit on the last few rollers. For this ride, I select my new GTR-CX. This bike treated me real well, though I could have benefitted from a little bit easier gearing, unfortunately there aren't many 11-32/34 10 speed cassettes around... Next year those should be more easy to find. I found this bike extremely stable on the sketchy descents. It showed great predictability in the soft gravel endemic to many of the steeps.

Sunday I headed southeast to the NEMBA Adventure Series Ride at F. Gilbert Hill State Forest in Foxborough. I jumped onto a led ride so I wouldn't have to push, but could still enjoy the trails. A great recovery ride on some nice rocky rooty single track.

Being sick is no fun...