Sunday, April 29, 2007

sneak peek of the vassago jabberwocky!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

holy smokes

look at the color of this bike!

It is one of Vassago's new frame colors..I'm sort of wishing I had gone with it..but I know I will like the orange too, especially with my pink headset :-) A lot of thought went into the frame color choice, given the many options..not to mention I got the opinions of several expert fashion consultants.

The new ride will be rolling next week, just in time for the Dirty Spokes 12 hour race..mmmmmmm.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Win a custom steel IF frame & fork

I got mine! Don't delay, the drawing is in 4 weeks.

GO HERE TO GET YOURS and find out more - only $5 per ticket

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cohutta 100 Pre-race and Race Report

Thursday: Eddie and I arrived in Copperhill, TN after a last minute stop at Outspokin' in Woodstock.

Many thanks to Kevin and the crew for replacing my BB..I wouldn't have made it through the race without it. I really should have replaced my cleats and pedals too....but hindsight is 20/20. We got in a short pre-ride with the dogs on the Brush Creek trail, it is smooth and non-technical, and not much climbing. This would be the first piece of singletrack of the day, after a 2 mile gradual paved road climb.

We headed to our cabin in McCaysville..we stayed there last year and it is perfect! It is right on a small lake, has a hottub, and a huge wraparound porch. Thanks to Harvey for renting it and taking care of the details. Soon after us, Harlan and Mark arrived..and then Andy and Jeff. Eddie and I (and our Konas) were fully outnumbered by the IF mafia. Harlan was putting together his new 29er, he had never ridden one at all and he had a lot of work to do to get it built (it would have stressed me out..but he is obviously quite the mechanic..among other things).

Friday: I tried to sleep in, but it didn't happen. The guys were up early again, building bikes and such. Here is the early AM crew, notice Harlan still hard at work with everyone else..supervising.

I needed some stuff from the shop, so we drove down to Cycle South in Blue Ridge. I got a chance to meet Sam (owner), and guess what he had?

Yup, a Jabberwocky. This is the same frame I will be getting. I took it for a spin around the parking lot while I was there, it felt really nice..even though it was an 18". Mine should be here any day now.

We met up with Harvey, Lauren, Andy, and Jeff for a pre-ride of some of the Tanasi singletrack. My legs felt great that I wished the race was on Friday..I really didn't want to push it. I had never ridden 100 miles on my singlespeed..only 70..and that extra 30 miles was really intimidating me. I didn't know who else would be there besides SS freak Leslie Williams, a girl from Michigan, and my friend Carol Ann (formerly from Knoxville-now in Cali). I figured a few more SS chicks would show up too. Going into it, I figured Leslie would be the one to beat, but I also knew that it wouldn't be me that could even come close to beating her. She is an animal, and of course SO nice. I really didn't know what to expect out of my race. I felt good and I wanted to see what I can do..and that's about it. I would only race me, no one else.

We hung out for awhile after the pre-ride saying hello and catching up with enduro-freaks from around the country.

Here's Andy showing off his lucky number 69

Jackson guarding the purple unit (which would take me to great heights..literally..on Saturday)

Eddie intimidating his competition with his new hawk and Tifosis

I guess guarding the purple unit was too much work. Or maybe it was the 2 days in a row of riding with Eddie O

Jackson and Fontana (you may recognize him from the podium..with his dad Harvey)

I decided I would not carry my Wingnut since I haven't been training with a pack. My strategy would involve carrying 2 bottles and refilling with my powder at 3 SAG stops. Here is the problem..we ran out of our special powdery mix the week before the race, so I was forced to go to really expensive tri-geek store and spend way too much money ($85 to be exact) on 1 canister of Sustained Energy, 1 canister of HEED, and 4 packs of CLIF Blocks. I have not used SE or HEED since any races last year..mostly because it ruined my stomach and several of my races..but for some reason I thought it would be OK this time around..looking back on it, I should have dropped stuff I would really use (NOT CLIF Blocks, bars and the evil powder). Mark dropped a can of Iron City and pringles for his SAG..yeah, now that would have been a good idea.

Saturday: 5am..ouch. Everyone was up making (some were burning) their bacon & eggs :) I always have a hard time eating much this early. The race would start cold (in the 40s) but would warm up nicely, so I didn't wear much..just shorts, jersey, Defeet Un-d-shirt, and arm warmers. We arrived 20 min. before the start and of course missed the pre-race meeting. Apparently, important information was discussed at this meeting, I would find this out later, around mile 60..

OK, so for the race:
Mile 0- I was so involved in talking to people around me that I didn't know the 100 had started..oops. I looked around and everyone was racing the 35..which would start 15 min. after the 100. I quickly caught up with a group and soon found Carol Ann. We rode together for the first couple sections, until the first steep singletrack climb. She said to go around her because she thought she might dab and didn't want to screw me up. I knew I could clean it, from the Friday I went around. What I didn't know is that where we turned off on our pre-ride was right before the trail got more steep and rooty. I did OK until I dabbed at the very top, but that was fine with me. I felt very relaxed (unusual for me), and reminded myself that I probably would not ride EVERYTHING that day and not to be too hard on myself. I turned around and looked for Carol Ann, but no sight. I plugged along.

SAG 1- everything was right on, I was feeling GREAT, eating, drinking, yes, perfect.

The next section was FLAT. That sucked. I passed lots of people on the climbs and then EVERYONE left me on the flat. Next year I will be stronger to push a bigger gear and hopefully reduce the painfulness of the slow flat section.

SAG 2- The climbing had finally started again (Huh? Since when do I like to climb??) I caught several more at the stop, and had my bottles refilled with my evil powder mixture (I say evil because this was the beginning of terrible terrible sour stomach). I also grabbed a pack of cookies and a CLIF bar in case I got hungry.

SAG 3- My stomach felt terrible, I had heartburn, nothing (especially nothing sweet) sounded good. I chose to just fill up with water at this one, and didn't pick up any more food. The climbs after SAG 3 to Potatopatch were getting brutally steep (I've ridden down this section, never I know why). My right cleat was squeaking and I thought it or my pedal was loose. I think I started compensating to stop the squeaking, and eventually my knee started hurting. I shoved the pack of cookies into my mouth and I just wanted to hurl, but I knew I needed calories. I wanted to eat a lot here because there would be a long descent during this leg, where I could hopefully digest and fix my stomach issues. About 2/3 through this long descent, there was a 4-way intersection. No arrows. Crap, instead of going straight on the road (FS17), my instinct told me to keep switchbacking down the road (which changes names to FS 630)..oh wait, I have no directional instinct. Nor did I see any tire tracks..I descended a ways..but slowly..waiting for someone to catch up so I could reassure myself. However, I didn't see anyone. I decided to be safer than sorry even if I lost time and I turned around and climbed back towards the intersection. I didn't want to end up like Leslie did last year (15 miles off course, hitching a ride back, and getting DQd). I found another guy that I had passed awhile back (damn) and he said he thought we went straight on FS 17. About 50 feet in, I saw the arrow sign that someone had picked up and thrown over the edge. Nice. Apparently, the yellow ribbons that were hanging from the trees were backup course markers and I didn't know it. It would have saved me 20 minutes that I had wasted straying off course...but that's what I get for missing the pre-race meeting.

SAG 4- I was getting tired and hungry, but the only thing that sounded good was salt. I grabbed about 10 pringles and refilled with plain water again. If I was smart and/or aware, I would have realized at this point that I was going into what would be a major calorie deficit.

After SAG 4 was another really long and painful flat section on which it took me forever to get nowhere. I was really excited when the road turned up. I wasn't anticipating the steep grades ahead, though. I thought SAGS 4-6 were all relatively close together, but I was bonking now and it felt like eternity. I only had 1/2 a bottle of plain water and no calories. I was so desperate that I found a PowerGel wrapper from the race start in my jersey pocket and tried to suck out any remaining gel in it. I was scouring the side of the road for gel packs or bars or anything that racers ahead of me may have dropped. No luck, all I found was one sport bean but I didn't bother picking it up.

SAG 5- I had a drop bag at SAG 5 but by the time I got there I was sooo out of it. I asked for a Coke, but he didn't have any. He said SAG 6 had Coke and that's all I heard. I refilled plain water again, grabbed a few pringles (but nothing from my drop bag..I forgot!) and kept going. I knew SAG 6 was 8 miles hard could pedaling 8 miles be? don't want to know.

SAG 6- By the time I got to SAG 6 I pretty much wanted to die. I was 90 miles in, and all I wanted to do was ride downhill singletrack. I asked for a Coke, and the volunteer filled up a bottle (only half way though), and I ate a piece of plain wheat bread. Off to singletrack.

For some reason, I was under the impression that the last bit of trail was mostly going to be fun descending. NO. I started climbing..climbing..and climbing...I wanted to cry. I was so bonked, and could barely see straight. That trail lasted forever, holy crap did they make us work for that last 1.4 miles of sweet downhill singletrack. I saw a girl ahead of me (turned out to be Shannon Greenhill) but I didn't think I was racing the Womens Open category so I didn't bother expending the effort to chase her down. I do wonder, though, if she heard me screaming all the F-bombs everytime I hit another climb :) My right knee was now really hurting too. I tried not to think about it. When I saw Thunder Rock, all was good. I reached the bottom and knew I had another flat paved section to go to the finish. There was a guy about 1/2 mile behind me..but I didn't want ANYONE catching me. I pedaled like seemed like forever. I heard cheering, but I felt like I was in a dream. I saw the finish line..crossed it..and about collapsed. I saw faces, but didn't really recognize people that I was crazy, I knew I had given everything I had to make it through the last bit of that race..I finished in 10:22, I think. Definitely not good enough (or even close to good enough) to beat Leslie, but I still came in 2nd of the Women SSrs. I had accomplished what I came to do, and I was happy with that. The first half of the race was great for me (under 5 hours), but the second half was 5.5 hours even though it had less climbing..that is what a bonk will do to you...but I suppose it could have been worse. I really didn't have the energy to hang out, so we made a beeline to the cabin and proceeded to eat lots of food, drink a couple beers, and trade race stories. Everyone in the cabin did really well..and some of them even had some nice road rash to show off.

I liked the 100 format..I wasn't sure about it on Saturday, but looking back on it I will definitely do more of them. I had a bad taste in my mouth before from DNF-ing at Shenandoah 100 twice (but I was definitely not in any shape to race that when I did). I will do the Cohutta 100 again, also...but with stronger legs and a bigger gear..hoping to drop significant time off the 10:22.

Now, it's time for some rest, followed by training for the next one..Dirty Spokes 12 hour race on May 5.

This coming weekend, I will be at the DSG 12 hour supporting the Kona boys, Eddie O and Scott O. I'm sure I'll see many familiar faces at that one too.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cohutta 100

What a fun weekend. I have some pics I will upload later. We spent the weekend in a cabin with the IF mafia and a bunch of crazy dogs. Everyone who is anyone seemed to be at the race... The race went very well..except for a few mistakes on my part. I again learned some valuable lessons and still managed to finish 2nd out of 6 women idea how I did in the overall since I didn't stick around afterwards (I was too hungry). Eddie did awesome too. I'm sure you'll hear more from him on his blog.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tapering...Day 2 (officially)

This weekend was an unintentional pre-taper..but it really officially started yesterday. It's going pretty well. Today I woke up, weeded the back yard, gave Eddie a mohawk, rode for 30 minutes, got a massage, laid by the pool, drank a beer at the dog park and now I'm icing my leg because my 70 lb. pup decided to broadside me square on my right quad..ouch. Well, all in all, it was a decent day of rest!

edit: Oh, some good news has also come my way..I won a $100 gift certificate from REI thanks to one of my sponsors PowerBar. Sweet. AND...just heard that my Jabberwocky is in the process of being painted Ernie Orange..and I should have it in my hands soon. Sweet, again! It has been awesome to work with Vassago so far, they are really on top of it!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


That pretty much sums up how my weekend went!

Saturday: I was supposed to get in a 5 hour hard ride on the mtb, but forecasted rain for Saturday afternoon caused us to switch up days..easy road ride on Saturday, hard mtb ride on Sunday. Saturday actually turned out to be very pleasant..cloudy and threatening rain, but quite nice and warm for riding. I wanted to ride longer, but a certain saddle sore said otherwise. As soon as I got home, I was summoned to an emergency group meeting with some classmates...that lasted the next 5 hours, and then I had a dumpload of schoolwork to do after that.

Sunday: The wind was howling at 7am when the dogs woke me up. Yup, cold front after the rain...great. I looked at the forecast and surprisingly it said a high of 50 and chance of rain. We waited a bit for it to warm up (and I tried finishing up some projects for school) and headed up to Ocoee (Start/Finish for Cohutta 100 next weekend). Jackson and Porter wanted to go, but it took a little convincing. Here is Jackson taking his morning nap (with a scarf on--he was chilly), and Porter doing his thing.

The rain fell harder, the temps dropped lower, and the wind got stronger the closer we got to Ocoee. We arrived in the parking lot and I REALLY didn't want to ride. It was 37* or below and SNOWING. WTF! We decided to bail on this idea and try a new trail further south. I made it about an hour and couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't see anything with all the snow (great day to forget my

Lately, it seems like almost every time I ride my SS on the weekends, my legs are dead from the week. I haven't been sleeping enough, and probably not eating very well either. Throw this weather from hell in, and I was done. I know if it had been sunny and/or warm (I'm not asking for too much here), I would have been able to warm up and work the kinks in my legs out..but it wasn't happening. I guess I'm just starting my taper for the coming weekend's race a day early. This week will be all about prepping my bike, sleeping lots, trying to avoid stress from school (very difficult right about now), and eating well. I'll ride a little too, and hopefully catch a bit of the Tour of GA. A little sun won't hurt for improving my mood either. Right now, I'm thinking a move is in order. Hawaii, maybe.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Vassago Cycles

..You've never heard of them? Well, I just found them not too long ago. In my search for the perfect (and affordable) 29er, I came across some posts about Vassago's Jabberwocky and Bandersnatch on the 29er forum of Then, I found out Jeremy had a Bandersnatch on the way, so I questioned him a bit too. One thing led to another, and I will now be racing on the Vassago Team this year, on my brand new steel Ernie Orange Jabberwocky. I am totally excited to get on this new bike!! I think this is the one..and I'm glad because I don't have the resources to go custom right now. The customer service at Vassago has been beyond excellent. You can tell they are a small company of cool people that really understand geometry, fit, and design, and they definitely have the happiness of the rider and customer in mind at all times. After all, they say they have "Superior handling bikes at a price that leaves you with beer money." Yeah, sounds like my kind of bike :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


It has been hard to come by lately! I must be spoiled, I got so used to the warm/hot weather and now that it has been cold and/or rainy lately it's been tough to get the hours in. Most of my weekday workouts have been on the Silver Comet rail trail (can you say B-O-R-I-N-G)..but yesterday I couldn't take it. I convinced Eddie that we should go up to the mountains to ride 3-gaps on the road. Luckily, he was cool with the idea. We started from his coach's house and about 20 minutes later, we ran into Tina. We decided to turn around and join her for the rest of her ride/intervals. Tina is great, so nice, but the first thought I had was "oh shit the pace of this ride just went up". She and Eddie were nice to me (even though my view was of their butts the whole time), until we all started our intervals. She was doing 20 minutes, Eddie was doing 12, and I was doing 10. Tina started behind me, at the bottom of Woody's Gap, and it was just a few minutes before she FLEW by me and I didn't see her (or Eddie) again until the top. Man alive, I have some work to do to keep up with people like this. Anyway, the ride turned And, I forgot all my calories at the house. I was stuck with 300 calories for a 3+ hour ride..d'oh. Still, it was good training, and it beat the Silver Vomet!

Today, our mountain bike got rained out so Eddie and I hit the road again. After two hours of riding in the rain, I sooo wanted to bail, but Eddie was just peachy. Grr. I wasn't going to bail while he kept riding..I felt too I plugged along. I'm glad I did, we got in 3 hours again, but I wish I could have stopped all the negative thoughts that plagued me for almost all those 3 hours!! I just want summer to be here..I promise I won't complain about the heat when it arrives.

On a very bright note, I will be getting a new frame..again. I know I just got one, but because of my awkward body measurements (I'm 5'8" with a short torso and really long legs--34 in. inseam) I'm having a hard time with a lot of the geometries on the 29ers..including the purple unit. It's almost a perfect fit, but not quite..but being in the bike fitting biz now, I want my bike to fit me like a glove. What I really need is a steep seat tube angle so I can actually push my saddle back a bit. Even on my 16" frame now, I'm riding with my saddle pushed all the way forward and I'm running a 120mm stem. I came upon the Vassago Cycles site via some posts and had been checking out their frames. They have something called their WetCat geometry..and after seeing the geometry and learning about their design philosophy, I see that they get it. I now have an Ernie Orange Jabberwocky on it's way to me. I won't have it for Cohutta 100, but I should have it in time for the Dirty Spokes 12 hour!

Oh Yeah

Lookie Lookie

I have a big smile on my face right now!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Nothing to see here.

I don't think I've had one good ride all week. I'm not really sure what happened, but a week ago it felt like summer, and now it feels like the middle of winter. I hoped for a good ride today, but ended up having bike troubles for several reasons..and I don't think it ever got above 36*..the wind was just didn't turn out to be my day.

Luckily, today's ride ended like this. No, I didn't deserve to eat Mexican food, could I refuse.

I have been going back and forth on components on my purple unit, but hopefully I have it all dialed in now..with the exception of the new wheels. Those will go on soon..very soon. I realized this week that I have lots of things that are worn out, and need to be replaced sometime soon, before Cohutta 100. Pedals, BB bearings, shoes, cleats, you name needs replacing.

I will try again tomorrow, and hope for a good ride to end a crappy week. Hopefully it will reach at least 50* this time!

Oh, and for everyone that has asked me lately, the Argyle jersey is from Twin Six. You can buy one here.

Monday, April 02, 2007

What's missing

I think I figured it out. I've been feeling pretty cooked on the bike the last few days..after several hard workouts this week and a lot of hours in the saddle..I just feel...TIRED. I haven't taken my Recover-Ease all week, I think that's what I've been missing. We'll see, it's back to it rest for the weary, Cohutta 100 is right around the corner.