Friday, September 28, 2007

A weekend without a bike?

I don't know what it's like. I'm not real excited about missing three days of riding, though shouldn't I be? I raced every weekend in September so I could go to my friend's wedding in PA and be bike free with no worries. But, the weather is gorgeous, fall colors are showing, and I want to be riding. Instead, I'm heading up to Philly for a good friend's wedding, which I know will be fun, but I wish I could bring my bike. I will have to block out anything bike related from my mind because I know I'll be surrounded with a lot of good stuff to ride. The 6-gap Century is also this weekend in Dahlonega, GA. I know I said I would never do another roadie century, but this one I would do. You can't beat the views and the roads of north GA in the fall. Those are some tough miles too, for a century. Well, have fun for me if you're going.

Seasons 52 new find in the ATL is Seasons 52.

Where else can you find dee-licious food with the freshest seasonal ingredients and it is ALL under 475 calories? If you're lucky enough to live in FL or Atlanta, GA then you have got to try this place. It would be great to see more restaurants like this. The locations in Atlanta are always packed and now I know why..hopefully they are starting a trend!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A nice break from Interbike..

No, I'm not there, but if I wasn't keeping myself busy with riding and drinking good beer I'd probably be attached to the interweb looking at Interbike porn.

I had a great ride today in the mountains with my AR friend Neal. Funny, we ran into about 7 people I know up in the middle-of-nowhere North GA. Carey Lowery, Zeke, Perry, John Myers...doesn't anyone work anymore?? ;)

What a great day..we rode in the mountains, missed the rain, and followed it up with good beers and great company..can't ask for more!! :-)

Monday, September 24, 2007

All business

Pic of the start of 12 hours of Dauset, thanks to Duckman.

I just saw the results of the race, and not only was I first Solo Female, I was also first Singlespeed overall. That means I came in ahead of all the SS males, and I think that is sweet! I thought I did 11 laps, but I actually did 10. Only 95 miles, that's disappointing..I thought I had done over 100, but I missed the cutoff by only a minute or so.

Thanks for all the replies re your thoughts on passing..whether in comments, over email, in person...I'm glad us girls aren't the only ones that experience it. So, I've decided to build a fixed gear and only do long point to point races on it, maybe that way I won't have to deal with inconsiderate passing. Thanks for the idea, Dave.

OK, not really. I only have one more race this year, and I'm quite happy about this. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also now looking forward to being done racing for the year. I feel like it's time to enjoy some fall beer festivals, and to ride some new trails that I don't often get a chance to ride. I may actually start running again in the "offseason" for some cross training and variety. I feel strong right now, but not as well rounded of an athlete as I used to be. Who knows, maybe I will actually jump in on an adventure race again next year. It has been awhile.

Carl Mesta shots...some more great ones

Carl Mesta is a really great guy and takes excellent photos. Please support him and buy a pic or two if you find some you like.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rant from a solo female endurance racer

I have three incidents that I'd like to vent about, they all occured during ONE race.

Incident 1:
It is getting dark, and I am following 1st place solo female on a tight section of singletrack. The trail will open up in a tenth of a mile or less, however at this moment in time, there is no safe passing zone. A guy comes up from behind and belligerently (sp?) demands to pass. I ask him to hold off until it opens up because the two of us didn't feel comfortable letting him pass there, and I am certainly not going to step off my bike or ride into a sketchy line off the trail. He responds back in a hostile tone that he needs to pass NOW, he is a member of a first place team. Meanwhile he's half-wheeling me on the tight singletrack climb. At this point, I get really pissed. I tell him that the woman in front of me is in 1st, and I'm in 2nd, and we're racing too and basically he can wait 30 seconds to pass. He gets really pissed and blurts out some nasty words and cuts off through the woods. Too bad he didn't get a stick in his wheel or crash. Jerk. I hate people like that, why should anyone assume that their race is more important than yours? I get this all the time as a solo female endurance racer. Guess what, guys!! I might be in first place too, who freaking cares? I don't care if you are racing for 10th, 1st, whatever. There is no excuse to not be polite and considerate when passing. 99% of the guys out there are very considerate and good at it.

Incident 2:
This happens about 5 minutes after incident 1. A guy comes barreling past me on a singletrack descent, he kind of took me by surprise but no harm done. THEN...Kim, the 1st place woman who was still in front of me almost gets taken out by this guy..he basically called the pass as he ran her off the trail in a tight rooty, rocky drop/switchback thing. I couldn't believe what I just saw, and I yelled at him and told him to get some passing ettiqute because he could have seriously hurt her. AAARRGH!!!

Incident 3:
I'm riding up a wide doubletrack gradual climb on the far left, where the trail is more worn in. I'm riding at a steady pace, and all of a sudden I hear "passing on your left" while this guy is nailing my handlebars with his. HUH??? Passing on the left? There's no room on the left!! After he apologizes for tagging my handlebar, I say to him, "You know, there was a lot more room to pass on the right"...duh....WTF?? He responds with nothing but "OK, whatever".

Come on. This is getting old, and sometimes it makes me not even want to continue to race these lap races with teams. I always find solo riders to be very respectful and good passers, and like I said, 99% of the team guys usually are too. I just couldn't believe I had these 3 annoying incidents happen in just one 12 hour race. I will always let someone by when it's clear and safe, but seriously, do people have to be jerks about it?? I don't expect people to pull over off the trail when I'm passing either! Get some passing skills!

Gerbil Race (12 hours of Dauset)

That was the hardest I've ever worked to win anything in my life. Serious. The short story is I spent the first third of the race chasing a strong chick with gears. When that wasn't working out so well for me, I spent the second third of the race sitting in 2nd place with no motivation at all. I crashed hard going super fast (trying to make up time on the steep downhill---the only place I could make up time) and thought my race was over. Then, I spent the last third of the race in 1st place hauling ass to keep it. Whew, I'm so glad it's over. I'm in a world of hurt today. I think that is the last 12 hour race I will do. It sucks to get done at 10pm, pack up, and get home at 2am (after eating everything in sight at Dennys!)

Thanks to Kim Moore for the race, Clifford and Lisa for the once again wonderful support, Gone Riding for another awesome event, and of course to my sponsors: Vassago Cycles, Industry Nine, WTB, White Brothers, Twin Six, Light & Motion,, BURN Energy Drink, Tifosi, Ergon, and 55nine Performance.


Pic taken by Al. Great job on your 1st 6 hour, Al.!

Friday, September 21, 2007

12 hours tomorrow.

Sometimes I think racing at home is more stressful than traveling. If I was out of town, I'd be sitting in a hotel room with my feet up right now. Instead, I just finished 8 hours of literal scrambling around to get everything ready for tomorrow's 12 hours of Dauset race. I'm already tired and the race hasn't even started yet!! Maybe I should have signed up for the 6 hour option...ahhhh. I'm not going full rigid tomorrow. I considered it because I love how the bike climbs but I think I will be much faster in the long run with a suspension fork. Too bad I don't have two working sets of brakes, otherwise I'd have both Jabberwockys to play on tomorrow.

Eddie and I are both racing tomorrow, and our friend Clifford is supporting us, along with his wife Lisa and her team. Thanks, Clifford!! :) Eddie crashed hard today on the pre-ride, so I'm hoping he has a speedy recovery before tomorrow morning. I have a feeling that once Dave says "GO", Eddie will be just fine. Wish us luck! I will report back on Sunday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

All this new stuff.....must be time for Interbike

Check out this




If you're going to Interbike, make sure you test out a Vassago at the Dirt Demo. Sorry, I won't be there signing autographs...maybe next year ;)

And for the girls.........!!

Hey, my birthday is coming up in 4 weeks!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hey boys....

The new Twin Six t-shirt designs are out. They are quite hot!

This is a new look for one of my old favorites...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Another one down

What an awesome day for a killer ride. Eddie and I set a new record and arrived 4 HOURS LATE. We knew we wouldn't make the 9am start for the ride so we decided to sleep in, then work on bikes, and let the trails dry out from Friday's heavy rains.

We started around 2pm, just as Thomas Turner and Greg Turner (the once again leaders) were finishing up their ride. We started up the Windy Gap trail and things were great. It was steep climbing, but I was feeling good. I hadn't ridden this stuff since exactly one year ago, and from what I remembered there wasn't much flat..just climbing and I decided to use my same gearing as last year. BIG MISTAKE. Soon, but not soon enough as the steep climbing was finally about to make me puke, we turned onto Milma, and then TIBBS. TIBBS is a good option if you'd like to inflict yourself with pain. Make sure you choose a singlespeed for maximum pain factor. I think it climbs like 2000+ ft in just over a mile. It's wicked. Anyway, I ended up riding 75% of this climb, until the huge steep boulder gardens at the top. I walked all of that, not ashamed to admit it. I was a little worried, though, because last year I walked almost all of Tibbs with this gear, and this year I rode much more of it. So, what would that mean for the rest of my day? Let me give you a hint: spin, spin, spin, and not getting anywhere.

After Tibbs, we continued to Potatopatch and passed Hodge. He was looking like he was ready to be done, and I don't blame him. This guy was running fixed on this course!! I knew he was in for a "treat" as he was about to hit Windy Gap, the last's steep, technical, it's kind of scary in spots, and it's fast.

We continued on without incident..I started to feel a little bonked when we started climbing again, but I knew why. I wasn't eating enough. I was drinking a lot, mostly because I was carrying a 15lb. Wingnut pack (another big mistake) and I wanted to lighten the load. Still, my energy was draining quickly, and my gear choice was poor for everything but steep climbs. I had a hard time not focusing on how annoyed I was about this, but I did my best. Thanks to Eddie for waiting for me. I'm sure he could have ridden this at least an hour faster than he did with me. Next time, I'm using a bigger gear.

The turnoff for the Windy Gap descent was a welcome sight. At this point, we figured we were last on the course. Though, starting 4 hours late, I wasn't surprised we didn't catch anyone. I just hoped people would still be hanging out in the parking lot when we finished.

Last year, they graded Windy Gap and it was really much smoother and faster. Being an ATV trail, the motorcycles and ATVs have done a good job of stirring up the rocks again and making it more techy. The rigid fork (yes, I ran rigid) was doing well for most of it. It doesn't handle mistakes as well as a suspension fork but that is just forcing me to be better about picking lines. I am loving the predictability of it. I know exactly where I'm going with it and how the bike will handle. After we made it through the tech stuff at the top, we hit the steep, fast section. It was not smooth like last year. It was loose, dry, steep, and full of random babyheads. Just as I was about done with the hairy section, I started to breath a sigh of relief and said to myself "OK, good job, almost done. Just don't hit any big rocks". No less than one second later, with rocks on the brain, I hit one big azz rock. However, having no suspension, I didn't roll over it like I otherwise would have. No, I nose wheelied after going about 20mph down this steep azz hill. I screamed loudly and Eddie had stopped below and was yelling up to me to see if I was OK. I didn't crash, but it was a scary close call. I was so shaken that I only responded "I'm not sure, I think so". Anyway, I hopped back on my bike and finished it out. The last section of Windy Gap is scary fast. Big berms, jumps, some ruts and babyheads thrown in. I just wasn't enjoying this speed..I felt like I was going 50mph, but braking was only making it worse with the rigid fork. I couldn't wait for it to end. Finally, it did, and I made it through another Firewater 50. Last year I was the first female to do it on a singlespeed. This year, I was the first and only to do it on the rigid SS. What was really awesome, though, is that there were still people hanging out in the parking lot, and I got my shot of Firewater. It didn't taste as bad as I thought it would.

I'm already looking forward to doing it again next year!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Do you have a Vassago?

Then, you need one of these!

Jen Green's stuff is really cool. Actually, another one of her designs is the inspiration for my new tattoo (coming in Fall of 2007...right Danielle???)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I miss my riding partner favorite riding partner has been working out of town this week. That means riding solo, which is not always my favorite thing to do. Lucky for me today, though, TFML (aka Mike Livingston) gave me a call and suggested a lovely trail ride. We hit Dauset trails and had a decent low-key ride. I did end up with one scraped elbow though...damn this one creek crossing. It's tricky, but not really not that hard. Well, about my 5th or 6th time through it (trying to find the best line), I finally clean it and am already patting myself on the back rear wheel is spinning but I'm not going anywhere. Out of the saddle...spin spin, and....fall. On rock. Ouch. I don't know what happened other than my rear tire found the last possible root it could to spin out on. Ah, well. The rest of the ride was awesome. Can't beat mid-week dirt riding.

I'm planning on doing one of my favorite rides this weekend. I think I might just have to break something special out for it....and then we're celebrating Eddie's birthday on Sunday! Beers!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I love this pic...thanks Carl Mesta

Sunday, September 09, 2007

"That bike is PINK!!" (6 hours of Conyers Race Report)

I don't know how many times I heard "That bike is pink!!" yesterday. Yeah, it's pink all right. Can't miss me coming.....

The race itself was great, Dirty Spokes Productions puts on a smooth running event. My race was plagued with stomach problems..worst I've had in a race all year (I've had them all week, so that didn't help either). It was hot, and the course was rough on SS. After three hours, all the climbs were starting to hurt a lot. I knew, though, that 2nd place wasn't too far back, and I also knew that she was walking all the climbs. Riding them as often as possible is what would let me keep my lead. I was dreading doing 9 laps, but fortunately I didn't make the cutoff, and I ended up with 8 laps. That was good enough for 1st place solo singlespeed female AND BONUS!! 1st place solo female overall! Yup, not only did I come in 1st of the SS females, I came in ahead of all the geared females! I also did the same number of laps as the winning female team. I sure didn't expect any of that, so that was a nice surprise. Not to say it wasn't painful, though.

The rigid 29er Jabberwocky was great. The big wheels, 2.55 front tire, and Pitchfork made my first race on no suspension bearable. The only thing that sucked was the brake bumps that develop on this descent in particular was just sheer pain after 5 hours..I dreaded it more than the steep climbs. I'm not sure I will race this bike for the endurance stuff much. I have to admit suspension is nice after 6 hours in the saddle. However, the bike will be my primary riding/training bike from now on. Did I mention how pretty it is?? Hodge did an awesome job with the wheels, too. I got tons of complements on them.

Tired, huh?

Womens SS Podium

Thanks to Eddie for the support, and also to Scott Hodge & Cody from Addictive Cycles. Thanks also to Vassago Cycles and WTB for setting me up with a fast pink bike. Time to get ready for the next one! More pictures here and Carl Mesta's are here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Goodbye Sooner

I am lucky to have spent many years growing up with Sooner. I will miss her greatly.

When I am gone, release me, let me go
I have so many things to see and do
You mustn't tie yourself to me with tears
Be thankful for our beautiful years I gave you my love,
you can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness
I thank you for the love you each have shown
But now it's time I traveled on alone
So grieve awhile for me, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
It's only for a time that we must part
So bless the memories within your heart.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I have the sweetest bike in the world!!!!

Go ahead and argue with me, but I probably won't listen...I have the sweetest bike ever. I rode the pink Jabberwocky today (thanks, Eddie, for getting it built and Wobble-naughted for me). I wasn't sure what I would think of the rigid fork...but now I think this bike was meant to be was way more fun and comfortable than I thought it would be. I noticed the benefits of rigid right off the bat. And, with the 2.55 Weirwolf up front, the ride was more plush than I would have guessed. Well, enough rambling. I'm going to go stare at the bike some more. It's so pretty :) Here's some pix for ya. Thanks again to Vassago Cycles, WTB, Scott Hodge from Addictive Cycles, Eddie O, and Ergon for bringing me this beautiful bicycle.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Coming soon

Tomorrow is the maiden voyage of the pink rigid SS 29er Jabberwocky. Eddie is moving parts over from the Orange Jabber to the Pink Jabber as I write this. I'm still waiting for some permanent parts from, so in the meantime Pink will have loaner parts from Orange. I really want to race it this weekend, and I'd like to have at least one ride on it before the race.

Recovery from the race this past weekend is just OK. My legs feel great...they were ready to race for 13 hours but we got rained out. However, two of my three crashes were at high speed and now I feel like I'm recovering from a car wreck. Actually, the worst part of it is, when I was a-hem..."knocked" off the trail, I fell into some awful poisonous plants. Now, I'm itching from head to toe. My left arm got the worst of it...and it itches like hell. Right now I'm using Tecnu on it, so hopefully that works a miracle, and fast.

I'm really bummed to have missed what sounds like a big party at SM100 this past weekend. Financially, racing in FL made the most sense..and it worked out. At least we got to hang with Eddie's brother and family, that made for some nice relaxation and good times.

The racing bug is still going strong...which is good, because I've got at least 5 more to go this year! I'm already putting together the plan for next year..and I'm liking it a lot.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


It's early to post, I know...the 13 hours of Santos should have ended at midnight...but extremely wicked t-storms forced the Bergers to call the race early.

Quick update:
3 crashes (I guess they really do come in 3's)
I felt great...must be all the flatlander training I've done this year
I found my new top-secret race food..and it is pretty damn good
I won!
1st place solo female and 16th place overall in the 13-hour division.

Thanks to Richard Walker, Penny & Kyle O'Dea for the pit support, to Dave Berger for loaning me the cog (no I didn't run what I gear was too easy for the Florida flatness), to Julie Barker for being an awesome pit-neighbor and beer sharer, and to the O'Dea family for being wonderful hosts and especially good with the boys (Hot Breath Harry & Port-o-Pot...aka Jackson & Porter).