Tuesday, April 29, 2008

24 hours of Vail Lake Race Report

If you read about the day(s) leading up to this race, you'd know I was completely stressed and basically just wanted to survive this race. The new bike fit that we had to apply at the last minute in the hotel room turned everything upside down for me. I had a new fit, new fork, and new front tire and wouldn't have a chance to try any of it out before the race.

When we arrived at Vail Lake on Saturday it was already extremely hot, probably high 80's or low 90's before the race even started. Thankfully the run was short and it seemed as though I was the first female to hit the trail. We started on a sandy bit, then hit a dirt road which would climb for 3 miles. This was the dam climb, or the damn climb as I like to call it. The climb is steady but there are a few long steep pitches. I rode most, if not all, if it on my first lap but being with a single gear I opted to walk some of the steeps on the subsequent laps. Anyway, I was passed early on one of the flat sections by Terry and Liz. I wasn't concerned as I was able to catch up quickly once the road turned upward. They were climbing smart and steady, but as you know with a SS there is really no smart or steady :) After the dam climb there is a bit of tech ridgeline singletrack that rolls through some rocky stuff and has two steeeep loose powder sand descents. These were fine during the day but really sketch at night. I found out later most (if not all) the other women were walking these. Thankfully I rode it through each lap with almost 100% success because that increased my lead every lap. On the first lap, this is where I lost the other women for good. After that, there is some more somewhat tech ridgeline steep ups and downs...soooo fast it can get scary if you are not on it. The exposure here was wild...when approaching some of the drops it looked like you were flying off the edge of the earth into the sky. It was super cool. After some rocky/ledgy descents it was more flat road to another section of singletrack. Most of this trail was rolling, with some steep tech whoops thrown in for more fun. These made me smile :) I loved the last few miles of this course minus the steep hike a bike at the end.

I was so cooked and getting a little nervous after my first lap that I wouldn't be able to handle the heat. It was now mid to high 90's but I was not sweating. I didn't feel like I was able to cool myself at all so I decided to drop the pace so I was not killing myself in the heat. I also stopped for a few minutes at the pit after each lap to hose myself down and drink an entire bottle of water. In addition, I was consuming two whole bottles while I was on the course. My lap times were pretty steady and I was able to stay in first for the rest of the day. I didn't hammer at all and instead played it smart with my pacing and my nutrition and that worked out just fine.

On my 2nd night lap, one of my lights died. This made the lap quite scary to ride as I couldn't see any of the sand or ruts. I crashed 3 times on this lap! It was slow but I tried walking one of the downhills and that was scarier than just riding it out. Luckily I made it back in one piece and was able to get another fresh battery. On one of my crashes, I lost my RFID card which I needed to make my laps official. I didn't realize it until I had already come in from my lap and they wouldn't let me go out without paying $5. My support crew took care of that ASAP and I was on my way again...except I got lost at the start/finish and rode around in circles between some yellow caution tape until I finally found the trail. DUH!! The sky was incredible, you could see all the stars and I took a few breaks up on the ridgeline at night just to take it all in. I would sit down with a pop-tart and just stare at the sky for a few minutes. I really was enjoying myself..not like other 24 hour solos in the past.

Even with the minor mishaps, everything was functioning fine..the bike, my body, and I was in a pretty good mental state (other than on the lap with only one light). I knew I was 3 laps up on the field so I decided to skip the last night lap in favor of a nap. I ate a nice meal of Doritos, turkey sandwich, a burnt potato, and some ruffles. Mmmm..salt. I tried to sleep in the tent but couldn't make it happen. Then, Eddie came in around 5am complaining that his knee was bothering him. I decided to get dressed and on the bike again to ride the sunrise lap with him. However, his knee was hurting so bad that he couldn't put any pressure on it and had to walk all the climbs. Again, the desert beauty did not disappoint. I wish I had pictures it was so incredible at sunrise. I ended up riding that lap out, plus one more. At this point in the morning, the winds had picked up and the ridge riding was so sketchy! I had to ride on the extreme left side of the road/trail at the top to avoid getting blown off ot the right (which did happen once, luckily I didn't get hurt). At 8:45 am I rolled up to the pit with 11 laps and they said I could stop because I was still 3 laps up and no one could possibly catch me. I was fine what that decision and turned in my card with 11 laps down. I didn't wear myself out like normal at this one..don't get me wrong, it was definitely extremely hard because of the heat and the climbs, but I did about the same mileage as I normally would in a 12 hour race, not a 24 hour. Still, mission was accomplished: A great training ride and a podium spot..the top podium spot was icing on the cake!

Kris and Mike were awesome with packing everything up so we could get to the airport to catch the redeye home. Orion showed up with pizza, as promised, even though it was only about 12 hours late ;) Thanks, guys. I honestly think the flight was more painful than the race itself. I will not ever do that again..but unfortunately I had to get to class the next day as it is Finals week at school.

Thanks, again to all my sponsors for their support:

Vassago Cycles
55nine Performance
White Brothers
Crank Brothers
Twin Six
Beyond Clothing
Dedicated Athlete
Wicked Fast
BURN Energy Drink
Georgia Sports Chiropractic and Georgia Sports Massage

Next up is 24 hours of Conyers, also in the Granny Gear 24 hour Points Series!

change of plans

It looks like Eddie and I will not be attending the DS&G and SSUSA shindig this weekend. I was really looking forward to it, but some things have come up that involve visiting a friend whose wife is critically ill. Some of you may know the situation, and it's not sounding good at this time. I'm bummed to miss the event but some things are more important than bike racing.

Good luck to Carey Lowery this weekend, I'm hoping she pulls out the win in the 12 hour race.

Monday, April 28, 2008

National Geographic Adventure May 2008 issue

Look inside! There are photos from Andrew Kornylak. You may happen to see a couple familiar faces in there..plus a Twin Six shirt, a Vassago, and some Ergon grips :) I can't say it enough, but Andrew's work is amazing!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

24 hours of Vail Lake- done

24 hours of Vail Lake is over. It was a tough tough race. The mileage was low but that doesn't mean there wasn't some suffering going on. I only rode 112.42 miles but climbed 16478 feet. Oh, did I mention the weather was cloud-free with a pleasant 95+ degrees? There are also no trees on the course. Luckily, my nutrition and pacing strategy worked and I was able to start in 1st and keep it throughout the race while keeping the intensity and pace civilized and within training limits. I had a couple of longer night laps because 1) I lost my RFID card and 2) My barmount light died on the first climb of my 2nd night lap. Still, I got to take a 2 hour nap and finish at 9am! I didn't want to wreck myself since we have Dirt Sweat & Gears next weekend and 24 hours of Conyers in 4 weeks. Despite some heat-related suffering, Eddie made the podium in the Mens Solo too, so that was even better news. Thanks to the following for helping to make the weekend a big success all around:

Vassago Cycles, Kris & Mike for the support, Brian and Carol Ann for the last minute supplies and much needed company, Orion for the company and delicious pizza, Eddie for the coaching and absolutely everything else he does to help my racing, and Granny Gear for a putting on a great race.

Oh, and how can I forget, thanks to Mark and Katie for taking good care of Jackson and Porter..whom I miss very much! That is really why I can't wait to get home :)

For more race reporting, see the Granny Gear webcast here.

Friday, April 25, 2008


i said the next time i posted i would have good news. i'm not sure it's good news, but i'll take it at this point. it's amazing how you can be so prepared..mentally and physically to race..and then the $hit can just hit the fan the day before. that's pretty much how today went.

as the day went on, we realized just how much essential gear we had in the missing UPS box. that, and i still had a dysfunctional fork. thankfully brian and carolann were able to collect some parts and e-caps for us (seriously, you guys saved the day). however, after spending over two hours at the bike shop this morning (doing repairs and buying the essentials)...i finally realized that the replacement white bros fork was a freakin 100mm fork. i run an 80mm. this changes things a lot. mostly..my fit and my handling. we didn't bring the wobble-naught fit equipment, nor did we bring any spare stems or anything to facilitate changing a fit. i'm super bummed b/c my fit was dialed perfectly. not anymore. i am not racing with a wobble-naught fit tomorrow and i'm freaking out about it. actually, i'm trying to remain calm but it's not going so well. on the way home from the trail we stopped at home depot to buy a straightedge, anglefinder, and pocket level. we did the at-home-last minute-i'm f'ed and don't have another option bike fit on my bike. now i have a brand new 100mm fork, a new front tire, a new rear cog, and no f'ing idea how this thing is going to handle tomorrow. i just hope i don't end up with stabbing lower back pain or something like that. i could scream right now, but instead i'm just going to toss this one into the learning experience pile. i know what NOT to do when traveling by plane to race now.

btw, the forecast is for 95* and sun tomorrow. today was only 85* and i was cooking. there is no shade at all. none. oh man, this one will surely be a test.

thanks for all the luck and well wishes! i hope it all works tomorrow! :)

the woes of traveling cross country to race

Eddie just told me our UPS box with his front wheel, our sports nutrition products including the essential Saltstick tabs, and my extra rear cogs and so much more is....L O S T.

I think I have the Saltstick tabs coming, thanks guys. It is going to be 95 deg. tomorrow, so I can't go without them. We're working on the rest of the stuff now. Luckily there is a shop about 1/2 mile from here so we can ride there and figure some stuff out (I hope).

That's it for now. I swear I'll have some good news next time I post :-)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day 2 update

So it looks like Vassago found me a new fork to replace my current one that decided to act up today. Sweet. Now I just need to score some tools to change my rear cog out to something more Temecula-friendly. Carol Ann recommended a 21 in the back so I will take that recommendo for tomorrow. I remember asking some SSrs what they ran for the 12/Temecula and they said 32x20 or 21. I think the 21 will be the ticket even though there is a fair amount of flat stuff on the course. The hills are that steep though!

I somehow got a sore throat today. I think it's because the air is so much drier out here. I really hope it goes away overnight!

Temecula Day 2..random thoughts

Not so much in the mood to write a lot so, some quick random updates:

Rode the course today. F'in brutal. I should see a psyhcotherapist to figure out why I torture myself with singlespeeding sometimes. UUUUGGGGGH. I will be doing some, no...lots..of walking. Well, I am going to try again tomorrow with an easier gear. 32x19 is too stout for a 24 solo here as some of those hills are going to get really painful.

Some issues with the chain overtightening itself, need to figure that out. That made for some unnecessary extra resistance training today which I didn't need :)

Brand new fork is spewing oil. Need to figure that out.

I will cry if I have to ride a rigid SS on this course.

So Cal is nice and we got to hang out with Eddie's friend Orion, he is cool.

OK, time to stretch, roll, sip of the growler and lay by the pool.

...who am I kidding. Time to go work on bikes! We'll bring the camera along tomorrow when we ride the course again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

San Diego & Temecula - Day 1

Quick update....

Everything went smoothly this morning until we had to switch flights..except we had a nonstop flight and had to deplane and replane in Atlanta..nice.

We arrived about an hour late into SD and the Vassago guys were there waiting. We drove around for awhile collecting some odds and ends and then someone mentioned beer. The mecca of breweries is local to this place so of course we HAD to go. It was amazing...the brewery itself, the gardens, the food, and the beer. They had Arrogant Bastard jerseys, socks, etc. in there, and apparently they have trails right behind the brewery. Um, yeah, I was in heaven!!!

I only drank one beer but Vassago treated us to a growler of Arrogant Bastard to take with us to our hotel room in Temecula...since they were dropping us off there in the middle of nowhere with no car or anything. No worries, now we have lots of beer and two bikes to get around with. We rode an easy hour today..easy is going to be tough to find around here. You can ride on the flats for a few minutes but then the road goes UP. Eddie wanted to explore so we found a little dirt to ride also. The WTB tires seem to hook up quite nice here.

OK, going to go sip some Arrogant Bastard. Pics from Day 1 are HERE.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

going to the left coast

Eddie and I are leaving early tomorrow morning for 24 hours of Vail Lake in Temecula, CA. Our Vassago crew is already on the way out so they will be there to greet us in the morning. I have no idea what to expect other than long climbs and hot sun. Luckily we can get three days of pre-riding in, I'm sure my legs will need it after the flight.

I'm really sad to leave my pups behind..normally we take them everywhere. My friend Mark B and his girlfriend have been super generous in offering to dogsit while we are gone. Thanks, guys!! We owe you big time. I actually went out and bought Jackson and Porter some new toys so hopefully they are distracted when we drop them off.

So, that's it! Not sure who the competition is going to be, but you never know who will show up. I'll update when we get there tomorrow!

Monday, April 21, 2008

cohutta 35 race report

Friday, pre-race:

Remember last year when I had to make an emergency stop at Outspokin' Bikes to get a replacement BB before the Cohutta 100? Well, funny enough, I had to do the EXACT same thing this year. Thanks to Kevin, Thomas Turner, Josh, and Kevin for working on my bike at the last minute....again.

When we arrived at the venue it was later than planned but I had to ride since I had barely ridden all week. Not to mention, I hadn't ridden my new bike at all yet. We ran into Steve S, Dicky, Mark D and several others and chatted a bit before riding. I felt great on the first climb, but then I started to feel really really crappy. I couldn't keep up with Eddie and Rob on the climbs or the descents. My legs felt like junk and I was still getting used to my new setup (brand spankin new brakes and fork). Eddie said not to worry since "the worse you feel the day before the race, the better you will feel during the race." That sounded like a load of BS to me but I didn't really have any better words of wisdom at the time so I took them :)


The alarms went off at 5:00 and 5:15 am. I took the dogs out for a walk in the rain. It wasn't too chilly, and the rain wasn't too hard. We got dressed, ate a reasonable amount of food (not like I normally do..since I was only racing 3 hours today, not 12+), and loaded up the car for the day. Thanks to Jeff J for the place to stay in McCaysville! This place was about 3 blocks from the Mexican Restaurant in town. Awesome location, especially for us late sleepers :)

Time flew by in the AM. I didn't even get to say good luck to Eddie and before I knew it I was lining up. I didn't recognize many people..only a couple guys and a few girls. I spotted a Specialized/Vantaggio racer (aaaaahhh! can't remember her name..but she ended up winning..Shannon, maybe?), Ursula Sandefur (fast), a BMW-Bianchi roadie (Cara, I believe, who must be fast), Susie Council (fast), Mary Kellar (fast), and more. I had my work cut out for me! Bruce called me out and said I should have been in the 65 miler group. Yeah, yeah, I'm a slacker. Pic courtesy of Mark D

I felt pretty relaxed at the start line, and then Bruce said "Go". I couldn't keep a hold of Ursula or the Vantaggio girl. I was, however, able to pace with Susie and another girl from VA (Maryn, I think is her name). I felt good, but not stellar. No worries, I kept pushing because I wanted to get to the singletrack early and not get left behind on the pavement. That, and I needed to open my legs and lungs up..they were not quite awake yet.

I went into the singletrack in 7th place. I had no idea how many SSrs were ahead of me, though...I knew Tom Watson was but no idea who else. Tom is so strong it's sick. I knew he'd beat me unless he had a major mechanical. He ended up winning the SS class in 2:49 or something. I rode behind Susie and Maryn for most of the first section. We passed the BMW roadie and a couple other girls. Kari Lindner was riding strong but she had bad tires on for the muddy conditions. I could sense Susie and Maryn starting to fade a bit on the climbs and made a mental note. I also new a tech downhill was coming up so I wanted to get as far up as I could. Unfortunately Maryn was able to gap me a bit because some guy got between us and he was struggling on the muddy/tech sections. Luckily he let me by and I caught up with Maryn. We were having a ton of fun riding the tech stuff. She was able to again gap me on the flatter Copper Rd. section as I just didn't have a big enough gear to keep up. No problem, I caught her on the next singletrack climb. Soon after that was a doubletrack climb and I came around her. I put the hammer down and didn't look back. I really expected to see her again, but I never did..not until after I finished and she crossed the line a minute or so after me.

The rest of the race was a BLAST. I love riding muddy singletrack. I could barely see anything, but I managed to stay upright. I knew the last section of trail was not "all downhill" like many say it is...well I guess it IS, but only after one big climb before it. Still, nothing seemed as bad as it did last year..riding this is so much easier after 25 miles than it is after 90 miles. I loved every second, and passed a few more guys for good measure on the way down.

The last two miles is the most dreaded for a singlespeeder. Flat. pavement. Can you say spin your ass off? I got into my pretend roadie tuck and rode as fast as I could, looking over my shoulder every 10 seconds. I just pictured the BMW roadie flying by me here full out big ring..but she didn't. Nobody passed me. Sigh of relief.

More pix here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=109405&id=612060404
(Thanks Ronnie Fields for some of the photos)

and here: http://sadlebred.smugmug.com/gallery/4772642_wLfoh#P-1-20 (by Trish Albert/Southeasterncycling.com)

high of 84 low of 50

that would be the weather forecast in Temecula, CA. nice! i've already got my hydration/nutrition strategy prepared..looking forward to trying it out. i've always had huge stomach issues when racing in extreme heat. hopefully, not this time. pua sawicki gave us a description of the vail lake course and let me tell you..it sounds brutal for a 24 hour. and, i thought this was going to be the easy one! she sort of gave me a disapproving look when i told her i was racing a singlespeed there, it was funny. maybe i'll be agreeing with her next weekend :) oh well. i'm also excited to have sushi with carol ann and brian when we get there!

ok, enough surfing..back to packing.


i've read a few race reports of the cohutta 35/65/100..so i'm wondering what people think of outside support on the courses? i know a few races specifically state in the rules that you can only receive aid from other racers and aid stations..you can't have people on the course helping you out. personally, i don't think it's fair. i sure would have loved a clean bottle, clean glasses or even chain lube and a smaller cog.. but i didn't get it...and neither did most racers unless they had it in a drop bag at the aid station. if you want to support someone, then volunteer at an aid station and support everyone. i'm not sure if it was specifically stated in the cohutta race rules or not, but i know we definitely have it written in the Fool's Gold rules.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

brief update: cohutta 35

1st race is over. This could have been my best race ever. Absolutely everything went perfectly, including fitness, nutrition, strategy, and equipment. Not to mention, I can honestly say I was having fun for every single minute I was racing..it doesn't get any better than that. I will have a full report up when I have time but I was pleased to have come in 3rd place overall female (just 9 and 10 minutes off the 1st and 2nd place pro women..both of which are smokin' fast). I was scored in the singlespeed class and my time of 3:19 was good for 3rd in the SS class, also. We have a lot of bike cleanup to do today as the race was a complete mudfest, but I love to ride in that stuff so I guess it was worth it! As for the XC style racing..I loved it. I can see wanting to do more of this and less endurance stuff in the future. It was awesome to cross the finish line and not be totally wasted. The only downer is that you can't eat constantly afterwards. The beer tasted just as good, though :)

More later, here are a few pix in the meantime..

BB removed from Jabberwocky...check all the dirt! Thanks, Cody for doing the replacement.

New Optimus Ti bikes..almost done

Pit stop at Atlanta Brewing Co. on the way to the Cohutta race

Beer of choice
Pre-race Optimus Ti teaser

Thursday, April 17, 2008

9 hours later...

And we just got home from Atlanta Velo Exchange. We now (hopefully) have two bikes on their way to San Diego..and we now have two almost complete race bikes. It's 10 minutes to 8pm and we still need to fit them. And, our neighbor is having a party that we need to attend for a bit. What an awful day!! Let's just say that things didn't go so well this morning. For awhile there I didn't think I was going to have a bike to race for Cohutta OR 24/Vail Lake. Luckily Eddie found ways to work through the showstoppers and we are back in business. The bikes do look sa-weet. Mine weighs 22 lb. and that is with the not-so-light parts. I'm happy with that!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

in denial no longer

Basically, most of my big training hours are done for the year. From here on out it's all about R&R&R&R ..that's rest, race, recover, repeat from this weekend through October. I don't like taper weeks..I feel lazy. I guess that's because I haven't done a whole lot of training in the last few weeks, not as much as I would have liked. I'd be happy if I could always put in 20+hour weeks like I did in March...but oh well, I have a life outside riding a bike too. One that might actually make me a living some day :) I guess I should just enjoy the rest while I can. It sort of feels like I'm doing a big taper for just a short race this weekend which is silly. I've been in denial that I'm actually doing my first 24 hour in a week and a half...I'm sure it will seem more real when we actually start packing. It's really official now, though, because we registered today. No turning back now! We spent today fixing stuff that we've been ignoring on our bikes, and we're going to re-fit those tonight to make sure everything is marked to the millimeter before we pack them up to ship out tomorrow. Then, we're going to Addictive Cycles early in the AM tomorrow to build the race bikes..they WILL be done tomorrow because we have no choice. Sorry to keep everyone waiting :) I have to say a HUGE THANK YOU to our KICK ASS SPONSOR VASSAGO CYCLES for taking care of all the logistics for the 24 hour. It is a huge help since I've never been anywhere in Southern Cali! For the first time ever, Eddie and I can concentrate on racing and not all the logistics that can get really wearing for a race like this.


why don't we just skip beginner, sport, expert...skip them all...go straight to pro! i just looked at the cohutta 35 mile lineup for this weekend..there are several fast local pro XC women lining up. the funny thing is that i've never even raced an XC race. it's a good thing i have no delusions of winning this one, i just basically want to see who i can (or cannot) keep up with in a race this short. then again, i am totally copping out and actually racing in the SS class so it doesn't matter in the end anyway!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

let the madness begin

the madness of cleaning, fitting, shipping, and building bikes! our parts should be in tomorrow but i at least need to get a head start on shipping the jabberwocky and the bandersnatch out to san diego. we're short some necessary parts for mounting the brake sets..so not sure what we are going to do about that. i think eddie should race SS as it would be a lot easier to set his bike up without all those gearie parts ;)

i got in a nice 3 hour road ride today. i was pouting and throwing a tantrum because it was 35* outside this AM and i didn't want to ride. but..an hour in and it warmed up to a tolerable temperature. about 2:50 into my ride and i was actually pretty excited that i hadn't been buzzed by any vehicles...and not 30 seconds later, i was. nice. can't avoid it around here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

you never know what you're going to get

I got an invitation in the mail several weeks ago to attend an Honors Banquet at the University. I pretty much just figured it was some silly ribbon for getting all "A"s so I didn't think much of it. In fact, I didn't even put the event on my calendar. Well, in the same email that I got today about not being able to do my internship in Michigan this summer, my professor said she'd be available to talk to me in person about it at the awards banquet. Banquet? Oops! I had forgotten all about it. I contemplated not going at all..would anyone even notice if I wasn't there? I decided I should probably just show up so I rushed to shower and find something that wasn't Twin Six or denim to wear. This is harder than you'd think at my house.

When I arrived, I got a blue ribbon with a name tag and a program. They instructed me on where to sit, and that I would have to line up on the right to receive my award. I didn't recognize anyone but a few faculty members and two other masters nutrition students which was strange. I flipped through the program and on the first page I flipped to I saw my name: Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year: Namrita Kumar O'Dea. HUH?? My first thought was oh shit..I'm glad I didn't wear jeans. But, still, I wasn't dressed up and everyone around me was dressed in business attire. This was more than receiving a blue ribbon for getting all "A"s. Anyway, I'll fast forward through the rest but basically I got my award and attended the reception where I was able to thank several people face to face before I had to rush off to class.

So, I'm glad I decided to go..and I guess the point is...um...life is like a box of chocolates...or something like that :)

oh yeah

Oh man, I have been craving this stuff ever since I ran out several months ago. The stores are stocked up, so you need to try it! Glacier Mist is my personal favorite.

weight weenie

Monday..back on it. Slacked a bit this weekend. I did drink 1-2 beers per night, which is ok, but yesterday food was so limited that I ended up eating 5 bars. Yuck! And, I haven't been riding enough to justify my Taco Bell fix. As of last Friday, though, I had lost a pound so I'm on track.

Yesterday was a meet and ride with the US Forest Service, Woody (trail builder and advocate extraordinaire from Pisgah), some Atlanta SORBA folks, and some horse folks. We met to assess the current status of the Bull/Jake Mtn trails and talk about future directions for maintenance, sustainability, and...new trails :) This is the trail system that the Fool's Gold 100/50 races run on, so Eddie and I are also particularly interested in the project. It was a GREAT meeting on all accounts. I was surprised no local Dahlonega SORBA people or local bike shops were there to represent? Hello!! This is your back yard and you stand to gain the most from these improvements. Anyway, that's not the point. It was a great meeting but we didn't get a lot of riding in...probably only 1.5 hours at the most. So much for one last big riding day before the racing starts. Oh well, it was important to be there so no regrets!

So..back to Monday. The measuring cups are out and so is the scale. The measuring cups are to measure my food..particulary milk and cereal as I can get a little carried away with what "one serving" of that is. The scale is for..bike parts :) I wish I could leave the Odis fork on the Optimus Ti for Cohutta this weekend..but I really need to start breaking in the Magic 80 before the 24 hour...so I guess I'm going squish this weekend! Time to get used to it again, anyway. Eddie's got the Magic 80 I used last year on his bike..lucky him it's already broken in!

BTW, who messed with our weather! It's freaking freezing out there today :(

edit: I just heard that I cannot do my summer rotation in Detroit this summer and I'm really bummed. The worst part is that there is no good reason other than good ole' bureaucracy! I'm still going up early for L100 and 24 hour Nationals because these are my two most important races of the summer.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

sticker shock!

So, after today's endurance racing clinic at Addictive Cycles, the group ride was cancelled because of the rain. Eddie and I hung out at the shop and sat down with Code Red to order our parts for our new bikes, as well as some replacement parts for our current bikes. We only ordered stuff we REALLY NEEDED like chains, chainrings, new handlebar, cassette (for Eddie), etc. When Code told us the total I about had a heart attack. Luckily he added wrong, so when he re-added everything up the total was still big but after hearing the first number for some reason I was OK with the new one. Bike parts are expensive. Period. So, when we finally got home we went straight to the garage to start pulling stuff out to sell. We have TONS OF STUFF to sell, cheap. We have to sell it all in order to pay for our incoming stuff. I'm not posting it here but if you are really interested you can check out Eddie's site--right hand site under "Pages". Sorry, we can't ship, though..pickup only, so if you're not local..might as well not look.

Anyway, our parts should arrive on Wednesday so we will go back up to Addictive Cycles that day to get em done. I've decided on NO PINK for this bike. It will be simple black/white with the ti frame. Super sexy and sleek is the plan.

Friday, April 11, 2008

deja vu

Last year, one week before the Cohutta 100 race, I felt really crappy. I could barely climb a hill I was so tired. It also snowed in the mountains one week before the race.

This year, one week before the same race, I again feel really crappy. For some reason, even after a couple weeks of allowing myself to recover (while still riding..just not as much) from my 4-week binge riding episode, I'm still tired! It's frustrating. Oh, and it's supposed to snow this Sunday/Monday in the mountains again. Weird.

Our Endurance Clinic yesterday was small but good. Everyone got a lot of free stuff to take home. We are doing the second one tomorrow morning. The forecast is for rain, so I'm guessing there will be a good turnout for the clinic even if we have to reschedule the group ride/on-trail Ergon demo. We'll see.

My new bike is not built yet. I think I will get started on that tomorrow if it rains. I'd like to ride it at least once before the race next weekend! I don't think my race wheels will make it in time for the 24 hours of Vail Lake, but hopefully before the 24 hours of Conyers. They sound freakin SWEET.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

3.5 lb

Not that I'm a weight weenie....but this will definitely be the lightest mountain bike I've ever ridden. We had to order some new parts but hopefully we can have them built by the end of this weekend! The cool thing is I know I will love it because it has the same geometry as my Jabberwocky.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I love Wednesdays

Just got back from riding some kick ass new (to me) trail in Douglasville. It kind of reminded me of EBYT (Eddie's back yard trail) plus Conyers all in one. I had one off the bike ejection, but luckily I landed on pinestraw and not rock. The trail has it all...climbs, tech downhills, rocks, roots, mud, creek crossings, drops and ledges, some tricky stuff and some fast and flowing stuff.


There is a BIG BOX downstairs and I can't wait to open it. I have to get a massage, first, and then I'll post pix :)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

the secret?

I've had a few comments and emails from people wanting to know what the secret is to dropping body fat. Well, it is actually good news. There are two basic things you need to make sure you are doing:

1) Eating enough. This means eating as much as you burn at your resting metabolic rate plus what you are burning with your daily activity. If you are really trying to drop weight, subtract 500 calories per day. (FWIW, I am not subtracting 500 calories per day)

2) Eating often enough. This means every 3 to 4 hours. It has been shown in elite female athletes that the less often they eat, the higher body fat % they have.

For me, the more I eat, and the more often I eat..the less I weigh. That being said, what you eat is still important. I eat healthy on a daily basis but when I'm doing a lot of training or racing, anything goes. My current favorite post ride meal is Taco Bell--I like the Double Decker. And, I've found that a snack bag of Doritos during a long ride is awesome!! And, yes, I drink one drink a day. It's good for your heart. I think I will let myself have two on the weekends :) (BTW, the men are lucky here because they can drink more!)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Endurance Clinics this Thursday and Saturday!

We will have demo grips and packs from Ergon, as well as free samples from Chamois Butt'r and PowerBar (gels and drink mix). We're also giving away some freebies including Ergon grips, some bottles, t-shirts, and some video analysis sessions from 55nine Performance.

Atlanta Brewing Co. Beer will be available on Thursday at AVX


Addictive Cycles has arranged for coffee and light snacks from cafeine coffee shop, I believe. Bring your bikes to the Saturday clinic because we are riding at Fort Yargo afterwards!

making weight

I've had an arbitrary goal for body composition going into my race season this year. I'm almost there but I've got 3% more body fat to lose in the next three weeks. I'm no longer lifting weights so instead of putting muscle on I'll have to settle for just maintaining my muscle mass and dropping a bit of fat. I guess the hardest part of this will be limiting myself to only one drink a day...especially with the abundance of beer Eddie's got laying around the house. That, and I'm not a big fruit and vegetable person. Luckily, with the Optimus Ti, my race bike will be dropping a few pounds, as well!


After Danielle's and my misadventure in the Cohutta wilderness, I swore I wouldn't take my singlespeed up there again anytime soon.

Well, we finally had good weather yesterday and Eddie wanted to check out the Cohutta 65 course. So, I joined him. I wanted to ride all the singletrack and a little gravel road, but that can't really be done with the course layout. Instead we rode about 20 miles of trail and 30 miles of road. Luckily there are really no tough climbs on the gravel portion of the 65 route, the worst ones come around Potatopatch which you only hit in the 100 miler. Still, I was TIRED when the day was over, probably due to being low on calories and fluid for the ride. We didn't have a watch or phone so I was clueless as to how long we had been out.

The Cohutta 35 is going to be a learning experience for me as I have never raced anything under 6 hours!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

another day


i snuck out for a couple hours on the rail trail yesterday and literally JUST missed the downpour. i didn't want to go back out there today and all the trails are closed so i snuck out for a run with the dogs this afternoon. there is something about running in crappy weather that is really fun. it was wet but not cold.

tomorrow's forecast is sun and 74* so eddie and i are going to put a long one in somewhere, maybe around the cohutta 65-100 course.

eddie finally checked the mail for us yesterday, and inside was something with stars and hearts and a really sweetass jersey.

Friday, April 04, 2008

edit: more good news

It looks like Eddie and I will be putting together race bikes next week, woohoo! For the first time ever I will actually be going to 24 hour races with 2 bikes so I will have a backup in case of a mechanical, yay me! My main racer will be the Optimus Ti and my backup will be my good ole' pink steed. Both will have one gear. Though, I may opt to run gears on the Optimus Ti for the 24 hours of Conyers. Keep your eye on Cyclingnews.com to see the full buildups of all the bikes when they are done!

Oops, I just thought of something...how am I supposed to race at Cohutta when my bikes will be on their way to CA for the 24 hour?? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

how fitting..another rainy day.

Things have been a little stressful around here lately. I've got some personal issues that have been taking a lot of my energy and mental strength and unfortunately I should be channeling that energy into my training as I have a big year coming up.

Some GOOD news..though..is that I might be getting to spend some time up north in Michigan this summer. I will be there for Lumberjack 100 and then again for 24 hour Nationals so I am trying to work out my internship for that month in MI. That would mean a 7-8 week trip! That also means I can train with someone!!!! I love Michigan in the summer and it would be good to spend some extended time with my family and ride some new stuff. It doesn't hurt that Bells and Founders can be found up there, either ;)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

well damn!

is it too much to ask to just race my bike?? the 13 hour race this weekend is cancelled because there is a chance of rain. grrrrr!!!!!!!!

today we met up with several guys from Florida's SWAMP club who were on their way to Ellijay. we rode @ blankets, it was fine. the guys were entertaining at least and i got to witness some nice crashes!

before i know it, it will be time to start tapering for the 24 hours of vail lake so i sure hope i can get some good training in this weekend and next week! it sounds like cohutta will be the only pre-race race i will get now. oh well!

coffee & bikes

They go together like singlespeeds, tattoos, and beer! ;) Yesterday we drove up to cafeine in Buford (formerly Jittery Joes). Addictive Cycles is moving in to do some part time work (wrenching and a few accessory sales). Right now they will only be there Saturdays from 8-12 but if it is successful they will have more hours. This is great news for Addictive Cycles customers like me that live in Atlanta! The cafe was really nice, too. The coffee is good. Eddie actually won a bag of the house blend. The group ride was fun and mellow, and will be starting up regularly on Wed. at 6:30pm! So far I'm still liking the road riding! It is good for my leg speed and fitness. I have a paranoia of getting stuck at the back now, though, so I have to be at the front but I try and avoid pulling as much as I can. It's my instinct to want to pull but I'm trying to learn to be a roadie :)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Dirt Sweat & Gears and SSUSA

We are set up for Saturday May 3rd for the 12hr race and SSUSA on Friday May 2nd. SSUSA is a collaborative effort between our team and pro SS racers Dejay Birtch and Fuzzy John Mylne. Think single speed xc race with all the requisite beer and antics.
• DSG has again made the USAC Ultra Endurance Series for 2008.
• DSG is offering a $10,500 purse to be paid equally to both male and female racers.
• DSG has selected the American Cancer Society this year as their charity and hopes to raise at least as much money as we gave to last year's charity, Al's Pals (a charity to fight Crohn's Disease). For details, please go to: http://dirtsweatandgears.com/?page_id=32
• DSG will also be supporting trail advocacy by giving back $10 from every racer who registers that is a Sorba or Imba member. In addition Maverick Bikes is offering up a complete Maverick Matic as a fund raiser for SORBA and IMBA. One lucky member will walk away with this great prize. For details, please go to: http://dirtsweatandgears.com/?page_id=31
• Check it out a video of last years race at : http://dirtsweatandgears.com/?page_id=6
• The field is starting to get stacked with committments from the following pro racers: Tinker Juarez, Nat Ross, Ernesto Marichen, Chris Janiziewski, Eddie and Namrita O'dea, Carey Lowery, Danielle Musto, Erika Tieszen, Monique Sawicki, Jesse and Marko Lalonde, Josh Tostado, Dave Harris, etc...and the one and only Gary Fisher will be in attendence for the weekend!

On the subject of DSG's charity, The American Cancer Society is a cause that hits especially close to home. A member of the DSG Team, Mark Cleveland's wife Sheila, has just completed her last chemo treatments from a recent battle with breast cancer. The good news is that she's doing very well.

With that in mind, DSG is more focused on bringing attention to this cause. They will be working to do everything they can to get the word out about the Cancer Society's efforts in this cause. A few of the sports top female competitors including Rebecca Rusch, Carey Lowery, Namrita O'dea, Danielle Musto, Erika Tieszen, and Monique Sawicki. All of these ladies are signed up to race and are looking to throw down in Middle Tennessee while supporting a great cause.

In addition, both Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles and Vassago Cycles are stepping up to offer custom frames to support this important cause. Ellsworth is offering up a Project Pink Epiphany and Vassago is sending a custom Pink Jabberwocky. Both frames will go to lucky raffle winners at the event.

Speaking of raffles, the following is a partial list of the prizes that will go to racers who are eligible simply for signing up at DSG:
• A Specialized Hardtail Frame from The Biker's Choice
• A complete Specialized Epic FSR from Trailhead, Inc.
Three Vassago Jabberwocky Frames from Vassago Cycles
• A complete Cannondale Rush 5 rom REI
• A Gary Fisher Paragon frame from Gary Fisher Cycles
• A Gary Fisher Rig frame from Bicyles Etc.
• A Gary Fisher Rig frame from MOAB Bikes
• Two Bontrager Wheelsets
• A custom Wheelset from the one and only Hodge at Addictive Cycles
• A Project Pink Epiphany frame from Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles
• Forks, groupos, Tifosi sunglasses, ProGold Lube, Pint Glasses, stem caps, Ergon Grips, Genuine Innovation products, Selle Italia Saddles, Princeton Tec Lights, etc.
• A complete Maverick Matic from Maverick Bicycles

Wednesday Dirt

The sun is out today so we packed up and headed out to Conyers for a ride. Some people may disagree with me, but I think this is the worst singlespeed trail we have locally. It hurts! OK it is fine for a lap or three, but for 24 hours??? OK, I'll stop my whining now. So as we are about to roll out, Eddie realizes he has no helmet. Ugggggh. I wasn't about to not ride today as the last time his wheel blew up I let him ride my Jabberwocky. So, luckily Eddie brought his video camera and was able to get a lot of video footage of me climbing, descending, and getting through (or not getting through, in some cases) techy and steep sections. I'm looking forward to analyzing it with him because I have no idea what I look like on a singlespeed. He did say that I have a funky way of climbing when it gets really steep so if I can do that more efficiently, I'll be happy to learn how. The trails were super dry so it's time to put the Weirwolf/Exiwolf combo back on! Though, Eddie really liked the Vulpines at Conyers. I will be trying those out ASAP. We only got one lap in, but we were out there for a long time riding, switching helmets, video-ing, and picking lines.

The Strokers worked great! It took about 10 minutes to break them in and I really like them. This eve we are heading up to Addictive Cycles for a group road ride.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


so i got up this morning to rain....knowing i had a long day ahead of me at school...i got on the trainer for an hour and eddie ran some video analysis on me so i could work on my pedaling skillz. then, what do i see when i'm on my way to class? the sun, of course! shining bright all day while i was sitting in class. i can only hope that the rest of this week is full of sun because i am off for the next 5 days and all i need to do is ride my bike!! i'm looking forward to testing out my new Hayes Strokers. I've also got some new WTB Vulpines to try out..they look fast rolling...good for Temecula? Or maybe stick with the Weirwolf. Hmm. I just hope the trails aren't too muddy tomorrow.