Friday, December 30, 2011

Council Bluff Ride (Little Buddy's Bday ride)

Gibbs, Brown, Rister
Woke up at 5am to head to Edwardsville to pick up Andy Gibbs and Tim Rister for a trip to the Ozark Trail (Council Bluff) on Thursday morning.  I got to Andy's right on time at 6am (miracle) and we picked Tim up around the corner a little later.  There were several more guys there drinking coffee convincing themselves they were ready to go.  One of those guys was Little Buddy and this was the 4th or 5th annual birthday ride in his honor (I just met him for the first time that morning).  All the the gear was stowed and bikes loaded and we were off at 6:30 ish.  We met two other guys at the trailhead at 9am.  Everyone proceeded to change into their riding gear in the parking lot, thankfully it was a warm day....

Derailer Maintenance
There was a mile or so of gravel road to start before we dropped into the trail, then 300 feet or so into the trail, the guy in front of me hit a rock through a creek crossing and his tire blew with the sound of a 12 gauge shotgun.  Thankfully, we were only a mile or so away from the parking lot and one of the guys had a spare tire and quickly took off to get it while the bike got prepped to accept a new tire.  Unfortunately, this set the tone for the day.  We had several mechanicals with Andy swinging into action everytime to get us back on the trail quickly.  Andy is the head mechanic at the Cyclery and has outstanding "skills".  Halfway through the ride the guy who blew out his tire, had his rear derailer hanger bust and the derailer wrap around up into his wheel (not good).  Between all ten of us we had 4 or so derailer hangers in our bags but none fit his bike.  One good thing, we found out my newly purchased (two days prior) derailer hanger doesn't fit my bike as well.

Great Views
We ended up riding for about 7 hours but didn't cover a whole lot of miles for that amount of time (36 miles) but we had a good time.  There was a lot of time spent like you see on the here on the left in this pic.

Gibbs wind up radio for lunch tunes

Self portrait at the peak

me and the superfly!

On the bright side, there was 4,200 feet of climbing on this loop and I was right in the mix on the long grinding climbs.  A year ago I would have been way behind at the end of one of those kinds of climbs as well as spent....This year I was right there and felt good all day and still feel good today!  Now, there were guys a lot faster than I, but they were not in race mode hammering.  Great day, great ride, the ozark trail system is awesome.

Go Big or Stay Home

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Catching Up

Since I am back into posting full time :)..... I thought I would just take an opportunity to catch up on everything I have missed.

1. The Cyclery in Edwardsville is going to have a team next year and I will be on it. The kits are getting finalized as I type...(they are gonna be cool)

2. I have done two power tests. One in February this year and one last weekend. I havent seen my overall comparison yet but my coach says that I improved across the board by about 20 watts. Thats decent, and I will test again in 3 weeks or so with the coach,,,,with coaching through the test which should improve the numbers.

3. I have bought a new mountain bike for next years race....2011 Trek Superfly 100....This is a carbon full suspension bike and will have a post dedicated specifically to it soon.

4. My fitness level has improved dramatically this year.

5. I have been doing a lot of strength training lately and getting strong (for me). I have been incorporating Pride Fitness's Saturday Circuit into my week when I can. It is awesome and is great for the core.

6. I have converted my old mountain bike into a single speed.

7. I went shopping with DFlack and he just purchased a Trek Madone 5.1.....Hope he's ready to ride!

8. I went mountain bike riding with Mr. Ironman Butler a couple of weeks on my new ride and him on his 20 year old Specialized that he not ridden in years......He now has a new mountain bike....Sorry Rene. He is ready to ride and we have already had his new machine out on the trails. He was fast for his second trip on the trails in 15 years.... Pretty soon he will be pulling me around the trails like he pulls me on the road rides.

9. I bettered my Tour de Doughnut time by more than 1/2 hour from last years time. I was 54th out of 1500 or so riders. I was very pleased with that. 32ish miles in 1:17. My last years time was close to 1:50. I guess my coach and the training has helped a little. These times are approximate and from memory, I just did not want to take the time to look them up Im on a roll....

Other unrelated personal items..

7. We sold our house and moved to town and I have a great computrainer/weight room in our new place!

8. Hudson is in IMSA (Illinois Math and Science Academy) Program.

9. Madison is a blue belt in TKD.

10. Darla quit her job (So she can do all the house stuff and I will have more time to ride).

11. Madison got braces.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Berryman Trail Epic

So, the other other big race this year......the Berryman Trail Epic.... roughly 56 miles in the Steelville, MO area.

I drove down with my coach (Andy Gibbs) and another buddy of his Skip (that's not his name nor do I know his name).  We stayed at a cabin at the campground that hosted the race.  It was pretty primitive but not a tent.  However, when I retrieved my sleeping bag from the car, it was soaking wet.....made for a cold night.

We prepped everything the night before - bikes, nutrition, clothing - and then got up at 6am to put some fuel in the tank.  Andy and Skip had their oatmeal with additives pre-made and all they had to do was add water and nuke it.  I went to the shop at the campground for some oatmeal but guess what, they did not open till 8.  So, I sponged left overs from Andy and Skip and ate a protein bar or two and a bagel.

As we lined up for the race, I noticed the people at the start line did not have the diversity of a normal race.  What I mean is they all looked Ironman Triathlete fit (shout out to Rick and Tracy my IM buddies here!).  I found out later that was because this race is long and hard.  This was the first time I had ridden down there and my first time on this trail was this race (not recommended).

The first 25 miles were glorious.  I was flying, average speed was very high....then, all of a sudden....OW, MY HAMSTRING!!! the cramps started.  What I didn't tell you was that I thought I would try this one without a camelpak.  A camelpak is a hydration pack that holds 80 ounces of water or so.  It also holds other nutrition and salt tabs.  Guess what, I needed it....not that fit yet....well, the pros do it!  But without a crew at the aid stations it is a little tough without a pack.  Anyway, the next 30 miles were excruciating.  I cramped early and often.  At one point I was on the trail and couldn't move and sent everyone around me through the woods.  The thought of throwing in the towel actually did float through my head for a couple of minutes, and I had to play mind games with myself to keep going.  With about 5 miles left the course opened up to a fire road and I started to feel good.  I opened her up and started hammering, and passing racer after racer and then,,,,,, BOTH HAMSTRINGS about 2 miles from finish.  All those racers passed me back and they all were saying "Do you need anything?"......"Yes, not to be so stupid not bring a pack on a 56 mile race with no crew!"

All in all, it was a great learning experience as I had felt great all year and not cramped in any race but it re-emphasized how important nutrition is before and during a race.  I can't wait to go back and ride the Berryman as they are some of the best trails in the Midwest.  And if anyone is looking for a great race to train for next year, these guys know how to do it....  Berryman Epic

Also, my buddy Andy finished 8th out of 300 or so.... With some pros in the race and in the top ten, this is a very impressive performance!  Way to go coach!  Yours truly was 154th in 7 hours and 5 minutes...

Well, I finished....

Go Big or Stay Home

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

12 Hours of Canal Loop

OK!! I mean it!! I will start posting regularly!

So much has happened that I have not captured on here related to racing and training.  I am so mad at myself for not keeping up but it  I have instructed my wife to not let me "wind down" in the evenings until I post.  So settle in and buckle up until August 11, 2012.....The day I
"Race Across The Sky"

After the Leadville 50 I did two more EPIC races this season.  The first was the 12 hours of the canal loop in Western KY.  This is the same race that I did in 2009.  In 2009 I did the 12 hour solo (by myself) and rode 5 laps for 55 miles.  In 2011, I did the 6 hour solo because my coach said he wanted me to go all out and not pace myself.  Well, in 6 hours I did 5 loops for 55 miles....sound familiar...yes, same result 6 fewer hours.  I would say that the training is paying off!  It was a great race and my wife and kids went with me, which made it even better!

 To the right, both the boys on their Gary Fisher machines.....yes if you have read previous posts this is a new bike.....ssshhhhh don't tell my wife...more to come on my purchase in a future post.

To the left, goin' out for another lap.

BTW, I have entered the lottery for the Race Across The Sky and will be sending in my volunteer forms that have my documented volunteer hours from this year.  This should ensure I get in....if not, the race director lied!

Go Big or Stay Home

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Leadville Silver Rush 50 mtn bike race!!!!

850 or so riders to start
Well, my first real test to see if my training is going to pay off.............yep.

I finished the Leadville 50 in 7 hours 36 minutes.  The time cutoff was 8 hours, thats when they sweep you off the course and call you girlie names....but no girlie names for me!

The first 10 miles or so of the race is up the mountain, yes 10 miles, but it is an out and back course so I knew miles 40-50 (i.e. the last 10 miles) would be downhill (comforting, right?)  I made the first aid station at 13.5 miles at 1 hour 52 minutes, I knew anything under 2 hours 10 minutes, I was finishing!  Hudson changed out my accelerade bottles, Darla changed out my water filled camelpak, and Madison filmed the whole thing with Darla's iphone.  I took on two salt tabs and was off.

Registration Tent 
At halfway, I was well under 4 hours and feeling very strong and cocky (I mean confident).  My beautiful wife and awesome kids were at this stop as they were at all of them with my nutritional needs for the race.  It made the day sooo much better to have them as my crew.  Also, at halfway, I was giving my kids a kiss to take off again and Ken (the founder of the Leadville race series and the LT100) walks up and says, "kids, your dad is tough, I mean, tough"  Hudson said with his face a glow, "Hey, thats the guy!"  He knows the guy as we own both documentaries for Race Across The Sky (2009 and 2010).  Incidentally, a little known guy named Lance Armstrong won 2009 and Levi Leipheimer won 2010.

At stop number 3, about 38 miles in, I knew barring a bad crash or a mechanical issue I was going to beat 8 hours by quite a bit.  I took on a couple more salt tabs, changed out the nutrition stuff, kissed my wife and kids and headed up a torturous climb for a couple of miles which led into that aformentioned 10 mile downhill to the finish.
Entering AID Station #2

Leaving AID Station #3

So, my buddy Brad that I ride with quite a bit tells me to be careful on the downhills before the race.  Why you ask?  Because he does ride with me and has seen me on the downhills.... However, I always rein it in as I know I have to go to work on Monday so I never really do let it all hang out.....except colorado during the Leadville 50.  At the top of the climb there were 7-10 riders waiting to point their machines downhill and start screaming.  Some were taking on fluid, others nutrition, and some checking their equipment (brakes) before heading for home.  I smiled, said hello, and started down.  OK, so, on the climbing part (especially in CO) I struggle, I get passed, but I keep going..... On the downhill, not so much.  I passed 10-15 riders on the down and did not get passed once.....I was flying, we have all heard of being "in the zone", well, for the first time ever on a bike for me, I was "in the zone".  My lines were beautiful, my body was loose, my legs were strong (yes I did pedal when I could), and I felt like I was just floating down the mountain (at an average speed of 25mph with a peak of 37.5!)  I have never felt the exhileration of that descent.  I have goosebumps right now typing this.....
Finish Line

Crossing Finish Line!!

Then the finish.  Crossed the line, my family rushes to me, I see the proud faces of my children and my wife, I think about what they have done, the training sacrifices my wife has made, the downhill feeling I just had, the pride of finishing and.....yes,,,,,, I had to take a moment,,,,,it was very emotional, I did not expect that.
Yea baby!!
Nice Hair!

Go Big or Stay Home

Monday, July 4, 2011

New pieces and parts....

I have replaced several parts on the rig while in my blogging hiatus and will summarize those for your reading pleasure.

As I approach my first major race (test) this year, I have decided to get down to my "race weight" of 162.  I have wieghed significantly more than this in my life but had leveled off at 173.  I can pretty much eat what I want (within reason) and exercise and maintain this weight.  So, I figure if I am going to go down to race weight, I might need to focus some attention on the weight of my bike :).

I am not a weight weeny that is going to go for the lighting possible setup but a few pounds here and there could make a big difference.

The first things I changed were my handlebars and seatpost.  I went with bontrager race light carbon bars and race light carbon seatpost (xxx).  I also changed out the stem to make my position on the bike more aggressive.  While at the bike shop for this change, Andy changed my grips and yelled at me for leaving the old ones on for so long.  I guess he doesnt like the rubber to come off in his hands when he grabs the grips like I do....Believe it or not, this reduced the wieght by over a pound (thats a lot).

I have also replaced my wheelset with Stans notubes Crest wheels with hutchison python tubeless tires.  This reduced the weight by almost 2 pounds!

The bike comes in at 24 pounds now and that is good enough for me.... The only thing to upgrade on this rig in the future is the brakes, I have mechanical disk brakes and NEED hydraulic disk brakes at some point....But for now, when I squeeze, it stops.  So, the money flow has to stop before my wife kills me!

Go Big or Stay Home

Catching Up

Well, as it turns out, I am terrible at keeping up with a blog.  I WILL do better going forward!

From March 27th,
We went to Chicago for a family get away and I had some training to do over that weekend.  I took a video of the Lifetime Fitness Facility I went to for the ride.  Wow, what a gym.

From May 13th,
The Paschals, Wyatts and Browns went to Paducah, KY for the weekend and the boys rode both days.  We rode in the Shawnee National Forest in southern IL.  The first day we took the path less traveled to get back to the start and lets just say it was less traveled for a reason.... Brad was ready to get out of the woods.....The storm rolling in did not help either...NO we were not lost!
The second day we rode about 3 hours did get lost but it was better.....That is what planted the seed for upgrading my garmin 305 to a 705!

Mud makes a good ride!  And on the right we have the support vehicle!
I am not sure if I would ride in boat shoes like Brad but it works for him.  Grant had to one up Brad with flip flops, these guys are animals!

From June 19th,
Well a race I went to today out west of St. Louis was cancelled due to weather....should have checked the website (that I did not know existed).  So, I went and rode a couple of hours at Castlewood State Park.  This is some of the best riding in the St. Louis Metro area IMHO.

 This was also the inaugural ride with my new Stans no tube Crest wheels.....these took 2 lbs off of my bike.

I have been goin hard but these are the rides I had pics for on my phone....Again, I will be doing better with the updates!

Go Big or Stay Home

Saturday, April 23, 2011

1st race of the year

Well,  Life happens, I have not posted in quite some time.  However, I have been training hard!

This past weekend I went to Lawrence, Kansas for the BoneBender 6 Hour Mountain Bike Race.  Andy Gibbs (coach) also went and two of his friends from the St. Louis area.  As my sons birthday party was on Saturday at 2 and Andy was leaving at 12, I had to go it alone.  However, my dad did "step up" to the challenge and go with me.

That's Andy on the 2nd place podium for the Mens Open Division, he did 7 laps.

This is me on the course finishing up a lap in the chute, I did four laps in 6 hours, about 40 miles.  It was a slow time but the course was VERY rocky and technical.  Overall, I felt very strong on the day.  The main difference is that Andy had me taking on some different kinds of nutrition and I did not cramp or "Bonk" which I usually do.  That is a major step forward!

There was also a guy on the course with a camera on his bike and shot some good footage and some with me in the video!

For those of you who would like to ridicule me on my performance, here is the link to the RESULTS.

Overall, it was a fun race and I did feel as strong as I have felt in a race but the rocky technical nature of this coarse slowed me down.  Looking forward to the Firecracker 50 on July 4th!

Go Big or Stay Home

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lactate Threshold

Yesterday was my first ever LT (Lactate Threshold) test.  Because my computrainer is still not functioning through the computer (cord to be delivered the 9th to solve the problem), I did the test while monitoring my heart rate.  Here is what the test looked like:
20 minute warm up on the bike
5 minutes all out (avg heart rate 170)  This according to the coach was just to "open up the lungs"
10 minutes recovery
20 minutes all out (avg heart rate 168)
20 minutes recovery

Obviously, the 20 minutes all out is the test.....Man, I have done a lot of training etc. but this was pretty tough.  Although I do like it better than just riding for two hours on the trainer.  It was different because when you are out riding and you peak your heartrate for a while you either shift gears to accommodate or dismount on a steep climb to let your heartrate recover, but with this, you just power through for 20 minutes.  My LT number is 160.  My coach analyzed my data from this test and told me this number.  It is a little troubling to this engineer that I do not know how that was calculated.....yet.  On a positive note (I guess) the coach had me estimated at 154 and I moved it up to 160.....good I think....

More to come on this when I know more.....I wonder if there is online classed for this?

Go Big or Stay Home

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Computrainer Issues

So, for Christmas I bought Darla an iMac (which is awesome).  This meant our desktop got "promoted" to my computrainer computer.  The computer that came with my computrainer purchase from craigslist was ancient and very slow.  The connection for the computrainer to plug into that computer went into a serial port, yes thats very old school.

Therefore, my new computer I had to get a serial to USB converter....well guess what, the drivers do not work with VISTA, go figure.  After three weeks, countless hours, and two cords purchased that did not work, I have ordered a $50 piece from computrainers website that they say is just what I need.  But I just couldn't pay the overnight shipping so I will wait for UPS ground.

I am excited to get it going as my coach has on my schedule to do my first LT Power test (Lactate Threshhold).  This will tax my body but give us some great data to start training from.....

I can still use my computrainer in the meantime through a small head unit that comes with it but it is just very limited to what you can accomplish in this manner.  So don't worry, I am still on the trainer just not utilizing all of the technology yet.

Go Big or Stay Home

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Paint Job!!!

Well, its been a while since my last post and I have a ton of excuses as to why but lets just say.....busy!

Scott at the powder coat shop was very gracious with redoing my bike.  So now it is black!  My favorite color.  I picked it up a couple of weeks ago immediately called Mr. Mike Dixon to help with the decals for the finished look.  Mike is about my age and grew up riding BMX like me.  However, his hobby is restoring vintage 70's and 80's BMX bikes.  As I type now, I wish I had taken some pics of his work while I was at his house but I did not.  However, I do have pics of my finished product.... I am so happy with the outcome.

Here it is!!!  The pic does not do it justice.

Old Color Scheme (NEON green stinks)

New SLX crankset and chain and XT front derailer
New Rear Cassette and Sram X9 long cage rear derailer
Close up of the FLAMES!

Hard to see REDLINE with FLAMES

I took all of the stickers off of the wheels and fork to black it out as best I could.....very pleased with the outcome.

Go Big or Stay Home

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I now have Training Peaks software somewhat set up.  My coach has started entering my workouts into the program and I then upload my workout when I am done.  My first four weeks are really just to get my body used to the routine and learn some of the techniques, weights, and such I will be doing over the next year or so.  My first four weeks I am scheduled for about 7 hours of training per week.  This doesnt sound like much, but in the winter with a couple of days off in between, I am already finding it a little bit of a struggle.  This is mainly because I cannot go outside and ride for three hours, I have to do it on my "drainer" (to quote Tracy) or trainer.....more specifically my computrainer.

I am finding two things happen on every trainer ride:

1.  I go numb.  For those non-bikers I will stop there.  For you bikers, yes, this is something I need to get fixed.  I have been "fit" on my road bike and changed the saddle several times to no avail.  But I will succeed.

2.  At about 55 minutes my brain starts telling me to get off of the trainer.  My body is not tired but my mind is BORED!  And no it doesnt matter what is on t.v.....Maybe I should just watch Race Across The Sky everytime!  OK, if you've never seen a mountain biking clip or wonder what I am talking about in this blog, please click on Race Across The Sky link in the previous sentence and watch the trailer for that movie.  I had goose bumps the whole clip!  I think I held my breath through the whole trailer the first time I watched it.  (maybe that will help me the race at that altitude)

On a side note, my bike should be done (redone) at the powder coat shop tomorrow or thursday.  I already have the sticker man (Mike) and the bike shop on notice, so the bike will be back together swiftly upon completion,,,,, I cannot wait!  All the new componentry will be installed at that time.

Go Big or Stay Home

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Coach? No Coach?

I can do anything myself! Right?
I am a confident guy!  No coach needed!  Right?

Well, Tiger Woods has a coach.....
Lebron has a coach.....
Lance Armstrong has a coach....

Could a coach know something about endurance bike races that I dont?  Lets see, how many true endurance events have I raced?
Firecracker 50 on July 4, 2009, oh crap, that was a DNF cause of the time cutoff.  and I went with the wrong equipment and slightly overweight for the competition.
12 Hours of the Canal Loop 2009, I rode 66 miles but Bonked on the next to last 11 mile loop and just pushed my body through the last 13 or so miles.  So, fitness and nutrition were out of wack as I should have road longer and Bonking (hitting the wall) is something you do not want to have happen on race day.
Lets just stop there.  I guess maybe someone to outline a way to build my endurance and help with nutrition and make me accountable might not be such a bad thing.  After all, Lance has a coach.

So, I googled it.  The one thing that seems to overlap in all endurance sports is Training Peaks software.  Everyone seems to be tied into this, especially those crazy triatheletes.  Speaking of those guys, my friend Tracy who just finished IRONMAN AZ, used Training Peaks as well which I did not know until I asked him if he had heard of it.  After hacking around their website, I searched for Training Peaks affiliated coaches and Mr. Andy Gibbs (AG Coaching) of your hometown (if you live in Edwardsville) bike shop the Cylery is a Training Peaks coach.  After a thorough investingation and interview, POW he's hired....

I had a meeting with him this past Friday and he explained the software to me and went over the baseline testing I will do (lactate threshold and stuff).  More to come on this stuff when I understand it more...oh wait, I know all this stuff, I dont need a coach.....Right....

Go Big or Stay Home

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Strength Training

As you can imagine, endurance mountain bike racing is not just about being fit on your bike.  There is a tremendous amount of endurance needed for all of the muscles in your body not just your legs (Especially the triceps).  My triceps are what blew out in the Firecracker 50 in 2009.  So, last night I started with the weights.

Wow am I weak!  Back in my college soccer days I was no stranger to the weight room.  I couldnt hang with the likes of Tom Sontag but could hold my own.....that was many years ago my friends.  I went through a series of exercises with  very light weight and a lot of reps and YES I am sore today.  Not as bad as it could be, I could still put on my deoderant myself.  I did work in a lot of squat type stuff and man is my backside feeling it.  All in all, I did 45 minutes of weights, I know this will improve over time as I do more, but I sure do HATE starting from being this weak.  Makes me wish I had jumped on the P90X bandwagon with my buddy Jason.

Go Big or Stay Home

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bike Selection

For this race, I started from scratch with my planning which meant my current mountain bike.

Is it the right bike?  I currently have a 2009 Redline D660.  Yes the Redline from the days of my youth that was a BMX bike.  Not many people choose Redlines on the Mountain but they make a great ride.  Most of the bike is componentry anyway, the brand is pretty much just the frame.

26 or 29er?  This is the size of the wheels.  In the last few years 29ers (29 inch wheels) have gained popularity as they roll over big obstacles better but are suspect in the handling department.  My current rig is a 29er. (and I love it and have been known to say I will never go back to a 26 inch set up)

Hardtail or Full Suspension?  I used to ride full suspension but feel more comfortable on a hardtail.  I think they are better for climbing but can chatter your teeth on the downhills sometimes.  Overall, the hardtail is my mountain bike of choice.  However, not ever have ridden the leadville terrain I wanted to make sure this was the correct choice.

Gearing?  The main problem with my Redline for Leadville is gearing.  Is has a 1X9 setup.  Meaning one chainring in the front and 9 in the back.  Hence only 9 gears, not nearly enough for going up the side of a mountain.

So, as I have done over the last 18 years or so, I called Steve Wilson (my semi-pro riding, mountain biker, bike shop owner, leadville 100 finisher, friend).  Steve and I worked together in Calvert City Kentucky at BFGoodrich.  This was my first job out of college and we logged some major time on the mountain bike trail.  One major note, this was also when I did my first big race which was the 24 Hours of Canaan (Canaan, WV, we had a blast).
Steve asked, do you like your current bike?  I said, I love it but its not the right one for this race, is it?  And to summarize our hour long conversation, he said....wheels, wheels, wheels!  For a race like this or any mountain bike race, as long as you are on a decent rig, wheels are what make the difference in Steve's opinion.  And as luck would have it, he had a set in the shop he could give me a good deal on!  He aslo recommended changing the gearing on my ride to accommodate some more climbing potential.

So, Steve's overall recommendation's were:
1.  New wheels, Bontrager Race X Lite, Retail $XXX we'll see.
2.  New Crankset, Shimano SLX, $180
3.  New Front Derailer (cause I do not have gearing in the front currently I will have to add this), $40
4.  New Front Shifter $40
Therefore, other than the new wheels which can be added later, the changes are not insurmountable cost wise.

Now for the personal touches.  I have never liked the Green Lettering on my bike, I am a you can have any color as long as its black guy.  So, yes, you guessed it, while I have to take off my cranks to install new, what better time to strip my bike down and paint it!  And because its a Redline, I can get some cool vintage stickers from the 80's to deck it out.

Here is the first pic of the new paint job.  I know it looks black like I like but in the sun it is actually dark blue.  The powdercoat guy talked me into blue pearl and I'm not sure I can live with it.  So it might get repainted black!

 Vintage Redline Stickers from mid 1980's
 More Vinatge Stickers, these flames will go on the top tube and down tube!  It will be awesome!

This bike should be back together about the second week of January.  In the meantime, I will be riding my road bike on the trainer in the basement.

Go Big or Stay Home

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Over The Mountain

Well, here it is, something I have ridiculed other people for doing, the beginning of my own blog.  My intention is to document the next year and half of training, challenges, failures and hopefully ultimate success at the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race in 2012.  I will have to go to Colorado twice in 2011 to volunteer at Leadville events to ensure my entry in the 2012 race.  Entrance to this race is in a lottery format as it is the preeminent endurance mountain bike race in the Country.  This is the race that the Lance Armstrong documentary Race Across The Sky was filmed at in 2009.  It is also the race that starts at 10,200 feet of elevation, peaks at over 13,000 feet and has 14,000 feet of climbing total in the 100 miles.  You must also finish in less than 12 hours....piece of cake!

I grew up riding BMX bicycles and shifted to soccer through high school and college and came back to the bike after college.  I moved to Calvert City, KY which happened to be just a few miles from the land between the lakes (LBL) where I learned to mountain bike with the help of Steve Wilson at Wood-N-Wave Bike Shop.  Since then, I have been on and off the bike as we all tend to get fit, then fat, then fit again (can anyone relate?).  In 2010, I added a road bike and put a lot more miles in than normal and have a decent biking base fitness level built to start my training.

Currently, I am doing research to structure my training in a way that I do not waste time and effort in my pursuit.  I am finding out that a coach and a lot of technology will focus me is such a way to accomplish my task (more on all of those specifics later).  I will track all my workouts so I have a good record of all that I am doing.  My hope is document this trip from recreational bike rider to Leadville 100 Finisher.  Also, as I learned through Tracy Butler's Ironman Journey , I want to inspire my children to set what seems to be an unattainable goal and work to accomplish it.  I really do believe we should live this life setting the best example we can, for others, and as the bible tells us, for our kids.  I also hope that this might inspire someone to bite off something more than they feel they can chew and go for it much like Mr. Butler's Blog and experience did for me.  And to be honest, I do have doubt today in my ability to finish this race even in peak condition. Those butterflies I feel while even typing that sentence are what makes me want to proceed!  

So, please take this blog as a personal Diary of a Madman trying to do something in his 40th year on this earth that defies what his mind (and others) tells him to do.  This blog is about that and for my personal records vs. trying to sell, promote or brag.  I am also not a writer and speak from the heart at times with poor grammar, so please overlook these imperfections.

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