Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vermont, Part Deux

Yeah, it's been a Vermont kind of week. I had a killer time rolling around in a ball of cramps and agony in the field at last week's race, and, well, after a few days of rain, I was anxious to get back up to VT for some more riding.

I was able to convince Jamie and Andy to make the 3+hr drive up to Kingdom Trails, and I suspect that they had a good day trip. I know I did. Even after all that rain that soaked New England, the trails were in prime condition. We hit Harp, Coronary Bypass, Fencline, Pastore Point & Loop, Coronary (a tough climb where I totally dropped the HAMMER on Jamie and LEFT HIM IN MU DUST), Tap & Die, River Run, Webs (ah... Webs), Dry Feet, West Branch, Violet's Outback, Sidewinder, Border, Jaw, Maxilla... okay, get the picture?

Monday, August 23, 2010

VT 30!

Some days you’re the hammer, some days you’re the nail.
Some days you bite the bear, some days the bear bites you.
Some days you’re the gloved finger, some days you’re the boggy prostate.

On Saturday, I was the latter in all three examples.

The scene of the crime was the VT30, a 6-hour mountain bike race in Pittsfield, Vermont. I don’t have all of the details of the crime, but as near as I can tell, I was riding along, minding my own business, when I was ambushed by team of varsity field hockey players, doped up on testosterone, and looking to take out some frustration on a man. I suspect I was drugged, midazolam or maybe a rufie, because I don’t remember much. But I do know that my muscles feel like they were beaten with field hockey sticks, so it must be true.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

VT 30 Pre-Ride

By now, you've read all about my recent race exploits in NY over on the Racer-X blog (day one and day two), and you're probably hoping to read more about my Montana trip (I know, I've still got more to post!). But, alas, you'll still have to wait for more Montana. Here, I'm going to chat a bit about the course for the upcoming VT 30 mountain bike race.

Rob Bousquet, Andy Nook, and myself took a short cruise up to Pittsfield, VT to get a better sense of what to expect for the six-hour mtb race. In a nutshell, we'll be expecting some climbing... lots of climbing.

From what I understand, there's actually less climbing in this year's course as compared to previous routes... zoiks!

The course is essentially one long up hill, with a relatively short, flat, technical section at the top (called the labyrinth), then a long down hill. The climbs and descents are NOT technical unless you consider countless tight switchback turns as technical, which I do not.

We did two laps, which should have been about 10 miles each. My GPS came in at about 8.5 miles per lap, but Andy's & Rob's were both pretty close to 10. I guess I was connected to crappy satellites. Our first lap was filled with doubt and confusion as the actual race course isn't completely marked yet. We had to stop MANY times to check the map to figure out where to go.  We got fairly off course at one point, but overall, it seemed that we found everything.

All in all, it was a super fun course. The first half is plenty of work, but it's do-able. None of the climbs are steep enough that you have to get off the bike--well except one section that's got two false summits, but that's more demoralizing than steep and unrideable. I'll be gearing down from the 32x22 I rode yesterday to give myself a better chance at banging out four laps. And, by "banging out," I mean suffer slowly.

Each of us had a crash, but nothing serious. Only one of us actually came out of one of his shoes though. I'm not going to name names though, but I will say that the gears could be to blame.

I can't wait for the race!