31 January 2012

Freedom is 60s in january...

28 January 2012


Fun day playing in the mud w Robbie and Ben.

26 January 2012

One week till co to ride the board!

No more vegas for a while...

21 January 2012

Ahhh West Virginia.

Got in some great runs on the slopes yesterday. No crowds. Decent snow.

Rain last night and today. Totally chillin it out in Canaan Valley. Blackwater is rollin!

07 January 2012

Snake Creek Gap Time Trial

Christmas vacation was great. Got to hang out with my brother, my fam, Lemma, and some great friends. Got to ride my bike, at a bunch of food, and kind of recharged myself!

From our rained out Winter Solstice camping riding adventure. It was still cool!

Many waterfalls in Western NC

Rolling up to Camping Gap

Up to the parkway and Thunder Ridge

Waterfall off the Glenwood Horse Trail

Beautiful road ride back to Sedalia through Curtis

Super sick view of the mountains. Thunder Ridge in the distance...

Some time in Raleigh riding with Robbie and Linus! Was great to see them. 

Oh and Luna!

And now...

Aside from Kenny Palmer's Bedford Trails Mountain Cross Series last spring (which are coming up by the way), and a couple stages of the ever-awesome Tour de Burg, I did pretty much... no racing in 2011. After my move to Georgia, all of my riding has been experimental, trying new places, seeking out new areas for me, traveling to ride with old friends, and trying to meet new ones to ride with.

With 2012 now official, I decided to head out for the show again to see what I still had and see if I could mix it up with some new folks. Though, it was a little tough to get out of bed so early today, as usual the night was later than expected prepping my bike....I made it up, ate some breakfast, drank a fair bit of coffee, gathered my things, and was out the door. I met up with Brian and we made our way up to Dalton for the first of three time trail races up and over the mountains of the area called Snake Creek Gap. The weather was actually quite good, with temperatures in the mid 50s, passing clouds, some fog, a slight rain here and there. Knee warmers and arm warmers were all that were necessary. Pretty sweet, indeed, for January...

I shook off some pre-race prep rust, got registered, changed, sorted my things, opted for bottles and pockets only, no pack, thought several times again and again about that decision. But...kept reminding myself that I knew what I was doing. I loaded up my bike on a trailer to be hauled out to the start, at almost 400 riders, there were LOTS of bikes heading out on trailers, and there was a full on tractor trailer rolling out to take bikes to the 17 mile option. I had opted for the 34 mile distance myself, I wanted the long day. 

Found a van heading to the start and skipped out on the bus ride, which made for a good ride with conversation with other folks inside, not to mention the better, less sketchy ride. Landed at the start, easily found my bike, and grabbed it up. I ran into Team CF Southeastern Regional racer and cool guy Mark Drogalis, a racer friend whom I got to know during my days at SMT. We chatted for a bit and as Mark headed to the start, I went to look for Brian. No luck in finding Brian, who ended up catching a little later shuttle, so I headed to the start.

The start was pretty simple, roll up, get in line and then the send the riders out maybe 30 seconds or so apart. "Whats your number? Last Name?" - "umm 354,...Brown.." "Ok....aaaaannnnd....GO"

So I'm off....I knew the course from the pre ride a few weeks ago, so I had a ....general plan of attack: Get the first 17 miles to the halfway support out of the way pretty quickly, with enough strength, to handle the second 17. The most technical climbing, ridge line, and awesome rocks all lay in the second half. So, to spare you the description of every little detail of the actual RACE part...let's break it down like this:

"hmmm what kind of pace should I settle into?"
Stream Crossing 1....feet wet already 32 miles to go
Roll the fire road
Singletrack...upppp the mountain - cool, I'm passing people..
Gravel DROP! whew that was fast
Ok, back up for a bit, oh...here we go down, and fast flats - Hey I feel pretty good!
Oh right, gotta go back up another mountain, a few steeps, slick mud...are these guys walking already? Pass..
Hey look its Mark!! Yeah dude!
Ridgeline, woooo!!! 
OMG super fun descent! Flow, Flow, turn...ahhh...up the bank, a little air? Yes please...
Little rollers, wooo more downhill!
Aid station....well that was fast!

Grab some figs, and roll....crap, should have topped off the water bottle!!!
Eh, I have plenty, settle in for a big singletrack climb...are my legs starting to feel tired?? ehh nahhh....
Ridge Line...Ridge Line! Upish, downish...narrow, hmm a few rocks..down..up...hey legs...!!
Slowing up some...is my stomach starting to hurt...ahhh...keep drinking. Legs will come back
Hey, we're going dowhill...wooooo! 
Fireroad?? ahhh good time to eat...ahhh stomach...falling apart a little...am I starting to cramp...WTF?!
Mark caught up!! Good to see ya again!!...Want to get on wheel...uhhh no, settle down..
Aid station....ok...fill up the water....ugh bananas are gross, but i gotta eat it - "hey dude, lets split this...!"
Keep rolling...shut up legs, just deal, careful of the cramps
Rocky trail contouring about, a little up, a little down, gotta bring it together for the last section!!
down!! ahh SKETCHY!!! Talking to self...turn turn, rock, dont hit the tree...
Ok, that was rough,...ohhh up STEEP!!....hey I made it, am I coming back??
level out some...roll, rock here and there....slight up and "WALL"
Cramp! ugh, ok, gonna walk this thing, and stretch it out....
Back on the bike, back on the ridge.. time for the gnar...
Rock rock rock rock rock rock...dab. ROCK rock rock 
Hey its Mark again! 
rock rock rock rock...Mission Accomplished....hey, I made it??!! LEGS!!
Tower, TOWER!!! Almost done!!!
ROAD! 40 mph downhill
FINISH! Wooooo!!!

Solid...I came in under 4 hours, which I was cool with, apparently that scored me 6th in the under 30 class. Not sure the full results. 

And that's it. pretty cool. Hung out for a while, at some food, and drank a beer. Racing is hard, sometimes motivating, sometimes demoralizing, and always fun.


02 January 2012

My new road bike is dialed in and ready for action!!

'11 Trek Cronus Pro

Thanks Bikes Unlimited of Lynchburg, VA!!!