Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I Am Feeling IT...

Left the house about 4:30 to start a nice road ride over to the bi-parkal region. After a good warmup over to ILRA, I rode to the trailhead to see what was happening, and then made my way over to do my thing. Yup, it was hill repeat day. My plan was to do the loop-'o-hills 4 times all in the big ring. Well, I ended up doing them five times just to keep myself happy and motivated. My legs were in great shape and feeling good for the whole ride. I would go up farm center hill, then Spring hill, left over the rollers to the big "puke" and little "puke" hills, and finnaly back down Farm center before turning around and coming back. I beautiful day; although it is becoming fall WAAAAAAAAAAAY too early. If it keeps up, Iceman will be "snowshoe while holding your bike"MAN. Ended up with 55 miles on the day.

I had the long day at school today-got out around 1:30. Came home and did some homework before mowing the tall weed looking grass. Then it was time to get to work...yes, get the single speed back in order with the 36-16 for my ride down to Highland tommorrow and then all 4 loops. All is good and working well. Should be a fun ride if it doesn't rain.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hammer Time

The first day of school was short and fairly uneventfull. I walked out of there around 11:30, and was home by 12 where I got ready to go ride. The clouds were still rain threatening, but I could not resist the urge to ride. I popped out of the house at 12:30 and headed out towards Kensington to hit the Kensington Rd Hill and the GM loop. From there I did the normal out through d-town Milford and back around Wixom before cruising back home. It never did rain on me, but 45 minutes after I got home it came down and has been raining ever since. 40 miles, 21.5 mph average felt good for the day. Unfortunatelty it kept rainng so I didn't get to go down to Hines, but I had time to work on my SS.

Plan was to ride the SS down the dirt roads tommorrow with the 44x18 gearing then hit up a few loops of ILRA and then back the roads home. After this 1" of rain so far and still coming, it looks like a hill repeat session is in store for tommorrow out at Kensington. Hopefully it will dry out soon so I can get some good FUN riding on the SS and for riding Addison and hopefully other trails on the east side Friday.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Ohio Weekend

We left early Saturday morning at 6am sharp to get down to Mohican State Park in Loudenville, OH. We pulled in around 9:45 and relaxed while powering up on bagels and bananas. Once Deadman got to the park around 11:30, we all headed out to the Mohican Wilderness Trail 10 miles away to go for a ride. The trail starts off with a 1.2 mile climb with just under 400 vertical feet of climb sprinkeled with roots and rocks. Once at the top, we re-grouped as riders caught their breaths before going into the next singletrack section.

The trail then winds through the woods with minimal climbing, and then extends down a fire road before hopping back into the timbers downhill. The trail then becomes fast and fun. From to much speed to hammering up the hills, it was an adrenaline rush for all. After riding along a ridge, you come upon a nice long downhill technical section where you have to pick your line well or hit the ground. Near the bottom, the rocks become the trail and there must be no hesitation to ride over them because of the slick moss and tire catchers. Last year I walked this section, but this year I cleaned it easily, then went back and cleared it again for fun(It is nothing after riding out west on all rock!).

Once you get thrught that section the majority of the fun stuff is over, but the trail is still fast and enjoyable. We met back up down at the bottom of the first trail before heading into the second trail. It went through a few shallow creeks and then into some climbing singletrack before ending at a non-ridable horse trail.

We packed the bikes back up and headed back to the state park. Once there, I refilled bottles and took off. I went right up the 1.25 mile climb and kept on booking through the trail to get some good intensity in. I was having a great time dancing my bike around the rock sections and climbing up the hills. That was until my sweaty bike shorts decided to slide around. So, I turned onto a return loop at mile 4 and went back to change my shorts. I came back and started form the begining again to do the climb. I decided to go around race pace, but a little shy of it to get the the 8 mile end turnaound point where the group would meet. 43 minutes later, I was there, just behind them. We came back the trail, which was considerably downhill until mile 4 where we took the return route down to the valley. I ended up getting 27 miles in for the day of some decent riding with lots of fun.

The plan for today was to get up and ride the 16 miles of the state park again before packing up the tent and heading home. Wel, at about 3am it started raining and didn't let up until 7:30 when I got up and packed up most of the stuff. We hung out helping for a while before coming home where it was also raining. No riding today which was a bummer, but I should tommorrow after my first day of school. I am hoping to be home around noon and get a 40 mile road ride in before hitting up the Monday night RR on Hines Dr.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back on Track!

I finally saw the knee doctor and he told me that I have Chrondomalacia in my knee. I had it a few years ago in my right knee and I guess it often comes back in the other. It is something like flamed up cartlige due to a knee displacement. It has been feeling better lately, and I am going to go to PT to get a refresher course. I am already doing some exercises that I can remember to get the ball rolling.

I took Monday off after the hundie and then went back hard and rode 40 miles of MTB on Tuesday with some good intervals. My speed is really coming along, especially on the flats where I needed the work. I rode over to ILRA and did a double B/Y then home to make dinner.

Wednesday I took off from work to get stuff done.
#1-Buy books for school. ONLY $400!!!
#2-Order bike parts
#3-Go to Maybury and demo Kona Bikes
#4-Go to USA Hockey Referee Seminar

The Kona demo at Maybury was a ton of fun. I first took out the King Supreme and rode a lap on that with my friend Dave who had just happened to show up. I threw it down a few times to see how it handled and WOW. That little 2.5" of rear travel flew over the roots really well. I overshot the first few corners, but that was the 5" handlebar differencial and slacker headtube-I got the hang of it and took the rest much smoother.

Next up was the Coilair. Now that was FUN. 6" front and rear travel with air shocks made for a pavement-type feel. It soaked everthing up and was exceptionally fast for the type of bike. I cooked through the trail much faster than I thought. I figured it would be a squishy pedaling bike, but I was shown wrong. I went back after a lap and did some more of the rock piles over to have some more fun.

A good day of riding and trying out cool new stuff. Next up is a trip to Ohio this weekend to ride the Mohican Wilderness and State Park Trails. Maybe after that I will think about this for next year.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


The knee has been feeling much better lately. Maybe the extra rest and not riding has hopefully helped it. I went out and rode a decent clip on Tuesday at Maybury after riding through Amish country SAT and Grubers Grinder SUN. Friday I decided to test out the knee on a harder ride, so I took the MTB out on the dirt roads and rode 15 miles out to Highland Rec, rode the D loop, then came back. I gave it a few good efforts early on going to Highland, and then did intervals on the way back. I pushed it pretty good and averaged 19.2 coming back home.

Today was the Assenmacher 100 out in Flint. We headed out there with a big group and I knew the average would only be around 18ish so I grabbed the Yeti and went. It made it for a better 100 mile workout. I wanted to even out the bike on centuries with 3 on the Yeti(2 off road) and 3 on the C-Dale. It turned out to be a nice day-a little cool for me, but I'll take it over rain. Last 8 miles was fun pulling 25mph on buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing knobbies then gettin' her going up to 30mph before I slowed up to be nice!

Hoping the knee will continue to get better and get back to normal. Plan on hitting up some trail or road ride Tuesday then going to the KONA demo day at Maybury Wednesday before going to a USA Hockey certification for my winter work/off-season training!!!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What can I do?

I had to cut my ride short on Saturday because of more knee pains. I have decided to take it easy and give the Doc a call. I have an appointment tommorrow where I am assuming I will be told to go see a knee doctor. I just want the pain to go away. Without riding, I have nothing to do. I have been working, but I get home and do nothing and have nothing to look foreward to.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Recovery Week

After the WAM and the knee pains, I decided to take it easy and let my body and knee recover for a while. I didn't ride Monday or Tuesday, but I did get ot for a quick hour MTB ride from home to ILRA Yellow and then back in the early AM. I took Thursday off and then hopped back on the bike for an easy ride tonight. I decided to hit up the dirt roads and then join into some Multi-Use singletrack(mostly horse traffic) from Kensington Metropark until Old Plank road where I headed down to Garden Rd and through Proud Lake. Came out at Wixom Rd and brought Buno Rd back home for a decent 23.6 m,ile ride. I kept the HR at a low 136avg and the knee felt pretty good. Hopefully it will just go back to normal and I can ride free again.

Tommorrows plan is to ride over to ILRA and then cut out on Blue and head over to Brighton REc to ride Torn Shirt/Murray Lake before heading back to finish up ILRA and come back home. Should be a good ride if I don't get lost!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

2006 WAM 300 Recap

I left Thursday morning and headed off to the Chelsea fairgrounds to throw the bikes in the semis, register, and get on the bus and head for Traverse City to start the 300 mile ride back to Chelsea for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan. We finally departed around 11:00 after a delay thanks to traffic on US23. We were off and into construction sites all over us127 until we reached lunch about 1pm. We had bag lunches at a rest area 60 miles south of Grayling. After lunch, our bus broke off from the others and headed some strange way up to TC. Surprisingly, we were the last bus to arrive at the TC HIgh School where we grabbed our bags and searched for our bikes before finding a spot in the HOT gym to sleep. Dinner was tasty and snacks were ate later after we took a little stroll around the penninsula on the bikes for a total of 7.5 miles. Went to bed around 10 when they turned the lights off and slep well all through the night.
Day 1 of the riding was just ahead of us and all we had to do was pedal 117.5 miles and climb 4500ft. We left as a mass start at 7am and were off towards Caberfae Ski Resort for lunch 56 miles later. I rode with a good group of guys for the first 15 miles before I went back to ride with my dad. Not to loong after riding with him, we hit heavy fog which soaked us and had us with our glasses off trying to see 100ft in front of us. We got to the first main rest stop 30 miles in and were still shocked that we had not hit any hills yet. We jumped on a group and headed out for another 26 miles for lunch with a group who was doing a good comfortable pace. That was when the hills started. There were some rollers, then there was one big climb that resembled the Kensington Rd hill. I was at the back of the train, pulled out, and went by everyone as the group split apart. I rode with 4 other guys who kept up for the next 5 miles until I dropped them on a 1 mile long gradual hill. From there I figured I would just ride into lunch since I was only 12 miles out. So I hammered away by myself passing some people and mostly looking at the scenery. 7 miles before lunch I caught another rider Ted, who picked it up and jumped on my wheel. I pulled for 1.5 miles before he came up and decided to do his duty as we went into the Caberfae area. We climbed a decent hill and he stayed on, then we hit the 1.5 mile long climb into Caberfae where I left him behind. I just set my pace and pedaled up the climb as it didn't bother me much at all. I had plenty of gears left, and I just tried to find my line(the road was in horrible shape and a base that seemed like compacted peastone). One at the top, you ride over some small rollers and then decend into Caberfae pedaling the whole time to get some speed. Lunch was 10am for me and my dad came in about 15 minutes later after I was done with my few bites of hamburger, couple noodles, and peanut butter on bread. Back on the bikes, we jumped on the group of Matt Henkel, Jon Heft-from Trails-Edge, and some other strong riders-Jeff, Scott, Barry, and Tim. After some more hilly roads 10miles later after my pull, I dropped of the back to ride with my dad. We rode together until mile marker 99 where there was a rest area. From there, I jumped back on the group that only consisted of Matt, Jeff, and Scott and rode the remining 18.5 miles into Big Rapids. We were on the chase for the beggining trying to catch a group that went by the rest area, and soon enough, we reeled them in a few miles later. Rode the rest of the ride with the group and came in 15th overall with just two groups in front of us. I ended with a 19.5 avg and my dad came in 18minutes later with a very good ride. From there it was waster time before dinner whic was still 3 hrs away. At 5pm, we went for the food and were told tha only 152 people had come through and that they sent out a semi and ordered shuttle services to pick up riders. We were in awe at the amount of riders who couldn't do it out of 650. Dinner was good and the massage afterwards was decent, but good conversations were had and listening to people complain about the course left and right was quite amusing.
5AM came and everybody was alarmingly still laying there in the 100 degree gymnasium where I got 2 hours of total sleep. We headed off to breakfast and came back to roll pack up, stretch, and burn some time. We decided to get going since everbody was leaving quite early to get on the road. We saw people departing at 5:40 and were sure there were more before that. We hit the road at 6:40am and started passing people left and right. I rode with my dad and pulled him until the 30-some mile rest area where we hooked up with the group we rode with during the first day after the rest area and hills. It was a good clip and we were going about 24 when I came up and pulled and kept it there and more up the grade until the group blew apart and I was left riding with my dad into lunch at mile 52. We were there at 9:30,so we decided to kill some time and get a 10 minute massage. After that it was lunch and then back on the bikes for another 49 miles. It was all my dad and I after that. We just went through it seeing just a few people here and there. With 20 miles to go, we pulled out of the rest stop and cruised down the road until we headed south and had a nice tailwind up a long section of a false flat. We pulled into St Johns middle school at 12:44 and were again around 15th back at the school with an avg of 19.6mph. With no food until another 4+ hours, Jon and I went off to Subway with orders for some chow. We sat around in the A/C building and chatted for a while before I went for a nap and woke up around dinner time. Went for a quick dinner in the HOT cafeteria an then searched for the audetorium where the WAMMY Awards were going to be held. We got on the massage list and thn went into the A/C audetorium and waited for the start. We sat there for a while listening to the speakers before we left the 90+ degree room and went and got a massage. We were informed later that the money raised by the WAM riders was $942,000. It was lights out at 10PM and I got some better sleep in that night thank to the cooler air.
People were up at 4am getting ready and it was disturbing, even though I managed to fall back asleep. We went out for breafast and people were all ready on the road a 5:15-It was friggin' dark. With nothing to do and almost no one left, we headed out at 6:30 to get the last 92 miles in. A few miles down, we hooked up with the group of Matt, Jon, and those guys. At mile 11, my knee went south on me and I couldn;t pedal on it at ALL. It was sore the day before, but I don't know what the deal was. So, I pedaled into luck at mile 50, mostly using my right leg while my leg leg spun around the pedals. It was so frustrating and painful, but it got better after lunch. I ate some food, and threw down a few Motrin before heading out for the last leg of the ride. A few miles in my pain went away and I picked it up. 5 miles in, we passed 2 guys who jumped on and I pulled them up to the next rest area 20 miles up. They were loving it and the sounds coming from the back made my day! With 10 miles to go, they couldn't hold on any more and went off the back. I rode with my dad as we went by the marking counting our miles down for us. Finally we came back to the Chelsea fairgounds where we finished in a cheering crowd of people(again15th back and an average of 19.1 after a 18.5avg at lunch), had our bikes taken away for us, and went to find our luggage and change. We came in at 11:54 and were just in time for a good lunch thanks to Caraba's. It was good and the cold drinks were resfreshing. We went and recieved our medals by the Wish Heros and then went over to the massage area. We stood around talking with some fun guys and had our massage and left before the rain came. Just as we unpacked the car, the storm rolled though!

It was a great weekend, nice to meet some new people and good riders, and had an overall GREAT experience on the WAM. I will surely be back next year. The volunteers are amazing and will do anything for you. All of the people are nice and courteous and best of all it is for a great couse which I learned much more about this past weekend.