Monday, May 25, 2009

Bull Mountain Solo Ride

Wednesday, I headed up to Bull Mountain for an afternoon solo ride. Perfect spring weather.

Little over 20 miles. Lots of stops to take photos. Still got a good workout though, was mashing 32x18 on the single speed. Not exactly a mountain gear!


My mountain bicycle, ready to rock and roll.

Beautiful. Only saw four people the whole time I was out there.

The start of the actual Bull Mountain trail, if you're going CW.

Old truck at the top of the mountain.


I didn't make it all the way up that.

Some hand held slower shutter speed action.

Chilling by the creek.

GPS for the ride:

In other news, built me up a fancy new computer. My old one was mostly from late 2005 and was getting to be a real dog.

CPU; Intel Core i7 920
Video; EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SC Edition 1GB
Storage; Intel X25-M 80GB SSD
Storage; 2x WD 1TB 7200 RPM
Storage; LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner

Loaded up the 64 bit version of the Windows 7 Release Candidate. Actually been a very good experience. No issues and everything is extremely snappy. Surprising for being pre-release Microsoft software.

Love playing games (CoD 5, Fallout 3, etc) at native res with all video options maxed out while still logged into work in the background.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Georgia Single Speed Championship

Last Friday, the weather report for the weekend forecasted lots of rain. Both my brakes where barely functioning and needed to be bled. My bottom bracket, clicking. Aftermath from racing in the mud at Yargo a few weeks back. Racing in the mud is not a lot of fun.

Fortunately was able to get my bike all fixed up (thanks Shawn!) and decided, at the last minute, to head up Saturday night and camp. There was already a bunch of folks up there and a few free kegs of Terrapin beer. I figured at the worst, I'd have a good time hanging out and could bail on the race if it was raining before the start.

Scott Hodge lit his chain on fire. That is a cool party trick.

Fortunately, the rain held off for the race.

Race was four laps of about 5.70 miles (according to my GPS). About a mile of the course was open field without a whole lot of elevation change. The rest, tight, twisting single track. Lots of steep little climbs and drops. The ground was well saturated from all the rain we've gotten the last few weeks. Oh and the roots. Lots and lots of wet, slippery, treacherous, roots. Saw a number of people crash and saw even more on the side of the trail, fixing pinch flats.

Race started with a mass start and a short parade lap.

Lap 1 - 40 minutes 47 seconds - I wasn't very aggressive off the break and found myself near the back as we entered the single track. Took a few minutes for my heart rate to come down and my legs to finish warming up. Then, I started passing people when I could. After a while, ended up behind Matt Smith. He was putting down a good pace so I settled onto his wheel and followed his line.

Lap 2 - 42 minutes 11 seconds - Dropped Matt off at the start of the lap, he had a mechanical issue. Opened the pace up for a while until I caught up with Ursula. She was riding well so I hung onto her wheel for a bit. Embarrassingly enough, she pulled away from me at just about all the real technical spots but I caught back up on the climbs or when the trail opened up.

Lap 3 - 42 minutes 58 seconds - Lap three was exactly the same as lap 2. I just followed Ursula's lead and tried to ride smart.

Lap 4 - 43 minutes 37 seconds - Ursula slowed down a bit so I dropped her off at the start of the lap. I took it easy on the technical spots, was getting fatigued and didn't want to go down to a root or tear open a sidewall. At this point I was running up most of the short and steep climbs, that was faster and easier for me. Also tried to pick up speed in the open areas.

Ended up getting lucky with the attendance in my age category and snagging second place. Got some cool t-shirts, pint glass, carbon handlebars and a few other things. Guess the threat of rain, which hit hard about 10 minutes after I finished, scared a lot of people off.

Total time, 02:49:35
Distance, 22.52 mi
Average speed, 8.0 mph
Average HR, 161
Elevation gain, 2,924 ft

GPS: (minus the parade lap, I didn't think to start the GPS until the first lap)

Go here for more photos and stuff.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Up The Creek Century

Saturday I completed my first century, Up the Creek Without a Pedal.

As you can see above, the loop started at the north end of Rome, GA. Course had very little traffic on it. Roads where nice and rolling the whole time. No huge climbs but still managed to accumulate over 4,000 ft of elevation gain. Weather was absolutely perfect. Cloudy and in the mid 70s. Few scattered showers. Not enough to soak you but enough to cool you off. SAG stops where great (though I only hit one) and the route was well marked.

Huge thanks chocolate girl, Roger and Greg for showing me the ropes. CG convinced me to go all out and stay with the lead pack. Overall average speed was high 23 mph when my legs where toasted and I dropped out the back, 55 miles in.

From there I sat up and did a nice easy spin to the next rest stop. Stretched, reloaded and jumped in with a group of three North Atlanta Riding Club guys. Had some more opportunities to take photos as I wasn't riding WFO like before.

At mile 85, I caught back up to Roger as he was coming out of a SAG. Jumped in behind him and we finished off the ride.

More photos and stuff:

Time: 04:49:02
Distance: 99.10 mi
Elevation Gain: 4,064 ft
Avg Speed: 20.6 mph
Avg Heart Rate: 152 bpm


In other news, my White Industries stuff came in and now I've finally got my Lynskey Ridgeline how I wanted. Took it for a nice recovery paced ride at Blankets Creek on Sunday. Hit all three loops.

She weighs in at just a hair over 23lbs with the following build:

Lynskey Ridgeline (large frame)
Chris King hubs on Flow rims (built by Scott at Addictive Cycles)
Hutchinson Python (tubeless)
Fox F29 (80mm)
Avid Elixir CR (185mm rotors)
White Industries ENO cranks (180mm)
White Industries ti axle BB
White Industries 32t chain ring
Chris King headset
Chris King 18t cog
Thompson seat post and stem
Selle Italia SLR saddle
Crank Brothers Eggbeater SL
Salsa bars
ESI grips
SRAM 850 chain
8mm x 1.25mm x 16mm stainless steel hex bolts for the slider

More info in this thread:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dirty Spokes at Fort Yargo

Saturday I completed the 6 hr Dirty Spokes Productions mountain bike race at Fork Yargo State Park. First time I've done one of their races and also my first ride on my fancy new Lynskey Ridgeline frame.

Pre race, showing off my sweet new ride:

(Photo credit Mark D)

My pit crew, setting up:


My goal was to do 5 laps of the 12 mile course before the 6 hour cutoff. Unfortunately, conditions made that impossible for me.

Lap one, 01:09:56 - took a nice half hour for an easy warm up. Then broke free and started passing people. Caught up to and starting riding with David Muse.

Lap two, 01:07:20 - put down a solid place, on track for five laps!

Lap three, 01:14:56 - Got dropped by David, he is a bit faster on the twisty stuff. Was still putting down a good pace though so I listened to my legs and settled in. Half way through the lap, the they sky opened up and the trail became a river. Absolutely literally. It was riding a mountain bike up stream. Near the end of the lap, someone involuntarily dismounted in front of me and I slammed on my rear brake. Moved the sliding dropout slightly and caused my rear brake to rub

Lap four, 01:27:08 - Took five minutes to have Scott Hodge fix my rear brake while I fueled up for the next lap. Then, I put my head down and hit the mud. It was brutal. Was wearing down until I caught up with David again, two thirds of the way into the lap. That apparently gave him new found energy in addition to giving me something tangible to chase. So, we kicked up the pace a bit and finished together.

Total, four laps in 4 hours, 59 minutes. Ended up being 46.27 miles with about 4,000 ft of climbing on the GPS. Avg speed for the first three laps was 10 mph. The fourth lap dropped the total average speed down to 9.3 mph.

Laps -

Post ride recovery beer:

What worked:
Minus my little sliding dropout issue, which I hear I can resolve with some burlier bolts, my new Lynskey frame was excellent. Light, responsive and fantastic handling. The bike just went where I wanted it to. Point and shoot.

Tires. I was really worried about running the Hutchinson Python tires in potentially muddy conditions. I was wrong to worry, they where absolutely fantastic. I seems to have better traction then people around me and they rolled fast, even in the mud.

Nutrition was great. Drank a 24 oz bottle of CytoMax each lap. Ate a protein bar whenever I got hungry. Think I had 3 total.

Only thing that didn't work where my gloves. They don't have any padding and for some reason, I started getting blisters on each of my palms. Them being wet might have had something to do with it. I'm going to try some new gloves with more palm padding next.

More photos here:
Yargo Aftermath

Sunday, I knocked out a nice pleasant 33 mile recovery road ride.

The sky opened up and poured on me for 5 minutes during the ride but I was fine with it. Was warm out and there was no mud to be found on the road!