Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cyclocross Season Countdown: 11 days

It's getting closer. My dream to get hammered into the mud is less than two weeks from becoming a reality. That gives me exactly 18 days until the State Championships and 18 days to lose about 8 lbs! Ran today in Stonington, probably 45 minutes. Threw in a few intervals at the end. Feels really good to run the engine in colder weather, acclimate the lungs to working under stress in low temperature. It reminded me of the early morning rides to school when I was in Middle and early High School (the car ended all of that prior to Junior Year).

So the first race of the season is the Hoss of Cross at the Cog Farm in McEwen, TN. I'll be up early running the Cat 4's race at 10:30 then hanging around and hopefully shooting some video during the 1/2/3 race. 2:30 is the marquee event for me, the Single Speed race. The plan is to do the 4 as a warm up, shake the legs out and hopefully get a few points for Team Bikers Choice (and maybe get enough points to petition an upgrade to Cat 3) then eat and recover for the Single Speed race.

It always surprises me how much harder I work when I've got a goal in mind, like 'Cross season. It's unlikely I would be working this hard getting fit just for fitness sake.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Last Day of Vacation

It's here. The last day of the Mexico odyssey. The day has dawned sunny, the tequila from last night is nearly out of my system (though not really out of my head), soon it'll be time to head to the beach one last time. Yesterday afternoon Sarah and I sat at the local sports bar drinking Corona, watching football. I ate what seemed like one order of every appetizer and now I feel sick. The Titans won, again. We were unable to watch the game but the bar had free wi-fi so we did the whole play-by-play thing. Tonight, we'll probably go back so we can catch the Broncos on Monday Night Football. So Long Mexico.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Surly Big Dummy

My obsession for the day, the Surly Big Dummy. Here's a link to the best built example of this bike, The Goat. There's a flickr group dedicated to these things. They're the absolute best cargo bike made right now. You can haul up to 400 lbs (including the weight of the rider), even additional people. I'm obsessing over how to get one and further, how to justify it. I've already bought two bikes this year:

My Bianchi SOK 29er single speed. The best freakin' bike I've ever had.

And my Specialized Singlecross singlespeed cyclocross bike.

I figure between those two and the inevitable road bike I'll have to buy (you've got to have one for training/group rides/riding the trainer/etc...) it'll be awhile before I can justify another. Besides, the Big Dummy costs $2700 and to build it up super trick, the way I'd want, with internally geared Rohloff hub, Brooks Saddle, Avid Discs, etc... there's no telling how much $$ I could tie up in one. In the meantime, I'm thinking I'll just modify my old mountain bike using the xtracycle (the inspiration for the big dummy). For $500, I can add the xtracycle to my old mtb and see how much I use it. Maybe put an odometer on it or start a ride log and set a goal, like 500 miles or 100 rides, and reward myself with a trick Big Dummy when I get there. The entire xtracycle concept is so thourough, I'd even be able to transport my bass on it! That'll be a picture worth posting.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Training in Mexico

It's tough trying to train for cyclocross season while on honeymoon in Mexico. There are unique challenges. Humidity, Heat, Hurricanes, and Heavy Drinking all conspire against me. Every day I leave the condo and every day my legs feel like lead. I just discovered yesterday that the route I've been running is only 2.1 miles long. 2.1 miles a day with some swimming is just not going to get me ready for my first race November 9th. Fortunately, yesterday I ran the loop twice, mostly because I spent the entire first half of the first lap thinking about something other than running.

I was thinking about what it would take to start a weekday cyclocross series in Nashville, wondering what time of night it would start, where it'd be run and how many people would show up. It's not hard to think about something else the first mile or two of a run, but the third and fourth miles are always a battle. The legs want attention, more than anything else, the legs want attention. They want to stop. I kept reminding them that this was nothing compared to the suffering they be subject to at Hoss of Cross on November 9th. I told them that we'd be entering two races that day and that in spite of the fact they'd only be 30-40 minutes each, we'd be in for some suffering. I told them, they didn't listen. About 500 yards short of the goal they quit, "no mas" they told me, having learning the language much faster than I.

So here I am, after a long sleep (vacation style) but also after a night of Vodka and Tang (what do you think they drink up in the Mir spacestation?) I'm up against another morning of Heat, Humidity, Hurricane winds and that other thing, drinking water and coffee, hoping that I'll feel a little better before I go out for my daily slog around Puerta Aventuras. At least if I need motivation I've got YouTube.

Friday, October 10, 2008


We're on our honeymoon in Mexico. It's freakin' beautiful. The weather is perfect, the view is epic and did I mention the weather is perfect. We've spent the first couple days just sitting around, reading and tanning, drinking beer and tequila. Today we're going to rent a car and venture out into the world. Even on vacation, in summer weather, I've got 'cross on my mind. Yesterday I ran and swam, in a few minutes I'll do it again. My only goals during this vacation are to go home completely rested and in better shape than when I arrived. Shouldn't be too hard, there's not really much to do but rest and run and swim.

I'm trying to figure out a way to take my bike on the next tour so I can prepare for the season out on the road. If I'm unable to get the bike in the van, I'll be looking at just a few days on the bike prior to the first cross race... guess I'd better go running.

See ya