Thursday, February 26, 2009

Montgomery Bell/Yazoo/Trip /"Get A Grip"

Back on the Mountain Bike today after a looooong hiatus. Spent a little over two hours spinning circles around Montgomery Bell. Figure I rode between 20 and 30 miles (I don't really pay attention to distance, time's where it's at for me) as I did the entire Red, Blue, White, Yellow and most of the Green loops. Cut down my handlebars last night, took off about a half inch on either side while the water heater repairmen did their thing. I've been feeling for awhile that the bars were a little too wide, the bike would sort of swing out of control when I stood up and it was tough to use the arms to generate power. This sensation was exacerbated when I'd come back to the MTB after a stint on the Cyclo-cross bike. I took the opportunity to change grips, opting for some fatty Oury's (I used to hate these things back when they gave them out for free at every bike race in Colorado but my hands have been craving something more substantial to hold on to). Unfortunately the right grip didn't set up before the ride and after futzing with it every ten minutes for the first hour I just took the damn thing off and rode without it. Wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, although, sitting here typing, the right hand is a little numb.

Had to be about the nicest day I've ever had out there. Beautiful weather (no tights, no sleeves) and the trail this time of year is perfect. It's still 90% leaf covered, but they've been ridden flat so the trail is smooth as silk. All the leaves are off the trees so as you look through the woods you can plainly see the trail as it snakes around. I love MBell, I can't think of too many other places I'd rather ride. There's some bad reviews of this network on some of the trail sites out there but that's all bullshit. To say that the yellow trail doesn't flow really speaks more about the rider/reviewer than it does about the trail. White loop is getting especially good as more people are riding it. Again, forgot the camera, and what's a blog entry without a picture, right? I'll try to make it up to you (though I wonder who you are, I disabled the analysis feature on this blog so I don't know who, if anyone, is reading this drivel).

Tonight there's a little DSG get together down at Yazoo. I love beer and I love bikes and my wife loves Yazoo so I'm devising a plan to get all three in one session. Tomorrow I'll be taking it easy in preparation for the Judicata 5k/10k I'm running first thing Saturday morning. I don't know what I was thinking signing up to race on foot but it's too late to back out now.

In the planning stages of a Colorado trip in May. My wife (who's record you can still get for free for a couple weeks, by the way) is going to be out on tour so I'm planning to pack up the wagon and head to Monument, Salida, Gunnison, Crested Butte, Fruita, Cortez, Ridgeway and Durango in search of some epic long rolling single track. It'll be like old times again. 10 days, solo, tents, coolers, cold beers, campfires, talking to myself... I get all worked up just thinking about it.

Sidenote: I like Trader Joes. I've actually not been there, but I eat tons of food that my lovely wife buys there. I find this little video funny. I got it off Car Free Days (one of my favorite blogs)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TBRA Final Standings

Tennessee Bike Racing Association 2008/2009 Cyclocross Season is now officially over. I didn't win. Which isn't surprising since I only raced about a third of the races (and only started CX3 in January, 16 races into the season). I did, however, finish on the podium, in 3rd, in the Single Speed category and in 4th for the CX3's. My season's been over for a month now, but I was waiting around to see who'd attend the late season races and pass me in the standings. Now I know.

I've officially requested my upgrade to CX2. Running race this Saturday (Saturday night my band's playing on the Grand Ole Opry with Jack Black), first mountain bike race is the first weekend of April. Hoping to get out on the MTB this afternoon but our water heater is no longer doing what it was made to do so today I may be cleaning house, playing the waiting game.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Last Night of the Tour

This is Episode 2 of the 4 part Ski Tour Documentary.

This tour is coming to a close. This morning the hotel gym was closed so I talked my way into a free YMCA pass. Ran awhile on the treadmill (kill self) and swam awhile then slept all the way to Santa Fe.

Last night, on a whim (whim?) I registered for the 6th Annual Race Judicata at Percy Warner. 5k at 8am and 10k at 9am. I've only run that far once but I won't let that stop me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bike Ban on River Road

As copied from an email from Halcyon Bike Shop

Bicycle Ban Gaining Momentum

A bill to ban bicycles on River Road in Davidson County (House Bill
0342 and Senate Bill 0276) is proceeding through the Tennessee
Legislature. River Road is a typical state rural highway with light to
moderate traffic and no paved shoulder. There have been no bicycle-car
crashes on this road in the last 5 years. If a ban is successful, many
such roads across the state would be likely candidates for a ban as
well. All bicyclists are urged to contact their representatives and
members of the House Rural Roads Subcommittee. Bicyclists are also
encouraged to attend the subcommittee meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at
1:30 in Room 31 of Legislative Plaza.
It is critical that everyone makes an effort to reach these
representatives, regardless of where you live. We will keep you posted
about future developments or you can visit the websites below.
Please contact Rep. Johnson, the subcommittee chair, at

or call 741-7477.

The other subcommittee members are listed at

To find your own representative, visit

You may also contact the bill's sponsors:

Rep. Gary Moore


Senator Joe Haynes


TBRA Standings

Even though my season has been over for almost a month now, the rest of Tennessee has one more weekend. I'm still ranked 3rd in CX3 and 2nd in SS but I could very easily fall a place or two in either if the right people show up for the late season races.

Ski Tour is taking it's toll on me. I can't tell if I'm getting in or out of shape, either way I've only got three more days of this tour in the cold country and I'll be back to running, a lot.

Yesterday I tried to run, but the ground was completely covered in snow and ice and the wind was blowing steadily. I only ran about 20 minutes before I threw in the towel. The gigs the last few nights have been going until 2 or 3am and the van call has consistently been early enough that I've prioritized sleep. It's nice to get away from the scale for a few days but I sense that I'm slipping a little. Can't wait to get back to the warmth and the pool and the bike.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Jerry Douglas at Big Sky

Jerry Douglas Band, Crooked Still and The Infamous Stringdusters tonight at the Big Sky, Big Grass Festival. Just looked out my window and it's snowing again. Our banjo player has been filming a documentary of our tour so I embedded it. He does the "movie trailer" voice at the top and it absolutely kills me every time.

Had another good day of skiing. It's getting a little skiid off up here, but if it keeps coming down tonight the snowboard will come out tomorrow. Bicep/elbow is healing nicely, (or maybe it's the Maker's Mark) I can fully extend it for the first time since Thursday. Also got some inside info on the Tennessee Cyclocross Schedule next year, only seven months till the barriers come out again.

It's cold in Montana, but I think I like it here. It feels like the real west out this way. I grew up in Colorado and always thought it was the west, but it's lost a little of it's character and it's isolation. There's a house on every horizon. Things just aren't the same. If I ever start to make some money I'm buying a piece of land within' an hour of Big Sky and putting a yurt on it.

That scattered enough for ya?

Friday, February 13, 2009


No, not Cyclo-cross training, Cross-Training. You know, all that stuff you do (some of which you probably hate) that's not cycling for the sake of being not cycling. For me this includes just about anything I can think of: running, swimming, and yoga usually, skiing and snowboarding occasionally, and lifting kettle bells once. This weeks Cross-Training has incorporated all of those things and has resulted in some very sore bits and a torn bicep muscle.

It started out fine with some running, hiking and swimming in CO during the first half of the Stringdusters Colorado Tour. I was staying with my parents and my mother-in-law who's training for a half marathon convinced me to join her for "boot camp" at 7am on Wednesday. It was kettle ball day which made me really excited since there was an article on Lance Armstrong in Men's Health (yes I subscribe, kiss ass) that pictured him ripping some kettle bells. Unfortunately my lower body far exceeds my upper body in raw strength and my particularly weak left bicep couldn't quite hang. It only started hurting late in the day and it's been stiff and super-painful for days now. Fortunately I don't really need that part of my anatomy to snowboard and ski and that's what I've been doing the last two days and the next four days. I'm a long time snowboarder but have taken up skiing again because you can rip so much harder on skiis and its better for my body. I developed some strength imbalances in my legs from my years as a snowboard bum and I don't want them to get worse.

So this whole week I've got a condo to myself, free rentals of some really sick Volkl Bridge skis (just like my old pair of Volkl Karma's only a little wider) and a bunch of other perks (food, booze, lift tickets), all because my band's playing a festival up here in Big Sky, MT. Just to recap, my schedule for the next four days is as follows; Wake at 8:30, stretch, drink a pot of coffee, head to the breakfast buffet (try not to overeat), ride (term applies to snow) with my best friend and ski partner on some of the most amazing lift/tram-accessed terrain in the world, eat lunch, drink a Moose Drool Brown Ale, ride a few more hours, hot-tub, nap, dinner, soundcheck, play show, hang out and watch the other bands, drink more beers, hang out and play music late night, stretch, get to bed in time for two full sleep cycles, wake, repeat... Did I mention it's all on the house (band actually gets paid)? Have I rubbed it in enough? You can send hate mail to:

Friday, February 6, 2009

Red Bull?

Finish line, first win of last season, 11.22.08

Monday, February 2, 2009

Say It Louder

This is my wife's new record, available on for free for the next few weeks. It's really really amazing and I'm not just saying that.

Back on the bike today after a full week off. Dropped the wagon off at the shop this morning (exhaust manifold gasket, under warranty, no charge!) and rode home. Riding back over there to pick it up in a few minutes. Got the old geared mountain bike out, it feels like the frame's about to fall apart, I'm constantly looking down at the chainstays half expecting one to be separating from the rest of the apparatus.

Infamous Stringdusters epic Ski Tour 2009 starts this week in Denver. No riding for a couple/few weeks, but there will definitely be some skiing, snowboarding, running, hiking and swimming. The band's buying a new trailer today so I'll be trying to find a way to drag a bike along, but until then, it's running shoes, ski boots, warm clothes and tight-ass swim trunks!