bike bFAT its about the ride
going big on skinny
6/23 Replete WV; Tour prep in Northern Webster County for some country hospitality that I thought at first was pay back for all the gnarly road rides that I have led so many others through. Just what I needed - to be shaken out of my confront level a bit to see presents itself. Knocked off a lot of loose kinks that was still on the bike from the last session of breaking things on the road bike. But no flats or major failures to bring the gravel and rock ride to a permanent halt. e led out a pace on the steep climbs and descents on the backways and old county sketch that will help make the road stage of the approaching holiday grande tour seem a bit tame. Or help hone the mental edge needed for the 100 mile fixed approach on Spruce Knob that e has planned to celebrate his Independence Day.
Summer is here - time to find your "big" and go for it!
I have not lost any respect for the Classic - 17th overall. Who was I kidding?
Couple of fine photos from the Classic from iPlay and J. R. Petsko. A-hole flying on the single speed demonstrating the grounded superman, and the torture on the climb evident on VonBlows' face with the look of the crush when being passed by a dirty old man. Results coming sometime soon I am sure. Really anxious to check for the rare top 10 overall, though probably not.
here is the whole photo gallery
6/16 Cruising the Ona track just hoping for a sighting of Dale Jr. before heading to Calhoun County for the Appalachian Classic on the dirt track just off to one side of the middle of nowhere. Camping out the night before is a chance to sit around, hang out and take it easy - a stress reducing tactic to focus on riding a bike fast for a period of time. A few weeks back I heard this mumble (or was it a whine? - if there is such a thing as a mumbling whine then that is what it was) about a certain funk and riding with a lack of power. I could relate, so I drug out the old training book and read up on all the power workouts and drills. I have been throwing those more into the mix of rides, got back to some weight training, and working hard on the mental game. Hours on the bike are decreasing so the the intensity can be cranked up a bit. Three days of consistent riding leading up to the Classic and I felt ready to ride the float and hit the single track for all it was worth.
A fine race of racing - a little sneaky move at the start to avoid the dust cloud at the bottle neck, then a lot of holding my own and passing for the entire race. Hot and dusty with less than 10 minutes to go the only attack that I wanted to hold off and couldn't was the late drive by Betsy Shogren on the goats face. She went on and out of sight to make it two first place overalls for the flying Shogrens. (Gunnar on the 1X1) I posted my personal best time for this fine venue, cutting ten minutes off any previous years results for a second place finish in the Master baiters class. Yes, days like these are what all the long saddle days, the crazy pedal pedal pedal on the fixed gear, the sweat and the toiling are all about, a little redemption going up against the competition and hoping that they bring out the best in yourself. What more can a person want - it really doesn't get any better. Enjoy your summer when it finally gets here.
Stopping on the way home for the celebratory favorite - the Toll House ice cream cookie - The Cadillac of cookies
Time to Float
I like to beat myself up. Its is recovery that I struggle with. Back in the day when I was on the program with a pre planned training schedule, rest and relaxation week always seemed to roll around way too quick. These days it seems that we are in an endless Summer and days off the bike keep getting interrupted by another epic, time trial, or that fat group ride/race that I just have to do. Right now is a critical time phase - less than 19 days before the Tour de Burg Time kicks off. I need to get some ducks and get them in a row. I have heard that can be done with some pork on a string, but I need to do some other things first, like drag out dust off and put together the road bike. It has been sorely neglected. Ever since breaking my collarbone 19 months ago, the mindset on the comeback was to do what I like on the bike, and that is ride trails in the woods. So that is primarily what I have done, sure there is a half hour warm-up on the flat sketch of US route 60, spinning into the slipstream that is left in the wake of 55mph steel, that transports me to trails that meander away and back to my door. But no pace lines emerged in the roadie scene rolling from the LBS to motivate more mileage. Those guys smell blood every time I show up wearing mountain bike shoes and holding a flat bar. They are hard core, or maybe I am just a gay little slacker looking for those little moments in a six hour ride that can really make the day for me. Like a butterfly stampede kicked off popping around a bend on a secluded hilltop trail, or the damp smell of the soil splitting waist high ferns in a cool steep holler. Do I really need all that asphalt and steel? Is that the recovery my body is asking for? It's not what mind head craves. There are other ways. Feed the body and the sole. Not vegging totally into the couch and getting sucked up in the cable, only to really suffer when really going big. 19 Days - two weeks - this week - IT is hEre before you know it. Got to make every day count. I have got to go get some things done. Thanks for this, everyone.
6/9 Photos above
2 rogues left behind K T
A C on K T
noon rt 60 traffic at three dollars and nineteen cents
Adams Hollow K T
6/4 Hoo Ha & Super D; No photos just a couple days in Harrisonburg to wrap up the The Virginia Series and start the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association Ultra Series on a technical climbers course that in the past has seen my lowest of lows of any race course. My expectations where quite refrained so when the rain settled in at the start and stuck around for most of the race, it didn't really put a damper on anything. I was prepared for six hours on the bike and to have some people finish in front of me but was hopeful to finish in front of a few. That is what I got, with a half hour to spare. Traded place a few times with Dave Light (on his single speeder) and Chris Phillips during the race only to have them leave me at the end when it really mattered. First mudder of the year - hopefully the last.
This Wednesday in Eleanor park check out the time trial
And the group rides continue on Thursday at 6PM at Barboursville Park
time trial results
I will have to admit I was a little scared, but the plan to Race the Trace in neighboring South Charleston on a fixed gear mtn bike was set in place with a personal best in Thursdays Technical Time Trial. A couple more days dialing in the body to the bike, then make my yearly WVMBA debut on Sunday. I prerode a lap on Friday and knew that the steep rocky drops on the Rocky Ridge trail would be one troublesome challenging spot. I decided (as I walked the bike down) I would have four more chances to figure out how I was going to make it down on the bike during the lap race. The downhill paved start was another factor that I hoped would go smoothly or at least survive.
The start on this Memorial Day weekend race follows the National Anthem complete with color guard. Then moto-paced by a fleet of Volvos dividing the classes which meant that no sport class riders would be getting by me till the bottom of the hill - if they played by the rules. The first rider that came by me with the exclamation "f*ck that pace car!" was being chased down by a fired up pack sport class rider. Shoot up the hill past as many as I could before entering the single track trail that leads down to Rocky Ridge. I was glad to see young local rider Wes stayed it front of me on the single, because I knew I would be opening up gaps heading back down that might not be able to be filled right away. Congratulations to Wes as he went on to his debutant first place finish in the High School class. Feeling the heat from behind as I entered the Rocky drop I heard "be careful Mr. Boyes you can get hurt really bad". That was enough to really mess with my confidence and I bailed on the attempt to ride it. I still don't know where that voice came from - maybe my inner voice got really loud. Andy's shit about blocking the trail as he passed me by, brought me back to my senses as I scooted back on the bike. Tried to pace off Andy and some other riders but the flow of the fixy was in a class by itself. Had one over the bar experience before ending the first lap.
Lap 2 found enough energy to wind up some fast spins to cover the short steep climbs and a focus to ride the Rocky drop on the next try back down. This is where the blood thirsty fans hang out and egged on by their cheering I made a serious attempt to pull it off before being launched off the saddle and onto hugging trees. Back on and around to the side hill single for about three miles of sightings, chases, passes and drops. Start working the yo-yo gaps towards my favor.
Lap 3 and I am embedded back in the back of the expert class. I let out three solid taps of air pressure from the 2.5 Diesel up front, powered up the longest climb on the Old Country Rd Trail, then "walked" the bike clipped in the pedals up the steep pave climb. An effort to keep the heart rate in check with enough blood in the brain for another attempt down Rocky Ridge. Slow steady control, just enough backspin, and heavy modulation of the front disc, all under the watchful eye of encouraging spectators that witnessed the creepy cleaning. Mission Accomplished!
Lap 4 Still some battles with other single speeders to deal with. Reduced to trotting some sections of the steep paved grunts. Really quite at the Rocky drops as everybody was gone and checking out the finish. Quick downhill portage to keep me moving to the finish. Thankfully the race is a hill top finish - right after the three or so miles of rocky/smooth/rooty/twisty/sidehill trail that mated the fixed gear nicely for speed.
2:05 - Five minutes under my previous best time. Does this prove that the fixed gear is a magically efficient machine? It is. But the the course was hard packed and fast, exhibiting a groove well worn from multiple years of racing and grooming. The engine may be at a super tuned level. Focus was certainly extremely high. But the hard data supports that a 32:16 fixy moved along faster than last years 32:18 free. But mainly it was a blast trying to hold it all together, going back and forth between racers that usually just find ever widening divisions. Seeing what is possible - turning the fine line a little fuzzy. Going places I haven't been before - in familiar places. Places that I may not go back to
...till next time
Beech Fork Association of Trails
Barboursville's Fun Awesome Trails
bFAT is an informal group of riders who appreciate the land and ride for a healthy well being.
Beech Fork is mostly a single track trail that follows around the lake leading into a combination of creek bed, hill climb, and fast downhill back to the lake. Barboursville's Park has some nice runs from the top with numerous scenic overlooks from the sheer cliffs and steep drops. The flat single track that follows the river and comes out behind the lake - is where the real fun can begin or end. Click on the link at top of page - above (right or left) to see a map! The Kanawha Trace and Adahi Trails are 32 mile and 17 mile multi user trails crossing over private land. Check with the Tri-State Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America for trail information and registration.
bFAT email groupo<----click here Become a part of an e-group forum that will let all subscribers communicate (free!). Send an e-mail with the word "join" in the subject or body and you'll get hooked up with other riders, to do fun group rides, get trail info and conditions, technical advice, etc.
for more info Michael Boyes