Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Roll 2009

Ok so I was a punk this year and at 9:30 was still in my bathrobe, I'll spare you that picture but here is a picture captured of a group of real men and their bikes.


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Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving ride PLRA @ 9:30

Don't forget the annual ride Robert Herriman puts on. Who's in? 2008 Ride pic above.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 14th Riding in shorts and short sleaves - Gotta Love it!

Paul, John G & I headed out to get a "easy ride" in. We always say that then hammer. Trails were a bit slick with the leaves, I went down 2x & John once. Paul was the sole survivor. Bald Mt. was surprisingly very wet in all the usual places. We finished with just under 30 miles on the day. Good times for sure.


GPS Data

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Iceman Cometh

I hate it; I love it; I hate it; I love it. Alright, I am not too sure about the Iceman Cometh Challenge. I hated the idea of it at first. 4000 people on one trail left me wondering what kind of abomination we had wrought. The thought of the race when I thought it was 3000 people back at the time of signing up in February was enough to make me reluctant. NOW 4000???

Well, my theory going into the season was this: train like I'm gonna race and if I do well, great. If not, at least enjoy the fitness level. So, I figured I would apply that to Iceman.

Prior to the race I started reading about all the logjams that could occur on the trail and I figured: screw it!! Go out and race and be ready to deal with everyone else that might get in my way. If things went badly, just treat it like a 27 mile weekend ride with beer at the end. What's not to like?

The start was one of the best I experienced in terms of anxiety level. I started in the same wave as a couple of guys I ride with frequently: Jim Senska and Jeremy Hansen. This helped since familiar faces in a wave of humanity always help settle me down.

My ride was pretty uneventful-- no major crashes, no discourteous riders, just good fun.

Well, until the cramps set in about 20 miles into it. I was able to manage them so that I did not lock up the quads, so that was a blessing. This was the first race I used Hammer's Endurolytes to manage my electrolytes. I was a bit conservative in using them and I think I would have been fine if I had followed the exact directions. Hammer indicates that you should take them every 45 minutes of hard exercise. I took some right before the start, but then abstained until about 90 minutes into the race when I started to feel the cramps come on. My mistake, but I felt better about having slight cramp issues than I did about really upping my usage on this supplement.

During the race, Jeremy and I rode together. About 5 miles in, I pulled away from Jeremy and was pretty much riding by myself. Jeremy eventually caught up to me at about mile 15. He was stronger at that point and I tried to latch on to the back of his wheel. I stayed with him for about a half a mile, but no dice. He had a great tempo and I was struggling. We talked for awhile, but I eventually let him go.

One funny event: me and a number of singlespeeders were walking up a hill (don't ask me which one; I was in the pain cave and they all looked the same to me). I was walking along and a guy in my class was off his bike and running up the hill, passing me. I mocked disapproval, telling him it was cheating to pass while walking. He replied, "I'm not walking." Touche. He was running and he went right by me. Rats!! But it was worth the laugh.

Also worth a grin was the aid station dude handing out bananas dressed as a banana.

Coming to the finish was fun. I passed a guy in my class with about 500 meters to go. The crowd was HUGE.

I was dazed and confused when I got off the bike. I really felt out of it. Luckily, I ran into a teammate, Jeff Jager. He was nice enough to buy me a water (thanks, Jeff).

All in all, it was a great weekend. Seeing all the teammates and other friends and familiar riders was a blast. Jeff Carek threw a nice party afterward with good beer and awesome chili.

I like Iceman. If for no other reason, I liked it because it is a great measuring stick. Looking at the race results, one can measure oneself against some of the best racers in the country. The prospect of doing the course x minutes faster next time would place me right there in my class and only y minutes behind the pros. That'll motivate me to spend more time on the trainer this winter.

Gotta go; I gotta go train.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Iceman Team Results -

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Iceman Cometh 2009 Lives Up To The Hype

Iceman Cometh 2009 lived up to the hype and I lived through the challenge.

Having never raced before, I signed up early this year with the thought that I had many months to prepare. It started with a great group of guys I have had the pleasure of riding with for the last couple years… the BERC boyz. Even though I was not able to put in the training hours to get to the level most of the group was at, we still did plenty of rides together. We were now all training for the Iceman.

What really kept me going was my good friend Steve D. We rode many miles together over the summer. Steve encouraged me to get out and ride when I was less inclined to. He was willing to ride with me at night when I was more available despite his preference for day time riding. Steve didn’t much care for the Dutton hill at night, but still let me incorporate it into many of our rides. I couldn’t have prepared for the Iceman like I did without Steve.

The week prior to the race I was nervous. I felt I did not get enough long-haul rides in over the summer. Still I was excited about the challenge. I did not have to worry about mechanical issues because I was assisted with a pre-race tune-up by Steve K, John S, and Dave S. Steve graciously opened up his workshop and offered his tools while Dave and John gave of their time and expertise. John also did a last minute derailleur adjustment for me the day we were leaving. The bike performed flawlessly during the race. I was unfortunate that Steve K could not join us at the Iceman due to his injury.

The Grand Traverse Resort was a good place to stay. Close proximity to the finish and not too far from Kalkaska. It was somewhat surreal to see all the bikes going in and out of the hotel. Some even riding them in the large lobby. I roomed with Paul M and John G. The room was very comfortable and had a great view of bay. We woke up to a fabulous day on Saturday. John said I missed a beautiful sunrise… I was still sleeping. Paul and John were great roommates and kept me on schedule. They even let me have one of the two beds to myself. I wonder why?

My goal heading into the race was simply to finish and have a good experience. Being it was my first race I had little data to set a time goal. On the first few tough climbs at the Iceman I saw some riders walking them. I then set another goal… I would ride up as many hills as possible, without walking, even if it meant crawling up very slowly on the granny gear. That plan was working until someone stopped dead in front of me, without warning, without pulling over, halfway up a hill. I had no choice but to stop. After that I think I intentionally dropped to my feet only once or twice. I do remember doing so at “Anita’s Hill”. I was halfway up when I felt my quads starting to give. I decided that it is better to walk rest of this hill and be able to finish the race. I may have walked up the very last climb as well. I can’t remember as I was delirious at that point.

It was interesting to see the dynamics of the conflict between the pro/expert racers and the sport/beginner riders. Some were there to win at any cost. Others were obviously over their heads or simply in it for the experience. I did my best to look behind and move aside for those that were fast approaching. Others were oblivious to the faster riders or were not courteous enough to keep right when possible. There were a few clashes I witnessed. One resulted in a crash. An aggressive racer came upon me as I was going downhill on a narrow single track. I was behind a slower rider and could not pull aside. The one behind yelled “passing on left”. I thought “you’re kidding”, but sure enough he was pushing beside me in the leaves. He then hit a hidden tree stump and went flying, hitting the guy in front of me and sending him into the brush. Somehow I avoided the tumble fest and stopped. The biker who caused the wreck quickly got up and asked “You OK?”. Without waiting for a response he jumped back on his bike and took off. The guy face down in the brush looked to be in his 50s and was a little disoriented. I helped him get on his feet and removed the leaves tangled in his bike. Outside of this incident, the majority of the riders were great sports.

Overall the event was well organized. The start of the race was great. I liked riding to the staging area from the parking lot. It gave me a chance to test the equipment and prepare mentally. Steve arrived minutes before the start and was able to find me. We started the Iceman together. I kept pace with Steve for a few miles, but he pulled ahead and I lost him. I was pacing myself to conserve for the duration. I felt pretty good for the first 2/3rds of the race. My hamstrings were bothering me most of the race. I got a little break when I came upon the traffic jam leading up to “The Wall”. There were at least 100 riders waiting to go down the backside of the hill through a very narrow switchback!

The last third of the race was grueling. I was overheating with my jacket on, but yet I did not want to stop to take it off. In hindsight I should have. The last few miles I anxiously looked for every next mile marker. The last climbs were the most painful. The sounds of the crowds and announcer at the finish kept me going. When I entered the chute towards the finish I felt an enormous sense of accomplishment. I started to tear up out of sheer joy of finishing. The tears quickly stopped when I needed to appear manlier as I passed all the people lining the finish and cheering me on. It was a great moment. When I came to a stop I put my feet down. My legs then seized and I could not move for about 10 minutes. When I could eventually get myself off the bike and walk I felt great, and have since.

After the race we cleaned up and napped at the hotel. We then went to a party at an old school house rented by Jeff C and his family. The house was really cool and the food was great, chili and chicken noodle soup. We relaxed and told race stories. Jeff, his wife, and mother were great hosts. It was a great end to a fabulous day.
I am in for the next year’s Iceman. Now I have a personal time to beat. I will be looking forward to the next biking season. I may even get out a few times this winter. Somehow I feel like the season was incomplete without the ‘ice’ part of the Iceman.


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AndyE Garmin riding summary

Dave, good idea... as for Iceman, I was overall happy with my results; I did a longer race in a shorter time, on my single speed. My Garmin time (which accounts for pauses) was 2 h 29 min, so in a sense I accomplished my goal of less than 2.5 hours. But my official time was 2 h 34 min 50 sec. I felt pretty strong until the last 6 miles or so, then the cramps started getting to me. This year's race was a great time, great weather, really an enjoyable day. Glad to see some of the Berc guys after the race. Also ran into Kevin and Dearborn Don.

Considering the season until now, I'm not sure how many more miles I did this year (didn't keep good track last season), though considering my Iceman results, I think I need to get more high output miles.

Here is my Garmin cycling summary:

Count: 92 Activities
Distance: 2,234.49 mi
Time: 167:06:50 h:m:s
Elevation Gain: 149,839 ft
Avg Speed: 13.4 mph
Avg HR: 134 bpm
Avg Run Cadence: --
Avg Bike Cadence: 75 rpm
Calories: 181,289 C

My Greenlight ride total mileage is 2,263, there was one ride in Marquette I didn't track with my GPS. Not sure about the total elevation gain... might be a glitch there. Cadence only applies to my Cannondale. I spread my miles across 4 bikes, with my Fisher 29er and Cannondale road rig getting most of the miles. My single speed miles is somewhere around 25% of the total, split fairly evenly between the XXIX 29er and my fixie.

A good season of riding, may have to consider doing some more races next year for the high intensity miles.

Dave 2009 YTD Riding Summary as of 11/10/09

I ran a quick report off the garmin connect website to check miles for the year. This is the first year I've had enough data to gather how many I'd logged. and this is the first time I have added them all up. Didn't realize the software had a report feature so it was quite easy. I've heard many team mates and friends quoting miles recently and had no idae what I'd actually done. So below is the report. There was one BTT ride that said 214 miles, they are long sometimes but not that long so I deleted that one and re-ran the report.

On a side note - indoor training season is started, today was day 2 of riding the rollers in the am, there is an art to it. I have a fixed gear on the tri-cross flip flop hub. I hope to get good enough by the end of the winter to ride the fixie on the rollers.

I'd love to see more than just me posting to this blog come on BERC, BTT, and PrecisionMTB guys and Gal get on the ball and post up your Iceman & 2009 riding summaries! If you do not have author rights to this blog but would like them shoot me an email, for those that already have the permissions lets get posting!!!

Progress Summary Report for dfsmith2
2009 YTD Riding Summary as of 11/10/09
Count: 121 Activities
Distance: 2,479.33 mi
Time: 205:40:01 h:m:s
Elevation Gain: 138,382 ft
Avg Speed: 12.1 mph
Avg HR: 124 bpm
Avg Run Cadence: --
Avg Bike Cadence: 67 rpm
Calories: 177,347 C

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Iceman 2009

The Iceman 2009 Race was a blast. There were over 4,000 racers all converged on downtown Kalkaska last Saturday.

This was an interesting year for me from a training standpoint. Last year's Iceman was my first race ever. This year I had a full season of racing under my belt. I think last year I was in better shape and had trained harder for Iceman. This year my racing performance peaked in July and then life got kind of busy and riding took a second chair for the balance of the summer. It felt a bit like "show up and ride" this year.

Last year was 2:07 vs. 2:09 this year. The 2009 course was 1 mile longer than 2008 so I figure roughly the same time as last year. The course was really fast this year and I felt the 2x1 gear ratio cost me time on the flats but am not sure a taller gear would have netted a faster time as the hills would have been really tough. I think next year a carbon frame 1x3 would be the fast ticket. I was in wave 10 and had many of my single speed younger friends in wave 8 just ahead. Many friends were in various waves all over the entry field.

At around the 3 mile mark the rider immediately in front of me wiped out in a major sand pit and I promptly went over the bars on top of him. No damage and we were back on the course quickly. The rest of the way was fairly uneventful with a bit of a challange on the nutrition side. I used honey this year and the consistency made it a bit hard to get out of the flask quickly. The finish this year had many more vendors and activity than last year including local food vendors. We stayed and watched the pro's finish. The promoters had a large digital leader board and that was fun to see the names of teammates pop up.

It was a great year of racing for Team Precision MTB, thanks to Brian and Jimmy for everything this year. Jeff hosted a killer party in a one room school house just blocks from the finish with killer homemade Chili and Chicken Noodle soup, thanks Jeff & family.

I can't wait for next season and the winter rides that are soon to come.

Garmin GPS Race Data

Picasa Photo Gallery

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Poto SSWC 2009

This years Poto SSWC (Single Speed World Championship) Group Ride (IT'S NOT A RACE REMEMBER) was a blast.

It was plenty slick and lots of fun. John G, Andy E, John S, Jim, and Jeremy were in attendance along with about 80 others from all over Michigan. There were some great costumes (see picture gallery). John G even dressed up briefly in a terry cloth towel wrap!

The loop is 18 miles, Andy & I took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up around 14 miles (GPS Post below) This is an event I look forward to every year, I hope the BERC & BTT single speed ranks continue to grow and we have more join us next year!

A big thank you to Jason Jones for making this event happen, GREAT JOB.

Link to the picture gallery from the ride and here is a link to the GPS data.

Visit Jason's ride Blog below

Offending pedal at right, smashed the cage near mile 1 and could not clip in the rest of the way.


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Final BTT Ride of 2009 - The Windfest on the Water

2009 Was my first full season of BTT participation. Stevie D turned me on to the ride during the early part of the 2008 season and I have been hooked since. I tried to get there most weekends and if my GPS posts are correct I made it down to the D on 15 Saturday mornings @ 6:30am. It will be weird when I wake up on Saturday now with no BTT ride to head to.

I met many new friends this season and got to spend time with old ones as well, and had a blast. The beauty of the BTT experience is it matters not where you come from, what you do, or where you live, just pedal and have fun is the rule of the ride. It was great to see Bill at breakfast and know he is on the mend and back on the bike, way to go Bill. It was good to see Jay as well and I will keep your wife in my prayers as she continues to heal.

Here is a link to the photo gallery from the ride.

I'm gonna miss the breakfast for sure next week.

Good luck @ the Iceman everyone. & Thanks Andy for a great BTT season!


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