Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring (or is it allergy) season

Spring has finally arrived.  The dogwood is blooming, the turkeys are gobbling, the carpenter bees are licking their lips at the sight of our log home, and the allergies are hitting hard.  A year ago, I took a day off work to go turkey hunting and proceeded to break my foot riding the old dual sport afterwards.  This year I planned to not repeat that series of events.  Last Thursday I got the day off and harvested my first turkey since 2003 (IIRC).  It was a great cool morning and an exciting hunt.  The tom was too busy strutting his stuff for an uninterested hen to notice me crawling up the hill and popping up on him.  The 870 with a 3" #6 load did its job.  Not the biggest bird ever, 7/8" spurs and 8-1/2" beard, most likely a 2 year old.  Beautiful bird.

I followed the hunting trip up with a dual sport ride on the old Honda XL500S.  Great day exploring some of the low maintenance township roads in the area.

Saturday I got a call to help a friend move.  One of the blessings of having a giant truck!  Sunday, following church and dinner with my folks, I got out for a dirt road ride of the pedaling kind.  Had to spin the legs when I can, hoping to race next weekend.  Happy Spring.

Oh, that's what the dead end sign meant.

Spring flowers.

2 hours of roads like this.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring race season is here

Spring race season is here, in full force. However, my fitness isn't. This past weekend there were a total of 4 races that one could plan to attend. OSRS Zanesfield, Mining Country Road Race (Wilkesville), OMBC at the Wilds, and WVMBA at Mountwood. I didn't even consider the Zanesfield road race. The Wilkesville race popped up late in the planning, plus it was on a Saturday, so I penciled it in. The OMBC race is also on Saturday, but an 80 mile drive to get there. The WVMBA race is on Sunday which makes it tough to get to. So, going in to this weekend, I loosely planned to race Wilkesville.

Friday night, Ethan had a invitational track meet. The weather wasn't great with thunderstorms in the area and a pretty steady wind up to 30 mph at times. Oh, and it got colder. The high winds messed with the timing equipment at the track and made the meet go SLOW. Ethan ran 110 hurdles (the first event), the 400 (in the middle), and the last leg of the 4x400. We were out, with an active 3 year old, in the cold wind for 4 hours. I finally got home at 10:30 and didn't have any of my racing stuff or the bike ready. And I was beat. Got up Saturday morning late and tired. I decided not to race and instead, just drove down to the start and then watched the race as it came by the house on 689. It was a windy and cold race, but a very good showing for Team Athens.

Sunday afternoon I managed to get out for a hard effort ride.  Only about 18 miles, but I was beat when I was done.  Hopefully I can get feeling good in time for the Wayne Ultra in May.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Roadies are uptight

The Ohio Spring Race Series event hosted by Team Athens at Lake Hope was this past Sunday.  As is typical for volunteer based events, there were not enough volunteers.  I skipped racing to drive lead out for the morning and the afternoon sessions.  I was up early and to the lake by 8:45 to get instructions for the races to start at 10.  However, snow had different plans.  At 9:30, they delayed the start an hour to give some snow a chance to melt off the road.  In the morning I lead out the men's masters class, a 2 lap (40 mile) race.  After the climb and down hill on Mine Hollow Road, the pack was down to 2 riders.  Before we could get back to 278, it was down to 1.  And that was my view for the remaining 30 miles, a single rider out in front, flat cranking it.  It was at this moment that I realized I would be old enough to race masters next year.  So much for old and slow!  In the afternoon session I lead out the women's 1/2/3 race for 3 laps.  Started with a total of 7 riders, 3 of them sticking it out to the end with a 2 women sprint for the finish.  I stuck around to watch the end of the men's 1/2/3 group.  At the finish sprint, with a full two lane wide road, one of the riders was complaining to another about "his line" then yelled at the officials that the rider should be disqualified.  Honestly, it just looked like riders sprinting, as the officials thought so too.  Roadies are so uptight.

All in, I drove 100 miles in my truck at about a 20 mph average speed.  I am sure that I was more sore from driving for 5 hours than I would have been if I had raced.

A view of the lake from the registration shelter.

Snow sliding off the roof of my truck, curling on the cab lights.

It was at least pretty!

My view for 5 hours.
On the home front, I finished building the counter for Shelly's office.  Turned out pretty decent and Shelly and very happy to have the space.  I also ordered some "specials" from Revelate Designs.  Specifically, a used Tangle frame bag and a demo bar harness for my upcoming (soon to be planned) bike packing trip.  I will say that the Tangle was described as having "heavy use".  I cleaned it in some hot water and fitted it to my d440.  If this has seen heavy use, they must last forever!  Very impressed with the quality of the pack.