Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mable and The Purple People Eater

I have two singlespeeds. A 2005 Gary Fisher Rig, and a 2008 Niner One 9. They are the only two mountain bikes I own. And if you follow this here blog you know that I tweak the set-ups more than Lance changes girlfriends. I add bar ends to one, ride it a while, then take 'em off. I run a carbon rigid fork for a while, then switch to suspension, then to a steel fork, then back again...the cycle (pun intended) never ends.

That may have all changed recently after racing on both, one rigid and one with front suspension, at the Burn 24 Hour Challenge in Wilkesboro, NC a week back. It may seem like a no-brainer, but I have discovered that having one bike for short, fast XC races (around 2 hours) and one for long epic races (6, 12, 24 hour events and XXC races) is the way to go.

Well duh. I always have knowed that I wern't too smart. Now I've just done proved it to eberyone with this here post.

C'mon now, I should cut myself some slack. It wasn't as easy to figure out as it would seem. First of all, the two bikes have totally different personalities and ride characteristics. Trying to make one of them do something that it isn't good at doing took me a long time to figure out. For instance, the Niner's steep head angle makes it handle really quickly with the Niner steel fork installed. But throw on the trusty Rock Shox REBA and it feels quirky. The Rig on the other hand feels a tad sluggish on really tight, twisty singletrack. But for epic races, she is stable and tracks great with the REBA up front. 

The Rig also has a riser bar, while the Niner sports a flat bar with a riser-type sweep. Both feel natural on the respective bikes. Toss some bar ends on either and it throws the "feel" way off. So from now on the bar ends stay in the parts bin.

The Rig (aka The Purple People Eater) will be my XXC bike, and the Niner (Mable) you will see on short, fast and smooth XC courses. So, I think the days of constant tweaking and changing and tweaking again may be over. But, if I were you, I wouldn't believe a word I say about that. I've been know to change my mind a time or two about bike set-up.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Feel the Burn (24 hour race, that is)

Trying to write a race report about a 24 hour event is like trying to empty a huge reservoir with a water glass. There just isn't a good place to start. So instead of a long, drawn out story with details that just aren't that interesting, my friend Roger suggested some statistics instead. So, here goes:

Number of classic Minnie-Winnie RVs: 1
...and it belongs to none other than our very own Adam Caldwell. Sweet wheels, good times.

Number of racers entered: 350
Number of porta-johns: 15

Fastest lap time of any of the Roanoke Cycling gang: 38 minutes 20 seconds by Dave "The Forest Leprechaun Stud" Tompkins.

Avereage age of overall winning team: Yea, like 20! Punks. 

Krispy Kreams eaten by the two RCO Teams: 
1 dozen we brought to the race
undisclosed amout of post-race glazed
Mmmmm, donuts.

Roanoke Cycling Team #1 - 9th place co-ed division 
26 laps, approx 171 miles ridden
-Adam Caldwell
-Chip Camper
-Skip Huffman
-Pookie Schimizzi

Roanoke Cycling Team #2 - 4th place co-ed division
29 laps, approx 191 miles ridden
-Laura White
-Jen Divers
-Dave Tompkins
-Yours Truely

Monday, May 25, 2009

You will never be forgotten

Every single day of our lives as Americans we are able to enjoy freedoms that many, many men have died for. Stop and think about what that really means...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tent Event

The excitement is building! Next weekend Pookie and I will be racing in the ultra-fun Burn 24 Hour Challenge in Wilksboro, NC. We did this event last year as part of a five-person squad and had an absolute blast! This year we'll be on separate four-person teams. I think it will be even more fun since we'll have eight racers and two spouses all hanging out at once!

The challenge is to pack light while still bringing everything that you need. It's impossible. I mean "stuffing a bowling ball into your mouth" impossible. Just look at our tent...a queen-sized air mattress leaves just enough room to pretend that you can put an item or two along the edge of the tent floor. We'll have two or three coolers overflowing with food, 19 different types of drinks, yogurt, sharkies...every stitch of cycling clothing that we own, clothes to wear to hang out in while your teammates are doing their laps, lanterns, chairs, beer, noodles, lights, insect spray, ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

I just freaked out a little bit. Sorry.

So here's the real trick; prepare well enough this week that on race day the only considerations are riding, eating and sleeping. Should be about as easy as sending a man to the moon...on a moped.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I'm pretty sure that I could easily become a beach bum. After a long weekend getaway in sunny Daytona Beach, I'm rethinking this whole working-for-a-living stuff. If I sold all my worldly possessions and bought a cheap house in Florida, I could be perfectly happy spending the rest of my life just like we did in this picture - doing nuthin'. And then reality comes crashing down on our heads like a ton of bricks...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

It needs to stop raining...

I have a bed full of mushrooms that just appeared out of nowhere, and I'm kinda gettin' tired of cancelling bike rides.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Double DNF

This race report is sad. I rode a long way into this past Sunday's XXC epic at Douthat State Park in the top ten. Then I flatted. Fixed it. Flatted again. Fixed it. Flatted again, walked and walked and walked. Got help and a tube from Adam. Fixed it, then flatted again. The end.