Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One of our favorites

2005 WV State Championships in Davis, WV.
She actually "raced" with me for the last 5 miles, 5 of the faster miles too I might add. And race we did, cause I had broken my chain right after picking her up.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"I'm too old

to be so new at this."
Kyle, after quite the throttling Wednesday Hammer Ride.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

If you aren't the captain, the scenery never changes.

Please visit here for a tandumb race report! It was a darn good effort, but not quite good enough-- Congrats to Cara and Andy!

In the meantime, if you are ever wondering what the announcers do while waiting for the pack to come around again, wonder no more.

Dave Towle, hard at work...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Bicycle Built for 2

As I type this, gunnar and Jackie are at the Casdorph abode picking up Dan and Eric's tandem for use in the nationals next week. Yes, not only is Dan our SuperNanny, he is also our tandem guru and is loaning us his fancy Cannondale. He is a man of many talents, indeed.
After last year's torture fest, we swore that we would purchase a tandem early in the year, get it set-up to our specs and practice a bit on the durn thing. Well, the race is a week from tomorrow and we haven't set booty on a tandem since our pain-filled debacle last year. (We never got around to buying one). We were hoping to learn from our mistakes, but we've unfortunately forgotten them. I am sure it will all come back to us in due time, though.

The goal for this year is to not sink my teeth into gunnar's backside.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

24 Hours through the Eyes of Stanley Pain

I said I'd never do another Duo (did one way back when and it went poorly after things got dark)
I said I'd never do another Laird event. Well I didn't, but Sam Hill did.
That and I had an offer I couldn't refuse.
And a swell young man to team up with!

And with that, the rest of us Team Bi-atch'ers went about finding teams. Yes, if you click on the links you'll find out how they did, SPOILER ALERT!!!
Goose got on the iPlayOutside/WVMBA Dream Team Men's 4 Man Pro
Betsy found herself a partner and they decided, the two of them, to enter the 4 Person Women's Expert field, the iPlayOutside/WVMBA Women's Dream Team
And Sam partnered up with Morgan Miller to become Hipster Doofus and the Kessel Run

Course, this is the week after us all doing the Mohican 100, and me, doing the short-bus route of only 100K instead of the 100M cause I was and still am feeling poorly.
The night before that race, as it rained and thundered, I lay not sleeping, hoping and wishing that they wouldn't have the race, it was way too much water.
It started on time and it was actually a decent day.
A few nights before the 24 Hours of Big Bear I lay in bed hoping and wishing the same thing. It was raining, I was not sleeping well, I was still harboring the sickness.
Well Friday came and things were drying up, and although it was going to be hotter than the hubs of Haites in Motown it would be a fair bit cooler up at Big Bear.

But just to make sure that we had the best possible racing experience, I brought out the big guns, spent the $10 and hired Dan the Man Casdorph to perform Nanny duties for the day. He's a tried and true Vet of these things. Keeps his cool under pressure, smells nice, doesn't eat too much.

Here's Dan accepting my most gracious stipend-

Here's Sam, Morgan, and his Dad Mike. Too many shadows, but we look happy and alert on Saturday morning. I haven't told Morgan that he's going to do the first lap (that includes the ridiculous LeMans run that kills the legs)!

Here's another for the family photo album. The calm before the storm, Elizabeth, Jackie-O, Sam and Morgan-

Here's the pretty Betsy, or is it Elizabeth? Can't always tell them apart-

Getting tired, may have to take a break here...
More in the morning! Must rest.
Can you feel the excitement?!
I can.

Up, up, up, it's a good day for up!
Today is the first time all week that I've actually gotten up on time and don't feel like death. I think I've turned the corner on this bug and *may* just may mind you, get to race this w/e. Oh I hope...

So back to the race at hand.
We're getting the camp set up, tents and awnings nicely arranged, tables filling up with goodies, Morgan is settling in on the fact that he has to go first and run (he's never done the first lap before, and my oh my, everyone should experience that at least once!).
5 minutes before High Noon and Morgan is no where to be seen. His dad has his race bike, we're all waiting. 2 minutes to go and he comes rolling down, drops off his training bike, jumps in on the right hand side of the front row and ready to go. Good boy, there's always room for a winner on the front row-

Here's Cassie or is it Cassie Jo?, Betsy's Teammate for the weekend, and the Fastest Mom-

This was the first time that I *haven't* done the lead lap, and it's a mixed bag for sure.
It's always exciting, the crowd, then anticipation, the wrecked nerves. But it's also the wrecked legs, the crowd, and the wrecked nerves.
Doing the Duo Pro and not feeling 100%, I knew that I'd probably just have one chance at getting fast lap, and doing the run before hopping on the bike wasn't going to make it fast.
Elbows, dust, flying feet and cleats, and everyone is off-

And with that, the race and the clock starts, and there's no stopping until at least 24 hours later. No rolling over and hitting snooze.
Yuck, phooey.

Here's Morgan, back on the bike and rocking hard-

And lookie there, it's Chris, on his SS, did I forget to mention that 2 of the 4 on that team were on SS?-

Now it's just racing.
No time to take more snappies. No time to hang out at the venue looking for schwag, chatting with friends both old and new, young and old. No drinking beer just cause it's afternoon.

Luckily, we're up in the "Penthouse Suites" thanks to Mark Schooley. We're away from the crowds, we got a little shower facility, we got all important shade, we got Mark's brother Mike who will, whenever you want, cook up anything or even just make you a cup of Jo.
This and the fact that we have our Nannies, Cassie's husband Jeff, Morgan's Dad Mike, and my buddy Dan, is going to be a huge and deciding factor in how we do. HUGE.

The week prior has seen gobs of rain, but for the past few days it has been windy and scorching. A Friday recon confirmed that things were drying, but the water table is high and the little streams and trickles are still running and will continue to do so.

Morgan comes in, about 15th or so. He looks happy, a little muddy, and we have a nice exchange. I'm out on course.
This is it, if I want to turn a fast lap this will have to be the time.
Little traffic, legs fresh. After this lap we gotta turn things down a notch else we blow sky high before midnight.
Pedal, pedal, pedal, I'm pedaling about everywhere on the course. Most of the course is fast and furious, but then you hit these sections of mud and running water. Some of the running water is nice and hard underneath, some of it is hiding a big hole. I've raced at Big Bear for quite a while and I've never seen it like this, and guess what, it's only gonna get worse and weirder with all the riders churning and burning more of it up.
I didn't preride the course, but I know most of it well enough. Pines I'm taking fast, remember some of the local lines, all the fun stuff before the creek bed down hill I'm rolling fast and furious, miss one quick line, but bring it back and get in the groove soon enough.
Then the creek bed.
I've learned that to go down it slow is harder on you. But you gotta stay on top of things if you let it rip. I'm letting it rip.
Get down to the bottom clean enough and get to hammer out the rail grade climb out. If you can stay on top of a big gear you can really move on this section and right now I can.
Later in the lap, the rear der. is hanging up (yet again!!) on the top cog, so I'm just gonna have to try and not use it. Muscle it through like I'm on the SS.
Don't try and ride through the rock garden, but get through it quickly, down some water, relax the breathing and get ready for the steep nasty climb up and out.
Everything's still good, cleaned the uphill, now it's just fast, slightly rocky double track to the end.
Soon enough I see the gravel road where the WV Night Club boys are camping. They're giving me grief as usual and then right after that I make a bad shift, jump on the pedals and snap my chain. Ack.
So I stop, pick it up and start to run. About a 1/3 of a mile or less to the end. Crappie pants!
Run, coast, scooter in a section, finally up and over the bridge and into the main compound and we exchange the baton and Morgan is out, we're in third overall at this point.

Then it comes over the loudspeaker, "Sam Hill has turned the fastest lap, 1:07!"
Sweet. Even with that stupid busted chain and running.
Now I just hope that a few other heavies don't have great laps, or get caught up in traffic or the ever growing mud.

Dan takes my bike, shakes his head and we walk back to camp.

I brought lots of extras but strangely enough, no extra chains. But that doesn't matter, I got lots of spare links and though it worries Dan, I'm fine w/ splicing the chain back. "As long as your good w/ a chain tool I'm not going to worry."

So I find my post lap routine-
Down a bag of Clif Shots (thank you Mohican post race grab bag!!), drink the rest of my bottles, grab a banana, have a cup of V8, shower off, put on some clothes and sit.
There that oughta do it.
Rinse, lather, repeat. Ad nauseum.

Cassie had flatted, poor dear, and instead of having the spare bike at then end of the airport, Jeff brought the camera (bad boy Jeffie-poo), so she gets the thing fixed and all, but has plenty of traffic to get through.

Betsy comes in a bit after me, she's not very happy w/ her lap, says she having problems just riding out there. No groove for the grrl.
I tell her to shower, she doesn't want to, but she eats, cleans up (she cleans up nice!) and rests.

They really don't have anyone to race against in their class but these women are pretty determined to race to their fullest. And as we shall see, they do!

Dan's still a nervous wreck about my chain.

Morgan comes in, most folks except for the Solo riders haven't even done one lap and here we are on our second.

Definitely a toned down lap. Not working so hard, not feeling as great either, oh boy, gotta watch how I feel, it's still on a bit after 3pm.
Mud sections are getting bigger, start to consider running them as the side routes are getting mucky too. Things to keep in mind for later.
Then just like clock work, I'm getting close to the WV Night Club and POW, SPURT, FIZZLE, my rear tyre goes limp.
So I ride in, heavy on the front.
Morgan and I exhange nicely, Dan walks the bike back to the camp.

The WV Night Club is now the VooDoo Lounge!

Next time back for Betsy and she's much happier, she too has turned Fastest Lap, and so far, and now I'm pretty certain, I have fast lap.
We will be King and Queen once again!

Meanwhile Dan has taken my limp rear wheel down to visit Robbie L. who's wrenching for Tinker and available to us he said, so we're using him.
They can't get air to stay in the tyre, I fear a tear, so Robbie lets me use his nice wheel. Just hope I don't trash it! No more VooDoo Lounge please...

I'm probably missing all sorts of sordid details, but you know, I can only remember so much, I can still play the sick card, and I'm listening to Download. Got a lot on my mind.

Morgan comes in, and I'm out.
Once again, trying for just tempo laps now. No hero moves.
The mud sections are now such that I run along side them, or at least the bigger ones. A few other sections are getting tricky depending on what line you take, I auger in on one and try to remember NOT to do that again. Just muddy knee and gloves, but it kind of hurt and definitely knocked my groove out of whack for a bit.
It's now getting on past dinner time. I'm still just drinking the bottles and eating post lap. Seems to be working fine. Contacts are still in and haven't given my issues yet either. Cruisin' cruisin' cruisin'.
Then come the Voodoo Lounge and sure enough, chain drops off the ring and doesn't want to get back on. So I sit there, whilst the heckling continues and I shake my fist at them as I get rolling again. Darned kids and their dolls and pins!
Luckily they must have felt bad for that was the last time I would have issues there.
Sweet, the curse has been broken!

Also somewhere in there my folks stop up.
Dad is busy foraging for food, Mom is hanging out chatting w/ the Millers, Dan and the others and enjoying our fine accommodations.
Also Morgan's mother has to leave, so she takes some dirty clothes home only to return clean and dry in the morning. What a nice touch!

We're up on our closest competition by a few hours at this point, BUT and it's a big but, we haven't lapped or really shaken the ladies. Our camp mates seem to be relentless.
You go grrls!

Next lap out for me will be in the dark.
Oh joy. As I've posted before fiendracer blog I don't really enjoy the night laps much. Have had problems with lights, whatever, just haven't had too much fun.

Morgan comes in, I go out.

Well this time proves to be a bit different, I got a spanky new MiNewt X2 light on my helmet and I'm borrowing one of the Miller's Dinotti lights on the bars. Both are little tiny LED systems and both are light and work well.
Maybe it was the lack of pressure to go fast, maybe it's the newer lights, maybe it just was. But I'm actually have a good time on a night lap. A little hot still and I'm sweating like that stuck pig everyone talks about, but the glasses (had to switch out the contacts) are not fogging up and I'm rolling fine.
La-la-de-da. Having fun now we are.

I return, Morgan goes back out.
Then I hear the talk.
Mike is a bit concerned about Morgan, he's looking a bit "peaked and out there".
We had talked about maybe doubling up on a night lap, to allow a little more rest at the expense of being out there a bit longer.
A double-edged sword to say the least. I've talked to riders that were on both sides of this. Some said it wrecked them, especially the first guy to do it, some said it worked out ok.
Well the Millers had done it before and they had a plan. Come in, and there's a chair to sit on. The Nannies swap out and check batteries, all the food you want is sitting there, you eat and drink, the bike gets a once over, you rest a bit and then take off. Sounds rather pleasant eh?

And sure enough, Morgan comes in, after a pretty lengthy lap, ends up being his slowest one of the event.
Uh oh, what have we done? It's quarter til 1am, are we wrecked? Ack.

So I'm out for two.
Pretty uneventful, except for the fact that I'm still hot, still sweating mucho, still having a decent time at night.
Come in, and just like Mike said, I sit, eat, get taken care of, rest and roll on out.
Second lap is much like the first. No pressure, going slowly, riding fine, lights are burning bright, everything's groovy.

Come in, chat w/ Morgan a bit. He's talking about doing two, but I let him know that he doesn't have to, just ride smoothly, bring it back in fine form.
He's out.

I'm back to the camp. A bit whooped. Eat my usual, find some pasta to scarf down, clean up and actually try to lay down in the back of the bus.
But I can't sleep and Dan and Mike are talking about Morgan. So I get up, tell them that if there's any concern on how he's doing that I can do the next lap, I'll be fine. I just won't be down at the exchange area, when Morgan comes in, just let me know and I'll be down there w/in a few minutes.
"Be all right..."

Morgan comes in, a fine enough lap, but we don't need to push it, so I ramble up and out of bed, get on down there and go out again. It's quarter till 6am, getting light out, I have my lights on, but don't use them.
I'm feeling ok, but my crotch is starting to be a little tender. Stand up a bit more, try and sit in one place and not be bounced around. Should have brought the Thud-Buster out for the this. "Note to self..."

My lap's ok, but I'm not feeling too perky.
Usually with the dawn, the birds, the cyclic nature of humans, you really start to perk up. Well I'm not. Butt aches, tired of eating, not too much motivation.

Dawn approaches, and with it a new day, and a new level of suffering-

I come in, rather listlessly, Mike is going out w/ Morgan, just to make sure. He's a good Pop.
Well Morgan's got a fire under his butt and really smokes this lap!
He's risen from the dead and is all sorts of ansty to keep on going.
He drops Mike pretty hard, pretty early in the lap, ungrateful son... :)

Also somewhere in the middle of the night or sometime we finally lapped the grrls. We're also up 3 or so hours on the next team. We could almost stop right now and still get first.
So could the grrls, but they're not talking about that, so we can't either.

The gauntlet has been thrown down at the camp!

It's 8:52am as I start to roll out.
I'm coasting and staying off the saddle as much as I can. I think I'd be ok if it weren't for that. Oh well....
Then I start to think and calculate in my head... If I can turn a fast enough lap this time, we'd have enough time for Morgan to put in a good lap and quite possibly, if we take the challenge, I could go out for a 9th lap! Oh joy, a quest, a challenge, and I'm pedaling once again.
Doing my best, looking at the clock, calculating my estimated lap time, trying to focus.
Pedal, pedal, pedal.
Lose some time on the final climb as it is just taking forever, but I'm in with a 1:21 lap.
And for the first time, Morgan is NOT at the exchange area! He's been really good about that and I've been a little slack, but apparently I've caught him off guard, that's good, our game is afoot!

Like to mention here that the women were always waiting for each other. Not once did they slack.

I do think Betsy's about had enough though-

Here's Dan keeping a watchful eye over Elizabeth. Earlier in the day she fell asleep, right there in that chair, while eating a Tina's Frozen Burrito. Couldn't figure out what was in her mouth when she woke!-

So the camp is pretty excited with our new found challenge. I'm trying to eat, clean up, and start to wonder how this is all going to pan out.
Soon enough Morgan's back, but the laps not done. He pulled the cleat from his shoe before the Airport, came back, is swapping shoes and is back on the course.
He's lost some time, but if he has a good lap he'll make it back in time.

Also now I glance over at Mike. Boy he is looking wrecked. Between the Nanny duties and going out for a lap, he is cooked, well done, stick a fork in the poor guy.
What a champ though!
Here's Mike and Twila-

So Morgan comes in, 11:45am, plenty of time still.
Oh great. My butt is aching, but I only have to go around the course, nothing heroic or nothing, just finish the lap.

Already, with so many riders done or out, the course is starting to dry out.
I'm pretty determined to not to get too dirty, pretty determined to somehow find a way to pedal and not ache. This first is reasonably easy, the second not quite so.
I'm chatting w/ folks. Stop and talk w/ Jeff Wortherly and actually talk to Barry Jeffries from Dirty Harry's on Jeff's cell. Then I'm off, standing up pedaling some more. Chat some more. Getting tired of all this. Walking a bit more.

Finally I make it to the top of the last climb, make it to the VooDoo Lounge and then I see Chris. He's got a PBR for me.
Well somewhere out there I heard I guy say "you don't get a beer until you finish the lap" and for some reason I thought I should do that.
That was stupid. Poor Chris had been waiting for quite a while (it was a looong lap) and then had to drink both that and his beer. I should have grabbed the beer, taken a swig and then ridden on it, beer in hand, and finished the stupid race.
My only regret for 24 Hours.

So I finish our 17th lap!-

And Morgan and I walk back to camp-

So that's it! Whew.

Here we are, me wondering why the cheque says "the Kessel Kid", that's not us!!-

Ahh, the Victors, and the others-

And here, the Grand Dames, our real competition-

And then those slackers doing the 4 Man Pro thingie with Granny and everything!
Jason C., Andy W., Joey the Hobbit, and Chrissy-

Low and behold it's the old(er) guys, they were housed at the Penthouse Suites too (actually they were *the* team there) and they did great too, battling it for the win in the final laps. They would be Matt Ross (Dawn of the Dead, no lie!), Matt Markus, Old Bob Vernon, and Scott Root-

And lastly, for now, is the man that put it all, or at least, a lot of it together for us, JR Petsko. Here he is along side his teammates, the Smokin' Fatties winning the Big Boy class-

Big shout out and thanks to Julz at iPlayOutside.com / wvoutside.com (yes it's still there) for also being instrumental in getting these Dream Teams together.
Thanks neighbor, we sure did have a fun time suffering!

iPlay's coverage of the 24 Hours of Big Bear

Congrats Morgan, you're now a 2-time Winner in the Duo Pro Class!!

Shout outs and many thanks-
* The Mike and Twila Miller family, for picking me to race w/ their son, and for going above and beyond.
* Dan and Nancy Casdorph family, for allowing Dan to play Nanny yet again and probably wrecking him for a few days.
* Jeff Smith family, for aid and assistance, for allowing Cassie and Cassie Jo to play w/ Betsy and Elizabeth, and for bringing out Levi to keep it all in perspective.
* Mark Schooley family, for the fine digs, fine amenities, fine food, and for making Big Bear Lake the mountain biking place it is today.
* Pathfinder, for supplying Team Bi-atch with goodies and allowing us to put in on our account, on account we ain't got no money!
* Robbie L., from Pathfinder and beyond, for expertise help and assistance whenever we call.
* JR, for working so hard for all we racers and for stopping smoking!
* Cannondale & Rob V., for just being there so often.
* My folks, for still putting up with these "antics".
* Joel G., for giving us press and making us feel like we're something after all.
* My wife Betsy, for telling me to do it anyway.
* Our Fan, for cheering us on, where ever you may be.

We sure did bring a lot of food and beer.
Ate some of the food but hardly none of the beer, here's what we had to tackle for the next few weeks (especially since this race put the hurt on my beer drinking ability)-

Also here for you discrimination and viewing pleasure are two sessions around the course via the GPS overlay-
* Second lap, forgot to turn it on for the first.
* The Double-header, two night laps, with a little "break" inbetween.

Enjoy. We certainly did.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Plan B for the Weekend

I came home from work today to find poor gunnar down and out with a cold. Don't ask me how he got so miserable and snuffly in just a few short hours. :o( Poor guy.
Anyhow, much to Goose's chagrin, it looks like we will not be making the 4 hour trek over to Baltimore to kick some arse in the Kelly Cup. :o( We may subscribe to the CycleDumb Training plan, but that doesn't mean we're completely stupid. Besides, we have some serious CycleDumb events planned in the next couple of weeks.

Jackie is worried about poor Nars. Get well soon!

Meanwhile, I have some precious moments of extra time on my hands and decided to do something girly. SCARY!

P.S. It's official-- gunnar feels like crap. He doesn't even want to go to the Talbot's party! If you know gunnar, you know he's not one to pass up FREE BEER.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cooper's Rock & Road, Final Stuff

Well JR is MIA.

His internet connection has been flakely (or so he says) and one ofthose dawgs ate his phone charger on Sunday so his voice mailbox is full.
And he can't find *any* pictures that he took of me on Saturday or Sunday!!

First off, thanks to all that did our races this past w/e-
Road details
Road results
Rock details
Rock coverage
Rock results

Coops "flyer" at fiendracing.com!
Don't forget to click on the skull...

Even though the weather didn't totally cooperate we still had good
times and some really good racing.

Here's the course for the Sports/Experts XC, me racing. You can see kind of where my drivetrain finally exploded right near the end and "time bombed" (as Ben Ortt put it) me into third-
Coops GPS Route

Post Rock Race, trying to bend my stupid outside ring back, like I was going to ride some more... cool down... not like I had the race to finish up... These are the only pics I have, thanks Mom!-

Of course Mammie got some shots of Betsy too, as did iPlay and lord baby bi-atch only knows who else. She looks a bit happier than I though, and look it's big-boy Matt K. who threw his backpack thingie away early on then flatted later on-

Ryan lost the times for some of the road race (USAC hacks...) and JR's been in no-where-land to compile a decent combined list for me.
So I did as best as I could, I can't wait any longer, life *must* go on.

You'll have to wade through my other stuff here first though.

I found out that holding a race on Mother's Day, let alone any day, is kind of hard.
It's nice to make special note of mothers supporting and mothers racing, but a lot of folks had mothers that needed some time and such, and I sure do understand that.

Special thanks-
* Steve Harouff for doing some marshaling, then manning a really important place where some nice hiker folks had torn the markers all up, instead of racing.
* Mark Rosso for heading up the Sports/Expert cutoff loop marshaling, helping w/ setup and tear down and for not getting bent when Betsy dinged his Mitsu. Zero.
* Dan Casdorph for taking my Pa out to his water station, directing us all to Day Use then manning the Beginners Cutoff and Sports/Expert turn.
* Traci Hulderman and Josh Ives for directing folks through the McCollum Camping Area and Hiking Trails and having nice parties that we hardly ever get out to.
* Evan (Cortney's b/f) for taking the helm at the Tipping Rock Road Crossing and not complaining one bit.
* Pa Shogren and my old friend Scott Benson for manning the Steady Fred Memorial Water Station.
Also Scotty for making sure the EMS was there.
* JR, Gina, Diane Clothier, and Don Parks for dealing w/ all the registration stuff and timing and the really slow printing of the lists.
* Same folks for answering all my stupid questions, watch me running around before the race and being there when something really needed to be done and getting it done, making these two races a reality.
* Ryan Post for pushing his USAC agenda yet being a good official and dealing w/ me during the road course finding.
* Team Bi-atch members Chris M. and Betsy for checking a few sections of the trail Sunday morning, Chris for helping mark on Friday and Betsy for checking/cleaning up on Monday.
* Marc Glass. for marking on Friday, getting the water station setup and torn down, being an encouraging factor, and for being so darn good looking.
* Bobbie Vernon for marking on Friday, checking on Sat., getting fruit, helping Mark R. and for his skillz w/ the numbers.
* Gary Rodosta for dealing w/ my "vision" of the T-shirt and putting those ethereal ideas onto bits and bytes, black & white, time after time...
* Mike Goss at Sirianni's, for whatever reason, wanting to supply really good Pizza and Pasta Salad to a race that's not close to where they are. I'm still eating (at least one bowl daily!) Pasta Salad...
* Big Rob Voorhees for giving me the race in the first place, for supporting we racers (pains that we are sometimes), for being a big lug since 1980, checking the course w/ Bob on Sat. and for some clean up duties post race (after the rains left. Again).
* J.L. Brown and son, for cheering us all on, along the Road Side Trail. J.L. and Mike Yoder were the first "real" cyclists that I met when we first moved to Motown in March of 1980.
* Crystal Spreng, for having such an enthusiastic and hard-charing-far-traveling family, and for taking care of the starting duties in fine fashion.
* Al Kerns and the folks at Cooper's Rock State Forest for letting us play since... well my first real mtb ride was there in 1984 or 85? and for getting those big logs out w/o much notice.
* Mark Schooley for lending me arrows, guidance and giving us a nice place for the road race to start.
* Some nice folks for pretty much tearing down the course, completely unbeknowst to me. All but about 5 arrows, a small handful of ribbons and two signs. Of course Mark did want those arrows back...
* The whole WVMBA crew, for giving us the opportunity to race.
* JR again, for being for being so freaking happy, trying hard for the sake of us all, and LOLing. :)
* There's gotta be someone I've missed. Thank you too.

Special thanks to my sponsors, for making the prizes worth while, for making the T-shirts a reality, for lending support when asked-
* Cannondale
* Pathfinder
* Custom Contracting
* WVU Healthcare
* Cira & Associates Consulting
* Sirianni's Pizza Cafe
* Michael Miller, DDS
* Old Shawn Withers
* Betsy
* Mom
* and you the racer.

So in the 1-2-3/Expert Rock & Road, 76 mile RR and 20 mile XC-
1st g00nba Shogren, 3rd & 3rd
2nd Jeremy Rowand, 4th & 6th (great race in the RR, really)
3rd Chrissy McGill, 6th & 9th (overall, 1st in SS)

Open Women/Women's Expert Rock & Road, 38 mile RR and whatever XC-
1st Betsy Shogren, 1st & 1st
2nd Laura Kelly, 2nd & 1st (Beginner women)

In the 4-5/Expert Rock & Road, 38 mile RR and 20 mile XC-
1st Justin Pokrivka, 7th & 4th
2nd Jonny Martin, 10th & 11th (overall, 2nd SS)
3rd Josh Chapman, 8th & 16th (overall, 14th Exp)
4th Robbie Loehr, 26th (blew!) & 13th (overall, 11th Exp. (kept it
together nicely!))
5th Andrew Wiedrich, 3rd & ~20th (overall, 17th Exp. (bad tyre day))
6th Chris Phillips, 20th & ~17th (overall, 7th SS)

In the 4-5/Sport Rock & Road, 38 mile RR, 17 mile XC-
1st Chad Howard, 11th & 4th

Highly contested 40+/Sport Vet Rock & Road, 38 mile RR and 17 mile XC-
1st Jay Downs, 3rd (in race (they raced w/ Open Women!), 2nd 40+) & 11th
2nd Fritz Kessler, 4th (3rd 40+) & 12th
(Fritz gets bonus points for making fun of Chris Baker for NOT showing up to the RR so they really tied for the 40+/Sport Vet class)

A few others did both but DNFed on one of the days, it was a tough w/e to race...
Marc Glass
Gerry Phlug
Brian Talbott
Wes Rhoads
Steve Rowand
Matt Kettering

Post Road Race. I'm pretty sure I aged an additional 3.5 years on that one.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Not Exactly According to the Plan

We kicked off the mt bike season this weekend with WVMBA #2, Challenge at Mountwood in a cold and rainy Parkersburg, WV. gunnar worked like a dog all week trying to get some bikes race-ready for us. He ended up with a 1 x 9, and I ended up with my singlespeed (with a supercool new paint job).
I will start with my race report: 10 expert women showed up! YAY! Hopefully that is a good sign of things to come. Last year the expert women were quite scarce. It was a good race, with some fast girls from OH getting out to an early lead. I reeled them back in, but I never felt very comfortable with my lead, and Amanda ended up only three minutes back- I think we will have some good battles this year! At one point, I hit a small stump and went catapulting over the handlebars. Well, I should say I WOULD have gone over the bars, but my full-speed ahead forward motion was abruptly stopped when a certain body part came into contact with the stem. Use your imagination, but let's just say if I was a man, my voice would be several octaves higher right now. I think I actually started hyperventilating on the side of the trail, and truly whimpered my way to the finish line with a tear in my eye.
I was so relieved to see that finish line and get off that bike, until the finishing line guy asked me where gunnar was. He hadn't come in yet and my heart just sunk--apparently the top 3 guys were accidentally directed to do the prologue loop twice. :o( Poopy Pants. Anyhow, gunnar passed the other two guys, and thus would have won the race, except it didn't count, since he did 7 extra miles!! That definitely stunk, although I think I was more bummed for gunnar than he was.
After the race, Team Bi-Atch had a pity party in the bus, on account of the rain, cold, a certain throbbing body part, a gross festering in the lungs (mine), and a bit of disappointment. However, as you well know, you can't keep the Shogren's down for long, so we'll see you all at WVMBA #3 (Big Bear) on Sunday.
Congrats to Goose on his first place in the SS! We heart Cannondale 29'ers!!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Racing Update

The only racing that's been going on here at FiendCentral is sled racing, and maybe a race or two to see who gets the last of the ice cream.
I will give you a race report of our best of three sled races, though.

Run 1: gunnar kicked Bunny in the glasses, ran her off track, and Bunny tore up her sled (not quite enough snow to be sledding on pavement).

Run 2: Bunny hit the tree at the bottom of the run (see photo).

Run 3 (Grand Championship): gunnar hits a large stick shortly after take-off, thereby giving Bunny an insurmountable lead.

Since the grand championship counted double, we tied, with the tiebreaker being total time. Bunny = Grand Weiner since that stick debacle cost gunnar quite a bit of time. teehee. Too bad.

Oi, that's gotta be cold.

Family Portrait:

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Kansas City Cross Nationals Tour, The Jesus Lizard Leg

The Jesus Lizard Leg?

Cause the song Goliath by the Jesus Lizard was the first song that fiendPod_II played as I started the drive up to Greensburg then on to KC.

And I was not driving Clifford, who we are having a tough time bringing back from its' "not spewing anti-freeze" condition. Big poopie pants there.
Poor Clifford.
Poor us, cause we were really looking forward to having all his bigness out there, and I had gotten this swell awning for him-

This was actually from the week before when we tried to go to Rockburn, MD in Clifford but only got to the Cooper's Rock Exit on 68 (an exit that has seen me turn around more than once), but were able to limp home.

Where was I? (still getting over my blasted post Cross Season sickness you know...)

Oh yes, Jesus Lizard.
So after waiting around for part of the day on Wednesday hoping to get Clifford up and running, I was finally on the way up to get Jay-bo and then start heading on 70 W for the rest of two days. Yuck.

Lucky for us, our trip was a real fun-filled extravaganza!
By night fall somewhere between Wheeling, WV and St. Louis, MO we passed this revealing truck tarp. Sure did make for some exciting moments as I was determined to get a nice clear shot of the message-

And let me tell you, it wasn't that easy. We have a few more shoots and one of them is super clear and great but you don't get the feeling that the shot was taken while going 70mph on 70 W.
Ahh, 70 W. Almost as great as 70 E...

So the next great thing that happened was that I got an early X-mas present from my folks and Betsy. A new pair of Lake Winter Boots!
Won't go into details here, but I had been really having a tough time w/ my feet this season and I finally had to go up to the attic and bring out some relics to fit my now enlarged and hard to accommodate feet-

That's right, front and center are a pair of Time MTB shoes from 1997, size 43. All the rest of the shoes are 42's and just not fitting my feet well right now.
Good thing I kept all those old shoes...

Sickness makes my mind wander.
So Dan from SpeedGoat ordered them, and Jeremy (from SpeedGoat) handed them off to Jay that very day that we took off.
I was bound and determined to use them if necessary, so I wore them almost the whole drive out-

They are some swank looking space boots aren't they?
Look great w/ jeans too.

I heart The Jesus Lizard.

But we didn't really listen to much music. Mostly Jay-bo tells stories, recounts past races and scenarios, or we get rambling about some movie or TV show, then we use the power of our Samsung I500 fones and look up answers on that there interweb thingy.
Did you know that Gabe Kaplan, from Welcome Back Kotter became a pro poker player and now does commentary for Poker matches? That thread started w/ Sylvester Stallone I believe.

But occasionally we do eat. Not that often, mostly we stop for gas and coffee and no fried pies this trip. That first day we finally stopped at a Waffle House, cause we heart Waffle House, somewhere in IL or MO. It's all pretty fuzzy still and The Jesus Lizard *is* playing in the background (Betsy has left the building).

So it was a recently remodeled Waffle House, and although the look of the place wasn't that much different from the ones we frequent in PA, MD, and VA, they had one thing that really set them apart-

Look at that gem!
A Waffle House logo right there in the middle! A first for our little troupe!

And to top it off, but available only if you pay attention, is the # of the store-

But it wasn't on Greenbag Road.

Betsy's back so I gotta turn off The Jesus Lizard, cause David Yow "sounds like a kidnap victim trying to howl through the duct tape over his mouth."

That night we made it past St. Louis. Over the mighty (and dark) Mississippi. Did not see the Arch as we were above it, and then got totally lost trying to find the stupid Days Inn in St. Charles. After 30 minutes and really giving up, we stumbled across it.
It was a nice place. Had wifi, had Family Guy (Jay-bo's favorite), had beds, and the X-mas tree in the lobby. It was all very touching.
It was also really great that we had to leave pretty early so we could get to whatever hotel we were staying in, drop off the step-child and go pick up Betsy at the aeroport.

Somewhere in the middle of MO, I talked to Betsy, a little before she was to take off from Pittsburgh. The sky was pretty nice, no ice or snow, and it had been that way pretty much the whole way (somewhere it rained some, but it wasn't too bad).
After I got off the fone w/ her though, we started see lots of Utility trucks, in droves, and then evidence of ice storms, broken and bent tops of trees all over the place.
And finally ice covering the tops of the trees, though the roads were and were going to stay clear for the rest of the drive-

Not a very good shot, but you get the idea.
Soon there was more though-

And soon after that, the mother land, Nostalgia Ville USA, a destination that would have to wait 'til the return leg-

And as would be expected, we couldn't find our hotel at first. Perpetua (our british speaking GPS driving guide) lead us to a yet uncompleted hotel, covered in ice too. So we called and found that we were very near, so life was good again.
More evidence of an ice storm that we fortunately missed. Sure was pretty though-

That's the Kansas City Speedway in the background!

And finally Jay-bo was able to get away and check in to our home for the next few days-

One more shot of the pretty ice before heading up to pick up the sweet Betsy-

The kids were pretty happy that Jay-bo was gone and that we were soon going to be seeing Betsy, Jack, and Abe-

Pretty crammed in we were, but all together. Just not much room to spare.

So we checked in, chatted w/ some of the staff about the absence of cookies, the past ice storm, got some hot cocoa, bounced on the bed, gave the remote to Jay-bo, and went off to the airport, hoping that it was the right one...

It was, got there a little before the "no checked luggage" Betsy, and we were once again reunited!
Then hustled back down to the hotel cause we had to figure out how to get to the venue and ride for a little, cause...


Jay-bo charted our course, which involved going through and around the Speedway, which seemed only slightly sketchy cause it involved going over barriers and such, but it turned out to be a decent route and we also got to see another attraction!

Once we got to the venue, it was quickly decided by me that we was not going to even step foot out on to the course, as it was very mucky, wet, and still cold. The course was going to be changing and I really didn't feel like spending time cleaning bikes after driving, not eating much, and driving more.
There was probably beer to drink elsewhere too.

We did see some familiar faces and one was our friend Kerry, who also had driven out.
But she did it solo and did it from the Boston area!
She made our drive seems like a small jaunt, what a trooper she is-

Sure was a pretty scene as we rode past the Speedway, and no, we didn't get hassled, bugged or nothing by the security folks there-

We even had enough energy and time to get together with the DCCoD (we being the DCCoWV).
Here Jay-bo and Laurie Webber share a carafe of wine as the rest of us guzzle beer and then the rest of the wine that they couldn't finish. Amateurs-

And that was pretty much it for the first leg.
Text book really. No fuss, no muss, and didn't seem like most of us were too wasted-