Monday, November 30, 2009

mind bullets....shooting blanks

I suck at working at night. I have come terms with it, but sometimes I still feel obligated to go into the office after dinner to attempt to lay wastes to the thesis monster after ceaseless toil all day. Well I wrote about a page of a impact chapter (something that my advisor thought of over the weekend) but at this point I really do not care. I need to not think about Nitrogen right now
I spent a lot of time working on this thesis early in the game so that I would not be running wild trying to get everything done at the last minute, and a day before it needs to go to my committee he comes up with "interesting" things that we (I) should add........hey, shouldn't you have thought about that 6 months ago!
As a side note, I am pretty grammatically apathetic regarding the blog right now.
All out of mind bullets.

I have been looking around at what I am gonna try to do this next year, and I am going to spend as much time as possible going to races in the upper midwest. There are a few events that are on the horizon, but I will have to speak to the rest of the motley flock regarding what events we will travel to. I personally would like to see us travel to a mountain state race......I hear great things about the Laramie Enduro good distance, relatively low altitude, modest price, and its somewhere I have never raced before. Its also in the end of July/early August, which is a great time not to be in the great plains. We could also have a front range foray the week leading up to the LE. They also have a tandem category! Its also off of Happy Jack Rd. in the Curt Goudy State Park which coincidentally is the source of much debate in our house (we have talked about naming male progeny Happy Jack.....Al was not amused) I though it sounded fun!

In other MTB news The Ouachita (pronounced watch-ih-tah) Challenge dropped the 80 mile race, so now its just the 60 mile tour and the 60 mile race. meh. Chalybeate mountain on the 80 mile race was no fun anyway, a blight on a otherwise fun weekend.

Been running again, its a good kind of discomfort. The dull ache after a long run. lets you know you are alive. and out of shape.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Linclon CX weekend

While we were house hunting this weekend we were able to sneak down to Lincoln for some CX action. Managed a top five Finish. Results are here

Full Details will be at the Bad Goat Blog later tonight. The thesis monster consumes much of my time these days. It must be to my commitee by monday. It will be about 100 pages.

All pictures were lifted from the Michael Dixon Gallery
Cornbread asserted his dominance in the SS race!
Seriously, Mad props to the Lincolnites for a great low key race at a awesome venue. Hooligan hill certainly lived up to its billing! There was all sorts of sketchiness up there! Bacon and hotdog handups.......

Monday, November 16, 2009

How Prophetic.....

That a couple of years ago I would stutter the epic line
that was in response to the question that is omnipresent regarding a head injury.
Do you know where you are?

As an aside, I was not in NE at the time. Rather I was, knocked quite senseless, just outside of Redwing , MN at a collegiate mountain bike race....but thats another story

As noble and enigmatic as my stutterings were, it was a prophetic moment none-the-less.
I have somehow managed to dupe a company (a large multi-national company at that) into believing that I possess the means and determination to be a valuable asset to their organization. In short,
I got a job outside of Omaha, Nebraska.
Ah....the good life. The land of Lincoln.........shut up, you know what I meant.
I will be able to continue conducting agronomic research, and learn more about the genetic and breeding side of Agronomy. I think that my official title is Production and Research Agronomist. I am pretty stoked. Now we just have to find a place to live that is west of Omaha. I cannot bear the thought of having to live in town.
In some ways I was kind of sad that I am not going to be going back to my beloved "dirty South", but ultimately I have had to come to terms with the fact that there are not many opportunities for agronomists in southern Appalachia. Social workers, yes. Agronomists, no.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Perspective on sandbagging

Lets face it, this is a touchy subject and one that in the past has been pretty subjective But with the advent of statistical software and people with too much time on there hands we have quantitative methods to sniff out sandbaggers like a Terrier after a rat.
Typically you can get called out after you win a few races in the Cat. 4's. This is the natural progression of things if you are a non-master age racer (if you are a Masters racer the best you can do is get faster or hope someone dies). You get some experience to build on you fitness, and you learn strategy and what it takes to win.
Its the next step, the jump from 3/4's to 1/2/3's that get alot of people worked up. Here is why
  • Its a huge jump from 3's to the 123/open class and it takes a certain level of commitment and training to do that.
  • There are many racers that see the the bottleneck (or impaction, as I like to call it) in the upper echelon of the Cat. 3 riders. Riders that are fast and competitive in the 3's but never make the jump, and for rational reasons! But, it still pisses all the guys that just made the leap from 4's to 3's to see the same guys winning every race. Here is my solution.
  • If you want to dominate the 3's races without the pressure to jump to 123/open class you need to start traveling. Go race USGP in Louisville, Jingle Cross, Check out the NE cross scene. I think that this goes for everyone, not just the "Baggers". The KC scene has been really strong the last few years with Nationals and there are a ton of races close by, but the domestic CX scene does not revolve around us anymore.
  • Check out the Lincoln CX race coming up soon.
  • I have also seen several racers make solid progression over the years, and make the leap beyond the Cat 3 races. My hat is off to them. They know who they are. They have set a excellent example on how riders and racers should develop over time. But that leap takes a huge commitment that not everyone is capable of making.
  • Ultimately you also have to ask yourself why you are doing it. Its not the money. Have fun, don't take things to seriously, and take those beer handups (regardless of what Margretta says).
Granted not every person is born a great racer, and many times people only race for their own enjoyment, for social reasons (can't figure out why, we are a pretty ugly bunch?), or just because they have a certain level of self loathing and self flagellation has gone out of style.
These are the people that make the sport what it is! Who else would ride a bike dressed in a hotdog costume? Stand around in the rain and snow cheering for their friends and foes? We salute you.
Just some thoughts.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grand Prix HTP at night under the lights

Pic courtesy of Mel
There was a lot of hate in my heart. I unleashed it to finish 7th in the cat. 3 race. Best finish ever in the 3's especially considering super fast race courses are not really my forte.
The rest of the story

Monday, November 9, 2009

new wheels and it started raining

Found B-nast loafing this evening since we got some precip and things have been kinda wet. Its always best to let sleeping dogs lie.

New wheels for the SS CX bike finally showed up. I decided that I wanted some light wheels for my out and about bike, and I really like the ZTR rims. I also cannot figure out why all of this is underlined?

ZTR 355's laced to American Classic Hubs with DT Aero Speed bladed spokes with Hutchinson Bulldogs. Found them for a song and a dance. Yah, new gravel wheels!

Finally put the SS gravel machine back together. The challenge is that the wider ZTR rims dont really interface with my brakes as well as the narrower Open Pro's. The wider rims also really plump up the already voluminous Bulldogs. I may have to respace the brake pads.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Whats it like?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


So I have been taking part in a supplement study at the Bad Goat Racing Center for Unethical Studies, and it is evaluating different "supplements" in near lactate threshold activities.
This is done by establishing what our maximum output is through a step-wise torture session. After this torture session, the coordinator (whom we will call Himmler) flexes his mathematical muscles, and calculates what we can theoretically put out watt-wise for 50 minutes and remain under our lactate threshold.

Then he gives us the call and starts us on this program where we eat the same thing the day before our test, and fast for 12 hours preceding the test (If there is anything worse than riding as hard as you can, its riding as hard as you can on a empty tank).Then
  • Consume supplement and proceed to ride a "Wall" workout for 50 minutes. Wattage remains constant and the slower you pedal the greater the increase in resistance.
Blood is drawn continuously to measure hemocrit, and our VO2 is also measured at intervals.
  • After the wall workout we have 3 minutes to draw some blood, and spin with no resistance. then the hammer drops with a uphill 10k TT with VO2 being measured continuously. We can choose our gearing and speed on the TT, but as Shad says about gears, "that just allows you to dial in your pain setting".

So the first few sessions were just awful, with my TT times being around 23 minutes, but today I easily spun through the workout, and crushed the TT in just under 21 minutes.
I personally have always believed that it does not matter what fuel you put in the furnace as long as its is burning hot enough. HHHmmmhhh...........sort of crushes that idea.
So, I was like Himmler, buddy , ol' pal, what the hump was in that supplement?
In a faint northern European accent he mumbled something about academic integrity and refused to tell me. All I know is whatever it was I want more of it.
The other variable that could have affected today was that I got to choose the radio station, Classic Country!
Self loathing and suffering was just a little more bearable when Merle Haggard is crooning in my ear. I tried singing along through the mouth piece that was hooked up to the respirometer, but stopped when my HR hit 165 and and the "slobber" catchment on my tube filled up. Himmler was not amused, kept mumbling about the old days with Basso. More will be revealed in the following weeks

In other news I won the early career division of the ASA/Tri-Societies 5k fun run in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, and finished 3rd overall turning sub 6 minute miles.
I still don't have a job though........