Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Another week at camp!

From camp in PA to camp in the UP!  I truly am living the dream.  And this time it was even better to be able to give back and share my experiences with some up and coming rippers!

Jr. Mtb Camp at Michigan Tech University is now in its 4th year.  This year we had 21 JR's from 4 states!  I am so happy that the camp is growing and more and more young riders get to experience mountain biking and the amazing trails the UP has to offer.  We had a great camp.  2 rides per day, lectures from NCAA coaches, Professional Cyclists, Physiology Dr's, Trek Demo Day, and even a race.

Yes we were non stop action.  A normal day was breakfast in the cafeteria at 8am then riding at 9am.  Lunch at 12:00. Lecture at 1:30 - 3:00 and then PM ride from 3:30 - 5:30 dinner at 6:00 back in the cafeteria and then another evening activity depending on the day.  I think all the JR's had a blast and I'm hoping to see them all back next year!

Yes I did mention a race.  The Keewenaw Chain Drive also takes place the same weekend as camp giving the riders an opportunity to test out their new knowledge and skills.  We had tons of our athletes on the podium!  Luckily for me the coaches got to race too.

Pete and I post race!  Pete attended Camp the first year and now he is battling it out for the podium!

The Chain Drive is a deceptively hard race.  Lots and lots of techie singletrack and a point to point style that features a mostly uphill race course.  With a little weather the night before the race the trails were a little heavy on race day.  Making it harder than the norm.

I was able to take another W in front of all the campers....an awesome feeling.  I scoped out the river crossing with 3 miles to go on our pre-ride and told the campers this was a pivotal spot....it turned out I was right and thats where I made my winning move!

Now its time to get back to some training...I feel like I haven't done a training ride in a month!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Transylvania Recap

When I finished the TSE I definitely felt like this. 
Probably thinking to myself I want to be home and not really even being able to comprehend the world of pain I was in....

Now that I have had some time to recover, get healthy and start riding again I wanted to share my final thoughts. 

I wanted to do TSE this year for the experience.  I wanted a change and wanted to do something different.  I wanted to break out of the norm, go somewhere new, and challenge my limits.

All in all TSE was the place to do all of the above.  The experience was amazing.  I learned a ton about what my body can handle even after 20 years of racing.  The old school mtb feel w/ start lines drawn in the dirt and great atmosphere was just what the Dr. ordered.

The trails were tough, the countryside was beautiful and the memories will last a lifetime.    If you are up for a healthy challenge I highly recommend looking into the TSE.  Tons of new friends, great food, campfires....and plenty of beer if you are into that sort of thing!

Now its on to the next adventure and one of my favorite weeks of the year.  Jr. Mtb Camp at Michigan Tech University in the UP! 

After about 8 days of chilling post TSE I finally hopped back on the bike Monday and Tuesday.  For some reason I wanted to do a power test....it hurt, but at least the blood is flowing again.  About 5% less than my test last year in July.  One month to get really fit!  Hopefully it shocked me back into shape at least a little so these kids don't beat me up too bad!  Feeling Old!

Monday, June 03, 2013


I wish I could be talking 'Sick What' like Anthony Clark, but this was more like what....I've got to puke again.  After dinner Friday night I knew something was wrong.  My stomach was hurting.  I went to bed early only to wake up around 10 in more pain.  I went for a little walk to try to help things out a bit, but to no avail.  At about 2:00 am the party started.  I puked 6 times about every 40 minutes.  When morning finally arrived it was also coming out the other end.  Not good before the final stage.  I barely was able to get out of bed.

I hobbled down to the mess hall and found Drew Edsall and he helped me find the Doc who was on staff volunteering at the camp.  Luckily for me he was there otherwise there was no way in the world. I would have been able to race.  He gave me some anti nausea meds so I could start getting some fluids down without barfing them back up.  He also gave me a couple of Liters of IV fluids.  I've had an IV in the past for dehydration and normally I bounce back and almost feel better than before...this time the doc asked if I felt any better and I had to answer no.  I was still in a world of pain.  I had barfed out all of the previous nights dinner and all the fluids I needed to rehydrate from a hard Stage 6 and the necessary preparations for a final Stage 7.  I was completely totally empty.

After getting the IV I could at least stand up without feeling like passing out and take a sip of water to wet my whistle.  The IV took a while to push through, so I only had a short time to prepare to race.  45 minutes later I was on the start line getting ready to rock my own world.  Any other normal day and I would have been in bed all day long.

Supposedly Stage 7 was an easier day w/ only 3,300 feet of climbing and 26 miles + more dirt roads than last year.    With no food in the system, no desire to eat or drink, and the fear of crapping my pants the entire ride I knew it was going to be hard.  I wanted to have a good start and maybe make it with the lead group to the first enduro segment, but no way...they were gone on the first climb and I was lumped into the group between 20th and 30th position.

I was OK in the singletrack besides the rocks that made me want to barf/crap from all the jostling, but it was the climbing that was really killing me.  I had zero power...I was getting dropped on nearly every climb and suffering at 110% effort,.   I was hoping to ride tempo all day and feel pretty comfy but right away I realized that I needed to go harder because todays tempo pace wouldn't have got the job done.

I was in a group w/ the DUO Team leaders from Canada  and a couple of U-25 riders.  The stronger of the two Canadian riders is a Semi-Pro Hockey player...he used to weigh 220, but now is down 20 or 30 lbs....he was stronger than his partner so on some of the climbs his buddy would grab on the back of his jersey and take a little bit of a ride.  So here I am sick as can be getting dropped on the climbs by a 190 lb Canadian beast with a his buddy dragging him down like a lead weight by holding his jersey.  It was not only physically tough, but it was mentally tough.

Luckily I finished.  With lots of experience I knew when I had to go hard and what group I needed to latch onto to make it to the finish.  I maintained my 3rd place overall by finishing 10th on the day.  After the race I was pretty much asleep all day and all night.  Totally spent.  Full TSE Recap to come soon.

Watch more video of 2013 Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage Race on cyclingdirt.org

I initially thought I must have had some sort of food poisoning, but now I'm not so sure.  I had some deli meat from the grocery store after Stage 6 which was the last food I ate before puking up dinner...I blamed that deli meat initally, but now I am still having some fever like symptoms waking up in the middle of the nights completely soaked in sweat.  So maybe it was a little stomach flu virus not food poisoning.  I guess I'll never know.