Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gonzo Pass revisited

But thats not all!

Ride Bully got a great team ride planned and it happened to fit into my schedule (my new favorite thing is taking semi random days off from work when the weather is nice and doing sweet activities).  Originally we had planned for a 4 pass ride doing out and backs over both Gonzo and the Kanc.  Greg wasn't too thrilled with the out and back idea and requested an audible after our first ascent/descent of Gonzo Pass.  Ride Bully obliged but mainly only because the alternate route wasn't really any easier.

 pro peloton

Heading into this ride I was a tad apprehensive due to Adam and my horror fest last time we attempted Gonzo.  That was several years ago now but all I remember is a blur of frozen ice shards and a massive bonk...I'm happy to report that Gonzo did not wreck me like it did years ago but I was definitely not warm yet by the time we tackled it this time around.  We started the ascent about 3 miles into the ride.  I felt ok on the climb, just sluggish.  Had a hard time getting into a rhythm.  According to my Garmin data (I used laps to track my climb) I climbed the 5.5mi in about 35min at an average speed of 9.6mph.  Unfortunately I forgot to use laps to track my ascent of Kinsman later in the ride.

 topping out on Gonzo (cut the slope!)

Descent of Gonzo was pretty scary.  Sandy spots and frost heaves made it real interesting and I think I may have caught a frost divot just wrong and took a solid shot to my rear wheel.  I was a bit worried when it happened but everything seemed fine immediately after.  Must have been a really slow leak because I eventually went flat several miles later on some rolling farm terrain heading to Pike, NH.  I then proceeded to make an ass of myself trying to get my tire on and off.  The bead was stupid tight and the first two tubes got pinched by my lever trying to get the bead back on.  Finally on my(our) third try we were able to get the bead back on without a lever and get on our way.

Couldnt have asked for a better day.  We ended up heading almost all the way out to the VT border and were riding in the CT River Valley for a bit before heading back into NH to get up and over Kinsman and back down into North Woodstock/Lincoln.  Kinsman is much more a climb to my strengths, plus I was actually warmed up by that point.  Felt strong for 50mi into an early season ride.  Calories were running low though and we were all looking to get back to the cars and to the bar.  We were all very much digging the scenery and how lucky we were to snag such an awesome day when this Spring has been struggling to be awesome lately.

I'll take it

I'm used to having it look like I'm about to ride off a cliff skiing, not so much road biking.

Every time I get a ride like this in I remember how awesome road riding is, particularly big rides like this.  Hopefully I can find some time this season to squeeze a few in.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ramp Up

I just took a peek at my Garmin Connect account and I am getting off to one hell of a riding season.  50mi the last two weekends at 5 different riding locations.  And its only Tax Day.  With a mega road epic planned for Friday things are looking good for having a decent base built heading into race season.

Now all I need are the home town trails to finally shed all their snow...

New Ergon grips are nice.  I think they are going to work really well for me.  I got a bit of different hand fatigue than I am used to during the last two rides but I think that is more my hands getting used to the new position.  What I have definitely noticed is no residual fatigue after the rides and they actual offer a few different hand positions that I didn't have previously.  They give a really nice platform and feel way less awkward than I was anticipating.

Kenda pro form stuff arrived late last week but I didn't have time to mount the new rubber before I hit the road to NY.  Went with the Slant Six for this year.  Looks like a good all rounder, interested to see what they are capable of.

Had a great time in NY.  Footage was a bit lacking, angle of my chest mount needs tweaking and the ride was a bit stop and go and I kept guessing wrong for good times to film longer stretches of trail.  But I did manage to get one sweet sequence on a trail called Here to There and just set it to the theme of the weekend.  Had to be there...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New England is currently MEGA

I can't remember the last time both of my preferred activities were operating at max awesome in such close proximity.  For the last two weeks or so you could get really great skiing or mtb in within a two hour drive of my house in either direction.  Now if we could just get a handle on all this mud and standing water I'd be in heaven...

Shaun already got in a pretty thorough recap of the weekends full happenings, so I'll just post my edit and talk about that a bit as well as my mind over matter, refusal to acknowledge pain odyssey.

I tried to make the edit look like one long continuous run cutting in different angles like I had 3 GoPro's running at once.  Kinda worked.  I didn't bother spending too much time trying to make the cuts look perfect because I don't care enough.  The footage is actually two rides early stuff is Willowdale and later on is clips from Russell Mill.  Used the handlebar/seatpost mount for everything.  Seatpost configuration worked great and I really like that perspective.

Mounting to the handlebar didn't work all that awesome, it loosened up on me both times and I had tightened it enough that I was a bit worried about breaking the plastic.  I have read some posts of people trying a rubber shim to cut down on vibration and give it something to really squeeze.  I'll probably try that next.  I was actually really surprised at how 'quiet' the footage was with it mounted to my handlebars.  I thought for sure riding rigid would screw it all up but as long as I can figure out the mount I think that angle will be cool.  I also experimented a bit with pointing it back at me and I really like what the fisheye did too the trees, they look like they are 1000ft tall!

I also had a really weird experience with some wrist pain that has been bugging me for the past couple weeks.  It felt like some sort of pinched nerve that would only really hurt at the extremes of pronation or supination.  Hadn't been affecting my skiing at all so I just sort of dealt with it hoping that it would go away.  I was hoping it wouldn't affect my biking at all but I was wrong.  First ride at Willowdale was pretty painful at times.  Cross fall line stuff was horrifying and descending with some chatter was awful too, almost lost my grip on the bars due to pain a few times.  Riding was way too good to stop though so I just tried to deal.

Surprisingly after our break for lunch it started to feel a bit better.  The pain was much less pronounced.  At the start of our ride at Russell Mill I would say it felt 65% better than that morning.  The RM ride went much better and that evening the pain subsided even more.  By the start of our ride at LDT the next morning the pain was practically gone and its a good thing because LDT was much more brutal than the other two spots and I would have been in trouble.

So just goes to show you kids if you have weird nerve pain in a joint just beat it into submission.  I'm running the show here nervous system, not you.  Never forget that.