Tag Archives: Ed

24 cremona 2009 – By Ed

Sand is not my friend

Sand is not my friend

Well, well, well, I have been reading another blog and it seems as if I the target of the blogger.  You know the one who doesn’t have much to say about much I don’t post much and don’t have a head the size of a hot air balloon.  So in deference to his extremely popular blog and my much less so popular blog I will avoid using the words “not much to post” and “took pics on my ride today” and stick to his uncanny ability to pump up his own inflated ego.

Racing is not really the best way to have fun, 24 hour racing makes racing even less fun and as I did one last weekend I have spent the past week trying to recover my will to ride.  Not as easy as one might think.  I don’t want to see any mountain bikes at all, I don’t want to ride the road bike and I want my freaking calf to quit cramping.  I broke a chain and raked the teeth of my crank set up the back of my calf causing an immediate cramp and bunches of blood, but the cramp won’t go away, it seizes up at random times while walking the dogs or riding causing a bit of pain.  Not that it bothers anyone else, but I care about me, at least when things hurt me.



So the race went well, I got one flat, one broken chain, one continually dragging rear disc brake, 16 hours of rain and mud more slick than ice. Fun, no?  Well not really.  The race began with a stupid long run, I hate runs to the bike, it makes me tired and hurts my feet in my cycling shoes.  You must get to the bike, and although all the people competing for the overall run like sprinters, I, myself, trot slowly.  As I get to the bike most everyone else is already flying onto the trail acting as if this first lap will decide the final placing of the race.  NOTE TO ALL YOU GOOFY PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THIS, IT IS THE FINAL TOTAL NUMBER OF LAPS YOU DO THAT MATTERS, NOT WHO FINISHES THE FIRST LAP FIRST.

So I cruised around dodging people, getting passed and in general saying hi to folks I have met at previous races and members of the Los Lobos club.  It was kind of nice, well really I felt good so I was having fun and for the first 8 hours it was pretty much just like that, ride along have a good time and enjoy the off and on again rain.  It all changed as I stopped at 10 PM to grab some food and take a quick shower and have a few beers before I went off to sleep for a bunch of hours because my partner in the duo class had gone home and wasn’t going to ride anymore that night, so why should I?  Well we were in first place!  What me in first place at any race, no.  So instead of kicking back and having a good time I looked for a coke, some meat and some chips and ate as much as I could as fast as I could and was back out on the course.

Overnight I managed to do a bunch of laps, but our rival teams had two riders going all night, not one.  (I should clarify it was cumulative not cooperative for the lap total) So for every two and half I did, they did four.  It was mentally wearing to pass people, and know I was still losing laps.  I managed a brave “I can do it” face until 0400 and just had to sit down for a few minutes and promptly fell asleep for an hour.  Upon waking I jumped up and realized I was really really hungry.  So I ate and ate and ate and then finally left the dry safety of the Lobos tent city for seven more hours of fun in the rain.

As the race continued parts of the course where closed due to danger for the riders, and as the course was modified we got to ride new and more slippery sections of “less” dangerous trails.  Well they where wider than the stuff they closed off, so when I fell I had less chance of smashing a tree with my face, but more of a chance of smashing the ground with my face.  Fun, fun, fun.   I made it until noon, when, generally speaking most 24 hour races stop, when I crashed.

At this point I was standing up and riding more than sitting, and I won’t tell you exactly why, just think water, mud, 17 hours and a nice light and normally comfortable saddle and well I hope your imagination takes you to why I was standing.  So I was pedaling down a pretty straight slippery flat section of double track when I lost concentration for a second lost my front wheel and fell way faster than it took you to read this.  It hurt, not just my pride, as a few people saw me, but my wrist too.  It felt like a mild sprain and hurt like a mild sprain and I needed a reason to hang up the old cleats.

At this point we couldn’t catch first place and third was too far behind to catch us so why not take advantage of the excuse?  I could have taken some advil and kept on going, or eat a bunch of grilled Pork and sit down and relax.  Well relaxing seemed the order of the day.  The pork was very good.  Thanks Stefano.

All in all a pretty good race.  I am recovered physically at least, my legs felt good two days after the race, but I am not motivated to ride at all.  Bikes are bringers of pain, not the fun machines they where prior to the race.  Another week maybe the fun will return, but today it is drizzling and instead of riding I am typing this drivel.  I need three more hours this week to reach 18 hours riding, but what the hell, I like popcorn and petting our dogs, so I will eat popcorn and pet the dogs and think about riding, that should help my fitness level, right?

Mmmmm, I'm hungry!

Mmmmm, I'm hungry!

I had a good race and had some bad luck, some good luck, thanks to SingleStoff and the Lobos guys and took second overall.  Not a bad weekend, I just hope to ride as well in a month in Finale.

For those of you who are interested, King Cages rock, not a single lost bottle for me but others lost bottles everywhere, the Avid brakes I used where very good, aside from the constant dragging which turned out to be the fault of a bad bleeding job by a local shop, I used Kenda and Maxxis tires, the Crossmarks where not great in the mud, the Karmas not any better, but no tires would have been good on this course.  Who else?  Oh a great frame by Stoic cycles that is now being painted and the best handle bars in the world Luv Handles by Groovy Cycles.  Oh and I used several products for energy from Hammer nutrition to keep me fueled physically.  Mentally, well I am never stable there.  Hope you are all well and next time I hope some funny stuff happens because it is more fun to read about my failures than successes.  Of course I have very few successes so I won’t have to wait too long to write something funny, to me at least.

(From Michael…. many more photos of the race here on Flickr)

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Rockville (SSCXIT09) or SingleSpeed Cyclocross Italy ’09 – By Ed

So more stories of greatness, well trying to be at least less than bad, in the life of Ed.  The latest installment of my very bad racing career was at the Single Speed Italian Cyclocross Championships, 2009.  A very long title for a very short race, but the race was fun and deserving of the super long title.

The morning began with walking the dogs, Kinsey, the old girl who is supposed to be dying of cancer, took me for an hour long walk, and Willie our latest edition, tried to trip me nearly every step of the way.  He really needs to keep out from under my feet.  So the long walk put me way behind schedule for the morning.  But when Kinsey wants to walk we walk.  Hell, 14 years old and she want to stroll for an hour, so be it.

0945 on the road to Villarocca, getting me there 20 minutes before race time, so I would get a good warm up and be very relaxed at the start of the race.  Perhaps not, but getting all ready to race is really not my thing anyway.  With light traffic, and a bit of luck (who me have luck when it comes to getting to a bike race) I arrived with 15 minutes to spare.  Running into registration and getting my number I realized that the race would likely be starting just a bit later than published.  I took my time, changed clothes and talked to a few people.  I was pretty nice to not be at an official race where I might be denied entry, or be banned for the day because I look funny or something.

We all rolled out to the start/finish area about 11:20 and arrived at the locale about five minutes later.  Arriving in full winter riding gear, super warm jacket and vest and ten layers of fleece and well, you get the picture.  I needed to dump some stuff, and because BOB IS THE MAN, I was able to leave my warm up and after race clothes in his car.  Thanks Bob.

I don’t know why, but we always have a Lemans start at Los Lobos events, which is not my favorite way to start, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  I like running, in running shoes, not in carbons soled riding shoes.  Due to that, I ran slowly, this proved to be the biggest tactical error of the day.  I really must remember that being at the front at the start of the race really helps keep me out of the way of people just trying to survive.  Normally that is I, just trying to survive, but when everyone is single speedy, I have a chance.  Slim, but none-the-less, a chance.

Well, being near last leaving meant I had to pass nearly everyone in the first lap, and even if I didn’t pass everyone I passed about 40 people.  Sorry, guys, but I like cross, more than any other type of racing, and whether I am going to win or be mid pack I am going to go as fast as I can.

Any way, on the second lap I figured out I was in sixth place, I was sure I could catch fifth and fourth, but first through third looked to be getting away.  I really needed to go fast, I needed to have trained at least once in the last three months, I needed to be 10 pounds lighter and I needed to max out my heart rate.  I did max the heart, 191 beats per minute, but everything else required time before the race, not at the race.

I sat in fourth place for the next 45 minutes, I would pull back third and see that he was just 15 seconds ahead of me, only to see the next lap he was 30 seconds up, only to see that he was now 10 seconds up only to see that he was 45 up.  It was terrible, if I had only run faster I may have been in the mix for third, second and first, well honestly they are just faster than me, third would have been my first.  So as the race began to wind down I settled in and just rode my pace, knowing I wasn’t going to get third, knowing fourth it was, which is not bad, just not where I wished to have been.

Next time, run faster, train more and remember, it is only for fun.  It was, and in spite of me wanting to do well, I still did my best to pass with care as not to cause anyone to crash, myself included, shouted encouragement to everyone on the course, and thanked everyone for all the work they did putting together the course.  It doesn’t matter where you finish, if you are a tool on the course and a tool to the race director you loose.  One day I must win, one day.  Maybe next year.

As a footnote, Stefano and the rest of Los Lobos, the course was great.  It was a real cross course with the perfect amount of running, barriers and speed.  One of my favorite races of the year, so far at least, and will likely remain as such.  Thanks again and the food was great.  Next year I bring beer.  And I love the hat.


This link will show you guys my big ole belly

Lot’s more photos here too.

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