Who am I?

I'm a happily married father of 3, 40 hr a week working, no time having, 40 yr old Professional bicycle racer. This is how I make it work. ( Or don't sometimes.)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

One day at a time

Finally had a decent week of training. Not killing it volume wise but nailing the intervals and strength workouts. The way my body feels tells me so.... Haven't felt so good and sore in quite awhile. Lost 7 lb this week and am approaching where I was before I got hurt. I'll take it. Hasn't been easy but I stayed flexible and rolled with the punches as far as juggling life this week. Pushing 12 hrs and 180+ miles for the week. Pretty proud of myself even if that's less than one of my off/ recovery weeks use to total. Numbers aren't bad though so no worries.

Got out for a few hours this morning to recon and change up the route for The Outspokin' Dirty 50 race in January. Took out a little pavement and added more dirt. Even found a locked gate to jump over to connect through some woods to a dead end road....good stuff. Fun to go exploring. Not too cold out either and had one of the highest output rides in recent memory even with stopping, cutting through woods, and turning around.
Finishing up an eerily quiet day at work now. Kinda worrisome for the Saturday before Christmas weekend. This is one of those times I'm thankful I don't have to worry about owning the store anymore. Heading home soon to pick up Liza for date night. Gonna get food and drinks and then go Christmas shopping for the boys while "influenced". Look out Toys R Us. This should be fun. For awhile. Till it hits 7:30 and we fall asleep as usual....

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Seriously?!

You do what you gotta do right? So I get up at 4:30 this morning thinking I can get on the trainer at 5. Maybe I can get an hour in before the kids are up. 5:10 and Nixon is already screaming like all his skin has been stripped off. FAIL. Not going back to bed. Ever. To the living room to eat the lights off the tree. At least he's stopped screaming for now. Had a decent 1/2 hr before Paxton is up whining about wanting the breakfast he doesn't want to eat..... I wore bibs, an undershirt, and my HRM strap around for a few hours refusing to let go of hope that I could get Nixon back down for his morning nap and Paxton to chill and watch TV. Maybe I could get an hour in on the trainer before going to work to deal with a whole different type of assholes for hours. Speaking of...the store has a huge roll up garage door on the front of it. Directly at the end of the sidewalk leading to it. Right in front of your face if you walk up. Two feet to the right of the 15 foot wide, 10 foot tall OPEN door is a regular sized closed door. It's very interesting to watch people walk in. I know right away what I'm going to have to deal with before even hearing them speak. I can usually tell who I'm dealing with by watching them pull into the parking lot and watching them attempt to park but hey, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt until they pass or fail the door test. Anyhow- I've noticed about a 50/50 split here, no shitting you. Half the people walk or wheel their bikes through the open 15 foot wide door in front of them. DIRECTLY in front of them. The other half make an effort to beeline for, wheel their bike into, fight to open, to get them or their bike caught in the 2 1/2 foot wide closed door. Tells you all you need to know. I'm betting on lots of door fighters today.
Back to my story though- Gave up on riding at 8:10 and took a shower to get ready for work. Maybe I can take Paxton to the grocery store with me and get Nixon down for a nap so that Liza gets some peace and quiet. One thing accomplished today.
Anyways- Hoping to get Nixon down at 8 tonight, Paxton at 8:30, Liza by 9. Then maybe I can try to get that hour ride in again. If I can get to bed by 11 I can get in a whole 5 1/2 hrs of sleep before trying again tomorrow morning! Hell yeah.
DH

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fjallraven Vidda Pro Outdoor Pant Review

Nixon was screaming all night from 12:00 AM until 3:30 AM so I got no sleep. Up at 5:00 anyway to ride. Sat down on the couch at 5:10 for a sec to clear my head and woke up at 6:15. Opportunity to ride gone....
So- how about a product review?
A while ago I got a pair of new Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants off of E Bay. I've been looking for a new pair of outdoor pants for awhile. I've been using either a pair of Digi Camo BDU pants or my Dickies work pants. I don't always want to wear camo and the Dickies are tough as hell but a bit heavy. Plus, the both suck up water quickly and become saturated while walking in wet brush. I had been looking at the Fjallraven pants for awhile due to their outstanding reputation but at $150.00 they were far above my budget price point. However, I just so happened to find a pair in my size for less than half price shipped on E Bay. Bam. I'll take em. Was hoping to get the Tarmac or Olive color but beggars can't be choosers so I bought em.
3 days later they arrived. I was pleasantly surprised pulling them out of the box for several reasons. 1. I'd read reviews about how the Reg length is around a 32 in inseam. That's too long for me and usually needs to be hemmed. That's a real bummer as these come with adjustable snaps at the leg opening to form a gaiter at your boot. Turns out, that wasn't an issue as they weren't as long as expected. Fit just fine with boots on.
2. These pants felt quite a bit lighter and softer to the touch than I expected. They are made of G-1000 fabric. From Fjallraven-

 G-1000 is Fjällräven’s own hardwearing and versatile fabric, a proven outdoor classic that will prepare you for all types of adventures, in all climates, year round – from the tropics to the polar regions. The densely woven fabric (65% polyester and 35% cotton) is treated with Greenland Wax. This combination makes G-1000 one of the world’s best outdoor fabrics with a number of strong properties: 
• Durable G-1000 is very resistant to wear, and this in combination with its low weight makes it an excellent choice for both traveling and outdoor life.
• Water resistant Greenland Wax makes G-1000 garments very resistant to rain and moisture. This means that you can wear them during brief rain showers. If the fabric gets wet, it will dry fast.
• Windproof The dense weave makes G-1000 almost totally windproof. Once infused with Greenland Wax it offers complete protection against biting winds.
I'd assumed that the "hardwearing" wax treated fabric would be heavier and stiffer feeling. Wrong.
Love the right hand thigh pocket. It has an elastic pocket that was perfect for carrying my phone. Located right at my fingertips, I could pull out the phone for a quick pic whenever needed. Plenty of pockets on these pants make for easy access and lots of space for necessities. They do fit snug through the butt and thighs. This wasn't a drawback however, allowing the p[ants to move with me and hold the pocket contents snug. The lack of rear pockets was a surprise but took little time to get use to. Only nitpick here is the snap closures on all of the pockets. Velcro tabs may make it easier to open and close ( particularly close ) the flaps. Not huge, just an observation.
The G-1000 fabric works awesome by the way. Very breathable while water beads and rolls off, this fabric works great for outdoors. I'm interested in how long until I'll need to apply more wax treatment. My January trip should be a good indicator.
Another feature I almost forgot about- These have double knees on them. The bottoms of the knee panel have an opening where you could insert a foam knee pad if needed. This should be quite handy for that Okefenokee paddling trip coming up in February!
So far, I love these pants. Everything I was hoping for in a pant and glad I bought them. Looking forward to giving them hell.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Weekend wrap up.

My weekends are Sunday/ Monday so here's what's been going on...
Sunday- woke up early Sunday morning with both legs cramping up the second I moved in the bed. "Awesome. That's gonna make for an impressive effort at today's race" I thought. Perhaps it was a tiny bit of a bad idea for Kevin and I to sit around all night watching football and drinking a case of PBR. Anyhoo- flopped out of the bed, held onto the dresser, and got ready to get my A game on. Or my C game. F+ game maybe?
After dinking around all morning it was time to head over to the race. Almost forgot to eat anything so Liza made us some Bacon, Egg, and Cheese sandwiches. F+ game is now a solid D-game. So we stopped by Dunkin Donuts on the way over to Harbison State Forest. Had to get a regular Coke instead of a Diet Coke. Head game totally gone after that. Back to F Game. But I got a Croissant Donut with Bavarian cream inside.......Solid C+ game now!

5 minutes later we got to the race venue and got set up. My wet unlaminated number plate fell apart while trying to zip tie it to my bike, everyone else's number at least made it 100 yards down the trail before disintegrating. Got a "warm up" in and returned just in time to watch Paxton and Charlie race. Good stuff. Paxton was mesmerized by a cowbell ringing and didn't see Charlie sneak off for the win. Lazer focus folks...
When I say "warm up" I mean instantly see my HR hit 180-190 with no effort. I'm going to feel just wonderful in about 15 min. And I did just that...got into the woods in 2nd wheel right behind Wes. Soon we had a good pace going, didn't feel too bad, and were down to a group of 4. Wes gave it some gas on the penultimate climb on the 1st lap and I let him roll knowing I didn't have too much in me for going over redline. 3rd place passed me and went after him. No worries, I figured I'd see him later anyways. Brad, in 4th dropped off a little as well. Starting the 2nd lap, I felt like hell. Concrete legs and sick to my stomach. Brad was pulling me back little by little. Didn't last long though and 10 min into the 2nd lap I lit it up a bit pulling away from 4th and closing on 2nd in the tight singletrack where I was stronger. Soon, I was alone and closing on 2nd. This would stay this way through the end of the 3rd 6.5 mile lap until those sorry ass cramps showed up....
They showed up full strength all through the last 1/2 hr of the race. Soon, I couldn't stand anymore but could barely pedal sitting down. Just had to get to the finish..... Which I did eventually, holding on for 3rd. I'll take it considering I haven't been this slow in probably 20 years. The good thing, however; is that I'll only be faster from here out. Hope everyone enjoyed it....

Monday-
Woke up feeling all beat to hell like I destroyed myself Sunday. Legs still feeling all "crampy". Had to do something so I decided to go for a hike down in Congaree National Park. Solid 7 mile hike in about 2:20 got the job done. Was a little wet but not nearly as bad as the 10 miles of shin deep water I hiked in there last Feb.Now I was starving and headed home for lunch, housecleaning, and a movie. Here's some pics-




Trees down everywhere from Hurricane Matthew. The one above was 6 feet high just on the bottom tree trunk...




Love it down at Congaree, so quiet and I never see anyone else out there. Doesn't hurt that I only go when it's wet and a weekday. I want to check out the canoe trail soon, there's only about 20 miles of hiking trails and I've been on all of those already.

And today? Slept like crap last night, rode the damn trainer this morning for 45 min of tempo at 255 watts. Then found the tiniest reason why I needed to get off the bike. Amazed I made it that long. Been sore all day...
Better luck tomorrow I guess.
Later-

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Playing around with Robert's Pinecones

Got a good, cold pre-ride in of tomorrow's racecourse this morning with Robert. 37 degrees out. Wasn't bad at all really once we got going. Even though I haven't been on a bike all week, still felt decent. Course is in good shape, fast, with a few wet spots here and there. Thankfully, climbing is practically non- existent on that loop. Should be all horsepower. Except it's looking like 48 degrees and rain tomorrow. Hope so, hope it gets super wet, slippery, and nasty. Works for me. We'll see. I'm not really wanting to ride hard in Dec, just looking to get a solid ride in. Hopefully I'm not in too terrible shape to be useful.
Stay tuned....

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Plans

Working on the next few month's plans currently.
First up, a small local XC race this Sunday at Harbison. Should be muddy and fun. Not planning on riding very hard.
Then, on to the bigger weekends....
I'll have a high altitude, solo, winter backpacking trip for a few days in January. Hoping for atrocious conditions as always. That should be a fairly run of the mill trip.
Then, in late Feb, Alex and I are headed down to Folkston, GA for a 4 day/ 3 night trip in the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge. 4 days in the swamp, should be awesome. It's been 20 years since I've been paddling down there and have wanted to go back for awhile. Should be quite an adventure. Cold nights, warm days, not too buggy yet, and lots of snakes and alligators. Always makes you pucker portaging the canoes over trees and blowdown while in waist deep water. Those sounds in the water you hear seem louder and closer than normal. At least we won't be carrying packs so we're bringing coolers and good food this time as well as some luxury items usually left at home.

Planning on staying here on Floyd's Island one night-
Canal Run Shelter another night, and an undetermined spot the third night-

I can't wait! I love swamps. After that trip, it will be back to the same old grind with a few Mountain Bike races here and there. Maybe I'll squeeze in a few backpacking or climbing trips on my days off  later in the spring as well. We'll see. Lots of things to check off on my list besides 100% racing bikes all the time. Stay tuned to see where I end up next! Later-

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Trouble has 5 wheels

Mommy was out of town last night so the boys had a night of it. First up- carb loading with a spaghetti feast.
Next up- Taking out the newly assembled 5 wheel train of death-

After terrorizing the neighborhood awhile it was on to part 3-
Swing till you just can't anymore....
Then baths and bedtime, which all went surprisingly quick and peaceful. Nixon proceeded to sleep all night long as well. No bottle until 5am. Hell yeah, I'll take that! Speaking of food-
Part 1 today- Pancake and waffle feast to carb load before turning them loose at school.
That Nixon sure can crush some pancakes.....
Maybe I'll go for a run at lunch. Maybe not. We'll see-