Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2008 Highlights

2008 has come and gone. What a great year it was, filled with many adventures, house projects, and my favorite...hanging with my wife and son.
In short, I want to highlight a few cycling related moments to keep you all up to date.
First off, I'd like to thank a few of my bros, because in reality, I would not love riding my bike so much if I had to do it alone. These fellas are all super good people and super motivated to ride hard. I have this belief that in all the things you do in life, if you want to become great at something, you must challenge yourself by surrounding yourself with those whom abilities far surpass your own. Only then can you truly learn and get better. Thanks goes out to the following locals for breaking me into the 'let's go ride bikes' lifestyle: Travis Stephens, Jesse Gross, Travis Don, Cameron Chambers, Scott Cotter, Craig Stoeltzing and Andre Dory. Every time we ride, you guys make me feel a little less like a gumby, and more like I might actually be headed in the right direction.
Shawnee Mission Park 3/6 hour - this was my first mountain bike race, ever. At this point I had been riding my single speed mountain bike for less than a year, and had not put my endurance racing skills (or lack there-of) to the test. For this first race I registered for the 3 hour race in the Men's 30-39 solo class. I had Tom Howell as my wing man in the pits, tossing me water bottles and Gu as I passed each lap and cheering me on. The course was a six mile loop consisting for the most part of dirt single track with exposed rocks. All said and done, I completed five laps in three hours (30 miles total) to put me in 8th place out of seventeen in my class. Not too bad for my first race, off-the-couch and considering I had a bad case of elbow tendinitis.
My 2008 riding schedule:
Mondays - 1 hour solo ride at SMP from my house
Tuesdays - 2-3 hour ride with locals at BURP
Wednesday - rest day OR Humpday ride with local Mountain Bike Club
Thursday - 2-3 hours ride with locals at BURP/SMP or Kill Creek
Friday - rest day
Saturday - 2-4 hour hard ride with locals at Landahl
Sunday - 1 hour solo ride at SMP from my house
Rapture of Misery 6/12 hour. This was my second race and what a fine one it was! For this race I teamed-up with local rider Andre Dory for the six hour duo event. The race was held at my favorite local trails, Landahl. This place just really kicks-ass and is home to the best trails in the area. The course was a ten mile loop consisting of everything you could want in a mountain bike race; ups, downs, small rocks, big rocks, technical features, rollers and it was all in perfect condition! Andre and I took turns burning ten mile laps, Andre on his geared hardtail and me on my single speed, averaging around a 59 minutes per lap. All said and done... we did 6 laps, a combined riding total of 60 miles and placed 8th out of 18 in our class. I am addicted to racing now...
Not only do I love to ride bikes, but I have also been enjoying the art of building bikes. No, I do not weld-up the frames or manufacture any components, I just purchase the parts and put the ride together. My pal T.S. taught me all about building bikes and keeping them up-and-running. I owe all of my knowledge base (or lack there-of) to him. I am still find myself in the learning process at times, but I feel pretty good about the handful of bikes that I have built for myself and a few for friends.
It's cold out today...16 degrees and snowing. I need to get out and ride!

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