Monday, June 28, 2010

Subaru Cup

Well, my first WORS race didn't go as well as I had hoped. I ended up pulling the plug after one lap because I couldn't breath right and I figured I wasn't going to make the ever-looming cutoff time anyways. It's a good thing that the people in control imposed a cut-off time too, because the pros only had 1.5 hours of completely empty course before their race. But that is more part of my negative WORS experience, on which I do not desire to dwell. Despite racing like junk and some other annoying things, I still had a really good time.

The pro races were awesome and the venue was great for spectating. Here are a bunch of blurry pictures that give you the feel.

This was taken about 350 meters below the highest point of the race, at the bottom is the start/finish.

The Pro call-ups

The Pro Men start

An idea of the crowd in the woods along the trail.

A gnarly techy little drop. Nothing hard, but fun to watch.

The trail was awesome.

Ronko trying to force a beer on Ronsta while he suffers late in the race.

Next up the 3hr Thunderdown. I hope to just feel good the whole race, these past two races weren't priorities, but I would like to come away feeling like the time training will eventually pay-off.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

WEMS Southern Kettles Race

Photo courtesy of Velogrrl
Yay! I finally got to race this year! And it still almost didn't happen. If the race wasn't only an hour away, I probably wouldn't have made it.

For those of you who have been to the Engelhardt household, you know Scooter our dachshund. You also know that he can get excited and pee everywhere. Well it turns out he had 6 bladder stones making it pretty much impossible for him to hold it. We found this out last Wednesday and had him in surgery Thursday. So Thursday I basically stayed up with him all night taking care of him. Not the best thing to do a day away from race. But like I said, it was a close race and I was itching to get out there.

I did the the 3 hour which was good because the trails got soaked the night before and the 3pm start of the 3 hour gave them some time to dry. I actually had a good start and was with the lead group until the guy in front of me started to fade and a gap formed. As he was letting me pass he came back into the trail early and we locked up. His handelbar went into me rear wheel (which I still need to check is alright) at the same time, another guy shot around us.

Eventually I caught the guy who passed us and we rode together for a mile or two and then he faded off. So there I was, by myself in 4th, picking off riders from other races. Then I caught up to Aristotle on the Orange climb. He had a puncture that just sealed and he needed CO2 and a cracker so as I kept my momentum going up the hill I dumped out supplies out of my pocket as he ran behind me. I told him I'd see him in a little bit, knowing that there was about a mile of flat double track coming up in the next mile and a half and he was on gears. He caught me right after the end of the all the double track which is also when I got my first twinge of cramps.

My 2nd lap was only 2 minutes longer than my first but I had to put it on cruise control for half of the 3rd lap in order to let my bottle hand-ups take effect (thanks to Earl and Colin). Right when I started to feel a bit better someone caught me and passed me pretty quick and I didn't want to push it too much yet and cramp again. So I ended up with 5th, which fit my goal of a top five finish. However, I just didn't feel great for half the race and the few times I glanced down at my heart rate whilst climbing I saw that it was low when it should have been high.

The graph read-out for my heart rate shows a steady decline for the whole race. In other words, my body wasn't up to it, hopefully because of the lack of sleep on Thursday. But at the same time I did pretty well for my first race of the year and the whole situation. The other Haymakers did great in the 4 man 12 hour (well 10 hour because of the rain) and took second after Scottie too Hottie made up about 2 minutes in the last lap of the race. Congrats to you guys. It was fun hanging out.

Next up, the Subaru Cup, my first WORS race and my first cat 1 mtb race. I'm praying for sleep this week and that Scooter starts feel better.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday night ride

Well, I finally got out to ride with someone on the Haymakers other than Scott. Last night Earl, Jim, Scott and I met up with some of Earl's Madison friends to night ride the Southern Kettles. It was a lot fun, except for the overgrown thorn bushes. My arms are tore up.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Broken 2

Please the previous post "Broken down, about as simply as I can put it" before reading this one.

So, because of our sinful condition, we rebel against God's priorities and God himself, which leads to eternal separation from God. Jesus is the answer to this problem.

Jesus is the Son of God made man. Fully human and fully divine--a mystery. What is known though is that Jesus was always the plan of God to repair the rebellion. Jesus is the perfect human, in that God's priorities were always his first priority, thus Jesus was without sin. Jesus' most basic message was 'Repent, God is about to do a great thing, he will die and then rise three days later, all who believe and call on his name will be forgiven their sin.'

Allow me to paraphrase the previous statement into words we have been using thus far, 'Give up your rebellion, the plan is about to come to fruition, here it is, God pronounces you sinless if you have faith in his plan.'

That is it in a nutshell. That is how Jesus puts us into the proper relationship with God. Any questions? Comments?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Broken down, about as simply as I can put it.

I wrote an article a while ago called "Brain Spill" in which I was working out what it means to live life to the fullest. In that article I mentioned at the end that Jesus puts us in a right relationship God. I think that needs to be fleshed out a little further in order to understand what it means to live life to the fullest.

(Remember my initial premise is that Jesus is Lord, so everything cascades from that for me)

Most people have heard the term sin and thus have a idea of what sin "is". The problem is, many people define what sin is differently. I find it easier to start with the root of sin, instead of a list of sins. The root of sin is: drum roll please........Not placing God, the Creator of Universe, as God in a person's life every moment of the day. Another way to look at it would be to place the priorities of anyone or anything else other than the priorities of God, the Creator of the Universe, as one's first priority. Sin spirals out of that reality.

God, the Creator of the Universe, appalls sin and will not tolerate it forever. Eventually, God will separate himself from it completely. And here is the kicker, if you think about it, the root of sin is a condition, one of which we all have. So much so that we cannot fathom what life without it is like. Which means that when God separates himself from sin forever, we too will be cast out of his presence. God is present with us now albeit in a sin-filtered way, so if you think the world can suck now, you probably don't want to imagine what life completely separated from him will be like--much less experience it.

This is where Jesus enters the picture but this is getting long again, so I will finish it tomorrow.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Challenge

Taking care of the poor and outcasts in society are clear ways to serve God. In fact, he tells us so to do. But what do you do when have no poor or outcasts among you. What if you live in a small town? What if you in a area where such people just aren’t readily available for you to serve? Well, you can seek them out. You can make special plans to help so and so, at such and such time. This is most definitely service, but I am not convinced it is the best or only way.

What about cutting a check? The money aspect of serving people. There is, and rightfully so, a consistent movement in the church for people to give their time and not just money. However, there are people in our world and society that need our money! There are whole agencies and programs set up in order to help people, but they need money in order to survive. But don’t just give, give like it isn’t your money anyway–trust me you won’t miss it.

So what about time? This is both harder an easier than we usually think. I am not talking about special group organized time. I am talking ways to serve weekly and daily. There are people in our lives that we don’t spend enough time with, whom have needs we may not even know about. I think that we often serve such people without thinking because many are close friends and family. However, here is the rub and the root of the challenge: how often do we not show our love for these people because we don’t have time or we are too tired, or don’t want to be bothered?

So here is challenge (I am going to try as well), every week think of someone in your life that you can serve by visiting, or by doing their chores, or anything basically putting them before yourself. As you plan your week, make that one of your top priorities, not the last. Such a way of life will take discipline. But come on, what are just a few hours out of your week? Just cut out some tele time.

Who’s with me?