Sunday, May 29, 2011

I'm telling all y'all it's a Sabotage! (on myself)

That's right, I effectively sabotaged myself for the Northern Kettles. Never mind that I don't like the trails. Never mind that I wanted to do the 6 hour duo instead of the solo. Never mind the wet trails or the fact that my back wasn't speaking to me anymore after hour one. Nope that's not why I dropped out after 3 laps.

For about the past 3 weeks or so I have been thinking that I need to add more Stans to my tires. I would spin them and hear nothing. No liquid. On the other hand they were still holding air just fine. So even though I knew better, I headed off to a 6 hour race with dried up Stans in my tires.

The race itself was going well. Some heavy hitters showed up as well as the usual WEMS folk. (This is cool because it looks like the WEMS races are becoming more and more a thing to do for some of the real fast guys in the area.) The warm-up for quite a few of us consisted mostly of standing around and the Le Mans start. I took the start easy but fast enough to hit the single track about 10th out of the single and duo riders. I didn't want to go too hard and blow up early. I rode with Ron K. a bit but he was having some troubles with the rocky corners so I went around him. I settled into my 6 hour pace and slowly picked off a few more riders.

That is until at the 5 mile mark(9 mile laps) I felt my handling get really screwy. It was very floppy if I leaned the bike at all. My front tire was very low, not flat yet, but low. I decided to push through the lap and find a pump at the turn around since at that point I thought I burped some air out. In retrospect, I probably should have filled it out on the course, seeing how riding wet trails with 10 pounds of pressure in your front tire is a leg eater.

I got back to the turnaround and asked around for a pump and started filling up. There Matt G. was adjusting his shock pressure for the rocky trails. I got back into the woods after a few minutes and Matt joined me a few minutes later. We rode together for a while, trying to pull back a small group that didn't stop at the turnaround. But after about 4 miles I realized I was doing too much work trying to follow Matt so I backed off slightly. Which is funny because we passed each other right outside the turnaround of lap 2, so I probably should have just stayed with him.

It was in mile 2 of lap 3 that I realized I hadn't just burped air in the front tire, it was leaking. I stopped and put almost a full CO2 into it to get it back to about 30 pounds. The rest of the lap was filled with decision making. I really wanted to do 6 laps, but I didn't want to do it if I wasn't racing. I didn't think I had it in me to actually take the time to put a tube in and then make up the lost time, and I didn't want to ride a flat front and constantly refill it either. Besides, running it flat wasn't safe on those trails.

So, I resolved that I was done with a few miles left on my 3rd lap. I cruised in, then contemplated going out again after talking to Brett and Marcin, I thought maybe I was just not feeling it, which I could have sucked it up and pushed through. But after I squeezed my tire I remembered why I was calling it a day.

I still had fun and I was glad I went and finally raced. The fitness is starting to come together and I think I am in a good spot for this time of year. (I'll try to get some pictures next time.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Legs a burning

GunShow 5.24
photo by Ronsta

The Gun Slingers are coming out in full effect! The ride is getting faster and faster and more people are showing up. Last night we had good numbers in both the "A" and "B" groups. Come on out and see what you've got!

This weekend I may actually do a race that I have planned to do! The weather might really cooperate this time. So now the question is if I can yet find a duo partner for the 6 hour. If not, it could be a long day at the Northern Kettles.

On a different note, I have noticed that comments that are made are not actually appearing on this blog. I'm not sure what the bug is, but I haven't censored anyone or erased any comments. So if you made a comment and it didn't show up, I am sorry. I'm working on fixing it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Roll 'em up!

It's time for a Cook-off again! This Saturday, May 21st arrive around 6:30pm and eat around 7pm. The theme this time around is "Things in a Roll", so the possibilities are wide open!

If you have been to a Cook-off you know what a blast they are, if you haven't been, you need to check one out. This one is taking place at my friend Mike's (AKA Rod) place in Brewer's Hill. Contact me for the address, marc.engelhardt at

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Riding under the Painbow

GunShow 5.10
photo by Rontsa
The Gun Show was in full effect last night! With a tailwind for the start of the route it was hard to go for any of the sprints because we were already riding near my top speed! The weather was great, it felt weird to feel my jersey right against my skin and to feel a warm breeze on my bare legs. It has been cold and wet too long!

We are getting some good groups now for the ride. Plus, there is "sweeper", "b", or "side" show, or whatever you want to call it, for those people who want to ride fast, but maybe can't ride as fast.

Tuesday nights leaving at 6pm sharp from downtown Waukesha. Be there!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Change of plans but still according to plan

On Friday night, after I was all packed up and dropping Scooter off at my parents, I got a call from Matt saying that the Missouri weather was likely to cancel the race and that he was going to call it sooner than later. Meaning, people probably wouldn't come down on Saturday either. So instead of driving to MO to see a bunch of friends and ride some sweet trail in a Team Segal non-race, I stayed home.

This left me in a predicament, Lauren was out of town and I had already worked it out that I had off on Sunday, a rare thing in my line of work. The good thing was that the WORS Iola Bump and Jump was on Sunday and not too far away. The bad thing was that I was in no way prepared or motivated for such a race.

I was in the 4th line of our 120 something field at the start line and although Ron and I had talked about not going all out on the first lap and burning up our legs, I did. Well, maybe not all out, but definitely too hard. I still spent the next two laps working my way through riders who apparently went out even harder then I did and shouldn't have. In the last lap (my first last lap in a WORS race) it got nuts and I think I was passed by about 7 or 8 guys.

On the outside it looks like a horrible performance for me, but truthfully I am happy with it. There are a few factors going into it, but it boils down to this: on my google calendar on Sunday May 1st, it says "Begin Base". This year is just getting started for me and I hope to be strongest in October/November. We'll see what happens but yesterday was a good start.