Monday, January 29, 2007

6 Hours of El Lagarto in Lakeland, FL

All I've got to say is I'm glad I didn't go for a swim in the lake this year! It was a little too cold for that! But what started out as a windy rainy chilly day turned out to be a perfect and beautiful race day. The scenery at Loyce E. Harp Park (formerly Carter Road Park) is really some of the most beautiful tropical trails I've ever seen. It's mostly single track that runs along a lake. The Ridgeriders Mountain Bike club has done a super job building and maintaining the trails at the park.

Like all the Florida races I've been to, all the people were really nice and were out there cheering everyone on. It's really starting to feel like home here in Florida and I've met so many nice people. Going to races like this is so great because of the grassroots feeling. So many good racers out there just having fun and bringing their families.

Harvey, Eddie O, Mike, and a few others were there and they are always great competition. Ryan Woodall was there too, but he was on a team. It's always good to race him and I wish him much luck in his future cycling. He's a guy with a lot of talent and I look foward to watching his results in the national XC season this year. It would have been nice to race against some of those guys (from So Fla) that said they'd be out there but didn't show up! What happened to you??!

Terri was there with Joshua supporting me. It's so nice coming in to the feed zone to her. She recruited help from two other young ladies that did a great job! I'm sorry I forgot their names but here they are with me. Thanks ladies!!!

Ray made a good decision to run the long course. It was a good course - about 9 miles - and as the day went on, the track kept getting better and better. It was so much fun and I had good legs.

My Cannondale 6-13 Carbon Scapel was the perfect bike for this course. It handeled really well. I ran the Kenda Karma tire in the front and Klimax Lite in the back. The back was a little more narow to move quicker on the hard pack, but I came prepared with an extra wheel set up for slick mud and slippery stuff but I didn't have to use it. It is awesome to be able to count on your equipment. I'm still wrapping up a couple of agreements with my sponosors but I've got to say that all the companies I've worked with have been producing good reliable equipment and parts. I cannot thank them enough for all their support for all these years.

The race started with a 'sack start'! Last year someone stole all the sacks so they had the lemans start but this year they got some more for us. The start was hilarious - that is - until I almost fell over hopping to my bike! I rode 9 laps and had consistent lap times. I managed to leave a gap for the last few laps and Harvey was only 5 or 6 minutes behind me. As I came through the control point 5 minutes before the cut off, everyone said 'one more lap!' and I didn't want to chance it so I went out for one more. I had it in my legs and didn't even take a bottle.

This was my first win this year and it was the first time I was able to have Joshua on the podium with me and I look, forward to the rest of the season and hope he can be up there with me again soon.

Just wanted to say thanks to Ray, Ali, and all the volunteers for a great race and keep up the good work!

Get out and ride!


Sunday, January 21, 2007

One Month Already!

It's hard to believe that a month ago I was holding Terri's hand while she was screaming obsenities every 3 minutes. I learned a lot about her during that 16 hours and am happy she doesn't get mad at me very much. Since then, we've been getting used to being parents and are now self proclaimed professional diaper changers!

Here are a couple of pics of the little guy. I can't believe it's been a month already! He weighs 10 pounds. I'm looking forward to a great season and watching our boy grow.

We're breaking Joshua in to the cycling scene already. He has already been to two bike events. The 12 Hours of Oleta and the Tour de Felasco. My next race is next weekend at the 6 Hours of Lagarto in Lakeland, FL. I raced there last year and it was a great race. I'm looking forward to returning to defend my title. I am so lucky to have the best home team in the world!!

I'll try to post the race report as soon as I can. I still have my notes from the Oleta race I'll post tomorrow.

God Bless,


Sunday, January 14, 2007

New Toys for the New Year

A new bike rack and new car were just what we needed to tote around my big bike bag, the baby, luggage, and the rest of the stuff when we travel to races and the airport. We resemble the Beverly Hillbillies when traveling! Here are a couple of photos of the new bike rack that Yakima sent me for our new family car. This rack looks awesome and is so easy to use. Thanks Yakima!

The bike rack is a top of the line Yakima FullSwing 4 model for the Lincoln Navigator and is the swing away technology. Here are the features:

- Access the back door even when the rack is fully loaded Dual-arm design fits most bikes eliminating the need for an adapter

- Bike arms fold down easily for storage

- Quickcam lever for fast-n-easy folding arms

- Deadlock included standard

- Fits 2” hitch receiver- Switchblade anti-sway cradles provide ideal spacing and lock down to eliminate bike-to-bike contact

- Four-bike capacity (was the inspiration behind the “4” in the product name)

- New chain strap retainer doubles security of chain strap

- Product # 02403