Monday, April 30, 2007

Drag race to the finish

After the plague went through the house again this past week, I headed back up to Tennesssee for the inaugral Dirt Sweat and Gears 12 Hour Race in Fayetteville. Guess having a baby in day care will do it.

I got treated super nice. Steve picked me up from the airport and we swung by the Bicycle Works bike shop before he dropped me off at the hotel. We picked up a few things and got my wheel worked on. Then I relaxed at the hotel for a while. I needed time to get healthy. I went for a spin on the road and my legs felt achy and I felt terrible. That night I slept about 9 hours and I really needed it.

Friday at the course I rode a lap and felt better than I did on Thursday and the track was great. I knew it would be difficult since there was about 1200 feet of climbing per lap and it would be fast. A hard race for sure.

Had a meet and greet at the track at 5 that evening, grabbed dinner on the way back to the room and went to the pharmacy and picked up something for the cold. The pharmacist joked and said something about a big prescription problem there, but I had no idea what he was talking about until later. I just wanted to get to bed early and try and rest for the race.

Race day morning I had real good pancakes at the track. The race started with a short dragster run. At least this one I didn't have to wear a sack! And I got on the bike in the top 10. Nat and Josh were first and second. There was a mile loop at the start so I could see what was going on and by the time we got to the single track I got up to about 5th place.

Then I ran over something on the trail. I didn't see it, but heard the air leaking out. I was in third when it happened about 20 min into the race. Dannabbit. I only had one tube and I needed two. Rob Lichtenwalner stopped and gave me his tube. Someone else gave me a quick fill. I don't know who that guy was but I want to tell them THANK YOU.

When I got finished with the lap I was 9 minutes back . I had to stop though to replenish my tubes and fills and have to admit I was discouraged but it was the start and there was still time. I kept up good speed and after about 5 hours into the race I finally made it up to about 4th place. No one else ahead of me had mechanicals and it was fast. Being all single track, it was tough to get back up there.

Then I started pacing my self. I worked hard to get up to that position and I figured I had to pace my self and recover and the leaders were still 15 minutes ahead. Then, I worked my way up to 3rd place and for about 3 hours rode for 3rd hoping to hold on.

When it was near the end, I heard Josh was hurting and thinking he was not going out for another lap. They told me he was 10 minutes ahead so I gave it my best go at it.

I crossed the finish 3 minutes behind Josh. Then they told me he had really been 15 minutes ahead. That was cruel but I think I did my best lap time all day on that last lap and now I can say it feels good!

It was a good strong finish with my fastest lap at the end. I'm happy my fitness it getting better as the season gets going. And even though I felt terrible all week, I managed to pull off a good finish. Results are posted on

I was pleased.

The race was well put together. Real professional and I'd recommend anyone wanting to do a 12 hour to go next year. They had awesome prizes and sponsors. They even gave away bikes! Great town, great people, and great location!

Guess I'll have to check for flea bitten rats around our house, too!

I pirated some of these pics from Jeff Kerkove's photo album but he's got more. Thanks Jeff!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

2007 Cohutta 100 Race Report

When I got back in town on Sunday, I was greeted at the airport by my beautiful family and a wall of heat. It's already getting hot in Florida so it was nice to be up in the Smokey Mountains for the Cohutta 100 mile MTB race, the kickoff race for the NUE National Ultra-Endurance Series.

The race started and ended at the Ocoee Whitewater Center, the site of the 1996 Olympic Kayaking event. Roswell Bicycles was my second stop when I arrived at Atlanta and I met Cannondale rep John Guyton at the baggage area. Then from there, we had lunch before visiting Roswell Bicycles. It's always nice meeting cycling fans and the shop they had there looked great. If you're ever in the Atlanta, GA area, please visit Roswell Bicycles. They have everything you need. I did a handful of autographs and met Nick Tsokalas. He does custom painting and said he'd like to paint my helmet. Of course I said 'YES!' I'm sending my helmet this week.

So after the visit, I got in the rental car and headed out of Atlanta. I finally got out of the Atlanta traffic and headed toward the Eastern Tennessee Mountains.

The event had just over 200 racers. The weather was ideal and the course was perfect. I was riding well and followed Chris Eatough. He likes to set a good pace so as long as I could see him, I felt fine. Nearing the half-way I saw a small group of riders closing in. This was the only time I took the lead since Chris needed a "pit-stop" - sort of I mean, not to a complete stop...

It was a smart move on my side because at check-point 4 I stopped and got my extra bottle. Before I left, I adjusted my saddle when Chris and Brandon were the only two guys left. They grabbed their food and water but took off and went hard. They left me hanging still adjustin my seat. I took off soon afer their attack and I found myslef having a hard time catching either of them. So the best thing was just focus on Brandon first, because Chris already dropped him. Once I caught Brandon, I rode on his wheels to the next check point.

After that, I found I had good legs again and I took off before Brandon (Bear Naked/Cannondale) was still filling his Hydra-pak. I played the same game as they did to me at the last check point. I looked over my shoulder a few times and there was no sign of any rider. Chris was out of the picture but I was still riding for a great finish in my chase for the overall. There are 6 races left and I can't be disappointed.

Here is how the solo mens class shook out:

Place Name Team Age Time
1 Chris Eatough Trek/VW 32 06:45:42
2 Tinker Juarez Cannondale 46 07:00:10
3 Brandon Draugelis Bear naked/Cannondale 22 07:08:17
4 Shey Lindner Bear naked/Cannondale 34 07:08:30
5 Shawn Adams Lake Effect 32 07:09:24

I was happy that my Scalpel rode great. The Kenda tires hooked up on those Smokey Mountain dirt roads. I did not have any mechanicals.

One of the best parts of the trip is that my son David, who is now 22 years old was there and got to see me on the podium in 2nd place. It was a great way to end the weekend.

Thank you to all my sponsors!

God Bless till next time...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Warming up for the first National Endurance Race

Saturday with the family at the Razorback trail in Reddick, FL. It was a beautiful day and here I am with Joshua. He's already 16 weeks old!
The season is about to begin....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Recent Article

It is great to see I'm on the cover of a few magazines lately! Check it out.