Thursday, October 18, 2018

CircumBurke 2018--East Burke, Vermont

circumburke 2018 east burke, vermont, kingdom trails
I’m not afraid of making bad decisions and biting off more than I can chew, but when I registered for the CircumBurke Challenge, I actually had a plan.

That plan hadn’t included a crash and a really, really, really uncomfortable groin injury that kept me off the bike for a few weeks followed by a brutal work schedule that also kept me off the bike for a few weeks. So, when Glen and I headed up to Vermont, I was mentally exhausted from work, and hadn’t done a serious mountain bike ride for about two months. But hey, the race is only 26 miles so…



Monday, September 24, 2018

West Hill Grinder, Putney, Vermont

Another great weekend in Vermont, and another great gravel ride, this one put on by the legendary West Hill Shop in Putney, Vermont.

The course was great and the weather was amazing. I had originally signed up for the 4-Gap  loop, for 40 miles and about 4800ft of climbing, but with my leg still recovering, I opted for the 2-Gap, for 34 miles and about 3800ft. It was super fun, and I've love to do the 4-Gap next time around.

Jean, Liz and Dan rode too, and had a blast on the West-West loop.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

2018 Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge [CBCC] 100K Race Report

Not much to say about this event, aside from the fact it absolutely rocked, was the ‘A race’ for my 2018 season, and exceeded expectations on all counts.

All roads led to the Carrabassett Valley this past July - starting last November ‘17 on the rollers, on the freezing porch, racing a bunch of other online hammerhead nerds in Zwift. The solid base built up through the winter with a mix of climbing, endurance, and 1-3 all out short race efforts (35-75 minutes) morphed into pretty good outdoor on-bike fitness, but it took some weeks to re-acclimate to the mountainbike. Late spring and early summer saw good gains and an increased ability to go harder longer out on the trails. This was key to doing well at the CBCC as it’d be a minimum of a 6 hour effort required (based on optimistic projections and a bit of good luck) to finish in decent shape.

Friday, August 24, 2018

2018 Rose Mountain Rumble Gravel ride



It's hard to know if I was rumbled or if I did the rumbling, but the 2018 Rose Mountain Rumble has been completed, logged, video'ed and documented on Strava, No fake news here.

Monday, June 4, 2018

2018 Acadia 10K

Jean and I wrapped up a week of camping, riding, and hiking on Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park with the Acadia 10K, starting and finished in Bar Harbor.

It has been a fun week, in full "vacation mode" and I hadn't been setting the alarm or getting up early (not with cold beers and camp fires at night). But, the race had a 7am start, so I was awoken to Metallica's rendition of "Am I Evil?" at 5:00 to caffeinate and get to the event in enough time to watch everyone do their pre-race stretching. I don't want to say that I'm "anti-stretch," but I do enjoy watching the WIDE array or pre-run calisthenics that people go through as many remind me of a Monty Python Silly Walk skit.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Bear Brook MTB Race Report

Quick report on a fast, (mostly) well run, and successful race: 

So I signed up for the category 3 race which was only 6+ miles.  I was a little hesitant to drive all the way up to NH for a 6 mile race, but I wasn’t disappointed.  The race was in Bear Brook State Park, which is just south of Concord, NH, it’s actually a very easy drive off of 93.  I only got to ride the race trails but it seems like a great place to ride otherwise.  The trails are fast and flow-y, without much tech, at least on the trails we were on.  It seems like there is a lot of riding to be done there, it’s probably worth a trip.  My girlfriend Julia came with me, but unfortunately, based on how the course was set up, there wasn’t much spectating to be had.

On to the race:  As I said above, I signed up for the Cat 3 race.  It was a USAC sanctioned race, so I felt like I was obliged to do the cat 3 race, as that is what I am, but 6 miles is a bit short, and when I did Weeping Willow last year, I did the Cat 2 race (or the equivalent thereof).  All that said, it seemed like they were letting people do whatever race they wanted which was kinda annoying, as I think I probably have Cat 2 ability.  

We got staged in the standard MTB fashion, with the 19-29 first, 30-39 next, and then the 40-49 (my group).  Then the 50+’s, lastly the ladies and juniors.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

WATA Gravel Grinder, Waterbury, VT

waterbury area trail alliance gravel grinder vermont 2018
And then at about mile 9, I knocked my wife to the ground...

That was just one of the highlights along the WATA gravel ride in and around Waterbury, Vermont.

Ever since we did the Muddy Onion a couple of years ago, Jean and I have been fans of gravel rides. Great routes, great vibes, and great views have pulled us back for more and more rides, and this was our first year at the Waterbury Area Trail Alliance Gravel Grinder.

We opted for the shorter "traditional" loop which included about 27 miles and 2800ft of climbing and it was filled with--as promised-gravely goodness.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

ECTA Spring For The Trails Half Marathon

"You're kind of a big guy for a trail runner..."

That comment came at me at about mile 4 while I was chatting with another runner, and I didn't know what to say. I just kept on running, smashing trees and scaring the wildlife like a woodland Godzilla.

Truth be told, that comment came from a really nice woman whom I chatted with for a couple of miles, but I thought it was pretty funny.

This was the second trail marathon of the season and the weather was markedly better than the one in April. While the race in Falmouth skirted freezing temperatures, early May in Ipswich brought bright sun, clear skies and temps in the high 60's. Toward the end of the run, I was so warm that I ran shirtless for a bit. With that said, I should apologize to all that were blinded by pale white skin that shone like a beacon. Squirrels had to avert their eyes, and I covered up before hitting the finish line.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

B2 Adventure Ride

The B2 Adventure Ride took place Sunday, April 29th and here's what went down.

Rules:

  • Teams of 3, picked by the store staff, no whining.
  • Each team gets the same cue sheet, 3 gps coordinates, and grainy photos of said location.
  • Teams leave at 3 minute intervals, all are tracked by Glympse, teams have to stay together.
  • There are random discarded bike parts hung at each location, each team takes one and goes on to the next.
  • Timing is performed by the shop staff using computers, smartphones and possibly an abacus.

Monday, April 30, 2018

2018 Muddy Onion, Montpelier, Vermont



Jean and I have ridden in the Muddy Onion in Montpelier, Vermont for the past couple of years  2017  2016), and the event really set the bar for gravel rides. Great route, great support and an amazing apres ride bash all made for memorable rides. Sadly, the organizing shop, Onion River Sports closed its doors, but some dedicated people are working to keep the dream alive and Onion River Outdoors is being born. And while the doors are not open yet, the Muddy Onion lives on!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Cape Cod Trail Race--Falmouth, MA

cape cod trail race half marathon racer-x david alden
It's officially race season! I'm excited that I've got a bunch of events on the calendar--running, mountain biking, gravel rides, and hopefully some cyclocross this fall. I enjoy participating in these even if I toe the line woefully unprepared. In fact, that's my typical strategy, and my race results usually reflect that.

But hey, I can have just as much fun sucking wind in the middle of the pack as I would if I was standing on the top of the podium being deafened by the roar of my fans and burdened by medals and trophies.

With all that said, Jean and I, and Liz and Dan combined the first camping trip of the season with the first race of the season and de-winterized the campers for a weekend at Bourne Scenic Park. That put us in close proximity for the Cape Cod Trail Race in Falmouth. The race was fun, the camping... well... (see below after race pics)

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Zwift - Zwifting my ass off this winter


Think ‘Connected Exercise’ is (or is NOT) for you?

Monday, February 12, 2018

Winter Migration


2/9/18: 
My Winter Migration: Riding in the Nevada Desert

Seasonal Affective Disorder aka the "winter blues." Is it a real thing? Yes, indeed it is, and it sucks. The days are colder and shorter, and all you feel like doing is hibernating inside catching up on some of your shows and reading your books. Yes I own a fat bike and yes it does extend the season, but even then riding is limited. Should I buy studded tires for even more coverage? After this year it is a serious consideration. For as long as I live in New England, it may be a necessity. I hit the gym and ride the stationary bike, but that sucks too. This time of year has a high suck factor. I could do only one thing to combat said suckery and that was to head West.