Jul 10, 2006

Darkhorse gallop

Finished the Tour on Wednesday and decided to race this Sunday. A little experiment to see what the legs had. Drove to Newberg NY with my ride car pool sponsor Elk. Much thanks to Elk.
Danny Hock and Brian (tour finishers were there also). danny had the experience of a lifetime, and Brian too. They were ready for a good time.
The Gallop was Faast. Eddie and I were off the front and as courses go this one was almost all big-ring. Manging to hold my own I built a comfortable 2nd place lead by the 4th lap and took it easy to the finish to save my legs for next week. The Steel delux was showing signs of component fatigue and I promised it some fresh parts upon return home, before heading out to Breck, CO. Things are looking up!
Thanks to those who have answered the plea for help. It Is definatly helping and everything is coming together. Shout Outs too
Karen T.
Andrew N.
Chris N.
Hope your reading this and getting some vicarious pleasure.

Last day, Dowels. Tour Win for PA!

26sec is a mere blip and any ways why rely on that. We rode to the middle of Hankey mountain, and jetted off from there. With another 15-20min climb as the start Brian Fawley attacked at the start determined to get a stage win. Over the top we rolled with Brian about 30sec up then Sam, Keefer and me chasing. On the first downhill section I came around Keefer and rolled up on Sam at the top of the next roller. I came around him, and put six miles of the best off-camber single track decent behind me. I can't say that was the fastest I ever rode it due to the rain and need to not put myself out of contention, but it was as fun as always and at the bottom I had cinched the sack on the lead. another 2min or so on Keefer. Brian got his stage win by 31sec. That 21yr old Is going to be strong.
The rain and lightening put a premature end to the ride, since it was cold and we still had about 3hrs to go. we went back to the cars that were about a mile away and Brian put together a figure8 dirt crit. Due to being cold I stayed out but in the end wished I hadn't. It looked like so much fun.
Another year and another great experience. good people and good times, plus one of the best training weeks you can imagine. Realizong what your body can (or can't) do day after day gives a rider a lot more confidence in abilities and makes lining up at a short race seem like childs play!
Condolences to the Ohio crew who had to leave early due to the loss of a friend. Hello to a new friend Chad Irie and his girlfriend Sara who was Dana's intern the whole weekend. Those ladies made this whole thing happen.
The Man with the Mohawk is the tour Director, Michael Carpenter. Much goodness from that man who let us stay at his place the whole time. His Wife Kerri and daughter Lindsy were incredible to all of us Cupcakes and tourstinkers.
Thanks to Thomas, Tim, Chris and all the volunteers. If you want some of the best riding of your life go to Harrisonburg VA, stop by Shenandoah Bicycle Co. and if you want a guided tour talk to Chris Scott at mountaintouring.com.

54sec down to start, 26 up to finish. Stage 5

10miles Up Reddish. That was timed section #1. Keefer was looking to crush, and I was already down 54sec. A new group of young roadies were looking to make the pain stoopid! Oh well I hung on as long as I could and eventually lost 1.20min to the Keefer with Sam taking a 2ndplace. At the top Keefer talks about the ineveitable downhill drag race that was to be the second time section. This section rolls off the back of Redish then decends a rutted gravel/dirt forest road for about 6 miles. A section that can make or break your GC contention. I knew Keefer was going to go easy and avoid flats, so I decided to get out front, choose my lines carefully and let it hang out as much as possible. Nothing is quite as much fun as decending switchback gravel roads at 25-35mph on sissy roadbikes, dualwheel sliding the corners and questioning your sanity all the way down.
Ralph was the only one in front of me and when we hit the bottom we still had about 12miles of a slight gravel decent with a 3 mile paved section of rollers at the end. All excited about being first to the bottom and the potential of rolling one of the funnest gravel road sections together we took off, with me doing the first pull. Everything was okay till Ralph came around and got a little to excited. He sort of hit the gas and his rear wheel was bouncing all over the place. I backed off and waited, hoping the inevitable wouldn't happen. Then I saw his seat bag was open and everything was falling out. I reached for my tube for reassurance, and about that time he cased the back wheel. As I rode by I threw him my only tube and CO2 hoping karma would be on my side. Praying I could get off the gravel before a flat caught me I kept a 25-30mph pace and finally hit the pavement and knew I only had about 6 good rollers in front of me. At the tope of the second and longest one I looked at the bottom and saw 4 chasers working together.
in an effort to make myself vomit I Kept it in the big ring for the rest of the Pave' and rolled in just over a minute ahead of them and everyone else. More importantly I put almost 3min on Keefer and ended the day back in the yellow 26sec up.
Time for some Fireworks!

Day4 Delay.Sorry

OKay, the task ahead was to makeup a 7.5min deficit due to two flats yesterday. Keefer in his newly acquired yellow fever was going down. At least that was my hope. We parked by the river at the Woodstock parking lot, and headed out for prime Massenuten ridge riding. Fawley took the first sprint on the way up, and then we regrouped and started the time section. It began with a 15min gravel climb. Freshlegs Sam Koeber jumped at the start and the pack was willing to let him go, with Chinese Medicine Man Eric Williams pacing the peloton on his magic potion 96'er Giant Singlespeed. Towards the top I came around and caught Sam just as he was ducking into the singletrack. His freshness and 5" dualie definatly had an advantage over my hardtail. The crowd of rocks were large and ready to mosh. No real rythmn could be found but if you had some trails moves everything was fine.
I held on and came to the bottom about a minute behind Sam with Ralph hot on my tail. He finally had a day without a mechanical and rocked the rocks. Keefer down to about 4min. We regouped, looked at some funny graffiti, then moved on to the next section. With a power line shadow acting as the start, we took off. I got into the woods first and Sam again was hot on my tail. He bobbled on a log and then I bit the dust when I caught my bar on a tree. But up and ignoring the pain I managed to hold him off for a while longer. This proved to be the longest and most crushing of the mountain stages. Lots of crackers in the field by days in, but the last downhill was five miles of bliss. In the end I got back all but 54sec of the time I lost the day before.