June 2008
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Month June 2008

spot me

SPOT is the latest gadget to hit the outside world. first and foremost, it is a personal locator beacon that can transmit your location in the event of an emergency. it can send a variety of messages, like “I’m OK” or “Send emergency help”.  a priceless piece of equipment to those of us that explore the wilderness. to the tech heads out there, the Track Location feature has the added cool factor of sending your location for live display online via a Google Maps type interface. 

several epic races lately have teams carrying these devices. check out their online maps:
The Great Divide Race -> adv racing local Ardie Olsen is competing in this 2,711 mile bike race from Canada to Mexico.
Primal Quest -> a 10-day adventure race in Montana. friend & occasional teammate Patricia Williams-Smith is racing with TravelCountry.com
hey mom & dad… this might make it on to this year’s christmas list. you know, for safety….

beware the death cookies

2 thursdays ago i played hookie and met up with some friends to go mountain biking out in tellico plains. zeke and i stopped at a great bakery/coffeeshop downtown (i’m not sure the name of it but i highly recommend!)  then headed to our meeting spot at north river campgrounds, where van and carey were waiting for us. the day began with a 2.5hr climb on forest service roads (with a little paved mixed in). yeah, what a way to warm up! the grade was never that bad, but consistent, climbing from around 1100′ to 5000′. our efforts were rewarded with our arrival at an scenic bald covered with wildflowers. in the distance we could see the cherohala skyway (where i thought i would be today). 

after some refueling, we backtracked briefly before hitting some singletrack. now this isn’t the groomed flowy stuff i’ve been riding as of late; it was rough, overgrown, barely used, raw stuff. it reminded me of trails we’d hit on remote adventure races.. the road much less traveled. then throw in the rocks/boulders, and it became very pisgah-esque. that’s where the “death cookies” (named by carey) entered the picture. we’d be riding along, then the randomly placed loose rock would jump in front of your wheel and just stop it. as long as you could see around the overgrown brush, you could navigate around these suckers, but every once in awhile they could catch you by surprise. luckily, no unplanned dismounts!
the ride was awesome – quite nice to escape to some place new & explore without much of a plan. looking forward to the next mid-week rendezvous soon i hope!

bald river falls

carey & van

zeke & carey

For Sale: Fizik Arione Ti Wing Flex Saddle

I found out very quickly this is simply not the right saddle for me. Ridden less than 100 miles; mint condition.

Weight: 230g
Rails: Ti
Length: 300mm
Width: 132mm

new: $115-150 depending on source

asking: $60 + shipping

post a comment and i’ll get back with you.

a different kind of pain

right about now, i should be on top of cherohala, or perhaps suffering on my way to the top.  115 miles, 9000′ of gain. we had worried about the rain; as i look at the weather radar, it looks it be absolutely a picture perfect day. 

right?  NOT.
as soon as my head hit the pillow last night, the throbbing began.  a few hours later, having perhaps nodded off for a few minutes, i finally get up after tossing & turning. 2:50am. the culprit? a tooth. (somewhere between # 12 & 15). i google various home remedies, finally setting on gargling a shot of whisky, which acts as a topical anesthetic. it worked for a little while, but i decided not to keep this up as i’d be drunk pretty quick. jeramie finally gives me my wake up call at 4:30am. i break the bad news: there is no way i can go do cherohala today.
i finally fell asleep about an hour later (probably due to pure exhaustion) for a bit. and now i’m up, dealing with the pain again. one of scv’s sponsors (and avid mtn biker- he was out doing trail maintenance when i called him) is calling me in some pain meds to hopefully get me through the weekend and avoid an emergency after-hours dental visit (read that as: super mega expensive, esp when you don’t have dental insurance. ah, the joys of being self-employed…)
hopefully the pain will subside soon and i can actually get something done today. but depending on how it affects me, i may or may not be able to get a ride in. which sucks, as this was an important day for leadville training. 
oh, and the worst part??  
blue skies outside. (damnit weatherman!!)
here are some pics from last year’s challenge. i’m sorry i won’t be able to add to the collection with this year’s shots. (unless anyone wants to join me on a future ride……)

CO or bust!

finally booked my tix…

training weekend: july 2-6
the big race/vacation: aug 1-13
that is a huge load off my shoulders!  

speaking of sports + design…

a website i designed for the bmw of chattanooga waterfront triathlon went live recently. big thanks to the team at technology projects for their expertise in programming (i stick to the visual stuff and leave the code to others) and the chattanooga track club for letting me have some fun.

cycling + design

being a designer by day (and some nights), i love it when i see great design within the world of cycling, running, etc. (hopefully one day i’ll be able to concentrate more on event marketing, catalog design, and other promo-type stuff…)

here are some awesome illustrations from the Montreal Bike Fest that just happened. i think a future trip to this is in order, especially since i have relatives there!

in the green at the Greenway Challenge

jim and carol put on a small adventure race, the greenway challenge, every year to benefit the north chickamauga creek conservancy. in the past, it has been a team-oriented event; this year though, jim changed it up offering only solo & relay divisions. unfortunately the event didn’t sell out this year, but we still had a great crowd and raised between $2000 & $3000 for the conservancy (much needed after a fire they had this spring that destroyed a barn full of paddling equipment).

while the masses may not have liked the new format, it suited me well with the training i’ve been doing lately. well, sort of. the short speed stuff hasn’t been a focus, but hopefully i’ve had enough of it to not totally blow up after the first leg. it would be an interesting race though – some top female athletes were coming and it ended up being one of our hottest days yet.
the open men solo started at 9:30, then we took off 10 minutes later. (the remaining divisions were scattered after us which seemed to ease potential congestion on the trail.) we staged our bikes at the top of a hill and had a le mans start. the problem was, i dropped off my bike when not many were up there so i hesitated a minute before finding it and hopping on. lisa & patsy already built up a nice lead – i knew they’d be duking it out the entire race and that i wouldn’t factor much into their game. heather was right there with me and we yo-yo’d during much of the bike leg. she’s a super fast runner, but i haven’t seen her on the bike in awhile so i thought i might have a chance. we wound around the wildflower field and encountered a few cyclocross barriers. yeah! i definitely made up time here and pulled ahead; however, it proved to be not enough, as she passed on a paved section a bit later. darn! i was trying to pace myself as i was already dripping with sweat, but at the same time knew that the race was short and you had to go all out the entire time (and perhaps suffer the consequences). 
next up was a short singletrack section that i think i got to ride for the first time. usually things are so backed up here that we are forced to walk, but the new format helped. we encountered the lead males as they ran a short section on foot, but there was plenty of room for us to work around eachother. back to the gravel roads and then it was full steam ahead to the transition area – but not before gingerly stepping through a giant cobweb challenge (imagine knee-high strings crisscrossing… you had to carry your bike across and try not to trip. luckily i cleaned it both times we had to go through it). 
back to the TA – change shoes, grab water, gel & ecaps – and off on the run. we began with a rarely used trail that abruptly ended with a 200′ scramble to the highest point on the farm. i heard this was going to be nasty, but it actually wasn’t as bad as i thought. i was able to pass 3 guys here that were thinking way too hard about finding the best path. just go! the only thing that sucked about this was the mega amounts of poison ivy that seems to flourish in this drought the south is having. (and yes, it started popping up on me within 30 hrs of exposure, despite scrubbing twice with Tecnu. normally it takes me 3-5 days to see symptoms; i really hope this isn’t going to be a bad case!)
once on top, we hit a trail and could once again run in a normal gait. the problem was my entire torso was cramping up and i was doubled over doing the old man shuffle for a bit. i think my waistpack was too loose and the bouncing around was the culprit. ?!?  anyways, after 5 min of this (and frantically looking over my shoulder to make sure no girls were behind me), i was feeling normal again. we ran through the rope challenge area and had 2 obstacles here (easy!) then off for a loop on the boy scout trail. i was doing most of the passing until my rock/creek teammate jaclyn was nipping at my heels. (i was hoping she’d be whooped still from her win at the scenic city marathon last weekend, but alas, she has superhuman legs.) i let her by and tried to keep her in sight for as long as possible (which wasn’t long enough!). we hit the razorback ridge trail alongside the quarry (beautiful, but treacherous with rocks and cliffs), then another singetrack section before heading towards the TA. 
after another rope challenge (crawling underneath a bunch), we ran to where our boats were staged. i had one of those weird heart palpitation things when carrying my boat to the water. i had to slow to a walk just so i could keep moving forward and not fall over. i was happy that i could get off my feet and recover quick; when this happened during the duathlon run, it lost me several minutes. sitting down in the boat helped and i was able to regain focus quickly. the paddle was nice and peaceful and mostly shaded (yeah!). i passed a few boats here – thanks to carol for letting me borrow her speedy perception cadence (hhmm, maybe this would be a good tsali boat?!) only 1 mishap on the water – when going under a low hanging branch, my tifosis got snagged and fell in the water. dang! i’m moving forward at a fairly decent speed; do i stop in hopes of finding them, but risk 6th place catching me? no! (i figured they sunk quickly anyways.) so on i go. i could see jaclyn ahead, but our paces were similar so there was no catching her. 
my final time (1:39.42) was less than 1.5 minutes behind her. 1st place (patsy!) was at 1:27, so the 5 of us were relatively close together (6th was another 10 min back). in all, i was super pleased with the result. everyone that i thought would be head of me was; no one snuck by that shouldn’t. and best of all, i finished in the money! granted it was just $20, but will come to great use in replacing the sunglasses. (and at least this green won’t give me a blistering rash that drives me nuts for a week or two. ugh!)
the day ended with complimentary pressure point massages, lupi’s pizza, lots of smiling faces and lots of sun (but no burn thankfully!). it has been fun to hear about the experiences of the AR newbies – hopefully they had a great time as well and will try one again soon (and practice running up hills in the meantime – yes, even if there’s not a trail we still run!)
i don’t have any action shots of me yet, but here’s a nice video from the local paper, as well as a few pics.