Jul 24, 2010

Saying goodbye to an old friend

Today I received word from my mom that my beloved friend Bubba the box turtle had died.

Bubba and I went way back. Fourteen years in fact. That summer I got my first real mountain bike, a Schwinn Moab 3. One day I was riding through the spillway below the damn at Tuttle Creek Lake. A flood three years earlier gouged millions of years of soil and rock from the surface of the spillway, leaving behind the bare bedrock that once formed the sandy bottom of a giant inland sea during the Permian Period. The terraced surface of which was now a perfect place for a 14-year-old wanna be mountain biker to ride.

Our paths crossed as my front tire rolled over his shell, sending him tumbling sideways.

I picked him up and dusted him off, noting that he had a small chip on the back of his shell but was none the worse for our encounter. Rather than set him upright and allow him to continue doing, whatever turtles do... I dubbed him 'Bubba' and promptly stuck him in my jersey pocket. Not one release any reptile or amphibian I found, I decided to bring him home and cordon off a 10' x10' section of our backyard which would become my turtle nature preserve and his new home.

Bubba seemed quite content with his surroundings. He would even come when called — knowing there was a worm or strawberry to be had by making an appearance.  In the winters he was housed in a small box in the basement, where he would hibernate until it was warm enough to return to his summer residence.

He was fully grown when I ran him over in 1996 and lived quite happily in captivity for 14 more years. Not a bad life for a turtle.

Bubba the Ornate Box Turtle (19?? - 2010)

Jun 30, 2010

Mid season race recap

Logged on to blogger today to find a myriad of new and exciting options for me to play around with. Maybe it will motivate me to post regularly though I doubt it. All work and no play has definitely been taking it's toll on my riding and racing. Without further ado here is my mid-season race recap:

Bonebender 3/6 Hour -- 2nd 6 hour solo singlespeed, 11th overall.
Despite the threat of rainy weather that comes with putting on an April race, conditions could not have been better. I like my trails like I like my women — fast and tacky.

Speaking of which, here I am with the little lady...
Syllamo's Revenge -- 6th U29, 9th singlespeed, 36th overall
In spite of the torrential downpour and threat of impending tornado-deth, the Bad Goats had a good showing. Can't say I cared much for the trail — bench cut trail section mile 14 look and rode just like bench cut trail section mile 40. Would it have killed somebody to trim the trail back? Because those briars almost killed me.
Syllamo was my first ride on the new ride.
Plyometrics in the form of jumpshots were our recovery workout.

Robidoux Roundup -- 3rd Cat 1 Men, 19-29
I intended to race marathon only to arrive just as the marathon class was lining up. Expert it was!

The trail was 50 percent bridge crossings, 50 percent right-angle turns.

Dirty Kanza -- DID NOT FINISH (for the third freaking time)
I raced the inaugural DK200 in 2006 and finished 5th. Each subsequent attempt has been met with fail. This year I thought I had it in the bag. My legs felt great, my nutrition and hydration strategies were spot on. Even the extreme heat was not bothering me. But I choose my tires poorly; Hutchinson Piranhas are too soft and fragile for 200 miles of Kansas gravel.  On the upside, I was able to cover the event for Dirt Rag Magazine. Look for my write up in issue #151.

Not my lucky number.

Left to right, Gerald Hart and Tanner Marshall setting the pace.

Mar 13, 2010

Out West

I spent last week in Cali, Morgan Hill to be precise.

I had the chance to test some new products, hangout with some cool people and I even learned a thing or two.

 On Thursday we rode the Sea Otter race course. I was most definitely feeling the effects of our long Kansas winter.

"Trail conditions" were less than ideal. I use quotes because anyone who has ridden or raced at Laguna Seca knows it's more dirt road and double track than actual trail. An abnormally wet winter brought much needed rain, but also created giant sinkholes and axle-deep ruts in many places.

Coming off a water bar on the first descent I managed to maneuver out of harms way, narrowly missing a man-eater of a sinkhole.  One of my buddies, a known Team Segal nerdowell, was not so lucky — he rode straight in, crashed in spectacular fashion and came away with a broken collar bone.

At least it was a loaner bike.

Mar 11, 2010

Racing 2010

My 2009 'cross season ended abruptly due to a dislocated patella from Barnyard Cross.

Ok, that's a lie...

The dislocated knee cap was a result of "dropping it like it's hot" whilst dancing after Barnyard Cross. It would serve me well to remember I am no longer a kid — when I dance, there will be consequences.

In any case, I've been doing my best to get healthy over these long winter months. I haven't been able to log as many base miles would have liked, but I did manage to secure two things that will motivate me to get in race shape.

The first is a transfer entry to Ouachita. This year's registration filled up in the blink of an eye and I missed it.

The second is this:

It weighs 2.6 lbs and is made of something the engineers at NASA are referring to as "carpet fiber."