Thursday, June 26, 2008

Modest Mouse - Dashboard

Nope, I haven't forgotten. This weekend, modest mouse. Get excited.

There's a rumble at the quarry on Sunday; I know some Bike Factory teammates are heading up there to tear the thing up. 3 laps, 9 miles each, sounds like a 3 hour effort to me.

Otherwise, there's a local Rivana Trail Circumnavigation and a BBQ before the show. Count me in for that, kids. Bourbon, bacon, best baked beans you've ever had.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


FORD, what is it? No, not the brand of car... it’s the Fredricksburg Off-road Duathlon, ironically sponsored by Toyota. Run - Mtb - Run. In many ways, this combination is more trying than a full triathlon. The entire idea of running at a fast pace (almost a sprint) before hopping on the bike is completely nuts.

Michele, Scott, Shawn and I started our trek at 6.15 from Cville. An hour before race start we arrived and immediately started setting our transition and stretching. By 9am we headed down to the start line with C. Tankersley and wished each other well. The first part of the run is a flat stretch of gravel road before turning a corner and heading up a hill. No, it’s not a hill. Its a climb that more than 50% of the group walks. This leads you to single track, a creek crossing and the remaining flat or descending trail. Shawn, the 'non-runner', but talented sprinter was a head of me; Scott was as well. Michele and Christy were behind. The hard part about the run was the mixture of non-covered trail, which was hot, humid... which made breathing difficult. By the end of the run, I passed Scott and was definitely breathing heavy (not in a sexy way; not at all) I was the first woman into transition and completely on my way out before seeing the next woman.

A .75 mi flat section allowed me to divert some of the building lactic acid, while passing a number of guys. The trail transitioned into moist single track. Rooty with log jumps... the first part of the mtb course was fun. Though, as the trail started to climb more guys had difficulty continuing on the saddle... that meant a lot of stopping and starting again. Scott met up with me shortly before the pack started to break up and was on his way. More than half way through was a really cool dark tunnel to more trails. That is when a friend, Paul, met caught me... Of course, this was just in time to see me endo over a difficult 2 limb log jump. Ouch. Not too much later was the transition to the run.

Run. Run. Run! Those were the word in my head as heading up the second climb. I knew Paul was ahead, so I set off to catch him. The last 200m we were neck in neck. I actually coaxed him to catching me as I passed him and started sprinting to the finish. We crossed the line at the same time. Happily, I was greeted by Shawn, who finished in 2nd place after the bike leg, but was passed by three others during the run. Likely, those that passed him on the run actually train by running…. A potential lesson for the future…

Christy, followed by Michele, head into transition. I saw the two of them on the run trail, so I knew they would be coming in sometime soon. What Shawn and I didn’t know is whether our friend Whitney who trailed Michele going into transition would be able to catch up to them on the run. Christy held her time gap for a 2nd place finish. Michele ended up in 3rd for a Female Bike Factory 1 – 2 – 3 victory. Scott finished 1st in his age group and had a great race. Whitney placed 4th.

Following the race was the most delightful jump in the river to get clean… well of course until some of the fish started nipping at my toes. After a BBQ will all of the participants, we picked up some cool-io lavender mugs prizes. Oh yes, even the men picked up lavender mugs. Awesome.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Xterra East Coast Championship

For as long as I can remember, there hasn't been a day with more agreeable temperatures for the Xterra East Coast Championship. I used to tell first time participants that this race has 4 disciplines - swimming, biking, running & staying hydrated. Good weather favors those outside of Virgina but didn't seem to be too big of a factor for my race.

Xterra in Richmond seems to get bigger each year. 2008 brought a 21k trail run event companion to a shorter run & 2 different mountain biking events held Saturday. Shannon put in a solid run during the off-road half marathon, while Shawn, Dave, Nolan, Kevin, Christy, Ken and Jeremy completed the Urban Assault MTB races. Christy pulled another first place win, while Dave finished 4th overall and 2nd in his age group. Nolan finished well and was greeted by the press (see other blogs). Shawn finished, but felt awful throughout and Jeremy effectively demolished his bike... Can someone say tire taco? These events kept the Bike Factory Crew occupied, while I pre-rode Sunday's Championship Xterra course. Two others from New Mexico and I casually took to the trails to get a feel for the terrain; I hadn't ridden the course since the National Off-road Duathlon in June (w/ Dave, Christy & Shawn). The pre-ride proved fast, so I followed up the ride with a pre-view of the swim course before heading to dinner with Jeremy and Mel and eventually home.

Race day, Shawn and I drove up from Cville with Tucker (the St. Bernard) in the back. I set up for transition and headed to the water for the swim. The forth wave, I found myself swimming next to my friend Kate across the James. We both headed out of the water about the same time for the short run before swimming back to the start. I remember hearing her say, 'Did you see XXX.... let's go' and we jumped back into the river. The water was about bath temperature and shallow in parts. Although I got off course, I felt strong and was able to catch up to Kate from the exit to the transition.

The bike ride was fun; my mantra seemed to be pass, pass, pass. I was able to pull big gears in the flat and ride the single track, passing faster female swimmers and the male heats that started before us. There was an excellent female cyclist who I saw multiple times and grabbed my wheel whenever possible. She passed me once on the course, but I was able to get by her after she got stuck behind a rider having difficulty on a rooty hill section. Shawn and Tucker were found a couple of times just off of the singephotos cheering along the way, so were a number of Richmond locals on the course. Encouragement was greatly appreciated. After the half way mark, I saw one other female competitor and had no clue what place I was in... nor did I heading into transition.

Transition from bike to run was quick. Running shoes on, I belted my number into place, put on my hat and grabed a drink before heading out. The first steps felt awkward. I'm so used to my Garmin helping me to gauge my pace and speed; I had no clue how fast I was moving. All I knew was that there were no more women to be seen. Twenty five minutes into the run I saw a woman ahead of me in the distance. My friend Scott cheered me on and guarenteed that I was putting down a faster pace than she was. As I got closer, I recognized the woman as the strong female cyclist. I have no idea how she passed me. All I knew is that I was closing the gap between the two of us. One foot in front of the other... one foot in front of the other... my concentration on closing the gap didn't prepare me for the pint-sized speed demon in full Timex gear that passed me right before I passed the female cyclist. Smiling, the Timex girl cheered me on and headed to the finish line as the first place amateur. I passed the female cyclist and beat her to the finish line with room to spare.

All in all it was a good day. I finished first in my age group and #2 amateur (even beating the time of one of the pros and 1 second behind another)... hooray. The best part of the race was celebrating with my mom, fabulous boyfriend Shawn, oh... and of course Tucker. Kate also placed first in her age group... qualifying us both for Xterra World's in Hawaii and solidifying our standings for the regional point series.

My friend Maggie had major difficulties on the bike when she lost her seat; she still managed to finish. Mark R, Scott and Michele Co were all amazing; this was Mark's first time beating me this season (maybe the last?)... This was the first Xterra for Scott and Michele (I'm so excited for them!) Congrats to all. Great race.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Nolan in the News

Our man, Nolan LaVoie, makes the news twice this week.

Look for him in the Green County Record weekend edition, talking up alternative energy in the face of daunting gas prices.
Also, check out the Mechanicsville Local tomorrow, Tuesday, to see the big post-race grin, despite the 96 degree heat in Richmond over the weekend.

Seems like a good guy, an all-around do-gooder and positive person in the face of adversity…
Those of us who have seen him at his worst know him far better.
The resemblance here is uncanny.

Would the real disgruntled American please stand up?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

MS 150

The MS 150 Tour De Vine went down over the weekend. A few pictures here. Some serious heat to be overcome on that one, with temps soaring to the 100 degree mark and heat indexes well above that, especially out on the asphalt. Not a lot of wine-drinking goes on in weather like that when you're trying to put away 150 road miles in 2 days, but despite the heat we got it done.

Kinda neat to see Shawn in something other than full Trek VW kit. Oh, right, those are Trek shorts. Well, you can't have everything.
a little rest station cool down. Actually, it was way hotter when you weren't moving. Better to get back on the bike and at least catch a breeze. Nice helmet, Barry. Remind me to get you Betty Ford's # when we get back to the cars.
at the finish. in the sun. still hot. but good to be done and spending time with friends nonetheless.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On February 20th, 2005 the world lost a true literary genius.
But the movie is coming out!!

Gonzo Trailer

Racing the Hoo Ha

The Hoo Ha came and went over the weekend, leaving carnage and mayhem in its wake.

Descents like this one. Climbs like this one. A radical XXC course. Something like 7500 feet of climbing in 32 miles, with downhills that looked like rockslides. That course eats bikes and people.

Michele Co took 2nd place in the womens' XXC; and with her first place at Dragon's Back and her 2nd place at Middle Mountain Mamma, that's the XXC series win. Good looking out, M-Co.

Otherwise, I took 7th in the men's XXC. Jason finished a short way back from me. Nolan came up with the 3rd place spot in Clydesdale XC, but our perennial contender in Women's Sport, Christy Tankersly, crashed out and took a DNF in the women's XC.

Anyway, lining up in the new kit was awesome. Those shorts are super plush, and all the graphics came out stellar. A little shout-out to Ergon on my left arm, very nice to have on such a long tough race.

Lots of bruises and nicked up bikes from this one. Time to heal up and get the gear ready for the upcoming Urban Assault in Richmond. Oh yeah, between now and then, a little road riding in the MS-150 over the weekend. Semi slicks, anyone?