2015 in review

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13, 2016 by 41flyersracing - o'kelley

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,900 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


my 2013 Scott CR1 Comp

Posted in Uncategorized on June 6, 2015 by 41flyersracing - o'kelley

i’ll get around to posting a review of this bike at some point in time, but for now i am just sharing these pics.  after almost 1000 miles i have found this to be a great bike for my road riding ventures.

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race report – assault on mt. currahee

Posted in ride reports, Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 24, 2015 by 41flyersracing - o'kelley

Chain Buster Racing put on their inaugural gravel grinder race called The Assault on Mt. Currahee on February 28th, and it was a fun one.  We started and ended in downtown Cornelia, GA, which seemed to be a working class semi-rural town with a few neat older buildings downtown.

Scott Lusk and I drove over to Gainesville, GA the night before, which took way too long thanks to Atlanta traffic and the redlight-infested suburb of Buford where we ate dinner (after an obligatory stop at REI).  By the time we got to our hotel and had unloaded our gear and bikes it was 10:30 at night and we didn’t waste much time falling asleep.  We woke early and stopped by Starbucks for coffee and oatmeal before heading out of town towards the race.

As we started at 10am, it was probably sitting right around 32 degrees or so.  I was wearing a long sleeve baselayer, short sleeve baselayer, short sleeve jersey, thin arm warmers, and a jacket on my torso.  My legs were covered up with thermal bib knickers, leg warmers, and thick wool socks.  Aside from my toes, I never really felt cold during the race even though it remained in the 30s the entire time.

The race started out with a cop car leadout, along with a drone camera flying above that captured some great footage throughout the day.  We rode a few miles on pavement to loosen up the legs and get to the edge of Cornelia, then hopped on the dirt Lake Russell Road for some fast riding and descending for around 2 miles.  From there we had close to 11 miles or rollercoaster fire roads and some singletrack, including a frigid creek crossing, before hitting the signature climb up Currahee.

Currahee is famous as the training site for the Band of Brothers back in the old days, and consists of a really steep dirt road leading up to a few radio/cell towers.  Once at the top, we hit the only aid station of the day so I refilled one of my bottles with Gatorade and downed a few pretzels.  At this point we were roughly 1.5 hours into the race/ride and feeling pretty good.  Scott led my back down the mountain with his bad-ass Industry Nine wheels holding steady through the ice, snow, and mud.

At the bottom of Currahee, we hopped onto another doubletrack trail, which would become singletrack in a few areas.  It was a really nice trail system, though it seemed like we could never make much progress because we were constantly climbing in between short downhill sections.  This was the first time we would realize we should have studied the elevation profile more.

After finally exiting the trail system, we hit pavement again at Old Lake Russell Road, somewhere around 29 or so miles into the race.  Believing we pretty much had all of the hard stuff behind we booked in on along trying to get back with a decent time.  This would be the second time we wished we studied the elevation profile better, because we began what was a paved climb of close to 800′ in elevation gain and lasting 3 miles.  We followed the road along the hillside for what seemed like much more than 3 miles before finally topping out and heading down to town.

We finished up officially around 3:16, though the Strava link before shows a little less time due to stoppage.  Overall it was a really fun race, and really well put together by Chain Buster Racing.  The post-race meal at Natalie Jane’s in Cornelia was top-notch (I had shrimp and grits), as was the Terrapin beer on tap.  Leaving town we were already talking about doing it in 2016.

Strava link: https://www.strava.com/activities/261139089



finally at hotel around 10pm friday



prerace selfie



we started near the back…won’t make that mistake again




scott rolling past finish line



this was after a lot of the mud had fallen off during the last few miles of pavement



final review – Specialized Crux Elite

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 27, 2015 by 41flyersracing - o'kelley

My time aboard the 2013 Specialized Crux Elite came to an end this past Fall when I sold it in order to buy a road bike.  While I certainly enjoyed the heck out of that bike, it had begun to be relegated to almost nothing but pavement and therefore it was time for a change.

Being the only cyclocross bike I have ever owned, I don’t really have much to compare it with.  However, I did find it to be a blast and a good bike for whenever I wanted to venture off smooth pavement and into the woods or on really bad paved surfaces.  I put around 1200 total miles on the bike, riding everything from a road century to singletrack trails to a road duathlon.  If I was able to have a third bike in addition to my mountain bike and road bike, a cyclocross bike would likely be it.  However, I would do a couple of things differently.

First off, I would go ahead and opt for disc brakes.  The disc brake technology was just starting to take off when I bought this bike in early 2013 and after spending so much time on rim brakes I can say without a doubt I would go for discs next time.  The stock Tektra cantilever brakes that came with the Crux were crap and had basically no stopping power once the pads starting to get a little worn.  I swapped those out for some FSA SL-K brakes that were better, but still not ideal, even with the upgraded pads that I put on.  After having enough of those, I ended up buying some TRP EuroX brakes but never installed them before my bike sold.  I would have liked to see how the TRP brakes fared, but I’m not convinced it would have been enough for me to want to forego disc brakes again.

The other thing I would do differently is to buy a carbon frame.  Specialized makes some of the most comfortable aluminum frames I have ever ridden, but on some of the gravel roads I was riding it would have been nice to be on carbon.  And then once I started using it more and more for road riding, carbon definitely would have helped out.  But purchasing a carbon version of the bike, not on clearance like the one I bought, would have set me back probably at least another $500 to $700 and that wasn’t really an option when I made the purchase.

So I have since replaced the Crux with a Scott CR1 road bike, which I will eventually get around to reviewing on here.  But even though I wasn’t a fan of the brakes and would have preferred a carbon frame, I still am a big fan of my old Crux.  I never actually used it for cyclocross racing like I had intended when buying (thanks to a separated shoulder during cx season) but I did get some valuable use and plenty of fun from the Crux.

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2014 ride stats

Posted in ride reports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 8, 2015 by 41flyersracing - o'kelley

For the past two Januarys I have posted the cumulative ride stats from the previous calendar year…..here is what the 2014 tally looked like (according to Training Peaks):

2790 total miles

1615 mountain bike miles

337 road/cyclocross miles

838 indoor trainer miles

157,665 total feet of elevation gain


This ended up being around 250 more miles than I what I posted in 2013, as well as over 37,000 feet more in climbing.  My trainer miles were down slightly, even though we had a rough winter in 2013.  My road/cx miles were way down, whereas my mountain bike miles were likewise way up.  Since the ratio of mountain bike miles to road/cx miles was higher, this meant I spent more time in the saddle riding my bike in 2014 than I did in 2013 (due to slower average speed).

I think after looking at the above stats what I am most pleased with is the increase in elevation gain.  This is also after I switched from a Cateye Stealth 50 GPS to a Garmin 510 GPS late in the summer, with the Garmin being more accurate.  The Cateye tended to err on the high side, usually showing more elevation gain than what I actually accomplished.  So, in reality my increase in elevation gain is more than the math shows (probably somewhere around 39,000 to 40,000 feet in lieu of 37,000 feet).

Another thing that happened in 2014 was that me, Brian, and Scott started going on regular morning rides before work from early Spring through late Fall.  Three mornings per week with average mountain bike rides of 14 miles and 1300 feet of climbing helped get in the miles without sacrificing the rest of my daily schedule or family life.  Throw in a longer weekend ride and everything worked out well.

I purchased a new road bike in December 2014 to replace the cx bike that I sold a couple months earlier.  With some additional focus on logging longer road rides in 2015, I should be able to hit a higher total mark in mileage for this year if no injuries or schedule setbacks arise.

2014 in review

Posted in Uncategorized on January 6, 2015 by 41flyersracing - o'kelley

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,600 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Ride Report – Russell Lands at Lake Martin trails

Posted in ride reports with tags , , , , on June 27, 2014 by 41flyersracing - o'kelley

About a year ago I had my mountain bike with me while in Alex City for a meeting and decided to hit the trail system owned by Russell Lands…..ride report from that day can be found here.  A few days ago I was on my way back from some meetings in Montgomery and just so happened to have my bike with me again (I had planned to ride Swayback in Wetumpka on my way home) so I made a beeline for Alex City again so that I could see how the trails were shaping up.

Like my first trip to this trail system, I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun they could be.  I was also surprised by how much elevation gain there is considering the entire system is just a stone’s throw from Lake Martin.  There are just a number of punchy little climbs that add up over the course of a ride.  All told, I did around 1300 feet of climbing during the course of a 16-mile ride, which is not that far off of what I would climb on a typical 16-mile ride at Oak Mountain State Park.

I started at the Willow Point Cutoff Road trailhead, first getting on the E.W. Rail trail heading back towards Willow Point.  Aside from a fallen oak tree blocking the trail early on, this was a really fun doubletrack trail.  I eventually made my way back to the trailhead parking lot, where I would get on the Big Way trail and take it to its terminus point.  It was really hot and humid and I was needing to head home sooner rather than later, so I elected to ride pavement along Hwy 63 from Russell Crossroads back to the trailhead.  Probably not the best move considering the crazy amount of 3pm traffic on that highway, forcing me to ride in the knee-high grass on multiple occasions, not to mention the headwinds out in the open areas.  Nonetheless it was a fun little ride, and it was a nice change of scenery from my normal riding routine.

Random snap shots below.