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Back at it…Again!!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 28, 2013 by tbird7

After several months of not riding while concentrating on my running prowess, I finally broke the seal with 3 days in a row at Oak Mountain State Park. It’s amazing how fast you lost your leg strength as I’m lighter and more cardiovascular fit than I’ve been in a while due to running more. While living in Florida, I could get away with jumping right back on the bike and do quite well because of the lack of hills, but not at Oak Mountain. The amount of lactic acid build up going up some of the climbs the last couple of days was very painful. I decided to do my infamous 3 hour loop that Eddie Thomas and I created two years ago in preparation for Cohutta 100 and the Leadville 100. It is essentially the regular Oak Mountain Loop with a couple of extras thrown in to make it over 3000 feet of climb in 3 hours. We did this ride 2 years ago and I did it twice at a clip fast than I did 1 today, so I’ve got some work to do pronto. It’s amazing what that park and it’s trails will do for you in terms of washing away stress. I feel like a million dollars and did the grocery shopping and am getting ready to cook dinner. Just like surfing, only a cyclist knows the feeling!


Xterra World Championships Final

Posted in ride reports with tags on November 2, 2011 by tbird7

Nice not having to set an alarm for Xterra races as they begin at 9 am. After having an egg sandwich and coffee with Eddie at the local store I decided to take my bike to transition a little earlier than usual. To my surprise, Lance Armstrong was setting up his stuff as well. I took a look at him and noticed he wasn’t much bigger than me and that there was NO way I was going to let him out split me on the run.
After an easy two mile warm up I headed to the beach for the start. I was right up front when the cannon sounded and I stayed on Eddies feet for about 1 minute before the massive chaos of 700 people made me lose my concentration. Everyone went to far left of the first buoy and had to almost swim backwards and right so as not to cut the course. There were some people who did, but had they turned around they would have lost minutes. Oh well, they will have to live with not racing clean. I had a hard time but did doggie paddle my ass off to get around. The second loop begins after a brief 150 yard or so run on the beach. I felt great and it was hilarious to look down almost 20 feet and see a photographer in his scuba gear just looking up at all of us. Crazy.
I came out of the water in 28 minutes yet I think the timing mat was at T1. I jumped on my rented Orbea 29er hard tail and started off on my 30k ride. I knew it wasn’t ny day immediately as I was getting passed left and right. Just look at all my races this year and my bike legs are far mire superior than the other two. So as you can imagine my mind was playing tricks on me. As I crested the top of a climb at mt 6, I saw Eddie in front of me and his response to another athlete when he said “on your left” was ” Like it f$&@;/g matters!!!” I was laughing as much as I could while simply trying to get up the hill. Eddie tells me he hasnt passed anyone yet on the bike and I replied “me either until YOU” we both chuckled and just tried to enjoy the moment of racing in Hawaii.
After coming in off the bike, I knew I had no shot of an age group podium but still wanted to run down some people. After a half mile, I got the killer instinct I wad missing all day and really began racing. It felt good to pass all the guys and gals who beat me on the bike. I ran strong all the way to the finish and only walked up two hills that were almost impossible to run. I quarter mile on the beach nearing the finish was very tough and I just kept waiting for a calf explosion.
I finished 27th in my AG, Eddie was 36th, Casey was 2nd, and Lori was 2nd. Overall a great showing from the Bham clan. I am hooked and am planning 2012 as we speak. Ironman will have to wait a bit longer. Oh, and I did beat LA by a few minutes on the run 😉



Xterra World Championships Part II

Posted in ride reports with tags on October 28, 2011 by tbird7

As I woke Saturday after a great night of sleep, I knew I was 24 hours away from laying down the best race of my season. I say that, not being cocky, but knowing that the course suited me to perfection. The swim was two 750 meter loops with a 150 meter run in between. It is so crystal clear that you get caught up in just looking around. Did I mention it was not wetsuit legal but it didn’t matter because it’s so salty that your body position is much better due to the buoyancy factor. The run and bike are pure fitness tests and I felt very confident.
Well, Eddie and I decided to ride our bikes one more time. He was having a hard time with his large Orbea and needed a longer stem and set back seat post which Donnie quickly supplied. Unfortunately, we ended up riding 45 minutes and I felt like crap and all of a sudden my mojo had disappeared with less than 24 hours to go before the cannon blasted.
At this point Sarah and I along with Eddie and Vickie decided to have a few cocktails. Our pre race dinner was at the Maui Brewing Company where the nachos and Bikini Blonde beers flowed. Donnie and his family joined us which was real cool. Donnie does bike camps and tours for lots of pro athletes as well as movie stars. In fact, while riding the course on Thursday, he mentioned to us that Owen Wilson just called him from Germany and wanted to catch up soon. Very cool. For the record, I have a 6 beer allowance for the entire day before I race which I may have to rethink. Off to bed with a 9 am start. That’s why I love Xterra, no early ass wake up and having to drop your bike off the day before!!
On a final note, Casey’s wife Andrea, Vickie, and Sarah all raced the 10k and kicked ass. Sarah was 12th female overall. I was very proud of her and she couldn’t stop talking about how much she loves Xterra and wants to do more of the trail races and tris.
Stay tuned for race day woes.



Xterra World Championships Part 1

Posted in ride reports with tags on October 27, 2011 by tbird7

After buying a mountain bike a little over a year ago, I had no idea I would find myself in Hawaii competing in the Xterra World Championships. I’ve been doing triathlons for 7 years and have always enjoyed simply laying down on the aero bars and cranking it out. Not in Xterra! There are 6 qualifying races in the US, and I was fortunate enough to qualify for this wonderful event that is going to blow up now that Lance Armstrong has put his stamp of approval on it.
Well, back to the race. We arrived 5 days prior and that may have been a mistake. I decided to rent a bike for myself and Eddie Thomas (who also raced) from my good friend Donnie Arnoult who owns Maui Cyclery. We all rode the course on Thursday along with Bham stud Casey Fannin. The course immediately goes up a hill that even my easiest gear could barely handle, however I felt stupid strong which was a sign I was leaving my race on the practice field too early.Unfortunately, we all continued to ride the 4000 feet of total ascent 18 mile course (we actually cut the course a bit to save our legs) it didn’t work. Friday rolls around and Eddie and I proceed to run the run course and do a little swim. Stupid is as stupid does. The run was straight up and straight down. With two days to go, I’m getting worried that I’ve brought a knife to a gun fight, even though I’ve had a great season and have ridden some crazy courses including Leadville and ORAAM, this is going to hurt. Stay tuned for Saturday and the day before jitters.