Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Fun Extravaganza

I apologize for my lack of posts lately, but the last 5 days have kept me quite busy with my family.  Just a little run down of our awesome Memorial Day Holiday weekend!

Friday-  Day off work, pack up family and hit a picnic for the adoption agency in Cleveland!  Awesome time for the kids -bounce house, games, pizza, animals, and great families!

Saturday- Visited the Christmas Story House, then Cleveland Zoo with EAC adoption agency.  Awesome day at the Zoo, beautiful weather, great food, international parade, cool animals, and talented Russian musicians (Moscow Nights); capped off by a nice family dinner out and an evening at the pool.

Sunday- Back in Columbus, sweet day at the pool, followed by spontaneous backyard picnic and beers!  Life is good!

Monday- 8am ride at Dillon State Park, 90 degrees and pain.  Ride was tough, came home battle scarred and beaten.  Not sure who got it worse, me or the bike!  Spent afternoon in the backyard baby pool with my son and his buddies!  Neighbors came over for another cookout!  Cold  beer, steaks, grilled veggies,  corn on the cob, and watermelon!

Tuesday- Another day off!  Woot!  Zoombezi Bay Water park with family.  Unbelievable weather, insane water slides, cool pools, lazy river, cold beer, tasty Pizza and awesome wave pool!  Exhausted 4 year old, and wore out old man!  

Time to rest from mini vacation!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Steps and Mud Training

Since I am running in some type of ridiculous race next weekend (Warrior Dash), I thought it would be appropriate to do a little mud running and step training. Since I cannot ride anyhow due to the fact that everything is so damn muddy, I thought I could take advantage of the mud and get a little workout in. After gearing up, (headphones and bandana), I made the trip over to Alum Creek, did a little stretching, and then started out on a little jaunt around the trails. Let's just say, running in mud is not much easier than riding in it. Keeping your footing through muddy ruts, roots, and hills just isn't a lot of fun. After a couple of miles, I bailed on the run, got back to the truck and made the trek over to the Dam to run the steps. Have I ever mentioned I hate running the steps? I do! Anyhow, I hit the hill and did 8 sets of up and downs and even through in a backwards run up the hill. Yeah, I know, sounds tough. It is! Imagine running backwards like a defensive  back, now add a hill, and oh yeah, wet grass! Painful, but awesome for the legs! Unfortunately, it was a little tough to get out of bed the next day, and going down a flight of steps in my house was a bear, but it WILL be worth it. I WILL finish the race next weekend! And I WILL have fun. Now if only I could find a cargo net to climb over......

Monday, May 23, 2011

Break in the weather!

I couldn't resist, I had a break in the weather so I called up the bike shop, bailed my bike out of the clink, and hit the trails. Looking back, I guess I should have left it there. 100 feet in and the mud was unridable. 4 miles later I was exhausted, muddy and ready to call it quits. I found a road, hit the high gears and hammered back to the car. Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention the endo I did into a big heaping pile of stinking mud. Good thing there was a stream that I could rinse off in, or I wouldn't have been able to ride home with myself. Guess what, its freaking raining again. When will this weather ever change!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Vulture's Knob Downhill Course

New this year!

Vulture's Knob DH from Blanton Unger on Vimeo.

Vulture's Knob Mini DH Time Trial from Blanton Unger on Vimeo.

Can't wait to try this out!

Back in the Saddle Again

After a couple of weeks off recovering from Mohican and traveling to weekend getaways, I was able to get back onto the saddle again and get a few miles on the Giant!  Wow, time off plus high temps and humidity make it tough to get things going.  Gasping for air, and tight muscles made a short ride very painful.   The missed gear and tumble onto the rocks didn't help much either and a smashed front shifter was the result.  Not to be denied some free time to ride, I did get back on the saddle again, and was able to get about 12 miles on the bike Saturday morning.  Something about riding in the morning just makes things easier for me....too bad it has to be raining right now, or I would be riding, and not writing!

looks like it might be a roadie/neighborhood ride today!

Bachelor Party Weekend

I thought I would give an update on the bachelor party weekend last week.  So here it goes....

Friday, left for party in the afternoon.

Came home Sunday....

That's all you there is folks...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

First Spokejunkie Ride is in the books- Mohican

The first ride of the season is now in the books.  Estimates are between 50 and 75 riders showed up at Mohican State Park for the first Spokejunkie ride of the season.  This picture above is only  a sample of those that attended.  Many were still getting geared up, while others had already left for the trail.  This was my first ride with the group, so I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into.   As it turned out, a very nice day, interrupted by a tough ride.  

As for the ride itself, it started out a little rough.  50 people out of the gate starting out on a trail that begins with a  mile and a half climb was a little interesting.  Lot of slow traffic, and some frustrated riders who were looking for a little quicker pace (not me, by the way).  This can create a little challenge when you are clipped in and someone stops dead in their tracks right in front of you.  This is what happened to me, as I had my first and only crash about 3 and half miles in when someone stopped quickly on a short uphill (rocky burst).  Needless to say, couldn't get out of clips, fell over and banged my elbow hard on the rocks.
The next 4 miles were pretty smooth as things opened up a bit.   People started to speed up, slow down, and generally group together in skill set.   I got separated from my riding partner, as he had to double back to get his dog.  I basically cruised at a decent pace from 3-7 miles, until the first major climb since the first mile.  This climb takes you to a peek with an awesome view, and quite frankly a great place to rest ( which I did).   I sat around for a good 15 minutes to allow Marc to catch up, and we moved on.  We rolled forward another half a mile and found our third rider who was waiting for us and trying to work out some cramps.

We rode together again until we hit the covered bridge at mile 12 and took a brief rest.  The downhill was awesome, but all I kept thinking about was the climb that was to follow.  Many of the other riders bailed out the bridge, that would have been the smart thing to do.  Unfortunately, we were not smart yesterday, and we labored on.  Big elevation change, as we climbed for the next two miles from miles 12-14.  I would like to say I made the entire climb, I didn't.  Cramps had settled in by now, and I was struggling mightily on the hill.  Eventually completed the climb, only to get a nice short ridge ride, and then you guessed it, more climbing up to 15.

At 15, we did group up again, and determine our next plan of attack.  For those of you who do not know, 15 is one of the first major bail out points that would enable us to at least ride the road the rest of the way back.  That would have been the smart thing to do.  We were not smart, and we soldiered on.  15-19 is some of my favorite segments at MSP so I was looking forward to the next 4.  Cramps actually started to go away a bit, as I controlled my pace a bit as we rode through a really nice pine forest, followed by some nice ridge riding, with just a few little climbs layered in.  Unfortunately, this section also had some of the worst storm damage, and there were many trees down which ruined the nice flow sections of the trail.  The sweet downhill at 19 was blocked by an enormous tree down which really ruined the segment as this was the best part.  At 19 1/2, we hit the next bail out point, and we split up.   Marc continued on, Steve and I called it a day and rode the road the 3 miles to the campground.  The nice part about the road, is that it is mostly downhill and you can really fly which is a nice way to end a ride.  Unfortunately you also have to dodge automobiles, but it is definitely worth it if you are tired. 

Arrived back to campground where I waited for Marc to finish the last 6. Unfortunately he had some mechanical issues with his derailleur, but was able to get back to the campground and join the rest of us for a nice cookout and raffle.  2 fat double cheeseburgers each with a potato salad chaser and we had all the fuel we needed to make the 1 1/2 hour ride home to Columbus. Also picked up a couple nice prizes at the raffle, which rounded out a great day.

My first junkie ride completed, and I truly realized, I am old and out of shape.  Although I went further than a lot of people, I still struggled mightily.  Cramping seemed to be the major challenge and I just suck at hills! Time to start training a little bit more before I try that again.