Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The best Festival in the Region is Coming!

That's right people. Fat and Skinny Festival is this weekend! If you haven't marked your calenders to come and tour, race, or cheer- get on the ball. This truly is a festival for everyone and is way more than just a race. The folks at KCV really know how to put on a show and you would be hard pressed to find a weekend of cycling with this much going on. I've been in cycling many years and many places and this is one of the best events I've been a part of!

Also of interest in the vendor expo is the first public appearance of the newly formed Lake City Derby Dolls. The derby gals will be out Sunday in their derby gear passing out buttons and info. Make sure you stop by their booth and say "hey" so you can say you met them before they hit the big time!

So check out the web site www.fatandskinnytirefest.com or hook up to truesport.com for racing links. Even though I missed this event in its infant years while I was in residency in Chicago, it has always been fun times. Some of my personal favorite things are the vendors and food on site in the village, the live bands on Saturday night, and mostly: the racing!

I'm getting back into my groove of normal life in Warsaw again after vacation and am looking forward to some hometown racing this weekend with no travel. I will be placing my focus on the mountain bike race but will be riding support in the crit for some of my teammates too for extra training. It will be interesting to see how the ankle fairs after so much travel and training lately. It's had a few rough days here, but I'm hoping to make it through all of the racing. I'm ready to have to drop out at any moment, but I would be really sad to not be able to finish my hometown race.

I'm just saying my prayers.

( Watching the Sunset in Florida after surfing all day)

I hope to see you all out there this weekend and feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Go, go, go...

So I've been on the road now for 14 of my 17 days of travel/ camp now. I set this time aside for Drt training camp near Brevard, NC with a week in Fort Walton Beach, Florida to follow for a little R and R and easier riding with some beaches in between. While I'm bummed to miss the first 2 Drt races, it was the only time my family could get together to have a trip before the season kicked up even more. It's easy to get caught up in the race scene and I feel its important to spend a little family time here and again. I've feel like I have been doing so much but have no time to blog about it. Regardless, I have been having fun while traveling the states and thankful for it all. It's been go, go, go and here is a few things that have been happening.
I got the trip started off by picking up teammate Josh Johnson along with my Grandmother (mother) and headed out to drop her off and stay overnight at my families holler in Southern, KY. I always get a kick out of hearing my Mother talk about her life growing up where my family
came from. After that, Josh and I continued south and after taking a impromptu helicopter ride while we waited in Pigeon Forge in some freak show traffic, we got on with getting over the Smokies to our destination of the Tsali Serc race
destination site for the weekend near Bryson City, NC. Once at Tsali, Josh and I hooked up with teammates Mike H, Mitch K., and Mike H. and did a little pre-riding. After the ride I knew that I loved the venue, but it wasn't the type of place I would excel at personally even on a healthy day. I didn't go to Tsali with any expectation to even race on race day, and just planned on playing it by feel of how the ankle felt on race morning. After riding the venue, I decided late Saturday that I might as well race and at least get to ride and train on a fun coarse again.

So Sunday I lined up with a respectable field of girls and was excited to see several Indiana faces out there with me. We had about 20 women, which is awesome to see in mtb which seems to be a little anemic compared to cross. At the gun, I still didn't know what to expect. I was fully prepared to drop out at the first lap or just coast along at the back and get a good ride in. With having virtually no race training and pretty much riding with one leg so far this year, I had no expectations. Funny how that expectation changes so quick. Once the gun went off, I found myself up in the top 6 and ready to roll. I settled in to a nice pace and ended up dropping a few places by the time it was all done. It was a long race at around 30 miles, but I held a fairly easy pace and didn't go all out which allowed me to finish. I finished 10th overall and 8th in the Cat 1 field. I was pleasantly surprised by this and even more surprised with how my technical skills faired against the others at this point in the year with only a hand full of off road rides in the books. I did have some trouble with my gimpy leg near the end of the race with some major cramping from lack of use. Climbing in a place like that requires both legs be used- something I haven't done since before surgery.

Congrats to Kim F. for the win and to Emily B (team DRT) for a strong ride.

After that, it was off to Brevard area for Drt training camp. I set up my home for the week at teammates Scott W's RV and was totally exhausted from the travel and racing and hit the sack. Come Monday morning I was ready to get back on the bike and get myself back to racing form... and the rest is history. Lots of riding, climbing, and mountain biking. I had a blast riding the 29er around and felt I really got the hang of the new bike on Tues afternoon. I loved this bike and confirmed that I no longer want to ride a 26er at all anymore. I know a 29er isn't for everyone, but it really suits my needs as a rider. Even though I lagged behind the superstars of the team on the climbs at camp, I had a blast on the sections I could keep up on and really enjoyed my time with the team this year. I had a few moments that I was frustrated with my ankle, but I tried to not let my handicap bring me down too much. Its funny how I thought I was doing pretty good with the ankle rehab, but once I got on some hike a bikes with "normal" people, I quickly realized I still have a lot of work to do in getting back to normal on my balance and calf strength. Regardless, I felt pretty lucky to be out riding and hiking in some pretty wild terrain after such a huge operation.
The week ended too soon as most things like that do, and I headed back home wishing I had more time to ride DuPont's State Forest. Those trails were truly some of my favorite ones to ride in the US. Big thanks to team Drt and Wagner Research for all the help at camp!

So after 2 days of truck time, I made it home to Indiana, spent a little time with Black Kitty, unpacked, and repacked to leave for a family vacation to Okaloosa Island here in Florida after less than 12 hours from being home. I will update this leg of the trip some day. I have one more day in paradise before coming back to Indiana again. Although its been a fun time, I miss my 29er and my cat.
But I'm thankful to be able to go, go, go.

I feel like I have been everywhere.
Which sure beats going nowhere!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


(Here we GO! )

I think we have all heard this before: 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. Cyclist have to put up a lot of work and training in order to get results, but I do feel that a lot of how we do comes from our attitude and how we react to others around us.

I'm trying really hard to adjust my attitude to how I react to people and things around me. As of late, I've been on an attitude roller coaster. I'm thankful for this ride since I was able to put my hands up and reflect on who I am and what I do. I'm a pretty positive person and I try to find the "good" in every situation and I depend on my faith to help me with that a lot. I've been so wishy- washy lately and that is typically not my personality type and it was starting to drive me a bit crazy. Aside from some personal life situations, I've also been a bit up and down on the cycling front, but I've found a nice balance in my recent reflection. My personal life helps me tremendously with my cycling attitude, not the other way around. I am a servant of God, and I believe one of my main purposes of life for Him is to take care of people through anesthesia. My approach to this helps with my cycling... its just hard to put that statement in words.

So back to ride... Last week I received some great leads on a couple personal sponsors for the season that I have been working hard on for a few months now. I'm really thankful for these people taking a look at helping me (you know who you are) and I'm pretty jazzed about representing a few companies this season. Nice! That, along with getting to finally hit the mtb trails on a new S-works 29er, had me on a pretty big high.

But everything must balance out. The trails had the ankle hurting pretty bad and the nerve pain kept me up at night. This had me questioning weather I should part take in my DRT training camp next week. I'll be honest, pain is a powerful thing, and I'm pretty sick of it at this point. I'm sick of even talking about it. It had me questioning a lot of things in my life and can be a pretty hopeless feeling not ever knowing when it will go away. So I had to do some deciding and after a week of debate, I decided to not be controlled by pain and fear. I didn't want to go to camp or the serc race and be the slowest on the block along with some other fears. Basically, I decided that it didn't matter if I did. I wanted to go to camp with my team and I wanted to have a good time riding some sweet areas in NC.

So then my powertap decided to die on me. Again, the week before camp, and even though I think it hates me, I don't really care if it does. I know that the info is very valuable for Coach Don, but maybe I just need to ride my bike according to how I feel. I'll admit, I obsess over the numbers, but it will be nice to ride the mountains with out always looking down at the powermeter. I'll spend more time focusing on the view.

Seems like there is always a balance, life keeps us humble and we choose how to see it. We can't control those around us, only ourselves. I've learned to forgive and I'm working on a couple relationships that are a little fractured from the past and working on building new ones. Even though I don't feel like I was the one in the wrong at times, it doesn't really matter anymore. Why should it matter?
So my season is about to kick up a notch this weekend. I leave for a week long team camp in Brevard, NC Saturday. I may hit the SERC Eastern Championship race on Sunday if the conditions are fair. Nothing like starting your mtb season with a big race. After riding the mountains in NC for a week, I will head down to the panhandle of Florida for a family vacation and flatland riding for another week. Lots of driving, lots of riding! I can't wait. After all my years of racing and riding, my approach is still the same: riding my bike is fun!