Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tannehill Kwik Stats 2

I took out my Single Speed on the Tannehill 12 hour race course and the Furnace Quarry trail. The rain was not so hard last night, and the trails held up well after yesterdays 12 hour race, some of it in light rain. I could not quite figure out the start the other day. But it became apparent after watching the race. That is correct I sat this one out. I have done one 12 hour race and it was not the the most fun I have had racing. I prefer two to 6 hour races, going from experience. I also weighed racing against, being wiped out and missing riding for a few days. I rode hard on Friday and had a great time at Oak Mountain. That left some sight seeing time Saturday with Tammy to check out the history that is just packed into this park! The rain was mild enough and there was a nice break, with some sun even, that made for a fun session working on my cornering in somewhat slippery conditions. I rode a berm up to high and smacked a tree pretty good. Even after all these years riding, I see that I can improve my cornering. Leaning into the corner early, keeping the center of my mass towards the center of the curve, knee in even. From a physics stand point, I thought that pointing the knee into the center of the curve took weight off the tire contact patch. As gravity trumps, the inertial forces, measured in G's, that pull you out of a corner, until about 60 mph on pavement on a road bike. But as the coefficient of friction is reduced in a greasy corner, it is easier for that inertia to overcome gravity and make you slide out. With more of your mass inside the corner, it kind of acts like a planet and your bike acts like a spacecraft being slungshot around it. And then if you still manage to slide out, allowing your body to move outwards, brings more weight to the contact patch, yes, but more importantly, I think, it acts like a weight shift, similar to a log hop, just in a different plane, reducing the force pulling your bike to the outside, as your mass, your body moves out and you keep your bike (and tires) tighter in the curve. I practiced this more and more as the lap progressed. I started late and was running out or light, which is good, cause I have a 6 hour drive in the RV pulling the car tomorrow. But I was tempted to get more practice in. Building on the carving I learned in the sand, leaves and pine needles of Alafia, Balm Boyette, Santos, Munson and the Lake Overstreet trails in Florida. I threw in a blast through the slightly wet rocks of on the Furnace Quarry trail, hoping for a little Strava glory!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Oak Mtn Kwik Stats 3

I had to get my Single Speed to Oak Mountain. Did some VO2 intervals up to the start of the lighting gravity trail. Then rode the main loop but did Bloodstone, Johnson Mtn and Foreplay instead of Jekyll and Hyde.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Oak Mtn day 2 Kwik Stats

Came mainly to do a tune up Threshold interval on the Red fire road. But had to play on the pump track and try Lightning. Wanted to do Blood Rock but read the map wrong and got on the short cut to Jekyll and Hyde. John at Cahaba said to stay away from Lightning, admittedly after I told him I was not into drops. The qualifier at the beginning almost made me turn around too! I skipped the one big huck and had a blast.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tannehill Ironworks Kwik Stats

The course is mostly marked. I just did not know where the start of Saturday's 12 hour race was. I rode a bunch of the course backwards. It is fun in both ways! The Furnace Quarry trail, while not in the race (I think), is a must ride, particularly if you miss the rocks of the NE!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Oak Mtn Kwik Stats

This one felt epic! Not on the the leaderboard for any of the segments. Lots of folks have ridden this park. 77th out of 398 on the long fire road climb was my best segment Edit Or not so kwik. We are not that far from civilization but not only is the camp site Wifi spotty, so is TV and cellphone reception. My posts and videos keep failing.

Local Rock Garden

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Red Bug Kwik Stats

Did Lake Overstreet trails first, kinda twice and had a great time. LO may be underrated. Over two hours into the ride I was back to do Redbug. I had a better time once I figured out the flow went in descending marker order.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Munson Monday

My jersey is soaked and I am stoked HA. Here is the second part of the ride chasing Dan Percy around.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tom Brown Kwik Stats

Got a couple good tours of the Tom Brown/Cadillac trail system in Tallahassee Florida. Thanks guys and gals
I was actually glad to have some moisture in the air. It has been dry a little to long. I never thought I would say that. I complained about it quit a bit in New Jersey!

Monday, March 11, 2013

In The Beginning

I get asked a lot of questions.  Here is a brief history to let folks know where I am coming from.

I rode the Berryman trail near Potosi Missouri. It was one trail that made a 25-35 mile loop around the foot hills of the Ozarks in Mark Twain national forest. It was reminiscent of Tsali near Bryson North Carolina. I had raced Tsali once long ago, before I even dared dream of this Quest. Then the spark that rekindled my interest in my Quest, Super Storm Sandy caused a slow down at work, for me, and my wife Tammy, mostly was telecommuting, mostly, as she went on a work reduction plan due to health concerns. I will not be a Debbie Downer with the details, but we have had Bucket list  discussions, including her childhood dream of visiting every state, in a meaningful way, not just driving through!

So Sandy made it hard to telecommute and I was jonesing to ride more than a quarter mile with out having to move, cut out or crawl over blow downs! We mapped out 5 IMBA Epics all within a few hours of each other where North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee meet up. I manged to ride:
Dupont State Forest, near Brevard, North Carolina
Jake/Bull Mountain near Dahlonega, Georgia
Tanasi Trail near Ocoee, Tennessee

On our way back from Tennessee to North Carolina, it dawned on me that this is one of those "The time is right"-"Do it before it is too late" situations. Rewind 10 years and Tammy could not sit through the 2 hour 25 mile per hour switch back through mountains and many waterfalls. But watching cry tears of joy at each new majesty that nature presented us, made it very poignant for me. A couple years back, after she came out of remission, I told her that we could sell the house, cash everything in and drive an RV around the country. I meant it, but she still had an incessant need to work. No cold turkey for her. Now that she has been weened back a bit, I am making good on that promise. Tammy is still so concerned with my happiness. After all it was while on a trip to Minnesota for her daughters Birthday, with a stop at the Rock-n-Roll hall of fame in Cleveland Ohio on the way and a stop at Mark Twains home town on the way back, that Tammy asked me what I wanted to do. She thought we were doing too much "Just" for her. I insisted that it was fine, but she insisted back. That is when I remembered that old bike magazine with several IMBA epics that I saved all these years.

Every thing is on line now and we found the Berryman trail. So there it is in circular fashion, I do admit, that is just how I roll.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Alafia River State Park Run Down

Alafia River State Park is on the IMBA epic list.

ARSP is less than an hour from Tampa.
The riding here is the polar opposite of my usual stomping grounds in northwest New Jersey!
One of the trails is called Rock Garden, but the only rocks to be seen are gravel.
I thought the climbs at home were short compared to the mountains, but ARSP has super short steep climbs, left over from the phosphate mining in the area.

I have to give the local club SWAMP, a ton of credit for this and the Balm Boyette trails systems.

There is plenty of fast flow trails through the sand, pine and palm trees. Then progresses to the blue trails that start to have some more up and down as they generally follow the contours of the terrain, with more twists, hairpins and roots. The black diamond trials step it up a notch and take advantage of the ridges by twisting in, out up and straight down them. My favorite being Moonscape, with all the extra advanced sections.

The south east section of the River Loop, a green or easy trail, was closed, but I put together a fairly full loop, that hit all the blue and black trails,intermediate and advanced respectively, and most of the green.

If you are in the area you have to check out Balm/Boyette as well!

See the Strava file and TWO videos below: