Tuesday, June 24, 2008

maybe it's just me...

...but does Christophe Sauser not look like he's working on a 70s vintage mustache,
possibly somewhat porn-ish?
Then again when you have World Champion stripes, you don't necessarily need to justify your mustache tendencies.

While on the subject of making fun of World Champions, did Sven not get the memo that the 80s called and want their helmet back? At least put it on as a helmet should be, not how rookies do trying to protect their cerebellum...
Even if he didn't have WC stripes, having a sweet rig such as he does with tubular MTB tires and all would aptly compensate for the silly helmet.

-the ATM

Monday, June 23, 2008

Can't buy a break

...but a flat? No problem. Actually, more like a cut. As in my brand spankin' new rear Specialized Roll-X mud tire was sliced open 3 minutes into the race yesterday.
Rolling through the opening flowing single track and I must have hit the only sharp object on the trail. BOOM! was the familiar sound, followed by the painfully familiar feeling of no rear traction. The tire had completely blown off the rim. I tried to boot it back up but the remaining sealant fizzle revealed the gaping hole and no hope for repair.
My day done, I walked backwards on the trail relishing in the fact that I was not 5 miles away, but a mere 1/2 mile away. After a casual chat with Don, I went to go mount my dry condition wheel so I could ride to a faucet to wash off the nasty Stan's sealant off my bike before it turned to dried epoxy. About the same time, Don and I both had a thought... Don could look away while I went back on course.
Now this is highly illegal (As is taking a teammate's wheel which was offered by Superstar Dave Coar) as it is considered outside assistance by USA Cycling, as if to say the 15 minutes lost walking back to the car wasn't penalty enough.
Anyway, I decided I was going to chase hard for one lap to see what I could do (that and I had some calories to burn off from my pre-race big breakfast!) I set off like a scalded dog. I did some skills work, focusing on less braking through corners and generally trying to maintain momentum. It must have worked because my average power for the lap was within 30w of my thresh hold power, and for twice as long as the power test to boot!

Anyway, looking for a good set of results in the MTB stage race coming up this weekend. Perhaps no flat this race...

-the ATM

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

She is sweet, no?

My MTB rig developed a creak that I thought was related to the aging pedal spindles that have done their job for the last two years. Frequent greasings did nothing to quell the creak. The last time I was reinstalling the pedals I noticed a thin line around the bottom bracket shell that would not rub off. Yikes... the BB shell had delaminated from the carbon.
Since it happened, I've struggled with mentioning it because the bike flat out rocked and I'm in no way wary of a Specialized bike... making a light bike requires pushing the envelope and this is not the first carbon bike to have a delamination. I know one guy who's on his third frame for the same problem. I don't want to mention the brand but it rhymes with Trek.
Anyhoo, hopes of sliding under the radar were dashed on the rocks below when I got the new frame:
Um, yeah, so they didn't have the Stumpjumper HT Comp in stock so they bumped me up to the S-Works HT. By the way, it's red. Flo Red to be exact. It's dead sexy. Have I mentioned red is my favorite bike color behind white?
Props to Don for swaying me to white bottle cages from the bunk black ones I had. Once I recover a bit from some other purchases, a white saddle is in the cards. Perhaps for Nats because kicking people's ass is all the better when you look good doing it.

short-ish post.


-the ATM

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Everything goes better with oil

I expect I'm not alone on this one; everything is better with oil. To start, there is the obvious engine oil. No oil is bad in this case:
This was the rod bearing on my 88 Toyota LandCruiser after the previous owner ran it out of oil and I bought it as a project. Amazingly, the other 5 bearings look fine for 200k miles.

Anyway, back on task. There's also bread.

A little olive oil and perhaps crushed pepper to dress up and make delicious:
Bonus feature is the good fatty acids you get from olive oil. Just don't overdo it!

Then, of course, there is this:

More wrestling...

But the point of my post is legs:
This was after a spill in a Crash 4 race so pardon the damage. Note lack of definition.
This was after a ride in about 50 degree weather with considerable rain. Note how the oil highlights the muscle tone and enhances definition. Goodness knows my legs have terrible
definition otherwise.

So there you have it. Things just go better with oil.

-the ATM

Monday, June 2, 2008

Priorities need adjusted

I haven't posted in a while, you all know this. For that, I apologize. Much has gone on in the world of Mexlerwerks. To avoid a War And Peace-like novel, I'll quickly summarize.
Day two of car suspension wiped me out; I finished the fronts around 2:30a. Took a little longer than expected. It took me about 4 days to recover from that. The end result was totally worth it - my car is tight. Like slot car tight. Really need to finish the hitch so I can really rail the corners and not slam bikes around in the trunk.
The late night wiped me out so much I was too tired to post about the mini training camp to Chattanooga. Damn, that was very much needed. Ride, eat, sleep, coffee, eat, ride, repeat. ~13 hours in 3 days and my riding belly was full. A few pics:
Turns out it IS available in stores!

Our rolling residence and support rig for 4 days. Ultra sweet.

We were antsy to ride so we park the RV in a Dollar General store parking lot and pointed wheels to the Cherahola Skyway. Many of you might remember this as a destination ride back in March when spring camp was based out of Fontana, NC. We didn’t ride it, and I left wanting. Lucky for me, it has two sides so we were conveniently afforded the opportunity to ride it from the TN side.
Early on at the start of the climb

Total climb time was about 1:20 h and the distance was just under 17 miles. I’d guess the first 3 or so miles were barely elevating, but still that was a damn long climb! I even took a quick video of me once I was riding solo (Don and Zach were not digging the heat so much) but it was quite Mud and Cowbells-esque and I didn’t want to blatantly copy so you don’t get to see it.
Days 2 and 3 found us in a Walmart parking lot since there were no camp sites available. Fortunately, said Walmart was at the base of Racoon Mountain XC trail. Even better, a 30 minute road climb (and descent when finished... more on that in a minute). Damn sweet trail. Gonna be a SERC race there later this year, to boot. May have to do that one.

Ok, so back to the descent. On the 2nd trip (we did a 2-a-day) down, I just clocked in at about 40 mph (yes, knobbie 2.3 tires at roughly 20psi. no, it wasn't scary. I ride better than that) when out of the corner of my eye I see a small blob, then hear a "ping!" Looking down, I saw blood on my knee and and some giblets on my fork.

I looked over at Don and said "I just hit a bird." Upon arrival at the RV, feathers on my rim confirmed I Ginsu-ed a bird. Sorry buddy. I felt bad as I was cleaning my fork ofthe guts.
The last day we hit the Chilhowee and Tnasi trails. We were all ready to head out so no stopping for blog pics. Chilhowee was pretty sweet - a 45 minute ascent with some gnar gnar single track, followed by the 45 minute descent in reverse. It only took us 7 minutes to get down. A bit slow on the way up, not slow on the way down.
Tnasi was neat, too. It started across the stream from the 96 Olympic venue for kayaking. Surprise, surprise... climb, single track, descent.

Upon arrival back in Columbus, I spent a day cleaning bikes, etc then headed for the airport for an 8p flight to Montana. Not super stoked to travel for work for a host of reasons, but it needed done so I did it. Got back Thursday night after a full day of travel. Three days of taking it easy helped with good recovery, which bode well for me for Sunday's XC race in my back yard.
I took 2nd into the woods and was feeling great. About 5 minutes into the race, my stupid low tire pressure conspired against me, and I rolled my tire. Watching the race go by in front of me I opted to just inflate rather than throw in a tube. 30 seconds past and I was chasing. For the next 90 minutes. With a slowly deflating tire. I really didn't have too much trouble with lap traffic but I could not bridge to the winning move. I ended up 6 minutes off the pace. dammit.

So that's it. I would liked to have gone into more details for each event, but I doubt many of you are still reading along. This post is quite epic.
As justification for those who are still with me, I'll leave you with a pic of my domination of the start sprint at the Morsches Park XC race where I disintegrated late in the race. Obviously, the start is not as important as the finish, but staying in front of crashes is a much better way to race.
about 2 hours before meltdown

So with that, I offer an half-empty promise to place a higher priority on posting more regularly. Actually, I'll be optimistic; the promise is half-full.

I'm out

-the ATM