Sunday, July 31, 2011

trail work

As most all know I have been spending the summer in the Missouri Ozarks working on and maintaining the Ozark Trail.

I am wrapping up my last week here with a trip down south near the Arkansas border. The past two evenings were spent in Eminance, MO on the Jack's Fork River. Absolutely beautiful. The whole area reminded me a lot of the Smokey Mountains, especially when we went up to a ridge and watched a rainstorm come in to the valley last night. Very very cool.

This is an area we worked on last week while Aaron Browning, Landahl Trail Manager, was here. Too bad there's no pic of me on the mini skid-steer I got to play on :) We built a little turnpike to get through a boggy, horsed up area.

For those interested, basically we lined both sides of the trail with large boulders then laid down some strips of geofabrication in the boggy soil to help firm it up and hold everything in place. We used a smalle culvert pipe to direct water drainage, then a layer of gravel/sand (local creek bed dredge), then a layer of geofabric with 2 ends out on either side as to fold it over. More gravel, "sausage" the geofabric, then more gravel/sand on top and soil if you can find any around to sprinkle/mix in on the very top. Doing it this way builds the trail surface up 1-2 feet, so excavation isn't needed. It is fairly easy to do if materials are readily available and looks pretty cool when done.

As of my count today, I have 325+ hours working and 82 miles of trail trimmed since I've been here. Throw in a few days of creek crossing building and bench cutting and it's been a great summer for learning tons about trail building and maintenance. Hopefully it will pay off with Roanoke this fall. I am looking forward to it.

My last week here will be spend at working down south some more and staying at Big Springs National Rec Area in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. We already dropped camp there before having to come back to Potosi for another worker (hence why you get a rando blog post) and will be making the long drive back tonight as soon as he gets here. I plan on not a lot of sleep this week between work, and hopefully a few rides and at least one float on the Current River.

peace and riding!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

bike riding time

has every terrain type imaginable for Missouri. good stuff to dig around the house for a quick loop. even though today i stopped twice to down complete bottles of water.

upcoming stuff includes:

spoke pony showdown at swope, 6 hour, <29 male solo.

Cruise the Blues 5 hour team with my brother. May cause Dizziness needs to defend its title. And I have fastest loop time 2 years running for the shorter loop. Gonna be real fast this year with gears.

Slaughter Pen Jam, maybe. If anyone else is interested let me know.

SAC River 12 hour Goodtime MTB race, solo male. This may be a maybe too so I can save funds for later CX racing.

September 17/18: Dogfish Cross in Hermann

Rapture in Misery 12 hour solo male <29. September, with gears. Yes.

October 1/2 Boss Cross!!

Burning at the Bluff 12 hour solo male. This is a must do race. Council Bluffs trails are awesomely dope.

October 15: Big Roanoke Park Workday

Berryman Epic!!!!!!

Then full on cx baby. Maybe even do SS nationals @ Madison if stuff works out right.

Back in KC next weekend. Hope to make First Fridays at the Volker 18th and Wyandotte Shop. Best shop in town.

Ride at Swope Sunday anyone???

peace and riding!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

brommelsiek video

This is from the start...thanks to BULLDOG.

Still pic pulled from vid:

I flash by at around 0:35 in 4th position of the sport class start. Notice the amount of guys behind me. I would stay ahead of all of them, plus pass the Mizzou dude in front of me to finish 3rd overall sport, 2nd in 20s class. 1 & 2 in the hole shot were also 1/2 overall in sport and 1 & 1 respectively in 20s and 30s classes. Not bad for not having gears.

Notice the RPM I'm spinning at compared to everyone else. Good stuff.

Peace and riding!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

st. louis circles

Awesomely epic weekend in st. louis. And I got 2nd place on my single speed against the dudes with gears.

Friday evening had Mason and I rolling out of Potosi to get up to the lou. Got there and met up with a friend, Mr. Andrew Graff. He and I decided we needed to drink a 1/5 of vodka and we decided that Castlewood State Park would be a great place to do that. So we hiked in a little on the trail, found a sweet ass bluff overlooking the extremely swollen Missouri river, then proceeded to get schwasty faced. Good times. Pretty sure we ended up at a Quik Trip at some point for $0.69 fountain drinks and 2 for $2 hot dogs. Ahhhh, not too different from home :)

Andrew left us around 10:00 to go see Harry Potter with some ladies so we headed towards the Arch. I had never seen it that up close, only from highways passing by. It's pretty insane; hell of an engineering marvel that's for sure. The whole area reminded me of downtown Kansas City actually. Glitzy, upscale, surely overpriced bars/restaurants slowly creep to extreme ghettoness, then slowly creeps back to the ultra nice. Ah, old cities are pretty cool. Plus is was cool to be on the Mississippi riverfront for awhile. Think the Missouri is swollen? Ya, all that water plus a lot more dumps into the Mississippi. Crazy to see a river that large.

Any who, we were planning on trying to bum a camp down by the Mississippi riverfront and found out real quick that wasn't happening. So we decided to try to find a place along the Missouri out towards St. Charles. After a few hikes/scouting looks, we found the craziest place ever to set up camp. 40 feet from the swollen river, in the floodplain still, standing water everywhere from flooding that was in the area within the last 2 weeks. But it gets better...under a railroad bridge along HWY 370 as it crosses the river. Total hobo camp. It was badass, other than waking up 3x during the 4 hours of sleep I got because of locomotives roaring over the top of us. However, how many people can say they've seen the bottom of a moving train because they were sleeping under it? I can.

We broke down camp around 7 am to get out of there before we were spotted by the locals. Ended up driving through downtown St. Charles and I saw a sign for a bike shop cafe. We took a quick u-turn and stopped to check it out and hopefully get some real food in us. The Second Street Bike Stop Cafe was by far one of the coolest places I'd ever been too. Where else can you order an egg/cheese/peppers/onions wrap, an iced vanilla latte and buy new Ergon integrated bar end grips, all at 7:30 am from the same nice lady? No place in Kansas City, that's for damn sure. Pretty sweet to see the right side of the shop with bike gear/mechanics stand, and the left side full of food and coffee making equipment. Damn good food too. I recommend the Juarez wrap.

Didn't have too much to do, so we headed for Klondike Park, since I was told that it is the must ride trail of the area. I rode a quick, very short lap and got the first flat I'd had in 4-5 months, damn! Tried changing it and the tube I had had a hole in it from stuffing it in on top of my multi-tool, arghhhh. Last tube from the racing stash and I got it back up and going. Mason took a quick spin on the plastic big wheel (my 29r) and ended up crashing coming down from the top of the hill. BIke was all good, Mason's wrist not so much. Very swollen...more on this.

Andy Mac ended up meeting us out there around noon and he and I spun a lap on the east side of the park, using the Katy Trail to connect us back to the park's west side. Klondike trails are pretty sweet, nothing too redic. A couple skinnies, a couple extremely well built teeter-totters, and a nice platform jump that you can get anywhere from 4-10 feet of air off of depending on how east you hit it. I did the smaller 2 foot rock drop off to the left side. Wish I had some rear travel sometimes, or not such a nice bike so I wouldn't feel bad on the inevitable crash. Ok, both of those are lies. Except I would kill for a carbon enduro from specialized. sickkkkkk.

After ripping some trail for awhile we headed back into the burbs and grabbed some chinese buffet around 3:00 pm. I murdered some food in preparation for Sunday, since I still had not decided what class to enter in. We then went to Ft. Zumuwalt park where Andy Mac and I jammed some guitars and I blew on a little harp action as well. It was good, damn good. Around 6:00 we started heading back towards Klondike where we were sitting up camp for the night. After a stop at a bike shop for tubes/GU, Wal-Mart for dinner, and a quick check of Brommelseik, we were back at Klondike. I got the tent up and was out by 9:00 pm I bet. Slept like a baby. Best I'd slept all summer while out camping. It was good stuff for sure.

Woke up about 6:45 hearing Mason get into the car. I still hadn't decided what class to race, so we got camp torn down and headed to Brommelseik. Got there around 8 am and I got registered...for the CAT 2, 20-29 class. Racing the single speed against the boys with gears. I didn't have the highest hopes, but was gonna give it my best. It was absolutely insane seeing how many people came out for this race, and especially all the lady racers!!! Hot chicks on sick bikes? Yes please.

Watched a little marathon class and beginner class. Did a pre-lap. This course was gonna be super super fast. 100% throttle the whole time. 4.5 miles, not really much technical with a few short steepish climbs. the 34-20 gearing on the jamis was perfect. Marathon guys were cranking out 20-23 minute laps for the fastest guys, so I was hoping to throw down in there somewhere about. I had some amazing pre-race nutrition of a nutella sammich, nut-tritous bar from Planters, gummy life savers, some jet blackberry gu, some margerita clif shot blocks, and a ton of water/gatorade. oh, and half a red bull. I was ready.

Got a nice little 10 minute warm-up in actually before they called us to staging. Did a little 3 minute spin to get the legs loose, then did some short sprint intervals just to peg my cadence and heart rate for a bit, then 3 minutes of spin around again to keep fresh. CAT 1 guys/gals/singlespeeders started before us and I got a great position on the line, middleish towards the inside. I knew the hole shot would be vital for the sketchy creek crossing we had to hit very soon. Gun went and I had a little trouble getting my left leg clipped in but finally found the clip and pedaled my ass off to hit the hole shot in 4th behind 2 other guys in my age group and a 30-something year old guy. I was soon up to 3rd, 2nd in my age, since the Mizzou dude directly in front of me bobbled in the creek and wiped out making the turn up the gravel climb. I punched the climb and all of a sudden the 3 of us up front were opening up a huge gap. Mizzou latched back on about 1/4 of the way through and sucked my wheel for about 1/2 a lap. I let him around me in a grassy section so I could return the favor and get pulled through 1 of the 2 LONG sections of prairie trail. Anyone who has ridded Palen's farm (cruise the blues), Brommelseik is the st. louis version. Mizzou dude and I were neck and neck going through start finish where Mason gave me a hand-up of a gu and a fresh bottle of ice cold water. I think this kind of took some wind out of Mizzou dude's sails since I heard him mumble something to me about the handups (he was wearing a black was hot, not the best choice.) He ended up bobbling through the creek again, so I punched the climb again and really got the heart rate pegged up and started flowing like crazy. Somewhere in the mix, not really sure where, Mizzou dude started bonking and a CBC guy from another class got on my wheel, as well as another dude who was in my class. I asked them if I could suck their wheel through the 1st grassy section and they obliged. Awesome! problem was the dude in my class stated pulling away from CBC and good, oh well, still sitting 3rd in class, 5th overall. Second lap had a lot of passing singlespeed class guys, cat 1 women, and marathon peeps. Awesome course for passing though, even in the wooded sections.

So I come through start/finish again, Mason hands me another gu and fresh bottle and I'm off again in front of CBC who had stopped to self-handup. Settle in behind a couple single speeders who are ripping at about the perfect pace I want to be. I suck their wheels the rest of the lap and finish the 13.5 miles in 1:08.47. Damn!

First impressions were, I finished and got 3rd, 4th overall in cat 2. Didn't blow up, ever have to stop, and only bobbled my bike once trying to put a bottle back in the cage during a grassy section. Found out the other dude from my class who had passed me earlier flatted out! So I finished 2nd on the day, 3rd overall CAT 2. Every other person in CAT 2 had gears. What up st. louis! hahahahahaha. I finished 4 minutes off our age group/overall cat 2 winner. not bad. I think with gears I win that race easily. After peeping times, my laps would have put me on the podium for the SS class as well. Extreme confidence booster, especially since this was my first real race of the year. I was just surprised that my heart didn't explode. working/training down here in the forest is starting to pay off :)

So no pics yet, but there will be hopefully. Tons of people out snapping stuff and got the coolest plaque for an award! You gotta see it to believe it. It involves cedar wood, co2 cartridges, and mtb tires. It looks sweet!

After the race, we ended up in the hospital. Mason's hand was swollen like crazy. Looks like it's not broken, but lots of tendon/ligament damage. Epic trips aren't so until you make a trip to the hospital...check.

By then it was 6:30 and I had eaten nothing all day but the aforementioned pre-race nutrition. Found a bar/grill, got an ice cold 22 oz beer and a chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy. Yep heaven. Gassed up and headed back to Potosi and the OTA house.

great trip. great times with great people. special shout out to Mason for the handups during the race. They were perfect and absolutely vital for me finishing the way I did.

so st. louis doesn't suck so badly. I'd like to take another trip/two up there sometime soon to do a few other things we didn't get to do...six flags, the zoo, cardinals game, riding other places, dirt jumping, etc. One day.

peace and riding!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

this weekend...

racing brommelsiek this weekend...hopefully. mason just came in and said his car is overheating...great. I really can't take another weekend stuck in potosi.

i realized today how mundane my summer life has become, because I have basically put myself into indentured servitude in order to pay hospital bills and loans. Not having health care for 7+ years caught up with me finally. Although...which is worse? about 4 grand in hospital/dr bills, or the monthly payments I would have made for the past 7 years at who knows $$$ a month. That shit isn't cheap when you're trying to buy it privately. but anyway, enough of the health care rant.

i realized this all because I was thinking about it and I haven't been on my bike 1 second for over a week. After spending 8-10 hours a day in the heat with a weedeater, camelback, 2 water bottles, 3 bottles of gas, 3 necessary tools, and a spool of trimmer line strapped to your back it kind of kills your motivation to do anything but sit in the air conditioning after work, eat a ton of calories and drink a ton of water to revive yourself, and zone out watching internet TV/videos. I really can see how people can be so lazy at their homes. I am glad I caught myself in this though. It seems it's only when we're not out in the forest camping that I get extremely lazy. Technological temptations and climate control take over the time I should be riding or writing/learning new music or other stuff. Next week is another camp week. Hopefully it will mean more fun activity and less vegging out after work. Camping at Council Bluffs last week was great. We paddled/spillway jumped one night, I rode another, and played guitar the third night. Lot more productive than burning through hulu...or writing a blog post about nothing.

I guess I just needed to vent about racing. i am ready to race some mtb stuff, but have no real desire to train, especially push myself to high intensity stuff like I need to be. I've only done one race this year, the Dirty Kanza, and that didn't turn out well. Now I need to decide if I want to race marathon, single speed or sport class this weekend. I'm leaning towards sport to see how I do on the SS in the 19-29 sport class, and so I can hopefully get some upgrade points to get up to cat 1 soon and really get my ass whooped.

peace and riding!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

go do this.

do this:!/event.php?eid=212965835412663

it'll be awesome. kind of thinking about going back to town for it and borrowing a road bike...probably not though. I can ride 115 miles of single track one way down here. Plus there's a hell of a lot more climbing here anyway :) and the now 26 mile berryman loop, the council bluffs lake loop (which by the way...more in a sec), middlefork loop, endless gravel and fire roads to make loops out of, st joe state park with tons of trails 20 miles away by gravel/pavement, blah blah blah. too bad most days i'm so worn out from working that when i do go ride i feel pooptastic.

so council bluffs lake. rode the loop this week one night while we were camping there for work. god damn, that is a 12 mile loop. ripping contour trail, stupid steep and long climbs and decents, buttery smooth trail, walk-through technical stuff (and I pride myself of riding any technical line, I probably can out there on fresh legs and/or with gears or an easier SS gearing), gravel road, double track, a short stretch of paved trail by the beach. It was a bit bushy, especially to KC standards, so that definitely made it that more interesting trying to see lines and up the trail. you definitely have to keep your shit up though or you will fall in the lake, the trail is literally that close in a few areas. Burnin' at the Bluff 12 hour just popped up on my radar big time. Perfect place for a 12 hour race. it has everything you ask for in a great mtb loop. Recovery sections seem to magically appear just when you need them. Can't wait for that with a 1x9 in october...heaven.

don't forget about the courtois challenge.

peace and riding!

Monday, July 4, 2011

brazil creek

Ben McCall came down saturday and rode around with me for awhile. He realized pretty quick it's a lot (a lot) different than kc riding.

there's what we did. Started at berryman campground and went east on the berryman loop towards brazil creek. Made it about a mile before stopping the first time, then another mile, then another, hahaha. climbing's a little different out here :) Got to 5ish miles and a gravel road and I asked Ben if he was ready for our first detour of the day. Took a couple miles of ridgeline gravel/fire road around a couple big single track climbs up from the creek bottoms then jumped back in for the last couple miles of flatish singletrack to the brazil creek campground. Ben was pretty concerned after I told him we were at least 9 miles from the car by roads, and about 15 by singletrack hahaha. So we did a horrible paved climb up W, then jumped back on gravel going back towards the berryman campground. Rode until Fire Road 2607 and jumped back in to do the last few miles of single track back to Berryman. ben was pretty spent, and actually (very very suprisingly) I was feeling amazing. got back to the campground and he headed back to kc. that's a hell of an epic day. KC-->Berryman-->KC all in one day. f that.

I actually feel great right now too and will probably go for a little spin this afternoon for 3-4 hours to keep the legs fresh for castlewood next weekend. I'm gonna race the 3 hour marathon on my singlespeed. hopefully i can show some stl peeps what up. In all reality if I placed in the top 50% I'd be happy.

peace and riding!!!