Pretty rad eh?

Finally. My FORM bitches!
John and I knocked it out a few hours ago. He did most of the work, and by most I mean all. I just did like rotors, tires, cages, etc.
I still have, well John still has a few things to do like cut the steerer (I was playing it safe), move my triggers (they are totally in the wrong spots, wtf?) and probably just some minor things here and there, rotate bar, levers, etc.

I'm stoked. I don't even know how to explain how awesome this bike is. Seatmast, zero stack, custom gusset, internal cable routing... sigh. I hope I can do this thing proud.

I'd like to get someone to get some good pics of this. Tonight when I went out there the camera immediately fogged (hello 78 degree dewpoint) and there was a fucking skunk. I feel like I still smell like the skunk. Made my nostrils burn.


Where to begin? Maybe in reverse.

I feel like I've been gone forever and it hasn't even been a full week.
We just got back from Eagle River a couple hours ago. The drive was long and tested our patience big time.
Eagle River was nice. Totally relaxing. We made it there on Tuesday early evening. Just in time for dinner. It was a beautiful night. It was great to see the girls.
Wednesday turned into a big storm fest. I didn't mind really... it was good to just relax in the cabin and do absolutely NOTHING. I also see no point in being upset for the whole day when there's nothing you can do about it (hypocrite).
Thursday was just beautiful. We tubed the whole day away. You can see on my chest where I missed putting the fucking sunscreen- OW!
Friday came way too quick. We pretty much just packed up for our torturous drive home. Ugh.
Prior to Eagle River John and I stayed up at Brent's in Minneapolis. We've been planning on doing this for over a year but it never seemed to work out well. This time it was perfect. My kids were with my family in Eagle River already so we headed over from Eau Claire.
We rode Lebanon Hills on Monday and Murphy on Tuesday morning. Both awesome trails. I have to give Leb more props though. It just suited my riding preferences more. It just flowed so well. I felt like I was going downhill most of the time, yet I barely remember climbing? I also love rock gardens and log crossings. It was just a little more technical than Murphy.
Thanks again to Brent for letting us hang out at his house and being tour guide on the trails. If he's up for it, I'm totally game for same plan next year.
Which brings me to WORS #6. I can't believe WORS is half way over! WOW, time flies.
Eau Claire is one of the courses I really enjoy. If it weren't for that field section it'd be top 2-3 for sure. I hate that field. I suck in it... and it's not so much that I suck, but in Elite there are soooo many girls so fit and fast that makes it more dreadful.
Anyway, my starts suck ass. I just can't pull off the effort at all. The only good thing about it is it appeared that by the time we got to the rock garden switchback, the back up wasn't too bad.
Sunday was one of those races where I actually felt like I was racing. Not many comp issues (except, why the fuck would you pass on the inside of a turn that went into open? WTF?! settle down and think) and I went back and forth with some gals. I love racing with Brenda, she always reminds me that this is supposed to be fun. I spent time with Lindsey and MK off the top of my head.... Christine, Sara, Patti, Heidi... everyone shouting words of encouragement. This is why I love racing WORS.
On the last lap I caught up to Patti. I wanted to pass her in the singletrack but I just wasn't powerful enough to do so. And it was sort of intimidating, IDK why. So I just stayed on her wheel until we hit the rock garden at the end. She dismounted and I rode. I was so nervous. It was so fun to be with someone so near the finish. Those rocks sort of toss you where they want to and at the exit I always wanted to stay a bit right, but would get kicked to the left. And being so tired I thought I'd poop out. I don't know what happened after that. I kept waiting for her to pass me but she never did. I don't know if she gave it to me or what. But whatever happened I'll admit to being happy for being rewarded for riding that section and then coming out ahead.
I'm not one to usually like a picture of myself, but I do like this one that Brittany took.

I'm dirty, dehydrated, I know I'm focused, I didn't notice my sleeve fell, I'm hovering over the saddle, my arms are tense because I was holding onto my bars fairly tight- just looking at it I can totally remember riding through there and how the bike moved under me. It's funny, I always get nervous before a race riding through a "crowd section", but when racing, I don't even hear them really.

See y'all at Alterra.


It's only been

a whole 6 days without rain.
Of course today we get hammered which has now put riding plans for tomorrow on possible hold.
I'm pissed. I was really looking forward to riding with Zach and Sara.

I suppose it has to rain at some point, droughts aren't fun either. But I would've liked at least one more day. One, I'd get to ride tomorrow and two, Palos would've had another day to recover from those two months.

I haven't given up hope though. Fingers are crossed.

It's going to be a rough week at home and work.
Money is super tight; I have a short week at work; we're leaving for eau claire, to MN to Eagle River in a few days. Lots and lots of driving. I hope it's all worth it.


Thank you Mom Nature

The weather has been incredible the last week or so; finally dry trails everywhere.
Wednesday I headed to the mesa and ended up meeting a few peeps out there.
First it was Mike and Gina coming out of Garden Grove. We headed out and eventually ran into Chris and Tommy on hangman trail, right at the noose actually.
Thursday, the same. I headed out shortly after work. The trails were even noticeably dryer. I could feel them getting faster.
Friday I shut my outlook off early and headed out to the mesa. I thought I'd see Chris and John out there. I saw John on top of the mesa, then saw Chuck right after I slid out and did a 180 after a sweeping left turn- I actually separated from my bike, then saw Rick and Steve. Chris then ran through the ravine and caught up to us. Good times.
Saturday Zach and Sara came over. Jeremey met us as well. We headed out for a good couple of hours. We ran into John, Tim, Chuck and Chris all working on a bench cut on the new trail... ugh. I felt guilty for not being out there with them.
It was great riding with Zach and Sara. I wish they were in a bit longer, but it looks like we may get to ride with them on Wednesday if the weather holds. *crosses fingers
Sunday John headed out to do the Joliet Metric Century. I really didn't have a plan until I saw a ride posted for the mesa. I didn't have a sitter so pouted for a bit.
My in-laws wanted to hang with the girls, so score! I made it back just in time to meet the guys at 10am. Super fun ride. Afterwards we jumped in Siwinski's pool with all our riding gear on and had a beer. It felt so good.
Later that day we took the girls for ice cream; then headed out by bike to watch the fireworks. I've always thought Oak Forest put on a good show, but 40 minutes was a bit much. Zoe whined the entire time.
Today we started the day just lazing around. John said he was pretty worked over and didn't want to do anything. I couldn't imagine not riding today. Initially I thought about taking the neighbor kids out to the mesa, but that wasn't working out. So I thought about riding out to Swallow Cliffs and back.
Right when I got on my bike my upper body was tired. My legs didn't feel too terrible, it's been awhile since I've ridden that many days in a row.
I headed onto the bike path and jumped on the roads out to SC. The gravel was super deep (they, CCFPD, have no idea how to maintain gravel trails- or anything for that matter). I finally made it across LaGrange and hopped onto the singletrack. The stuff on top by the slides was mint. A couple of new log crossings. Once I crossed over and headed over by Cherry Hill woods that was pretty overgrown... but almost cool because it was SO green not to mention you couldn't see the trail. Total singletrack. Game face on.
I rode everything twice (out n back) and called it a day. Once I hit the road and a headwind, my legs were feeling pretty worked. I was glad to roll up the driveway and John be almost home from grabbing a pizza.

Family, friends, riding and great weather have made these past few days friggin' awesome!

p.s. I'm too lazy to post pics.


Happy 4th!



Palos Meltdown registration is OPEN.
Go get some.


Wheels are done!


Subaru Cup and other stuff

Where to begin...
Getting to Mt. Morris on Friday morning was a fiasco. Long story that will bore you to death... even more boring than the drive from Oak Forest to Nordic Mtn. Ugh.
Anyway, we were up there with plenty of time to spare for the pre-ride.
Per usual I felt like crap on the pre-ride. I fumbled over every rock and felt like a total newb. The switchbacks for the pro/cat 1 were so awesome! I flubbed the turn right before they started. I was totally unprepared for the Trek firelane drops but still no issues. When I finished I decided to do the last section over again starting from the bridge. I'm glad I did, what a difference. Then I headed over to the start and redid that singletrack and felt on track again. I felt a lot better about things after that. Knowing that I won't finish near the top, I must at least have fun while racing and after that I knew I would.
I was looking forward to racing with no Comps.
Fast forward to Saturday morning we headed out early to get Ryan to the course.
Shortly after I got ready. Did a little warm up, headed to the start line and Don said go.
Ugh. I hate starts. I know most people don't like them... as I'm racing I think to myself you should at least work on starts so maybe they are less painful. But I never do.
Once we started heading back down I couldn't believe the back up. It was like being in the back of the sport class years ago. Back ups, people falling all over, etc.
I was breathing louder than I have in a long time once we started climbing, or I just noticed it because I wasn't wearing headphones. I really like the climbing at mt. morris. For the most part it's singletrack. It's twisty. It's just fun. It hurts but at least I feel sort of rewarded working my way around roots and rocks.
Still being behind people I wasn't able to let loose on the downhill but I knew on the second lap the gals would either push ahead of me or I'd pass them and ride by myself.
Coming to the Pro/Cat 1 switchback I could hear all the yelling and cheering.
What an awesome crowd. I'll admit to being nervous... it sucks to mess up in a section like that. I think on my first lap I put my foot down to avoid ramming a rider in front of me, but both times I was back I cleaned everything.

Which brings me to my other picture. I don't know why, but I never think about eating and wehre the best place is. So on this course I opened my gel on the open area right before the water, stuck it in my mouth, climbed that little short climb and then ate it. Which worked out well, but totally not pro.

I haven't had that much fun on a race course in a long time. Granted it was a super short race for Cat 1 and I'm sure that had a lot to do with it, but I was almost wishing for another lap.
My results were typical of me. And I'm happy with them for the type of riding I do. I know that if I want to finish any better I have to sacrifice my play time for some intervals or something.
John said he felt good but said he was mentally deflated after a crash at the start took him out. That sucks, especially when you are looking forward to something. He said he still had fun though.
I'd also like to show my appreciation for the riders of WORS. While starting my 3rd lap the Cat 1 men started to come through. I was bumped, thrown off my line and was just rudely spoken to by a number of riders- ALL OF WHOM HAD DAY OF NUMBERS. WORS racing is fun because even though it's competitive, I think most everyone is out there for fun and respects everybody else's races out there. So thank you.
Next race is Eau Claire. It's a haul but my parents will be up there vacationing with our kids so it'll work out well. I like the Border Battle course better, but Eau Claire is super fun too.
My frame may be here next week. I'm not getting my hopes up as there's a good chance it'll be the following week, which won't matter because I'll be on vacation. Still though, fingers crossed. Wheels should be in hand very soon too. Holly has my Superfly so no 29er riding for me.
No rain for 4 days in a row here. This hasn't happened since April. FUCKING APRIL!
The forecast still looks good so I'm looking forward to getting some riding in like every day. But first I have to go clean the sidewalk due to the lawn bag exploding.