Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I apologize...

First off I am sorry to anyone who might actually read my blog. I know it has been a long time, and frankly I just lost motivation to write. but I will bring you up to speed on what has happened since my last post.

Ryan and I headed up north on a road trip starting with the "East Coast National" at Wyndham mountain in New York. It turned out to be a super awesome course! I was able to pull out a XC win and finished 2nd in ST. The next weekend was in Vermont for the National Championships. This course didn't favor me as well as the New York course did but still was able to pull out some decent finishes. I finished second in the XC race by about 10 feet( I was leading and then was out descended at the finish and lost the sprint) and got 5th in the ST race. The last weekend of our adventure was in Fontana, North Carolina, for the Fontana Dam Jam. This is always an awesome event! I had a decent saturday night short track finishing 8th or 9th and then Sunday was my first Pro/Semi Pro race. I led the first quarter mile and then needless to say I ended up in 10th( out of 11). My performance took a plunge after the first two races but I wasn't complaining.

Now on to the most recent happenings!
Two weeks ago was the first Florida State Championship Race in Gainesville, FL. After a really bad start I was able to chase up to the 6th spot and hold it steady to the finish. at first I wasn't too satisfied I will admit, but then after seeing the all star cast of riders we had out there, I am not complaining.
Now today on the other hand, well it was... SAAAWEEEEET!!! The race was in fernandina Beach at some awesome trails! My start was definetly better, and I soon found myself in a pack of 4 including, Robert Bounds, Trent Maddox, and Martin Cox. After trying to race smart for the first 3 laps, heading into the last lap I attacked going into the woods, and was able to stick it all the way to the finish, and came within 5 seconds of catching Andy Mills who finished 2nd! So I guess what I am trying to say is, Today was in my opinion my best career finish. I just can't wait for the next one in Tallahassee in two weeks....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Nationals update coming soon!

I am working on an update from New York, Vermont, and North Carolina. It should be up soon.

Monday, June 30, 2008

building momentum

Sunday June 29th was the 7th round of the South Eastern Regional Championships, located in Chattanooga Tennessee, up on raccoon mountain. Before I get into the race, let me fill you in on the previous few days.

Thursday my Parents and little brother flew in from Haiti for about 12 days to try and finalize some paperwork with the adoption for my little brother. So its been really great getting to see them, and the also brought our grandmother up from south florida with them. Friday Luke Rozanski and I were at the bike shop bothering Ryan while he was at work, trying to figure out how we are gonna car pool up to the race with one civic that has a two bike rack. We then decided that we needed one more person to help balance out the cost of gas and hotels to make it cheap. So jokingly I tell Anthony Hutton that he should skip work this weekend, and come race with us. He took it pretty Seriously, and called his boss and she said sure go ahead. To keep from boring you too much about the prerace, the moral of the story is, we ended up with 5 guys in the race van headed to chattanooga at 8 o clock friday night.(my dad was the 5th) We drove til about 1am and crashed just south of macon. The next morning we got on the road around 9:30 and finished our trek all the way to the course, with a few stops along the way.

Saturday, June 28th The pre ride

This place is awesome! everything about it! the drive just to get to the trails was super cool! Anyways, we slowly got our stuff together and got registered, and hit the trails. the course had a long road start which didn't matter how well your initial start was. The first section of single track is very rocky, rooty, and technical. After that it got pretty flowing with a lot of short rollers that kept you pointed up hill. pre riding this section felt easy, but after three laps it is very deceiving. after a few miles of that you come to a road crossing where it start to point downhill for a little bit, with super fast tight and twisty single track. this course was almost all single track, which was fun but also limited passing and good hard efforts to make time on. the rest of the course only got better with more rocky sections and screaming fast descents, as well as some amazing views. The course length was just over 12 miles, and after guessing our pre ride time we knew it would be a long three lap race.

Sunday June 29th, The Race

The morning of the race. There is nothing like waking up to the alarm clock realizing its race day. Knowing that in a few hours you will be starting your race.
We got up around 8am and got the van packed, and headed to the waffle house. 3 eggs, grits, and whole wheat toast for $3.50. Can't beat that price! after a hardy breakfast, we head to the track with our adrenaline pumping harder and harder the closer you get there. We round the corner and I can see the start and finish line, and the beginner wave all lined up ready to attack the course, my heart rate goes up. No matter how many times you have raced and no matter how big or small the race, it always excites me just thinking about racing! We finally park and I start getting my stuff together, putting on my kit, putting air in the tires, lube on the chain, bottles filled, etc. I get all my stuff done and I am ready to warm up about an hour before the start. "perfect" I have been wanting to get a longer moderate warm up but lately I have run out of time and end up getting about 20 minutes to warm up. We go spin for about 40 minutes and then finish setting up Dad with all the bottles. after getting all that sorted out we head over to the starting line with a few minutes to spare. I had a strategy for this race, and pretty much stuck to it the whole way through. on the last lap, I started to fade about half way through, and then 5 miles from the finish I ran out of fluids. I watched Wes Lamberson ride away from me and onto a strong victory. Congrats Wes! I somehow managed to hold onto second, coming in blurry eyed and about to collapse from dehydration. I was bummed at first that I wasn't able to finish strong, but I am very happy with my result and performance this weekend. my race time was 2 hours and 50 minutes! thats a long race! I would like to thank Mom and Dad for all the support and faith they have in me and my brother, I also Thank God for the chance to do this. Maxxis tires never seize to amaze me, the monorail is by far my favorite tire out , it hooks up on anything! Industry Nine Wheels! the light weight and stiffness propelled me to another good finish. And also First Endurance EFS drink mix is the perfect race formula for long hot races, to keep you performing at your best.

The next race on the schedule is in two weeks at windham mountain, in New York. Its part of the national series, and will be my first race this year at a national level. Can't wait to see what I have!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Clemson South Carolina, the first race back...

Right now, I am sitting at my computer reminiscing about the race yesterday. I didn't meet my expectations, but then again does anyone ever meet there own expectations? But before I get into detail with the race, let me tell you a little of whats happened lately. After being off the bike for several weeks, getting my bikes fit by Matt Goforth of On Your Mark Bike Shop, a laser bike fit specialist, my knee started to come around. The pain slowly subsided and about...umm... two weeks ago the pain completely went away. Now even when my knee was bothering me and still hurting, I was able to do long easy rides, but couldn't do anything over base pace at all. Due to this I lost a lot of top end power. So when my knee quit hurting, those two weeks before Clemson I started doing a fair amount of harder rides to bring my power up. So thats where I am at right now. On to the Race!

Saturday morning I woke up at 7am to start packing the car so we could start our 8 hour trip to Clemson. we left the house a little later than planned at about 9am. I drove to the south side of atlanta while Ryan slept, and then he took over as we started the last leg of the trip to South Carolina. We got to the course just before 5, and we could hear Dave Berger on the PA telling everyone to get to the starting line for the time trial. We diligently got ready and went to preride the course. about a mile in, we got to where they were starting the time trial, so we had to pull off the trail and started talking to Dave Berger. He easily persuaded me to do the time trial, and I persuaded Ryan that I could sign him up too. well we were the last few to go off, and hadn't even preridden the course yet either. Robert Marion was holding the fastest time with a strong 19:31. Lets just say Ryan did what he had to and turned out a 19:23! a very impressive run for not knowing what he was getting into! I on the other hand would rather just say "I have had better days".... yeah....about that.....

Sunday! Happy Fathers Day first off! we woke up at 7 am and headed down stairs for some continental breakfast. I had a bagel, some danish thing, and a cup of apple juice. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but hey it was free. And I was wanting to try a new prerace eating strategy. It seems I have always had an enormous appetite before a race, so this time I decided to tone it down a bit. Well enough about breakfast. We finally get to the track and get all setup and ready. warming up I was feeling a little low on power, but still good considering. Sitting on the starting line waiting for the whistle, I realized how much I had missed doing this over the last 2 months. The whistle blew and I got into my pedal immediately! "YES!" I start hammering and get a bike length or two on everyone and then sit down and try to motor around the sweeping fire road turn. As we are headed into it I see Seth and Luke start to come underneath me so I gas it a little harder, only to send myself up into the rocks on the edge of the road, so I have to check up. I ended up getting into the single track in 6th, not bad. I was pretty much where I wanted to be. I knew everyone in front of me was strong and fast so I didn't have to worry about an early gap. unfortunately not five minutes into the race my chain decides to hate me and wrap itself up in between my crank arm and chain ring. Not knowing what happened, I tried to pedal and it just wedged harder up in there. So I pull off the trail and try to pull it out, but its not budging at all. I tried being gentle with it hoping I can work it out, but its not moving at all. So when stuff doesn't move gently what do you have to do? Thats right! I put some muscle into that thing! one foot on the bike and both hands pulling on the chain. I finally got the chain out, but I bent a few links in the process. "Great!" "Now its probably gonna start skipping and break!" at this point I could hear the 30+ experts weren't but 10 seconds behind me. So I started my long and what I thought was gonna be lonesome race, chasing the rest of the pack. I soon caught one guy in my class, and rode behind him for 2 or 3 minutes, and then the 30+ experts were knocking on the door, so I soon got around him and rode with the 30+ leaders. This was nice because it motivated both of us. They had someone to chase and I had someone to run away from. little did I know about 5 more 30+ guys were catching us, and at the end of the lap they were with us. well the beginning of the second lap I rode with them and then one of them attacked. He got about 10 seconds on us, and then I decided that I should chase him down and we could work together. So thats what I did, it took me about 3 minutes to catch him, but when I did he got on it a little harder, and we rocked and rolled away from the pack! riding with those guys was awesome because they have so much experience and are sooo smooth! Any ways, at the finish of the second lap, headed for my last, someone told me I was in 4th, and I could see 3rd up ahead maybe 10 seconds up. Oh I forgot to mention, I passed several guys on my first and second lap, but didn't think I was up into the top five. This really got me fired up and I started to hang it out more in the technical sections and downhills. But wouldn't you know, my chain just hated me! it fell off again in between the crank and the chain ring, but not as bad this time. I got it out and back riding in about 15 seconds, but now thats 15 seconds more he has on me! So stupid Regan decided to use his big chainring about 3 more times that lap, and every time I did I would hit a small bump, and bam! gotta stop and pull the chain out again! I finally stopped using my big ring, and gave it all I had in my middle ring for a 4th place finish. It wasn't as good as I was hoping for, but looking back on it now, I realized I had one of my best races yet. Thats about all I have to say about my race. Ryan was riding in third and most likely running down the leaders when he cut a sidewall down on his tire and had to walk it in. Travis Livermon won the pro race by almost 2 minutes over Robert Marion, and Matt Rotroff had an awesome race coming in 3rd. Natasha Cowie won the Pro womens race over second place Kylie Krauss, and 3rd place Kim Flynn. I would like to thank Industry Nine wheels for helping me get up the hills and having such sick engagement! I also want to thank Maxxis for the fast and durable monorail and ridgeline tires! As well as Matt Goforth of On Your Mark Fitness Center for fitting my bikes and the great training tips. And last but not least, I want to thank Mom and Dad for there support for this crazy dream. later!

photos courtesy of Matt St. Marie

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

its been awhile, let me explain.....

I would start off with an "I can explain!" but I will spare y'all this time. Since the last time I posted, I attempted two races. I use the word "attempt" because that is the most fitting word I could find for the havoc and destruction that ensued upon me. I know I make it sound really bad, but... to me it kinda is. I guess it was a week or two after the first Georgia state race in Macon, when I decided to try my luck at the Red Trail Racing "Urban Crit". I was pretty pumped up about it, and had a very strong week of training building up to it, but then it suddenly became my turn to be sick and get a bad cold. I tried to resist with lots of sleep, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Vitamin A, but to no avail. I was in pretty bad shape. Come Saturday morning though I was feeling pretty good, my head was clearing up, I didn't think I had too much mucus left in my head, so what do you think I did? Yep you guessed it! I drove down and entered the race! What happened during the race was terrible and embarrassing, but dog gone it I was gonna race! Starting the race I got a bad start, and struggled to move up. Mike Viertel and gang were at the front motoring away as I was trying to play catch up. well for the first lap I thought "I think I can pull up to em!" .....BOY WAS I WRONG! I hit a wall the size of the Hoover dam, and it just wasn't budging! I then realized that for one: I couldn't breath if I try to go any faster, and for two: it just aint happenin and I need to ride smart around the people I was with. and thats exactly what I did. starve my self of oxygen and then cough my lungs, starve my self of oxygen and then... well you get the point. I basically went the speed of smell and rode to a 7th or 8th place finish I believe. Alright so I got part one over with, now for the rest.

After getting well again I really started to pick up my training, and could see major improvements in power. But about 3 weeks ago, my body decided to let me down. I developed a problem in my right knee which some people are calling tendinitis, but I don't have a clue what it is. I evidentially over worked a tendon and it started to hurt... pretty bad and became inflamed. So my genius common sense told me "ok take a day or two off, and then hit it just as hard, oh its getting worse?" " What pain??" "I doesn't hurt!" Yeah, basically I was stupid and pushed harder and thought "oh it will go away".....but it didn't, in fact it got worse. Preriding for the 3rd Serc race in Winder Georgia, it wasn't very sore, and only started to hurt a little by the end of the lap. The next morning when I go to warm up, I can barely push up the hills, due to the pain. So I decide to take 4 ibuprofen (800 mg) and race anyway. Well it didn't hurt too bad during the race, I think the Ibuprofen had me in a daze the whole time, but I was definitely not in form for this race after taking so much time off. On top of that my rear brake decided to quit working on the first lap... and I kinda needed it on the downhills, but I still bombed em faster than I should have, and said "uh oh" when I went to stop. I rode in 4th most of the day, but blew up at the end and finished 6th. now a week and a half later. I have ridden once on the road bike for about 45 minutes trying to rehab my knee. It seems that all the inflammation is gone, but I started to feel a touch of soreness towards the end of the road ride, so I am taking a few more days. This weekend I plan on riding my mountain bike for quite a ways and apologizing to her for neglecting her so much.

Until next time...

Monday, April 7, 2008

GSC #1....not my time...

I will keep this one short becuase there just isn't much to talk about. Drew, Martin, Kevin, and my self all headed up to macon, on friday evening. We didn't get in til about 1am due to alot of traffic on the interstate. Saturday we woke up around 11 and went to Cracker Barrel for a hardy breakfast, and then casually got ready and headed to the race course. We pre rode 2 laps, and I felt pretty confident with the layout of the course. oh yeah, I endoed preriding from being stupid on a downhill.... needless to say I won't try to get air again on an off cambered dip with trees right next to you. The next morning we woke up at 6:15 to a cold damp breeze outside. I turned on the TV and it said "49 degrees, supposed to rain, and wouldn't get over 55 all day." sounds like fun! good thing I brought my arm warmers and a few layers. getting dressed and ready in the cold wasn't fun, but once I was warming up on the bike I was feeling good. My power still wasn't feeling like I wanted it to but definetly felt better than at Gainesville. Getting to the starting line I was really surprised with the turnout we had. 17 experts and pro's! The whistle blew and I got in my pedal quick and got a good start. Too bad it didn't matter, because we climbed the wall of death to get to a flowing downhill to recover on with plenty of passing. But it was that darned downhill not but 3 minutes into the race that decided to end my race. I caught a root wrong and endoed, burped my tire, and cut the sidewall. from then on it was a game of stop, inflate, rocket up the climbs, catch a few, endo on downhills, and repeat until I ran out of air. I finished 3 laps before I ran out of air in my Co2's and my tire.... I know I am a quitter, I should of run the last two, but I was too bummed to keep going and be out of contention. Well that was pretty much my weekend!

Notable finishes were Kent Lofton finishing 3rd in 40+ expert, Kevin Hoffman finishing 6th in expert/pro on a single speed! and big props to Drew Edsall with his first XC win ever! and beating second place by almost 4 minutes!(who is a Pro)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Serc #1 the big day...

The day I had been waiting for was almost here, we pulled in to the track at around 4:00ish on saturday to preride. We stopped at Publix just before we got there to pick up some stuff to eat, So I had tuna salad and wheat thins about 5 minutes before we rode. Lets just say thats not a good combination... I got dropped on the pre ride witch is never good. Needless to say I made it back and got somethin else to eat, and sat the next lap out while Ryan and Luke went and rode. shortly after they took off, Kent Lofton pulled up and got ready to ride. We went out for my second lap(and Ryan's 3rd) and I felt alot better! maybe pushed a lil harder than we should have, but it was worth it! We finally packed up and headed back south for some grub and sleep. Next morning, I couldn't wait to get to the track. I had to replace my middle chainring that morning, do to some bad skipping. After fixing that problem, I felt almost invincible....until I started to warm up. Getting out on the road warming up I just didn't feel any good power in my legs... well lets just say I felt like a diesel engine. once I got up to speed, I could roll out! But for short quick power, I just didn't seem to have any. Unfortunately this was a course that I really needed it.

Alright, moving on to the race. we line up and I had a decent start, going into the woods third, with quite a few position changes throughout the first lap, but finished that lap in 3rd. from then on my race was a long lonesome one, knowing that Seth Kemp and Craig Evans(I believe thats his name) were slowly pulling away. But no one was catching me. Basically I finished 3rd, learned some things from that race, and can't wait for my next serc appearance....

Friday, March 14, 2008

2 days til the day of truth

Its friday the 14th. two days before the 2008 round 1 of the South eastern Regional Championships. Everytime I think of it my heart rate goes up, and I ask myself. "Did I really train as hard as I could?" "Am I gonna be fast enough?" "Or am I gonna fall short of what I have been dreaming about and losing sleep over for the last 3 months?" I guess none of us will know until about 1:30 on Sunday afternoon when we see who comes through the finish line on top in one of the most anticipated races of the year. All the classes will be stacked, and this is the first time this year to see who has what, and who has been riding there butt off in the off season. Looking at the Pro field we have here in the south, and hearing who is supposed to be here, it looks like it is gonna one heck of a showdown at hailes trails...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

12 hours of santos

Sorry for how long its been since I posted. I don't really have a good excuse this time.

As far as Racing goes, it has finally started back up for me this year. 2 weeks ago was the 12 hours of santos, which was of course at the santos trails. But instead of being on the normal parking lot side Goneriding had the event over on the vortex side down in the pit, which made for an awesome location! from one spot you could see 4 or 5 trail crossings, and being down in the pit with rock walls and rugged terrain surrounding you, you really didn't feel like you were in florida.

Ryan and I teamed up with Bob Mccarty, and Trent Maddox to have what was the perfect cast for winning the race. our lead slowly grew to just over 20 minutes by the end of the race. It was definetly an honor getting to race on the same team with those three, and having a trophy that says "1st place expert/pro team" is really sweet!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

wishing I was racing...

As some of you know, I was down at the six hours of carter road this last weekend. But I didn't race. I was spectating, which was really hard to do because I always want to race! But I was down there to support my brother by feeding him and getting water bottles, and trying to be his camera man which.....didn't really work so good(evidentially my camera skills aren't too good). I won't drag out the race because its his story to tell, and he has it on his blog, here. What I will tell you though, is that he crushed it! beat everybody by a lap, including the teams! It was a cool day, and a good way to start off the new racing season.

Monday, January 21, 2008

almost a century....

As you can see from the title of this one, I almost did my first century today.....but not quite. I think the exact mileage was 92 miles. I guess I should of just ridden around the block a few times.... I guess I didn't think of that one.

Anyway, Ryan, Luke, and I went out for a nice long road ride down past lake weir, all the way to Umatilla which I guess is a small town in between Orlando and belleview. Pretty much the whole way down we had a head wind and weren't going too fast, but on the way back with a tail wind we were able to go a lot faster. As far as the terrain, we did go on a dirt road for a few miles which was pretty fun. It got pretty loose in some areas so you had to be careful and not make any sharp turns. and umm....yes I did eat it once, right when we started down it. fell over on my side and some how got chainring marks on my left leg....funny cuz the chainring is on the right side.

After the ride we had our usual dinner at Moe's for some good ole burritos! nothin like some moe's after riding. Well I guess I should head to bed, so I can wake up and go ride tomorrow before work. until next time....

Friday, January 18, 2008

Two new sponsors!

I just got some emails from Maxxis and Industry Nine, and I am now sponsored by both for the 2008 season. Thanks Industry Nine and Maxxis! With my road team Cycle Logic, they are ordering new kits for 2008, and I must say they look pretty sweet! New Kits

Right now I am working on finalizing my 2008 race schedule. I was hoping to do a fair amount of road races this year, but it looks like I won't get to do as many as I had planned on. But the mountain bike is my first love and I plan on keeping it that way so it doesn't bother me any. I need to run for now, but check out the new Building Champion cyclists blog if you have time.
BCC Blog

Saturday, January 12, 2008

waiting for the 50....

Right now I am sitting at my computer watching the minutes go by painfully slow. I got off work last night around midnight and got to bed about 1 this morning, and was told that the san felasco 50 started at 8 this morning. so I woke up accordingly(6 am) and after making a pot of coffee and eating some breakfast I go to wake up Ryan and he tells me I am an hour early....DOH! That kinda stinks. So instead of going back to bed for 20 minutes I decided to just write a blog.

So as most of you know its the off season for us mountain bikers which for me and Ryan right now means long easy miles. And thats what it has been for the last two or three weeks so far. last Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I logged over 11 hours. (2:30 Sat, 3:30-4 Sun, over 5 Mon) I was feeling really good physically and mentally knowing how good this is gonna be later on in the season, when it really shows how much you rode the winter before. But, since monday I haven't ridden due to a cold and major sinus stuff. Ryan woke up sick on Monday but rode anyway, and then got worse for I believe two days and is pretty much fine now....I think. Well I got pretty sick tuesday, and got worse until yesterday when I finally started to get better. Normally I can still function ok with colds and such, but my equilibrium was thrown for a loop and I was getting really bad headaches from it. So I guess what I am getting at is I haven't ridden since monday, but I am ready to get back on my noble steed and ride ride ride! Oh, which reminds me! My awesome parents got me a new road frame! its a 2006 Specialized Sworks E5, and now I can't wait for the road season to start back up!

Well I need to run. Ryan just woke up and I need to go finish getting ready. See Ya!