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After 7 weeks of road/gravel riding I was finally allowed to get back onto the dirt this weekend! Spent Saturday evening chasing a buddy around Spring Lake and celebrating his birthday. We kept up a pretty good pace and it was a blast. Yesterday I joined in on a team ride. Rode a lap @ Indy w/ Kalib then did Dirksen with the boys. I was feeling pretty good and decided to do 5&6 down with the guys too. By the time I got to 20 miles my arms were pretty tired. My legs felt good, but 7 weeks of no arm work has left the upper body a little lacking. Gonna r quire some effort to get into BTE shape.

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As the year began I had high hopes and lofty goals. My fitness was increasing due to indoor training and many of my goals were seeming to be attainable. After my wreck earlier this spring I was off bike for about a month, but once I was back to riding things came back quickly and I was back to sttting pr’s at all my races and lots of my rides. 

Last weekend Kalib and I rode Indy on Saturday morning. We had a great ride aside from the weeds and face slappers. After we finished I spent a few hours trimming so that we could enjoy it more the next time. After running the hedge trimmer for a couple hours I was toast and my arms felt like jelly. 

Kalib and I decided to meet at WPP Sunday afternoon to test out the proposed race loop and get some more miles in. The “race” loop was ok. There were some really weird spots, but some good climbs. As we were finishing our second lap my tired arms from the prior days’ trimming finally caught up to me. I had a tree zoom right past my face and directly into my left shoulder. We finished the ride and headed our separate ways. The next morning as I bent over to pick up a lid I heard a “pop” emminate from my shoulder. After finishing the work day I headed to midwest orthopedic to see how bad off I was. 

As I sat in the waiting room awaiting my x-ray the reality that I was dealing with a break set in and I began praying that there would be no need for surgery. As the x-ray tech took the first picture she gasped. The words “that can’t be good” escaped my lips before I even thought about it. 

Waiting on the Dr. I began looking at the charts on the walls that depicted various types of injuries and imagined which one he would be pointing to as he prescribed my course of treatment. When he arrived we talked about how my injury occured and then began to chat about how he and his son enjoy mountain biking. As he pulled my x-ray up and told me my collarbone was broken but not separated I was thrilled! I was prescribed a sling and to not lift my arm. Keep the joint immobilized and it will heal up in ~6 weeks. 

I’ll miss the remainder of the series races for the year, but still be able to race cx and BT Epic. The next two weeks will be rough as I’ll be stuck on the trainer, but I’m still thankful there is no surgery in my future. 

Wow, what a ride! I’m not sure, but that may rank as one of my dumbest decisions ever. We rolled out for the park at 5:20 this morning to get a decent parking spot. Kalib and I started together in the 8-10 hour group. We managed to stay together hook up with Nick and ride together for the first lap. After a top up of fluids and grabbing a bite in the pit we headed out for lap two. I dropped Kalib just two miles in, but not intentionally. He was hurting. Lap two went pretty well. Starting the third lap was the hardest part of the day. I was going slower and hurting more physically and mentally. Still managed all the climbs, but payed dearly for them. At the last aid station I ran into another guy from our local series that was hurting pretty badly and having stomack issues. We spurred each other on for the next 13-14 miles. Kalib caught up to us on one of our stops for him to rest and drink a bit. We left him at his urging with only three miles to go. I managed to do a moving time of 9:37, and an official time of 10:40. I was hoping to be closer to ten or in the 9 hour range, but stopping with Michael added up. 

By the time it was over I was hating myself, my bike, and hurting everywhere. 

Now that a few hours have passed my head has cleared, the aches have begun and my plan to return next year to improve my time is starting to materialize. 

I wasn’t thrilled with my time, but I had nothing to gauge success by. I’m happy that I’ve finished my first 100 mile mtb race and I earned the finisher patch! 
All that work for a stupid piece of fabric!

Last year I had toyed with the idea of entering my first 100 mile mtb race. Some of my team mates had done the lumberjack 100 in Michigan and it seemed like a great format for a first ceotury. It’s 3 ~33 mile laps with support every 17 miles or so. 

As registration time approached this year I wasn’t sure I could get the time off work, so I didn’t even register. After a couple of stressful weeks at work I was sitting @ home one evening and saw an email pop up from a 312 team mate needing to sell his lj100 entry. My wife saw my eyes light up and inquired as to what stupid idea I was conjuring up. Needless to say the following morning I asked my boss if I could get the friday before off and bought the transfer! 

I’m excited and nervous @ the same time. I’ve done BT Epic twice now and managed 80 some miles in a 9 hour race, but never pushed the century mark. I think I can manage the nutrition and hydration, but the mental game is gonna take some prep!  

Since the doc cleared me to ride last week I figured I’d celebrate by joining a bunch of good folks for the annual waffle ride. The 20+ mph winds made some sections rough, but we made it. I opted for the shorter 70 mile option due to time constraints. We had a great time. I felt great and had no pain. 

On Friday afternoon I decided to try to get off work early enough to meet some team mates @ Independence park to get some time in on singletrack between the onslaught of spring rains. Five of us headed out for a fast paced lap. The dirt was awesome considering how early in the year it is. Fun was had, climbs were tackled and then it happened.

Three weeks prior we were forced to re-route a failing bridge or two and on one we added a little kicker just past the exit. It’s a very small little jump with a bypass to the right. Truth be told, it’s small enugh you could “suck it up” and hardly leave the ground at all even @ speed. 

As I came down the approach to the bridge I grabbed a couple gears and put the hammer down. I pushed into the lip of the jump and intended to clear the gap where the bypass meets back into the main trail. What happened next is anyones guess because no one had a go-pro. I came down a little sideways and got ejected. I landed with my back right side up against a tree with my head facing down and my feet in the air. I had lenses, a pump, and a multi-tool in my jersey pockets. None of those served me well when I slammed my body into the tree @ 24 mph. (according to my garmin) 

Everyone stopped and helped me diagnose and make sure I was fit to ride out. Right now I am four days removed. No bruising. Minimal swelling. Lots of pain. Debating on whether or not I need to go to the Dr. Hoping the swelling begins to go down tonight or tomorrow. 

As I talked to a good friend afterward and comiserated we decided I was long overdue for a bad wreck. Now I’m just praying that there is no serious damage and thankful that no bones are broken.

 UPDATE: After some concerning pains and lumps I talked to a team mate who is an ER Dr. He gave me some advice and some peace of mind. It’s been 6 days now and I’m beginning to feel less pain and more range of motion. Still have occasional boutsof “pins and needles” feeling around where my mini-pump smashed into me. I was able to do some hard efforts on the trainer last night, though. 

Edit: 

It’s now been one week since the wreck. The dull pain has subsided for the most part. Now it’s more of a pins and needles feeling that comes on occasionally. Feels like I’m on fire just below the swelling. 

As I write this I am entering day 11 of recovery. Went to the Dr. yesterday and had x-rays taken. No breaks or fractures anywhere. Spine is out of alignment…go figure. Severe hematoma, but no signs of other damage. He said to ice it as much as I can and to take it easy. It’ will be a long road to recovery. Still have the sensation of needles when I bend or tense the muscles. He gave me the o.k. to ride the trainer but only in zone 1. We’ll see how that goes. I can practically feel my VO2 max falling as I write this. 

Update: Nearly 3 weeks later (and one missed race) I’m feeling about 90%. Doc says I should be able to road ride next week. 

I guess 2017 started on time, but I’m a bit behind. Between the much warmer than normal weather and the new trainer a lot of time has been spent in the saddle and little has been spent on goal setting. I’ve added an interval regimen and a considerable amount of intensity to my training for early season. So far it has paid off. I’m at a point right now that I need to increase volume and lower the intensity a bit before picking it up again before race season.

I’ve taken some KOM’s early on and even set some personal records on trail even in single digit temps. Core work and the intensity have been paying dividends. Not sure yet how the players will shake out for the race series this year, but I’m planning to push it pretty hard.

There may be more goals to be set, but these are some priorities.

1. 4k miles. That’s a 76mile / week avg.

2. Break the 5 hour mark @ BT epic

3. Place in the top 4 overall in IHRS sport class.

4. Take second place or better in 30-39

Edit: 5. Since we just found out there’s an Indy TT this year I’m shooting for a sub 1 hour finish.

     Well, due to my injury I was not able to participate in the TT. That didn’t stop me from going out two weeks later and doing my own lap. I posted a 58:34 time! That would have won the intermediate division and taken 4th in the advanced class.

A long time ago in a galaxy without bicycles I started this blog as a way to keep track of my hunting escapades. One day I woke up and discovered the love of cycling and since then the number of hunts I’ve been on have been declining drastically. So far this year I’ve only managed to go out once and before we even got to our spot we spotted one and were unable to connect. 

This afternoon we headed out a little early and on the way up the road to the gravel pit I spotted one on the edge of the field about 300 yds out. There were trees between us and it just sauntered off pretty nonchalantly. We toyed with the idea of calling it off, but decided to give it a try since we were trying out Brent’s new e-caller. After 3-4 minutes of rabbit distress he threw in a little dog fight and a very healthy looking female popped out of the woods @ 80 yds. He took a nicely placed shot and hit the caller again hoping to bring in another dog or two. No dice on a second shot, but it was still a good time. 

Fortunately, I was able to complete most of my goals this year and even exceed some. According to Strava I managed 3686 miles and 201,000 feet of climbing. I am thankful for the health and energy to be able to do all of that and look forward to laying out some more ambitious goals for the coming year.

I don’t have any pics for this and all my buddies that have some haven’t gotten them to me. We did a late year ice coated snow peppered cx race @ Donovan park. I entered masters 30+ and cat5. As the first race started everyone was a little tense with the ice covered grass and little skif of snow covering. It was pretty slick, but by the time we made the first couple of switchbacks things started to get sorted out. I was sitting in second place to some guy I’d never met. 1/2 way through lap 2 I passed him and never looked back. I won the race by nearly 1/4 of a lap.
The second race was a little tougher. It had drizzled a bit more and the temp had dropped even more. (20°) I was following a guy pretty closely the whole race, and had the gas left to pass him but by lap 3 my shifter or derailleur had frozen up and I could no longer shift. That made for a tough race! Ended up taking second place by less than 100′.