Monday, August 31, 2009

Root 66 Norcross Scurry Ashford, CT

Ya, ya, you know the drill. Only I had a Saturday race so I actually had time to write a race report and put it up over on the 29er Crew site today. So go check it out. What ever are we going to talk about for the rest of the week? No seriously, it's a rest week. I don' t like to talk about things un-related to bikes over here all that much. Conundrum.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Freakin' Photo Friday

Met up with three bad dudes called Kevin, GTL, and Will for a guided tour of The Blue Hills Thursday. Will was the guide, he knows the dope loop, the sick trails, he can lead an epic like you wouldn't believe out there. He's one of those very special riders who, while he doesn't hold a USAC license at all, can put a mean hurt on dudes with impressive race resumes...and me. When I first met him last season he was riding a two ton Surly 1 X 1, now he's on one of these things and the guy is un-frickin'-stoppable. In fact he came out to race last Sunday and finished in front of some pretty fast blokes in the elite class.

The above shot there, that I took after I gave the boys some lead time on the descent off Buck Hill. I heard a "Yo!" from Montello as I came crashing blindly down the dense-shrubbery-lined trail. I screached to a halt, having to half wheel him to avoid a collision. There had been a bobble up front causing a pain train delay.

The ascent of Buck Hill is a tough one on the Single-Speed, but according to Greg "The Leg" it's "easy on a geared bike". Riding up a hill on a geared might as well get a cycling game for your Wii. Coon Hollow is even worse. Last week I was out with Will and I didn't even come close, getting knocked off first on the gravelly mess before the steep corner, then on most of the technical, rocky lunge sections above that. It was a nice walk as I watched Will just about clean it. This time around I ran a 34 X 19 instead of a 34 X 18, that and a more cooperative pair of legs and lungs made all the difference. I missed one move, and all I can think about is revenge! Next Thursday bastard bitch Coon Thursday.

It was a great ride, the day was sunny, hot on the climbs and cool on the descents, I'm still smiling and my legs still hurt. The end.

The photo below, that's my car tool kit, the "B Tool Kit", housed in my Great Grandfather's antique tool box. It and its contents were sunning themselves after a totally full 2.5 gallon water jug became upturned behind the passenger seat of the car. The liquid cascaded through the box on its way to saturating the floor of the car. When I picked up the much too light jug, that awful sinking feeling washing over me - "this should be much, much heavier...oh shitake mushrooms!". After a day in the sun most of the tools were OK, some received Tri-Flo rub downs before being returned to their natural habitat.

Funny thing is, a few weeks back while doing support for Pan Mass Challenge, we were working under a wind blown pop tent in an absolute deluge. By the end I had two inches of standing water in my Pedro's Travel case soaking the "A Tool Kit". Luckily on the second day of Pan Mass, down at Mass Maritime it was dry and sweltering (I'm sure everyone else thought this was "lucky" too), I dumped my kit out on the oven-hot pavement and pulled the foam lining out of the case so it could dry. People thought this was an odd but impressive way of displaying my tools. Some of them stood over it like they were looking at installation in an art museum.

The weekend plan was to race The Root 66 race in Connecticut, but I didn't realize until too late that it was on Saturday not Sunday. I'm booked to do a NEMBA Explorers ride Saturday AM. However a hurricane's coming in and rain seems inevitable, which kind of sucks, it's been hell trying to get these rides going this season with the weather. On the more positive flip-side, if it does indeed rain, the shop will be dead, I won't be leading a ride, and I can go race in awesome conditions for me and The Superfly SS. Oh, and for those of you who might suggest that I go to The EFTA race in Maine, it's just way too far away for a 10AM start.

I guess you'll just have to check in Monday to see what happened.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ten Minutes

Hey, did you know you can ruin a pair of socks with insect repellent? You can. Last night we had the Wednesday Shop Ride, ten minutes in I was spinning up a hill (riding a geared demo bike), this demo bike is an '07 and it it gets passed around between shop employees like a, god, I don't know, I just woke up, the crazy metaphor machine is still off line I guess. Insert one of your own if you like. Anyway, the thing is pretty jacked up, it was all clicking and creaking and I'm thinking about how I'm actually going to do some maintenance on the damn thing when I get back to the shop. Too late — Kabush! The chain snapped as I was going up a small climb, my knee went into the bar wicked, wicked hard. It hurt.

The knee to the bar is not a type of hurt that single speeders get often, and definitely not like that. I remember that pain, but the closest I've gotten to it in years is slipping on a wet root and tagging my knee lightly on the bar. The bar, not a SHIFTER, a fucking Sram, pointy ass shifter. Stupid pointy ass shifter. Hate you, hate you hate you! My brain was so clouded by the throbbing and the pain, I just wanted to be left alone to fix the chain but one of the guys on the ride wanted "watch and learn" so everyone hung over me while I first popped a pin all the way out, then, in an act of utter frustration, dropped the wheel out of the frame to give myself more chain slack to work with. Apparently I did a crap job pushing the pin back in because, next up hill — Kabush! Once again. Fucking ow.

This time I told the crew that I was sunk and that they should go on without me, this gave me time to get my brain working right. I removed enough chainlinks so that I could re-connect it with the Power Link. This short-chained the bike badly, giving me five gears in the middle ring. That was like luxury to me. I kept it in the 32 X 17 where it seemed happiest and was instantly stoked to hammer up and catch the group on my de facto single speed.

Oh yes, while I was fixing the chain for the second time, my sister who was on the ride, doused me with some high-test bug dope. A short while after that I experienced "total sock failure". My socks became loose and ill-fitting, what a horrible feeling, loose socks. I also noticed that parts of my bib shorts which had made contact with the stuff were becoming sticky and kind of clear. I knew insect repellent can attack plastics but this was extreme. It took me hours to figure out that the stuff had attacked the elastic bands in my socks, rendering them limp and useless, like a... like...Lincoln Navigator driver's penis! There, I'm back, but it's too late, I have to go, ten minutes was all the time I had to write today.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

EFTA NECS #7 Treasure Valley Rally

Oh no, here I go again...
I wrote a proper race report and put it right over HERE. So go over THERE would ya. Piss off now, GO!

I'll explain the photos tomorrow.
If you're nice.


Monday, August 24, 2009

E.F.T.A. NECS #7 Treasure Valley Rally

Weigh in - 166 Lbs. (Maybe I shouldn't have eaten those two small subs for lunch on Friday)

Gear - 34 X 18 (Probably too high considering local SS monster Paul Simoes ran a 32 X 18)

Tires - Bontrager 29-3 2.25s @ somewhere sub 25Psi (Crazy big tires for a crazy big course)

Hours of sleep - 5 (ish)

Hours in car - 1.5? (most of it spent doing laps around Worcester while totally lost)

Result - 3rd Elite (There's more to the story, but I'm sleepy and my hands hurt)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Darkhorse 40, A Proper Race Report

Hi, it's obviously not here, you know where to go for THE ACTION. So go get some, then come back and tell me how it is. I'm a little scared of THE ACTION myself.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Darkhorse 40: The Temperature's Rising

The above photo — that's how spent I was the night before the event from our one lap pre-ride. I told myself that the difficulty I had turning over my 58" gear was related to the four hours in the car on the way down and my kind of flat week training-wise, that once I got going during the race my gear would feel just great, I would tick it over like hummingbird flaps its wings. I am really, really smart if you hadn't noticed already. More on that later.

What became apparent from the pre-ride was that heat was going to be a major factor during the race. I hit the Pedialyte hard in hopes that it would cover my ass from dehydration and massive cramping. What also became apparent is that The Dark Horse Cycles guys know how to put together and mark the hell out of a course. The terrain is so different from what we have up around our way. Speed is the key. Not hilly, but with brutal, hit you in the nuts with a sledgehammer punchy climbs coming at you regularly, with long sections of swoopy, flat-out singletrack, interspersed with these weird, little plateaus, comprised of this slippery, striated rock. Some you launched over, others you lunged up and dropped down the other side. Fun, fun, fun, holy crap, it is fun stuff.

We camped basically right on course, therefore somehow I thought I would have so much spare time in the morning that I would actually get out for another pre-ride (in retrospect that would have been way up a the top of the bad idea scale), I really don't know where the time goes, but no chance. I warmed up for twenty minutes while riding to the port-a-potty a mile down the road because I knew I wouldn't have to wait in line. After chatting to Colin and Linnea about their running over a deer incident on their way down from Windham it was pretty much go time.

Exactly 13 minutes before the start my right grip decided to let go and start slipping. The dew overnight was heavy (a portent of the swampy humidity to come) and it must have worked its way into my grips. I threw the bike on the stand, popped off my bar end, and re-glued the grip with some rubber cement, knowing full well that this would only prove to lubricate the slippy grip further, but hoping it would set the 100% humidity. Right crackhead. I would spend the race half-gripping my bar end (which really hurt) and part of the exposed handlebar where my grip used to be before I slid it over two inches to the inside. In an admirable act of empathy and solidarity the left grip decided to let loose too shortly into the race. Sweet!

The start was mayhem, the Pros, Singlespeeds and Cat 1 Expert 30-39s all went together. My gear was big enough to pass geared riders on the road (always a good sign) I was able to move up into what would have been a great position going into the singletrack, had everything gone well...

To be continued.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Darkhorse 40

Hours in Car: 7.5 (too many)
Sleep: 4 Hours (too noisy, you damn crickets)
Temperature: Felt like 100° (too hot)
Gear: 34 X 17 (too high)
Tires: 29-3s at 32 Psi. (again, too high)
Time: 3:31-ish (10 minutes too long, if you wanted to win a Niner Fork)
Result: 2nd Single Speed (i.e., too slow to get the Niner fork)
Real Result: A whole lot of fun and suffering (too many days until DH40 2010)

Report is pending, I have to wait for the fluid surrounding my brain to cool down from a rolling boil before I can even begin to piece it all together.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Freaky Photo Friday/GG24 Jus' A little Bit More

With The Dark Horse 40 looming on the horizon (more like my doorstep, it's in two days)
I really have to wrap up this GG24 stuff. I've basically taken the week off, I've learned that, after you do something stupid to yourself like a 100 miler or a 24, when you go back to training you have to be very, very careful. If you put some pressure on the legs and they're all like "Again? We just did it three days ago!'. You have to leave them be and come back later. Sometimes it's ridiculous, like this week, I rode to and from work in my 39 X 19 on the road bike for a total of 1.5 hours. I'm hoping to get a couple in today and a couple in tomorrow before the Darkhorse for a grand total of maybe 8 or 9 hours for the week. Woo Hoo!

The first time I did The GG24, which was my first 24, I had maybe two pair of shorts and possibly three jerseys. It rained 6 inches in 22 hours. The trauma of putting those mud-logged shorts and jersey back on a half dozen or so times has stayed with me. I came to GG strapped this year, more than enough fresh and clean outfits to go around. Problem was I neglected to bring undershirts, and it dropped to the low 50's at night, so I had to recycle my long sleeve jersey, and vest, even doubling up on jerseys a couple times. Putting on sweat/dew soaked lycra then sitting in my sleeping bag shivering and trying to warm up was just a notch below Philippe Gaumont's habit of rubbing salt on his testicles until they bled so he could get a prescription for otherwise-banned cortisone on the unpleasantness scale.

This is my go-to recovery position. I basically come back from my lap, change into something less sweaty and form fitting, grab a snack (this year we had Miriam on support so she actually did the snack wrangling which was sweet), and a drink, then throw the legs up and try to relax as hard as I possible for as long as possible. There are no warm ups and cool downs at 24s (if you wanna win 'em...heh, heh). You're going to need every twitch in every fiber of your muscles you can get, you don't wanna waste them on warming up or cooling down. Riding to and from the start tent is more than adequate.

The smell, you know that dirty chamois smell, the whole tent. Smelled like...victory.

Harry Precourt running, that's running his ass off at the end of his last lap. The kid turned himself inside out on his rigid 29er. He may fall into the same category as Jeff Whittingham on the mental toughness scale. A long time ago I voted Whittingham "Most likely to kill his body with his brain".

Mat Katz, Me, Whittingham, and Harry (who was so spent he couldn't even climb all the way up the podium). I gotta give Mat a special thanks. The guy came into this thing having no idea what he was getting into and he rocked the shit wicked hard to give us the win. When you put together a 24 team it's as much based on personalities as quickness. Who cares if your teammates are fast if by 3AM you want to smother them with a pillow in their sleep. Mat was an unknown quantity, but he turned out to be fast and good company in the weird, weird wee hours of the night.

OK, that's about it for GG24 until next time. Moving right along...this is Miriam's set up for her 10 day bike trek around northern New England. We set up her Madone with a seatpost mounted Trek trunk rack system, a compact crankset, some Continental Gatorskins, a map holder, and an 11-28 cassette (thanks Shimano for deciding that 12-27s are not what we want anymore). She's going to have to pack light but she should be alright. Hell, you could fit a Kitchen-Aid blender in the Detours stem pack there.

The Darkhorse...
I'm registered as a Single-Speed. Couldn't resist the pull of that custom painted Niner Fork. Looking forward to a good battle with James Harmon for the thing. Question is, if, I say if I win that thing do I get painted a color I might like or a color that will make it more easy to sell to someone else? Although, I have a feeling that if I get it painted one of my favorite colors it may be even more appealing to a certain someone in North Carolina.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hi, you came down here for some crazy action today, sorry dude, but all the action is over HERE on the 29er Crew Blog today.

All we got over here today is big thanks, big thanks to Jeff Whittingham, Harry Precourt, and Mat Katz for doing The 24 Hours of Great Glen with me. You guys made all the pain and suffering nothing but fun and good times.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

GG24, Even More

It seems inconceivable but I actually felt worse today than yesterday. A skinny, wise man once told me that's how it works. All I can hope is that I recover enough to get a day or two of training in before The Dh40 this coming Sunday.

The above photo:
1.) Harry showed up with his bottom bracket rocking more than Fu Manchu. As I set out for the opening lap, he set about swapping his crank and BB out 2.) Mat Katz looks on as I get ready to go Tai Chi Master on the competition 3.) This is what a Ringer looks like 4.) This is what the cycling equivalent of Klinger looks like.

Things about 24 hours races, not necessarily this one in particular...
there's always the "Fuck this shit" hour, where you just want to bag the whole thing and sleep for real. This usually comes just after you've gotten the tiniest bit of sleep and someone wakes you up to do your lap. You shuffle off lethargically, gag a Gu down, I mean literally dry heave trying to get it down your throat because you are nauseous in general and energy food is the last thing you want. You drink a Coke or have a coffee hoping in vain that it will snap you magically out of your funk of funks. Then you shamble off and deliver your worst lap of the night, hating life the whole time.

Miraculously in the morning, after you've gone and gotten yourself some of that Girl Scout breakfast with the bacon and the pancakes and the scrambled eggs and the Dunkin Donuts coffee, you feel like the bionic green offspring of Bruce Banner and Steve Austin (made up men can have make made up babies) and you head off and do a lap which rivals some of your earlier lap times and you are stoked as all hell.

I don't know what was going on a Great Glen this year but the night laps were other worldly. If the moon wasn't full it was close to it. It lit up the mist-filled valley, illuminating leaves of certain plants so they glowed white, even blue berries which were abundant and hanging ripe of the bushes on the switchbacked climb across the road were glowing bright, bright white. It was eerie and beautiful, enough to make you nearly forget the task at hand.

Some day soon I'll write something like a real race report, maybe post over on the 29er Crew Blog, stranger things have happened, I can count three things stranger that happened just today.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

24 Days of Blog Posts About
The 24 Hours of Great Glen

Gear - 34 X 18
Tires - Bontrager 29-3s @ 28Psi
Laps - 10 @ 8.25 Miles per = 82.5 Miles
Hours without sleep - 40 even (5AM Saturday to 9PM Sunday)
Fastest Lap - 36:32
Slowest Lap - 45:32

Those are the facts, we'll see if I can get anything else out this AM. I've basically given up on writing on Monday nights, I get home sometime after 9, eat, shower, get ready for the next day, and BAM! It's time for bed already. The only reason I'm writing is because I woke up early for no reason. Yup, that's what you want after depriving yourself of sleep for forty hours like a rookie Doctor or an Alaskan Crab Fisherman, you want to rack up a nice five hour night, that'll get you feeling good!

It was nice having two like-souls at the shop yesterday. Both Kevin and Jesse Chebot looked like I felt, they had been at The GG24 as well. We all stumbled around, shuffling our feet, barely lifting them off the floor, with our raccoon eyes half-lidded over bloodshot eyes all day.

The photos above: 1.) That's me at 5AM on Saturday BEFORE the race. I showed up ready for a nap 2.) I've packed less stuff for a Cross country trip, amazing how much crap you need for a 24 Hour Race 3.) A message on the white board reminding us not to forget the white board 4.) Rolling up to Mt. Washington fully strapped. The geared bike never would get any action.

Well, that's all I have time for today, I'll just leave you with this. I rolled in from my 1:30AM lap all bluster, having "drilled it" in response to taunting by Kevin and Colin about how they liked my new over 40 minute laps times, "Ya, you can suck my 39:60 bitches!". "39:16?" Colin asked. "No, 39:60". "That's a 40". "Yes, yes you are right". The results actually said 39:60 and in my sleep-deprived state I saw that as a way better time than a 40. Hi, I'm Thom Parsons, I'm five foot twelve and I put in 39:60s.


Monday, August 10, 2009

24 Hours of Great Glen 2009

International Men of Misery, #1 Pro Team (and the only Pro Team), #1 overall (which is really what counts). Early on it was a close three way battle, and later a close two way battle between us and Colin and Kevin's team. It was a long race and it's going to be a long story, but the thing is I slept 9 hours in the two nights preceding the event and twenty minutes during the event, somehow (Dunkin Donuts) I drove the four hours home without killing us or anyone else. What can I say, I'm totally knackered and the real report will have to wait for sometime later this week.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Options? Not Really

There are three event penciled in on my calendar for next weekend:

- The Kenda Cup at Windham Mountain, NY
- The EFTA Hampshire 100 k
- The Dark Horse 40

I have about fifteen minutes to write this AM, so this may be spastic and disjointed (more so than usual). I never really had any intention of going to Windham and racing my Single Speed against real Pros at a Ski Area race. If you haven't done Windham, it's like a Super-Pat's Peak (with lots more trail development and maintenance). It's straight up, straight down. Exposed climbing and high speed, non-technical descending. Like Mount Snow after it went to the vet for a little snip snip. So that's out.

The Hampshire 100k has gotten, let me say...mixed reviews since its appearance on the calendar a few years back (I hear tell of a really sweet section where you ride along the side of some railroad tracks for quite a while). It is a 60 mile race less than an hour and a half from my house, which is enticing. Here's the rub - it's $115, there's mandatory check in the night before (hey this ain't the VT50 where you got 800 some odd racers checking in so you need to do it the night before, c'mon!), it starts at 6:45AM and there's no mention of prize lists that I can see.

Now...the Darkhorse 40. It's almost four hours away, it starts at 9AM, I have to work Saturday, I doubt I can get down there to camp the night before, it will hurt, but...
I have ridden the trails of Stewart Forest during the Singlespeed-A-Palooza, they are dope, those guys have a great track record of putting on amazing events, they're putting up $300 to the first overall finisher and $200 to the first Expert finisher, if you register for the Single Speed class (which I might just have to) you get $200 and a custom painted carbon Niner rigid fork (as James pointed out to me). Oh, did I mention BEER? They have beer.

So if I want to do The Hampshire 100 I would have to grind out a three hour roundtrip drive the night before, which effectively puts me in the car for the same amount of time which going to The Darkhorse will net me.

Options? I don't see any stinking options.

Almost forgot...Fells MTB Loop last night, 28:10, new record, all systems go for GG24 bitches. I might be fat, but I also might be back. Watch out now.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

International Men of Misery

Now that we finally have a fourth teammate I can talk about the search for a fourth teammate. What am I even talking about? Well I'm talking about the 24 Hours of Great Glen of course, which is this coming weekend. I found two teammates within hours of deciding to do the thing, Jeff "I won the Vermont 50" Whittingham and Harry "I won the Hampshire 100K" Precourt jumped at the opportunity. But with the Kenda Cup at Mount Snow concurrent with the GG24, finding a fourth Pseudo-Pro mountain biker was going to be tough. The good news was that it was going to be tough for the rival teams as well.

My teammate turned temporary arch-nemesis Colin "I got 2nd as a Cat 5 in The Working Man's Stage Race" Reuter had likely already exhausted all "Cross-Over" possibilities (fast folks from the Cross world who wouldn't even think about going to Mount Snow) and I'm sure he had contacted every Roadie who had any kind of off-roading chops at all. That didn't stop me from bugging them myself. I shot out emails to anyone and everyone that might act as a Ringer for our team. Talks with Matt O'Keefe were going well, but ultimately he fell on the Mount Snow side of the fence. I took it well:

"That's cool, just give up entirely on fun.
You could probably save a lot of money on Kenda Cup registration by paying a homeless guy
to kick you in the nuts repeatedly, then throw you down a flight of stairs. "

I won't run down the entire list of fast mountain bikers-who-might-not-be-going-to-Mount-Snow I bothered but it was substantial.

Then I went big, asking a couple of the fastest people I know if they knew anyone who might want to get all crazy with some 24 hour fun. First I asked Matt and Mo if they knew any Crossers who might want to do the thing. Mo grabbed a couple contacts of the top of her A-List and sent them along to me; Tim Johnson and Jesse Anthony. Asking them to do GG24 wasn't as ridiculous as one might think, they have actually both done it before. They were both gracious enough to return my emails, unfortunately they both had to decline my offer.

Then I went a little Kooky, asking Adam Myerson if he knew anyone, even going so far as to try to coax him into it - hey, when you've got plugs in your ear lobes the size of oil drums and tattoos on your neck you have to do something truly different to turn people's heads once in a while. I know what his attitude toward Mountain Bike racing is though:

"People still do that? If I want to ride around in the woods for two hours by myself with no one watching, I'm not gonna pay for it."

He didn't bite, but he forwarded my plea to Dan "I got second to Jeff Schalk at The Cohutta 100 and I wasn't even trying because I'm a Pro roadie, oh and did I mention that I won Mount Snow as a Semi-Pro?" Vallancourt. But no response there, too bad, talk about a Ringer.

In the end Jeff was able to secure Vermonter Mat Katz as our fourth. I don't know much about Mat myself, all I need to know is that he finished 8th at The Root 66 Mount Snow race two weeks ago which means he's pretty damn quick.

It should be a good, close race, there are three pretty evenly matched teams.

Red jersey cyclery/Michelin/Rocky Mountain

- Bob "Big Ring Bob" Lesmerises
- Brian Moody
- Tom Sampson
- Peter Ostroski

Endo Farmers/ Carbon Fiber Octopus

- Colin Reuter
- Kevin Sweeney
- Rob Stine
- Curtis Boivin

International Men of Misery

- Thom Parsons
- Jeff Whittingham
- Mat Katz
- Harry Precourt

I'm beyond sure that Colin already has a graph charting out what each team's chances are so I won't mess with that, all I know is it's gonna be a WAR! So everybody better bring their A-Game and hope that their B samples don't come up positive, oh because it's ON! Yeah!

And Jess and Chuck, I've got plans for you two. If you don't agree to a secret pact with our team to completely shell yourselves like Fabian Cancellara pulling our riders around the course until you have to finish your lap in the granny ring we will wait until you are inside your tents sleeping and then hit you in your respective faces with shovels.


Monday, August 03, 2009


Long time since I couldn't muster some kind of Monday post, this past Sunday also marked the first time I put my body and my sanity before bike racing. My coworker and I got back to The Shop from working the Pan Mass Challenge at 10PM on Saturday night, had to unload the van which was full of soggy cardboard boxes full of tubes and spokes and whatnot. When it came time to get in my car and go home, I was patting my pockets going "Where the hell are my keys?" and then "Where the Hell's my car?", I realized that I had left my car over at the gas station next door, thinking that I would be back before they closed to retrieve it. This meant I had to return the truck in the AM...before my race.

My arms and back were shot from pumping up hundreds of tires, while all the while trying to explain that running 120-140Psi in wet conditions surrounded by thousands of inexperienced riders is ill-advised. "Ya, Lance would run 90Psi" convinced a couple of them, the rest were beyond hope. We had to set up in the rain, a deluge, we were soaked from the get go. At one point a guy asked me for a rag, I handed him one, he grimaced and asked "Do you have a dry one". "I'm sorry but my underwear aren't dry, no I do not have any dry rags".

We were out there at the starting point of the ride in Sturbridge until 9:30 Friday night, back up pumping more tires at 4AM, then down at Mass Maritime fixing bikes which had (for some reason) been involved in crashes throughout the day until 9PM. Favorite dude at Mass Maritime "Where are the helmet mirrors?". "Sorry, we don't have any helmet mirrors". "OK, any kind of mirrors". "We don't have any sort of mirrors, we're really just doing essential stuff here; tubes, lube, adjustments, stuff like that". "Huh, mirrors aren't essential? Heh! Heh! Okey Dokey, Okeee...dokeee" as he walked away.

The plan was to race Hodges Dam on Sunday AM. In the past I have always made the bad decision, always chosen to race no matter how little sleep I got, how totally knackered I was, Saturday night I was just too spent and I knew it. I called suddenly disturbingly fast guy Kevin Sweeney to tell him I would not be carpooling to Oxford.

Disturbingly fast guy Kevin Sweeney. Disturbing not because our shop sponsors him and I want good things for him, disturbing due to the fact that we have ended up on opposite sides of the The War at The 24 Hours of Great Glen next weekend and he is suddenly faster than me. So too is his teammate Colin. Me and my GG24 Harry Precourt finished behind both those guys at Mount Snow last weekend. It's going to be interesting, Peter Ostroski (sp?) is on another rival team with fast Umass guy Tom Sampson. Ostroski had a great finish at The Wilderness 101 last Saturday.

I'd love to sit here and babble on in a paranoid manner about our chances at The GG24 but I have to go running so I'm in really good running shape for that Lemans start Saturday.

Oh, and that's Todd Downs ripping it up in Harold Parker last Sunday on his and Miriam's joint birthday ride.