We make holes in teeth!

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Race day. It's been raining all night, and I mean pouring at times. It was so hard at 5:45 it woke my up from it hitting the air conditioner. It's going to be a mudfest. So it goes.

Ok, time to get a move on. Fields of mud await the field of riders.

Friday, August 25, 2006


It is now Friday night, 7:00. The camp is setup except for the valuables. I am home, choosing to get a good night of sleep as opposed to camping out to toss and turn in a tent. My extensive pre-ride camp & food lists turned out to be highly valuable. It took me about an hour to finish up the details this morning and about 30 minutes to set up camp. In hindsight, there was little need to even check-in and setup this morning. I chose the furthest solo camping option, which would have been available tomorrow morning. It's a few hundred yards further than the other spots. But those guys get to the check-in at 7:00 in the morning. No thanks. It was the only real way to make sure we would all be camped together. Good to know for next year.

I'm ready, as much as I'll ever be. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


The engine isn't quite fired up and ready to go just yet. But it is being wheeled out of the hangar as the time draws near. In 48 hours from now I'll be in camp, an hour away from the pre-race meeting and 2 hours away from the start of the race. My race strategy is to be the last person of the solo group to leave the boy scout camp (which serves as the base of the race). From there, it's a slow and steady pace until I can't ride anymore. I'm not breaking any course records, for sure.

Yesterday my wonderful wife went to the food store and bought all the items I needed, which allowed me to stay home last night and do all the food prep I could. Food prep includes taking cereal out of boxes, opening the bags to let the air out, pre-slicing cheese, cooking and preparing pasta in big plastic bags, and so on. The idea is to reduce as much volume as possible. I have a few more things to get (pizza, bagels, sandwich). But these are Friday details.

The gear list is rounding out and there's not much in terms of major items to take care of. Hopefully tomorrow is an easy day with minor details, registration, and camp setup. But last night was a double snag in what will surely be a line of snags from now until the end of the weekend. First off, Woody is in Georgia and isn't sure when he'll be back. So his plans on being at my house tonight are right out the window. Best case he gets back to Massachusetts tonight and makes it down tomorrow sometime. Worst case he rolls into the boy scout camp in 48 hours from now.

And then last night I got a meager 6 hours of sleep. At 4:00 the child decided to crap out the back of her pants then spit up all over herself. Not a big tragedy but she needed to be changed and wiped down, then she was wide awake for a little bit after that. The saving grace is that she's so damn cute sometimes. These crap and spit episodes do nothing to hamper her good spirits.

Ok, lunch is around the corner which marks the halfway point of my last work day of the week. I have nothing here. I'm trying to keep things nice and quiet, then get out of here early so I can go home for a final spin and nail down a few small details before I go to bed. The packing list is pretty simple and the food prep is basically done. I need to top off the lights. Other than that, we're ready to go. Bring on endless amounts of pain and suffering!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Now we're really getting close, and I'm getting stoked. Halfway done with day #3 at work, a measly 1.5 to go. Last night I got out for a road bike ride, about 30 minutes with a 10 minute warmup, 15 minutes of very good effort, and a light cool down. They say it keeps the blood pumping while not tiring you out, and I have to agree. I felt pretty good last night and the same today. I got better sleep last night, rolling up about 7.5 hours. Hopefully tonight I can do the same, and the following 2 nights pull in about 8 each.

Other than the ride I really didn't do much last night. I did toss a few more things in the pile downstairs, and I took a good look at my camp list and determined that it really won't take long to get everything ready to go. A few things need to be done sooner than later, like a little food prep and charging my lights. But all in all, even if I wait until Friday to do that stuff, there will be more than enough time.

Nat is going to the store for me today, to pick up all the foods that I want to bring. After reading my list, she proclaimed, "Dinty Moore beef stew? I cannot buy such garbage." I had to explain to her that I had just read a post on the Endurance Racing forum on MTBR about a guy who was 100 miles into his ride this weekend, having eaten nothing but sports drinks and bananas, and rolled up to the last pit stop and quit. After a bowl of Dinty Moore and a cup of coffee, he was good to go and said he enjoyed the rest of the ride more than anything else that day.

So Dinty Moore it is, regardless of how absurd it sounds. I will also need to pick up a few other emergency foods. Currently I think that amounts to an entire cold pizza and a prepared sandwich of some sort. This is, after all, a long freaking day on the bike.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


A meager 3 work days to go. Last night I got 2 things done, the first being to make sure that I can put my bike on the Thule sled on the car. I thought this would involve me cutting the sled to be able to fit the disc brake on the front fork, but lo and behold it cleared the sled by mere millimeters. No hacksaw needed. Bonus!

After that I took the bike off and cleaned up a bit. Brushed off the dirt as best I could and then wiped down parts of the frame to make it looked nice, since looking nice promotes fastness. I adjusted the brakes to make sure they don't rub. I should probably bring this back to the shop someday for a proper adjustment but time never eases up. I'll survive.

Tonight is a light ride, nothing more than 30 minutes with a few bursts of intensity to keep the legs in the game, so to speak. Maybe I can make a trip to the food store also. Or maybe I can throw a few more things into the packing pile, which is another thing I started last night. I managed to get 7 hours of sleep, and I'm thinking that the haircut might just have to get skipped due to lack of time. After all, sloppy haircuts promote fastness too.

Monday, August 21, 2006


The countdown begins. Only 4 work days remain between now and the big race. I took Friday off because registration and camp setup are done the day before. So here we are, 4 inconsequential work days to go. How do we feel? Physically as ready as I'm going to be, given the circumstances. We can talk about next year and a full & proper training plan. But that's far too forward looking. What we have is now, this week, the race at hand.

So the only goal of the week is to get enough sleep, an endeavor that got off to a poor start last night with a 6 hour tally. After driving a total of 6.5 hours to Massachusetts and back, I didn't get to sleep until 11:00. Our little monster decided to wake me up at 5:20 this morning, after which I was not able to get back to bed. It's only a start, we have 5 more nights to catch up.

Riding will be light this week, but prep will be heavy. I have started a list of things which need to get done, among them a haircut and bike prep. I haven't cleaned the bike in 2 weeks since riding has been so dry. But it's gotten a little dirty, time to spruce it up a bit and make sure it's all ready to go. That won't take long but you don't want to wait until the last minute for that stuff. Anything last minute is a bad idea.

Other crap includes food shopping and gear prep. When I get home from work Thursday I don't want to do much other than a few last minute details, such as going for my a quick ride as well as food prep, essentially the things you can't do early in the week. After that, it's clean sailing til registration, with the obvious caveat that there will be things I forgot to do.

Friday is registration & camp setup, then back home for some family time and a good night's sleep. We're not doing a preride this year because it makes no sense. We're not racing. The first lap can serve as our preride. We'll have many laps after that to make up for the mistakes of not knowing the course that well. As of right now, I have to alter my previous over/under from 4.5 to 6.5. I don't really feel that comfortable saying I'm in great physical shape or anything. But I think I'm decent, and I'm well prepared to pace myself well from the gun. We'll see.

Accommodation in aviemore