Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Home for Pedal Hard...

Well, it looks like Pedal Hard Cycling has outgrown its old shell and found a new one. I had decided I wanted to really customize my blog but was limited to what this current provider could offer. So after some research and figuring out exactly what I needed, I found a new home, a real home, one with my own domnain, and fancy stuff that will keep me up for weeks on end trying to figure out. Check it out...

So if you are still looking for useless babbling about bikes and such or just need to waste a few minutes of your life while you are at work, we are still here, just under a new roof.

Get To Work Boy...

Been thinking lately my blog is a little lame due to the fact that I am a graphic designer and I am using a template supplied to me free of charge by the good folks at So instead of doing worthwhile work, to help pay the bills, I have spent the last hour designing a new header for my blog. My resume may be the next item topic of discussion if I don't get back to doing work that actually benefits the company I am working for. Last time I checked, "blogging" is not a billable work code.

Anyway, let me know what you think. As soon as I can get to actually save the image to their server, I may be able to change the overal look of the blog. I aam not feeling very optimistic at this point. Computers... uhg.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bama Cross Series

Alabama Cyclocross Series Presented by Jim & Nick's starts in less than 3 weeks! Pain, pain, pain!!! If you say it enough, maybe you won't feel it... NOT!! Here is the schedule so far...

10/7 - B'ham West Oxmoor
10/28 - Tuscaloosa Munny Sokol-Velocity Procycle
11/4 - Wetumpka Competitive Velo
11/11 - Avondale Park - Bham Velo/Ala Masters
11/18 -Anniston Wig's Wheels
12/2 - Montgomery Cycle Escape (state championship)
12/16 -Cullman

Landis Found Guilty... Stripped of Title...

Thanks Flandis.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Cyclocross... let the pain begin!!!!

Well, I may need to invest in a couple of new bike stands because our garage is starting to look like my very own bike shop. Dream number 2,014 has come true! But it doesn't stop there. In about 5-7 days, a box will arrive at my office with a new, 2006, Bianchi Axis cyclocross bike I found on an incredible closeout, SWEET!

Cyclocross is essentially road biking in the mud, when it is cold, and your fingers feel like they are about to fall off. Sounds fun? Did I mention having to hop off your bike several times throughout the course running up/down/over obstacles? Some call it brutal, others call it hell. All I know is THAT is exactly how I want to spend my off-season!

I came across one of the best cyclocross race videos this past winter. This is what cross racing is all about. Click here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Little Life With A Side Of Cycling...

Man, I have been swept up lately with a whole lotta random stufff going on that has kept me off the two wheels. Can't really complain though cause it has all been good. But man, I am itching to get back on the orange n' black jamis, Master of Disaster! Talked with Scott a few days ago and I told it is starting to cool off, the days are getting shorter, and with Fall right around the corner, it is time to start slowing things down a bit. I am ready for some touring!!!! Some of that... ride to Auburn and back kind of riding with a double-patty sausage biscuit midway. He said he will start looking at some routes. I will be interested in seeing what Magellan comes up with.

Got my last race of the year coming up next month, the Attack on Swayback. Still undecided if I will move up to the Sport Class for this race or stay in Beginner. Technically, I am no where near fast enough to be competitive in Sport. But I won the Beginner Class last year so I feel like I can't stay in that class. Anyway, I gotta get on the mt. bike some more and at least try and train for this race, especially if I were to move up to Sport... 16 miles, UHG!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Real Rock Garden...

Seems like every trail you go to these days has a "rock garden." This is a part of the trail that is rather unpleasant to the backside, even for the full-suspensiun, squishy guys and gals. In my experience, at least in the Southeast, the term "rock garden" has been taken a little too far, been sissified a bit if you will. For all future trails, I present to you the basis for which all "rock gardens" will be based upon. My rear-end and calves are in pain just looking at this. This dude gets serious respect points.


Ivan Dominguez won the opener to the Tour of Missouri. This picture would be even more classic if it had been one of the big European races. Way to go Ivan! Hopefully one day soon, I will get to see Ivan and McEwen battle it out on European soil.

Monday, September 10, 2007

5th Annual Coosa River Challenge 2007

Hope everyone had a good ride this weekend. Way to go Colin, great job! You look even faster on TV!

Well, I guess since I finished my first triathlon a couple of weeks ago, I needed some more pain to go along with it. I had always wanted to do the Coosa River Challenge but the running always held me back. Well, now that I was running, it was now or never.

I was a little worried this race would be a little hokey... tire changes, "challenges," etc., etc. And for almost $100, I wanted this race to push me to my limits, make me question my existence on this Earth. Well, let me tell you, this was the real deal. I don't know if I ever got to the point where "questioning my existence" came into play, but it was exhausting and pushed me to my limits.

We started with a 3.5 mile trail run. It went pretty well but I was toward the back of the pack by the end. If I can get my running game up to about 8 minute miles, I will be in good shape. After the run, I came into the transition area, hopped on my mountain bike, and hit the trail. This was the same route as the AOS race so I knew it well. The run took some out of the legs but I still kept a nice consistent pace and picked off several of the runners who had left me earlier in the morning during the run.

After the bike, I came back into the transition area, put my running gear back on, handed my transition bag and bike off to the guy to load it up and headed out for a 1 mile run down to Jordan Dam. This run had me a little worried before the race but it went really well. I had my Camel Bak on with my energy drink, and I was carrying a bottle with me to suck on during the run. During orientation, the director mentioned something new about traversing over some rocks to get to the rappel when you finished the run. I TOTALLY underestimated the "rocks" we would be traversing over. Once I got down to the dam, I was told to follow the red arrows when I went through the bushes. Well, this was the first time I had ever been on this part of the river bank so I was a little surprised to see what awaited... these are rocks?????

They weren't rocks, they were large pieces of the Earth made of rock. This went on for about 1/4 mile. Climbing up the side of large boulders, jumping over 3 foot gaps 10 feet up, climbing down, around, all over these huge rocks. Trying to follow the red duct tape to figure out which way to go. It was extremely difficult and tiring but I felt like I was actually part of a real adventure race. Hopefully they will keep that section in future races caused it really made you use your mind and all your body.

Once I made it through the rocks, I crossed through the boat pickup to climb the side of a 15 foot rock face with only a rope. By the time I got to the top of Coosa rock, I was at my maximum heart rate, or past. My heart was going crazy! I settled down while they buckled me into my rapeling gear. I told the guide this was my first time thinking I would get a 5 minute tutorial on how not to DIE when rappelling down an 80 foot, near vertical rock face.

His detailed explanation of rappelling consisted of... "pull the rope into your body and you will stop, let it out and you will go."

I remember thinking, "that tells me nothing, I am going to die. And not die in the Himalayas on some epic quest. No, I am going to die on a piece of rock on the side of the Coosa River in Wetumpka Alabama. My wife is going to be sooooo mad!"

So, I put my faith in a rope and a carabiner that looked just like the ones they sell at Wal-Mart and down I went. It really wasn't that bad, as long as you didn't look down! When I got down to the bottom, I remember trying to reach for the bottom with my feet just to touch something grounded and almost smacking my face against the rock face. I would have gotten some serious cool points for that one!

After they removed my death harness, I jumped into the river for about a 100 yard swim back to the boat launch. I picked up my paddle and boat and headed down the Coosa, slowly. With no rain, it was more like racing on Lake Martin. The rapids were non-existent and it was the hardest part of the whole race. A few miles down we hit Dead Beaver Island where we had our next challenge. Here we had to take out on a steep bank, climb up a dirt wall, run down some trails, swim through the mud pit (which felt like heaven!), run down some more trails, through a river, and back up to the top which lead us back down to our boast. At this point, everyone I saw was walking, there was no running.

After getting back in the kayak, it was another couple of miles before the next challenge at Corn Creek. Here I pulled out, ran around the guy that had fallen out of his boat and was puking in the river (thanks dude for getting puke in my shoes - Just kidding - he had several people around him taking care of him) and headed up the embankment to do the Poker Run Challenge. Here we ran a 1 mile course through the woods picking up a total of five cards where we would hand them off to a lady at the end before climbing back down to our boats. Whoever had the best hand at the end of the race won some money. I didn't stick around to find out if I was the lucky one.

Once I got back in my kayak, I was ready for this little shin dig to end. The thought of paddling one more stroke in the most inefficient vehicle ever designed called the Torrent made me want to scream. Next time I am bringing either my sea kayak or I am going to buy a canoe, I don't care how much they cost!!!

The next challenge was the archery and it was quick and easy. The final challenge was going under the Wetumpka Bridge and pulling up the the beach where one of the old concrete locks are. Once you beached your boat, you would swim out to the lock, climb up it, and jump off. These locks look tall from a distance, but not nearly as tall as when you are on top of it looking down. At this point, I didn't care and just wanted to be done. I through my paddle in the water (you had to carry your paddle through every challenge) and jumped. I hate that initial feeling when you jump off something really tall! But once I cam back up, I felt great and knew I just had to get to my boat, paddle across the river and the finish line was 100 yards up the boat ramp.

I ended up finishing in 4:51 and got 9th place out of 20 people in my class. I was happy seeing this was my first one.

Total milage: 21 miles (5.5 miles of running, 7.5 mt. biking, and 8 miles of kayaking)

Next year I will be looking for a top five finish. I have attached a few pictures I found on the internet. The ones of the rappel I included just to show what we did.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The truth, told by a true cyclist...

Probably have seen this by now but I thought it deserved to become a part of the Pedal Hard blog. I did not write this so if anyone has the author, I will be more than glad to buy him/her a cup of Joe and give credit to the genius. Only a cyclist with a very good sense of humor could have come up with these!

Cyclists are the biggest sandbaggers and secret trainers around.
They'll say anything to soften you up for the kill. Don't let this happen to you. Study this handy rider's phrasebook to find out what they really mean when they say:

"I'm out of shape"
Translation: I ride 400 miles a week and haven't missed a day since the Ford administration. I replace my 11-tooth cog more often than you wash your shorts. My body fat percentage is lower than your mortgage rate.

"I'm not into competition. I'm just riding to stay in shape"
Translation: I will attack until you collapse in the gutter, babbling and whimpering. I will win the line sprint if I have to force you into oncoming traffic. I will crest this hill first if I have to grab your seat post, and spray energy drink in your eyes.

"I'm on my beater bike"
Translation: I had this baby custom-made in Tuscany using titanium blessed by the Pope. I took it to a wind tunnel and it disappeared. It weighs less than a fart and costs more than a divorce.

"It's not that hilly"
Translation: This climb lasts longer than a presidential campaign. Be careful on the steep sections or you'll fall over -- backward. You have a 39x23 low gear? Here's the name of my knee surgeon.

"You're doing great, honey"
Translation: Yo, lard ass, I'd like to get home before midnight. This is what you get for spending the winter decorating and eating chocolate. I shoulda married that cute Cat 1 racer when I had the chance.

"This is a no-drop ride"
Translation: I'll need an article of your clothing for the search-and-rescue dogs.

"It's not that far"
Translation: Bring your passport