Riding This Week


Chainbuster MTB Racing Series - Georgia's friendliest MTB racing. 6 & 9 Hour Endurance racing for solo or teams.

Dirty Spokes - Duathlon and Trail running series. Love these guys. First class events.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What to ride in 2012

I've been asked by my friends what I plan to race and ride this year. What are my goals? Will my training change any? So I thought I'd go throw a list of events I hope to do this year and maybe comment on them a little bit.

Before I do that I'll tell you what I did this weekend. It's nothing as exciting as say, riding in the rain, but I believe it will inspire you guys or at least make you feel better about your mental stability. On Saturday morning I got up at 5:00AM to go to Road Atlanta and help my daughters school. It was the WLA Run Road Atlanta (World Language Academy).

Long sleeve shirt for WLA Run Road Atlanta
Let me set the scene. It was 48 degrees and raining. It was foggy. If there was ever a morning for sleeping in and making up a sad excuse this was it. I didn't think anyone would come out and run in the rain. I was miserable just standing in the parking lot waiting for nobody. But I was wrong. It turns out runners are every bit as crazy about their hobby as we are.

There was a 10K run which began at 8:00AM and then a 5K run at 9:30AM. My wife Lisa helped at registration. It stopped raining for the 10K start which was led out by the Road Atlanta Corvette. I thought that was really cool. It's a 2.5 mile course by the way and as they rounded the back side of it the bottom fell out. I stood under the pavilion roof watching and waiting for the nearly 100 runners to come sloshing down the hill onto pit road. I don't like running but I felt a sort of kinship with these guys. I've been in races in some miserable weather too so I started yelling words of encouragement to them as they ran by.

Running in the rain at Road Atlanta
Many of them started waving and smiling. Others were either concentrating really hard or were angry at the situation they had placed themselves in and therefore had no reaction to my encouragement. So I decided to look around at the expo. There were two different dentists promoting oral hygiene, odd but OK. The Safe Kids folks were giving away bike helmets. I love those guys. FRS was there giving away drinks and my favorite chews. I asked the FRS guys where Tim Tebow was and one guy said "who?" Come on dude, he's your spokesman!
The run was a great success even with the downpours and thunder. Heck if it were a bike race the weather would just make it that much more epic so I guess it's no different if you ran it. Some folks finished and walked around in the rain laughing and talking about the one piece of clothing they should have brought. Others, who had one thing in common...cotton, walked straight to their cars and drove home. You see...cotton, while a perfectly comfortable material around the house, is the worst thing you can wear while competing. It holds your sweat and gets heavy. When it's cold outside it makes you colder. And a soaked cotton shirt sticks to your belly. As you run it creates an indention where your belly button is. Imagine running in the rain and trying to keep your 10 pound cotton shorts up. Pretty funny stuff from the pavilion I just have to say. But my hats off to all those guys. They all finished what I know was a tough course. The awards on this day were definitely earned. Great job runners! And great job WLA!


Before I make this list I need to give you guys a disclaimer in case you show up at one of the events and I'm not there. It's basically a wish list. I hope to do everything on the list but life happens. My list of priorities is short and my love for my family is BIG! Thankfully they love me too and I usually get to race a whole bunch during the year. So here's my list of things to do as it stands right now.

  • Feb 11th - Winter Bike League from Athens to Baxter's Multisport in Gainesville (and back).
  • Feb 18th - Chainbuster 6/9 Hour MTB Race at Tribble Mill Park in Lawrenceville, GA.
  • Feb 25th - Hincapie Training Series Weekend #2 in Greenville, SC. Road race Saturday, Crit Sunday morning at the BMW Test Track.
  • March 10th - Dirty Spokes Duathlon at Ft. Yargo Park, Winder, GA. with my daughter!
  • March 17th - Chainbuster 6/9 Hour MTB Race at Conyers Horse Park.
  • April 14th - State Crit Championships - Macon, GA (this is a big fat maybe)
  • April 22nd - Gone Riding XC Race #1 at Conyers Horse Park (another big fat maybe, Sunday)
  • April 28th - Athens Twilight Crit, Athens GA - my 3rd attempt to qualify for the evening race.
  • May 5th - Chainbuster 6/9 Hour MTB Race at Fort Yargo, Winder, GA.
  • May 12-13 - LAP Century and Gainesville Omnium. Ride Saturday morning, Race in the evening.
  • May 26-28 - National Road Race Championships in Greenville, SC. Planning Hotel stay w/ family.
  • OR May 27 - Hartwell Challenge of the Century
  • July 7th - State Road Race Championships Fairmount, GA
  • July 21-22 - Brenau College Omnium, Gainesville, GA
  • July 25-29 - Georgia Gran Prix. 4 day stage race beginning at Road Atlanta.
  • Aug 18th - Chainbuster 6/9 Hour MTB Race at Paynes Creek Trails, Hartwell, GA.
I'd better stop there. The list looks so big to this point I feel I'll be in trouble since it doesn't include any Century rides that may pop up. There's a beach vacation in there somewhere and we'll be putting on a BPBC Spring Ride again which has a tentative date of May 19th, 2012.

I'm also swayed by my friends. Just like anybody else I have a certain group of friends that I'll jump off a bridge with so if any one of them is dying to do a particular event I try to do it too. There are roadies who like the solitary ride and roadies who need people with them. I'm the latter. I mean who's gonna back up my "fish" stories.

'11 Hincapie Training Series, SeanP, StephenS, Me, DavidS
Let me tell you a little bit about the Hincapie Training Series. Way back when I was a child my first race was at this series. As you can imagine I was scared to death. I'd been riding with groups of around 15 people and then got to the starting line here with 50+ racers. It was a scary feeling let me tell you. I got 4th place that day on the heals of a CAT5 crash caused by some goofball who crossed the yellow line to move ahead with less than 1 mile to go. The others in the peloton were so distracted by him speeding up the outside that they crossed all into each other. It was like the crash happened all around me. I found myself sprinting with a few others at the head of the race and took 4th. My first race convinced me that I needed to hurry up and get out of Category 5. Here's a video from last year. It's a preem sprint I lost. :(

Here's a picture of the BMW Test Track race. It's really a great race because the track is wide open. Plenty of room to dodge catastrophe or advance at will. I blow up every time on the back stretch on the last lap. The draft plays a big role in this one. If you pull out to early the head wind will make you pay.

2010 Hincapie Training Series BMW Test Track
I hope to see a bunch of great friends there this year. It's a great way to start the season in a big way.

Thanks for reading! See you all out there soon!


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