2010 Goals

2010 Goals

So this was a hard decision. So much to do, so many places to choose from. So many different things I still want to do. But this became the list as the year started:

*find a way to not have to work so much
*talk someone into doing an unsupported expedition length event with me in 2010/ 2011
*NUE: do a few 100s, maybe try in west again?
*Finish as many marathon length (XXC) double race weekends as I can.
*Tour de Burg-7/10-finish this 2nd overall attempt 6 day stage race!! Finish ALL portions, including the head shave contest;-)
*6HOP-attempt to defend Coed Duo title.
*Be ready for another stage event in early fall, not sure which one.

*BIGGEST GOAL: to always exercise each day in some way!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2010 Summary of Progress on Goals (see separate entries for event details)

  • -Find a way to not work so much-changed my job to contracting 3 months at a time. This leaves open a lot of free time during the year & still pay the bills!!!
  • -Expedition/Unsupported Ride-pushed to 2011. Not sure yet which one/where.
  • -A few Hundies-Cohutta, Lumberjack, Wilderness done. See summaries in blog.
    Cohutta-stormy, considered DNF but started again....was out long time...12hr.
    Lumberjack-great time, fastest 100 ever @9:46 for 9th place out of 30 girls.
    Wilderness-course was faster across the board, I got 45 min better than previous years, 9th place out of 16 girls.
  • -Double XXC weekends-agh, not so good here. Really only 3 so far and one doesn't REALLY count as XXC:-(
  • -Tour de Burg-Finished!! And did shave my head during and after!!!
  • -6 Hours of Power (6HOP)-defended Coed Duo title with JP. Had 2nd fastest women lap times, with Vicky Barclay fastest lap, and RyDog Palermo with third fastest.
  • -Michaux Curse of Dark Hollow-40 miler-3rd out of 6 women starters(?)
  • -Stage event this fall-decided on the inaugural Trans North GA MTB Adventure (TNGA)
    This was a timed test run, & a super route!! Finished in 4:12:xx

Thursday, January 13, 2011

DirtRag Punk Bike Enduro

So....it's that time of year again.
Time to attempt to ride MTB in some mucky, yucky quad & moto trails and some barely used old doubletrack stuff....in unpredictable weather....and wearing some god awful punk get up.

This year's trails and loop didn't hesitate to please those that came out.....just as unrideable as usual and the weather gave us some freezing cold to go along with it. Trails were a mirage of frozen puddles, mud as slick as oil, and DH full of rutted water runs.

We decide we haven't utilized the tandum to it's fullest this year, so we decide to haul it out for the event. We most usually choose to ride this thing on trails that are quite forgiving......otherwise JP ends up in the doghouse for quite some time after the ride:-) But this day, I knew if I said 'yeah' to tandum, I had to actually agree to stay on the seat for whatever the driver was wanting to do. If we ended up walking all day, I am pretty sure I would have been sent to the doghouse.

The tandum is often referred to as 'the red sledd'...therefore we decided to use it as a 'sled' as part of our costume and be the Grinch & Max the Dog. This worked out ok:

Overall, everyone did some walking on the loops, but we attempted and rode a lot of mucked up stuff a little better than we would have thought. The Red Sledd can surprisingly barrel though like a tank. Other than a few DH that I totally put the nixay on by jumping off the bike, I think JP was proud of my braveness today:-) & happy that each loop led back to the beer. I see a tandum MTB hundie someday.....lol...that is a joke.

thanks DR for another good punk bike on the books! (dirtragmag.com)

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Off I go to test out the bikepack time trial waters. A full summary was in the xxcmag.com Feb 2011 issue, but here is a quick overview of what I think is a super new type of riding for me to move on to.
I have a few wilderness fears to conquer first(!), but for now the TransGA seems like a fairly safe first timer unsupported, unmarked course. At this point, my nav skills suffer so luckily I hook up with a similar paced rider who has the maps down...we make it through w/ cue sheets, maps, odometers....not the easiest but we forgo the gps option on this round.
A full description of the 2010 route, rules, participants, results, etc can be found at:

In general, I learned a lot of things doing this for the first time. The most important is that I LOVE the format. I love that support is completely not in the picture and that your independance is a big part of actually getting through each portion of the route....ahm.....that is if you can manage to nav yourself to stay ON the route:-)
In any case, this was organized awesomely, and gave me some basic skills to put a few more bikepack TT on my future goals hopefully next year!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wilderness Pack Trip #1, aka bikepacking for dummies

Overlooking Sinnamahoning, Elk National Park
Getting ready for TransGA....
....is a little hectic. I did not leave much time to prepare when I decided to do this, & along with actually getting some gear I need I also need to learn how to actually USE it!!

Enter the chance to do a nice, long, exciting overnight bikepack trip just west of upper central PA area...LOTS of forest here! yikes, I am pretty clueless but have wanted to try this out for awhile, so I gather up what I think I'll need and what I think I can carry, JP helps get my bike ready of course with some new parts and off I go. Leaving Friday evening for the drive & covert car sleeping just shy of the trailhead parking.

Wake up early to meet my weekend guide, someone I just recently met but has years of experience with bikepacking & is happy to show me some of the ropes. Chomp down our breakfasts while packing up our bikes, he looks over my pack set up being intrigued by the new fangle dangle way kids do things these days as his set up is very different....old school:-)

Our loop is set for 70+ miles day 1, primitive camp overnight, then 30ish back to the car day 2.
I really have no idea what terrain is in store, but overall it ends up to be a perfect mix of gravel forest road, old barely used but well blazed multiuse trail, big climbs, power line, train tracks, and a tad of pavement. Plans include 2 possible gas station stops if needed for emergency, but basically we had other options for getting everything we needed, including new water.

We start at Quehanna trailhead in Parker Dam State Park, head out through Moshannon forest, in a round about way we hit the valley into Sinnamahoning, up through Elk State Park, get camped, & the next day continue thru Elk back thru Moshannon, and back to Parker Dam. At Parker Dam there is sneaky access to some showers so it's a great start/end spot.

Along with the miles on day 1, there were a few stops along the way, including waterfall, some popular swim hole spots, & the Elk Lookout Overview. But the most important stops were for cool flowing springs that seem to be pretty prevalent. I learn how to sterilize the water using the Steripen option & glad to say I survived without getting sick on this first outdoor water trial!

Once at the overnight destination, I was a little freaked out. It was extremely wild, overgrown, and secluded. I was super nervous of snakes and whatnot, and bears smelling our food. The guide was not nervous at all, showed me how to tie food up over a branch, and the spot had a flowing natural spring (no pipe) for us to get extra water needed to cook dinner/breakfast. We eat a little distance from our sleep areas to avoid getting food smell near our beds. Chit chat & rest until dark, then time to check into my new sleep bivy. Now this is new, and a little different than I thought. My bivy choice is very minimalist, super light, it is basically a waterproof/breathable bag you put your sleeping bag right into & there is a little space for a few personal items inside.

Getting settled was fine, but once trying to actually fall asleep I noticed some issues which caused me quite distress and not a great night of sleep. I zip up the bag, intent on keeping any creepy crawlies from entering my domain. First as I am trying to fall asleep I am tired as can be, but can't relax. I try to tell myself I am just nervous, but I soon notice my breathing is very strained & suddenly I start to panic......I grope for the zipper & get it open...I NEED air! I take a few breaths of fresh air & feel better. Holy cow....I am getting clusterphobic!!! This has never really happened before so I am shocked. Now, the bivy does not have a screen option, so the only method to vent it is to leave the zipper open......this is something I have conflict with.....creepy crawlies!!! I struggle for what seems hours, getting fresh air, then zipping up, then trying to leave open just a few inches until I would get too scared then zip it up. Geez, I think i am not going to get ANY sleep in here!!

Then it really gets different, it starts to rain, slightly then harder, then a pretty hard steady pour. Well, time to test out the waterproof claims of this sack. Overall, the waterproof was pretty decent, the zipper seems to let a few drops in I noticed. The only actual fail was that again, to vent it and leave the zipper open the storm flap really isn't enough to keep water from entering so got a tad in when upzipping but nothing too awful.

The worser thing is when it rains it slams the bivy right down on you! No matter how you lay, the bivy is right up against your face!! And even if you have the zipper open, the crushed bivy blocks the air. Oh lord, so I struggle for hours again keeping a stream of fresh air coming in.

Suddenly I see some daylight beginning. Oh no, I haven't got a wink of sleep & the trail today is more singletrack & hike bike I really needed some good sleep!! Working my way out of the bag, it's still drizzling & attempting to keep rain out of bag while getting out is tricky. Also, it leaves you NO privacy for dressing, etc. Gee, who thought of bag idea!!! My guide is already up, dressed, tent packed, and starting breakfast. Oh brother, this is gonna be a long day!! I crawl to the breakfast area, get my hot water for some coffee & start munching bagels while changing and packing up. Again, in the drizzle so everything getting wet.

Finally, after some trouble with my new fang dangle bikepack bag, we are off to the long 10 mile stretch of multiuse, but barely used, blazed trail leading us through Elk National Park. We see no Elk. In fact, we see no wildlife except a bright orange newt & some huge hawks. The trail section is super cool, the uphills are hiking & our pace is slow with the walking and the heavy bikes. After a few more issues with my bag, & the guides instance of broken derailleur, we hit a small town and some pavement & the rain seems to let up. So, the home stretch!!! Gravel, gravel, gravel up through the next stretch of forest, & it's sweet to see the car and know a well needed shower is just moments away!!

Overall, my first wilderness bikepack was cool & fun! The riding felt long/hard for me but good practice. The forests sections were sweet, and I learned a lot already in just one day:
-if unsure where a good spring will be, always take the chance to buy a water when available!!
-before heading to final camp, rinse in a creek....otherwise you will die from your own stench!!
-get a bivy with good venting!!(if not minimalist, a 1 person tent is super cool)
-some extra things are well worth the weight-esp bungee/string!

So, busyness coming up, but hopefully someday again soon I can get in some more overnight trips and start to learn my way around better!! For now though, gotta go figure out a better pack & sleeping method for GA or I'm gonna die:-) Thanks Jeff L. for this trip, and a few pics are posted in the album here:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wilderness 101

Being my 5th time to this, not a whole lot new to say. Always a great organized event by Chris Scott et al (shenendoah mt touring). Once you do something so many times, it's not surprise what the day/result will be like.

I know the course off hand, it does get smoother and faster each year(due to imba trails work & forest permit requirements), as the results this year really showed with basic times improving by about an hour average across the board.

Weather was great, no big surprises, the checks were set up great as usual. The one thing that does change though is the people racing. Most of the peeps I originally met/rode with my first few years are not even racing anymore, let alone coming to this one. While there are lots of newer folks to the scene. It's great there always new people, but I sure do miss those initial ones that helped show me the ropes.

Lots of others out there that have since moved on, and it makes me wonder what I will be doing in 5 years? Will I still be excited to come and do the same 100 miler with a growing field of others I barely know, still pulling the same times no matter who the competition is???