Sunday, July 27, 2008

One week

One week since I did the dirty dab. Its getting better. The swelling and pain have diminished a lot over the course of the week. Each day is a little different. What a major blow to the is really intense pain to brake a leg. Now at a week, I'm getting more movement in my toes, can bend and straighten the leg better, can do leg lifts and hop around on crutches longer. Its the little progress that I'm looking for.

For now I just hang out and look at the ceiling, the wall, the windows. Its actually quite peaceful and nice.

Big Thanks go out to the Mt. Snow Medics who hauled me off the hill. They were all really strong and in good shape. Even the guy that rode in the back of the pick-up truck who was asking me tons of questions to make sure I didn't have a head injury. They had a good clinic right on site and could get me assessed and comfortable to the hospital.

The Southwestern Vermont Hospital was not a terrible experience. My orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Matt Norfizer, was a good guy. He insisted on doing my surgery right away even though his staff would of rather gone home for the evening. They were googling me to see who they were operating on. I don't know if that help or hurt my cause. Time will tell, I guess.

Mt. Snow Resort was classy enough to call me monday and send flowers as well. Thanks everyone for the emails and phone calls. Its cool to know the people that care( and that don't) The good people of the Burg have been stopping in for mini visits and delivering sweets. Sugar isn't good for broken bones...sardines and kale are apparently.

I know Tim cares. Tim has a mustache. He has been helping me out so much, in addition to working at a busy SBC. Amara and Jason have been so kind, too. I'm hoping to make it to their wedding on 8/8/08. That would be a three week milestone.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Break a leg

I broke my leg at Mt. Snow. I stabbed dabbed around a corner and knew it was broke right away. Sorry for the people who had to sit with me until medical came. I was crying and grovelling in the dirt. I was in a lot of pain and could not believe how bad a broken leg could hurt. The X rays showed a spiral fracture of the fibula and a crushed tibia. I got surgery in Bennington Hospital to put in the 9mm titanium rod that goes from my patellar tendon down to my ankle. Then there is a plate and screws for the tibia. I guess its a common skiing accident, but mine is much lower on the leg. The 10 hour drive back to Harrisonburg was brutal and the last couple of days have been miserable. Today, is the first day I feel a little better. Two weeks on the couch doing nothing and then to the doctors to see how it is healing up.

My first broken bone at my last race. It is not exactly how I wanted to go out. But right now I feel lucky that I don't have to play in the silly circus anymore.

Thanks to everyone who called or emailed their speedy recovery wishes. It really means a lot to me. It feels good to know that people care about me when I'm down and out.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Stars of Downieville

Can you identify these people?

More Downieville

Downieville Classic is the All Mountain World Championships. The first day was a cross country race that has a 3,000ft climb in 8 or 9 miles, then some rolling singletrack that is mostly downhill for 17-20 miles. Then next day is the Super D or Downhill. It is a 17 mile downhill with 900ft of climbing. The lowest time for the two days is the All Mountain World Champion. I am not the all mountain world Champion. Rachael "Crazy Braid" Lloyd is. But I did good for a first timer with a pretty light set up.

Ross Schnell is one fast guy. Rad Ross won both events in enemy territory. He was the first guy since the gold rush to win both events and not ride a Santa Cruz. It was a sweet victory for sure. It was so cool to see Ross so confident that he was going to win, but not be cocky about it. Most detractors thought that he was just a "pro" XC rider and didn't realize how good he is at going downhill. Its too bad Mark Weir had a mechanical on the downhill and couldn't finish. I didn't realize that "the Rules" prohibit any changing of gear. So Mark rode a bum rim for the downhill. So its not just the same bike at the same weight. Its the same parts as is. At first, I thought that Weir was a little too intense about things, but he just loves riding his bike fast uphill and downhill andh is personality is actually a refreshing change from most of the super humble folks that I hang out with.

But It was pretty funny seeing Weir at the top the morning of the downhill. I would classify it as a classic bad mood because the pressure was a huge monkey on his back. He was bitchin about people changing their equipment and that wasn't allowed. He accused Ross of clipping his rear tire overnight. He didn't. He had the very same clipped tire for the XC.

Ross rode the Remedy 9 with Bontrager ACX 2.35 front and rear and the Rock Shox monarch and Pike. I rode the Fuel EX 9.5 with the Revelation, 2.35 in front and 2.2 full Tubeless ACX in the rear. Ross's bike weighted 29.74 and mine weighted 26.16. Ross broke the DH record. He actually got booed a little when he got up on stage. It was just so unacceptable for a small majority of folks that a "corporate pro" won the race. But we don't think of ourselves as corporate pros and we are not. Trek makes great bikes. We like riding great bikes. We are lucky enough to get paid to ride great bikes. They make bikes that good for the riding that you want to do.

But all in all, after the race most people came up to Ross and said how psyched they were that Ross won, especially since he was from out of town. I mean Weir has already won it 7 times in a row. I really would have like to beat Racheal and a lot of people really wanted me too, but she is a really fast downhiller and very fit. She has won the race a bunch of times and was up the weekend before pre riding. She knows all her splits at every section. Zack was second in the XC race. It must have been all the baked beans he was eating.

There were more vendors there then a Norba Nationals. Not as many teams, but tons of industry support. Plus, good beer and good food. There were other events as well. There was a River Jump into the confluence of the Yuba and Downie Rivers. There was a Pixie Cross race on little bikes and there was Robot Dancing. The swimming holes were the best, especially since it was really hot and there was a lot of smoke in the air from the wild fires.

Rad kept saying it was a reunion of all the old guys. Now Rad isn't that young anymore...he is 28. But he grew up watching and admiring all the guys that pedaled before him. I'm just going to name drop a little now. Its a thrill for me to see all these icons of the mtb world. And they really are incredible riders and personalities. the list: Greg Herbold, Myles Rockwell, Brian Lopes, Wade Simmons, Jurgen Benneke, Chris Sheppherd, Joe Parkin, Scot Nichols, Andreas Hestler, Jason Moeschler. And of course the lesser know names, but awesome riders and friends of mine that I don't get to see much. And Erin Collar, our former Trek soigneur, was there and life is good for her.

A couple weird things that we noticed: People were so friendly and talked our ears off at the beginning of the weekend and then by the end, they were very happy to see all the bikers leave. Its a town of 350 people with no cell phone coverage, they live out in the boonies for a reason. A lot of kids had tattoes. The restaurants closed at 6 pm during the week. You could only rent a place to stay for a minimum of a week. There is still gold in the rivers.

The locals said it was the biggest Downieville so far. Its one of those things wouldn't be as nice if it got too big. It already sells out in 5 minutes online. It has been on my bucket list for a couple of years now and I'm so happy that Trek sent me and Ross to that race instead of the Norba in NY. I would go back and I think you should put it on your list of races you must do before you die.


Downieville is a super cool race. The town is cute, kinda like Davis, WV. The people are a little crazy. The competition very fierce...very competitive before the race...the weird vibes and smack talk. It is the world championships for Northern California, like Cheqemegon is the Wisconsin Worlds.

I'm going to write some more about it, but here are some pics.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


We met our goal today at the race and got Lorena in the Points jersey. Honestly, Lorena just climbed the hill really fast everytime. We had a fun day on the bikes and a nice short one, too. We had an awesome Thai dinner at Bangkok Hill. Tomorrow will be a little dicey defending the green jersey in a crit against some fast sprinters. But we are pretty awesome so....

Other breaking news... Another reason to despise the UCI... The relegation of Sauser to second place at Marathon World Championships, when Roel comes up behind him and wrecks him. The video is on youtube. You make the call. Sauser is moving his bike around, but I would say he was holding his line, though. Roel destroys his bike and doesn't even bother running to the finish line. Maybe he is just so stunned. Sauser never takes his eyes off of the finish line.It is crazy, though. They both look so tired sprinting after over 4 and half hours of intense racing. They both hit the ground so hard. It probably wouldn't of happened if it was more of an mtb course and not a roadie course.( Not that roadies are bad or anything!)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Congrats Tyrone!!

Our new U.S. National Marathon Champion

Road Racing in MASS

The Fitchburg Longjso Classic is a good race. The time trial course was a good one. It was only a small disadvantage to not have a full TT set up. Maybe 20-30 seconds only. I did pretty good for me for a road TT. The road race was a nice 10 mile loop that we did 6 times and then we climbed up MT. Wachusett. That was a killer last 3K...very tough and steep, but awesome. I got two punctures, which is a bit bizarre. Someone said that there was glass on the downhill. Sram was there quickly to change wheels. The last time, though they put the wheel in crooked and I had some some extra credit training going up the hill. It wrecked my GC, but it was just the strength training that I need for Mt. Snow.

Thanks Jeanette for towing me back to the field on both my flat tires. I am guest riding for the HPC powered by Altarum. The are a team out of the Washington D.C. area. The team is Lorena, Jeanette, Anna, Lesley and Gevevieve. They are all really funny, fast and nice. We have been having fun, eating good and joking around a lot. Tomorrow we are going to get Lorena into the points jersey.

There was something very annoying that happened at the race today that made me loose a lot of respect for the people that run the race. They had too many classes out on the course at the same time. They neutralized our race twice today. The first time they actually made us stop. The second time, was when the first decisive split in the race happened. The men's II break were coming up so they stopped the women's break, let the rest of the women catch up and then made us go slow until the rest of the men's II passed. I find that very disrespectful and it takes away any good flow to the racing. Its hard to find road races that respect the women. (except RFK and Toona)

Happy Freedom Day Everyone!!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Vive Le Tour

Vive Le Tour De Burg that is!!! The best grand tour on earth that has both mountain and road stages. The mountainbike stages are totally epic and awesome and the road stages have incredible mountain climbs. I did get to do the brilliant opening time trial at Massanutten. I rode my 9.9 in hopes are getting it dialed for Mt. Snow. I was pretty lame on the downhill, but damn that is one fun super D course.

I just want to once again express my lameness for not participating in the Tour, in favor of a NRC road race, but my thoughts and my pale, pale greeness go out to all the real riders. Keep the dramatic updates coming on the SVBC website.