Home Run, Training Week and Easter Eggs....



Spring baseball started and what does Zack do during his first at bat against Newton today? He was batting third in the line up and with one runner on first, Zack stepped in the batter's box, planted his feet and on the first pitch he hits a home run over the left center field fence.

Hey, it's just like riding a bike, right? '-)

He was 3 for 4 at the plate today, but didn't pitch so well during the 2 innings he was on the mound. Regardless, I think we won 18-4 or so. And Zack did his usual post game routine of coming home, setting up the batting net and smacking balls for a couple hours to warm-down and work on his swing mechanics. He has good discipline at the plate and his work ethic for batting pays handsome dividends.

Bike Training

I just finished my training week at 7 p.m. this evening. Oy! The legs are tired. I rode from home to Banner Pits with Tara on the bike path pushing a very fast tempo with the wind behind us. It took 15 minutes less time than usual - that's how strong the wind was blowing to the north. She did one loop on Riverside and headed home to make some guacamole dip to go with our Spatchcock chicken. Since the trails had dried very nicely from Friday's thunderstorm, I stayed to do some intensity and loop the entire Banner trails.

I was surprised I had some power left in the legs and this bike has a 32T middle ring which I was hammering up the power climbs like it was a 29T. The bike felt well balanced and light. I got a little cocky with my speed and took too much into a corner hoping to take some speed into the base of one of the steeper power climbs. Those wide Salsa handlebars caught a tree on the right edge of the trail and stopped me in my tracks as I had to lay the bike down. Right hand foam grip is trashed as the tree ripped it right down to the handlebar. I grabbed the tree with my right arm and stayed upright as the bike went down below me. I guess that's why foam grips are disposable and I keep the Bontrager Race foams in stock in the parts bin. I finished the north section of the lap and decided to stop and pick up as many limbs and branches on the southern Riverside loop that I could. I'd like to walk it one time with the clippers and a rake to trim back some dry stuff that gets in the face and get some stuff off the trail before everything greens up and the forest takes off. Actually, I need to do it very soon before the mosquitoes emerge!!! The trails are in pretty good shape out there as it is now. The only thing I noticed today and all week is the Hee-Haw/Trailer Trash/High School Drinking/Fishing While Intoxicated crowd has been out there breaking beer bottles on the trail. I removed a lot of glass, but there is still a lot to be picked up.

I managed to get in 10 hours and 20 minutes this week as I completed this particular build phase.

The past 5 weeks of my build were as follows in terms of total volume:

1st Week of March (2/28 - 3/6): 3:40 hours
2nd Week of March (3/7 - 3/13): 5:20 hours
3rd Week of March (3/14 - 3/20): 7:30 hours
4th Week of March (3/21 - 3/27): 7:10 hours
5th Week of March (3/28 - 4/3): 10:20 hours

Add at least an hour or two to each of those weeks for my daily morning "walk the dogs" ride which is always 15 - 25 minutes per day. Those are simple recovery and get the blood flowing rides, so I don't count them as training per se, but they are time on the bike making pedal revolutions.

This week is a scheduled 5 day R&R week with one weight training session, and some recovery riding before moving on to the next phase. My first scheduled race is next Sunday at my nemesis course - Sylvan Island. I tore a Racing Ralph there last year and had to DNF. That's sort of ironic considering the prize I won at the swag table in 2008 at Sylvan Island was a Stans NoTubes tubeless conversion kit. So using the kit, a year later, I tear a sidewall and am out of the event where I won the conversion kit. This year, I have a plan to run some rubber that I can depend on to cross the finish line. Let's hope the weather and tires cooperate.

While waiting for my Niner JET 9 recall frame to be painted in Taiwan and get shipped to the US, I had to pull out the 2004 Sugar 293 to suit it up for XC racing. My back and body are getting to old to survive the full out efforts on the Dos Niner when flying on the trail at XC race speed for rough courses. I feel like I'm on a bucking bronco on the rear end at times in the rough stuff. I tried the Dos in training simulations this week and man, my back was stinging all day after the ride. Granted, on more forgiving courses and courses with lots of climbing it will be fine. The Sugar is all "funked" out with a 130mm Bontrager stem and the Salsa Pro Moto 17 degree bend handlebars. It's riding sweet and fast, though at just a hair under 26 pounds. So it should be good to go for the first few races of the season. The RIP may be good to go for some XC racing as well with the right wheels/tires. I tested it out all week long in terms of times and effort on some laps. No doubt, I can move the thing pretty fast in spite of the heavier bike and the heavier Flow/I9 Enduro wheels which all require me to put out more wattage to get the same times. The question is, can I sustain that extra effort for the duration of an XC race?

I'm doing an Easter weekend experiment of mounting up some tires on my Blunts tubeless using yellow tape and valves only for racing...

I think my JET is scheduled to arrive in May at some point (or early June).

Easter Eggs...

This Big Green one, in particular, is working overtime this weekend.


It's doing Spatchcock Simon & Garfunkle chicken as I type this for tonight's late meal with hickory chips. Tomorrow, it will be apple and cherry wood chips smoking for 4 - 6 hours for Easter ribs that we are looking forward to eating.

Tara and I will split up where we go to services tomorrow. I think she is doing the sunrise breakfast and service at the Lutheran Church and I'll be heading to the Assembly of God church to hear one of my former students, Highway Sigadi, sing at the Easter service. Then I'll come home and get the ribs smoking.

Happy Easter to all. We're watching "The Ten Commandments" as I type this. It seems they play it every year and it has become tradition for us to sit down and watch it.