Sunday, September 13, 2009

One Week Until Chequamegon

There is now only one week until the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival and the 40 mile XC race from Hayward, WI to Cable. As a coaching friend and teaching colleague of mine would tell our athletes..."The hay is in the barn." There isn't anything we can do training wise within the next six days that is going to make a difference. Rest, eat well, sleep well, try to keep the legs as fresh as possible. I foresee maybe a couple of really easy rides in the next several days.

Kenny and I pushed it hard on Thursday evening throwing in some hill repeats for good measure. I hit the trails for about three and a half hours and forty plus miles yesterday, and today we did a very nice 55 mile road ride.
The rest of the week will be spent just mentally preparing for the race on Saturday. The only thing that makes me nervous is the start. It's is absolute mayhem and generally full of crashes.
The day dawned foggy and damp and it has turned out to be quite warm and humid. This would be my first day on a road bike since early June and to be honest I haven't really missed it that much.
The Amigos and I started out at Elm Creek Park and rode the paved trails north. Once out of the park we headed west towards Rogers and then from there made our way south and west to Rockford.
Even though it started out foggy it turned out to be a very beautiful day with not a lot of traffic on the roads.
I think everyone was feeling pretty good with the exception of Bob who said his legs were dead and he still has his cough from the pneumonia he had earlier. Even so, he could still out ride us all if he wanted. I think he could out ride me with just one lung. Matt, Kenny, and myself spent most of the ride pushing the big ring.
It was fun to have the four of us together for a ride. This hasn't happened all that frequently over the summer. Matt had a blast as he always does. He was fortunate enough to make it back with the mechanical issues he was having with his rear hub.
Kenny, smiling as always and wearing one of the sexiest cycling jerseys around. Almost as sexy as the Fat Cyclist jerseys. Not only is it a nice jersey, but it is also a damn fine wine. I prefer the cabernet. How could a true cyclist pass up a wine that has a label like that.
We finalized some logistics for travel, food, and lodging so now we wait in anticipation of next Saturday morning. It should be one hell of a good time with a good amount of suffering thrown in for good measure.


Marni said...

We'll see you there! Chris will be way up at the front and I'll be way back at the back :) Any tips for the course?

Vito said...

All I can say is be very careful on the parade out of town. Once they make the left turn off of main street all hell breaks loose until you turn off the pavement and into Rosie's Field. Just try to imagine 1,700 mountain bikers taking off at the same time.

There is some sand in places and a few short stretches of single track. The last eight miles is one hill after another. Otherwise it is pretty open...forest roads, and XC ski trails. You'll love it!

I'm excited you guys are coming! I really hope we run into each other. Where are you staying?

Marni said...

Thanks for the advice -- seeing MANY crashes happen at the start at Leadville every year, I can imagine that this is only worse. Also, it's good to know that there's a lot of hills at the end -- without fair warning that would most likely make me cry :)

We'll be staying at the Devil's Lake Retreat -- on Devil's Lake outside of Hayward. How about you?

Vito said...

We are in a little cabin about 15 miles outside of Hayward. We'll be up at about 2 Friday afternoon. Probably pre-ride off of hwy. 00. This is approx. at the halfway mark. Then race packet pickup a beer and dinner back at the cabin. We'll get our bikes to the start at around 5 a.m.

Gosh...It's just crazy fun!! I can hardly wait.