Monthly Archives: January 2008

First day back on the bike!

After a really long 5 months, today was my first day back on the bike.  I went down to Waterman indoor MX track today, on my own.  Scott already talked about that place in one of his posts, but nonetheless I will talk more about it.  It is actually a kind of crummy little place.  The lighting sucks, the air quality is rank, and the dirt is beat but it is riding in January.  I rode!  My knee was great.  I did not fall down, so I cannot confirm how good or bad it is when that happens, but for riding it was great.  I can stand, sit, put my foot down in a turn, jump etc…  I am so stoked.

Speaking of stoked, today was my first time back on a Suzuki in over 20 years.  20 years.  No kidding.  My last Suzuki dirt bike was an RM 125 in about 1980.  The RM 250, built up as a GNCC bike, is an absolute weapon.  That bike kicks ass!  It handles well, it is light, it starts every time you stab it.  It just absolutely rocks. 

The bike was a little bit too peaky today, but it was only like 25 degrees at the track.  When things warm up, we can tone down that peaky feeling with jetting changes.  Other than that, I do not have anything bad to say about my new mount at all.  I love it. 

It was cold in the warehouse today, and of course there were about 4 four strokes that just would not start.  What has the world come to, when we gave up such a great bike for something with valves floating around inside there.  Call me a stick in the mud, but I am just so glad to be riding a 2 stroke. 

It is just 37 days till the first race.  I wish it was next weekend. 

Joe

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1st mountain bike ride

I am down in Dallas for a dealer meeting, and a short visit to my brothers house.

Yesterday, I got out for a 1 hour mountain bike ride.  I went out to the local trails when I got here, where the Trek demo truck was doing a demo for the local dealers.  I spoke with a bunch of riders, helped change some pedals etc…  When it was all winding down, David and I went out for a little loop ourselves.  I grabbed a Fuel EX, and switched the brakes and the pedals and we headed out.

I was a little bit nervous about the whole thing.  I have not ridden outside at all since my knee injury.  I have spent a bunch of hours on the trainer at this point, but of course there is not much risk of falling down or having to dab your foot to the ground on the trainer.  I was really tentative at first.  My timing was completely off, and I could feel my knee when I had to power the front wheel over and obstacle or when I had to put English into the bike etc… 

But, during the course of the hour I got more and more confident.  Confident enough that I was pushing around corners, wheelie dropping ledges and bunny hopping rocks/logs etc…  I pushed hard enough that I washed the front end in a turn, and had to do a major correction to avoid going down.  I still did not have to put my foot down to correct a fall, but I am much more confident now.  I even had to clip out quickly when following David up a climb that he did not make, no issues. 

My timing is still way off, and I suppose the first time I do have to dab – it will be scary.  But, I am even more confident now. 

I cannot wait to get my knee braces and get out on the motorcycle.

Joe

getting closer – still

Every day the calendar turns over another day.  Every day, the Florida sand whoops get a little bit closer.

Things moved really quickly this week.  This was week 4 in my training program that Mary Daubert did up for me.  It was a super hard week.  2 a day workouts every day except Thursday, which was just one workout, but that one workout was a really hard trainer workout in the morning.   Today (Saturday) was actually a 2 hour trainer workout.  It was my first volume day toward the season.

This week, we had 4 IMS tanks show up and 4 FMF Fatty pipes arrive.  That pretty much completes all of the parts that we need for our bikes.  We are still waiting for AJ at Victory Graphics to finish  up our graphics, and the rest of our seasons worth of plastic from Cycra, but in general all of our stuff for bikes and riders is here.

We are almost done with the van as well.  We just have the huge lock for the back doors, some bars for the windows in the back, cruise control and finish up the stereo – then the van will be complete.

Today we had to go and pick up our 2 race bikes.  I had to run down to Illinois to pick up one, and Scott had to pick up one here in Wisconsin.  I have this love/hate relationship with Illinois.  I don’t understand the place.  It always appears flat and desolate to me.  The place is a study in contradictions.  Bill Gusse puts on really good races, but I don’t understand why no one down there uses electronic scoring.  Writing on the top of fenders seems so archaic and unreliable.  When you are from Wisconsin, you develop this almost innate mistrust of everything Illinois.  It is irrational I know, but just sort of comes with living here.  We are cheese heads, and they are fibs.  In reality, almost everyone that I meet from Illinois, I find that I like.  But, in the end the place just seems so – flat, yet when you do a race there it will always have a really big hill included somehow.

Anyway, 2 virgin new bikes are here to be built in race bikes.   The suspension was stripped off today to be sent back on Monday to Factory Connection.  Everything  else will go back together the weekend after next when the suspension is back.

photos to come!

Joe

prepared – I hope

I am certain there will be other riders in my class who will have more talent than I. I am also certain there will be other riders in my class who will have better fitness than I. After all, the guys in Florida and places like that are able to ride and race already. As I write this in my kitchen here in Wisconsin, I am looking out the window at another snow day. This winter has turned out to be a real winter here. But, I am feeling pretty good about my training. Good enough that I am pretty certain there are not going to be many people in my class that are going to show up as prepared overall as I feel I am.

This weeks training volume was pretty good.

– swimming = 2 hours

– cycling = 3.5 hours

– gym workouts = 2 hours

– rowing machine = 1 hour

– stretching = 1 hour

Of course those times were broken up into smaller chunks each. But, the volume for January is feeling pretty good. I could break those out into training heart rate percentages also, but I won’t bore you with that. Mary has an even harder pile of workouts prescribed for me for next week. Not necessarily more volume, but more time at high intensities for sure. Scary!

Tomorrow I will finish up the build of my practice bike. The specs in my bike page are pretty accurate. I will probably update my bike photo as well. My practice bike is not real pretty, because of the used plastic, mismatched wheels etc… But, it represents something much closer to a race bike than the Ricky Carmichael bike that I am showing now.

The unfortunate news that I got this week, is that it looks like this will be the last year for the 2stroke with Suzuki. That is a shame. I certainly do not have anything against Suzuki’s 4 strokes, in fact they are pretty sweet, but I really really prefer a 2stroke. If I was David Knight, it probably would not matter. But if you notice, the other guys at the pro level seem to favor the 2stroke for GNCC type racing (Juha, Barry Hawk, Charlie Mullins, Jimmy Jarret etc…) I have raced 4strokes in HS races, and depending on the course they are not bad. But as soon as you get into the technical sections or there is mud, the 2 stroke is much better.

Originally I marveled at Justin Williamson and his recovery after knee surgery. I still do. But, I find myself in similar shoes. I am over 3 months now from my surgery, and my knee feels great. I am pushing it hard in training, but careful. I will start on the motorcycle at the end of this month. I truly feel that it will be ready in Florida. We will see.

Check back next weekend and I will show off my bike etc…

Just 52 days till the Florida GNCC now!

Joe

58 days!

Wow!  Only 58 days till the first GNCC race.  I cannot believe it.  Christmas has come and gone, New Years is a week over.  January is here, winter is upon us and in no time Scott and I will be heading south to start the season.

I watched the first Supercross race this morning (Tivo is a great thing).  Whenever you see a muddy supercross race it makes you stand up and take note.  The first thing I find myself noting is how much easier it would probably be to do that muddy SX race on a 2-stroke.  Oh well.

My practice bike, which may end up being my early season race bike, is almost completely together.  My suspension made it back from Factory Connection, resplendent with great big works looking stickers and all.  The bike is mostly built back up, just waiting for a couple of frame guards and a couple of other small things.  Soon it will be ready to be thrashed.  I will be ready to starting thrashing it on January 26.

Hopefully our second bikes will be here before we leave to head south and start racing.  Scott only has his race bike from last year.  That was meant to be his practice bike this year, and a new one would be built up for the race season.   I am sure they will be here soon, and we will do a long weekend scramble to get everything ready for heading south.

We spent this past weekend working on the van.  We got most everything figured out for spending the better part of this spring/summer/fall in the van.  The bike area is coming together with the creature comfort area still to go.  I will let Scott fill us all in on that progress though.

My knee is fantastic.  Tomorrow is brace fitting day at the physical therapy office.  Not much else to report with the knee.  It is not hindering my training or my fitness in any way now.  Once my brace for riding my moto is here (should be about the 22nd), I will even be able to ride.

More stuff for bikes will be showing up this week.  We should feel final proofs of graphics this week, and then we should be able to get photo’s of our bikes posted here and on the teams website.

Check back next week,

Joe