Le Tour de Donut - Greenville, MI

This was my second time doing the "tour" so I knew more of what I was getting myself into. Morning started off brisk, but warmed up nicely - full sun. Perfect day for racing.

It is actually a "race" but a fun race. Ride 10 miles, eat donuts, ride 10 miles, eat donuts, ride 10 miles. For each donut you eat at a station, you get a 3 minute credit. I ate three. Problem is...really, how many donuts would it take to offset the time you sit and try to choke one of those dry bastards down?

Nothing too special to report, other than it was last years course, but in reverse. There were a few killer hills. I almost lost my first donut at the first major climb after the station, so I had to cruise to compose myself and not hurl all over myself and my bike.

Matt Longest and I smoked down 2 more at the next stop and felt pretty good from there on out. A few long hills to climb, but they seemed better than I thought they would. My left hand/arm went numb during the last 3 miles (heart attack? stroke? I guess not since I seem to be making sense right now and I drove myself home.)

Good ride. I need to find time to get out more than once a week. Some of the ride was painful - I know I was riding faster this summer. I've been too busy with work around the house to get out, but have to make a point of it now. Iceman is coming up in just over 1 month's time - I gotta be ready.


Triple Trail Challenge - Pinckney Rec Area

My alarm went off at 4am. Ugh, tired. Drove to Greenville to load my bike and gear into Matt Longest's truck and from there pick up Remus in DeWitt. It seemed as if within minutes we were at the sign-in table at the Pinckney Rec Area. The ride was free with free chili and beer at the end from Arbor Brewing. Only catch was you had to buy either a pint glass or mug to put the beer in. No problem, pint glasses were $5. (I had a "Hoptoberfest" and a "Ypsi Gypsy". Mmmm....yummy.)

We started off, still very cold. Charging off right into the woods, I was gassed after only minutes on the trail. This trend would go on for the first 2+ hours. After being smoked by just about everyone out there that day and falling UPHILL twice (quite dramatically too, I actually have wounds to prove it), I knew it was going to be a long day for me and there was nothing anyone else could do about it. I couldn't catch my breath even on the downhills and my legs had NO power. I felt like I was in a fog most of the afternoon until after lunch. I'm not sure what my deal was, but it was angering me.

The only thing I could come up with later in the day was possibly the muscle relaxers I've been taking at night the previous 4 nights to help calm my lower back. I don't even take the full dose. I don't know what they do to muscles or lung function in the long-run, but I guess as long as I plan to ride in events and perform well, I'll be off those for days beforehand. I don't know...its only an assumption at this point. Bottom line was, I was excited to be there, riding with friends, and I couldn't even half-way ride to my fullest and keep up with them. I felt terrible from head to toe which made it not fun and spent a majority of my day riding by myself.

Boy, I don't ever remember the Potto being that rocky and rooty - lots of steep drops. Of course, I only rode it once, and that was back in 1997. This would have been the only trail I've ridden in years where full suspension would actually make sense.

We rolled in at 38 miles - the ride was advertised as 47. So that was a little disappointing, but I guess the condition I was in, probably a good thing.

Two best things of the day I saw: One was rolling into Remus' only to see him sitting on the concrete driveway with gear ready like a small child waiting for the school bus on his first day of school. So excited! The next was while waiting for traffic to clear at a street crossing, watching Longest fail to unclip and fall amazingly fast right to the ground. He jumps up and yells "Yup, my first day on a bike!" That's good stuff.

Little did anyone know, but Remus was holding a private Single Speed Rigid clinic that day. (That was also free. All you had to do was bring your own glasses to keep the dust and rocks out of your face.) He always led our group out and was not within sight many-a-times. He showed everyone on mountain bikes with gears and suspension that we're all a bunch of pussies. I don't know what you're problem is my friend, but well done. You're a crazy bastard.


Quick ride in DeWitt

Another killer ride with Remus. We assaulted some hills last night and left them for dead. Remus ran off the shoulder once, and I thought I was going to have to run over him, then lay myself out in the road, but we made it through without incident.

Not sure what is wrong with Garmin.com right now, but this is all you get.

Tue, Sep 13, 2011 17:53 added by tmaravolo
5 miles
5 miles
31.91 mi
Average Speed
17.5 mph
Activity Type:
1,210 C
Elevation Gain:
545 ft
Event Type:


To/From Work

The ride into work today was super dark. Like it was the middle of the night. Nothing too fancy to report, other than it's seemingly been too long since I've ridden that early in the morning. It was brisk, but a perfect morning. I learned that raccoons can run about 10-12 mph and large moths can hurt when you collide with them. The coon was in the trail and starting running with me down the trail. I had to slow way down, fearing it would dart under my wheel, cause me to crash, then attack my teeth and face while I was down. I had to actually growl at the thing to get it off the trail. Then later one of the most giant moths I've ever seen came out of no where and hit me square in the chest. It seriously hurt. Like getting hit with a small pebble. I swear the thing looked like the size of a humming bird on it's way in to greet my chest.

The ride home was an organized ride I started for work people. Two guys I regularly ride Cannon Cruise with were there, plus two others. It was a very slow pace, but fun. Our original plan was to stop for hotdogs and icecream, but instead we stopped a deli and had beers. Way better.

What a perfectly beautiful night. I can't explain the feeling I get when I'm all alone riding in the darkness or dusk with no one around. Somehow, self-propelling yourself on a shade-laden paved path in the middle of nowhere has a way of dissolving all the stress and angst of the work week.

I think this is Kid Rock's new beer. I sampled one and liked it and thought
I could be a bigger "Badass" if I had another, so I did.



My plan today was to ride to Big Rapids and back. Maybe get to Paris. It was a glorious morning, but my back is still stiff and aching. I got to Howard City and had to start back. Just to stiff and uncomfortable. For the rest of the day, it seemed fine, so maybe it was the 50 degree temps freezing it up. IDK. Some other day, I guess. I got my HRM back from Garmin (a new one) last week, so it was nice to have that working again.


Again, defeated by Mother Nature

My quest to ride into work this morning was thwarted by a crack of lightning that almost made me fall out of bed at 3am. I think I peed a little. The impending rain did not stop until just before it was time to leave around 5am and I could still see lightning in the distance. Radar said rain still in the city. So I sat on the couch wondering what to do, staring out the window.

I went back to bed, defeated by Mother Nature again. Not today, but someday, I will emerge victorious.

Besides the lighning, the other thing that urged me back to bed was the thought of having to thoroughly clean my bike all over again after riding on wet/nasty roads. Road gunch would be everywhere and I woudl be soaked. And right now, I don’t have the time or patience for that this weekend. Maybe the ride home from work today instead at near 100 degree heat index will be worth it.

Oh, and I was an ultra dork yesterday and bought a $20 LED flashing tail light. I don’t know. Maybe $20 will save my life? I will admit it’s one of the coolest I’ve seen out there and seems really noticeable, but will only touch my bike during dark/dusk riding.