Thursday, October 29, 2009

Training - In All Elements!

Today provided the perfect opportunity to hit the trails and test the 'All Weather Judd'. I survived. The day started out in a BRUTAL deep freeze. When did winter arrive in The Land of Enchantment? I guess it arrived 24 hours ago. So 16 deg at 6:30 AM. You may ask, "What are you doing up at 6:30AM?" Well, I'm headed to work. I do work you know. I do contribute to society. And I do pay all my bills without a bailout. But I would love a bailout. Then again, who cares. I'm surviving. As my brother elegantly stated in 1996, "No Wife, No Kids, No Pets, NO PROBLEMs.". So I work, I ride, I spent big time cash and I sleep.

I hit the trails around 5PM. It was cold. 31 deg. But the experts said it felt like 19 deg. Awesome. I thrive on the challenge.

After 3 miles I decided to stop to warm the hands and take a few pics. How does one warm frozen hands in the middle of a snow storm? Well, stick them somewhere. Oh yeah. What is the red crap below my nose? It was so damn cold that my nose was bleeding on and off. Wicked.

Nice pic of ABQ. If there is such a thing.

The sheep in the snow & cactus. Cool. I mean COLD.

The ride is almost over, 2.5 more miles. Hands are warm, feet are frozen. But that's cool. I can cry about it after I take the permanent dirt nap.

Chillin' in the car after the ride. You may ask how the 'chamois cream' held up in 19 deg weather. Well, dude, when you bike in jeans it is absolutely forbidden - by law - to wear biking shorts under the denim. It is either commando or .... something, but NO bike shorts. If you can't do anything without your padded bike shorts then pull out the tights, get freaky and stay the HELL away from me. BTW, what is up with my bloated face? I swear I have a slender face. I even have the Lance Armstrong cheek wrinkles at times. I guess the wind chill puts on 10 lbs, I hope. I'll be a bachelor for eternity if I don't get rid of this bloat-a-tion.
So, I bet my mother is wondering what went wrong with her youngest. How did I turn into such a stupid dude that rides in the extreme cold. Well, mother - if one wants to race with pneumonia, one must train with pneumonia, therefore one must develop pneumonia. Might as well start in October. Plus, I have been trained by the best of the best to endure the cold harsh winters of North America. Padre was stationed up in Alaska during the Korean War. What in the world was The Dad doing up in Alaska during the Korean War? Shit... He was fighting the Russians, what else is there to do up there.

Anyway, in honor of all the wonderful mothers out there let's pay our respect via one of Danzig's classic songs, MOTHER! Just remember, every day is Mother's day.

In honor of the wicked cold - it's Time to Get ILL

And I am still working on the mental conditioning. I moved off of the Rob Zombie and set the iPod on Chevelle - I Get it. Because, I Get It.

So remember:

Haters Hate! Winners Win! And Judd just wakes up to ride again, dude.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nutrition and Training

Nutrition and Training. The 2 primary ingredients for a successful 24 hour race. On Nov 7th Tedd and I will race in the 24 Hours of Fury, Phoenix AZ. On February 13 Tedd, Tim and I will be racing in the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, Tucson AZ. We are all racing SOLO, of course. We may be a part of the most influential racing team of our time, but we are not Team Racers. We don't 'Pass the Baton', we don't do 'the handoff', we don't believe in 'high 5s', we will never support the 'group hug'.

So what is nutrition? How does Back of the Pack Racing stay in the back of the pack. Check out my refrigerator. The answers are right in your face. Or should I say "In My Face". Or, as a great friend once said, in 'The Garbage Gut'. Let's be clear, Back of the Pack Racing is not Front of the Pack Racing & it is NOT We Will Dominate You Racing. There are strict boundaries of athleticism that we will never cross. Our nutrition plan assures this.

As you review the contents of Judd's fridge you may have a few questions. We have the answers.

1) Q: Why so many cans of salsa? A: Why not. Be prepared, as they taught us in Boy Scouts.
2) Q: Why only 2 bags of Cheetos? A: I eat dinner, you know. It's 7:30 PM, 2 bags are history.
3) Q: Why the water? A: My uncle, the great Uncle Judd says 'You must take a bath every now and then', so my bath water is fresh.
4) Q: Why the eggs? A: Hell, I don't know. I think my mom dropped them off 2 years ago.
5) Q: Tortillas & Cheese? A: Check out the photo below, the usual for breakfast & lunch & dinner.
6) Q: Why the Bud American Ale and Tecate? A: Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson have backups. So Fat Tire and Dale's Pale Ale deserve a backup or two.
7) Q: V8? A: Well, Back of the Pack Racing supports monthly cleansings. A daily dose of vegetables is good enough for a cleansing once a month. One cup, once a month. It works.
8) Q: Miracle Whip? Crap, the aliens must be back.

So, what is the breakfast, lunch and dinner of a champion? What else? A Salsa + Cheetos burrito. What else would one do to maintain such exceptional performance in the back of the pack? NOTHING!

Training. Well, RIDE - for the physical aspect of ultra endurance events. Mental conditioning is another important element that so many forget. Mental conditioning basically boils down to effectively dealing with the monotony of hours and hours on the bike. Lately my mental conditioning is dominated by a healthy (unheathly?) addiction to death metal. I've forced myself to listen to Rob Zombie's award winning song "Ride" for days / weeks, over and over. It takes an unbelievable amount of mental toughness to listen to the same tune for weeks, non stop. This mental toughness is required for ultra endurance events. In addition, it takes a very special person to actually enjoy listening to the same tune for weeks on end. I'm that special someone.

Check out the training song.

So, the training regimen is based on a theory of bionic chaos. One must not allow the body to experience a zone of comfort. High performance athletes live on soy beans, tofu, organic nuts & vegetables, and spiritual harmony. Once this utopia is destroyed, most likely at mile 125 and at 4AM, the high performance athlete hits the 'wall'. Well, us Back of the Pack racers never hit the wall - we live on the 'wall' and the 'wall' is our friend. Once the body understands that there is no limits, that one can survive on Cheetos Burritos alone (+ beer of course) then the 'wall' just becomes another building block of athletic superiority.

So, all the critics may ask, "How does someone establish and execute such an insane nutrition and training routine? This genius must have way too much time on his hands !"

Yep, I have way TOO MUCH time on my hands. But great men stay productive. The definition of productivity can be debated.

Until next time - go enjoy a Cheetos Burrito for breakfast, dude.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Mecca of Titanium

... to use a phrase coined by Lieutenant Colonel Arnold.

Tedd and I hit the road the cruised up to Fort Collins, Colorado. The goal? Place two more orders for the greatest titanium single speeds on Earth. Tedd went for the killer Steller, I went for a modified Highlight. Yep, #2 sheep for me - and I won't stop there. A speedster is in the books for 2010 - maybe.

It was a quick trip, but we fit in the fun. What is so fun about a 1000 mile road trip in 30 hours? Well, we stopped at one of the coolest breweries in Colorado, Oskar Blues. (There are 4, Fat Tire, Odell's, SteamWorks and Oskar Blues.) We'll narrow down the list as soon as one of the breweries ponies up some cash to support Back of the Pack Racing. It would be a wise move on their part, considering the # of 12 oz'ers that we pound in a 365 1/4 day period.

So, what did Tedd and I do at Oskar Blues. Drink? No. We played video games. Tedd revisited the Joust addiction that the Rohwer brothers succumbed to in the early 80's at Cable Car Pizza - Durango Co. I gravitated to Donkey Kong. We owned the game room, considering the 5 'C' notes we converted to quarters and ran through the machines. Lucky for us, we pulled out the trusty engineer tool bag, cracked into the software, and reprogrammed the vintage code. So, the our return on investment was 'Steller'.

Then we headed home, through the beautiful Colorado landscape, snow coverage and all. Someday we will all leave the Land of Enchantment and once again call Colorful Colorado home. Until then, I will continue to submit resumes to all the major railroads in the great U.S. of A. My dream is 'Astronaut', but I will settle for Railroad Engineer.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Zuni 100 - OK Just 44.78

What a race. Well, it wasn't really a race. In usual fashion, the Back of the Pack Racing team signed up for the 100 (really 90) and only finished one loop - 45 miles. A million excuses but none of them matter. Someday we will finish the entire 2 loops. OK, probably not.

Tim had a rough day with his rear tire. I think he went through 5 cans of CO2. Lucky for him, Tedd and I had 6 cans of CO2 between us. We weren't exactly unprepared. Tim and I had hand pumps, they just didn't work. Funny thing, Tim's tire held air all night. So I think he intentionally fell off the pace, let air out of his tire, then declared the machine unfit for action. This was his strategy to veto the 2nd lap and start in on the Dale's Pale Ale, Tecate, Modus Hoperandi, Dos Equis, etc. Smart dude, I think. Then again, I seem to recall similar strategies playing out the last two years. It's just "The Curse of the Zuni".

Then there was Tedd. He was keeping up with the relentless pace that I set - in between the 4 hours of waiting for Tim. Then with 4 miles to go, his seat bolt snapped. Hey tough guy, ever tried to ride a single speed (or any bike for that matter) without a seat? Go for it. Tedd said it was Awesome! Especially when he forgot that his seat was not on the seat post. Talk about cheap thrills.

So out of all this chaos what did Judd learn? I learned that one must watch the trail when cows are grazing nearby. If you don't, something sloppy may end up on your bike, your shirt, your water bottles. Just pray that you find the slop before you guzzle the energy drink. I didn't. I may die a miserable death. Giardia is terrible. Cow Diarrhea mixed with a little electrolyte supplement is down right evil.

What's next? Don't know. Most likely the 24 hours of Fury down in Phoenix. Yep, need more experience with the 24 hour races. If there is a challenge out there, I am a willing participant - unless the Cow Diarrhea takes it's tool or the Aliens abduct me - again.

Oh. One more thing. Absolutely DO NOT follow the link to data and pictures if you have a week stomach or are emotionally incapable of dealing with grotesque images. Tedd has a nasty injury from the 24 hours of Moab. We have the evidence forever stored in the digital world - that is "1's and 0's" for you geeks.

Back of the Pack Racing - The Judd, Tedd & Tim Trio

Team Unity

Uh, my seat hurts. I mean, my seat is broken. I mean... OUCH!

Monday, October 12, 2009

24 Hours of Moab

Wicked, Wicked Race

24 Hours of Moab. My 1st 24 hour race, not my last. I learned a lot and will return to pursue victory, whatever that means. Brother Tedd and I cranked through 105.7 miles. (Yes, Tedd's 1st race was a 24 ultra endurance event, awesome.) We achieved Tedd's goal (set by ME) but not my goal. That is OK. The course was awesome, yet brutal. The 1st 6 miles included a serious amount of hike-a-bike and gnarly descents. But we survived. Tedd battled a bad brake for the entire race. I battled a unsettling creaking / cracking noise. Oh well.

Race summary:

The race started with a 1/4 mile run, yep a LeMans start. Cool. (Actually, it hurt.) Tedd and I gracefully finished the run near the end, by design. Then we cranked out about 75 miles before 1AM. My feet were killing me and I think Tedd was worn out. So we took a break. My goal of 150 miles was quickly reduced to 105 miles. OK, so... we slept / rested until 6:30AM, finally returned to the bike action at 8AM and finished the 105 miles around 12:30PM. That is the story. No crashes, no disasters, no nights in jail.

My top 10 thoughts - I mean top 13:

1) 24 hour races are awesome, just don't get horizontal. If you do, your game plan is history.
2) Enjoy the lights, awesome watching the riders in the distance.
3) The feet get cold first.
4) Take your own hydration stuff and food stuff. This ain't a fully stocked Colorado endurance race, its Utah.
5) You can sleep when you're dead, or when you give up for the night.
6) If the weather sucks, it'll suck.
7) This ain't a weight loss event, but you will burn 8000+ calories. If you ain't burning calories, you ain't riding, dude.
8) Don't try to keep up with the chicks, even if they are 100 lbs and on a single speed. (All the chicks are Pros.)
9) Hiking boots would be better than biking shoes, for the Moab course
10) 24 hours on the bike is better than 24 hours in jail, so I'm told.
11) 24 hours on the bike is harder than 24 hours of drinking beer, so I know.
12) Solo single speeders reign.
13) In the end, the quitters quit, the winners win, and Judd just wakes up to ride again.

Until next year -

Judd doing what Judd does - In STYLE!


The bikes ready for action

The LeMans start

Tedd digging the Hike-a-Bike

5 days, 765 miles in the car, 120.8 miles on the Black Sheep single speed, 78 cans of beer and no shower. Nice

Bike maintenance - after the wicked race

The sheep ready for action again. Note the old school 'saddle'. Why? Because Padre defined old school during the new school of the 1940s, or should I say 'old skool', dude.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bear Repellent - The Options

Fall is here. That means bears are out and looking for the last good meal prior to the big sleep. I don't want to be 'the meal'. So, what are the single speed options for bear repellent? Well, Tedd likes the neon green tape + the pepper spray. I don't know, the neon green tape is sort of 'Zoolander-ish".

I have a more realistic approach to bear repellent. I call it the '357 Option'. Then again, deep down inside (yeah, it's my insides that I'm worried about) I think the neon tape and pepper spray will make the bear run for cover. The 357 might just piss the bear off. I might rethink this approach, maybe. Do you think there are any safety issues with the '357 Option'?

Just in case my mother flips out about the '357 Option', I came up with an intermediate option. I'll call it the 'WWII Machete Option'. I'm a bit worried about the machete option. I bet I'd suffer some major slice-age-es during the rather routine over-the-handle bar face plants. So, I don't know. I'm headed back into the garage to work on the 'Battle Axe Option'. The battle axe may be the key to survival.

The Zoolander Option to Bear Repellent:

The '357 Option':

The WWII Machete Option:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Foothills 50

A day worthy of vacation. It was a work day, but putting in a few good miles (50) was definitely more important. This was Tedd's first experience of major pain via the Single Speed torture method. Tedd survived and is now ready to join the club of lunatics who view the ride as not over until the blisters ooze. What's next? 24 hours of Moab. Tedd's goal is ~ 105 miles, says Judd. Judd's goal is 150 to 180 miles, says Judd. Hopefully the weather holds out. If not, hopefully the beer tent is stocked with plenty of flavors and plenty of ounces.

Below are a few plots of the all important data set.