Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Brands Cycle & Fitness Muddy Tire 2017



Brands Cycle & Fitness Muddy Tire (CAT 1 – Single Speed)
Small race directors are some of the most dedicated and committed. Participants often don’t know how lucky they really are...
I haven’t done a lot of racing this year, as a matter of fact, this would be my first race of 2017. Instead of boring you with the details of life that kept me from racing, I’ll just get to the event.

Sign-up/Price:  Easy sign-up, Bikereg is an easy site to use. Extremely reasonable price for this event. 

Pre-Event Communication:  Race Awesome is a great outfit and they do a great job with athlete communication. The emails and Facebook page gave me all I needed to know and more.

Packet Pick-Up:  Simple and straight forward the day before at the Fat Tire Festival.

Goodie Bag:  Disappointed in the standard environmentally unfriendly plastic grocery bag. Run of the mill sponsor fliers, nothing special. Great t-shirt.

Venue:  AWESOME. Plenty of camping, parking and space to roam. Playground for kids. Great trails with some good variety for all levels of rider.

Course:  Excellent course. While I did not enjoy the “new” section and the challenge it presented, it added to the difficulty of the race.

Course Marking & Volunteers: Excellent course marking and directional signage.

Finisher Medals: I did not get one. Did not see anyone at finish handing anything out, but I wasn’t stopping to loiter as I needed to tend to some injuries.

Race Photos: Some of the best I’ve seen in a long time, free and available within at least 24 hours after event.

Post-Race Food:  I did not see or partake, again as I headed right to camp site/car to tend to injuries.

Medical:  I had no need for it, but very close. The volunteers and course marshals were very present and vocal. Excellent to have this support on course.

Post- Event Communication: Nothing yet, but assuming the permitting process for this venue and event is not easy.

Travel: Easy drive from home (1 hour) on LIE.

OVERALL: I love this event and how it comes back so I can make it a part of my yearly racing calendar. 

MY RACE:

Did I mention this was to be my first race of 2017? The weather was perfect, cool, but not cold and sunny. I started to get ready and headed out for a little warm up and leg opener. We had the National Anthem and it was off to the start line for the Cat 1 9:00am start.

I lined up toward the back since I was on my single speed and with the flat opening loop of the open field knew I had no chance to be up front. I met Reggie the other single speeder in the Cat 1 division and we shared some pleasantries before the horn sounded.

Horn. We were off and I was officially racing for the first time in 2017. I was happy. I love racing. I love the adrenaline. I love pushing into the suffer zone and trying to go beyond.


I spun my legs as fast as I could to get as far forward as possible before we dove left into the single-track. I was probably in the top 20 riders strung out through the first section. I made a couple passes on the early uphill sections and maybe advanced five places to get in what looked to be a second group. There were a few slower riders holding the group up and they graciously pulled to the side when prompted, except for one guy. This guy let a gap to the front group open and had a line behind him yelling for him to move over. Even one of his teammates was calling him by name to let the faster group pass.

Well, this is where I screwed up. I was too antsy and eager not to fall further behind so I was glued to the guys tire in front of me in hopes that we would get an opening to pass.

Key point in the race happening at the 6:25 mark...

Around a corner over a hump one more left then a quick right and….BAM…I was off my bike, airborne, then off a tree…and…THUD…hit the ground! It all happened so fast. I could hardly breathe, my bike was somewhere, guys were yelling, I was being asked if I was OK. I gathered my wits and located my bike, hopped on before checking to see if there was any damaged and started riding again.

I had been left behind by the group and passed by a few others. I took stock of any injuries and started riding again. My left side had taken a beating. I took a hit to my ankle, hip, elbow and shoulder. I was amped on more adrenaline so I rode myself back into a rhythm and started chasing.

The adrenaline helped mask the pain and my desire not to go out on lap one of this three lap race kept me motivated.


I started catching riders and making some passes. I got through lap one and started to see familiar kits up ahead as I embarked on lap two.

I caught a small group of riders I was with when the crash happened and Reggie, my new single speed friend. My left hip was starting to hurt when I cranked up the power with my left leg, but otherwise I felt good. I made a hard charge past the group to get some distance going into lap three.


Hitting lap three, I knew I had a good gap on the chase pack, no clue who was ahead of me. I rode hard wanting to take the single speed win and get some crash comeback gratification.

This race was utilizing a new section of trail that had just been cut in the last few weeks. It was soft and still raw which made it hard to get a rhythm and forced one to use a lot of energy. I hit this new section on lap three and bonked. The combination of the crash, my hard effort on lap two, the energy zapping terrain and my lack of training/racing build up had caught up to me.


I kept turning the pedals over, but the effort with my left leg was getting more difficult and I felt like there was something more than sweat going on under my sock on my left ankle. The proverbial wheels were coming off. I did my best to keep it going and was not going to quit as I knew my son was probably waiting at the finish line. In our family, we finish what we start unless we are carted off by an ambulance. I kept telling myself “power hard to the last section and then the open flat lap and you can finish this off on top…GO!”


Apparently, that power was not enough as I was caught and passed by my little group and Reggie with less than two miles to go. I was disappointed, but more relieved that I would still finish and that I’d gotten up and put in a good effort after the crash.

It was a fun event. Even though there was not a lot of climbing, it was hard. The twisty-turny course kept you working and leaving no time to coast.

A lot of should’ve, could’ve, would’ve thoughts after the race, plus, I’d felt like I had been hit by a car…

Sunday afternoon, night and Monday were a bit rough getting around but I was still on a ‘high’ from racing again and finishing. I was back at my desk Monday morning looking for pictures and came across the video of my crash. As weird as it may sound, I was also juiced to find another race before winter gripped the east coast.

This stuff is addictive!

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Monday, October 2, 2017

C.L.I.M.B Fat Tire Festival 2017


EVENT REVIEW – C.L.I.M.B Fat Tire Festival
Communing with nature and riding bikes…
This was a weekend of events with the C.L.I.M.B Fat Tire Festival on Saturday and the Brands Cycle & Fitness Muddy Tire race on Sunday.

My buddy Scott and I decided to make a camping weekend of it with our boys.


Saturday – C.L.I.M.B Fat Tire festival

Sign-up/Price: I renewed my membership to C.L.I.M.B a few weeks prior so it was easy as visiting a table to get the necessary wrist bands for the BBQ. I think my family membership is $45 for the year. It is well worth it to support an organization that does so much for the Long Island mountain bike community and provides the opportunity to have such great access to trails.

Pre-Event Communication: I used the C.L.I.M.B website and forum to get most of my questions answered. There were a few things that came out in the emails that caused confusion and needed some clarification as it related to camping and how accessible campsite were. This is an awesome location and the camping is fun to make a weekend family activity out of it, it should be publicized more.

Packet Pick-Up: N/A

Goodie Bag: N/A

Venue: AWESOME! Cathedral Pines is a very cool park with a ton of trail miles that suit all abilities. The open space is great to be able to see what is going on and have a focal point of all activities.

Course: (Kids Race) Great distance and not too tough for younger less experienced riders.

Course Markings & Volunteers: (Kids Race) Course was not marked and even though they took the group of kids on a preview lap, kids got confused on where to go. Would be nice to mark the kids course to make them feel like it is a real event.

Finisher Medals: Great. Perfect little rubber ‘medal’ for kids.

Post-Race Food:  N/A. 

Medical:  N/A

Race Photos: None for the kids race, would have been nice but I was able to get some good shots with my phone.

Post- Event Communication: 
None so far

Travel: Easy drive out on the LIE.

OVERALL:
 Great day for the family. Would be nice to move some of the rides and adult activities later in the day to allow more people to travel out. People brining families don’t get out of the house on weekend mornings quite as fast as those without.

THE DAY
We all headed out Saturday morning on what started out as a beautiful day. Part way through our drive East on the LIE there was a torrential rain storm and we had doubts about our luck at the event site.


Arriving at Cathedral Pines State Preserve Park, we got a camping spot and set up camp while our boys took off on their mountain bikes to explore. After we were all settled we headed over to the Fat Tire Festival, got the boys signed up for the kids’ race, checked out the booths and took part in the lunch BBQ. After lunch Scott took all the boys out for a ride on the trails while I hopped in the car to run an errand (had to pick up the ashes of our recently deceased dog at a nearby funeral home). Scott, boys and I all made it back in time to make our way to the start line for the kids’ race.

The boys did great. My son had a digger on the parade lap that needed some TLC, but he was a trooper, bloody knee and all.

Once the kids racing had concluded the skies decided to open up. We took the opportunity to pile in the car and head to the nearby grocery for cookout supplies. The timing was perfect as we got back to the campground the rain stopped and I was able to get a fire going in the fire pit.

The boys could not get enough of riding their bikes to find sticks and then come back to carve them up with their Swiss army knife. Scot and I drank beers and got dinner ready. Burgers, hot dogs, chili and beans filling the stomach we made room for s’mores and more beer. The boys ran around in the dark with flashlights having a blast.

We retired to our tents, Scot and one of his son’s in his two-man tent and me with my son and Scott’s other son in our three-man tent. After some rough-housing and storytelling we all fell asleep.

I love sleeping outside. The air, the sounds and the environment. There is not much more relaxing sleep than in the middle of nowhere in a tent.

The boys woke us all up at 6:30 the next morning and we were full speed with campfire, bagels and coffee cakes right away.
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Thursday, August 24, 2017

150,000 Kids Moving & Active







PHIT AMERICA GO! GRANTS - A SUPERSTAR-WINNING PROGRAM 
We have now helped 150,000 kids get active and moving in our school-based physical activity programs. To date, PHIT America with the help of its sponsors, has invested over $1,000,000 in the PHIT America GO! Grants program. Our success is in many ways attributed to our great partners, KIDS in the GAME who have implemented our GO! Grants.



“We are proud to get more kids active and playing sports while fighting the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’,” says Jim Baugh, Founder of PHIT America. “We have beaten our projections and our average cost per child is less than $15. That is an incredibly small price to pay for the transformative power exercise has on these kids’ academic, physical and emotional health. The PHIT America GO! Grants are changing lives. We are doubling kids physical activity levels…adding 85 minutes ofphysical activity per week.  Our cost per child is less than $15 per child.  We will put this program and our cost per child up against ANY program in the USA."
SPONSORS STEP UP - GO THE EXTRA MILE
A few key sponsors have driven up the results for the PHIT America GO! Grants. ASICS became the first Platinum Sponsor by pledging an additional $50,000 to PHIT America through a special consumer-centric Global Running Day fundraising initiative in late May/early June of this year. The majority of these funds will impact GO! Grants in California, Hawaii, and Texas in the 2017/18 school year. ASICS is planning other promotional events later this year which will benefit PHIT America and get more kids ‘off the couch’ and active through the GO! Grants program.

Two other major sponsors have gone the extra mile. Recently in Chicago, Life Fitness provided PHIT America GO! Grants to 11 elementary schools in the greater Chicago area. Then, with the help of its PR firm, Edelman & Associates, Life Fitness told the story throughout the greater Chicago area. See the great promotional video which Life Fitness produced HERE. Earlier this year, Technogym with the help of its PR firm, NikeComm, supported schools in northern New Jersey and then exposed their efforts and results to the general media in the greater New York City area.
JOIN OUR 'MOVEMENT' - WE MUST WORK TOGETHER TO FIGHT THE INACTIVITY TRENDS
There is no question the 'Inactivity Pandemic' is getting worse. Kids are getting increasingly inactive and addicted to electric devices. Our programs - GO! Grants, educational tools, The PHIT Act and a new event in 2018, PHIT America Month - fight the negative trends of the sports & fitness industry.  

Please don't think the 'Inactivity Pandemic' will just turn around. We need everyone to be proactive and join our 'Movement'.  If you want to help us get America more Active, FIt & Healthy, please contact Jim@PHITAmerica.org. We have a support level for every size company or organization.
               

   


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Monday, May 15, 2017

Bicycle Commuter Style

When I lived in San Diego I loved commuting to work on my bike. 

Taking off in the early morning from our home in La Jolla to navigate 14 miles of roads, trails, highways and singletrack, I often opted for the mountain bike (it was good training for the Leadville MTB 100). 

I would cruise through the town of La Jolla, down past the Shores and climb up to the UCSD campus, getting a good dirt section diving into the woods on the backside of campus before racing downhill to the highway.

Our offices were in Mira Mesa, and the direct bike route included a section of I-5. Nothing like an early morning buzz by cars and trucks going 80 mph. After the death defying highway rip I would get to the best part of the ride with multiple opportunities to extend my ride through Los Penasquitos Canyon. Finally, up Lopez Canyon and down the road to the office park housing our corporate offices.

I was fortunate to have a locker and shower facilities to clean up and get dressed for the work day.

Bike commuting in a city environment is not as easy and more often than not requires it be done in work clothes. When we moved back to New York I picked up a unique, functional and stylish tailored Jacket, created by Rapha in partnership with British bespoke tailor Timothy Everest. It is essentially a version of the top half of the 2009 bespoke cycling suit.


The jacket is made from a unique nanotechnology based 100% wool fabric that’s both water/stain resistant and designed to keep your body at optimal temperatures – hot or cold.


The technical biking features are in place throughout the jacket: front hems that can be buttoned away from the legs, storm collar, rear pocket, action back pleats at the shoulders, zipped key pocket on the left arm with lanyard, working cuff buttons, dual in-breast pockets, iPod cable routing loops, and light touches of Rapha’s signature pink Melton wool trim.


Rapha still has a more generic cycling sport jacket available, the Lapelled Jacket, but it lacks the style, sophistication and technically elements to the Timothy Everest offering.

I recently saw a similar offering from Parker Dusseau, the Commuter Suit.


Nothing will replace having a locker and shower to clean up for the work day post-ride; It is nice to see more products being offered for the stylish bicycle commuter.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

If you need some wheels to roll around in your stylish threads, check out 5 Reasons Why a Folding Bike is the Best Commuter Bike


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Monday, May 8, 2017

Three I'm Digging #15

Over the years, with all the running, skiing, cycling and standing, I have become acutely aware that it is all about the feet, and when your feet are hurt, broken or tired, it is extremely irritating and you cannot perform at your best.

Additionally, when your feet are hurt or uncomfortable it has an affect on the entire body and consequently could lead to other issues and injuries.

As a ski instructor, many years ago, I found amazing benefit from having the very best footbeds to help with boot fit, alleviate fatigue and help with performance. I have not gone a day since without insoles in my boots.

Shortly after understanding the impact footbeds, I incorporated them into other performance equipment like my cycling shoes.

Sole Footbeds
$29.95

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Speaking of skiing and cycling, cycling shoes are a lot like ski boots. The fit depends on how different brands fit your unique foot.

Over the years, I have had great fitting shoes and have suffered with marginally fitting shoes. One of my first pairs was the Sidi Genius and I LOVED those shoe. I wore them till the bitter end and they just fell apart (about 8 years of thousands of miles a year riding).

Instead of investing in another pair of Sidis I went the price route and moved to Pearl Izumi and Carnac.

Nothing compared to the Sidis, but I made due and with proper footbeds I could better dial in the fit and they were better than adequate.

Recently, I was given a pair of Giro Prolight SLX II shoes as a gift and think I have found the Sidi equivalent.

I have logged close to 2,000 miles in these shoes so far in 2017.

Giro Prolight SLX II
$225

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Regardless of what we do athletically, our feet bare the brunt of our actions; whether it be running, skiing, cycling or just running around the yard in bare feet.

Over the years, I have been good and bad taking particularly good care of my feet, especially clipping my toenails so to not have them dig in to their neighbor toes while squeezed into my running shoes.

I also noticed that my toes would rub together on longer runs and would get sore, blistered and eventually create calluses between each one.

In an attempt to suffer less and keep my toes happy, I tried Injinji toe socks and have found them to be extremely helpful in keeping my toes happy and saving me when I forget to clip my toenails.

Injinji Toe Socks
$12-$15


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Monday, May 1, 2017

Getting Organized

It has been a crazy few months.

Not all good crazy. Not all bad crazy. Just a mixed bag of life comes at you fast crazy.


In an attempt to keep up, manage it all, keep the crazy from overtaking life and even thinking I can get ahead, I have had my foot firmly planted on the gas pedal.

In all the craziness I managed to become a bit disorganized and less focused on the details. As someone who takes pride in being a keeper of copious notes, to do lists and schedules, I found myself trying new tactics that, in the end, complicated things and added to my stress level.

Over the years, technology has changed the tools and convenience of taking notes, but not everything equals the ability to keep a nice log of handwritten notes.

I have become a big user of the evernote app to clip online articles and websites to read later while cruising social media and not having the time to dig in to a particular topic at that time.

Back when I was working and training for an Ironman, I kept an amazing journal with motivational quotes, fortune cookie sayings, details of my training, nutrition and general thoughts. I was so into the process and ability to look back and understand performance and factors (environmental, nutrition, etc.) that affected my performance, I kept this type of journal for many years after the Ironman.


I have often come across this journal and flipped through to find motivation, read a great quote and relive fitter, faster and seemingly better times.


I miss this. I miss being this focused. I miss being this immersed in the details of making myself better. I miss having an account of the things that made me go fast, fail, hurt, feel good, etc.


While looking for a way to get back to this type of focus in my current daily life and different set of responsibilities and training, I came across a cool site & practice: Bullet Journal.
The System
The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. 
It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. 
It will teach you to do more with less.


I am feeling inspired by this, so I went out and purchased a new journal.


Stay tuned to my attempt to 'restart' this practice.


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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Core To Casual Is Dangerous For Sports

Within the next few weeks, PHIT America will see an eye-opening news release on how the sports and fitness industry is contributing to the Healthcare Crisis Time Bomb. Then, the following week, PHIT America will publish the “Inactivity Pandemic 2017 Report,” featuring a comprehensive review of the Physical Activity Council study.  




 
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Monday, April 3, 2017

Listen In


I'm thinking of starting and dabbling in the world of podcasting.

Just exploring, researching and thinking right now.

Current Podcasts I listen to:

  • The Forward
  • How I Built This
  • TED Radio Hour
  • Entre Leadership
  • Awesome Office
  • Inc. Uncensored
  • Outside
  • Leaders
  • Business Unusual
  • HBR Ideacast
  • Live.Life.Better
  • Zwiftcast
How will my effort be unique and worthy of listening to?

Much to consider before I commit fully.
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Friday, October 14, 2016

Three I'm Digging #14


Between my mountain bikes, beach cruiser, my wife's bikes and my son's growing fleet, we have gone through a lot of bike bells. Yes, bike bells. As random as this sounds, a good bike bell is necessary in a number of different situations. Outside of my son constantly ringing his throughout a family ride, I find a good bike bell as a necessary accessory to most bicycles as the bell warns others of your approach on trails and streets and makes you and/or a child more "visible".
My wife saw the Knog Oi Bike Bell on Kickstarter almost a year and a half ago. We just got the two we ordered and, so far, I am impressed with their size, look and sound...no more big ugly space satellite on the handlebars.

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We received an Amazon Alexa last year as a gift and it sat in the box for about 4 months as I was hesitant to add anymore technology to our house and, to be honest, figured we'd plug it in, use if for a short amount of time and then it would just collect dust.
So, after ignoring it for a few months, I got curious and read up on the product. I was intrigued by the services and capabilities so I plugged it in and introduced "Alexa" to the family. My 7-year-old son thought it was the coolest thing ever and figured out that he could easily get some answers to his homework. He wasn't too keen on the name "Alexa" so he chose to rename his new friend "Echo."
To this day, there has not been one day to go by where we have not used "Echo" a number of times throughout the day. It is a pretty amazing product and only gets smarter and more useful over time.

Amazon Alexa
$179.99


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Back in April of 2015 in "Three I'm Digging #8" I wrote about Taft Clothing's very first product, the 'no show' socks that I and then my wife purchased and love. Since then, I have been following the Taft Clothing brand as they expand and introduce more products. I love their story and am a huge fan of everything on their site; it is so well thought out and unique.
When they first shot out a picture of The Chief shoe on their Instagram account, I immediately put in a pre-order for a number of reasons: #1 they are cool looking and so different, #2 My dog's name is Chief and #3 my grandfather's name is Chief!

Taft Shoes - The Chief
$210


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Monday, August 29, 2016

Impromptu Racing

Took a little vacation last week to Maine. We stayed at a summer camp and tested out all the amenities for a potential 2017 summer for our son.

On the first night there it was announced that the following morning the Kennebec Land Trust was holding their annual Tri-Sports Challenge race and we were welcome to join.


Always up for a little impromptu racing and fun, I signed up and took part in the 1/4 mile swim, 1/2 mile water craft (more on my "boat" later) and a 5K run.



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Monday, August 15, 2016

Tour of the Catskills


Riding some familiar and missed roads with a good friend in the Tour of the Catskills event.

Scott had never ridden 80 miles so this was a true test with some nice big hills

I had a great time seeing some familiar sites and helping Scott
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Three I'm Digging #13


Been on a bit of a hiatus from writing with a lot going on, but that has only allowed me to find more products I dig and to share here.

I spent a good portion of spring and early summer riding my bike in preparation for the Wilmington Whiteface 100k mountain bike race (Check out my race recap here). The race is a qualifier for the the Leadville 100 mtb race and since I've done that race before, I thought it might be fun/interesting to change up the equipment a bit and go for it on a single speed.

I still love my early version Spot Brand Rocker 29er SS.

Here is the new version:
Rocker SS 29
Complete Bike: $3,199
Frame Only: $1,199

If you are in the market for a new carbon full suspension rig, I would highly recommend checking out the new Spot Brand offering:
rollik557
Complete Bike: $6,499
Frame With Rear Shock: $2,999
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After a good ten months out of the water, I have found my way back into swimming. After dealing with some lingering tendonitis in a shoulder and elbow, I decided to bite the bullet and shut down swimming to see if that was the root of the pain. So far, so good; albeit, I'm taking a very gradual approach to effort, distance and time in the water.

I treated myself to a new training drag suit since one of my old ones had lost its battle with chlorine and neglect. While picking up a few items at Swimmer's Choice here on Long Island for my son, I spotted some cool looking suits and was able to get a patriotic design on sale.

Dolfin Dragsters Stars Male Poly
SALE - $18.75

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Along with swimming, I am making the attempt to build back some running form and speed. Maybe not the best plan for the heat of summer, but I really love getting out at sunrise in the summertime.

Over the years I have tried every shirt imaginable and I constantly come back to one. Most shirts get heavy, clingy and uncomfortable once saturated with sweat and water on a hot humid run; sometimes that contributes to nipple chafe...brutal.

This Patagonia shirt tends to work the best for me and doesn't cost a fortune.

Patagonia Men's Short-sleeved Fore Runner Shirt
$39
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