Monday, January 19, 2009


I have been told that if you don't like the weather in Alabama wait a day and it will change. Well this past weekend we went from sub-zero temperatures on Saturday to running in shorts and t-shirts on Sunday. Lucky for me I had some company doing my long ride on Saturday. I am used to doing almost all my training solo so it was great to hear that fellow Xterra athlete Craig Evans and friends were coming into town to do some mountain bike training at Oak Mountain. The group ended up being six strong: myself, Casey Fanin, Craig, Billy Pirtle, Scott Mills, and I ashamed to admit a friend of Scott's whose name I can't remember. Unfortunately JR is still taking it easy with a bulging disk and couldn't join us. He is just about going stir-crazy hanging out a home while everyone else gets to go outside and play.

Scott aka 'Crashman'

Craig and his supercool new ride -with his picture on it and everything!

Scott and Casey post ride trying to stay warm

Casey decided to head out on a run with his trail loving doggie while the rest of us rode a lap. Craig claims he is fat and out of shape but his taking it easy is still apparently faster than base riding so he and Scott took off. As such I missed as Craig described - front row seats - to Scott's second crash of the morning. Quote "we were bombing down the trail and all I saw was two wheels about a foot and a half off the ground, then nothing but ass going over the bars". Thankfully Scott made out with a bruised knee and a very flat front tire, unfortuately I didn't have my camera with me to catch it. Craigs advice, when you are going that fast it is usually a good idea to keep at least one wheel on the ground. My strategy has been to never go that fast in the first place, but I will need to work on that if I want to keep ahead of the girls this year. One of my big goals this winter is to master blood rock, a technical section of the trail at Oak Mountain, site of the Xterra Southwest Cup. It's not really that scary but I seem to have a mental hang-up about it. Craig gave me some great pointers and I made it halfway down. Next week it's all the way. Second lap out Casey joined Craig and Scott for a hard lap while Billy and I backed off a bit and rode more aerobically. Craig and Scott started a third lap but decided it was too cold and called it a day.

The guys headed home after the ride and I headed to the pool. Sunday, the weather turned out bright, sunny, and warm which made my long run great and wouldn't you know it today, Monday, it is snowing. Go figure.


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