Good news for once

Posted on 4:18 PM by Schottler

I think my loyal 5 readers are aware of the SI joint pains I've been constantly having all year, as well as the super nasty low back pain I get in races. I was convinced by the majority of the BOCOMO peloton to go see a doctor since there might be something seriously wrong and could permanently damage something. I've been seeing Curt the last few weeks and he's been doing a fantastic job at making me feel better. I went to the doctor yesterday and he wrote me a prescription to see a PT and get everything fixed. I went to the PT today and he told me the same thing that Curt did. I have muscle imbalances that are causing my pelvis to tilt, inflaming my SI joint, and blowing up my lower back during races.

Basically what he found was that I have very strong quads and hip flexors, but my glutes are weak, and my hamstrings are okay. My hip flexors are extremely inflexible, as well as my hamstrings. Somehow all of this causes my pelvis to tilt and twist. So those imbalances and inflexible muscles need to be corrected. I was told it might be a rough season, since it will probably hurt. None of this sounds like good news I know, but the good news is that I can still ride my bike. He told me to keep training, keep stretching, and keep doing the exercises.

People always say you are only as good as your weaknesses', and in this case, the weaknesses' are clear and performance inhibiting. It seems pretty clear to me that once I get this all fixed, my power will increase and I will be able to hold it longer. This is bad news for anyone racing cross this fall.

At what point do you give up?

Posted on 1:57 PM by Schottler

Just got back from racing Rhett's Run here in Columbia. It has rained the last few days, the trail was VERY muddy. I don't do too bad in the mud and was pretty excited about racing. I put on the Mountain King 2.2's with Stan's sealant. These tires are pretty heavy at a little over 700 grams, pretty aggressive, and good in the mud. The SI joint hurt the whole 30 minute ride out to Cosmo park, but started loosening up while I rode around there before the start. Not many people showed up, but Aaron Elwell (Super fast KC Pro), and Breslin took the trip out.

The start of the race Breslin and Elwell tore off the front and I was riding behind Musselman. Up the first climb Musselman let me by and I caught up to Breslin and Aaron, and I then took the lead through a super mud bog that took some power and monster trucking skills. As most people know, I am good at monster trucking stuff.

Me and Elwell rode together for the majority of the first lap, trading places when we flew off the trail. Towards the end of the first lap I hit the gas up a few climbs and built up a small lead, about 1 minute ahead at the end of the first lap. the time was 25:25, not bad for a SUPER muddy 4.9 mile loop. I turned on cruise control, took the corners easy, payed super close attention to where my wheels were going so I wouldn't flat, and drilled the climbs and power sections. About 3 or so miles into the second lap I started passing the sport riders. One of them told me to pass on the right, so I went off the trail to get around and immediately heard the awesome sound of air and stans shooting out of my tire. Immediately dismounted, put my finger over the hole with hole on the bottom to let the Stans seal it up. Waited 2-3 minutes for it to seal, no air was coming out, put some c02 in it and started going, then it opened up again. Time for a tube. At this point, 3-4 minutes after I flatted, Elwell roles by followed by Musselman a couple minutes back. I spent probably 10 minutes trying to get my tube in, I somehow managed to get my spoke through the tiny slit in my rear derailleur, so it was stuck and nearly broke my derailleur. SUPER DUPER.

I rode for about 1/4 mile until my tire went flat again. Apparently there was a thorn in my tire that the Stans sealed up, so it popped the tube. The first flat was a 1" slit in the tread, as usual. I walked through the mud back to the finish, my SI joint was completely blown up at this point, very painful to move my right leg.

Anyway, another race DNF. I don't know what the deal is, how do I manage to flat every tire I put on? The light ones, the heavy ones, tubes and tubeless. Do I just suck at mountain biking? I put so much time, effort, and money into training, racing, and prepping, but it doesn't matter. How much more of this can I take before I just quit and move on to something else? I'd say road racing, but I flatted out of the last one of those I did. Everyone at the race recommends going back to a 26" bike... which would handle more smoothly. Something else I was thinking about... I usually run 30-40 PSI in my tires, would higher pressure's cause more sliced flats since the tire wouldn't deform around whatever they are rolling over?

More of the same

Posted on 6:37 PM by Schottler

Let's see here, where to start. I am 95% certain I have the worst luck on a bike ever. I put a new set of tubeless tires on for Syllamo, which I didn't race due to injury. Went on a gravel road ride this week and flatted them, cafe latex didn't seal a pin sized hole. I put in a tube in and made it home. Rode mountain the day after and flatted it again. AWESOME! So I went back to a tire that hasn't let me down, the super narrow tubeless Bontrager 29-3 2.0. It really measures smaller then a 2.0, but the way I look at it, a narrower tire won't clip rocks as easily on trails.

Drove down to race Greensfelder with Mike Best. Gorc did an AMAZING job with this trail, it gets beaten up by horses but it was in primo shape for the race, A+ job. But anyway, anyone could probably guess how I did. Right! I broke a chain, 50 feet into the race. The age groups leave in 1 min. gaps, so as I ran (slowly, running is hard) backwards over the start/finish I was heckled by competition.

It took a long time for me to try and run to my car, with my SI joint already completely blown up. I fixed the chain and tore off to the starting line. I started 7 minutes back, behind ALL of the sport/single-speed/expert riders, which was probably over 100 people. Immediately into the single track behind everyone it was a cluster, going VERRRRYYYYY slowly down the first loose decent, and SUUUPPPERRR slowly up the climbs and over the big scary rocks. I politely asked to get by everyone in front of me saying I was an expert rider trying to catch back up, but I got no response from anyone. I called which side I was passing on and tried to get by but people just speed up, they were totally going to win. Wow, awesome, this might take a while. I wish I had a heart rate monitor on, it must have been around 100. People in front were crashing, running into tree's, rocks, each other, it was kind of entertaining. I passed everywhere I could, drilled it where I could, took it easy on the insta-flat sections, took Green Bean's advice and timed my efforts.

The last 2-3 miles or so was gravel double track with a 300 ft. climb. I absolutely destroyed this climb/section each lap, passing huge chunks of people. I passed pretty much all of the sport/single speeders on the first lap and began passing expert riders on lap 2. I stayed in my big ring the entire race, lap 2 was about 20-30 seconds slower then the fastest lap of the day (Ploch), while continuously being stuck in traffic.

Anyway, lap 1 was super super slow due to fixing a mechanical and being stuck behind riders, lap 2 was quick, lap 3 was also fast, but not fast enough. I still managed to win my age group by 8 minutes and finish in the top 10 overall. Not bad I guess considering first lap was 13 minutes slower then it should have been. I finished 10 minutes behind Ploch, I think I would have done pretty well if the Josh Johnson recommended Wippermann chain didn't explode. I also forgot to mention I got DQ'd after the race, apparently going back to my car to fix my chain is a big no-no in the USAC world. It sure put me at a big advantage in the race. But Mike Best finished 3rd behind Ploch and Eric Pirtle, super impressive considering he "hasn't really been training." Also nice job Ploch, not bad for someone who floats down rivers all day.

I am tired of having to race through traffic.

Cut my losses

Posted on 1:42 PM by Schottler

I've spent all week trying to get over some nasty reoccurring SI joint pain. 3 days off the bike and short workouts didn't seem to help. I can still ride seated, but every time I stand up or get bumped around, I get the same shooting pains. I was really banking on the pain disappearing by Syllamo on Saturday. But that wasn't the only issue with the race weekend. 90% chance of strong storms Friday night, 80% chance of T-storms Saturday. I started driving down to Mountain View AR Friday afternoon and by the time I got into southern Missouri, the steady rain and distant lightning became heavy rain and a breathtaking lightning storm. Hydroplaning at 40mph and hail made me turn on the radio, hearing a tornado warning in the county I just came into and a tornado on the ground in the town I am about to roll through. The clouds were super ominous... swirling and all kinds of crazy shit, and almost pitch black at 7:00 PM. I hit a dry spot and punched it to about 100 to the next gas station, which was filled with others getting off the highway. The power went out in the Conoco and we waited for the storm to roll through, but according to the radio numerous bands of severe, tornado producing storms would be rolling through.

Once this band was done, rain let up a little and I continued on my journey to Syllamo. I kept the weather radio on and made it Oregon County. No less then 1 minute of getting into this county I hear on the radio "new tornado warning has been issued in Oregon county, tornado on ground in northern Oregon county, north of Thayer"... shitballs, I am 10 miles north of Thayer... and it's hailing again. F that, high speed U-turn back to West Plains. It's about 9:45 at this point and I decided to hit the Eject button on making it to the cabin Team Seagal offered a bed at. 1.5 hours from the race, not so bad, wake up in the morning and drive down.

Woke up at 4:00 AM and got out of bed and couldn't walk without super sharp pains in my SI. Shiiiiit, this sucks. Knowing the weather forecast and how I was feeling, I had to make a big boy decision. Race with the pain, possibly get more injured, go slow, completely destroy my drive train, and have to overhaul my bike post-race, or cut my losses and drive home with my head down. I chose the smarter of the 2, I drove home. I am pissed that I didn't race anyway... but I seriously doubt it would have been worth it. My bike and hip are happy... time for ice cream.

The worst part was the weather forecast was wrong, there were no storms during the race. Time for a yard sale.