Tuesday, June 9, 2009

South Carolina 2010

Why South Carolina? I started going down to SC on the suggestion of a friend. To be honest I wasn't too hot on the idea at first. I'd never heard of riding there and figured it would be mediocre at best. Well 5 years later and I've never missed going down since. Reasons I keep coming back are the riding and the affordability. Who knew that Northwest South Carolina has some of the best mountain biking and road riding in North America. You can ride rolling hills South of the house or category 1 mountain climbs North of it.
Travel costs about $75 gas each way depending on the car (my Civic actually did it for $50 average) so get one or two to share the ride and you are looking at a $75/person round trip.
The weather there is about 2 months ahead. Their March is like our May, April is like June/July.
What can be said about our South Carolina adventures? So many memories over the years, so many miles and shenanigans. 2009 was one for the record books. Record amounts of singletrack discovered, record amounts of people enjoyed The Palace, record amounts of Easter candy (mostly jelly beans) consumed. Cyclists of all abilities sharing rides, meals, racing stories. There's the annual barbecue with local Forest "Iron Man" Fowler (moonshine and handguns optional), hikes up Table Rock on "rest days", sliding rock, the Blue Ridge death march, midnight movie releases, Tiger Town Tavern, Duke World of Dance............I could go on. Riding is good too.
The house is pretty darn big. At any time you'll be sharing it with 11 other riders yet you could go for days without seeing some of them. People tend to form in riding groups depending on ability and willingness to get up in the morning. Be careful not to sleep too late or risk being dubbed resident zombie.
Besides the hundreds of miles of snaking, nicely paved roads you can also find about 100miles of awesome singletrack within a 25min driving radius of the house. Explore into nearby North Carolina to find the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pisgah, Dupont, and Tsali. Take part in some of the SERC XC racing series or weekly police escorted club road rides in Greenville.

I will have the place next spring for all of March and April. Looks like Saturday February 27th - Saturday May 1st. This year will be limited to 12 singles including myself or 9 singles and 3 couples. Should cut down on the congestion in the kitchen area.

I am also now taking reservations for the house down south next spring. Please let me know if you have any special room requests or anything of that sorts. Master bedroom goes to the first couple to book on any given week. There are 3 couple appropriate rooms. To book you need to put a $50 deposit for each week with the remaining balance due February 1st.

House Info
Top Floor - 2 Bedrooms, one with a Queen and a Twin. One with a Queen and a bunkbed (Full and Twin)
Main Floor - 3 Bedrooms. Master Bedroom has a King. 2 Bedrooms have Queens.
Walk out Basement - 2 Bedrooms. One with a Queen and a Twin. One with a Queen and a bunkbed (Full and Twin).
-3 t.v's. One 32" equipped with satellite.
-Wireless internet
-Pool Table
-6 bathrooms, 7 showers
-Fully furnished rooms and kitchen
-big dining room table
-on the water with a nice dock and deck
-2 car garage for bikes (and garage crit championships) and lots of parking outside
-full central air conditioning (yes we've used it before)
-gas fireplace
-2 refrigerators
-2 laundry rooms with washers/dryers

Full balance is now due upon booking. Prices are as follows:
Price per person is $180/week/person
Price per couple is $230/week/couple
*non refundable after Feb 15th.

Weeks available:
Week 1 February 27th - March 6th
Week 2 March 6th - March 13th (Full)
Week 3 March 13th - March 20th (Booked for group)
Week 4 March 20th - March 27th
Week 5 March 27th - April 3rd (Full)
Week 6 April 3rd - April 10th (Booked for Tour)
Week 7 April 10th - April 17th (5 spots left)
Week 8 April 17th - April 24th (4 spots left)
Week 9 April 24th - May 1st (5 spots left)

*Small print* Deposit is 100% refundable until February 1st, 2010. After February 1st the total balance is paid and is non-refundable after February 15th ,2010. Any money paid including deposit and balance are 100% refundable until February 14th, 2010.

Ben Dawson
705 229 6923

From the air (hey that's my civic! haha)

Master Bedroom

One of the two loft bedrooms. Each with their own full bathroom.

Kitchen/Dining Room area

Party time

Sunday, June 7, 2009

O-Cup #4. Boler "Mountain"

Lol at the word Mountain. Anyways so made the drive down to London on Saturday morning and got in a good 2 pre-ride laps. The course was really fun and I was looking forward to the race. Lots of twisty stuff and faster laps though really not much climbing, a couple short hills. More of a big guys course I think, the watt pushers.
Stayed with some friends at the Western campus in a 4 bedroom dorm apartment with a kitchen but no dishes or cookware. We took that as a sign to order Swiss Chalet, I'm all about hassle free living when I'm away at a race. Had a good breakfast after my 10 hour sleep. Bed was pretty damn firm though and my old man back let me hear about it. Figured the back would start cramping on the 2nd lap or so but it never really did. Hurts like hell now though, massage anyone anyone??
Got to the race site and had a good warmup of about 30min or so after chilling out under some nice shade trees and making jungle noises for those walking by DOOOooooooEEee. Weather was warm and humid. I figured the race would be hot but never really noticed it that much while I was out there. Started on the 2nd row and got my famous Boler hole shot and took the lead for 20 glorious seconds. Started going backwards pretty quick after that cause I didn't want to blow. Got passed my Zach Hughes who promptly went over the bars right in front of me. I was inches away from rolling over his face but came to a pretty uncontrolled stop and was relegated to the last 2/3rds of the pack. Easy come easy go. Rest of the race went ok, not great, not horrible. Was caught slacking off when the juniors caught me on the 2nd lap and managed to hang with them for a lap. All in all finished 13th which seems to now be an average finish for me.
I love how Ontario doesn't give you any slack anymore with the training. I'm really going to have to start streamlining and putting a lot more thought into what I'm doing if I want to crawl my way back to the front of the pack. Stay tuned cause this old guy still has some fight left!
As always, pics if I can find em.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Canada Cup #3 / O-Cup #3 - Hardwood

Ok well what is there to say about Hardwood. Did about a million pre-ride laps since I work there lol. Was pretty easy to get out on course after work or whenever I had spare time. I have done well at this race in the past, in fact last year I had my best Canada Cup result to date which was 14th. I was hoping to do similarly this year and went into the race pretty confident with my fitness. So long story short or more like short story short, race didn't go to plan. I'm not going to make up some lame excuse about what happened and discredit the many racers that whooped my ass. Pretty much the main problem was that in certain parts, such as the entire race, I was going slow when I should nay could have gone fast. I dunno it was pretty damn cold out, like 7 degrees not including the ice cold 35km/h wind. I decided shorts and jersey would be sufficient though I did start regretting this decision as snow fell during the first section of singletrack on the first lap. Though it did only last 20 seconds I never did warm up. I would be sort of o.k. for a little bit then come out to the open and get blasted with the wind and freeze all over again. Heart rate sat at a low 163 average compared to my usual 175+. I finally decided to clench the teeth, spool up the turbos, and let 'r' rip. It was glorious! I started flying by people, the legs warmed up, I got a good rhythm...........it was, it was.............at the 2km to go mark and just a smidge too late. So I'm going to get in a couple training rides this week and some spins to get ready for the London O-Cup this weekend. Final result from this weekend, 27th out of 51 that finished. I know that's only 2 spots worse than Tremblant but there really wasn't the depth to the field that there was in Quebec. Must have been another race going on somewhere else in the world.
Results Here
That's it.