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Friday, April 22, 2011

Racin'

Well kidz, if you're into the racing scene there's a good one coming up in just over a week (April 30th) in the Redding area. Said race is called the Shast Lemurian Classic and I'm all for it. It contains the key elements that I look for in a bike race; the race takes place on dirt and has the word "classic" in the title. A quick look at the results from last year reveal that you're sure to see some familiar faces on the start line and that there will be pah-lenty of people in your class. Last years results had well over 80 riders listed in my class alone! If you come down the day before and take advantage of camping keep an eye out for our camp which should be easy to pick out in the way of dirty cars, frisbees, horseshoes and a beeramid marking our spot for the weekend.




(note: beeramid may vary slightly from this model)


Continuing on with the bike racing we're also getting close to the Sierra Cup Mountainbike Series. Formerly the "Nevada State Championships", this race series has grown from 4 to 7 races with some really good venues on the docket. I'll be coming out in an effort to defend my title while seeing how much snot and sweat I can accumulate on my top tube in the process. The first race is only a month out so get suffering people!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sorry Kidz

FTR is gonna have to wait.

Too much snow.

The route, yet to be unveiled, is AWESOME and will be a "must do" for all you adventure seekers out there. Bring lots of food and water.... and some money 'cause the ride ends at a bar this year.

A quick look into the crystal ball (one of the good ones made in Germany) is suggesting that the ride will have to wait until May 20th but only time will tell.

Bummed. Yea, me too. Get yourself a bag of popcorn and reminisce with
pics from last years ride.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The 1.5 Epic

Raced last night. Kind of an urban road style event. Bonus points for hopping curbs. Got off to a good start. Legs felt good. My bike handling skills weren't as good as I would've liked... but I don't think it made too big of a difference. It's been a while since I've been on the 'cross bike. Although I was sprinting up the hills and railing the corners my rival was marking my every move. I backed off my pace, only once, to put on another layer. At the finish it was almost dark. Hard to say who "took it" at the line. Without slowing down or showing any sort of "good race" camaraderie my rival just kept heading west towards its next race with the next guy with enough time to squeeze in a quick ride at the end of his day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pondering...


If you do intervals

and then come home

and drink 3 beers....

...is it still training

or just breaking even??



Monday, April 11, 2011

The Season Opener

The Napa Valley Dirt Classic is a race that's been on my radar for a while now and this year I would finally make it. Short-ish course but chocked full of excitement with alot of roller coaster style trail and tight-ish singletrack in the woods that kind of reminded me of something you would ride in Santa Cruz. Fun trail really. I'd like to get back there and check it out again sometime. Short races create some certainties with the most important (and painful) being a hard fast start. This would hold exceptionally true with this event as the course had about 1 minute of uphill paved road that leads into singletrack to get your day of suffering off and running. Ride like your life depends on it for the first minute and you'll be in the front-ish part of the pack with good riders. Lag, even for a second, at the start and you'll be sitting in a line of lycra clad dudes that will show you that even the most trivial of obstacles in the trail are cause for slowing, stopping, dismounting or some other strange lack of bike handling that makes you wonder if you signed up for the right class. Recap: Got into the singletrack at the start in about 10th. Course opened up a bit after a while and I could see a group of 4 about a minute out. Closed the gap but paid a hefty price in doing so. Started getting into these BIG roller coaster rollers on a rough-ish fire road repeating itself for a mile or so kinda like this: Short steep fast descent/"G-out" at the bottom/leg breaking lung busting climb up the other side/ repeat. After about 6 or 7 of these our group was wittled down to just me and some dude wearing one knee high pink sock on his left leg. Hmm? Interesting. After the rollers it was time to do some tight and twisty singletrack radness. I kept catching guys, which is always good, with Pink Sock Dude almost always in tow. I was guestimating that most of the riders I was catching were in the class that started in the group 2 minutes ahead of us which included pro & singlespeed. We were past the halfway point of the race I still had power in my legs and water in my bottles. Ffwd to the longish descent consisting of an overgrown fireroad/doubletrack. Fast. Scary fast! Although I had the smarts to scrub some speed and keep it together in the corners you just KNOW I couldn't resist that little kicker on the left side of the trail. It was perfect. Just a little hump on the outside of a fast sweeping right hander. It's one of those things where you don't really get too high off the ground but nonetheless you seem to float downhill FOREVER. Then... then you touch down. As my bike made contact with the earth I heard that oh so familiar KLANG of atomic #13 (my aluminum rim) making solid contact with a mass of hard consolidated matter (a rock) and for the next few seconds all I can do is keep riding and listen. Although I couldn't hear the oh so precious mix of 78% nitrogen 21% oxygen and 1% other substances escaping from my front tire it was clear that things were getting desperate on the very next corner when my tire nearly rolled off the rim sending me off the main line of the trail. Coincenetally this had me bouncing through rocks in high grass at race pace with the left side of my handlebars tick tick ticking through the overgrowing branches. Scary... sheeit! This was enough to make me realize that even if I was lucky enough to not crash I'd still be changing a tire. When it comes to flatting in races I'd be willing to bet that I'm in the running for having the most flats EVER. Having grown up riding and racing in the Appalachians (oh so rocky/technical) area of Pennsylvania I know a thing or two about fixing flats... fast. Being a full time bike mechanic doesn't hurt either. I've got my system for changing out a tube in a race situation and I'm not afraid to say; it's damn good. I figured that somewhere between 8-10 riders got by me while I performed my nascar style tire change. Of course I flatted at the bottom of one of the hardest climbs of the day. Legs... screaming. It seemed to take FOREVER to get back into a good pace again. I tried to keep count of the guys I was re-catching but can only guestimate that I got by 5ish riders. Once we topped out on the climb we were back in familiar territory and I knew we were within' two miles of the finish. I could see two riders up ahead. I caught them, but it took almost the rest of the course to do so. The finish of this race is Paris Roubaix style wherein you do a lap on a running track. As the three of us started around the track towards the finish the pace ramped up and it was ON! Well, it was on for the other two guys. My legs had no business for a sprint finish today and all I could do was watch those guys duking it out to the finish. A quick look at the results revealed a few things. First thing was that the racing was quite close with podium spots being filled in a minute and a half. Second thing was that Pink Sock Dude's name was Brian Buttler and he won his class (19-34 Expert). The third thing was that if the podium for my class (35-44 expert) had 5 steps instead of 3 I would've juuuussst squeaked onto the platform of victors instead of sitting in the grasses with the masses. Fourth and final thing; even though the raffle prizes were in abundance I would leave empty handed... like always. I suck at raffles.