Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pontiac Lake XC

What a day for racing. Sunny skies, comfortable temps, and no rain. After a week of constant showers, the trail at PLRA turned out great. The corners were fast and tacky and there were no real slick spots to wipe out in.

First lap was riding with the main group, then I was caught up behind some riders. Kuhn, Lummis, and Mike Bartlett got away, so once I was able to pass I was on full gas to make up a 30 second split. About 2/3 of the way through the trail I had closed the gap and brought back two other KLM guys(Buccaletto/Goddard). Lap 2 saw the group together until Lummis attacked and it was him and Mike alone. I was stuck behind a rider and didn't even notice what happened immediately. Just before the end of the lap I had bridged back to the group again solo, so it was the three of us until Buccalleto(sp?) caught up after the start/finish. Mike lead out the lap and then 3-4 miles in before the campground I went by him and gapped the group on a climb. I kept the hammer down for the most part, caught myself sliding the front tire out, and was able to roll in for 3rd.


After a bad race at Big M, I got some decent training in and some needed recovery to get the job done. It was a fun race with the group breaking up, changing and battling for third the whole time. I had a good race and enjoyed it. That's what racing is all about. It was nice to see a large group of Elite racers out today to put up some stiff competition.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I spent the past weekend ona group camping/cycling trip at Fort Custer. Was able to get in a few decent rides and a fun night ride on the green trail backwards. Friday I was hoping for more time on the bike, but a new chain was skipping all over. After some time, I was able to get a new casette in my hands for a smooth skip-free ride.

I was planning on doing the TT on Sunday since I was there and I could get in some intensity, but with a rain from 8:30pm on Saturday and all through the night and morning, I decided to skip that. I was not up for an hour training race in 55 degree rainy weather. Not to mention trashing a new drivetrain with only a few miles on it. Instead, I will be waiting for this weekend. Pontiac on Sunday should be a good race. With the forecast for the next few days of rain, it will be interesting as to how the trail conditions will be. Lets hope I can keep the rubber on the ground this time around.

Monday, August 06, 2007


So here is a recap of the past few weeks.

After Boyne, I did some riding to stay in form for the USA Cycling Nationals. I went to Vermont for the race two weeks ago looking for a good result. Well, it poured rain Wed, Thurs, and Friday night before my 8am race on Sat. The course is very technical and hard without mud, and add thick goopy mud to the equation and you have slip sliding. I was third to the top of the 3 mile climb with the leaders on lap 1 and somehow rode the downhill clean until the very end where I nailed a rock buried in a mud bog and flew into the mud coating half of my body. I had to take my gloves off since they were coated in mud and my hand were still sliding on the grips. On lap 2 I stopped halfway up the climb to wash my gloves off in the stream. That was in the 1/2 mile hike-a-bike section. I still made it to the top in 3rd place, but then it went downhill from there! I think I crashed like 10 times. If I didn't fall sliding off the roots, my tire would stop by smacking a rock sideways. Eventually I flew off the bike and had one of those long moments in the air where I saw the rock I was going to land on. I hit it smack on with my kneecap. Stood on the side of the trail for 2 minutes. Walked some, rode some, then slid out on some more mud and roots and nailed my wrist. I finally got down to the bottom of the mountain and called it a day. 2 out of 3 laps, but the mud on the downhill kicked my ass. We have nothing like that around here. If it was dry, i think it would have been a different story. I had great form and felt great climbing up to the top of the Mt. I just didn't have any mud/rock/root combined technical skills. Also running semi-slicks in the mud doesn't help a bit. Lessons learned.

Since I was so battered and bruised and cuts all over, I decided not to go to NC to race. Good thing, because it turned out to be the same damn thing. Mud. Except this time, I heard the opening climb was full of peanut butter and people were all over the hill looking for traction. Lots of mud, lots of hike-a-bikes is not what I look foreward to in Mt bike racing.

I took 4 days off the bike as a mid-season refresher and because it hurt bad to pedal with my knee and hurt holding the bar. I took a few easy rides after that, met Randy for a ride, did the Monday Night road ride on Hines Dr, then went to a family get together for a few days.

That lead to this past weekend where I raced Big M. My legs felt fine, they were not sore since I have not ridden that much or hard in a long time. I rode with the main group for 2 laps and felt okay, but did not have the power I normally have. After a slight bobble on the trail, I lost the main group and could not catch back up. I lost my rhythm and couldn't keep the power going. I had not wattage and no leg speed whatsoever. The heart rate kept on dropping and I flipped the switch from race mode to survival mode. I finished the 5 laps, but rode myself backwards from 5th to 12th in 3 laps. I did not go to hard at the begining, I just had one of those days where the legs were dried up of power. I think it was from a lack of much training and hardly any intensity over the past 3-4 weeks and a lack of pre-race preparation the days before. I'll be back at it this week, getting the efforts in and the time in the saddle. I'll be doing the last two USAC races and look to improve.

The past few weeks have been great learning experiences. From placing well at Boyne, to not keeping the rubber side down in VT, to pedaling backwards at Big M. I am looking foreward to the last part of the season and improving on my results.

I'll have some pics up later.