Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Bikes Are Rebelling

I got my single all up and running after picking it up from the parents in NC. Rode Tabeguache on it yesterday and all was well. Its always fun riding a one speed. Today I take it out to 18Rd to shred some flowy trails when I had another bicycle tragedy. Take a look at the picture below.

I was maybe ten minutes into my ride when I torqued the chainring. Up a rockslab and I thought my chain came off. Nope, just a bent Surly chainring. Never seen that before. I am assuming my chainring bolt either snapped, or came out right before that. The bolts were in and tight in the morning. I bent that sucker good.

I am not coming back for the Iceman, but it should be a great time for everyone else this year. Looks like Joberon is putting together a hell of a party. Hopefully everyone in the MI scene will haul ass.

At least the weather here is nice. Mid-seventies and sunny. I heard back in the mitten is is cold and nasty. I'll take a hike back to the trailhead in warm weather over MI crap. So, is it going to snow for Iceman?

Sorry, I just had to remind myself how nice it is here!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Reporting from Charlotte

I love airports with wireless. Another 6 hours in the terminal today should be a fun time.

Weekend was really fun, but we all had some bad luck.

We got to our place in Banner Elk at 9pm after picking our bikes up from Mines. Got everything ready, then hit the sack for a few hours of sleep. Up at 5am aka 3am CO time. Rode down to the LMC campus in the pitch black at 7am. Couldn't see crap until just before 8am. Raced at 8:15. 5 laps of a rocking XC course. No long climbs, but just a bunch of punchy stuff and a sweet decent. Lap 1 was blind since there was no pre-ride. The downhill was a hike-a-bike with all of the people. I broke the buckle/strap on my shoe. I had to pull out a multi-tool and try to fix it. Luckily I was able to get it to work and I was on my way a few minutes later. On lap 4 after passing a bunch of people and riding back into the top 15, I flatted at the bottom of the rock garden. I shot it with CO2, but it wouldn't hold. Took all of the air out and put a tube in. A million people passed me it seemed. I got going again and passed some people back on lap 5, but it didn't matter at that point.

Sunday was STXC. I rode the course right before the race and was worried. Thick peanut butter all the way up the climb, then a slip-slide back down. Racing Maxxis Larsen TT tires didn't work. The goal for most people was to try and pedal and move forward. It seemed I pedaled 10 miles and went 2. I don't know where I finished, but I only raced a bit of it. Mud tires would have worked much better, much less a CX bike.

Went and watched the rockin DH race in the afternoon. We had a good representation with Peter and Marshall hitting top 10. Saturday night was a good time and Sunday dual slalom looked way fun.

Back to DIA late tonight, then pack up bikes in Golden before driving back to Junction in the middle of the night.

Single Speed at 18Rd is calling me this week.

Late edit: Just saw the USGP Results. Wissink is a rockstar. Way to represent the MI Scene.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Sitting in DIA right now. Drove down to Denver yesterday and sat in traffic for hours on Vail pass as it was snowpacked.

Up at 3:30am and came here to DIA. Learned our 6:45am flight was moved to 9:30am. Then the flight was cancelled. Then we get tickets from DIA to Dallas and then to Charlotte where we will get in after 6pm. Then we went to check in and I wasn't transferred over. We figure that out and went to security.

I was a lucky one with the SSSS on my ticket, which required me to be searched extra special. Sweetness. Then we ran over to another terminal to try to get on another direct flight to Charlotte. Denied. Now we are sitting around waiting for our flights. There goes my pre-ride. Hopefully we will be able to find our bikes and put them altogether before the race in the morning.

At least DIA has free WIFI.

I'll try to update later on this weekend. I'll try for a prelap before my race tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quick Post

Jammed up with schoolwork this week. Here is a quick recap

Saturday-Sweet CX race. Cool course. Dave Towle. Over 600 racers. 88 people in my race. Had a decent race and finished 8th. Didn't get chicked this week. I beat Georgia.

Sunday-Okay course. Def a power course which worked for my flatlander legs. Bridged up to lead 2 guys on last lap and preceeded to blow my tire out on a curb. Done. Good legs and training.

Leave GJ tomorrow afternoon. Fly out of DIA to Charlotte Thursday morning.

Hopefully a quick pre-ride at LMC on Thursday evening.

XC Friday at 8am.

STXC Saturday at 8:45 am

Banquet Sunday

Fly out Monday

Drive back to GJ early Tuesday morning.

Drive back to Boulder Friday

Boulder Cup CX Sat and Sunday

Back to GJ Sunday

Take a breath.

HERE WE GO. 2 Weeks with 2 of the 3 biggest races on my schedule. The other is CX Nationals in December. Let's hope for snappy legs and dry dirt.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall Break

We had Fall break on Monday and Tuesday, but a home race last weekend kept us from traveling. STXC Saturday followed by a Sunday XC race.

As luck would have it, I flatted on Friday night while marking the course. It was a small hole, but it kept slowly leaking. I rode out to Whitewater in crazy winds and noticed my tire had dropped some pressure once I got to the race site 45min later. I decided to take the tire off and put a tube in. That is where I noticed my sealant had dried up. I warm-up, do a few laps, then stand at the start for 15 minutes. My legs were tight. I felt like crap on lap 1, then started moving up on lap 2. As I came to the finish line to start lap 3, my tube blew. It went flat in no time. I looked at it later when I changed it and noticed a nice long slice at the seam. Bad tube. I'll take it now rather than nationals.

Fixed everything up on Saturday night. Sunday morning came and I pulled up the weather as I ae my oatmeal. WHAT...32F. I bundled up in tights, winter jacket, and thick PI winter gloves. Added a skull cap and I was out the door at 6:45 off to the course. The race didn't start until 9:45, so it was a bit chilly standing around. Sun came up and by race time the tights came off. It is weird out here. 50F feels nice and there is no need for knee warmers or baselayers and arm warmers.

Race went okay. I think standing around and a not-so-good warm-up left me cruising slow for a while. My first 2 laps (of 3) were slow. I could not go hard, breathe hard, or suffer. I could only max out at a decent tempo. By lap 3 I had warmed-up and could go hard. I passed 4 or 5 people to finish off with a 7th overall. Next time I'll go for a better warm-up.

So with no school Monday and Tuesday, it was off to MTB some of the trails that are close, but never see our tracks. 18 Rd. was the choice on Monday. We rode all of the loops did Joe's Ride to Kessels twice since it is so fun. By the time we were done I think everyone was pretty well bonked out. I was definetely in the hurt for some food.

Tuesday was off to Loma to hit the Kokopelli trails. While not as fun as 18Rd, it was still a good time. The beginner loop, Rustlers is probably the best with some fun slickrock and swoopy sections.

A few more classes, then it is off to the front range on Friday for a couple cross races this weekend. Come back for 3 days, then head back over the passes on Wednesday so we can fly out of DIA on Thursday. Race Friday and Saturday. Hope the legs are good. You Lees McRae guys better keep the rain away. I want to ride my bike, not hike it! I'll be sure to bring mud tires as well.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Extra, Extra

Found a few pictures and a video.

I am the first guy running the barriers in the vid. The guy who crashes (and they show it 25 times too many) did the same thing as my pre-ride. I decided to try and hop the barriers on the warm-up, but then decided it wasn't any faster. I made the first 2, then caught the chainring on the log and stacked the front wheel.

I also saw JHK at the race cheering on his wife. I should have asked him what tires he is running at ICEMAN. I saw he is registered. Anyone think he will run the Dugast 45's again? They seemed to work unitl the last corner.

Find more videos like this on Cyclocross Magazine

Monday, October 06, 2008

Frisco CX 1 & 2

Weather held out for the weekend. It was supposed to be rainy and cold, but ended up in the mid-40's to 50 and only a few scattered light showers. The CX courses were okay, Day 2 was better.

Race 1-start my warm-up and know its not my day. I know 5 minutes into my warm-up how my legs are feeling. Today as just one of those days where there is residual fatique and they are slow. I managed a front row call-up and did my best to screw it up. I took 5 pedalstrokes and sat down into a comfortable hour pace. Yup there went at least 40 guys in our 60 man field. Get to the top of the long road climb and take the inside line on the switchback. Mistake #2. Everyone passed me on the outside as I trackstanded to wait for guys to flow in. A large part of the course is 1-track, which made for slow going. The first 3 laps think Iceman sport class bunch-up in the singletrack. Oh well, I stayed calm and jumped off a few times to run by people. Lots of standing around. I spent the rest of the race playing catch-up. I managed a 5th place which wasn't too bad considering my start. I had 2 guys right in front of me, and 1st and 2nd(Katie Compton) were only a minute up.

Day 2-Legs feel great in my warm-up. I know it will be a good day. Decide to try hard and stand the entire start. Damn, I am looking around as I go into the woods in 3rd position. "Is everyone going slow, or did I actually do that right for once?" Ride 2 laps and 5 of us are in a front group. Then after 2 laps and just after the pit, I pop my tire remounting. I must have got on at a bad angle and also hit a bump. I was also playing around with tire pressures, and was a bit low. I managed to get the bead to seal back up in a spot and get rolling. My tire is sitting at 5 psi(at most). I babied it a hole lap, taking the corners oh so easy. Finally I get to the pit again after a million people pass me. Grab a friends bike. "Oh shit, this is weird." I ride a medium, this was an XL. Managed to get through the lap without killing myself. Switched bikes back in the pit after some Blue Sky Cycling guys quickly got on my bike and pumped the tire back up. Thanks! Now, make up some time. The leaders were way up the road, I was in the 30's. I did 3 more laps and worked my way back up to 18th. Good training and a fun event.

Superfans-Got out the camera and heckling skills to ridicule the open racers. There was a good group of people cheering on and giving racers shit. What a fun time. Some of the racers were getting into the festivities pretty well too. Thats what CX is all about.

I'll see if I can dig up some pictures of myself learning how to ride a bike. MTB race in the Junction this weekend. Hopefully I have good legs and race smart. A little luck won't hurt either.


Why is the bike in front of him?


Bunny Hop

Yup, Spencer should stick to hopping the barriers

Baker crushed it

As did Katie

but Kelli chased hard