Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Week Off (The Skinny Tires)

What a refresher. After 4 weeks straight of riding and racing on the road bike, I was able to set it in the corner and leave it be. Such a great mental refresher. Don't get me wrong, I like to ride my road bike, but there is just something about MTBing that I don't get on the skinny tires. I can't wait for the summer and fall when I can ride/race the mountain bike, and don't have to think about road racing. Sometimes it is really fun, other times it is freaking boring, and then other times it just plain sucks. At least when you MTB and you feel like bricks, you can still rip the DH and have a smile on your face!

So, all I did this week was ride my MTB. What a blast. I stayed in the valley and hit up some stuff that I don't ride much, some I have never ridden, and did some of my favorites.

All of these photos are from the Lunch Loops here in town. Crazy fun trails, all clearable on the hardtail.

Lookout from partway up the Ribbon Trail

Ribbon is the only slickrock trail in the valley. Steep. 3 miles and 2,000ft of climbing.

That section was 1/2 mile and an average of 17.5%. That was 4mph!

The top. I guess a lot of people shuttle it and ride big bikes down. I think it is better uphill.

Next week is back to building some fitness again. The weekend we'll be down in Golden for a hill climb up Lookout Mt and then a crit on the Mines campus. Should be some good intensity. I bet the trails down there will be sweet with the recent snow(melt). Nice and tacky!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Race Weekend #4: Home

First weekend I haven't had to travel in a few weeks. Even though we missed out on Chimayos in Silverthorne, it was nice to be able to work out of home base for the weekend.

Saturday morning we rode out to Fruita for the hill climb. I had a decent run at it and posted a new PR by 1:14 over the 4 mile course. I took of way to easy in it, as my HR was 10 beats below threshold 2 minutes into the 16:28 race. Rode back home, and had 50 miles in the legs for the morning.

Food and nap were next on tap. Then off to the crit. We were racing at the local motor speedway/shifter-cart course. Collegiate A's had the best race of the day as we went off at 7:15 for a twilight crit. It was sweet. Because of the technical nature and fast/hard corners, the whole race was strung out-which we all know means fast! After an early crash, the field split into 2 groups. We had Conor and Kevin in the first, and Adam and I in the second. After Adam told me what I should be doing, we had some nice teamwork and covering the guys trying to bridge the gap. We got close, but with only a couple people working, and us trying to slow them down and not work, it never came back. Conor attacked and was in a 2-man break. In true fashion, he pulled off the W. NICE! Yeah, only 20 of the 36 finished, all others were pulled. FAST.

It stared off with some light

Got darker-Kevin attacks

Then really dark by the time we finished:Conor in the break

That turned into a late night with some good dinner in us. Up at 6am with not enough sleep. 9am was the start of a killer road race. Big steep climb, another climb, long 4 mile 2-4% grade, long gradual downhill, then another kick in the ass climb. Do 4 loops, then the 8 miles back to the start. 74 miles of pain! Being the last day of a hard 3-week training block, and after hard races the day before, I was looking to keep with the group for the first climb. I made it, and made it a lap, until the final climb, where I popped along with a bunch of others. Throughout the day, I rode with like 10 different people, and only 3 of us finished the race. 14 of the 38 people dropped out. Got some good hard miles in the legs, which should help come the time I really want to be fast.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Race Weekend #3

CU hosted a crit in Boulder on Saturday. It was a pretty fun race and basically just an oval with no hard turns. It was a great race to move around in. Back, middle, front, I saw it all. On the 6th to last lap, I was sitting in good position near the front when I flatted the rear tire. Ran over to the pit to grab a wheel. Free Lap. The official said she would let me back in, but only once the group went by. Huh? So I jump back in once the CSU lead group flies by at 30-32 mph getting their leadout going. 1.5 laps later, I was back on with no lungs left. SUFFER! Sat in to try and recover for a half a lap, then starting moving my way back up. Last lap comes and sure enough there is a pileup halfway around the course. I come to a complete stop as no not get in the crash with no where to go. Soft pedaled it in for the finish.

Grabbed some food and decided to skip out on the open races for some climbing up in the mountains. Went out for a two hour jaunt to Jamestown and back in awesome weather. Great scenic ride and sweet roads. Good 4hr day on the bike!

Sunday was the UNC crit in Greeley. I got off in a break for a little while early in the race and collected some premes along the way. Kevin got into a break later that lasted until 4 to go. The team rode really well together and we were well represented and scored good on the preme points. 1/3 of the way into the last lap(long laps) Adam took over and pinned it. I came around and lead out of the bottom of the course up the grade just before the last finishing traffic circle. I pulled off and soft pedaled it in. We had a good pace going, but two of our guys got boxed in at the bottom circle and were pushed back a bit, so the leadout didn't work perfect. One more guy, or a later start to the leadout, and we could have had it. We'll get it down soon I am sure. Fun race though.

Then I managed to wipeout in some gravel on my cooldown and totally jack up my shoulder. Pretty sure I popped it out of socket. It's a bit sore. Hopefully it heals up quick.

Next up is our home race with a hill climb up the Monument and a twilight crit at the local race track. Sunday is the first road race of the year. I am looking forward to it. After that I might be going down to Boulder to race their version of Paris-Roubaix or MI's Cone Azalia. Koppenburg sounds like a blast!

Monday, March 09, 2009


Well, the second weekend of collegiate racing has passed here in Colorado, and the races have been great so far. The first weekend was a crit on the CSU campus, then another crit on the Colorado College campus the next day. I was able to do both the A race and the 3 race on the Saturday, then the A race again on Sunday morning. It was a good weekend of getting used to road racing and moving around in crits. Not like mountain biking where you can just ride your bike without thinking.

This past weekend was a crit hosted by DU at City Park in Denver. It was a fun course with three roundabouts and everyone was riding really smooth. I was basically useless for this race. After my first week of hard intensity and some good hours, my legs just didn't want to respond. I thought I was going to pop 10 minutes into the race. Just no legs that day. I was able to stay in, and with 10-15 minutes to go, the whole race blew up into small groups. I bridged some gaps and got into the main group, which was wittled down nicely. Rode in for 14th. Better than dropping out. Needless to say, I skipped the 3 race in an effort to save my legs. After all , it's the first week of March.

Sunday was an individual time trial, as well as a team TT. I put on the stubby aero bars on the road bike and went for some good intensity. I had some better legs today and the power was good. I finished 13th with a 20:38. It was a tight field with places 3-13 separated by only 23 seconds.

Next up was the TTT. We started with myself and Adam, another A racer, then a B and C racer. We smoked the first section of technical turns. I lead and flew through the S turns and 90deg turns all out. If I would have done that in my ITT, I could have shaved some good time off, but I was not as comfortable with the setup early on. So, we dropped the C early before he could do any work for us. Then it was all about trying to keep the B with us. The last section I pulled, while Adam pushed the guy up the rollers. We still had a decent time, and got some points for it. I think we did a 21:05.

After those races, it was off for a nice 2hr spin over to Golden to ride up Lookout Mtn and back. Fun ride with a sweet downhill coming down Lookout. Great day to be riding a bike. Mid 60's and bluebird skies.

Now its just time for some good riding this week, then off to CU and UNC for a couple more crits next weekend.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I know this is cruel, but...

Winter, Day 74 of 91

72F degrees and flowing ribbons of singletrack.

Working on the tanlines...

Miles to Date: 2,575