Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Love Mountains

Winter Park this past weekend was fun. We stayed in a nice little condo instead of camping this weekend, considering it was snowy the whole week. Weather turned out to be great with mid-60's and sunny on Saturday and Sunday.

XC race was more of a fun ride in the woods for me. My legs were fried after a really hard week of training. I also broke my Superfly earlier in the week and was on my second ever ride on a Stumpjumper 29er. The race was relatively short, so it was not too painful. The DH was so freakin fun, especially on a 4" 29er full suspension. The climb was mainly a long dirt road, so it was kinda boring.

Sunday was the DH race, so I went out and explored the area for a good 3+ hours. It was a blast finding new trails. Super fun time. My legs hurt really bad, but I pushed through it to get to some rad downhills.

After drilling myself day after day and racing 4 weeks straight, I finally have a recovery week. I am glad for it. Our home race is this weekend, which will be fun, but I am not looking for any result.

Hoping my Superfly will be back in time for Nationals in Truckee, CA. It will be built back up @ 20.5 lbs for some raging. Hopefully with some killer fitness and a rocking 29er, there will be a good result.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mixin' it Up

Had a sweet weekend up in the mountains these past few days. Camped up at Sol Vista Friday and Saturday for another racing weekend. Rolled in around 6pm and had camp set up not too long after. Built a campfire and watched as the foxes circled around us.

The cross country was on Saturday this week which worked out great. Going into the race, I was actually feeling decent. I did a few really big days of training earlier in the week and racked up over 15,000ft of climbing in just 3 days. Somehow my recovery went pretty good. Did a little warm-up on course, then came back down the mountain. The official called us up 15 minutes early and we started late. By the time we started I was cold again. No biggy.

We raced 4 laps of the Pro XC course that was run at Nationals this summer. My plan was to kinda chill out and warm back up on the opening climb. I started near the back of the 30 person group. I just followed wheels while most of the people were going all out. One there was a little space about half way up the climb I started making my move. Climb was maybe 15 minutes to the top. The downhill was freaking sweet. Loose moon-dust type of powder all the way down with some steep techy parts up top(Watch the first few minutes to see some of the DH). Once I saw it on lap 1, I was able to really have some fun on it on laps 2-4.

I ended up just moving up throughout the race. Picked a couple people off a lap. Maybe I made my moves a little too late in the race, but I felt good about it. I passed Blake on the last lap climb and held him off on the downhill to finish 4th. It was a decent result. Rotem obviously won. That guy is a machine. And like a 8 time Israeli national champion.

Sunday morning we packed up and headed off to Breckenridge for the first cyclocross race of the year. While doing my warm-up I knew my legs were shot. They were truly sore from the efforts adding up throughout the week. Along with that I saw Baker, Brady, Pacocha, and Dwight all showed up. Game plan: Don't crash, don't run into any barriers, and don't get lapped.

I got to the start late, so I was last starting. We went down a big wood chip hill, so not much passing. There were around 30 guys who started, so I moved up a little. After a few laps of cruising around having fun, I realized I should be going a lot harder. I worked my way up to 14th, and was riding with another guy. With 2 laps to go, I got a wood chip jammed in my cassette which caused all kinds of skipping. As I stopped an attempted to get it out 4 guys passed me. Just as I got on, another went by me. I kinda lost my rhythm I had going after that. The freezing cold rain didn't help either. I took it cautiously on all the pavement corners to make sure I didn't eat shit. Finished up 19th, and had a good time. Once collegiate mountain bike nationals are over, I'll focus back to cross and hopefully get some decent results.

Next on tap is another cross country race at Winter Park this weekend on Saturday, then hopefully a big ride in the mountain hitting up some sweet trails on Sunday. Looking forward to it. Hopefully the weather is good, considering it was snowing in Denver today...and Winter Park is 4-5,000 ft higher.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Another week in

Race weekend number two down. Wasn't really sure how I'd feel for this one. Had some really hard rides during the week and my openers hurt the day before. A little 6hr drive, and we were at Beaver Meadows around 10:30pm. Set up camp and hit the sack.

Short track was a sweet loop with mostly 2-track and a cool 1-track climb. I knew I was in trouble during my warm-up. Was able to pick spots off during the race, but I couldn't get into an top end speed at all. Legs were a bit fatigued. The cold temperatures did not help either. Somehow I managed to move up to 8th out of 32 racers by the time the finish rolled around.

We went back to camp and ate some food before a pre-ride of the XC course. While we were relaxing, it started to snow lightly on us. A few falkes rolling down around noon. Not liking that. It was chilly. So the best thing to do is go ride up a mountain to warm up. Hit up the course and it was sweet. The 34T chainring up front was primo. Climbs were tough, and the DH was a large rock garden.

We woke up to sun on Sunday morning for our 9am start. Got a decent start and hit the climb in good position. By the top, I was sitting around 6th, about 15 seconds off the pace of the lead group of 5. That was the end of that. The trail went down and I went backwards. I think 5 people passed me going down. Luckily the legs were feeling good and I was able to pass most of the back on the lap 2 climb. Held off all but one on the descent, then hit the second climb on lap 2 hard. Coming to the last mile, the CSU guy I was looking for to pass me finally came by at warp speed. Yup, lost another spot. Fun race though, I just rode really conservative trying not to flat or crash. Last year I triple flatted here. This year, no flats, no crashes, no dabs-good race. Not sure how I finished up, as I never saw results.

This weekend should be good with a XC race at Sol Vista, then hopefully a my first cyclocross race of the season up high in Breckenridge. But first, I have to go beat my body up for hours on end before the weekend. Putting it all on the line in another month.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Back to Racing

The collegiate mountain bike season just kicked off this past weekend. 5 weekends of racing in a row, then a week off before a trip to Tahoe for Nats. Whats cool about our series-4 of the 5 weekends are in the mountains and all start above 8,500ft!

So this weekend was up in Laramie, Wyoming. Cool little event. Has s short track Saturday morning. In true fashion, I rolled in about last on the first lap. Made my way up to the lead group after that. It whittled down by the end, and there was only 4 of us on the last lap. Went for a pass at the top of the climb to move to the front, but was shut down. Not much passing after that, so I settled for 4th.

Super D was a little later. Never done one. Really, I just wanted to shred some sweet trails. I did a light jog to the bike and was last on. Passed some guys before the long DH started, and just had some fun while trying not to die.

XC was Sunday morning with a top notch field of guys. I hadn't ridden the course, but it was SWEET. A some climbing, then a long DH with some kickers, and a few longer climbs laced in there. Went down to a ravine, then had a climb all the way back to the start/finish. 4 loops of the 5.5 mile course. Was in a group of 5 after getting knocked over accidentally by Blake on lap 1, then moved up. By lap 2, I was third. Lap 3 I caught up to Trevor, and got a gap on him. Ended up catching up to Alders who was racing open, then we hit a nice DH stretch where my chain decided to wrap around my crank arm and twist up in the rear derailluer. Took me maybe 30 seconds to get it unraveled and back on. Just as it was almost on, Trevor came flying past me. I was able to get back in a rhythm and pass him on the last climb to get to the finish first.

Next weekend is off to Beaver Meadows, up in the middle of nowhere for a sweet race. Hopefully I'll have the 1x9 set up by then and my chain won't fly off.