Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ice Biking

Well I finally got around to mounting my Nokian Hakka WXC tires that I bought last year. These tires have 300 carbide studs and are quite knobby. With all the trails around here covered in about 2-3 inches of ice, I figured it was about time to get out for a ride. At first I was kind of unsure about how well the tires would grip the ice. But the further I rode, the more confident I became in the tires ability to dig in. I tried walking a section of the trail because it just looked too slippery. But as I found out I was better off staying on the bike and just riding it. The tires provided enough traction that I could actually put some torque on the cranks and they would dig right in. Even the sections that had a lot of ruts the tires would just slip off the rut and dig in. I didnt try riding any of the technical single track, that will be for another day as it looks like the ice will be here to stay for quite a while. They seemed to provide pretty good lateral traction also.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Trail Running

I got out for a run on the trails today. There was about 2" of ice pretty much covering the entire trail. I stopped in at Hansons and picked up a set of STABILicers SPORT for my shoes. These things slip on over your shoes and they work really good. I was able to run at close to my normal slow pace. I slipped a little bit a few times, but nothing too bad. I was able to run the off camber, downhill sections without any real problems. $39.99 well spent!


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Xmas, almost

I am looking forward to see what kind of shiny new bike parts Santa is bringing the next couple of days. I have been doing my fair share of santa`s work though the last couple of days. Sometimes deals come along and they are just too good to pass up. I found a FSA riser bar, and Thomson stem, Bontrager carbon bar, and a Ritchey stem that will be joining all the rest of the of the parts in my basement. I have wanted to try a riser bar on the top fuel, since I have not been able to get comfy on the bike yet. The last adjustment after my second fitting seemed to help, but still it wasnt right. So of course the bar is a 31.8 and my current bar is 25.4 or whatever it is. So off to ebay and found a great deal on a used Thomson stem. $30 how can you pass that up? Then of course I am trying to get my pit bike put together for cross and someone was selling a Bontrager Race X lite bar. So that will go on the Orbea. Nashbar is having a sale on Ritchey stems, so another $30 and I picked up a stem for that bike. The next investment for the cross bike will be a crankset. I am really liking the SRAM Red crank. But that will have to wait until I find a good deal on it.

So when is the next race? It hasnt even been a month yet and I am really missing it. I finally got to watch Mikes (Mashers Media) Iceman DVD. It was really good. So much better than what has been done in the past. I am going to throw the Cyclocross DVD in next. Of course it will just make me want to get out and do some racing. I have been out doing some trail running lately. That has been fun, I wish I would of done more of it in the cross season.

Random Image-. Hudson Mills 2005. Too bad they havent done any races out there in a few years, it was a fun course.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

End of another year

Another year comes to an end. I dont remember what my goals for the season were but they were something along the lines of, Iceman in 2:15 or less, Top 5 in the TT series, and top 5 in cross series. I was able to finish in 4th in the TT series, 10th in the XC series and 8th in the cross series. Iceman well that was a bad day of racing for me, not sure if I will be doing that race again next year or not. But it will be our first anniversary of our engagement, so that right there is a good reason to head back up there. I did about 20 races this year, that is the most I have ever done. I am trying to get goals set for 2008, so far I want to move up to B`s in cross and at least place respectable. Do a few road races, for something new. And try to log 3500 miles. Looks like I will be close to 3000 this year. There are a few mtb races that are a must. Stony, PLRA TT, Owasippe are some of my favorites that I would like to do in 2008, but with the wedding it might be tough to make some of the other far races.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of the year.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Michigan State Championships

What a day for a race. Finally some real CX weather here in Michigan. Snow, ice, rain and mud.

I am not sure what really went wrong in the race. Sure I had the wrong sized cassette on the bike, and my tires sucked in the slippery conditions, but there must be more than that. I couldnt get anything going in the race. It was a strange race, each lap got faster and faster, which is not normal for a cross race. For our race the course was mostly snow covered, by the time the rest of the classes raced there was a nice mud trail to follow, and the pavement sections had a nice line in them also. 2nd from last! How does that happen? I am going to blame on the bike. Just a wrong tire choice I guess.
The course was a nice set up with quite a few tight turns, and tricky sections. It would been a lot easier if the weather was better. So in way it really made this race. There were 3 running sections, a bit of pavement, and some of the bumpiest, frozen grass you can find.

I am sad to see the season end, but at the same time kind of happy that it is over. I am looking forward to just getting out and riding for a bit, and not worrying about get a specific workout in. I learned quite a bit this season, about what not to do mostly. I think I am going to concentrate fully on cross next year. I am looking forward to doing some road races, which will be a new thing for me.
Check out all the pictures I took of the B, Masters and A races.

I am already looking forward to next season!