Sunday, December 20, 2009

Time for studs!

Rode stony yesterday. There is a nice layer of ice under the snow in most places on the trail. I was happy I put the studded tires on the bike. I was also happy I switched the gearing to a 34x20 or I would of been walking up the icy hills instead of riding them. The studded tires always amaze me.
The new little re-routes are nice. I like the first one with the bench cutting, the second one I was more concerned with not crashing than paying attention to what the trail was like.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Trail Riding

Got out on the Quiring single speed today at stony creek. This was only my 2nd time riding the bike since I have been so focused on cross and also with all my knee problems I didnt want to push my luck.
The trail was a bit icier than I was expecting today, and with the rain tomorrow studded tires are going to be a must. The single track was in good shape, but there were a lot of sections of the two track that I decided to walk.

The bike rides nice, my legs are sore as I am not used to putting that much force on the pedals. Even with a 34/18 I struggled up some of the hills out there, of course the snow didnt help any. I put a flat bar on the bike also recently and like the feel of that much better. I am planning on riding this bike all winter, but I am thinking I might need a bigger cog.

I am already looking forward to summer.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Golden Cowbell

It all came down to this last race, could I keep my third place and win my first golden cowbell or would Paul S. make up enough ground to take it away from me? Coming into the race he had beat me the last couple of races, and wasnt too far behind in the points. I did two less races though and only your top 6 count.
Going into the race, it was a peak for me after building since Iceman. The previous two races I didnt do as well as I wanted by any means, stony and bloomer neither of them suited my riding stlye apparently. The week leading up to states I had a pretty light training load but my power numbers were higher than I have seen them in the last month if ever. I was trying to do all the right things, the big one was avoiding getting sick, so far so good with that.
The day before the race I decided to get outside for my pre-race workout. I wanted to dial in my clothing and get my lungs used to the cold air. It hurt, but I think it helped some.

Springfield Oaks is typically is one of more challenging courses in the series. I have raced there after a week of rain making the course a swamp, I have raced there in the hot, and now in the freezing cold. Luckily racing in the C race the ground stayed frozen for most of the race, and I was very thankful for having tubular tires. Overall there were only a few areas of the course that were tricky, and on my warm up lap the first time through the tricky off camber section I tried to take the shortest line, that didnt work. It was too slick and tore up already. So I went back and rode it again, going to the bottom of the hill and then up. I figured it may burn a few more matches in the book, but it was better than hitting the dirt. I also knew I had to be near the front off the start once we hit that section. So with a early call up and waiting under the orange crush we were off.

I jumped on Shawns wheel off the start. I knew if I could hang with him I would be in great shape for the whole race. We kind of cooked a couple of the first turns and almost ended up in the tape. I backed off the pace some going through the barn and into the off camber section Shawn crashed right in front of me. He was up quick and where I was I couldnt really get away from him. I felt the heat from behind me though, and knew I had to get on it. Going over the barriers and down the hill onto the pavement I wasnt quite feeling as confident in my bike handling skills for some reason and a couple of guys got around me at some point. I really dont remember when exactly. Seems like the Specialized guy passed me just before the barriers, not sure about Andy. So the rest of the race was spent trying to bridge back up to 3rd place. I did that many times, but was never able to get away. Maybe on the second lap the chasing group of guys behind me got tangled up in a turn, and were never able to get close to me again. The flyover was my down fall on the last lap. I lost time on it and ended up in fourth place. I was hoping to do better, but was happy with results, and my third place in the series was secure.

So looking back at the year. Overall I am quite happy with the results. This season has been my best on the bike, not just cross either. I have never done this good no matter the type of racing. It is a lot more fun racing than just trying to survive until the end. Next year it is the B`s, a year late, but that is ok. I couldnt of done it without my coach Terry.
It has been fun racing and seeing all the new faces in the C race. It is great that the sport is growing, even with the tough economy there have been good sized fields every race.

I have to congratulate my teammate John that moved up to the B`s this year and really killed it. I remember talking him into trying a cross race, and all the near to the bottom finishes in his first year so this was well earned to say the least.

Also I want to thank Robert and Tailwind, for all the great races and another fun season.