Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Yeah, if you weren't up for ~1000 accelerations per lap, you probably had a rough one out there on Sunday. The Elk River course is a new and welcome addition to the MNSCS, and while the biggest climb out there is probably 40 feet of elevation gain, Rich's GPS says that there is still 1000 feet total per lap. After racing it, I wouldn't argue w/ that figure...either way, it was a little piece of singletrack heaven.

From the gun, Devin Curran opened up the throttle on his single speed...nice! I managed past him on the only doubletrack climb (part of the lap but included in the prologue, which helped sort things out). As I pulled back onto the road for the remainder of the prologue I looked back an I had a good gap. I didn't feel like being a carrot from the start so I let up a little and Jeff Hall caught me. After catching me, we started chatting and I told him to go first into the single track...he wasn't eager though. Basically, on a course like this, I knew he would be the one to beat. Our conversation lasted a little too long and a charging field caught us. I made a quick acceleration getting into the next first bottleneck 4th wheel, and before exiting the prologue I was 3rd wheel behind Justin Reinhart and Jeff. Justin was putting down a solid pace so I just waited as the engine began to warm up. It is a often easier following the first bit for me especially on more technical courses like this one. When we came upon a "technical section" with a bypass, Justin and Jeff took the bypass, I went straight down the pile of gorilla-head-size rocks and skirted into the lead. From there, I just rode the singletrack as fast as I could without being inefficient. I was able to steadily open the gap up to 2 minutes by then end...I suffered some doing so, but it was still fun cruising the singletrack=)
The only big mistake I made was that I forgot to have a Gu on board, and my energy levels were hovering around E for the last 40-50 minutes of the race. However, the Gu2O was JUST enough to keep me going until the finish.
I will be out at Buck this week and will follow that up with a weekend at the Fisher family cabin. Chris is going to let me try his new Jet 4 road wheels...I am pumped!
I will post some pics when I find some...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Last night at Buck went better that I expected... after fair amount of fun riding last weekend, a heart stopping Tuesday, a solo lunch ride on Wednesday (too nice to ride slow), and that uh-oh-bad-legs feeling in warm ups, I wasn't sure that I belonged on the front line. However, I was pretty sure the ensuing laps would have me on the red line.
Doug Swanson showed up to make things interesting, but after a hot first lap I was able to gap he and SamO. My legs were too close to locking up so I couldn't put in another big surge. The gap to SamO grew slowly, and the first two laps were very painful. I finally found a maintainable groove for the last two and was able to cruise in alone.

Equipment setup update: I tried a new fork setup last night that seemed to work well...for those that know Rock Shox, I locked my fork out but turned the "floodgate" almost all the way off (one click in). Then I lowered the fork pressure. This left me with a fork that feels kind of like the old Fox inertia valves except it can be preloaded and never gets "confused" (those that rode the FX forks know what I mean). I am going to give it a few more rides before I commit to this, but it definitely felt stiffer sprinting out of corners while still being compliant over the bumpy stuff.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Flat Goosebumps

Ok, the flat and the misfunctioning air can I can take... thats part of the game (thanks to the neutral support for getting me going again after I had given up and was walking back to my car).
Being cold at a starting line on July 16th...I cannot=(

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Breezy Point - Memorial - Breezy Point

Last Friday, we cruised up to Breezy Point, MN for family vaca... however, that was not going to stop my dad and I from cruising down Sunday to Red Wing for a race that I have missed several years in a row.
This is another MNSCS destination where, simply put, if you don't like the Red Wing course, you probably don't like mountain biking. The course was a little longer this year, but with cooler temps, I don't think anyone was complaining about an extended Sunday ride.
I made a mistake on Sunday leading out the race. Beyond the first "whoop" section, I didn't remember anything about the course and given the twisty track, knowing where you are going is imperative for efficient riding. I dropped the field in the section of course that I knew, but some of them pulled me back when I overshot a couple corners later on. SamO was riding the strongest and he led Jack and I around until the start of the third lap. BTW, after a double-flat-bonk WORS race last weekend, Jack came back really strong. It shows mental toughness to recover from something like that to race well.
Going in to the third lap, I was FINALLY getting in the singletrack groove, and I took a couple Roctane's after the 2nd and 3rd laps that were starting kick in. SamO and I gapped Jack, and other that the climbing, I was having a blast (my legs were not very good on the climbs). In the "prologue" part of the last lap, SamO told me to keep it hot (or did he say consistent, I can't remember=) through the single track to get more of a gap on Jack. I did keep it hot and was able to put some time on him. From there, I suffered through the last time up the "Stairway" climb to claim the victory.
Again, we had another great MNSCS turn out. Lets all keep it rolling!
I have a couple days left up here at Breezy Point before returning to reality. I am sure Jen will have some updates on our activities up here, but suffice it to say, we are enjoying ourselves.