Racing has resumed with rigor. On tap this past week were Buck Hill, the Cable Off Road Classic, and the Velo Rochester training camp (they still invite me despite me moving to Trek=).
Buck Hill on Thursday night was cool and rainy. We all slopped around in the mud a little and had fun. I was able to hold off a hard charging SamO, who is notoriously good in the slop, for the win.
On Friday I cruised up to Cable where Charly Tri hosts the Velo Rochester Team training camp every year on the same weekend as the CORC. This makes for very fun weekend of racing and riding one of the best trail systems in the US. The CORC was at 10am Sat, and we were lucky to get perfect weather and near perfect trail conditions. During the 3 mile gravel road lead out, I lead the entire way but not by choice. No one would come around me so I just set my own pace and I guess it was good enough for everyone else. Oh well, it worked out ok as I got the holeshot (my goal was to be in the first 5 wheels going in). After the first section of singletrack, I was with Scott KJ and Jack was ~15 seconds back. Scott pulled through nicely as we worked together through the only other significant gravel road section in the race. I was like "Scott, what the heck are 2 dads doing up here at the front of the race? Shouldn't the young kids with all the time and quality sleep be up here." We both got a good chuckle over that. I managed to get a little separation near the end of that road section and never looked back.
Oh and the course? It was demanding and so SWEET that I forgot I was racing. Time wise, it was probably 60-70% tight, twisty, rocky, rooty midwest-style singletrack. It was the kind of course that reminds me why I started riding mountain bikes.
Anyway, I cruised home for the win with a smile on my face. In the picture sequence below, my friends Dan Dittmer and Jake Richards are sprinting it out. I think the kid got it!
Sunday was a tour of several of the CAMBA trails with the Velo crew. Rock lake ROCKS!
A couple notes on different gear I am trying this year:
First, I tried the new Bontrager XR2 tires, which I will be using for general riding and less than ideal conditions, for the first time in slippery conditions at Buck. They hooked up pretty well, but not as good as a true mud tire.
Second, I finally got to race on my race tires (XR1 front XR0 rear)... simply awesome. Faster than the Racing Ralphs IMO.
Third, I am using a Fox RLC fork rather than a SID this year. It is stiffer, more tunable, and smoother than last years Rock Shox SID for sure, but I haven't ridden this years version.
Pics above are from Jay Richards.
Next up is another Thursday Saturday combo with Buck Hill and MMBS (formerly MNSCS) #1.