Tuesday, September 28, 2010

6.481^2 by 4^2

Single speed racing is heavily dependent on bike set up...get it wrong and the race will be a lot harder than it needs to be. Get it right and you can almost be on par with a geared bike on many courses. I lined up next to the speedy Cody Larson at the SS State Championships knowing that it would be a battle, and the equipment differences were interesting:
After the first lap of slipping and sliding the equipment differences shaped my strategy. Cody was cornering faster with more grippy tires and with the smaller gear and rigid bike able to accelerate quicker. However, I was faster in the open sections and in the really tight stuff. It became apparent that I would have to attack on one of the open sections near the end. I did so, and I was barely able to hold him off. Had the course been dry, I think my choice of gearing would have been better (and a lot easier on my lower back!).
About 1.5 hours after finishing the SS race, I mounted the trusty Fuel for the elite race. Cody and I worked each other pretty good so I was content to hang out 3rd wheel. Cody managed to explode his derailleur region of his bike on a rock (parts were just kind of hanging there), which ended his day. I was comfortably riding behind Samo when I had a stick grab my rear derr...I think it was like revenge of the derailleurs on those that chose to single speed earlier in the day. 3 stops later I found the culprit, a small stick lodged between the spokes and freewheel (causing my freewheel to not spin an thus kicking my chain off every time I coasted).
I pedaled my way back to third w/ little acceleration in the legs and a knot in my back. I guess that is what you get for only riding a SS once a year.

Wow, I can't believe that is it. Mountain bike race season is (for the most part) over. What a great year it has been for the MNMBS and Midwest Regional Mountain bike racing in general! Participation is up, the atmosphere at the races couldn't be more family friendly, and the competition keeps getting better (dang whippersnappers). I want to say a special thanks to ALL the people who have volunteer at an event I have attended. I owe you all, so if you see me out somewhere and beer is an option, remind me and I will buy you one!

The coming weekends are quite busy but not with bike racing.
I will be out at the TC marathon supporting my wife as she covers 26.2....I owe here more than a few hand-offs. The following weekend is a fall camping trip. Then Oct 16-17 the Trek Demo truck returns to Lebanon Hills and Murphy Hanrehan, which as a team member I will be a part of (more details to come on this but it should be a fun time for all).
Cross/beer racing will fit in there somewhere around the rest of life...


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Coming down to the wire....

So, it looks like we will be riding in at least some mud this Saturday up at St.Cloud....so it goes this year, and it will still be a blast.

One thing I did notice and the reason for the post is that second place in the series comes down to this race between Cody and Samo (note that the scoring on the MNMTB website is currently screwed up and not throwing out the lowest races). That should be an exciting race for all to watch! Hopefully I can have a front row seat=)

Who do you think it will be??? It might depend on if Cody does the SS race in the morning, as both are very skilled riders in the twisty stuff.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Shredin' the Lag

I am not sure what to say about Maplelag that I haven't already said in previous posts. Needless to say, it was hard to leave Monday.

The racing was hot this year with some Road/CX pros showing up to spice up the TT and STXC. Also, Jason Sager, a top national pro who runs and rides for the Jamis mtbk team, flew in to checkout some Midwest racing.
TT: It was cooler and more damp than last year. I contend that this is the most painful 10 minutes of my entire year. This year I didn't feel great and it showed with a time of 9:57, 7 seconds slower than Jason. The only good news is that my course record from the previous year of 9:36 still stands.
STXC: This was the fastest STXC to date up there. It only took a few minutes before it was me, Jason, Doug, Patty Cakes Lemieux, and Adam Bergman. Adam and Patty worked hard to blow us all up w/ relentless attacking. In the end, they blew each other up, and I was happy to see Doug take the win and the MN STXC State Champ t-shirt=) I just rode at the back of the pack and finished 5th. It would have been smart of me to move up a few spots to avoid the whiplash around every corner. Either way, I felt ok and didn't want to dig too deep with the impending XC race destruction. My only comments on the post race shenanigans are below in the picture caption.A face we don't get to see around the Midwest enough anymore

The lead group in the STXC
When roady tactics meet mtbking prowess and "never say die" attitude mountain bike racing can be frustrating for some=) I have never seen anything like this at a mtbk race, 'nuff said.

XC: It took a while to get things going and after following Jason's horrible line that wrapped me a round a tree (I gave him a hard time for that!) and dropping my chain 3x (not sure what was going on there because it went away the last 2 laps!). The 2nd and 3rd lap saw me catching Samo after he had ridden away and reeling in Jason. The reeling was too little too late though and I ended up 30 some seconds back as the first looser;) I have to say that on the second 2 laps, I felt pretty strong, which is encouraging this time of year when both fitness and motivation tend to slip. The XC finish was good enough for another second place in the omnium.Discussing the finer points of tire choice w/ Jason...he was on Geax Tubulars, I was running Bonti XR1,0.
How the singletrack rolls up at Maplelag...you better always be paying attention!
Ah, the Lakeside Drops...not the most difficult thing on the course, but probably the scariest looking. % grade? Who knows, maybe 50%?

Fun: Along with me came my parents, Jen's Parents, Jen's sister Amanda, Ben, Casey, and Tegan. We had wonderful accommodations overlooking the Lakside Drops. Tegan had a blast playing w/ Jon Richards and the Grammas/Pappas. Casey is pretty attached to Mommy and Daddy right now, but I know at least a few folks got some time with her away from us.

Pictures: All the pics above are from Skinnyski.com...awesome as usual.

Next? Hmm, not sure. I won't be up in Hayward on the 18th, but I will be in St. Cloud for a couple (or three) races the following weekend.

Anything I missed? Oh yeah, I went running today...CX is coming soon.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

the 2-4

Fisher, Ben, Samo, and I went in to Salsa 24 w/ the only goal being to have fun and keep rubber side down. We basically accomplished that other than a little missing skin on Fisher's hip.
This year, we all put in one pretty hard lap and then started pulling double laps. With the shorter laps, double laps ranged in time from 1:10-1:30 which is perfect (on par w/ the Moab lap times).

The weather was perfect, the new race director Amanda did a stellar job, and the course was the rockiest, bumpiest and most technical I have seen it, awesome.

The only downer was that I didn't get any sleep. Tegan spent the entire time out there w/ us, and when I had a 3 hour window to catch a nap (2 am to 5 am), he decided to cry, whine for mommy, and pee through his diaper. I guess those are the perils of being a daddy racer!

My family and I can't wait for Maplelag.