I did the Cable Off Road Classic despite the conditions being far from optimal for me...39 degrees, 20-30 mph winds (mostly tail but still cold), and sprinkling. Usually in cool to cold (<55 degrees) weather, I am about 5% slower at the high end intensity for whatever reason (base on loops I know and ride a lot). This probably has some physiological component and some mental component, but either way my plan was to finish and not give up. At the starting line, I was in a full length base layer, long sleeve jersey, and wind vest. Scott KJ pulls up in just bibs and a long sleeve say, "Man this weather is PERFECT" (he is from Duluth, which explains everything=). The course is super fun, but rain all night left hub deep puddles that soaked and chilled me to the bone. However, there was relatively little mud, and the singletrack rode well because it is kind of a softer loamy soil.
I never felt good in the race and my legs were just plain cold. My feet were frozen to the point of being completely numb with 10 miles to go. The only time I got them to semi-warm was in the single track, which w/ 6 miles to go I made a decisive move for the win. There is an interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cnlvg3iCLE
It was pretty cool to have a podium sweep for the Trek Coop on the Mens side with Todd Mcfadden and Scott rounding things out. Those guys thrive in tough conditions. Sara, Scott's wife who is also on the team, rocked the win on the womens side and was 16th overall! Diana Mcfadden, another teammate and Todd's wife, followed for second. Maybe better yet, both podiums were 100% flush w/ Daddy's and Mommy's (who were all lucky enough to find baby sitters and get a weekend away=).
I should note that Charly Tri hosted 4 of us at his cabin, which is a real treat. His cabin is "where VHS tapes go to die", so idle time was filled with watching awesome old movies...Empire Strikes Back, National Lampoons Euro and Orginal Vaca, Something about Mary, Big Labowski, etc. Then on Sunday Charly led us on a fun tour of the Namakagon and Rock Lake loops.
On the equipment side, the Bontrager rubber ROCKED! I know there were other good tire choices for the day out there, but I can tell you that the mud X front and XR3 rear allowed me to ride without slipping around on the wet rocks and roots. That said, Scott was on XR0's and other than the really slick corners, they worked pretty darn well...I was very surprise and pleased because I will be racing on those in better conditions.
Charly Tri, the architect of the weekends activities trying to stay warm through the finish.
I was so cold I forgot to raise my hands.
Jay Richards (who took ALL these pic) looked at me funny so I put them up
Jack Richards kept my coat warm for me during the race. Here his is showing off some of the much appreciated new singletrack bridges from Camba.
The Trek sweep just trying to stay warm at the finish
Skinnyski has many more pictures. Oh, and Jay not only took pics, but did my bottle handoff. Thanks Jay and Jack for the help!
BTW, I did skip Buck Hill this week. I would have had to ditch Jen and the kids for the night to do it, because there was little interest from them in going given the cold and wet (yes surpise for this spring) conditions. With me being gone for the weekend in Cable, that was not in the cards. Jen will support me in what ever I want to do, but preventing those little sad faces that happen when I leave is WAAAAY more important to me than bike racing.
Next will be Buck Hill this week assuming the weather is nice. Then Sat is the first Minnesota Series race.