So I did a couple more races this week.Buck Hill Thursday Night Worlds kicked off with 137 advanced mens starters. That is as larger or larger than the comp and expert class combined for MNMBS and WORS races....awesome. I kept the start at a manageable pace and continued to turn the screws for 50 min taking the win. Pic at the left is from Jeff Gude of the race start.
Today I did the Elk River Spring Fling. If you don't attend Richzilla's races up there, you are missing out on the essence of mountain bike racing ($10 entry fee that goes to the trails=). I was a bit concerned w/ a heavy hitting field including my new teammate Doug Swanson and perrenial fast guys like Luke Nelson and Josh Tesch. Doug led it out strong and let me by mid lap. I was not under pressure and felt good even when I went aerobic once I got out front. I wheeled home alone and got 2 loaves of bread for my prize...what better prize could one ask for - case and point: essence of mountain biking.
Ok, so more importantly and interestingly are some equipment things. With Trek and the Freewheel Elite Team as Co-sponsors, I have the option to run pretty much anything I want outside of being lucky enough to be on a Trek bike again. Some of the things below are sponsored items, some are not.
Tires: Even with multiple options, the decision was easy to stick w/ Bontrager tires. Today I ran the NEW XR1 (same as 29-1) up front and XR0 in the back because the corners were sandy and a few were slippery. At Buck I ran double XR0s. The XR1 is a nice compliment and option to the XR0. It is just about as fast rolling, a little heavier, but better in the loose over hard pack stuff. The XR0 is still the king of race tires, no question. If you don't believe me, try them. Bontrager guarantees there performance.
Bike: Top Fuel...this continues to be the best bike I have ridden. Don't try it unless you want to buy one, because you will love it too much. Trek Demo's are next weekend
Fork: The Top Fuel comes w/ a Fox fork but I have always preferred the dual air and platform (I DON'T do lockouts) of the Rock Shox SIDs. So thanks to Rockshox, I swapped out the Fox for a SID. The new SID is stiff and 1/3 lb lighter.... so far, I love it. I may try the Monarch rear shock...time will tell, but I am very picky about suspension.
Wheels: EC90 XC again. If you have extra money or are looking for an upgrade that will matter, these are it. You will immediately feel the difference and realize the benefit. THe 15QR this year has made an awesome wheelset even more ridiculously better.
Food: GU. Roctane. Plus, the new Roctane drink has 240 calories per bottle! This is great if you do endurance racing and hate battling to get that magic 350 kcal per hour down. Also Stinger Waffles - when nothing else sounds good, these do. The are my favorite bike food, but they are NOT good in short XC events.
Helmet: Bell Volt. They fit me well and never give me a head ache.
Pedals: Crank Brothers. Kevin (Freewheel owner) and Tyson will attest to the fact that these are the best pedals around.
Bike shop: Freewheel. They know their stuff. I am an engineer, I know and understand the technical side of mtbking, as mentioned I am very picky (too picky if you ask Tyson -he puts up with me well as does Kevin), but they keep my on my toes and will get you rolling as FAST as your legs will let you.
More to come later on equipment. If you are looking for an early season upgrade to enhance your results, look at wheels and tires. If you see me at a race and have questions on anything equipment wise, feel free to ask.
Next up, Mother's Day and gardening (Jen's choice!).