Monday, January 30, 2012

Proper Winter Racing..

We finally had a winter race with proper snow and conditions that gave fat bikes an advantage.
I felt much better this week and certainly had more fun riding the single track at Murphy rather than those blasted hills! My new 9Zero7 hasn't been tested on snowy single track as much as I would like (no SNOW!), but it continues to impress me when the opportunity arrises. Sunday I felt right at home on her, just as I do on my Top Fuel in the summer.

All the details, results, and a pretty cool video here:

Next up? Who knows... I am taking hits from a group of men who refer to their brothers as sisters (and sisters as brothers?) on my skinny riding maybe I should forget trying to get fit and just work on my skillz ;)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Team and Murphilly

First, it is official that I will be riding for the Freewheel Elite Team this year with Trek and Bontragers as co-sponsors. I am excited to be a part of this team and have the support from Trek, as it is a combination that will provide me with everything I need to pedal hard.

On to some racing:
Remember the old Murphy Hanrehan course? Yeah, the one consisting of world class XC ski trials that only go up and down...almost never flat. Mr Hinkens and I took turns beating on each other Sunday at that course because the singletrack was still to icy. Jack and I agreed that it was the hardest we have gone since last fall, and he ended up besting me by 15 seconds or so I think. With a wipe out on a slippery rut and some time lost on the hills, I was down 30+ s after the first lap but pulled it back some in the last lap. While I think he had me either way, it was an interesting battle of different tire set ups with almost all else equal and both of us on beautiful 9Zero7s.

Jack's setup - Nate rear, Larry front, ~15 PSI min
My setup- Husker front and rear ~8-9 PSI.

The huskers roll better on really hard pack, which the trails were not Sunday at least on the first lap. The Huskers were much better on the second lap after the trail had been packed.
On the staircase steep climbs I was losing 5-10 seconds slipping the rear tire. Jack said he did not slip at all and climbed the hills like he had claws on his tires (technically he did w/ the Nate=).
Higher PSI, to a point, is advantageous as well for going fast because the tire casings don't comply/flex well in the cold, and the tire sidewall obviously flexes a lot less at higher PSI.

There will be more to come as we actually get to ride on snow in the coming weeks, but my initial takeaway is that unless it is very hard pack (nearly icy), the Nate will be a superior snow tire because you can run it at higher PSI and still have more grip.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cold Bear #1

"Snow" bike racing started last Sunday with only about 50% snow cover on the trail. That said I rode the 9Zero7 anyway along with ~35-40 other Fat Bikers. Additionally, there were 40 or so skinny tire riders braving the dirt, snow and ice trail up at Elk River (very little ice actually).

Regarding the race itself, I took it easy-ish (relative to summer XC racing) at the start to get the motor has been a long time since I did an XC race! Overall I felt strong through the whole race and did not overdo it, as there are a lot more races ahead (if I was unclear, I am not racing less this year, I am just planning to do some different types of racing).

Key takeaway: Rich and the Dirt/Snowwerx crew did a great job in making this an awesome event. If you didn't come, you missed out!

In other news, winter is hear.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Bimodal distribution?

I never would have thought that Tegan I would be riding dirt over Christmas break...

One afternoon during my nice long 10-day break from work I was discussing with my well educated weather guru of a Brother how the weather does not seem to follow Gaussian statistics. Hopefully he will look into it further and get back to us all, and maybe I just remember the weather oddities. However, last winter was a snowfest...a top 5 winter in snowfall amounts as I recall. I had to shovel my shoveled snow to make room for more shoveled snow. Spring was wet and cold. My feet nearly fell of at the Cable Classic. Summer was hot...super hot (awesome!). Fall was very warm and super dry, and Winter has followed Fall's lead.
This has all made for a interesting, sometimes difficult, and entertaining year of riding and racing. I counted and I toed 32 starting lines this year, almost all mtbk. That seems like a lot. A time will come, probably sooner rather than later, that I/we won't have time for that many.

2012 will hold some changes new challenges for me. What all those are is yet to be determined, but there is more than 1 endurance race on my radar and probably fewer XC races.

I don't know which Team I will be riding for yet in 2012 (down to two options), but in the near term at least there are 13 XC snow bike races to choose from in the Twin Cities area. I do know that I will be riding my 9Zero7 rocket of a snow bike for Freewheel/9Zero7 in those...that is, assuming we get some snow this winter!

Cheers and Happy New Year.