Monday, January 07, 2013
Back at it...
Winter racing started up this weekend with 2 great choices: Saturday the Freewheel Frigid Murphy race and Sunday Coldbear #1 in Elk River. I am simply not interested in 2 races per weekend this time of year so I chose Murphy due to it being a Freewheel event and the fact that it is only ~6 miles from my house.
The course was in primo 12-18" wide groomed condition, but that didn't make the race easy. Chris Fisher showed up with skinny sharp (home brew studs) tires. I know he is riding well and peaking right now for CX races. It looks like he destroyed the competition up at Elk River on Sunday.
Anyway, the start, which will see some modifications next week, was crazy w/ a down hill into a basically un-ridden stretch of double track. I got behind Hollywood (he really wanted the hole shot) and a guy wearing blue who I didn't know. It was hectic with Fisher running by me CX style and the guy in blue falling all over the place as Hollywood rode away. Once that got sorted out, Fisher, Charly "Proto" Tri and I rode behind Hollywood for a few minutes. Like a gentleman, he eventually let us by. I got by Fisher when he slid out on a corner and from there I tried not to look back...but I knew Fisher was close the whole time. I had about a 30 second gap w/ 10 min left in the lap/race, and sometime soon after Fisher, who is lean and mean at only about 150lbs, shattered (literally) his crank spider (what a beast!). I didn't know of course and rode hard all the way to the finish.
Given the hard pack groomed conditions, it was an interesting battle between fat and skinny tires. His tires + wheels were probably 3+lbs lighter making the tight, twisty punch stuff easier, but I had the luxury of fat tires for cornering and stability. Either way it was close despite what the result show.
After the race, I headed home to get Tegan out sledding and skating (Casey isn't to keen on either yet). My neighbor and I are maintaining a rink on our lake, and it has been SO much fun teaching my boy the art of skating and hockey. The sledding hill in our neighborhood is really fast and showing signs of wear. We need more snow!
Sunday saw more sledding, skating, and a nice long solo 2-wheeled trudge that had my neighbor who saw me leave saying "are you just getting back???" Most of my new neighbors think I am crazy... they might be right.
Today it is good to be back at work resting my body while my brain does some heavy lifting.
The bike worked well, as it is a no-frills snow machine. I ran Nate tires front and rear with just the right pressure on my "too skinny" 65mm rims (remember when that was the only width??). I heard from others that Escalator tires worked well too. Maybe one of these days, I will do a mechanical dynamics lesson on this blog explaining why 100mm rims are for the most part unnecessary even for "ungroomed" hard-core riding... or maybe I will keep that to myself=)
Oh and mid-Februrary, I may retire the Beargrease for something better...