Yes, I am still here and have been racing.
Over the previous couple weeks I did a couple Buck Hill races, the Wooly MNMBS race, and the EPIC up in Cable/Hayward.
The Buck races have been a blast for my family. Tegan even did an entire lap at the first race! It was pretty hard on his early season 6-year-old legs, but he toughed it out and made Daddy very proud=)
Wolly was great as well, but I could have gone faster on my dual suspension given some of the open rough sections. The course up there is a nice mix of everything (singletrack, double track gravel, and a tiny bit of paved path) that reminded me of the Mammoth trail in Chaska.
The EPIC race was properly named. Of the 33 miles, 30 of it were singletrack. Point to point races (this one going from Cable to Hayward) are always a treat. Jason Sager, Jesse Lalonde and I had a good battle. At the finish they out kicked me, but the race was just the warm up I needed for the Cheq 100!
On the equipment, I am loving the 29ers. I think the superfly 100 might be the fastest bike I have ever ridden off road considering a variety of conditions. For smooth or punchy courses, the Superfly HT will be tough to beat though. The XR0 and 1 tires are even better in the 29er form than 26er form, which I didn't expect but am pleasantly surprised by. XTR stuff is completely flawless and is the best drivetrain on earth, IMO, when paired w/ a WTC ring. The ENVE and Bonti wheels are both great, but I reach for the ENVEs on race day. They are just so dang still, light and snappy.
The Kuat rack continues to exceed my expectations as well. The integrated bike stand feature is SO useful. Plus the rack looks amazing on my FJ.... and 1/2 of going fast is looking good right?
Really, I can't think of one complaint about my equipment, which is one of the benefits of being a "privateer" and not being forced into using equipment because a sponsor said so=)
Sorry for the lack or pictures, but if you are reading this, you probably know what I look like;)