The season got going in ernest this past weekend with the first test race at Valmont Bike Park...hope to the 2014 US National Cyclocross Championships this season. Over 600 racers on the day and stacked fields in nearly every catergory.
This weekend was the first real test...actually the first real ride on the new Ridley X-Nights. I haven't had the opportunity to hot-lap on the bikes to really test them. The weight of the bikes is surreal, but my fit was not yet dialed. I'd use the race to learn really what I needed (primarily lower bar height and hood position along with a cm seat change to get my weight a bit back/centered).
The 35 Open field lined up and the pace from the gun was vicious. I just was not prepared for the effort and combined with the fit issues, I just needed to roll, drive the bike and train. I ended up a sort of anonymous top 20 but I'll take it for now. I new exactly what I needed in bike and body and regardless had such a phenomenal time on what could be a sensational course for Nationals. There will be more event-location testing to come.
Leading up to Valmont, I tweaked with Aiden's Ridley as well. The benefit of having a parent who races is the inevitable 'hand me downs'. Now my wife realizes why I have been "hoarding" all these years. My crystal ball was correct and now my sons get to use all the equipment I trusted over the years and kept in good shape...just for them. The Clement MXP rubber I have the boys on is remarkable for 80% of all the conditions and courses we face here in CO. Everything but sloppy mud and this tire is perfect. Fast rolling and insane cornering.
Aiden took those tires and a lot of great new skill he's been learning at Boulder Junior Cycling and was able to bring home the flowers in the JM 10-12. His best bud Dakota crushing it for 2nd! They are having a blast this year. Little bro Seamus took an amazing top 10 as well in a huge field...as a 9 year old! So happy to see them shred.
The next day was the Body Synch race in Golden CO. A course I have a lot of fun at and I love racing on every year. It's a true drivers course...corner after corner and normalizes the skills by forcing super fit crit guys to very often get ejected fast as those that can drive smoothly maintain their tempo and keep their gaps. I was able to snag 4th which made me happy and helped me realize that the tweaking I had done to the bike overnight to improve my fit and handling was getting close to spot on.
Speaking of tweaking on bikes, I tweaked the man cave. Happiness is a magnetic tool strip to give immediate access to all the tools you use most often. Yeah, I know, "no-duh, Greg," but sincerely it makes me happy...
And lastly, on the bike tweaking geek tip: This is my new favorite workshop item: The We Are Butter "b1" chain keeper. It's like a stick of butta itself. Michael Robson and Chad Moore are doing something special at Butter...not just with products like the b1, but the rides, content and general bike geekdom they a propagating.
That's the update for this racing week. More to come this weekend. Giddy up.