Entries in MTB (65)
Brandon and Taro got last minute entries to the La Ruta de los Conquistadores. Good luck with your remaining 'cross season Brandon for when you come back witha water borne parasite. Ha! kidding... but, ahhh, I'm not kidding.
If you are interested, Jason Sager is showing how much of a blogger he really is with truly excellent nightly coverage from his suffer fest down there in Costa Rica land. To quote Jason: "Pictures are the new text...". Spoken like a true Web 2.0 kind of guy. (Note to Sager: I've got to give you my copy of Wikinomics boy. You're on to something here....).
Follow Sager and crew's adventures through the mud here.
I got out on another morning mini-epic here in Marin. No lights and complete darkness. Awesome. Hit parts of Tamarancho but was too dark to see within the tunnel of trees in the singletrack so flipped and rolled along the hills in Marin.
Things are settling down a bit where there was chaos 48 hours ago. I need to continue pushing and finding truth. The cool morning air on the 1 x 1 is making that easier for me.
I've got the 1 x 1 with me to do me some fun riding in between the meetings and craziness. I want to commune with Tamarancho and other places I carved with the best of friends. I'll hook up what I can, when I can to continue to give back as it were.
Things are changing. I have to accept that. The constant is the faith my family has in me and that all will be OK. I've got to believe that as I've lobbed much to the universe and plowed ahead in good faith, doing my best. Harming no one but instead trying to inspire. This will all be understood soon. By me, by you, by those close.
The last Boulder Short Track occurred this past Wednesday. It was an absolute throw down. It was "double coupon" night...2x the points for your results so the field was HUGE. The course was the longest of the series with so many tight 180's it looked to suit me and my BMX background. You have to JAM out of those bends to get gaps on folks and it is all about the power output. I lined up next to Sager, Ward and Colby and virtually everyone wanted front row positioning so the front line was like 25 people large (about 15 -20 in the row behind) and all trying to hole shot into a much smaller space.
Becker yelled 3,2,1 go! and it was like a full on motocross start. Braaaaaaaaaaaaaap! Chaos! Dudes bumping, crashing....i literally had my head down and elbows out...not to take people out...but to protect myself! I navigated through the chaos and didn't win the hole shot but was safely in the top 6-8 (I will not be keeping this phat position for long...). Things bottleneck up on 1/2 the first lap into those above mentioned 180 degree sections. Brady Kappius comes flying by me trading paint in this corner and we all back up. I hop off, 'cross style and run as do some other dudes and jump back on. So many dudes on such a tight spot. Crazy! So as the attrition sets in, lap after lap. I am trying to figure out how I feel. I am going SO HARD it is incredible. I am getting near what I put out in CX (not there yet) so am averaging about 172 with spikes at 180. This said, I felt almost sick on the last 2 laps. Literally like "Man, I better stop and sit down" sick. Crazy. If I could graph the night, it's something like this:
So I finished up totally spent, like 24th, worst personal result but still smiling and satisfied where the body is going. Totally different than last year and years prior. I think I was in the mid 20's overall in the A's having done 4 of the 8 races. This husband/daddy/worker can't complain! These mo-fos are FAST!
So as I write this, my reminder pops up like it does every Friday for me at 8AM MST. It makes me smile. It gets my juices flowing for Belgium. My plans are coming together. I got good news yesterday I'll share when 100% confirmed but as it relates to where I'll be staying for the 10 days in Belgium, it'll be total PRO style! Think Transitions2. Dreaming....
Winter Park was absolutely awesome. My lady and I had an epic time riding the WP trails on Saturday and Fraser on Sunday. We did the Circuit Race Course from the WP series a couple of times and hooked up some other great stuff on that fantastically marked singletrack they have up there.
Fraser was also fantastic. We rode a lot of the same stuff The WB, Troy and I did that weekend a month or so ago. Chainsaw, Zoom, etc.
The trails here remind me of those I cut my teeth on, on the East Coast. 100% wood lined tunnels of twisty singletrack. Roots, technical features, drops....bliss. All this at 9,500 to 10K Feet. Sweet. They added in this big hit park as well....I guess for the gravity games or krankworks or something. I hit the quarter pipe they had there like I did at Rich Glatt's house in Connecticut in 1983 on my GT Pro Performer. Insane. Smiles for days.
FYI, my lady ripped that wooden plank obstacle like Richie Schley. Rad.
Most importantly, we found that inner kid again like we did so long ago. We used to MTB all the time out in the Bay Area. We'd hit Skeggs, China Camp, all the juicy stuff the area had to offer. We'd get caught out in rainstorms, have beers afterwards and laugh. This was replicated this weekend.
We are recharged.
Pics from the frolics:
My lady and I are almost free! We're going to head up to Winter Park, MTB Capital of the World (or whatever the slogan is), and rip it together...alone....no kids...on our fat tires. So, in exchange of talking about Handy Manny, arbitrating border disputes over who's Transformer is whose and like 'stimulating' topics, we get to hang, drink some beers and rip it together. Invariably we'll fall into talking about our boys a huge proportion of the time. Such is life.
Got out today on the 'cross bike boys and girls. What did you do? I repeated 'weak side' remounts until I was dizzy. Nice and slow. Just dialing it all in. When's the last time you practiced getting back on the bike via the side that makes you look like a retard? Gotta practice! It's like eating peas. Ya just have to do it.
So at 5:30PM tonight and I should have been rolling out to head down to the Research Center but the hail was coming down like you wouldn't have believed. Trees bending side ways and flash floods. Classic late day thunder boomers. By 6:15...calm, cool and beautiful.
The racing tonight was great. Super fast course and nice and perfectly tacky due to the rain....no dust either! Pretty big field again in the A's.
Before the racing I saw a Sycip kit warming up. I noticed it was an old friend from the Left Coast, Aaron Bonar. Great to see you man! Hope you enjoy Boulder.
I wanted to test the legs today and went for the hole shot. I should have grabbed it but settled in for 4th and held it for a lap or two. Sitting in, I finally got a chance to see some of Mike West's tactics. Man, is he savvy. He made the split happen, I stayed with it and then went on to just play with us (OK, maybe not 'us' but certainly me and some other chumps who couldn't hold that wheel!). He put in another HUGE surge to make another split in lap 3 (maybe 4?) and I couldn't cover to (sorry Ward!). So I stayed in the top 10 and fairly comfortably (well, red lining but feeling good) until 1.5 to go and I start developing a slow leak in the rear. Beat! Any carving resulted in the rear tire folding over so I literally had to ride at like 3/4 speed! So many dudes came by me at the very end I was bummed but I still think I got in the top 15. We'll see. Big time fun though! Collin created another very unique and very fast course.
In classic fashion, Brandon roles up in just about every Dopers Suck item he's got. Shirt, sweat bands, socks...you name it. Hilarious.
No pics tonight. Maybe some if I can get a hold of them.
Tonight was the 5th Boulder Racing STXC race and my 2nd. Fairly big pro field again and the conditions were way better than the first time. The heat and dust were way down. The light rains helped that.
Colin B did a fantastic job with this course tonight. Tight and twisty...very BMX-y. Fast where it needed to be but did not favor roadies by any means (more on that later). Tons of 180 degree turns to power out of and lots of places where you needed some serious MTB expertise to know exactly what gear to be in....especially this "V" apex that has you going big ring/12 down and a radical swing up. Gear selection was huge.
Warming up the body felt decent, the mind was into it, the vibe was great and tons of my friends were there. Golden. Then, I saw some dude in the Cat 3's wash out and face plant so violently (his head schwacked the ground and bounced) that I felt my sphincter pucker.
The pro men line up and we proceed to wait. I started on a HUGE front row line with like 20 dudes. Then about 3 rows behind me. Big field. My start was decent like top 10 and I am still trying to control myself and not blow my wad trying to take out holeshots (at least not yet until I can handle the repercussions of that exertion) and practice settling in. The usual suspects were there, Colby Pearce, Mike West, The WB looked good and the gaggle of Trek factory guys in their fairly bling white Nikes. Very PRO.
Then, the crashes started.
In lap 2 of 6, like 3 roadies wash out. I pick my way around them, literally bunny hopped one. This kid whom I've seen training on the road from San Jose. San Jose kid is strong and bridges back to me and drops me. Lap 3 or 4 my bro Troy takes a digger (Tuba I hope you are OK man! I looked for you after thee race! My heart was in my throat when you crashed else I would've shouted at you. Looked nasty). I dodge that and continue on. Bell lap. San Jose kid who crashed in front of me YET AGAIN goes down this time bad. Not moving. Face in the dirt. I stop, Colin B stops tons of spectators come in. He moves a bit so we're off. Honestly, my legs are turning again but my head was so out of the game. I hear the bell in the back and it wakes me up. I swear to you it was like that scene in Saving Private Ryan...that beach scene when Tom Hanks gets shell shocked then comes to when some kid is yelling at him. Kind of like that. The bell was the kid yelling at me.
I finished strong-ish and can't complain. The WB continues to be better than rock solid. Amazing. I thought he pulled out the W tonight but I think he podiumed. So strong. SO MANY ROCKY MOUNT'ERS out there cheering tonight. Rad. THANK YOU! Boups and Longman in particular. So rad to hear you. The spit coming out of my mouth was preventing me from saying thank you while racing.
Longman was snapping the photos tonight as was Joe Strandell of Peloton Photo. He'll have those posted tune so keep an eye out.
Does anyone have the secret on keeping chains in place on your 1 x 1's? I have a modified geared frame and am using the surly thing. It seems to keep the chain tight but i still lose the chain WAY to much on technical/bouncy single track. The chain falls off the rear cog as equally as it bounces off the front ring. For the rear, I saw Travis' one day and he had some make shift plastic discs thingies I think he hand made that basically trapped the chain on the cog. One went on either side of the cog. Does anyone know of an after market kit or should I just make it myself? For the front, I assume that the 3rd eye chain watcher or that thingy which looks sort of like a front dérailleur but is actually for keeping chains in place (name escapes me at the moment) will suffice.
So anyone have any leads/articles/advice? Comment back and share the goodness!
Kisses in advance.