Monday, September 20, 2010

Some days there is just nothing you can do

I'm not a big fan of endurance racing, but since West Branch was part of the NEO Powerseries I didn't really have much choice. The last few weeks I had been training really hard for this event, working on my endurance mostly. With several grueling rides under my belt I figured I was at least ready to survive this thing.
However, I got pretty sick last week and wasn't able to ride for 5 days. Friday night I had a fever but was feeling a little better by Saturday evening. I was already preregistered and the wife was racing also so I figured why not give it a try. At the very least I should have fresh legs right?
The first lap was 14 miles and aside from some gastric disturbances I was able to ride with Lorson. After that first lap though things really fell apart for me, I just felt like all the energy was drained from my body. As I came around to the aid station I just pulled off the course and told them I was done. I then crawled my way down cable line road back to the van at a snails pace. Oh well, I wasn't going to win anyways and hopefully I am still in the fight for the series. Cochran won with relative ease and has a pretty sound lead over Lorson and me. He is not totally out of reach yet, and there are two races left so it's still game on for the three of us at this point.

Pendleberry got 2nd and actually wasn't bleeding too badly. The only thing he needs to decide now is whether he wants to make a living racing on the road or mtb.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Warning! The Knob is Not Safe!

It was an action packed weekend by all accounts. The plan was to stuff as much singletrack into 3 days as possible, but Friday's ride almost ended in disaster.

There I was riding down the rocky shoot of the Over-Under, minding my own business, when all of a sudden I was instantly blinded by what felt like a mild form of mace in my eyes, nose, and mouth. Somehow I skidded to the bottom still upright, dazed, confused, and unable to see much at all. Still unaware of what had happened, I assumed the worst, yes that's attack from the fabled KnobSquatch.
I figured this was some sort of debilitating venom he was shooting into my eyes as a pre-emptive strike, preparing my carcass for a tasty meal. However, once I wiped my eyes clean I could see that the lockout knob on my fork had come loose. And with each contraction of the fork legs hydraulic oil was shooting me in the face.

Not wanting my weekend of riding to be spoiled, I turned to the classic Lorson standby, duct tape. With the fork refilled with fluid and the lockout knob secured, the rest of the weekend was productive. 10 total laps at the Knob and 2 at West Branch for the three days of riding. Now it's time for rest, there is nothing more I can do at this point to make myself faster for this weekend.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Manitoc Battle Royale

NEO stop #2 met us with seriously dry conditions at Manitoc. It was do dry that the first 2 miles were nothing but a dust cloud, I couldn't even see the trail at times. No complaints here though, it was the most fun race I have done in a long time. I purposely didn't go too hard at the start since I had not raced in 6 weeks. On the first lap I was riding with Lorson, Cochran, and some younger experts. Nearing the end of the first lap I passed Lorson on a downhill as he was blazing some new trail. A bit later I could hear him go off the trail again.
I kept a steady pace and he caught back up, we road together for quite awhile. I was able to stay with him on the climbs this year which is a nice change for me. Manitoc is a pretty open course, there is some tight stuff, but not enough to suit my type of riding. The Groovy was performing well and I never even came close to sliding out on the silty areas. I was running Nevagals front and rear with about 25psi. I'm pretty sure Lorson had too much air in his tires because his rear wheel slid out on numerous occasions.
On the third lap we hit that long steep climb and both dismounted to run up it. I took two steps and knew that if I took one more at that speed I would cramp. So I ended up walking as he pulled away. Once I got back on the bike I felt fine, but the damage was already done, another 2nd place for me. That's ok though, I was 7nth last year so I was actually quite pleased.

Pendleberry and Twining had a great race and battled it out for 1st and 2nd in the Pro/Expert. Heck, I didn't even see any blood dripping off of Jeff this time, internal bleeding maybe?

This week I'm trying to get ready for West Branch. I went to the Knob yesterday and rode 7 laps total,6 by myself and one with the wife. I felt pretty good and paced myself appropriately, but on the 6th lap there was a noticeable decline in my handling skills. The mind just starts to wander at that point so I had to really concentrate on the trail. I have done much longer rides than this on the road bike, but the Knob has a way of really beating you down.

ages/clustrmaps-back-soon.jpg'; document.getElementByIdLocations of visitors to this page