Tuesday, July 19, 2011

NEO Double Down Enduro

Perfectly dry conditions and sweltering heat were in place for the Double Down race this past weekend. The race was double the normal laps so in my case I was set to race 6. The 36+ open class was again pretty large, twice as big as the younger guys. Add to that the likes of Ross Clark and now Brad Wilhelm in my field and I was wondering if a podium spot was even in my grasp.
I was anticipating something around four hours so I tried my best to take off slowly. I missed my pedal off the line, which was all the better since I wanted to set a nice mello pace for myself. The first 4 laps went nicely and I felt really good, I was sitting in 3rd with Tom Franek on my wheel for a couple laps. He is stronger than me and doesn't know the course like I do so I figured he just wanted to follow my lines for awhile.
As usual he eventually got bored with my pace and took off. I tried to maintain my efforts but the heat was causing some stomach upset. The fluid just wasn't digesting and my arms were cramping horribly. On the last lap I was sitting fourth and did not see anyone behind me with less than two miles to go. Then all of a sudden I was passed by former team mate Chris Skinner, he went around me at nearly double my speed. I had no response and ended up 5th in my class with a time of 3:57:51. I was pleased with this especially due to the high level of talent in the 36+ this year. This is one ridiculously hard class now.

Check out that sweet retro Systeme U jersey. It's my tribute to the late great Laurent Fignon. If only I had installed those aero bars...

And as always, many thanks to Bob Grimm for standing in the brutal heat to take great photos.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer update

Well not much has been happening on the racing scene for me lately. I skipped the Reagan Park TT in favor of a family vacation. I hated to skip that race, however the logistics of getting the family to GOBA the same day was just more than I wanted to deal with. GOBA itself was the usual sufferfest. 20 hours that week of family fun beating our heads against windswept roads the entire week. The wind was so perfectly arranged as to give us a head or crosswind the entire week, sweet.

On a more fun note, I just got back from Vermont where we visited family and savored the perfect singletrack known as The Kingdom trails. There are about 100 miles of listed trail there, I didn't ride it all but hit some seriously fun stuff. The soil is sand based and very flowing. This purpose built singletrack is twisty and rooty in places. I also hooked up with former Ohio resident Sheldon Miller (David Millar's long lost cousin). He is now a local to these parts, where he can put his climbing prowess to good use. We had a great ride on Friday, it's nice to have a local show you around. If Vermont wasn't so freaking cold in the winter I would move there eventually. If you ever get up there this place is a must ride. I did some road rides in the mountains as well. The dirt roads are desolate, with intersections not even having stop signs in either direction.

This Saturday is the VK double down enduro race. Which means 6 laps on my favorite course. Given my performances so far this year I don't have high hopes, but I have surprised myself in the past so you never know. Well speaking of racing, I better go get my bike ready with new application of duct tape on the fork.

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