Sunday, June 21, 2009

New Wheels

So finally all the parts arrived and I was able (with help from Dave D., James, Spencer, Dave) build my new bike. I didn't want to burden just one person with the work so I spread it around and everyone was quite helpful in showing me what to do to make this thing functional. We ran into a few glitches, which is part of the deal when your bike is sent to you in pieces from all the various parts manufacturers and you have to put the puzzle together, hoping everything fits.

It's pretty, looks fast, but I haven't been able to take it out to the dirt to see how fast it really is due to all the rain. That's right I don't want to get it muddy just yet. Afterall this isn't a horse and I'd like the trails to remain smooth instead rutting them up with my selfish behavior.

It's fairly light: 24 lbs 12 oz. I could shave a bit of weight off by swapping the pedals for the Ti Eggbeaters, but for now it's ready to go. The Superfly is right at 24 lbs, so it's pretty good considering I'm adding suspension but going to the smaller wheels.

My greatest hope is that it will strike fear into the heart of my fellow competitors when I line up at the next race. Psychological warfare may be my only hope.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Deer Valley 09

Kohl on his first race

Despite being under the weather all week I showed up to race Deer Valley this morning. I knew I wouldn't have quite the power and speed I needed to contend with the fast guys in my group, but I did my best.

The other reason I was anxious to go was that my oldest son (5) finally started riding without his training wheels this week and so instantly thinks he's ready to race, who am I to say no to a budding young cyclist? So we went, despite the seemingly gloomy outlook for good riding weather and despite my persistent hacking cough.

Sometimes you just have to take a chance and not dwell on the 'what ifs'. This is what we did and it turned out to be a great day. Kohl finished 1 lap of the 3 expected for the 9 and under category, but he was happy with that, he crashed no less that 5 times, but got back up every time and continued. His two key observations from his first race experience: 1. This grass is bumpier than our grass at home AND 2. I need gloves for when I crash so my hands don't get all muddy. Wisdom IS gained through experience!

So while Kohl is learning the subtleties of mountain bike racing I'm more concerned with the harsh reality of climbing ability and trying to stay with the leaders. True to form they took off hard and, while Little Stick kept the pace methodical for the first 10 minutes or so, it still put me 11 spots off the front. I had to battle my way through six category riders to get to my final spot, about a minute back of Brad and 2 minutes behind the leader today - John. It was some good racing in good conditions on a tough but fun course. Geno and I spent most of the race swapping places until I finally put enough time on him on one downhill section that he didn't come back and slide by me again.

I felt ok, not 100%, but ok and I'm content with the result. Now a few weeks to get healthy and do some training for the July races.

Downhill back toward the finish

Monday, June 01, 2009

It's the simple things

Simple things are really the basis of happiness in my opinion. My kids funny little quips, going on a bike ride, a piece of fruit when it's just right, and so on. Ironically it's also the simple things that can most easily be our downfall. For instance, this evening I went on a nice ride on the SS. It was nice to get on the Purple machine after racing 3 times last week. It's simple, one gear, just stand and go, no thinking, no shifting, just pedal. I met Chris and KC above the race course and we proceeded to do the normal loop up Betty's to the Altar, Betty's lament to Dry and back around on the BST. I had to walk a loose section or two but otherwise felt pretty good, pushed hard to catch up with the Dynamic Duo when I spun out on the loose stuff and handled the technical sections, albeit a bit slower than I would have on the "Fly". Not sure why, but the SS just feels less stable after riding the Fly so much.

So we finally make it around and we are at the shooting range, which requires the log ride attempt at least once, especially when with the Holley's, (which is why I enjoy about riding with them, because they both are always encouraging me to try new things or push a little harder, even when it's not verbalized). So I pass on the first attempt due to the high grass it was hard to see the approach. KC made an attempt and I circled back up to go again. I approached, braked, as always, rode up onto the log and when I was about 1/4 of the way the bike slid off the left side, however my balance was to the right and so I went down and rolled, twice I think, hitting the outside of my right knee on the rocks. Besides being itchy from the roll in the grass and onto the pavement. I also realized that this seemingly simple task of riding the log was now going to leave me with a painful, but hopefully temporary, reminder that some things that seem simple can also be painful.

So now I sit here, stretching and rubbing my leg hoping I didn't do anything too drastic that would slow my riding and progression on the season thus far. Ahh the simple things, so fun, yet dangerous enough to really screw everything up.

Sundance ICUP 09