Monday, November 30, 2009

Winter WOW post race recap... A little late...

An amazing fall day. Last year we raced in 4-5 inches of fresh snow. This year sun and a high of 10. Trails were in amazing shape for the most part. Approximately 25 of the 40KM has all the leafs blown off them by the organizers prior to the race (great job guys!!). Started off a little cool but not uncomfortable. Unfortunately I only have thin and thick gloves. A nice intermediate thickness would have been nice. Stayed over at the in-laws the night before and ate drank and was merry. Woke up the next morning to a great breakfast too. All in all I was ready to ride.

Arrived at the event about 5 minutes after leaving the in-laws at 9am to get all the last minute things done before the race horn. Signed my waiver had some Hammer Gel and Heed. Installed my front tire and race plate talked to a couple guys and then heard they were herding riders to the start. Prepped and ready for a great day. We all lined up and looked at each others bikes, I was having some serious cools Singlespeed envy as there were some really nice toys about.

The horn went off and we were out of the gates. A herd of riders at least 30 wide heading for the first bend and into doubletrack... squeeze. Along one strait away people jostled for position and then up Oxygen Debt, a 4 staged climb aptly named as there appears to be no oxygen to be had at the top. Early climbs are always a bit of a pain on the singlespeed as it is hard to climb slowly behind a geared rider in granny gear.

Off we ride from there and about 2 minutes later I welcome my lungs back after getting passed by too much of the pack. I decide it is time to fix that a bit and start hammering. Bit by bit I made my way back up the field. The ride went on with lots of amazing singletrack some of witch seemed as if it had been cut only that week. Got in the zone and just kept riding and advancing my pace, using the short stretches of doubletrack to edge my way around other riders while others were also to able to edge me out.

Coming down the finish there was one more staged climb called the stairway to hell that puts you back in the huff and puff zone. I was able to edge one more rider out on that climb and then off for the finish line. Took a corner wide and was ejected from my bike with a angled tree crash... oopse. Looked up and saw my bike falling at me in slow motion. then back on and across the final length of doubletrack for the home stretch.

The finish was dusted with a few riders so I knew I had done quite well (for me). Hung out for a couple mins then went to the van to get into some jeans grab a Beer and wait around for a couple guys then off to the Chilli and Brownies feed that comes standard with his race. All in all it was an amazing race as it has been the past 2 years also. It will continue to be one of my favorite cycle events of the year.

I took 25th place out of 126 riders and 7th out of 11 Singlespeeders. Very happy with my results. I will continue to train and maybe i can do even better next year.

Enough rambling... I'm out...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Clean drive-train - Faster ride... (in my head??)

Amazing lunch hour ride today. Feels like the training for Sunday is coming together. Personal best on my 11K lunch hour loop. Climbs felt good, singletrack felt good (Mostly... explain later). Flat doubletrack spinning was fast. Everything just seemed to click.

Here is the question, I cleaned my chain, chainring, and cog just prior to the ride. I have let them get grungy for my basic utilitarian riding and training of late. Almost looked like they were growing fur. Over 11K should I really notice a tangible difference in speed? Well either the clean drive-train or the knowledge of the clean drive-train sped me up. Or maybe a bit of both coupled with the tough training schedule. Ah who knows, either way Sunday will be fun.

One lesson learned today was that when riding singletrack in the fall it is best not to have your weight shifted forward when obstacles are hidden by fallen leaves. Came close to impaling myself as my front tire nearly stopped on either a rock or a root (not sure as it was hidden). This was in the trails I ride almost daily and should know like the back of my hand. Glad I did it there rather than on the lesser known trails on race-day Sunday.

Well better get back to work. I really need to take a camera along on my lunch hour loop sometime as all this explaining really does not do it justice.

And that's it for now... I'm out!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Growing (Training) Pains

Well started to ramp up my training yesterday and I feel it. I did not think I had let myself slack so much but I am weak today. No pain which means either I did not push hard enough or I have kept in decent shape. I started out the day yesterday with my standard 6K ride to work with an upped amplitude. From there I did 2 Laps to the top of the 10 story hospital tower at 10:30am and again at 2:30pm. As well as a 5K lunch hour run.

This does not seem like much as it is my standard routine through much of the year. Usually I do either the ride in/home or the stair climb tho and not both. Today started the same as yesterday just a hair slower. The 10th floor climbs this morning were a breeze. The lunch hour ride was slow though. I kept a decent pace but Paul was able to jump the pace a few times in the flats. Usually I should be able to spin fast enough on the flats to keep him at bay. Good riding Paul!!

I will continue along this training path with minor rests on weekends up until my Nov 22 Winter Wow race which I finally signed up for yesterday. I think I need to drag out the fixie and do some hill climbing on my steep 50x16 gear ratio to add to leg strength. I think I will need to taper off a bit at the end so that the legs can rest for the race a bit.

That is all for now... Will try not to wait so long before my next post.. I'm out!!

egggman's Zazzle