Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Recap of STXC Races #1&2

Late January means the '07 season was about to start at full speed. Just as I thought the expert field starting at warp speed.

Race #1 (1/20) - Temps in the high 40's and sunny conditions brought some 190 riders total for the opening day of racing in the winter short track series. Race time 2pm, I along with 13 other expert riders followed by 20+ super sport riders were about to flood the 3/4mi. track for a heart pounding HOUR O' POWER. The start was fast very fast and placing into the first section of single track was crucial. In classic slow start fashion I get behind the worst single track riders out there. Within 5 min the field was out of reach.

It's never good when 10 min. into an hour event you start planning your corrections for the following race. So now into survival mode I tried to keep ahead of the super-sport class and the ever charging leaders from the expert class. yeah getting lapped really sucks. However it happens more so in this type of event. Luckily I stayed with it holding onto every available rider who past, just keeping momentum. Finishing in 7th, I'll take that as I'm planning on the entire series. Points are what you are really after. Changes are coming!

Race #2 (1/28) - Perfect temps - dry, cool, sunny but windy. This made for bigger fields than last week. I think some 16 expert and 30 super sport lined up for the HOUR O' POWER. The high octane element for this weekend was from the WNC area, a handful of strong riders were to make this event faster than the last. Conscious of my decision from last weekend to start faster and more aggressively. I lined up closer to the front and was mentally ready to suffer from the start. Key was to pick out the riders who would complete the series and keep with them.

Holding to my decision I file into the woods in the front group. Feeling great about my situation. Somewhere around 10mins in gaps started to form, I find myself just on the cusp on loosing contact with field. Grouped with three others I keep surging to bridge up to the second group. Now twenty something minutes into the race I finally bridge the gap to the group(6-8). Still with half the race to go. This group contains Jamie(teammate) and two other riders content on the series. Good group to ride with. The wind was a factor and getting into a group was crucial. I held as loooooong as I could, heck I just spent 20min bridging up in the wind solo. With 10-15 min to go, I had to put whatever I had left into the effort. Managing to hold onto 7th for the second week in a row. Official results are not up yet but, I'm counting on 7th. Next installment of pain comes on Saturday (2/03).

Till then

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Into the Woods

A weekend full of trails and friends. Managed a group ride on saturday at lynchs with Joe, Clint, Barrot & Leroy. No single speed this weekend all gears all weekend. Still nursing the crazy sciatic nerve. Stretching like crazy all week. Picked up a foam roller at Target and highly recommend it for any tight leg muscles and lower back issues. This seems to be the only way to ease the pain. Besides focusing on the geared bike for the short track series. I've spent the week working on the fit, matching the X-Cal to the Raleigh like saddle height and stem height. After all said and done 1.5" lower on the saddle and 1" lower on the stem. I'm hoping this is the key to the sciatic nerve cooling down.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

2007 Season Opener

"Kick off for the 5th Annual East Blvd Bar & Grill Winter Short Track Series. This year, the event is presented by Heartwood Tree Service, the Dirt Divas andCharlotte Sports Cycling. The series will consist of five races, Jan 20 and 28,Feb 3, 10 and 11 all held at the infamous Renaissance Park short track. It takes in elements of mountain biking, BMX and a road criterium. "

For more info on the series, visit www.charlottemtnbike.com

Time to put on the game face for this weekends short track. Should be a bit chilly and probably still wet. I think this is the face I'm looking for!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Russ's Farewell Ride

Finally a group ride at Lynchs, it had been in the works for the past several weekends. With a perfect weather forcast on tap, and the trails in excellent shape. A group of 7, consisting of Jamie, Clint, Dan, Damon, Toby S., Toby P. and Russ all showed up decked to the hilt in Harrells blue. A side note that we all were on 29ers. Mostly geared with the exception of Damon and Toby on single speeds.

This would be Russ's last ride in SC for a while as he and his wife have plans to move up north. It was good to see folks show up. It is always a treat to ride with such a talented rider like Russ, especially when you can keep up with him. I've known Russ for some 14 years and have always enjoyed his friendship. Plans for a road trip are already in the works. So Russ mix up some sweet tea and get to exploring because I'll be up to ride some trails with ya.

So back to the ride, everyone was so excited to be back out at Lynchs. Most haven't been to the trails in 2 years. So consider it a new experience for many. Clint, Monty and Toby's trail work was greatly appreiciated amongst the riders and even the hikers. I believe we ended up with 3+ hours and probably 30 something miles. Who cares we all had a great time and I think everyone left out spent from the ride.

Clint negotiating the creek crossing

Jamie going for the crossing

Thursday, January 11, 2007

First Trainer Session

Last night, I had to pull out the trainer for the first time in 10 months. Just too damn cold to ride outside and I had the itch to ride. Throw in the CTS Crit DVD and try like hell to keep focused on the overall goal - not loosing my dinner (nasty bastard). After last Saturday's a** kicking I figured it's time to get in gear and create some fitness.

Excited for the weekend plans. Saturday I have my monthly rotation at LMC Health Directions. A 75min cycle class, trying to bring the joy of steady tempo into an indoor cycle class. The only way I've found is stretch the class duration. Mix that with some scare tactics and a shake of sitr crazy - they love me. Also a possible Sunday assault on Lynchs Woods. This makes me all warm and fuzzy on the inside. After the work that's been put into the trail in the last two months. It's finally time to put in some miles out there.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Kneda Small Block Eight 29er Tire

John Tomac Series Small Block Eight

This looks to be a great tire for the Midlands 29er fans. Hopefully I'll be trying these very soon.

* Excellent hard pack XC race tire

* 8 Nevegal shaped but smaller knobs across the tire for better ‘bite’

* DTC - Dual Tread Compound offers cornering grip with faster center line acceleration

* One of the fastest rolling tires in the Kenda Premium line

Here’s the specs:

Part #: 212509

Feature: DTCSize: 29×2.10

Bead: Folding

TPI: 120PSI: 30-80

Weight: 500±25g

Friday, January 05, 2007

Night Adventure

Urban Assault on Cola town last night left me fully satisfied. The thrill of having 9 riders ripping through town outfitted with top dollar HID lighting was a sight. The Harrells riders came together for their bi-weekly urban night ride. It's early January and it's 50*, what a great time for a night ride. This was the third time I had made the ride and every time the ride gets bigger.

Last night's ride had the group meeting on the riverwalk around 6:35 they heading out towards town. First out to Elmwood Cemetery to see if anyone out there was a awake. All quite there, then headed up town through the Cotton Wood district. Over somewhere near Gervais St. we hit the first of two parking garages.

Vacant for the evening we climbed to the top and regrouped for the real festivities. Called the gravity races - my first of this type. Rules are simple you get one push to start and no pedaling, first one to bottom is winner. How neat is that. Picking smooth lines and not hitting your brakes is key. Damon & Russ had too much of a lead on me but I got the hang of it. The usual suspects immediately started talking about the next garage. So again up to the top, lined up, one push. This garage much tighter than the last. Quickly I found the line and holding it through the turns. Somehow I made the passes that put me into first. A few turns were still stick from the rain. I had two close calls on theses.

Then we headed down towards campus past the Colonial Center, across the river then onto the Cayce greenway. Throw in some trash talking and an out and back along the greenway. This put us into W Cola. Still out for some fun I lead the folks out to some dirt. A very small taste of dirt but with everyone on mtb and we have not seen any dirt, I felt it was appropriate. Paul insisted we all hit the Natchez hill somewhere in the ballpark of 18% grade. This puts me very close to my house so I split off and called it a night, still giggling over the fun I had. Looking forward to next week.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Wheels in Motion

Now that the new year is moving along, it's time to set the training in motion. This past weekend started with a 7 hour trail working session. Lynchs Woods has been hanging in limbo for way too long. Clint & I managed to almost clean the entire inner loop in one day. This would have never been possible without Monty's chainsaw work of the previous week. With the dead fall cleared we were able to clean the single track with Clint's blower. I've cleaned many trails but this was the first time I've used a blower. Normally I would have rake in hand. This blower was the key.

A day of recovery was needed. The annual New Years Day ride around Lake Murray was to be held on Monday. With rain in the forecast, only 3 folks showed up. The small group collectively came to the conclusion that the rains here and no one really wanted to start their new year in the rain. Besides who wants to clean their bike on New Years Day. So after lunch I managed to find myself a comfy spot on the couch and sleep. I'm sure the new year of riding will become more eventful.