Monday, April 21, 2014

Training & The Southwest!

Does it count as training when you have a huge smile on your face the whole time?  When your riding with these guys it does...


I'm so glad I decided to make the trip to Prescott a week early and get in a good day on the race course with Tom, Trav, and Chloe.  Last year during the race I really struggled with a longer race than normal and not being familiar with the course whatsoever was a killer.    I think its going to be a huge advantage this year.

We had a blast ripping the descents on the Whiskey 50 course and I feel it was critical to preview the one hour long 2000ft+ vertical climb in the middle of the race.  I'm much more confident now heading into the week.

The ride capped off another big week of training which makes 3 solid weeks of quality volume leading up to the race.  Now its time to rest up and soak in all this good training.  I'll go out again on Wed and ride the 25 mile course which does not include the Skull Valley climb, but will allow me to dial in all the technical lines.  Other than that its going to be full rest mode.

In a few minutes I'm going to be headed out for an easy spin with an old school buddy!  Skyler Reeves....yep its been a long time.  After our ride yesterday Sky invited us over to Prescott Station, a really nice restaurant in town, where he works with some amazing food.  If you are in town this weekend for the Whiskey stop by and say hi.  Its been about 9 years since I've seen Skyler and must be another 3-5 since we've ridden together!  Can't wait.

Driving across the Navajo Nation Reservation on my way back to AZ I had a ton of time to think about the good times we used to have...whether is was in the Saab or in the Dodge Caravan we covered some ground! 

Some beautiful scenery thru the Reservation
Love the Southwest

The only other time I had been to Durango was back in 97.  We rallied Sky's Saab on some dirt roads, went cliff jumping, and on the way back managed to catch some air over a cow grate and came down with a flat after dropping our buddy G - Heitman in the 15 passenger van.  G rolled by a few minutes later threw a banana peel at us and laughed as we struggled to get the car on the jack on a powdery dirt road.  In the end the lid to a Tupperware container gave us enough stability to get the car up and change the flat.  Later that night we almost got arrested for playing a little frisby in the buff up at Ft. Lewis on the soccer fields.  Finally it was race day...the Cow Chip classic and Derek managed to uphill endo into a scorpion on the pre-ride....so many good times from back in the day!


The plans for the next adventure are coming together....Sedona and Moab on our way home from the Whiskey!  Can't wait....but first the race!

Monday, April 14, 2014

AZ 2 CO

Well its been a while...guess that means I've been busy with Momentum Endurance coaching, training, moving, and building bikes!  Being busy is a good thing!

Its definitely game time for the 2014 race season.  My first race, the Whiskey 50, is two weeks away,  and the first WORS race is the following weekend!  All the Momentum Endurance athletes are in full swing with their training and so am I!

Gila Monster on our last ride!
Great Horned Owl nest spotted on drive to Durango!
We packed up and left AZ about 10 days ago.  So far Durango is awesome and the training is going great!  I did however get in a few good jam sessions in AZ w/ Tom Sampson before making the trip to CO.




Shriver has been a great host and tour guide for the huge network of trails in Durango!  Thanks man...I've hit so many fun new trails on the Remedy and now on the new Superfly FS!  However I have been slaving away.  Painting, carrying King Size memory foam mattress' up two flights of steps, and even fixing laundry room appliances....I think I'm paying my rent in labor for the month!

Pro Gold - 1 Dryer - 0
Colorado Trail


Had to fix the dryer with some Pro Gold EPX Cycle Grease!

















My new Rock Shox equipment arrived last week and I was able to finish the build of the Superfly!  Two days ago I took 'er out for the first shred sesh!  WOW...it can go!  I'm always blown away at how good a 29er FS can descend after being on a trail bike.  In my head I think I can and should be able to rip so much faster on the trail bike with the dropper seat post, but then I get on my race bike and its just as fast or faster and I love it....

Rock Shox front and rear!
Shimano XTR all around!

Bontrager cockpit w/ 720mm wide bar!


The jump to the bigger wheels size was much easier this year after riding the 27.5 Remedy all winter in Tucson.  I'm a huge fan of the trail bike and think everybody should get one!  They are so good for you skills, your visual confidence on the trails, and they take a beating that keeps your race bike in tip top shape.

 



No time wasted in finding some mud, some river crossings, and using all 100mm's of buttery smooth travel!












Training at altitude is definitely a little different and way easy to overstep the boundaries of fatigue.  I've definitely learned that you need to back it down a notch or two sleeping at 6,000+ft and training up at 8,000+ft.   I just finished up a 20+ hour training week and today resting and cleaning bikes!  One more big week of training on tap and then the Whiskey 50!  Can't wait for the first big race of the year!  Thanks for reading!

I wonder if the baby Road Runners have left the nest yet?

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Hustle

Another last minute decision to head up to Phoenix turned out to be a great weekend.

Lots of riding, lots of coaching, and lots of work on the upcoming race season.  Cooper Dendel was in town and we did some serious shredding...both on the road and on the trails.  Last Sunday was really big with a successful Tour De Cure followed by a Bugs shuttle run in the afternoon!  The dirt was amazing up there....

Bugs Hike a Bike w/ Cooper

After Cooper left I was pretty smashed and had to go for a massage....it was one of those massages that was pretty serious and almost left you more worked over than before you started....which probably meant my body really needed it....

Friday I headed out for another good Bug Springs run w/ Jake and Kenny from NoTubes.  My legs felt horrible after the massage...at least for the first hour.  Or maybe it was just pedaling the Remedy up the mtn for 5,000+ ft.


I was just making sure the bike was ready!
The race was just really an excuse to skip town and hang in PHX with good friends, but as soon as the race number goes on things change.  This time I raced Andrea's Remedy which is a solid 2 lbs lighter than mine.  Its really is crazy how much 2lbs makes a difference in accelerations and on the steeper climbs.

The race started and pretty quickly it was whittled down to 4 guys, but I had a feeling it was going to be another tactical battle with Trav.  He crushed me on the climbs...just enough that I couldn't get around him for the descents.  This went on for the first 2 long laps...he even gapped me a few times, but I made sure to sit on him on the last climb of the lap into a headwind and jump him before the final descent before heading to the 2 tech laps.  I had just enough of a gap to push on and extend my lead on the first tech lap.  As the race approached its final lap I started to fatigue.  Trav put 30 seconds into me on the last lap, but I had a large enough gap to hang onto the first victory of the year!  Andrea proceeded to match me and won her race as well!


I was pretty smashed after and we didn't party Saturday night, but was feeling good enough for another sweet ride w/ Tim Racette and his fiancĂ© Evelyn on Sunday.  We did just about everything in the Maricopa County Park system including the race course at McDowell which I hadn't done in a long time.  Finished 'er up with some Senor Taco.  Perfect way to end the weekend.


Next up:  New race equipment for the 2014 season!  Bye Bye Remedy hello Superfly. Can't wait!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Tour de Cure

Hey Everybody,

I'm officially kicking off my 2014 season at the Tucson Tour De Cure.  If you can help out and make a donation the ADA and 26 million people living with Diabetes would really appreciate it...

Donate Here

Its a 100k ride and just about the perfect way to start my training for the Whiskey 50!

I've also been getting in some good training at building Trek trail bikes and bleeding Rock Shox Reverb dropper posts!

I can build an entire bike in 5 minutes!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

White Tanks Whirlwind & Wolftooth

Last weekend we decided to skip town and head up north to Phoenix.  We had a blast!  I was up in the air about racing, but I wanted to go to the venue and at least do a lap on the course and hang out with Trav, Chloe, and the AZ Devo crew.  It doesn't hurt either that the burrito truck at the MBAA races is top notch!

So Friday evening we headed up to Brad P's house.  He grew up in the same neighborhood as me in Pinckney and moved out to Phoenix in 94 or 95.  I still remember going out to visit him to do Cactus Cup way back then...

Had to rock the Bontrager skinsuit!
Aero to make up for the heavy bike!
When we arrived Andrea was unsure if she was going to race, so I made the commitment.  I had a hard time justifying going to the race if neither one of us was going to twisty tie on a number!

So once again I found myself on a start line of an MBAA race w/ a trail bike.  That's right I raced XC on my Remedy 9.  Luckily the courses out here are a little more tech than the courses back home.  I was able to suffer through the climbs (Remedy pedals pretty good) and use the 140mm of travel and Rock Shox Reverb dropper post to my advantage on the descents.  Of course after the dust settled I was locked in with Travis Woodruff my buddy and Momentum Endurance coaching colleague.  Ben Sonntag of Durango and Bryson Perry of SLC were long gone.  Trav would try to drop me on each climb and I would try to recover on each descent.  With 1.5 to go I tried attacking the descent and got a gap, but Trav closed on the pedaling section.  It was a heated battle that came down to the last corner.  I tried to stay patient.  I was riding the corners a little better(maybe it was the 2.35 knobbies) than Trav and when he started to slide I went.  It was just enough grip to get the last spot on the podium!

First race of the year!

That evening I was pretty smashed and vegged on the couch and watched all the Olympics that I could handle.

Supersition Mtns in the background.
The next day we woke up early and hit up some amazing trails in Gold Canyon, AZ before driving back to Tucson.  The drive home was interrupted by a huge biker rally organized by the Hells Angles who were riding to the prison in Florence.  There must have been 1000+ bikes....it was huge!

I have also been doing some testing for Wolftooth Components since I have been out here.  Midwest proud!  Lets just say I am really impressed.  I was pretty happy to be running the light set up while Trav was crushing me on the climbs in the race last weekend!

I was able to remove my front shifter, f. der, inner & outer chainring, cables, housing, and frame fittings and replace with a WT 34 narrow/wide chainring.

Clean look and light weight.















So far the set up has been flawless and I have done everything from racing XC to 4 hour trails rides, to gnarly 2 + hour descents...not a single dropped chain.

All you need is a Shimano R. Der. with a locking clutch and you can do it....I actually ran this setup on my Superfly for Iceman this year.

The exciting part is the new GC(Giant Cog).  Its a replacement cog to convert your Shimano cassette to an 11-42.  You simply remove the 17t cassette and spacer and install the 42 GC on the inside of the cassette.

Out here in AZ with all the steep mtn climbs its been really nice to have the range.  I've been riding the Wolftooth 34 in the front and with the GC in the rear I've been able to climb everything that's climbable and never run out of gears on a descent.  The shifting to the 42 both up and down is flawless!

The production models will be available soon and improvements have been made(not sure how you can improve perfect though!)

This weekend I'm hoping to make it up to the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo and have some fun ripping more trails!  WooHooo - Thanks for reading.  Next up - Training in Tucson w/ the Czech's!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Video Killed the Radio Star

Having so much fun on the new 650b Remedy!  The bike is so capable, so fast, and so fun.  Words can't describe so I thought I'd just do a video blog!

The Trek Remedy 9
Don't forget to switch to HD!

The big ride!  First time on the stuff at the top of Mt. Lemmon.  WOW!  That's some good stuff.  Just need to work on my climbing so I can make it up there more often!



Possibly the most fun section of trail ever?  The Chutes - I think I spotted Greg HB Herbold out there the other day!



The Upper 50 - Like a playground for MTB's...so many alternate lines!


Until next time RIDE ON - or maybe more realistically STAY WARM!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Back in the Desert Again

Well we made it....Happy New Year

The driving has been epic lately.  I think I spent over 70 hours or 5,000 + miles in the car between leaving for the last race of the season in NC and arriving in Tucson.  That's a lot of miles in a 3 week time frame...I might even be qualified to drive a big rig after that amount of hauling.



So - CX Nationals is this weekend....and I'm not going to be there.  I'm a little bummed but at the same time when I look back at the weather conditions in WI from mid Nov - mid Dec I am not surprised.  It was hard to even train thru to the North Carolina race.  Add in the holidays and the time spent traveling and starting my season earlier than normal there was no way I was going to be prepared to have a good go.

Now that I'm hear in Tucson where its 70 and sunny every day I'm pretty OK with it.  I hear the weather in Boulder is pretty rough from snow and frozen mud ruts to gail winds.

I'm totally ready for a break and I definitely found my Remedy for the bad weather!!!


So far so its pretty awesome!  I've just been on a few (4) very low key rides to get the feel of her.  First Impressions....650b wheels are definitely for me, for a 140mm trail bike it climbs like a dream, super stable at high speeds, and again the dropper seat post is a must!  Really looking forward to some more time.
Rock Shox Reverb Stealth edition
Great Platform for Climbing




The Perfect Wheel Size?

 
So far we've hit Fantasy Island, AZ Trail, Bug Springs/Prison Camp, and even discovered a new loop at the Como Trails...check it out




Next up maybe a trip up to Phoenix area for the McDowell Meltdown, some rest, some relaxation, and a little cross training...oh yeah and of course more fun sweet mtb rides on the Remedy!