Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coffee Classic

It was another scorcher at Alterrra....it seems every year at this place is rained out then re- scheduled for the hottest day of the year. The sun bakes you on the climbs and then you get lost in the maze of never ending singletrack...unless you use the force.

I used the force alright, but it was only enough to propel me to the top of the course on the prologue lap for the $100 King of the Mountain. As soon as I got into the first singletrack my 15 +/- second gap disappeared. We lapped through on the prologue lap 15 minutes into the race.
The three of us(D.B. and N.G.) headed out into the start of the 2nd lap together. I was fine until the gap opened to 1 second. 2 seconds...3 seconds...I better close that gap....oops too fast into that corner and too big of a gear to go 364 degrees around that tree then up a hill...oops 10 second gap can't see them anymore...try harder....bomb more corners....35 seconds by the end of the singletrack and race is over.

Starting the 3rd lap Mike Phillips caught me and almost did the same thing to me in the singletrack...I was suffering and paying for a million small mistakes. We came out of the never ending singletrack and I suffered up the clim, but recovered as Mike was have shifting/chain problems up the steepest part of the climb. He flicked me through on the flat section and I told him I was hurting too...I went really slow through the upper portion of singletrack, but then started to feel better riding my own pace(slow).

Starting the climb on the fourth lap I had a small gap over Mike, so I stood up and went...I didn't take much and he was gone. I rode horrible once again through the singletrack by myself, but felt pretty good finishing the race on the last two climbs.

Cross bike arriving and built by the end of the week! No more road bike! Vegas or no Vegas??

This weekend is MTB WORLDS in Mte. Ste. Anne! I went to Mte. Ste. Anne back in 1998 for Worlds. I was a student at Washtenaw Community College along with training partner Skyler Reeves. I ran into him after one of my classes the day before the races and said hey what do you think. After class we loaded up the car and a tarp and headed to Canada. I remember arriving late at night with no place to stay and we ended up crashing under our tarp on a helicopter landing pad. The next morning we ran into Klement Capliar who was out chanterelle mushroom hunting. He let us crash his place, fed us some amazing fresh wild mushroom soup and then later that year invited us to Tucson where it all started for real. We watched the race and cheered on the doped up Euros to victory. It's funny now to look back at MTB WORLD'S......it makes you think...

Friday, August 27, 2010

The countdown's on

CX season is quickly approaching! New sponsorhsip lined up with Shimano & TRP!

Tires ordered and being shipped!
Dura Ace components arrived!

Euro X Mag's here!

Smell of glue in the basement! Blue Norcross SL's any day now!
Can't wait for some mud! I think I forgot how painful it really is....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Bay

Another WORS race in the books this past weekend. This one was held near the new ZOO in Green Bay. Andrea decided to take the weekend off so I hit the road with the next best thing!

Although many people thought it was Andrea and I...it was actually Elicia. We rolled in to the last parking lot on the road. I think it was 2 miles from registration. Got suited up and discovered the course was being run backwards....Oops I was really hoping for the flat long lead out. Instead we
started off right through the mud and my lack of warm up had me suffering from the start. Guerra was using his Jedi Knight skills to rip the singletrack. Half way through the lap a group of 6 was established. I was getting gapped out of each singletrack section, but it was ok because the pace was pertty herky jerky. I would easily close the gap going in to the next section. Starting lap 2 I had to test the legs a little...I was feeling stale and didn't really want to sit on the entire race. I went hard for about 10 minutes and the only thing I accomplished besides making the group 5 strong was almost getting dropped when Nathan finally came around me. It took me a good 20 minutes to recover. Mike Anderson lasted a little longer but was gone in the middle of the race.
Starting lap 3 I was feeling a little better but also feeling the legs startin
g to twinge. Tristan drilled it the entire lap...dropped Nathan and then there was three. I was suffering, but feeling better and better. Tristan finally snapped the elastic with 2 miles to go. We went into the singletrack behind some lapped riders and D.B. hit the brakes and made a full recovery before the final sprint. I made a rookie mistake....didn't even know where the finish line was so my sprint was half hearted and crampy.

I was hoping this guy was going to bring me good luck...I found him in my shoe the morning of the race.....I cried like a baby...Andrea saved me.

Another WORS race this weekend in Alterra.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Just back from Ore To Shore after a post race sweet vacation of dirt riding in the UP.

Ore To Shore -

6th place, 2 seconds away from the victory. It always hurts a little to be so close, but yet so far away. The sacrifices, the dedication, and all the hard work to fall 2 seconds short....but then again I've won the race on 3 different occasions the exact same way....with my closest competitor 2 seconds back....

The race started on Friday morning tracking down the UPS guy so I could get my new Oakley Custom Jawbones w/ Photochromic lens. The driver was pumped and so was I to have some new shades(replacements for the ones I lost in the attic earlier this year).

We arrived and I had a good pre-ride on the course. The Fuel felt solid on the bumpy course and the legs were rearin' to go.

Saturday morning brought perfect race day weather and before I knew it we were off. Early in the race on the luge climb and the power line climbs I was in perfect position. I knew if
something were to go it would be one of those 2 spots. After that I relaxed a little and then I think I fell apart. I wasn't ready for the 3 foot deep river we rode through and I was in a bad position. I suffered when I shouldn't have....I was also suffering a little before misery hill when the race was blowing apart, but I found one great line and was back to the leaders...watching and waiting. Nathan was strong and Simonson was strong.

With 6 miles to go the race really started when Simonson threw down a massive attack. I was tracking down a water bottle and the gap was opening. Tristan was struggling and I did a lot of work on the dirt road waiting for some help. TJ pulled through and I was back at the front again...flicked the elbow at the crest of a climb and Derek Graham almost popped me when he came through. In retrospect I should have attacked the group there and split it up instead of trying to work with the guys to bring back Simonson.

Eventually we all came back together....a sprint...I've won a few of these this year...I line up in Simonson's wheel. We realax when we hit the pavement. We shuffle. Guerra attacks everyone responds, except my legs...the cramp so bad I almost buck myself over the bars....I'm pedaling as hard as I can but can't make the legs go in cirlces...I round the corner and know that TJ has the WIN. Congrats to him...he played it perfect.

Andrea and Elicia also raced. Andrea had a rough go of it after crashing multiple times early on in the race with or because of other male racers. She finished with cables and housing flopping in the wind not connected to her bike. Elicia killed it in the short race finishing second and taking home just as much $$$ as me!

After the race we hit stuck to tradition and hit up Main Street Pizza and chowed down in the hotel room with Jamie Tristan and Ellie followed by a trip to meet up with all our friends and share war stories at the awards ceremony.

Then it was vacation time...I needed a break from training, but that doesn't mean no riding. In fact I was on my bike the next three days in a row riding the best MTB trails in the country. Sunday morning we did the new trails at Marquette Mtn with Mike Anderson and his dad, the Adventure 212 team, and a local guide. After that Andrea and I drove Houghton and rode the Tech Trails early Monday morning, and after that we drove up the Keewanaw for a sweet ride at Copper Harbor on Tuesday. We were hoping for more Wednesday at the trails in Swedetown, but we woke up to rain and 60 degrees. We both realized we were blown out so we headed home.

Next up...Andrea is signing up for some college courses, and I'm getting ready for cross season. Time to start going good w/ races the next 3 weekends in a row!

Huge thanks to Andrea for all the support leading up to Ore To Shore, Gear Grinder, and all the other sponsors!