Wednesday, July 24, 2013

UP North, Racin, & more UP North

Another seems like its been a busy summer so far and the party is just getting started with potential races on the calendar all the way thru Chequamegaon/Vegas/SunPrairie UCI week.  OUCH just thinking about it....

So I needed to start things off with a week off the bike.  We went up to Eagle River and did some serious R&R.  Not really though...we ended up staining the cabin while we were there.  It was just what I needed.  Something to focus on, but not on the bike.  On a ladder!

After the awesome week in Eagle River it was back home to prepare for the Subaru Cup.  I only had a few days to get some key workouts of which was about the hardest set of 2 * 20's I have ever done.  Sometimes you just need to flip the switch and go and get the job hurt.

It proved just enough platform to have some solid racing at Subaru Cup.  I arrived to the Cup and it seemed a little crazy.  Lots of stories floating around about wrong turns, missed laps, early pulls, etc.  I was pretty bummed when I saw Andrea and she was one of the wrong turns after having a great race.

Then in the mens XC race another wrong turn...I couldn't believe it for a split second, but then I realized I was at the front of the race and led the entire first lap.  My confidence in my form was not the best, but I managed to fight hard and finish 10th.  In the STXC I had another great start and sat on the back of the lead pack for as long as possible.  With 3 laps to go I was over my limit and suffered hard to hold my position and finished 8th.  Then I decided I had better have a go at the Super D as well and try to score some WORS points, but I was running on E and could only muster a 5th place.

                                 All in all a great weekend with 3 Top 10's at a USPRO XCT.

Sunday night we were home and Monday we were hitting the road again.  This time it was north to Firefly Lake for a family camping trip.  Tuesday was back to Eagle River for a second coat of stain on the cabin, and Wed we headed to the UP for a coaches clinic for the upcoming Womens Weekend in Copper Harbor.  Andrea was invited to be a coach at Womens Weekend along side 9 other awesome female mtb'ers including Lindsey Vories and Angi Weston...two chicks who can shred the trails!  On Wed Lindsey had a coaches get together so everyone could get on the same page.  While they were meeting I was out ripping trails with the dudes!

Thursday we headed up to Copper Harbor and Andrea and I hit up the trails before the clinic started on Friday.  We did one of the most epic rides the top of the MTN Lodge this crazy storm blew, windy, eerie, but then no we went back out and jammed more trails!  Then about 35-40 minutes later half way down the FLOW trail the real storm came and we got caught out in some of the craziest blinding rain I ever ever been in and some super loud crashes of thunder.

Friday the Womens Clinic started and I didn't see much of Andrea the rest of the weekend, but there was no shortage of people to ride with.  Friday morning I headed out for a loop with Caleb from the Bike  Shop in Houghton and Lindsey's husband Kirt.  If you don't know Kirt do a little of the nicest guys out there who can seriously rip.  Lindsey and Kirt have an awesome story and love to share their passion for MTB just like Andrea and me.  Anyway Kirt, Caleb and  I did a sweet epic ride w/ wet bridges, crashes, and deep water.  It was so fun....what mtb'n is really about!

Saturday I participated in Kirt's Enduro clinic and tried to pick up some skills pointers, and Sunday we all did a final coaches ride at the end of the Womens Weekend which provided even more classic moments!  All in all a great weekend in Copper Harbor...can't wait to go back.

Huge Thanks to Clif Bar and ProGold for goodies to hand out to the ladies!  Also huge props to Andrea...current leader of the WORS Series Pro Point Standings!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Its already July???

June was a fact I don't remember any of it....maybe its because I turned 35 years 'old'.  I feel old this morning.  I think it started horrible with June 1st being the last day of the TSE when I was sick.  That pretty much set me back and I still feel like I'm a little behind the game.....

So July I'm going to start things out right by taking a little time to go up to Eagle River and chill...Haven't been up to the cabin since New Years and really looking forward to it...the In-Laws need some help staining the exterior so we should have some fun with a little bit of work mixed in while we are there.

The middle of June was Jr. MTB Camp and I was pretty tired after that too w/ Keewenaw Chain Dr.  I'm not sure why, but I just finished things up w/ 3 races in the last 5 days.  2 times on the skinny tires at TOAD and then WORS #5 yesterday in Eau Claire.

TOAD - Day 1.  Fon Du Lac road race....this is exactly why I don't like racing on the road.  155 guys battling for every inch of the road with huge crosswinds, different ability levels, cops yelling at riders, and riders fighting with each other.  It was pretty much crazy out there....

TOAD Day 2.  Road America - this is exactly why I like to do one road race per year!  So much fun...tactics, fitness, fun racing, and going fast!  I played it pretty smart for the first half of the race and then I felt the group slow.  I went to the front and went hard for a lap and next thing I know I was in a significant chase group.  We were 5 seconds behind a small group racing for 4th.  In the end I was 15th and in the money.  Mission accomplished...a good day of training and no crashes.

Having fun!
rock drop to river crossing
WORS #5 - Eau Claire.  I usually skip the long drive up to the Firecracker, but this year I had to make the effort if I have any chance of getting in 8 races.  I'm glad I did too...the trails there are really fun and they do a great job of maximizing the little terrain that they have to work with.  Some mud, some rocks, some climbs, some flow...they had it all.  The race was hard, yet easy at the same time.  Each lap our initial group of 8 guys got a little smaller.  On the final lap I finally let loose an attack that shattered the group...Shriver was the only one to hang and as he went by and went even faster it was sure to stick.  In the end Shriver had a little more speed and a little more desire to get the win.  My only hope was he made a small mistake in the end....he almost did, but managed to keep it upright and take home his first WORS win.  It was a great battle.  Superfly SL HT's go 1 & 2.  That bike is FAST!

Best part of the weekend though was hearing that Andrea finished 2nd as soon as I crossed the line.  She has been training super hard for many many years....this year she hasn't done anything different, but something has changed and she has made the jump up one more notch.  I'm really really happy for her watching all the years of good training finally paying off!