Rest Days

After the Colorado Springs USCUP I was a little tired. Couldnt really get recovered. Then after putting in a big weekend topped off with a 5 hour ride on Sunday in the 95 deg heat it was determined I needed a few days off. (if you have a jersey with mesh panels, the sun burns through them.) So after no riding for 3 straight days for the first time since December Im hoping I am recovered and the watts are back. There are a few weeks before heading back to altitude in Sol Vista which is supposed to have some 15-20 climbs so Im going to need every watt possible. I would say that ive gotten a lot of things done around the house on these 3 days, but I havent. I have barely gotten off the couch. We did go see Angels & Demons, which was pretty good except the hippies behind us wouldnt shut up, forcing us to move seats in the middle of the movie, then the dancing popcorn came on the screen before the movie was over.

A lot of the MTB magazines have been doing 29er vs. 26er articles lately. Ive got both so I can compare them as well. Both mine are built basically the same. The 26er is 19lbs with heavy tires. The 29er is 22lbs with light tires. I would say that 90% of the time I would rather race the 26er than the 29er. I would also say that 99% of the time I would rather ride the 29er than the 26er. My 26er still has the numberplate and dirt on it from Colorado a few weeks ago because I rarely ride it other than racing. The 29er is much smoother and more comfortable to ride. The 26er is so much lighter and the smaller wheels make it go uphill much easier. Its also much easier to throw around. I had forgotten how hard the big wheels are to wheelie and bunnyhop. I originally thought the 29er was a replacement for a hardtail 26er, this is not the case. Its just a different bike for a different course, much like a fully vs. a hardtail. Pretty generally I would choose the 26er for races west of Kansas. I would choose full suspension 26er for the East coast. The 29er is definitely at its best in the Midwest where the climbs are short and there are a fair amount of rocky sections. However, I think the small wheels are fine for most midwestern courses, and if they arent, Im usually wishing for full suspension anyways. That said... Im heading to the RiverTrail on the 3D.


Tinman Interviews.

Following is an interview with our local Triathletes from Saturday's Tinman...

Tinman Magazine: So how are you feeling before this Tinman, has the training been going well?

Katie: Im feeling good, ive been training at altitude in "the Springs" so I should be able to really
Shannon: I could feel a little better, I did swim two laps and did some cannonballs at my parents
pool a few weeks ago, so the swim should be a breeze.
Morgan: Yeah, I was swim team captain in H.S. so I should have a front row start, and then Ive
been putting the hammer down on Adam in the Richardson Bike Mart group rides so
Im just hoping I dont get busted for doping controls.

How did the swim go??

Katie: Great!! I was pulling on ankles and throwing bows the whole swim.
Morgan: Okay, someone kept pulling me under by the ankles and trying to knock me out with
their bows. I got a little woozy and swum off course a bit.
Shannon: Well, next year im gonna do four laps in the parents pool and a few less cannonballs
for preperation.

And the bike?

Shannon: I had some guy work on my bike last week, and it worked like a charm. I was big
ringing it the whole time.
Morgan: I ride a Bianchi. So that means im just plain fast.
Katie: This is where I knew I would smash the comp. I dont do those spin classes all winter just
for fun.

The run then??

Katie: It was a nice run. I saw some really nice new buildings that have been constructed lately
by my loving husband around Lake Shawnee, they look like real quality work. It was an
out and back, so I was pretty busy encouraging people on the other side of the road while
I was cruising in for a personal best.

Shannon: I started two minutes before the other girls due to my young age so I was really
sprinting to make sure they didnt catch me.

Morgan: I had a serious cramp right at the start, but then I remembered I was just faking it and
had to actually finis this sucker. I had a great time, Kansans are so much nicer than Texans.



Big day today for the Topeka Tinman. Morgan made the drive up on Friday from Dallas to join Katie and Shannon for some swimming, biking, and running fun. It was great to just be in charge of driving to the race, taking pictures, and cheering. After arriving it became apparent that there were a lot of friends in town to do the race, along with a lot of family to cheer them on. It made for a great day of racing excitement. All three of our Triathletes set personal records this year so there will need to be some serious training to up the performances next year. After the racing action concluded we all headed to my parents for a big lunch and then the rains started. I waited them out for a bit and then got on my own bike to pedal back to Lawrence. I got pretty wet. After going downtown to Zen Zero for dinner with Morg, the day has finally come to an end.

Finishing up the Tinman...Full interviews coming soon.

Tyler Darnall was there with little Alex to cheer him on, though the Tinman distance is just to short for this Ironman.


Too Hot.

I am trying to find reasons to stall going back outside to ride for a few hours in 95 deg heat, but seeing the cool temps on http://www.vaildaily.com/ for Vail doesnt help much. Summer is pretty much just beginning but its already miserable for my normal ride time of 4:30 pm. Maybe if I ride at 4:30 am things would be better... oh well, just need to find somewhere an hour from home that I can refill my bottles.


Emporia Racing Action

Racing in the Midwest, especially eastern KS is a little slim this year so be sure to support the races that are happening. This is sure to be a good one.



Sand Creek USCUP

We are home from "the Springs". We had a big weekend, feel like we packed an entire vacation into a few days. We saw all the sights there were, or at least Katie and my family saw them all. I sat out one of the trips in order to do some recooperating after the short track. In between the sights I was able to fit in some racing too. Friday night was the short track. It was a tough course with a ton of single track, some cactus on the sides, and a 4 wide start. I had a decent start and made up some spots on the initial climb. After quite a few laps I was inside the top 20 but I went a little too hard on one of the climbs and couldnt get recovered due to the thin air. I lost a couple of spots, which I probably would have lost anyways to Ryan Trebon and Cody Peterson. Got pulled just outside of the 25 minutes time limit which was much better than at Sea Otter. Ended up in 24th.

The XC was on Saturday afternoon with about 90 Pro men at the start. Many of them had skipped the short track to save energy for this main event. I had a good call up in the thirties, but there was a screwed up parade lap where I lost a ton of spots. The course was tough but fun. It climbed up for most of the lap, then came back down on some tough single track. At the top of the climb after the first lap I discovered I had gone way too hard and suffered bad on the descent. At the bottom I could barely pedal and I was in some trouble to start lap two. I lost quite a few spots on the climb on the second lap, but had a good descent and caught back up to a group. The third lap was much better and I rode steady to stay with the group. At the bottom of the climb on the last lap I pickedup the pace and dropped the group and started to make ground up on the next group ahead. I caught quite a few guys who were struggling but couldnt quite catch that group. On the descent Yuki Sato from Topeak Ergon was pushing hard to catch me, but I was able to hold him off as we entered the pavement. Ended up 44th which is okay considering the altitude and the field. There is some good video and pics of me on http://www.cyclingdirt.com/ and Katie took a lot of pics of which some are on the photos section of this site.


Colorado springs

Got here yesterday with kate and shannon. We did a few laps of the xc course and then saw seven falls. My parents got in late last night. Did another xc loop this morn. Because the course is tough. Then drove to top of pikes peak. Saw manitou springs. Then got ready for the short track. With no callup I started near the back but had a pretty good race and almost made it to the 3 laps to go point. Trebon passed me with about 5 to go and somehow rode into the top ten. Amazing. I finished in the twenties after fading a bit at the end. Much better than sea otter s.t. Though. Tomorrow is the xc then some more sight seeing. Got lots of good pics to upload when we get home.


Moab, Bump N Grind, Weekend

Here are some pictures from the Bump'N Grind last weekend in Alabama. After racing on Sunday, i came home Monday and did some recovery. Then did a week of hard intervals which helped solidify the decision to not race this weekend. We got a ton of stuff done around the house, which was nice. We have been out of town for the last few weekends at races, and will be gone the next few as well, so its hard to get normal house chores done.

In other exciting racing news... I am going to be filling in as the 4th racer on Team Ethos for the 24 hrs of Moab in October, which is the 24hr National Championship. Ive never done a 24 hour race, but I cant think of a better chance to try one than in Moab.



Just got home from Bump'N Grind USCUP in Birmingham, Alabama. Katie and I went down friday night and I headed out to the venue Saturday morning after filling up at the Waffle House, which was a bit of mistake. The course was really fun, it was a short lap with a lot of singletrack and a pretty good road climb section where a lot of passing went on. After the pre-ride we went and explored Birmingham and saw the sites.

Sundays race went pretty well... It was hot out and Katie had to leave the race a little early to catch a flight to get to NYC for work so I knew I would be without a new bottle on the last two of five laps, but luckily I was able to get bottles at the neutral feed. The race started on a pretty long road climb before it dove into single track. I took it easy at the first part of the climb and then accelerated towards the top and went into the singletrack in a great position, I would guess in the twenties. Then we were just cruising through the singletrack, watching some people trying some dumb passing when I slid out on a pretty easy corner. I jumped up, only lost one spot until I realized the derailleur hanger was bent. I stopped and fixed it, which cost me a good 15-20 spots, and maybe more importantly a bunch of time. I couldnt get by the slower guys in the singletrack and watched as the main pack got away from the group I was in. It was really frustrating, that guy should have pulled off and let some of us by instead of making us follow for a good 5 minutes at a really slow pace. When we go onto the road, I attacked hard and rode away from the group and almost across to the next group. That is when I went down for a second time, this time pretty hard when I overshot a corner and went off the edge of a bridge... I jumped up, a few guys came by and I hammered to catch back up to the group I had just caught, but I slid out for a third time. So with 5 stops in two laps I was pretty upset with myself because I was feeling really good. I regrouped and started reeling back in all the people that had gotten by with all my time on the ground. No one ever passed me all day, barring crashes, and I was picking people off all the way to the finish to end up in 31st I believe. I would normally be pretty excited with a 31st at a national, but as good as I was feeling I know I could have been further up without so many wipeouts.

No pics b/c Katie has the camera with her in NY, so ill put some up when she gets back. So now its two weeks of good training before we head to Colorado Springs for the next USCUP.