Ouachita Report

Last weekend Katie and I headed to Arkansas for my first race of the season. The plan was to go down early Saturday, pre-ride a little, then head to the motel to watch the Cats play. This part of the plan worked nicely, we arrived at the motel about 2 minutes before tipoff. Then watched a very bad game. Oh well. After the game we went of the to local Italian joint for some carb loading and then to bed.

Sunday morning we headed over to Oden for the start. I initially lined up about 2/3 of the way to the back of the field, thinking there would be plenty of time to move up (5 hours). Shortly before the start I decided I didnt want to have to do this, so I snuck into the front row. The race started on pavement and then turned to gravel for about 30 minutes. I stayed close to the front while trying not to get out of the draft. At the top of the last climb before the singletrack I looked back to see no one in sight. I was at the back of a group of 6 or 7. Two guys immediatlely took off but I wasnt too worried as I was on the wheel of last years winner. After following him around for quite awhile I got by on a climb and managed to get a pretty good gap. Then he (Jeff Kerkove) and Noah Singer teamed up to catch me on a gravel section. I would get away again in the next section of singletrack, only to be caught by Kerkove on gravel again. We rode together on the Womble for awhile before I took up the pacemaking and found myself alone. Somewhere in the last hour I passed one of the leaders who was working on his chain. I cruised by but didnt really pick up the pace. He shortly caught me and went past. When I came out of the last section of singletrack he was standing on the road trying to figure out which way to go. We finally decided on left and rode together to the finish for the sprint. He took off and I tried to follow, but had nothing left. 3rd place. 62 miles or so, and 5hrs 2 minutes.

Katie had a great day navigating the Ouachita mtns. She was at every feed zone along the way. Allowing me to finish off 6 bottles, 8 gels, and 3 bars. I definitely couldnt have done it without her.

The Top Fuel was pretty awesome. I felt great the whole way and this was due in large part to the bike. I was just cruising through the rocks while others were picking their way through.

The "sprint" for 2nd. This is where I realized I would be doing no sprinting.



After 5 hours and 60 miles I found myself in a sprint for 2nd. It didnt go well. So third place will have to do. Couple of minutes behind the winner. More on the race after some sleep.


Grand Opening

It sounds like this weekend is the Grand Opening of the new High Gear store in Emporia. I cant wait to get down there to check it out. In the mean time, riding in shorts finally.


More Twin Six

Im very happy to say that Twin Six is back as a sponsor for 2010. I finally updated my bio here. The 2010 line of Twin Six gear is online and as always, they are doing the t-shirt of the month. If you dont like looking like a stock car or neon billboard when you ride around on your bike, you should check out their stuff.


gravel bike.

Its got bent cranks, mismatched pedals, worn out brakes, bald tires, and shifting problems but it works great for muddy gravel rides during a rest week.


Floyd's Book

Ive been reading Floyd's book, Positively False. Whatever you think of him, its a good read. Plus its only 2 bucks on amazon. Racing seems to be starting up this weekend. I almost hopped in the car for the drive to Oklahoma, but was able to resist. The plan all along has been to start racing at Sea Otter so Ive not been training quite as much as this point last year. The hopes are that rather than peaking in June and being completely exhausted in July, I can peak in July and then recover during August. So... Had a big week of riding last week and now there is perfect weather for a couple of 4+ hr rides this weekend.



Sometime Friday night I decided it was too cold to stay here and ride for another weekend. I knew there was a race in Hot Springs so I thought about heading to that but I decided I wasnt in the mood to race quite yet, and I hadnt ridden my bike offroad once. So I got up early Saturday and headed south. I arrived at a Trailhead for the Womble trail and took off into the wilderness for the rest of the day. I can say that the new Top Fuel is quite easily the best bike ive ever ridden. It flies. I had to keep telling myself to slow down or I wouldnt be able to stay out all day riding. The Womble and Ouachita trails are pretty awesome. Its a nice change of pace to be able to ride for hours without doing the same lap over and over. I went to Hot Springs for Saturday night and got up early for some exploring the mountains on the road bike. After another long day of riding I hopped back in the car and headed home. A long weekend, but it was great to ride in short sleeves.