KC Racing

Hopefully a lot of people are planning on heading out to the race next weekend. Im sure it will be a good time. Ive been planning on going for the last few years, but things keep getting in the way. This year everything is clear to make the journey west.

Speaking of making the journey west...this race will be everyones last shot at our local national champion (and on his home trails) before he and amber motor on to higher elevation. This means that KC has now lost the two fastest mtb racers to "the springs" this spring with Shad being out there as well. Looks like trips to nebraska or St. Louis might be in the cards as the fastest group in the Western Division will now be the 40+. I dont know if its sandbagging to race in an older class or not, but with Studnicki, Price, and Winkler all being of that mature age it will be the fastest overall race. Used to be/should be that the U29 class was the fastest and everyone moved down ages to race in it but I think the U29 class only had two starters at the last race. Not very motivating. Its much more fun to race when there is a group to push each other. The MSC 's gain is definitely our loss.




Some Otter Pics

I can feel Wells coming up on me. Luckily I was able to hold him off for another half lap so that i didnt actually get lapped, just pulled.
"Pros" should not have to air up their own tires. The photographer should have been taking care of this. Matt's trusty Outback was loaded down for a weekend of racing action, it was nice to have all the tools and luxuries that you cant take when you fly to a race.

At the top of the big climb in the short track. Looks like the Blue rider is going for an inside move, I dont think it worked on this lap.

On the downhill portion of the short track. This short track course is extremely bumpy but fun.

Matt descending to the finish of the Cat 1 race. The cat 1's did our xc course in reverse in order to make it into some sort of trail and not just a grassy path. I liked the Pro XC course, except for the long road race portion. So I guess I only like about half of it.

Midwest Regional Championship


The only problem with the midwest regional championship is that apparently Kansas is not in the Midwest. We must be in the Rocky Mountains, or Deep South then. More likely, nobody claims Kansas to be in their region.


Sea Otter Weekend

Sea Otter is over.... Flew out on Thursday morning and got picked up by my buddy Matt. We high tailed it straight to Laguna Seca Speedway for some preriding fun. In retrospect I think we had too much fun, riding for over 2.5 hours at a pretty decent pace, but I was feeling great and we were enjoying the perfect weather. Friday morning I got up and we headed back out to Sea Otter. I headed out for another 1.5 hours of preriding and found out that what I thought was an additional loop to the 18 mile Sea otter course, was actually the entire Pro Loop. I was feeling really good again and then settled under a tree to man the feed zone for the day. Matt used Katie's tried and true advice of "start slow, then back it off" to make it through the 36 miles or so of the Cat 1 race.

Saturday morning came and we decided to finally take in all the sights of Sea otter. We checked out all the vendors and the fancy new bikes. This is what really makes Sea Otter a cool event. After some lunch and a nap it was time for the Short Track.

I knew I had the wrong bike for Sea Otter's short track when I left home with the hardtail but I could only take one bike and I thought it was the bike of choice for the XC. (with the new course, this was not the case). There were around 80 starters in the Short Track. Warming up i felt really good. I had a pretty good starting position on the 3-4th row, right behind Sam Schultz. I pretty much followed him through the start and came out of the first turn/ mud bog in good position in the top 20. Though the leaders were already at the top of the big climb so i figure they already had 20 seconds on us. This is where I sort of forgot what I was doing. Being my first short track of the year, I remembered i had to get a good start, but I forgot that the race is short and there is no reason holding back. I kept finding myself sitting on someones wheel, and when you do that, 3 other guys go past you. Between that mistake and the fact that i had to run the mud bog about every lap because there was only about one line through it Im not sure how I finished. I do know Todd Wells caught me with 5 laps to go. He made up 2 minutes on me in about 20 minutes. Amazing. I was a little disappointed with my finish as I didnt feel like I put out as much effort as i should have.

With 125 or so Pro men on the line for the XC I knew it was going to be a tough day. Warming up i wasnt feeling nearly as good as I had all weekend, which was not going to help. The new loop is about 40% on the road course which made for some tactical racing, somthing Im not good at. After the first loop of the road course we entered the trail and I was way too far back. I dont know what i was thinking. We stood still for what seemed like a long time before gettting to riding. When we got going, I could tell I wasnt feeling really good and i started taking it too easy. In the middle of the first lap I started feeling better/ was catching guys who went out too hard when I slid out on a sandy corner and jumped back on the bike, tweaking the saddle upright. I decided to live with it and tried to catch up. On the third lap I started really feeling good. Must have passed 15-20 guys throughout the lap with help from a Trek Canada rider and I popped out of the trail, onto the road course all by myself with nobody in sight. This was bad news. I decided to just push on and did the 4k's all by myself in my best TT position. By the end of that effort there was a group of 10 or so guys bearing down on me and I was spent when we headed back into the trail. They started going by one at a time and all my effort from the previous lap was going down the drain. I caught on the wheel of Braden Kappius of Clif Bar and another guy and decided to recover the rest of the lap, hoping for a good last lap and that my slight stomach ache would go away. It never occured to me they were pulling riders. When we pulled onto the road course we were all suprised they were waving us off the course. We were about 100 yds from the last lap and would not have been lapped. It turned out, we had about 10 minutes to finish those 100yds as the leaders were not even close to catching us. Very disappointing result of 80th. Maybe more disappointed in not being able to finish the race.

So we packed up and headed back for the airport. The results were not what we were hoping for, but we still had a good weekend. Monterey is a really nice place and Sea Otter is quite an event. It was the first real race of the year and a good reminder of how fast those races are. Hopefully things will go better next time. Pictures and video to come.


otter day 1

Pre rode the course for 2.5 hrs then carb loaded and now to bed. Tomorrow is feed zone duties...


River Trail

Checking the flat rear tire before heading out for another lap.

The United Federation of Dirt kicked off Saturday with some racing action at the Lawrence River Trail. This happens to be a short bike ride from the house so I was able to pack a backpack and pedal down for it.
Friday night I decided to do the race, so I started sealing up new tires that would be appropriate for the course. The XR0 1.9 was the tire of choice, though they wouldnt seal up. I pumped them up right before the start and the rear was completely flat about 10 minutes after the race was over. I had to be careful with them for the last few laps as they felt like they were going to roll right off the rim.
Other than the tire issue, the race went pretty well. I knew I wanted to be first into the singletrack, as its pretty tough to pass once you get in there. Bill Stolte, Tradewind Energy, had the same idea, but I was able to out sprint him for the entrace to the trail. I kept on the gas and by the time I looked back, I had a pretty good gap. It was about 20 seconds by the end of the lap and it grew by about that much every lap until the finish. 5 laps on a shorter course was fun, and better for the spectators. Pretty much a big ring time trial.
Great to see all the new High Gear team out in force with our new kits. We had a pretty strong showing. Its nice to race in town. Race, eat lunch, wash bike, do some chores, and now watch a movie.


full room

Everyone should have a room that looks like this. Weather brought back out the trainer.


Sea Otter Field

UCI top Ten...

1 (-)Julien ABSALONFrance 30 2,280
2 (-)José Antonio HERMIDA RAMOSSpain 32 1,847
3 (-)Burry STANDERSouth Africa 23 1,671
4 (-)Nino SCHURTERSwitzerland 24 1,476
5 (-)Ralph NAEFSwitzerland 30 1,400
6 (-)Lukas FLÜCKIGERSwitzerland 26 1,254
7 (-)
Roel PAULISSENBelgium 34 1,251
8 (-)Florian VOGELSwitzerland 28 1,228
9 (-)Geoff KABUSHCanada 33 1,173
10(-) Christoph Sauser Switzerland

Sea Otter... It seems that this year is going to be a pretty amazing field for a US Race. Trek, Specialized, and Cannondale are all bringing their World Cup teams. This means half the top 10 riders in the world will be in Monterrey (in red) plus a bunch more that are in the top 20. Sea Otter had the largest field of any race I went to last year, so it should be really tough this year. A pretty cool oppurtunity though. For reference, the top American is somewhere in the twenties in the world rankings.