Dirty Secret

 Sunday was the Dirty Little Secret mtb race in Manhattan at the Fancy Creek State Park.  Ive raced there at least once before and I remembered it being pretty rocky.  It was.  Its a great course.  Its definitely not easy and takes some techincal skills to navigate.  Perfect for the Top Fuel. There are some sections with some serious rocks, a section of wide open field, and some nice flowing singletrack.  The course starts off on a bit of pavement that is led out by a Manhattan bicyle police rider and then immediately is into a pretty challenging section of trail which was tough being I was following Travis Donn and he was driving right over every huge obstacle he could and I was forced to do the same.  The good thing was that every time I had to slow down to clear a huge boulder, everyone behind had to do the same.

The first time we entered the big grassy field section there was a group of 5 of us pretty far away from the rest of the field.  By the end of the grassy knoll there were three and I was in the middle of what is becomming a typical Ethos Sandwich.  Donn was not going to let me by.  Even as he was crashing and being forced to run, there was no passing him.  The trail was tight and it was hard to get a good rythm going so we rode together until I got by on a climb and opened up a little gap.  Shortly into the second lap Garret was closing back on me and we entered the grass section together.  It was really the only place to get in a sustained effort and I didnt want him to sit on my wheel for the entire section which was probably 5 minutes so I picked up the pace and got a safe lead that I didnt think he could get a draft.  We enter the rocky trail again and my chain drops and get all sorts of tangled up.  Garret catches me and passes.  I catch back on just as he decides to do some crashing and I get back by and pretty much ride alone for the rest of the day.  Three laps took about 1:45 so it was good they shortened it from 4 or it would have been a pretty long day.

After the race there was free beer and bbq along with a whole bunch of raffle stuff.  Nicely done by the guys at Big Poppi for their first race.  It seemed like there was a lot of people bleeding afterwards, which is always a sign of some good trail riding.

No racing next weekend so Ive gotta figure out whats next.  Rumor is a group is heading to Alabama for the Bump N'Grind which is one of the best trails ive ridden...



why dont they find someone credible to levy allegations against Lance Armstrong.  Tyler Hamilton was busted twice for doping and denied it the whole time.  If they want to make me believe they need to get someone that hasnt been busted themselves or has something to gain by going on tv and saying this stuff.  Its funny that every year when the Tour of Cali is going on someone has to try and get some publicity by talking about Lance.  He says he is doing this for his love of the sport.  I guess he must have just found this love because you would have thought that his love would have prevented him from doping himself.  And i see he is now coaching cyclists.  who would want him for their coach?  why?? Id be embarrased to be associated with him.  The whole thing is sad.


ahh nuts

Ive been raving about this race ever since returning from it.  I should have been paying more attention because it filled up and Im not registered.  Now I just need to weasel my way in.  I think ive got a plan.  Or maybe I should try something new...

Trusty steed after Rhetts Mud.  It was probably the only 26" hardtail in the race sunday.  Eventually these smaller sized wheels will catch on.  This thing is just plain fast.  Go get a Trek, they are still made in the USA.


Livestrong with TwinSix

Two of my favorite companies come together.  Only a few hours left.  Go get some and know that you hard earned money goes to a great cause.

Rhetts Run

About the only place that will let us race in the mud is Cosmo Park in Columbia.  For two years this has been the case, and it sure is fun.  The race started out pretty leasurely as a large group cruised through the woods getting used to the slippery mud and rocks.  Riding in a big group is much more fun than riding by yourself for a few hours.   By the second lap Dan Miller and myself were off the front a bit.  Garret almost caught on, so I picked up the pace and next thing I knew I had a few minute lead.  Thanks to Schottler for the time splits, pictures, and encouragement.  From there I just made sure to keep it upright.  I wonder what that course is like when its dry...the trail doesnt seem to get that messed up even though it rained most of the race.

On another note...the series should start doing an elite class or only pay out $$ to only one of the classes and anyone who wants to win cash should have to race that class, or just keep track of the overall result and pay off that.  Much like the other series in Nebraska or Wisconsin do.  I figure I lost about $45 bucks to do this race with the cost of a tank of gas and the entry fee even though I won the overall and it was only 2.5 hours from home.  Most of us are already racing for the overall and dont worry whos in our age bracket.  Now ive got to put on a new chain and brakepads, sunken cost.

Edit:::  I didnt mean to complain about the money I did win.  I could have carpooled, or not driven a pickemup truck to the race.  Yes I understand its nice that a whole bunch of different people get a chance to win some cash the way it is.  Im not sure exactly how psycowpath does their payouts, but at the last race the guy who got 6th overall won his entry plus 10 bucks.  I took the part about G-wiz out becuase it didnt read right.  It was supposed to read that he is already racing for the overall because he has nobody in his class to race otherwise.



Krug Park XC.  Results are up.  Im not exactly sure what happened but one might say that something went very wrong 3/4 of the way through the first lap.  Felt just fine and dandy except for the terrible tires that had me sliding all over the place.   Eventually slid off course and Garret took to the front which was much better for my no traction turning abilities and then there was a U turn not far from the lap finish and that was it.  Suddenly I felt like id just ridden 24 hours solo.  I watched Garret quickly ride into the sunset on his superbike and waited a few seconds so Travis could catch me and do the same.  Was pretty much reduced to soft pedaling for another 1.5 hours just so i could finish.  It might be noted that there was definitely some walking up the climbs at a few points.   Krug is one of my favorite tracks, but not Saturday.  I think I saw something about taking almost an hour to finish my last lap.  Ouch.  5 hours on the 29er on Sunday went easier than that mess.


Strider World Cup

If you have little kids its time to get them racing.  Those bikes are so small you can probably put them in your carry-on and fly all over the world to every race and not have to pay bike fees. 



Lets say you have a Trek Elite 9.9 that weighs 18.75lbs with Bontrager XXXlite wheels and Maxxis Aspens.  But if you mount up a pair of Maxxis Maxxlite 285's on Stans Podium MMX wheels you can drop a huge 1.5 lbs from your bike.  All in rotating weight.  That is pretty noticeable in the pick up your bike test, and even more noticable on the trail.  They make your bike take off like a rocketship.  17.25 lbs is getting close to roadbike weight.  The only problem is that those tires are only made to last a couple of races and are paper thin.  Is the risk worth it???


Training Plans

I see and hear lots of people talking about their training plans.  Usually something about peaking or an "A" race. Meh.

Katie has been hearing me complain a lot the last month or so about not feeling very fit.  Not nearly as good as last year at this time.  Ive been to some big races and been a little frustrated that I havent felt very good at them.  Its easy to forget why this is.  Ive got this natural, Kansas weather induced, peak that always hits the end of May to beginning of June.  In January, when the ProXct schedule came out and there were no races even close to the period we decided to move that peak back a month.  This basically meant moving the serious training back a month.  Then Monday morning I got a phone call reminding me that Monday was the start of the real training block for the season.  I thought things had been a little easy.

I raced one year as an expert and one as a semi-pro.  During those two years I did one of those training plans where you go through and pick something like 3 "A" races, a few "B" races, and a few more "C" races.  This didnt work for me at all.  You are constantly messing up a build for an "A" race by doing some sort of mini build and taper for a "B" or "C" race.  Its dumb to train for a race that you want to do sort of well at.  All that does is waste a few weeks of training for an "A" race.  This type of plan will help you be consistent, but never really fast. 

Then I got some new, much better training advice and switched to my current plan.  Be fast as possible for a few big races, and train right through all the rest.  This can mean training right through some big races, and races you would like to win, which is hard.  You basically ignore the fact you are racing on a Saturday and just use it as another day of interval work.  Think hard rides all week, race saturday, go ride for 4 hours on sunday to get the endurance miles in you skipped by only racing for 1.5hrs on saturday.  When you are really in the training groove you dont even want to race on a Saturday because it means too short of a ride.  Sunday races are even harder because they come right after a long day with a load of intervals.

After seeing the plan for the week ahead and thinking it seemed hard, I looked back at the training log from last year....

This very week last year I was whining about my legs hurting and being close to exhausted.  I did the St. Joes race and was completely flat.  Then I had one last hard week that finished me off and ended in a mud fest in Columbia.  So, its true, im a month behind last years plan.  Right when I was ending the big block last year, Im just starting this year.  Hoping this means I wont have lost motivation and be tired by July like usual.


Mellow Classic

Pic taken off Cyclingnews.com

Katie and I headed South to Ranch Juan Pelota this weekend for the Mellow Johnny's Classic.  We arrived at the ranch of Friday afternoon and I headed out for some preriding.  Just as I am getting started Travis Donn rolls up and we go out for a lap.  It was great to see the Ethos Crew made the trip down to Austin to get some national racing experience.  They were all over the course cheering which was awesome, and then had great races on thier own on Sunday.  The new UCI course was quite a bit shorter than last years, and cut out some fun sections, but was still a great course.  After preriding Katie and I headed back to the Homestead Suites and then out for some carboloading.

Saturday morning we headed out to watch some of the womens race and eat a little lunch.  It was pretty cool as the women raced.  By the time I began warming up, the temps were warming up a little as well.  It still wasnt all that hot out.  I am still living off my handful of UCI points which gets me a good call up.  I had a nice position on the third row and was hoping for a good start.  The gun went off and the Mexican Turbo team diretly in front of me on the first and second row didnt really move.  I was boxed in and guys were whizzing by on my outside but I couldnt get over.  So we enter the singletrack and ive lost some positions.  I was feeling okay and began moving up a little.  3/4's the way through the lap there are the two climbs of the lap.  I had just past a small group and was on a Honey Stingers guys wheel when we entered the climb.  He must have need some more Stinger Waffles because just as I moved next to him, he takes a left turn and bumps me.  So  now we are both running the entire climb, or im walking.  For some reason this really demoralized me, seeing all the guys I had just worked to get past ride right back by.  Plus it got hot.

Its tough to race at that level when you are just feeling okay.  I couldnt really accelerate out of the corners and the climbs were hurting way more than they should have.  I could tell thing werent going real well by the gears I was pushing.  The next 3 laps I rode pretty steadily in 26th to 32nd.  On the last lap I got by a few guys, but was caught by a few also.   Katie handed me bottles and an ice pack on the last lap, which we should have been planning on doing all race just like last year, because it felt amazing.  Then she sprinted over to the second feed/tech zone with bottles and my extra wheels just in case.  I think she was trying to impress some of the other teams and get a job as a pit crew.   I remeber Troy Wells passing me early in the lap and moving fast.  He ended up just outside the top 20, so I know if I would have been feeling decent a really good result wasnt too far off.  Russel Finsterwald caught me and outsprinted me to the line so I ended up 30th.  Got a couple of ProXct Points which is always nice.

Sunday we drove the 11hours home and then I went of for a ride.  It seems I missed feeling great by a day, as I felt much better on Sunday.  Still a 30th is not too bad and a few years ago it took a really specatacular day to finish that well.  More pics are on the way as Katie's brother Ben came down from Dallas and was all over the course taking pictures.

Havent done a single local XC race yet, but the national series is 2/3rds done already.  Makes it seem like the season is almost over, when it really hasnt even begun.

Got my confirmation for Chequamegon over the weekend as well.  So im in for two rounds of the Midwest Triple Crown, Iceman and Cheq fattire.