2012 ProXct

Im on my own for the week as Kate is in China for work.  Today I finally stopped bleeding and changed the sheets and was able to get all the blood out of them.  So I didnt ride all week which led to the idea of getting all the riding in on the weekend.  Worked out okay, about 8 hours of riding.  A few were in the dark at the Clinton trails which was a blast and pretty tricky.  My lockout is still not working on the Top Fuel which has reminded me how comfy that bike is on the rocks.  Why would anyone ride a hardtail for fun?

Im not planning on doing much of the PROXCT this upomming year and the new schedule has pretty much seen to it that anyone from a colder climate will have no chance.  Half the races take place in March...its pretty hard to go from the trainer all week to the race course on the weekend.  My buddy Matt lives in sunny San Diego and he likes to say that Californians peak in March since they start racing in January.  The only positive is that three of the rounds are within driving distance of here.

Its too early to be thinking about next year, but with a lot of the races having early registrations that fill up fast, or discounts for early sign up, you have to be on your toes.



Cross season is here i guess.  My bike is still hanging from the ceiling with last years road salt on it and is lacking a few parts.  Luckily for me, i guess, is that im still bleeding everywhere from the Cheq crash and my arm is pretty swollen still, which is getting a little worrysome, so I wont be needing it too soon.  I was looking at the cross pics from Herman and it seems like everyone has fancy new bikes and sweet deep dish wheels.  Makes me kind of excited to get out there with my gravel grinding cross bike and give it a whirl.

Here is a pic from the Seely Firetower Climb of Chequamegon.  Twin Six was out in force at the race and it was great to support them at a "localish" for them event.  Ripped my new bibs though. grrr.  By the top of this climb three of us were away from a huge group and I had some high hopes of a solid finish.



If you want to know how my Chequamegon went, go try this.  Find some squirrely doufus and after 35 miles of highspeed racing follow him down a rocky descent at 30 mph.  Then watch him lose control and the next thing you know, you are laying on the ground in pain with a lot of problems.  Really twisted bars, snapped off front brake lever, rip off your ratchet thing from your shoe, and not to mention lots of blood emitting from your elbow with solid road rash from ankle to shoulder.  After standing there for awhile gathering your wits you start soft pedaling with only one arm holding on.  Eventually you can hold on and soft pedal with two arms, finally you decide there is no way to the fnish line but to get going again.  Im still bleeding all over the house today....

Its a tough race.  We finished the "neutral" rollout and entered Rosies field I was in good position right next to Cam Kirkpatrick.  Then some guy crashes in front of me which I narrowly missed and lost all my focus.  By the end of the field I realized I had missed the front group and a really good result was gone because you cant ride across to that group.  So after 10 minutes of racing you feel like your race is sort of over.

For the next 30 miles I would sit in the top 4 of a group of 20 guys but we couldnt get away from the group until the big Seely climb.  Then there were 3 and we were really hauling towards the finish, picking up guys who had blown up from the front group.  Then we catch the doufous and he gets sideways directly in front of me and the next thing I know I am bleeding.  Looking at the results, the guys I was with got 20th so I lost 28 spots while I was regrouping and bleeding.  I had a nice last few miles speeding in with Leah Davison who I can say I helped set the girls record by pulling her along the gravel sections leading to the finish.  She is fast and I took the not so honorable approach by outsprinting her and actually catching another guy right at the line.

I dont forsee doing any bike riding for awhile.  Everythinng on my right side hurts.  Cant wait for next year when Im not letting that front group get away without me in it. 


2012 Scheduling already

Whiskey 50 looks like it should be on the list for next year.  It was the same weekend this year as Mellow Johnny's Classic so hopefully they wont overlap in 2012.  Not only is it supposed to be a pretty good course, but apparently the after party is huge as well.  Sounds good to me.  Events like this seem to be the future of MTB racing in the U.S.  The numbers at the traditional Norba style nationals are shrinking and the numbers at races like this one and events such as Chequamegon, Iceman, and the NUE series are getting bigger and bigger.  One of the great things about these type of events is that anyone can line up and race against their heros, or at least be on the course at the same time and see how frickin fast some of those guys are.


Racing Weekend

This coming weekend is a big weekend on the cycling front.  At least on the front of cycling I like.  Chequamegon is taking place saturday.  Its basically 40 miles of the fastest mtb racing action possible as it will be over in about 2 hours.  The course leaves a little to be desired from my perspective as it is basically 40 miles of doubletrack.  If you aren't lucky enough to have gotten through the lottery for Cheq Fat Tire, then the next option would be flying to Bend, Oregon for the USA Marathon Nationals.  Im sure there is a ton of great singletrack to be ridden in that race.  I saw Adam Craig is building up an AnthemX 29 so the trails must be pretty respectable.  On a side note, I did put my blown up fork back together with new seals so hopefully it lasts for 40 miles, Im too wimpy to ride rigid I guess.  The third bike racing option is Cross Vegas.  I dont really like cross racing but this is definitely the cross race to be at.  Tons of Euro crossers and most of the best of the US (who arent in Wisc or oregon).

So I raced last weekend in Ark City at the Tour De Lizard.  Got up really early and drove down and parked right next to the Great Bend Crew.  Did a little preriding and found the course to be pretty techinical with some serious drops.  Ill definitely be back next year with some more preriding time.  They lined up the race by age groups with staggard starts, which I was a little hesitant about starting in the second group but the official put me in my place.  It took about half a lap to ride up to the first group and then I had to work through them.  One 918xc guy had already checked out though and at the end of first lap he had 45 seconds on me still.  Then things started to unravel a bit.  First the rear lockout quit working completely, not that big of a deal but I use it constantly.  Shortly after that I got to the top of one of the many steep and slightly longish climbs and found that my rear derailleur didnt feel like shifting back to a harder gear.  So the rest of the race I had to stop at the top of climbs and move it back by hand to where I wanted it and then it would work fine until I would have to shift to about the 3 easiest cogs, and it would be stuck again.  Lap two ended and I was 2 minutes behind the 29 under leader, ouch.  So lap 3 fires off and I quickly find that the annoying squeaking brakes that have been happening all race has now become not much rear brake at all.  2/3rds the way through the lap Im still at about 2 minutes when I decide maybe I should pick it up a bit and finished 1:30 behind.  Top Fuel seems to need some TLC before RIM. 

Oh, and I won the overall for the United In Dirt Series.  Im hoping this means thousands of dollars and huge endorsement deals are on the way. 

Happy Birthday week to the No. 1 Pit Crew as well.  I hoping the new garden wont get in the way of bottle handoff practice and after race massages.


New Stuff

I got up early to watch the World MTB championships this morning.  But it was the womens race, so I went for a ride for a few hours, got home, and the men had just started their first lap.  It was a good way to waste a couple of hours on the computer. 

After watching that race I started checking out all the bike companies websites.  The new 2012 stuff is all coming out.  The main thing I notice, is that everything is too expensive.  Specialized has a $10,500 retail on their Epic 29, the frame only for a nice 5,000.  Jamis has a new Carbon 29 full suspension, how about $3100 for that frame and its really nothing special.  GT has a new Carbon 29 dually, $5500, and its on XT and weighs a hefty 27 lbs.  The new Treks are out as well, $7000 for a XX equipted Superfly 100, which seems cheap compared to essentially the same bike in a Specialized.  I could go on and on as every company is scurrying to come out with a carbon 29er full sus.  A few companies still sport aluminum versions of these bikes, how about $1650 for a Giant or Kona frame that weighs only a pound more than the high zoot carbon bikes.  To keep that in perspective, a full bottle of water weighs 500 grams, which is more than a pound.  So only carry one bottle and youve got it made.

So the real question is, can I ride as fast as someone on a $10,500 bike if I built up a complete bike that would cost much less than that bikes frameset alone?  Might be a good challenge.  But then again, its always fun to have the fancy carbon hot rods.


Sun Valley

Ive been obviously lazy on the posting.  So here are some pics from Nationals in Sun Valley.  More pics can be seen here. 

 The rock garden, JP and G-wiz are probably in the background as they were doing some solid heckling from about that spot.

 Super-D action on the infamous Rock Waterfall.

 Finishing up the Super-D in the casual Twin Six type of kit.  I need bigger tires, more suspension, and ill be back for some more Super-D's.

 Short Track racing.  For the first time ever I actually didnt want to get pulled from the Short-Track.  Not the pic I wanted to post, but its too late and to much work to change it.

 Me and my number one supporter.

A few of the more famous fans that took in the XC.  Pretty cool to see them out to watch.

If I havent already said, it was a fun weekend.  The problem is really that those guys are frickin fast and there was a humongous climb that I didnt have a small enough gear to get to the top of without coming to a crawl.  Not that Travis Donn's splits to Todd Wells werent helpful as I was cresting the top.  Super D racing is awesome, but pretty tough without the right equipment.  How many bikes can you take to a race.  Thanks to Frontier for picking up the bike fees tough, those guys are alright.