Bone Bendered

I quit the Bone Bender a bit early so I could make sure I could get in a good week of riding to be ready for this....

A few pics from my two laps at Clinton... Not suprsing that riding for about 5 hours the day before a race takes a little off the top end. That wasnt as big a problem as a complete lack of motivation and the thoughts of not wanting to spend a week recovering and not training.




Houffa and Clinton

Tomorrow morning is the Houffalize World Cup in Belgium.  Watch it live at 7am central here.  The course looks pretty crappy in the way that its in a tiny area that is good for spectators but not for riders.  While UCI racing is definitely better for me sitting here watching on the computer, it sucks to race.

I rode a lot today.  Way to much to race tomorrow.  Close to 5 hours on the mtb all over lawrence.  Covered every mile of trail in town.  I can report that the Clinton Trails are in excellent shape.  They are almost dry, and definitely not muddy at all.  I would guess they can handle a bit more rain without being muddy.  It seems like everyone is on the fence about BoneBender due to the weather.   I saw Chris Locke out there and the course is all marked and he is hoping the worst weather misses the lake and they should be good to go.

I watched the new Eliminator racing on extreme.com yesterday.  Flyin Bryan Lopes won.  He is 40.  In some ways im not suprised he won.  Eliminator racing on that course is basically BMX with even less passing.  Its still suprising that world class elite athletes half his age cant beat him, impressive.  None of the best XC guys really did it except the Cannondale guys and they had issues and didnt even make it out of qualifying.  There is going to be Eliminator at the Colorado Springs ProXCT which should be fun.  It isnt as fun to watch as traditional short track racing but it has to be less painful to race.

That its.  Im on my own for two weeks as Katie is in the GuongDong (sp??) Provence of China making jeans.



It's supposed to storm like crazy Saturday night. See cjonline.com for the story. It's hard to say how bone bender will go. Right now on extreme.com is houffalize eliminator live. Michelin man says its a rest week so it's okay if there is no racing for me this weekend.


Gods Country

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Rode my bicycle down to the local trails on Saturday for a mtb race.  Its always better when you can ride to a race rather than drive.  After the cruise to the trails I did a little preriding of the trrack.  Trails were sticky from the rains but not muddy.  Not nearly as fast as they were on Friday night though, which was probably a good thing because they were scary fast.

DSC_6424 - 2012-04-07 at 12-03-20 (274 of 707)

Took to the front and pulled the group along on the levy and through the grassy section before we finally hit the singletrack.  Pushed the pace through the first little section and looked back to see a nice gap already forming.  Put my head down and motored along.  Crashed nicely on a very wet bridge and got some nice road rash.

Rode the next two laps at a solid pace which seemed to be holding the Ethos Train at the same time split of about a minute.  Had many issues with traffic and lapped riders.  Apparently I crashed one fellow at some point, he was pretty fired up after the race.  I just typed out a whole rant about my views on passing, but Its not worth getting in to.  To each their own.

Special thanks to Ann, the nice lady who did thank me after the race for  passing her so nicely.  It was appreciated.  As was her perfect form of moving to the side of the trail without slowing to let me by.

Steinmetz might be semiretired, but Ethos still has a duo to tag team me with.  Working together?Drafting? This aint road racing, bring it on.


Recapping Ouachita

If you dont know about the Ouachita Challenge, its pretty simple. Its a 60 mtb race based out of Oden, AR. It is basically two epic trails hooked together by gravel and pavement. The first half, the Ouachita, has a lot of climbing and a lot of rocks. The second half, the Womble, is much faster and has more flow.

As usual, the race starts off with a long ride on gravel which leads to the Ouachita Trail. This year people were pretty antsy on the gravel. Eventually the gravel leads to a fairly long climb and at the top is the entrance to the singletrack. At the bottom of the climb I moved towards the front of the pack and by the top there were only a few of us left. I had preridden the first little section of singletrack (rock garden) a few times the day before so I could be sure to make it through without having to get off the bike. I was successful and from the sounds behind me, second place wasnt. A quick descent and I still didnt think anyone was right behind me. Then a climb back up and I finally look back and cant see anyone. Its only 5 minutes into the singletrack and Im on my own.

Halfway through Big Brushy I switch to the small ring on a climb, thinking I had better save some energy for later. This is my most major problem of the day. The cable slips and im stuck in the small ring. I dont figure its a big issue until after Blowout Mtn when we hit the pavement. So at AidStation 1 I tell the pit crew im going to need some tools at Sims to get this remedied. Things go pretty well over Blowout (no flats) and I only suffer one trip over the bars, which is just now starting to really hurt. Onto the pavement and im stuck in the little ring and spinning for all im worth. I finally roll into Sims and pull of to do some mechanic work. It only takes about a minute to fix, but I figure I lost some time riding on thepavement already. Im told I had a 2 minute lead at the first Aid Station so I push on. As Im pedaling into the wind on the road I am envisioning a pack of guys closing in on me, working together. At the end of the road and back onto the trail, im told I had a 5 minute gap at Sims.

By the time I hit the Womble, 2nd and 3rd have worked together a bit on the road and have closed to 2:30. Im fairly confident at this point I can hold them off, as I love riding the Womble. The heat is pretty bad on the Womble as the sun is baking and there isnt any breeze, plus its a long haul from the 298 aid station to the finish. On top of the heat im worried about switching out of the big ring, as I know ill need it on the gravel into Oden. The only satisfaction from pushing the big ring all the way home is I figure nobody else is, so if I dont completely blow up, nobody should be able to catch me. Things go well though, except for consistently suprising the volunteers manning the neutral feeds, course marshall types, and checkpoint people.

When I finally hit the last gravel section for the ride into Oden I keep looking back, making sure there isnt anyone coming and cruise through town. Ending up stretching the lead back out a bit to almost five minutes and happily didnt have to push too hard in the last miles like last year when I was trying to make up for numerous flats.

One of the great things about the Ouachita Challenge is that they hand you your trophies and awards the very second you cross the finish line. No standing around for hours waiting for the results. However, after a shower we hung around, watching many happy finishers for the next few hours anyways.


2012 Ouachita Challenge

Back home from another weekend in Arkansas. This one went better than the last. Had a nice ride in the woods by myself for 4.5 hours and took the win. The day was not without some excitement with a mechanical, a crash, and a lot of heat. Full report later tonight....

If you were busy racing at the Ouachita Challenge, you probably missed out on registering for the Dakota Five-0, which filled up about the time we were hitting the Womble. Better get on the wait list, its another great event.

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