Friday, April 24, 2009

Catching Up, Part 2

With a mild bout of denim induced saddle sore and acrimonious feelings towards singlespeed racing, i called the 2008 MTB season quits. I had raced nearly 20 events over an 8 month period, and was ready for a slight reprieve.

So, as the days grew cooler and the daylight hours dwindled, my thoughts - like so many competitive mountain bikers - turned to cyclocross. Yes - a long, exhausting season still can't take away the magic of riding skinny tires and leaping over barriers.

(seen here racing the morning after a 24 MTB hour race... luckily i was only the mechanic)

I was ready to race 'cross... but was NOT about to train for it. So, i adopted my slightly more lax "beer and ice cream" training regimen. As the name implies, i aimed to replenish all of the malt, hops, milk fat and chocolate that had been depleted from my legs throughout the racing season. Thankfully, my system responded well to the increased "hop loading" and "cherry garcia intervals"...

Mmmm... look at those beautiful aroma hops.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Catching Up - Part 1

Ok... so where did i leave off?

The Cal-State Rim Nordic race sucked. Big time. I (foolishly) chose to ride 1.75" FRO tires on a sandy, rough course better suited to big volume rubber - or better yet - a dual suspension bike. Crashed whilst attempting to pass two of THE SLOWEST local "pros" in a loose corner. Broke my glasses, scuffed my skinsuit and rode the remainder of the race with my tail between my legs. *sigh*

Still bitter over my piss-poor performance at the Cal-State Rim Nordic event, i decided i'd have my revenge on that course by racing the Rim Nordic series finals two weeks later - this time with something to prove. This time i arrived with high volume tires, wider bars and bibs and a jersey (lest i completely ruin my skinsuit this time). I charged to the front from the gun in a desperate attempt to avoid traffic jams on the mostly singletrack course - knowing fully that i ran the risk of blowing up. But as luck would have it, the getaway sticks were feeling good and i opened a gap - with only local pro Sean Donovan ahead of me. I rode like a "big boy", and managed to keep it rubber side down on every descent; gaining time on the backbreaking climbs. And that was it - i rode'r in after 3 laps of soloing to post the 2nd fastest time of the day, and bring home the first 'W' of my semi-pro career. The race promoter even kicked down a cool $100 for my troubles.

The confidence boost afforded by my Rim Nordic win was just what i needed heading into the NMBS finals in Brian Head, Utah. This race was truly one of a kind. It left me wishing for bigger lungs, better technical descending skills and more free time to spend in rugged backcountry like this.

I heeded the words of my former team manager Dave, "ride conservatively in the first few miles of climbing... and watch the other guys crack half way through." Sure enough, i sagged the first climb, only to spring into action 20 minutes later as everyones proverbial load was blown in the rarefied 10,000' air. And so it went; i battled for a top 5 spot with a handful of other guys, but eventually came unglued just prior the final - and critical - descent down dark hollow. Think: steep, rocky alpine singletrack with an organic, rooty east coast twist. Even the "good lines" were bad, and the hypoxia didn't seem to help the matter. As such, i rode like a 12 year old girl down the root infested descent and ensuing climb, forfeiting several spots in the process. I finished the race to a stiff, cold headwind completely shattered, but relieved to have the NMBS calendar behind me.

Lastly, i rounded out the season by racing the California State Championships in the pro singlespeed division - wearing none other than my official "party outfit". This was arguably one of my worst decisions of the year, although (as usual) it seemed like a great idea at the time.

Here's what i took from my experience:

- riding singlespeeds IS fun
- racing singlespeeds (sans chamois) is TORUTURE.

Stay tuned for more tales...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Compelled to Write

After nine months of doing my best "John Davis" impression, i've decided to get my lazy ass in gear and write a thing or two about bikes, training and travels.

So, for the handful of folks who have continued to check my blog every once and a while - here it is: the rebirth of

Stay tuned for a "catching up since last June" post...

over and out

Monday, June 30, 2008

NMBS #4 Highlights

Another weekend, another round of the NMBS traveling circus. In lieu of a real post, i've decided to put up pictures that i think accurately encompass the weekend's activities. Stand by for a detailed race report. Enjoy!

Sweet view of the venue from the top of the course. Our condo was just to the left of the condos in the lower left part of the frame.

Front row, center callup is awfully nice (for a change).

JHK gave'r like hell, but couldn't pull out the three-peat. Maybe next year.

Tree Farm must think it's 'cross season, because he was killing it all race long in Saturday's XC.

...and in Sunday's STXC. Much to Tree's chagrin, though, Kabush launched the signature last-lap move and took a narrow win.

I think JHK's face says it all.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back from the Dead

After nearly killing myself by means of a 8.5hr mountain bike death march, followed by a heinous flu that caused me to sleep 16hrs in one day, i have finally returned to a state of normalcy.

Let's hope i can hold on to this long enough to squeak in a good result at Deer Valley this weekend...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I was stoked when i stumbled across THIS article in today.

Tim Allen (the bike racer, not the comedian and star of Home Improvement) is hands down one of the most laid back, approachable dudes i have encountered whilst racing the NMBS series - especially in light of his freakish natural ability and down right frightening short speed. You'd practically have to pry it out of him that he scooped up a handful of convincing NMBS wins as a semi-pro, and made a huge splash as a first-year pro.

What immediately comes to mind for me is watching Tim tow Carl Decker and Rad Ross in the 'B' group for several laps of the NOVA short track... no small feat by any means.

Best of luck to Tim this weekend at World's.

Make sure to give him some love on the VooDoo blog.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Ok, ok... the recent blog inactivity has been unacceptable, i know. But here is a quickie recap of recent happenings:

Big Bear Shootout #1 - Classic Big Bear course; long fire road climb from the gun that strung things out. I followed Ty Kady's wheel all the way up 2N10, only to get dusted (literally and figuratively) on the ensuing descent.

I had surprisingly peppy climbing legs, but rode like a retard on the first two descents. My sloppy handling cost me a bent King Ti cage, a punctured front tire (luckily Stan's sealed *whew*) and about :30sec. I gave'r like hell on the loooong penultimate climb and found my mojo on the final descent to finish 3rd, :28sec back from 2nd. Oh well... i'll get'em next time.

Ellings Park XC - Charged hard from the gun like it was a world cup and ended up leading the pro/semi field up part of the first climb. Entered the first twisty, fast singletrack descent only seconds behind Ty Kady, but well clear of the inevitable 'conga line' caused by inept descending skills and 40 tires' worth of dust. Mission #1 accomplished. Rode the first lap as if it was short track; big ringing many of the punchy climbs and taking risks on the descents - effectively opening a healthy gap between me and 3rd place. Mission #2 accomplished.

After that i focused on riding a sustainable pace that kept me apart from any chasers. However, at the end of lap 3 my Cynergy pal bridged up to me and we agreed to work together for the final lap.
That plan blew up when i dropped my chain on a descent several minutes after our pact had been formed, costing me about :15sec. From there it was a 30 minute time trial around the course one last time, that concluded with the onset of hip flexor cramps and extreme pain-induced drooling. I crossed the line in 3rd place (again) about :30 sec in arrears of the next semi-pro (again).

Despite narrowly missing 2nd place finishes two weekends in a row due to stupid mechanicals (my own damn fault, though) i'm still stoked about my results. Now it's time for a few weekends free of any racing - hopefully affording me a few epic MTB rides and time to catch up on my blogging.

Until then, keep'er rubber side down.