Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Single Speed Midwest World of All Time and Beyond

Success! I completed a mountain bike race for the first time since March! Actually the last two weekends have provided some positive good time competition, one of them went well (and was fun) and the other one was just fun. Let's start with the one that went well.

The New Belgium Urban Assault Ride rolled through town for the second successive year to increased participation and searing heat. Christopher and I had been plotting our domination for 12 full months after he and Margo rocked last year's co-ed class and Lizz and I placed fifth in the same category. We had a strategy, the taper was applied and the pre-race nutrition of fermented juniper and fizzy quinine water was guzzled by the gallon (thanks Dave and Casey!) We showed up bleary eyed but ready for the start, having scored a perfect D+ on our super secret front row earning quiz. The LeMans start was furious and before we knew it, we were knocking down bowling pins at REI, completing brain bending puzzles at Mesa, staddling each other sweatily at Big Shark and drilling paceline style down Delmar for stair sprints up the City Museum. The mayhem ended with a swim at the Holiday Inn and saw us crossing the inflatable obstacled finish line in a dominating display of Urban superiority. The Ranger flowed freely and there was much rejoicing of a lifetime dream finally realized. Lizz and Margo took third in the women's category and we all had something to celebrate. Maybe a little too much, but that Ranger is super tasty.

Fast forward to the following weekend and the Midwest Single Speed Championship. Race summary- I got to my bike quick, did a graceful remount directly onto my top tube (probably need to work that out before cross), rode in fourth for a lap, then fifth, then began crashing a lot. I stopped for a beer after lap 2 and chatted with Dan and Christopher before deciding to finish lap 3 to say I had avoided another DNF. I had a blast and don't care at all where I placed, which was probably poorly considering all the face time I gave the ground and various trees. Maybe I should have ridden Blue Steel a bit more before racing through some tight and twisties, cause it surprisingly rode nothing like my Epic. Go figure. Again, the beer flowed afterward although I kept it in check with a two hour drive ahead of me. DB removed the failures from his new big wheeler (what is the world coming to?), put on a funny outfit, smoke showed everyone else and had many beers after. Riding bikes for fun is fun and I'm glad to see that sentiment shared by good friends. Lets keep this action rolling and remember why we do this in the first place as the months of skinsuits and embrocation come a callin'.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


So, the 2010 mountain bike season is largely over and it seems as if I didn't really participate after all. It's a bit strange, as I had put a good amount of effort into my preparation for it over the winter and spring. However, race after race, something occurred to lead to a string of unrealized expectations. I think I had some good fitness in May and was excited to build it into a solid season, but it never got going. Certainly not the biggest deal, but a bit disconcerting mentally. Here's a quick rundown of planned races and the results.

-St Joe. I did the marathon class for training. It was mid March and the race was a total mud pit or "wet but not muddy" depending on interpretation. I did three laps many minutes faster than 2008 and thought that it made for a good training ride. I was placed fifth. Good start, I thought at the time.
-White Lightning XC. Waves of torrential storms led me and my road tripping companions to decide to bag the potential for another weekend of mud bogging.
-Rhett's Run. Five inches of rain in the week before the race led to the worst conditions I have ever ridden in. I was in fifth when I flatted and realized I had left my CO2 inflator on my geared bike. DNF,
-MFXC Non-Race. Had a blast, felt great and won. This bodes well for all the races I'm about to do, I thought.
-Lost Valley Luau. Race promotion made participation impossible. DNS
-Brommelsieck. Flatted in the first five minutes hanging on the back of the lead group. Lost five minutes immediately, chased through the sport field and blew on the fourth lap. DNF
-Sac River. Lack of racing led me to feel that 8 hours in the car was not time well spent after not completing a race in three months.
-Show Me State Games. Rainout, cancelled.
-Spanish Lake. Promoter bailed and told no one. Cancelled.
-Dirt Crit Final. Mysterious cancellation.

So there it is. Who cares really? There are certainly worse things in life and I had a great time riding my bike for fun the entire time. I had a number of great rides throughout the year, including possibly the most beautiful ride of my life in Reno. Good times to be sure. I was successful in finishing the Midwest SIngle Speed Championship today aboard my new steed, Blue Steel, but that report will come after I have managed to find the pictures of me yardsaling on the interwebs tomorrow. Fun times, the only real reason to ride a bike anyway.

So, cross starts in three weeks and I think I might get to do a full season of that. The CX rig is getting a makeover and there is some potentially exciting stuff on the horizon, including a return to part time studies at Meremac. Life is pretty sweet and I don't need an number on my bike to prove it.