Sunday, May 29, 2011

"I'm an endurance racer"

I chuckle inside whenever someone claims to be an "endurance MTB racer". Usually it means that they are getting shelled in shorter XCO (olympic length XC ~1.5-2hrs) or cyclo-cross races and aren't really that fast in the longer races. Marathon world championships, stage races, and longer 1 day races are consistently won by those who dominate the XCO circuit.

-Solid week, had the Tuesday nighter race that I was looking for, then broke my derailleur hanger when I was just riding along (JRA) on Friday, and Hardcore Bikes fixed it on Saturday, ready to rock

-Itching to race, I signed up for the Giver8er, on a surprisingly rideable course after a week of monsoon in Calgary

-Long distance racing is all about being chill, Miller Chill. You only have so many matches to burn, use them wisely
-I was a little too Miller Chill. It was kind of like when you buy a six pack of Miller Chill, then realize that you should have man'ed up and not bought light beer. Probably could have showed up more than 15min before the start, and not started near the back of the field, and not taken looonngg breaks.

-Couldn't string 2 good laps together at the beginning to save my life: Flat tire and slightly dented rim, chainsuck after the water washed the oil off my chain, waiting in line at bike wash while wankers clean their shoes, pedals, and tires, and never got around to moving my shit from the car to the pits.

-Homemade smoothie was fuel for the diesel engine I never knew I had. Switched phasers to kill for the last couple of hours of racing.

-Result? Pretty far down, but if you are not first, you are last. I am stoked that I was feeling good at the end, and as consolation, I'm sure taking the time to hydrate and eat properly, while slower overall, was probably better for training purposes.

-The clock is ticking even when you are not riding, I need to limit the breaks I take by grouping up tasks (bike maintenance, eating).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May Long- switching to glide

Hardcore Cycling Club and Redbike organized a MTB stage race on the weekend, a first in my time of mountain bike racing in Alberta. I volunteered for the time trial in the morning: a fireroad climb followed by a rooty descent and some flat sections at the end to keep you honest. Some crashing provided some LOLZ for me.

I suited up for the dirt crit: 6 laps or a really short course. The most recent Hardcore Fat Tire Tuesday race really pissed me off as I lined up when we were told to and I still ended up with a 3rd row start. Getting stuck in bottlenecks, watching people let gaps go, and making glory passes ensued, until I flatted my front tire

So anyways, I lined up on the front row and even though there were none of said SPORT riders in the field, I did a full on sprint off the start and led for the first lap, which highlighted in me actually gapping some riders on the descent along with Dave R. John C joined the fun, and attacked when Dave was fed up with leading. I rolled in for 3rd in a hot race (hotly contested and high temps) behind  John and Dave, and Mark R came in 4th to make it a Hardcore 1-2-3-4.

I did some more spectating for the XC the next day and saw an awesome crash to bottleneck combo in the sport men race. Atta boy! Then it was finally our turn to take to the course. I threw down a couple of quick laps just a little bit behind the leaders, then it started to rain...hard. The track got super greasy and I was not having fun anymore and I shut it down but still finished. First couple of laps, the heart rate was around 180, I saw a lot of 150-160bpm in my last 3...

Off to Canmore to catch the slush cup and continue my streak of skiing for free. I decided to dress up like the typical douche-park-rat-wannabee-gangsta-who-lives-in-the-suburbs: Tall-T, low-riding pants with suspenders dangling, bandana on face, goggle straps under helmet, and GoPro. Why make fun of people who can only get out to ski once per year when you can make fun of people who try to be cool and end up looking ridiculous in their pursuits! Threw down some sick crotch grabs and mule kicks in the park. The skiing was pretty awesome too: the snow was soft and forgiving and there was water to be skimmed on the way down. Good times, the band playing was solid, but I forgot to take things "switch to the road" at the end of the day.

Even did a pro call-out of Kevin Hjertaas. "Come on, I've been retired for years!"

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Even more spring lines

Freezing levels are starting to creep up, and the prevalence of crusts has increased. The snow under the surface is getting noticeably warmer. Probably a good cue to cut back on the skiing and start riding the bikes more! My skimo-racing buds keep mentioning Wapta, Columbia, speed traverse, but I need to learn how to do some crevasse rescue first!

After some nasty crust at the top, Bill found some good snow...before the hardpack at the bottom

Fun roadside line, not so fun conditions for most of it

and some from last weekend

and you can't even see the top part!

Spent Sunday at the Lake. It was snowing hard all day, and visibility was not great, 189 squads don't like skiing trees that much. Better snow in the afternoon after switching to my normal skis, and a pond skim at the bottom. Missed an opportunity to snag some pictures. Time to ride!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

More spring lines

I was getting chirped by the boys and I was fearing mutiny (up my sleeve?), but they came through for a big day.
"Wow, the views are amazing"

"It's just a black run"

"It's too narrow"

"It's not worth it"

more pics to come