Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mission: failure, Journey: fun

Well first of all, I decided not to race the Rundle's Revenge. Why?
-$120/150 entry fee
- shitty course: Killer Bees and Ziggy's got ruined by the Canmore Nordic Centre last year (there isn't a single person I had talked to who likes the "improvements"), and the course went down the Georgetown climb instead of going down something awesome like the Coal Chutes, Ass Whooper, or No Homers.
-Still muddy? I rode somewhere else in the valley and the trails were DRY!

What else would you expect when the Trans Rockies organizers put on a race. I don't really feel like paying their ridiculous entry fees to ride down fireroads. I will continue to chirp their course selection until they give me a free entry to prove me wrong! In the meantime I will race the ABA/CCA races and if I need my endurance fix, there are plenty of other races on better courses for like half the price.

So anyways, the goal was to ride some awesome'er trails this weekend instead. Bill and I had our sights set on this one newer trail with tales of rock slab descents. However, we didn't have a car to access the trailhead. No problem, Bill knows of a set of trails to get us there. So we just had the best ride over there (ironically, the course followed part of the final stage of last year's Trans Rockies, apparently the funnest stage. I'm guessing the least funnest one was where they had to bushwack up through a forest of alders to get to the pass. I laugh every time I see Steve and Mike B's number plates at Hardcore bikes as they are all scratched from that stage...), but we couldn't find the damn trail we were looking for! Oh well, plug was pulled and we rolled back on the highway, Bill was running on fumes. Solid ride, even if we didn't find what we were looking for. The ride out there is worth it's own trip, out and back next time!

Just an update on the Marin Attack Trail. I still think the bike can charge some XC singletrack, and the quad link rear end is super stiff and efficient. The AT will be put to the test next weekend at Kicking Horse!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Attempt at some June turns

A few turns were made and some valuable reconnaissance performed to salvage an otherwise overly ambitious adventure in what were sub-optimal conditions. However, the trip was planned so that the chute could be pulled at any time.

Ambitious: A bunch of firsts for everyone

Conditions: Super late bed time, car sleep, forgotten gear, stove not working, HEAVY wet snow, fresh grizzly tracks.

Conclusion: recon of an area we rarely ski, skiing in June, fun training, some lessons learned

Lessons learned: Test gear, have a plan B, make sure everybody is motivated, wait a couple of clear sunny days and nights before getting after it!

Heavy, wet snow, lots of sluffing from the rocks, but nice to be out there!

Anyways, I rode the new legacy trail to Banff in the rain to watch the Banff Bike Fest criteriums! Always entertaining to watch how the race unfolds.

Sunday, we hit up a father's day car show in the park. Normally, I'm not a huge fan of cars, especially American cars, but there were definitely some cool ones there. An F550 with 4' tires, a couple of Ferraris, and a dude who looked just like my dad...only with a massive mullet.

Then we did some laps of the agility-parcours at the CNC. Working those fast twitch fibers!

Agility Parkour from Sebastian Pachmayr on Vimeo.

Then some evening climbing to round out the weekend

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Iron Maiden

After it took me a while to recover and some rookie mistakes, I was back racing again in Canmore for the Iron Maiden (formely Iron Lung) race.

Course: The climbs seemed like the perfect length and the descents allowed for a good recovery. Rain during the week, and during race day made the course super slick. This is a similar course to what will be used for nationals, so if conditions are good, I should have an awesome race.

Engine: I found that I was climbing really well, and the climbs on the course always kept me motivated to hammer.

Technique: With the course being pretty slick, and me naturally being one of the weaker descenders, technique was not my strong point and I lost a lot of time on the descents.

TSN turning point: Probably on the Devonian drop on lap 1. Front tire washed out on the slick rocks, but I was able to clip out and slide down on my feet. Definitely rattled for the rest of the race.

I opted to miss out on the "Organ Grinder" 5hr race the next day (I probably would have done it as a 2 person relay), for a couple of reasons: #1 Giver-8-er and Kananaskiker really beat the shit out of me and I needed a couple of days to recover from each of those, and #2 The course was still pretty slick.

On another topic, I have started sport climbing. My brother and some friends are pretty into it, and I have obtained some cheap gear. Excellent "cross training" and a fun way to spend some time with friends and blow off some steam. I love the texture of real rock compared to the climbing gym, but I am still a n00b.

Which way to the sufferfest?

And now a return to my ISO (or DIN, CSA, ANSI?) standard race report format. Another weekend of racing myself into shape (aka I skied too much in spring). A stage race with a longer XC race, a dirt criterium XC time trial, and a hill climb time trial; the Kananaskiker, organized by Cafe Racers.

Course: XC: Because of the slightly different race format, there were less restrictions on the course, and I think that the course was awesome. The course seemed like the Bill Knight Super Loop, i.e. what you get when you combine all of the best trails at the CNC. I really suffered on a long slog of a climb (FYI) after the feed zone

Engine: I was riding the course and feeling pretty strong, except on FYI, and I really suffered there, but I was "only" 21mins back of Roddi at the end, and the time gaps weren't as big as I thought. Everybody suffered. Deep field too, lots of stronger riders. Hopefully this will make me stronger.

Technique: My descending was OK, and again, just not enough power on FYI.

TSN Turning Point: FYI.

XC TT was a (shorter) version of one of the 3 laps we did yesterday, many didn't realize that the course was shortened a bit until the crutial junction came up, some missed that. Hill Climb TT was up the extremely dusty Spray Lakes road. The legs were not recovered very well (but I'm sure everyone else had sore legs), and I put in a solid effort in both stages...and finished about where I finished the day before. 9th, 8th, and 8th.

Ok, so I did do a little bit of climbing. The crag dog

Let's just say it was pretty obvious that these guys don't host races very often. Courses were sick though!

The intention was clearly there to make an awesome race: Long XC stage race, awesome course, and a start from the town, I didn't miss a turn or a start or a feed, so I can't really complain.