Sunday, June 9, 2013

The start of MTB race season

I've been enjoying my time on the new bike. It feels faster on the singletrack and the descents, but I do find that I need a bit more strength to get it going.

Coming off a long ski season and not really riding my bike from early November until the beginning of May, I knew the fitness and the base would be there, it would just be a matter of getting the high end power back into the legs. Racing has felt almost casual and pre race, I have felt very relaxed.

River Valley Rumble XC:

A classic Terwillegar course combining elements of the Fat Tire Tuesday courses (when they were still at Terwillegar). The race was almost entirely different than the riding that I had been doing in Canmore up to that point. Fast punchy climbs, basically an all out sprint for maybe only a minute, but lots of them. I found that I was able to put up a good fight here, I held my position through the race after working up from a weak start, and there has to be some training benefit to going hard up those hills!

Slaying singletrack on the new bike!

Canmore Toonie Races:

Canmore has a decent midweek series put on by RMCC with races every two weeks. Unlike the Fat Tire Tuesdays, the format is different each week. Unfortunately, I missed the first race, a drag race up the Spray Lakes climb, which could have played to my strengths. I did the 2nd race, featuring a couple of heats up the shorter Silvertip climb and I was able to put in the fastest time. The third race was based on the world cup eliminator style with a short 2min loop, all out effort. Again I was able to throw down some fast times to continue building the engine.

My hillclimbing machine!

Deadgoat Summer Solstace:

A little unsure of how the weather conditions would factor into the course, I remembered back to the Giver8er race I did 2 years ago and how the course seemed to survive the monsoon fairly well. This race was no different for us. While the roots were slippery, I had fun flowing the smooth dirt and letting the wheels slide a little in the damp corners. The climbs were longer than at Terwillegar, but they were steep, and I was just lacking the power to continually send them.

Revelstoke Toonie Race:

I love riding in Revelstoke, and they were planning on holding a 1.5hr toonie race, how could I not go? I crushed some singletrack in the early afternoon with my brother, then got ready for the race in the evening. I started hard to string things out, but people were hanging in there. Eventually I was out front with Marty Schaffer and Brendan MacIntosh (owner of Flowt). I could not drop these guys on the hills, and they were consistently putting time into me on the descents. I blew up and slowly faded before losing another 3 places on the last lap. There are some ridiculously fast riders from the Stoke! I felt great on my bike all day, and put in some solid efforts in the race.

Riding in Revelstoke always blows my mind. The Tantrum trail  holds some great technical singletrack.
Iron Maiden XC:

Honestly, I was not really looking forward to this race. My thoughts were that this was a good course for the wet weather on race day for the last 2 years, but it doesn't really use the trails and loops at the Nordic Centre that I enjoy and ride on a regular basis. Plus, that rock staircase thing, the "organ donor", or more accurately the "ass puckerer" scares the shit out of me. But I showed up to the start ready to throw down a solid effort. I was feeling awesome on the singletrack sections, and the "ass puckerer" was closed, so I didn't have to feel the shame of taking the 'B' line! The bike felt great on the singletrack and I was able to flow through sections that others weren't, and not have to chase back on the hills! That's a first! One of my best elite races!

I wasn't sure if it would be worth doing the Kootenay Krusher, but now I think I have to!

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