Sunday, August 30, 2009

week off....WTF?

well this week is the first time in a LONG time that i went on vacation and didn't bring my bike. reason was two, i got sick just before i came to the beach and the dr told me to take at least 3 days off...and two, i was planning on some down time anyway(maybe not quite 5 days) but never the less some time off before i geared up for the end of the season.

BUT....I'm ready to get back on my two wheeled delight and get the wind in my face, blood in the legs, and get ready for the last 3 races of the year.

Black Bear Rampage is the newest addition to the schedule...since i'm not participating in the 24HOCS for the first time since it began back in 2004(more on that later)...lots of newness yet familiarity is what attracted me to this venue...the race is at the Tanasi trails, which I'm very familiar with and love camping around there but i'll be racing the ss for the first time ever and it's a 44 miler so those two new elements should make for some new memories. several of our local racing crew are making the trip too...wesson is driving w/ me, betz is coming, and the boyz from it should be fun!

That will only leave 2 more xc races...The Clear Creek Challenge in Oxford, MS and the SCRCS championship race in Ridgeland, MS. I hope to have the new frame in to contest the Cat 1 races but might be doing the ss races instead...playing it by ear for now...i'm not in the overall running for the series so the races will be strictly for fun and early off season training.! not going be doing this race for the first time since it's a total double edged sword for me...

one side = i love this race. i love the format. i love the trails. my team has won 2x's and came in second last year by only 3min after 24hrs...being one man down for 18hrs of the race. I had to roll 8 laps last year...but it was fun!

other side = i hate the cold at night. i hate the lack of sleep. i'm pissed that ALL of my team mates fell out for one reason or flaked out like a girl, one had family obligations, and one broke his shoulder blade...

but this has allowed me to race the rampage and start my off season training earlier that i had planned. which is good cause i have a awesome off season planned for this year.

i'll be back on the bike tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fools Gold 50 weekend report...vesenice!

this weekend has been a shinning star on my schedule since i made it out in the first of the year. wesson is the one who brought the idea up of doing this race and it made perfect sense...after the SERC was over and new trails/race to try out. Ive only done a few 50 mile races before this but some of my XC races are only 12-13 miles shorter so the distance isn't that intimidating. we left out thursday night after work just to get a head start...needless to say we got a little behind schedule and missed the gate closing at Cheaha State Park where we were going to back to Anniston for the night.

Friday...was super laid back all day. we only had 2 things to do...ride and pick up the race packets. We headed to Chicopee close to Gainsville, GA to ride what would turn out to be some of the sweetest single track trails i have ever ridden. the trails were built and are maintained by SORBA and they know what they are doing when it comes to trails...there was about 5 trails all unique to itself, some fast and swooping, others rocky and technical. Places where roots were the trail or the complete opposite 4 foot bench cut trails following the contour of the land to the T. we ended up with a little over 2hrs and 23 miles. After the ride we headed over to Dahlonega to grab the room and head to the shop to pick up the race packets. We ate dinner and had to make a few other stops which drug on and by the time we finished up getting things completely dialed, sag stop drop bags, drinks, bikes, cloths, etc...we hit the sac at a smooth 11:30p....

Saturday...wake up....4:45a...OUCH, WTF!!! we had decided to make smoothies for breakfast instead of trying to down food that early. I have trouble getting food down before 8a much less 6a...we blended up some good stuff and sucked down a few cups. I also made a large cup coffee to drink on the way over to the venue which was about 25 min away. It was dark when we arrived at the starting area. The race was one large 50 mile loop w/ a good mix of single track, double track and dirt roads. we dropped our sag bags off and chilled for about 45 min before we suited up and got the heads right. We started at 7:15a. The race started off with a 1o mile, 2k ft climb...i was cold as could be when the gun went way i could start fast...i eased in to a pace over the first 15 min of the climb but the legs felt good. I slowly picked up the pace as i climbed and before long i was rolling by folks...i would say i was 40 deep on the start of the climb by the end, an hour later, i had passed over 25 guys. the downhills were blazing fast and the single track was super fast. The two really large climbs were in the first 30 miles the last 20 miles were more up and down. The slow start was perfect for me...I was in a rhythm throughout the race! I continued to pass dudes until about mile 30ish...i maybe picked a few off but not many. I stuck to my fuel schedule and finished strong. I had no idea where i was during the race...ever...but when i finished, i notice there were only a few guys around and so i asked...6th. sweet!! my finish time was 4:24, 36minutes faster than my goal time. Wesson had a goo race too! finished top 60. longest he has ever been on a bike! the rest of the day was chill...we drank, relaxed in the pool, ate a lot, and went to sleep early!

Sunday...we woke both feeling good and decided to act on our instincts and go ride some more. wesson has a good knowledge of the trials round the area so he thought that Blankets Creek would be good. And he was right! the trial system had 4 was a biggner trials and fast. There was an intermendant type trial which was fast and prefectly manucuried. The last two trials were both tough but very different. the first was super rocky and technical but not much climbing. the other was one of the coolest, benchcut, erfectly designed trails i have ever ridden. you could hold your speed both up and down of the climbs had one of the coolest sections that was man made and must have taken hours to build. the ride was shorter compared to the last two days, only at 1:45 ride time but still a great workout.

we had more food and more laughs on the way home! it was a great 3 days of riding and having fun!!! thanks wesson.

BTW...i really enjoyed the longer races...maybe more to come?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

SERC #10 Fontana Dam Jam, NC

alas the final race was upon me...a day that i had been working towards since March the 3rd. The goal...finish top 3 overall. Up to this year, my best finish at the SERC's was 6th out of 8 racers. I knew i had my work cut out for me from the get go...but the year has gone almost perfect...besides the 2 Kenda Cups which i sucked nuts at...the SERC's have gone good.
I knew leading up to the race the conditions were going to be wet and nasty. So i borrowed some aggressive tyres from Max and started to get myself mental ready. Muddy races are also so dicey...your bike my ride well, it may not. Saturdays pre ride was awesome...the trails were tacky but perfect...but that perfect that if any more rain hits them they will blow...well it rained a bunch...all Sat night and all sun morning until about 1 lap left and then the sun popped out and it was beautiful! which was good thing cause i had a 9hr drive home.
little Jerry in his race.
going into the race i was the point leader and only Cesar was close enough to pass me for the overall so the plan was to mark him and beat him.

the race started good...until the first climb, which was about 3oo meters off the start...ALL the riders were having to dismount and run due to the trail being too slick to ride. And of shoes "boa cord" snapped immediately...sweet, running in mud with a shoe that keeps coming off...nice. But I pushed on and the first lap went good...running 4th and about a minute up on Cesar. the second was a little tougher...all the climbs but 2 were unridable so running became more part of the game...I don't run...and the quads and calf's were cramping every time i would jump off and try to the fn shoe was becoming a bigger problem as it became looser. But i managed to stave off any other racers and had built up a 5 min lead on Cesar...going into the last i knew it was all about damage control. the bike was starting to mess up...brakes were failing and chain suck and drivetrian issues were starting to become more frequent. I got passed on the first climb and tried to stick with Noah but he was riding strong and i dropped of his pace. i swear it felt like i was dragging something up the climbs...non stop resistance! by the time i hit the long, steep rocky climb i knew i had in the bad if i could just finish it off. My last lap was almost an hour was only 7.25 miles long...but I would manage to finish 6th on the day and pull the overall off!

a tad bit muddy

george and jerry let me crash with them since all my folks backed out for one reason or another so thanks again for the hospitality! you boyz rock! below is little jerry in 3rd overall!jerry and watching the sat night stxc race.
and so that's it for the SERC! and i'm already planning for next year and figuring out how to get better....