Monday, July 08, 2013

4th of July, BCSP Reduex

What a week. I say that with the best possible tone; it was a great week. 

My little hoodrat friends and I

I got in all the training I needed to do, but had to rearrange the schedule a bit to accommodate taking Thursday off of riding to go to my brother's in-law's house to see my nieces on the 4th. Spent some great QT w/ all of them. We went swimming in the lake and hung out on their deck overlooking the lake. It was proper.

Weather has forced the cancellation of 2 BCSP MTB races this year. The rescheduled DINO event was Sunday. I woke up feeling RTR (ready to race). The way DINO runs the BCSP course it features what is probably the most difficult start in all of cycling. It's a short (~20yd?) sprint in thick grass, then a right hand turn off of the grass and onto a paved ~2mile climb w/ some nasty grades. Although this start is super difficult, it suits me well.
I took off expecting to "have to" ride the pace I typically do on this climb, which is, like, 100%. But when when we got up the first pitch I had a sizable gap on the field.   

After initial steep pitch, still climbing

I decided to meter it back a few %'s, but still go hard to maintain this gap into the woods and try to grow it on lap 1.
I went into the woods w/ probably 10-20sec on the field. About 3/4 into lap 1, a group of 3 was gaining on me. This didn't really worry me; I was feeling good and having a few fast guys around would hopefully grow the gap behind. I continued to lead through lap 1 and through most of lap 2. At some point another rider showed up out of nowhere, passed our group and was gone. No idea who he was, but he motoring. I was thinking about a win until then. Now I was thinking about a 2nd. Going into lap 3 I knew I was getting tired, but thought I could maintain high output for the 35or so minutes. But with about 3/4 of the lap remaining, I started coming unglued. I could tell my sugar reserves were depleted, even though I was eating gel and drinking mix. I was fading fast and started to make technical mistakes. This caused me to slow quite a bit on downhill sections and I got caught by a few more people. I was pretty much in survival mode and no real fight left in me, so I just had to let them by and watch them ride off.
Bummer, but these things happen.


I ended up 6th in my race, but 2nd for 35 men. So I got my hardware!

Overall it was great day and great weekend both on and off the bike. Life's good.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Double Race!

Nothing too exciting happened last week. So I skipped a post. No biggie, just normal training week. I jumped into the Sunday fast group ride to Martinsville and had a great ride. I felt pretty good and rode the front a lot. Pretty good ride.

This past weekend was a double race weekend though. I also took in two killer rainbows this week. So the Double Rainbow link isn't totally out of context, just kinda sorta out of context. Whatever; it's funny.

The weekend was the Muscatatuck Park double in North Vernon, IN. Saturday was the short track cross country (STXC) and Sunday was the XC.   
The weather for the STXC was great. Not super hot, dry, sunny. STXC racing is always super intense. I usually think of it as the first 'cross race of the year. This year wasn't an exception. The course was slightly lengthened this year, but I think we were still turning ~1:20 laps or so. It's only a 30min race, but it's full gas from gun to tape. I was in a group of three that was essentially racing for 4th and I ended up 5th. I made a last lap gamble that didn't pay off. That's racing.

For all the great weather earlier in the day Saturday, mother nature evened herself out in the afternoon: it rained a ton. Sunday's XC race was going to be a muddy one.
I switched my wheels to my mud tires Saturday night knowing that Muscatatuck is almost always kind of damp anyway, so after raining hard it would be a day for mud tires. I've been in muddier conditions, but it was definitely a good call.   
Gittin'r at the start
I haven't ridden mud for a while. Probably 6-8 months. It took me a while to get the feel of letting the bike do what it will and having to react to it rather than the other way around. Despite the baller looking picture above, I didn't get a very good start. I got pushed out of a couple of spots and entered the woods a bit further back than I would have liked to. But once things got sorted out I rode most of the first lap in 3rd place and moved into first for the final part of the lap. But in the feed zone I got re-passed and was back in third. I stayed there until the last lap when I got passed by two other guys. I was riding well, but fading. Another day another 5th. Not a bad weekend of racing.  

This coming weekend is the rescheduled BCSP race. It has rained a lot and the forecast has some more in it. Should (hopefully) be fine by mid-week and the weekend will hopefully be okay and we can get this race in. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the course has been changed for this year and the big climb is removed. So it probably doesn't suit me quite as well as in the past, but it's still a fun race.
4th of July this week!!!!!     Wheeeewwww!