Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hall Ranch Ride

I rode Hall Ranch on Friday hoping to post up a time for the loop - but accidentally reset my computer. OOPS!!

Anyway - I ride from the skate park/ library and up the road to The antelope trailhead. From there I climb up to the main trail and continue climbing to the lollypop loop (Nelson?). I'll ride the lollypop and come down the main trail (bitterbush?)through the long rock garden, down through the lower parking lot and back out to the road. From the road it's an easy spin back to town and to my automobile.

I did manage to watch the time from the 1.1 mile marker on the top loop all the way down to the road (through the parking lot). Even though I came to a complete stop 3 times waiting for groups of riders to climb the opposite way - I did it in under 13 minutes. I'm thinking it was around 12:45... but I didn't have the timer on. I think that the mileage (DH) was about 4.8 miles. This must be a pretty decent time as I was pedaling hard the whole way down. I was taking some race run lines as well - so I took a few big risks to get down as fast as possible. I'm not advocating that others do this... but it was a good time.

Bike Batman

be warned... before you expand this pic - it's not what you think

Friday, June 27, 2008

Colorado Crankworx

Guess what boys and girls? Colorado Crankworx is stepping it up this year...

Brian Lopes has confirmed that he's racing DS! Depending on the course - I may enter "open" so that I can race against this guy.... I'll never beat him, but I'd love to give him a run side by side! Seriously... I've been practicing my sprints, gates, and turns like mad.

Want more details?

Crested Butte Race Report

what a weekend... good, bad AND ugly!

So, to start - I'd never been to the butte before and I'm sure to go back now!

Ok, let's get started... I'm a gravity guy (no secret there) and am specializing in Dual Slolumn this year (no secret again) - and there was no DS race at CB. yea.... I'm already making excuses.
As long as I'm coming up with excuses - I have a tweaked wrist (read: probably broken, but I'm too lazy to go to the doctor), so I left my DH bike at home. I also hadn't ridden in about 3 weeks. Got all that? Good...

We arrive Friday late afternoon (missed DH practice), just in time to register and find a camp site above the resort. The two people I rode down with, Chris and Dan, are both a couple of lycra wearing roadies XC types... (dig) so this was destined to be weekend of conflicting schedules.
They both had races on Saturday morning, and I did my best to be a good support staff. Feedzone, pics, carry gear, etc. They both looked strong and had some good finishes. This was no doubt one of the harder races in the MSC, so I was happy to see them both battling the whole way for places.
Shortly after their races ended, my Super D practice started (simultaneous to the Sport Class DH). The Course started off with what felt like a 1/4 mile run. yea - that's dumb... but once on your bike, the course seemed to be a fun one. I had signed up to race Expert 30+, and had taken a look at last year's times so that I could get a get a solid idea of where to concentrate on time. I started practcing with some of the men's Open class entrants and quickly verified my initial fears. I can't climb. Descending was, of course, no problem - I don't think that there were more than 2 people at the race that could keep up with me, and there was certainly no-one at the race that could ride away from me. This brings me to my complaints write up...

Anyway... after timing a few runs, I found that I was riding int he high 12 minutes with my gear on (camelback, water, tubes, etc), and in the very low 12's with my race gear on (12:03 to be exact). Comparing this to last years times, I wasn't expecting a podium - but knew that I could improve upon this time (I don't practice over 80% effort)

So... these run made me think about DH'ing and how I wish I had brought my DH bike. My wrist was feeling pretty solid (LOTS of tape) so I rode over to the DH lift and took a ride up. My first run down was with the sport class guys... they all had DH bikes and I was on my Commencal (5 inch travel) with a camelback, and XC helmet and no pads. After some funny looks at the start, I pedaled onto the course and started letting go a bit. My wrist was feeling good and I was passing lots of the sport guys, so I knew I was in decent shape for the rest of the run. About 1/2 the way down was a road gap, with sport class practice going on, no one was jumping it. I took a look at it from above and ripped down the course and hit it (xc helmet and camelbak attached) with no problems... I had considered riding around, but all of the spectators looking fr carnage egged me on and I couldn't resist. Cheers erupted and disbelief was shouted as they all saw that i was on an XC bike.
The rest of the course was pretty smooth and the XC bike was a HUGE advantage. I could easily pedal soooo much faster than the other rides. The course actually borrowed from the XC route - so I was easily passing people who were working MUCH harder than I.

Another run during expert practice made me feel like I could have been extremely competitive (even on my xc bike), and wishing that I'd signed up. I was riding with a skill level much closer to mine, but I still felt very fast.It gave me hope for the rest of the DH season!

Race run...
I finished my run in about 8th or 9th place, rode up to about 6th or 5th place in the first fire road section (few hundred yards), got a flat in the beginning of the singletrack, passed 2 more people in the singletrack (with a flat) - and then lost it all back on the first real climb. I think that I would have held that spot without a flat, but who knows. Race winner had a time of 12:18 (doh!!!). Without a flat - I had a real chance at a podium.

Course complaints...

Super-D has a "D" in it to designate downhill or descent emhpasis, but I find that starting a course with an uphill run, and with more than 50% of your ride time spent climbing, AND with no real passing areas on the descent - this sport has become more Super-XC than Super-D. Really - this could have been one helluva good course, but the stupid uphill sections were too long and too xc.

Downhill - one the XC course? come on...

Well - I guess I'll do better next year, and I better have some improvements next race. I once had a coach that told me it was OK to lose as long as I learned and came back stronger.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What to do when your friends visit


Downhill training

I've had several questions lately on downhill specific training. While I'm no longer the young whipper-snapper that I once was... i've dug up some old articles that I used to help guide my training philosophy.
I believe that everyone needs something different and needs to train in different ways, but objectives seem to be similar. My Objectives list included the following -

Sprints -
I need to increase my top speed
I need to increase by ability to function in oxygen debt
I need a faster snap
I need to increase the number of back to back sprints that I can do
I need to work on short AND long sprints

Weights -
I need to be able to feel strong at the end of a race
I need to eliminate arm pump
I need to protect myself, prevent injuries with muscle (shoulder, wrist, back)
Core strength makes a bigger difference than limb strength

Endurance -
I don't want to be sloppy at the end a training day
DH races ofte have long pedaling sections - I need to be able to function after said section
Road and XC rides are great for recovery

Skilz -
You gots to have em
Tech Sections - Rocks, off-camber, etc
Cornering - Berms, flats, grass, mud, dust, high-speed, low-speed
Jumping - Drops, J-hop, bunny hop, manual, over tech, into tech, racerstyle, dirtjump style
Carry speed (yea - it's a skill), you have to know how everything you do effects your momentum and exit speed

Nutrition -
Don't eat crap

I like plyometrics, a little weights, and lots o riding

Monday, June 9, 2008

Yeti 303 Proto Types

There's going to be several versions of the rail linkage in 09 and 10... here's a preview...

Looks like a pic of the new 7 inch trail bike snuck in here :)

SolVista Bike DH Weekend

I got a couple of days of riding in this weekend up at SolVista Resort. They opened a couple of DH trails for the season.

They opened up 2 legit DH trails and a few others than seemed more like Super-D courses. The 2 downhill courses were named Drifter (i didn't find myself drifting more than once or twice) and Cougar (it was old school, and out to get the young and inexperienced)

Drifter was a fun course, with some good rock garden sections and fun turns in the trees. The Rock gardens have a couple of lines through them. Truth be told - I've pinned it on some really bad lines through the rocks, and still managed to get through unscathed. I forgot to time myself on this course... I suck.
Cougar was definitely a faster more racy course. Cougar starts off with a ramp to a pump to a road gap right under the lift. The only real tech section on Cougar was a double drop section. I definitely recommend rolling it the first time or two you try it - I launched the first drop with some speed to clear some of the debree at the bottom, only to find that i didn't have enough room to clear the 2nd drop. I'm sure that you know how this ended up... torn up shoulder, bruised hip and a$$, and a tweaked wrist (I don't think that I broke it). Otherwise - the corners are fast and you can pedal through lots of the trail. With my bad wrist, I was top to bottom in about 2:30-40. I would guess that race runs will be in the low 2:00 for this course.

The 2 trails above are a little on the shorter side - but fun racy type of trails. SolVista just doesn't have the vertical to put in a long and fast run, but they definitely make use of what they have.
The crew at solvista is led by several top notch racers and get some help from a few guys at The plan is to put in an additional 5 trails this summer as well as a Dual Slolumn course.
Just having a Dual course at the base will assure my attendance... I miss the old school Dual Racing Format. It ruled... like Steve McQueen.

All in all - it's a good place to be if you are a racer type, but doesn't have much to offer the Free-ride type... Given the schedule for this summer (they are hosting 2 mountain states cup races and 1 G3 race) - this makes sense.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Road race gone wrong south of the border

As translated by babelfish - originally from this mexican newspaper

Matamoros, Tamaulipas .- A cycling race ended this Sunday morning in tragedy when the driver of a vehicle winding to a quota that was finalized Beach Baghdad.

Early reports indicate that shortly after the eight o'clock, had launched a coexistence of cycling, from the city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas with the Beach Baghdad, involving approximately 500 participants, who led troops in 15 people.

The event was convened by the Club Ciclista "Chameleons", in its third edition.

Upon reaching the first contingent at kilometre 16 of that Rua, a vehicle lost control and hit squarely.

Until the moment it is unknown whether the driver was driving the drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, since they do not detected signs of an element of the Federal Preventive Police Roads division that led the group of cyclists.

After the impact, fourteen people were injured and one more died in various fractures. Two more people were reported injured as serious in hospitals in Matamoros.

The now occiso was identified as Alejandro Alvarez 34 years and residing in the Country Club of texana city of Brownsville.

The responsible for the accident, was arrested at the scene, said John Fields called aged 28, residing at 233 San Eugenio from the same city texana.

After the accident, participants of the Third Tour "Matamoros Playa Bagdad-2008", attempted homicide to assault imprudencial, speaking an element of the PFP Roads.

The ministerial authorities assumed that the vehicle he was driving a 1988 Grand Marquis model gray, is owned by a relative because they found documentation on behalf of Jessy Fields.

After the tragedy, coexistence was suspended by the organizers. In this race cyclist involved mainly professionals from both sides of the border.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Atheron Clan - Andorra World Cup

Those Atherton Kids sure seem to be fast!

Gee - 1st place DH
Dan - 1st place MTX
Rachel - 1st Place DH

who can keep up?????

Gee Racing a Car in an episode of "Top Gear"


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