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Showing posts from July, 2008

Tour of the Hilltowns Race Report

So I had this great idea that maybe I would do a road race. Solobreak had been bugging me about it for a while, and when Bradbury Mountain Enduro got canceled I remembered that there had been some road race on the calendar that seemed attractive to me the same weekend.

It was called "Tour of the Hilltowns," and I figured that any race with "hill" in the title would be good for mountain bikers. The extent of my road racing experience is mass starts from cross season, so that makes me a Cat 5. I assumed that I would be a sandbagger, but possibly not the biggest one there. To keep the playing field level I selected my cross bike as the bike of the day... and also because I don't have a road bike.

I hitched a ride out in the Team BOB party van with solo and the one known only as Cronoman. During this time I asked stupid questions about how road racing works (wheels in/neutral out? huh?), but I knew it was all a mere formality since I was going to win solo, from…

Mount Snow Nationals Race Report

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So Nats is the big show, right? I hadn't raced in 17 days. I had taken quite a few days off the bike. I was ready to fly off the start line, crush some fools, and be Expert 25-29 national champion. They had tamed the downhill only slightly, all I needed was my legs to show up climbing and I'd be right up there.

Yeah man, all I gotta do is fly off that start line. It's Nats so there's lots of traffic ahead and behind, don't want to get caught up in that.

Definitely gonna start hard. I've been getting good results with the DFL start this year, but I should definitely change things up here. Mm-hmm. It's Nats.

See where I'm going with this?

I abandoned the usual "you guys have fun racing to the top of that first climb, I'll be pacing myself back here" strategy and tried to go with them. I'm not gonna say this was my only mistake, but it sure didn't help in the long run.

It definitely helped in the short run, though, I might have ev…

Mount Snow Nationals Pictures

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Wow! I hadn't taken a week off from work in a long time. It was sweet. A more serious blogger might have mentioned that he was going into the internet-free void, but hey, I bet you got over it. A full-on breakdown of how I navigated every single loose pebble on the work road climbs is coming (sneak preview: it's easier if you walk), but for now, the photo highlights:
Unrelated to Mt Snow, but relevant to my vacation -- Niagara Falls is wicked impressive up close if you ever get the chance to see it. And thank god for the sign, or I wouldn't be alive to type this.
Adam Craig is too fast to keep in the frame.Jeff Schalk is too fast to keep himself upright.

Cary going about 30 mph on lap two of the short track, a decision he will soon regret.
Pierre paying the price for entering a short track involving Jonny Bold.
"DO YOU WANT CLAMATO ?!?!" we screamed at James each lap. Apparently, he did.
Singlespeeding: A good way to be tailgunner on lap one of a short track. …

For All Intensive Porpoises, "Pelican" is French for "Main Pack"

Go to this link and search for the word "pelican." Keep searching until you've found all occurrences of the word; you will not be disappointed.

Does This Count As A Brick

This past holiday weekend linked up nicely with a 17-day break from racing and allowed me to actually do some of that "training" stuff that other people like to write about. A more dedicated racer would have been out there doing a variety of powertap-driven interval workouts, but 1) I don't own a powertap 2) I was in northwestern Maine. If you think I'm going to go do some boring workout when I'm in place custom-made for epic rides (because you can't do a loop shorter than 30 miles, because there are no road, ha!), you might be a roadie... and not a very fun one at that.

Alienated yet, or should I keep going?

Anyway, 10 hours in 3 days is surely worth something, especially with 24 hours of GG coming up (I care a lot more about that than Nationals). The high/low light of the weekend was riding solo from Bethel to Augusta, which provided me the opportunity to firm up the ole tan lines, and stop for ice cream when I ran out of water. I ended the ride with a sh…

Another Data Point

As promised, I hit the Dover TT last night, to see if I could reverse the disturbing trend of getting slower.

The good news -- not slower. 19:33, 23.6 mph.
The bad news -- everyone went faster. Thom set a PR, George took 51 seconds off his time, and a late-arriving solo smoked me by 40 seconds. The "non-aero" record fell (albeit to a guy with aero wheels) and the 4th-fastest time ever ridden was recorded. So we can safely conclude that conditions were favorable.

What else is there to say?

Mount Snow XC Race Report

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Alright, let's continue this post-a-day trend by finishing up the weekend. The astute reader (yeah, both of you) will remember that all but one of my races went badly this past weekend so you should know what's coming. For the non-astute reader, this race report is not going to end with a podium... just so you know.

It started raining at 5pm and kept raining off and on until morning. This is the kind of weather that makes some courses get technical (in a good way), but since Mt Snow starts out as "borderline rideable" this makes it get technical, in a bad way. Hope you like pushing your bike uphill.

To compound the difficulty experts were riding four laps, even though it took me over 2 hours to ride 3 laps last year. But that's ok because they took out one short section of singletrack, so laps should be way shorter! So I have no idea why there's already 20 posts on the Root 66 Message Board talking about how the course was too hard and how Mt Snow needs t…