Sunday, February 22, 2009

Leadville Winter mountain bike race 3

Chris, Marni, me, Michelle, Erik
Erik, my relay partner
The start, I was 3rd to go off, we departed in 30 second intervals
The scenery

Saturday morning was the third winter mountain bike race.  It was a relay race, and we went up with a group of three teams.  Marni and Michelle were one team, Chris and Shawn were another, and Erik and I were the third(singlespeed).  The race started with a time trial format, with one rider leaving every 30 seconds.  We each did two laps, a first one consisting of 2 miles of snow packed riding, and then a 6 mile ride on the road.  Erik and I were the third team, and I went first.  I had a decent start and pushed myself pretty hard.  After a little over a mile, Shawn (crazy fast) was in my rearview mirror.  I tried to pick up the tempo a bit to hold him off as long as possible, but I took a corner to tight, got into some deeper snow, and went over the handlebars.  I quickly remounted and took off.  Shawn passed me quickly, but I still had a decent time.  I started my second lap and tried to get into a good rhythm.  I knew with my 32x20 I would easily spin out on flat sections and downhills.  Two geared riders passed me within the first mile.  I used them as carrots and paced them pretty much the whole way to the finish, yo yoing a bit.  Shawn and Chris won the race overall, Erik and I finished first in the singlespeed category, and Marni and Michelle finished 2nd in the women's category.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The weekend

Saturday was kind of a cloudy, colder day, with occasional snow showers.  I ended up biking to the gym for a couple hours of lifting.  It wasn't a great day for bike riding, so I ended spending a couple hours on my single speed bike after that running some errands.  I did not really have any objectives with my ride besides going to REI to get tickets for the Banff Mountain Film Festival for friday night.  As I was pedaling away from REI, a guy flew by me on a geared cyclocross bike.  The rider brought on my competitive instincts, as I started to try to pace him.  Much to his surprise, I passed him after chasing him at speeds of 17 to 19 mph for six miles.

Sunday, Jeremy and I went for a casual hike at a trail called Ben Tyler.  It is a trail in the Lost Creek Wilderness about an hour away from my place.  It was sunny and quite nice.  We probably hiked about 5 miles with a fair amount of elevation change.  The whole trail is about 22 miles, and would be a really good overnight hike.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Some other lottery type race

One day after getting my rejection letter for the Leadville 100 I have all the other forms for some other lottery type race.  It is called, um, The Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival.  Chris, Marni, Scott, and I are hoping our names get drawn to make the yearly trip to the great north woods of Wisconsin in September.  I've done this race every year since 2004, and feel lucky to have that streak going.  I only hope I get to share some fat tire fun with my friends from Colorado and Wisconsin in 2009.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Today I got my check in the mail for the Leadville 100.  Usually when you get checks in the mail, that is a good thing.  Not in this case.  Getting my check back along with a letter from the LT race people means I am not one of the lucky 1,000 people who get to race.  Boo!!  There is a Winter Park race that day anyway.  Hopefully 2010 my team gets in.  

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Leadville Winter Mountain bike race 2

Saturday was the second winter mountain bike race in Leadville.   This one was a night race at a Nordic center near Tennessee Pass about 8 miles from Leadville.  We left early so we could make it up in plenty of time, so we stopped at a cafe sort of place before the race.  My pre race meal consisted of funnel cake, mint chocolate chip ice cream, and a large carmel mocha latte.  65 people started the race at 7.  The starting temperature was somewhere around 20, with clear skies and a full moon.  I got to pre ride a bit of the coarse, so at the start I was feeling good and opened up from the start.  My new panaracer rampage 29x2.35 @ 18 psi in the front offered much more stability.  Also, pushing a 32x20 this race vs the 32x18 was much better.  I did have a few lighting issues about halfway down a long, winding downhill which consisted of pretty soft snow.  The coarse was designed well with some winding downhills, which when I picked good lines, I could carry a fair amount of speed, even in the snow.  Physically, I felt pretty good and was able to hold a pretty strong effort.  I finished 6/15 in the single speed category.