out at the arkansas 6 hour spa city race course. conditions are a little on the cold side, some sections are a little wet but course is mostly dry.
same course as last year, few new sections, nothing major.
field looks to be a little thin, doesn't look as there is as many riders as there was last year. guess we'll see tomorrow.
pics up sometime late sunday as i forgot my card reader.
gotta run, need to put up the legs and rest up for tomorrow.
resting up after last weeks adventure in tucson & getting ready for the next one in r-kansas.
unpack from one race, fix what needs to be fixed and get packed up for the next. looking forward to once again getting out of the snow.
after that, bikes washed up, packed up again to head out for 2 days of dan the man magic where all my new stuff is setup on the pivots & my i9's are sent off for some new builds. should be a couple of good productive days.
in bike stuff news, quality is hosting their version of interbike called frostbike this weekend and tons of new stuff is out for the speedgoat gang to get their hands on.
lots of new wheel options out there from velocity, stans (and a few others) - even including some with twisted spokes and different color combo options as i know you all like to accessorize as much as i do.
one my favorites to come out at frostbike has to be the all-city single speed cross bike in what looks to be a lime green with deep dish single speed wheels and a SRAM crank. very clean and sharp - lime green with white tips. jim from the shop has been instructed by yours truly to get the full specs and build up, so stay tuned.
with that, gotta roll. any takers that want to unpack my stuff from tucson and wash/tune up my pivot? and get some work done too?
i thought so - go ride.
This past weekend was a first for me, a 24 hour duo. Here’s the low-down on how it all went down.
Race: 24 Hours of Old Pueblo. Quite arguably one of the biggest 24 hour events of the year, it pulls in a ton of riders mostly looking to get in some miles in great weather. This field this year pulled in the names like Harlan Price, Fuzzy John, DJ, Sully from IF, Yuri from Marin, Jeff Kerkove – just to name a few.
Course: Super tight and rolling, no big climbs like back home. Single track was fast, but miss a turn or get cut off by another rider and you’ll go straight into a cactus. And don’t even think about running a tube, you’ll get a flat in a heartbeat. A tad under 16 miles, fast laps will be around an hour, night laps will see another 10 minutes or so added on.
Location: Tucson, Arizona.
Weather: Clear and windy with the temps in the high 60’s to the low 40’s.
Duo Partner: Fellow backed Pivot rider Brian Bennett who is a very fast local that pulled off a solo 12 hour win a few weeks prior and also supplied the pit setup supplies and 3 friends to help crew for us. Brian would start the race off for us.
February 8th, 4pm
I am officially freaking out as my 2pm flight to Tucson is now cancelled for tomorrow due to the crazy snow that was hitting the Cleveland area. By 6pm, I have my flight rescheduled to leave at 6am.
February 9th, 11am
I am in Tucson, with bike and all my gear. Thanks goes out to Billy A from BikeFlights.com for getting my shipped out for me – there would have been no way I could of got my bike out there. All things considered, shipping the bike saves so much time and hassle at the airport. With baggage fees the way they are now, it’s not worth the risk of either getting hit with a massive fee to ship or the chance they will damage it.
My “misfortune” works out great as I get to the venue, get the bike together and sneak in a 3 hour ride before nightfall.
February 10th and 11th
Two 4 hour rides on the race course. Practice makes perfect.
Meet up with Brian, setup camp and get in about an hour and half before turning in.
February 13th, noon – the start
Brian starts the run and it is total mass chaos. Dust and riders everywhere, most are walking due to the congestion of riders. Brian rolls a 1:04 lap, I back that up with a 1:05.
We continue to roll out the fast laps and are trailing the Waltworks team – they are just minutes ahead. I crank out another 1:05 on my second lap and pass up their rider to go into the lead.
Lap 6, 5:27pm
In the lead and feeling awesome, I am pushing hard on the pedals and am flying around the course. It’s tight and congested and it is pretty clear that some riders are in way over their heads. When I came upon a rider about half way through the lap and asked to get by, I never thought he would attempt to come back onto the line that he just gave up. Instead of braking to allow me through, he tried to speed up and cut me off – we then locked bars and both went flying into a cactus, with me going head first.
Now covered in about 200 cactus needles and not noticing my bent up front wheel, I roll on. Still don’t know how I managed to not swear or take a punch at the rider in all that fiasco. In hindsight, I was probably taking too many risks and the other rider just panicked. I had a friend who once told me that if you don’t crash at least once in a race, you probably were not going fast enough – guess I just had it.
Med staff help me pull the needles out, and I got changed up and ready for my next lap – all the while, Josh from Pivot trued up my front wheel best he could to get me through to the finish.
Lap 9, 10:17pm
Still rolling it good, but feeling stiff, Brian flats but still comes in with a decent time. By this time we are roughly about 10 minutes up on Waltworks – little did we know, but they had some misfortunes at some point and lap times slowed for them and it looked like they took some time off during the night. Our lead grew.
Lap 14, 4:32am
My last night lap. I love the sight of the sun coming over the horizon during a 24 hour race as it seems to give you a little surge of energy to get you through the event. I wrapped up this lap, took off my lights and had my favorite morning food – eggs. Yummy.
Lap 19, 9:41am
Brian rolls out on his last lap, and we now have a lap and a half up on 2nd. Brian rolls out a super fast lap and sends me on my way.
Lap 20, 10:53am – last lap
Heading out on the last lap, I went hard where I could and didn’t take any major risks. Pulled off a fast lap and was greeted by Brian holding a cold Fat Tire brew.
Overall great event that was well worth the trip. Traffic on the course was a little heavy, but in the end it was something that everybody had to deal with and I think it also provided a little bit of a mental and physical break every once in awhile.
Racing duo was awesome too – one would think it would be easier, but in a way it was more difficult as you could go a lot harder as you had time to rest and fuel up.
And special thanks goes out to Brian, his pit crew buddies and the gang out at Pivot. Once again shows that it takes more than just pedaling to get across the finish line.
whew, that was a tough race.
sun so hot, i froze to death, saw a cactus flash before my eye (or maybe i tried to tackle it) but managed to pull off a victory with fellow pivot backed rider brian bennett.
long write up tomorrow, just got back in, but thanks go out to brian and his pit crew pals and pivot. special mucho thanks goes out to josh from pivot who "trued" up my front wheel after a rider crashed me into a cactus.
late rain showers yesterday left for a cool breeze today with bright and sunny skies today with temps in the mid 50's.
course soaked up all the rain, so no issues at all due to the water.
very odd course compared to an typical east coast course in that you can probably ride in the big ring for about 75% of the course - but you need to really concentrate.
you need to concentrate on that ditch, that cactus, that short steep climb - you need to flow, flow, flow and be one with course. if not, you may find that a cactus is not the best thing in the world to hug. in an odd way, it sort of reminds me of a cross course with all the turns and the importance of setting for the corners.
in town - the ergon guys and gal, dj, fuzzy, yuri and nat. the race hasn't started and i want to come back next year.
with that, i am out - updates coming to ya via facebook starting tomorrow and possibly during race day.
about a dozen or so pics added today - check flickr.
well, i made it to tucson despite mother natures attempt to stop me from getting here.
original flights had me leaving around 2pm'ish on Tuesday with a layover in chicago. that flight cancelled on me around 4pm on monday and 2 hours later i had a new flight booked through denver that would jump me over the weather and get me to tucson 12 hours earlier.
and, as luck would have it too, shipped my bike out through bikeflights.com and it was already there waiting for me to pick it up at around 11am tuesday morning.
funny how things are working out this week. don't like all the running around, but getting an extra riding day in tucson is well worth all the hassle considering the weather back home.
now onto the course - (check out FLICKR for all my pics)
course is mostly flattish, no major climbs but not flat by any means. couple of smaller climbs here and there, but nothing really sustained.
when it gets to single track, overshoot a corner and you are bound to hit some sort of cactus - either a flat or pain will hit you, sometimes both.
course is on state land, but leased by local ranchers - so watch out for those free roaming moo cows that everywhere. just kind of odd to be flying around on the trails and then you see a cow standing in the middle of the trail.
it's also on the long side, just under 16 miles. a little long if it were on the east coast, but the flow and lack of any real major climbs will lead to fast laps times.
gotta run - check the rest of the pics up on flickr.
ah, mother nature is kicking me in the shins again, but luckily i am heading out of dodge for my first race of the year next week.
racing duo, packing for this one is a little different as normally i take 2 of everything and i sweat over the details of possibly forgetting something. it's actually feeling a little more relaxed knowing that i have a little bit more time for everything including just soaking up the atmosphere, which is normally something i have 0 time for.
one more race after old pueblo, then out to the shop for a few days of bike work fun. new forks, brakes, saddles, stems, posts, drivetrain, shifters, tires, pedals, cables, etc. complete overall.
will maybe top off the whole weekend out there with some pumpkin cookies from the bakery that is across the street from speedgoat. those cookies are so good that i have dreams about them for a week before and actually strategize my ride time to end before they close up shop for the day.
with that thought - time to finish up the packing.
24 solo producers ken and jason have created yet another masterpiece in the making called chasing legends.
from the footage, video and music just in the trailer, it's sure to one i'll add to my growing cycling videos.
next up for me schedule wise, old pueblo duo with another pivot rider. should be good times at a race i have always wanted to race. racing duo gives me enough of a rest up between laps that any winter lack of fitness factor shouldn't be too much of a sweat.
with that, gotta roll. stuff to schedule, including a few days at the 'goat to let dan the man work his magic.